St. Louis author Patricia McKissack teaches students how to write via interactive videoconference. During hands-on and highly interactive sessions through Cooperating School Districts’ New Links to New Learning, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more.

This spring is the Creative Writing-Science Fiction workshop.
Dates and times (always central) for this three-part series are:
4 p.m. on 4/13 – teacher meeting
11 a.m. on 4/27 – student meeting I
11 a.m. on 5/11 – student meeting II

In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first videoconference, the author meets with the teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and the science fiction book she will be presenting, The Clone Codes.

In the first videoconference with students, Mrs. McKissack introduces herself and gives a brief biographical background including how she came to be a writer. Then, she goes into a lesson, which could focus on brainstorming, revision, or any other area that the teachers have agreed upon. Time is left for questions and answers from the students. The author then makes a science fiction writing assignment to the students. When they get back together in the last videoconference, she gives them feedback about their writing.

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Flickr Creative Commons - dino_olivieriFor over 10 years, acclaimed St. Louis author Patricia McKissack has taught students the writing process over videoconference. During hands-on & highly interactive sessions, students discuss plot, themes, character development and more. In a series of three videoconferences, Mrs. McKissack customizes for any grade level and any part of the writing process. In the first v/c, the author meets with the teachers to discuss the goals of the author visit and what books they would like her to present. In the second, the author dialogs with students, and in the third v/c she gives feedback on the writing & illustrations they have done.

This year, we’re excited to announce a new take on a favorite offering: Creative WritingScience Fiction. This videoconference is open for 4th-12th grade students; if both elementary and high school teachers respond, we’ll most likely add another time to split the groups up. For 2009-2010, Science Fiction will be offered:

Teacher Session: Thursday, April 15, 2010 @  4 pm CT
Student Session I:  Thursday, April 29, 2010 @ 11 am CT
Student Session II:  Thursday, May 12, 2010 @ 11 am CT

Cost for the series of 3 v/c is $650 for New Links members; non-members $750. Please register by April 1.

Thinking About 2009-2010

July 10, 2009

Pat McKissack

New Links to New Learning and author Pat McKissack are working on bringing new programs to her videoconferenching line-up, as well as keeping some of the favorites. We’ll be introducing some new formats and content options… make sure check back soon to see what she’ll be offering during the 2009-2010 school year through Cooperating School Districts!

November 17, 2008

mckissack-wordle

Winter Holidays Around the World dates have  been set:
Teacher Session: November  4, 2008 @  4 pm CT
Student Session I:  November  25, 2008 @  9:30  or 11 am CT
Student Session II:  December  16, 2008 @  9:30  or 11 am CT

Students in past videoconference connections have written about several winter holidays, including (but not limited to) Chinese New  Year, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa.

Award winning author Patricia McKissack shares with students her expertise when in comes to writing, and tells participants about her holiday book, Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. This illustrated book, for children ages nine and up, compares the preparations between the plantation mansion and the slave quarters leading up to Christmas celebrations.

Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack
Illustrated by John Thompson
Details of holiday observances practiced by the wealthy residents as well as the slaves who lived on a large Virginia plantation in 1859 are shared through narrative, songs, recipes and glorious illustrations. The love of family and the bonds of traditions are made bittersweet by the tumultuous changes wrought by the upheavals inherent in the lives of the slaves and the impending wrenching changes wrought by war. The book is meticulously attendant to historical accuracy and never descends into an overly sentimental view. Detailed notes follow the text, with further interesting tidbits (for example, the phrase “sleep tight” refers to the rope slats supporting a mattress which must be tight to avoid uncomfortable sagging). Winner of the 1995 Coretta Scott King Award.

During the first videoconference, Pat will talk with the participating teachers about what they are doing in class and how this videoconference relates to their curriculum. In the second and third videoconferences, Pat interacts directly with the students. In the final connection, students will have an opportunity to share their work with their peers and Pat. Pat offers her praise and critique of the work, though often encouraging students to revise and rewrite!

To have your class sign up for this interactive videoconference series, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts to learn about costs and expectations. Each videoconference should have no more than 30 students per class, and we never connect more than three schools at one time. Pat works with students of all ages, but we work to schedule to make sure the right groups are working together (a second grade class would never work with a seventh grade class, for instance). We hope to see you this holiday session!

Remember that Pat McKissack will be offering Creative Writing twice during the 2008-09 school year! She videoconferences live from St. Louis, Missouri, so all times listed are central- standard or daylight, depending on the time of year. Please register no later than 1 week before first session. For New Links to New Learning members, the fee is $650, for nonmembers, $750. To read more about this interactive videoconference series, visit: http://www2.csd.org/newlinks/programdesc.html. [Fall and Spring photos found at Flickr Creative Commons, by skyseeker and Stewart, respectively.]

skyseeker

Flickr: skyseeker


Fall dates/times:

November 11, 4 pm
November 25, 1 or 2 pm
December 16, 1 or 2 pm

Flickr: Stewart


Spring dates/times:
February 24, 4 pm
March 3, 9:30 or 11 am
March 17, 9:30 or 11 am

We’ve set up Pat McKissack’s Creative Writing dates for the upcoming school year. Pat does a three part series: the first v/c is with the participating teachers, to discuss goals and themes. The second & third v/c are with the students, where they talk with Pat about all there is to being an author. They learn the methods she uses when writing fiction. In the third v/c, students share their work with Pat and she provides a critique of the writing. The goal of the project is to introduce students to the process that authors use to write a book and to engage them in writing activities themselves that mirror this process. 

We’re excited to announce Pat will be offering Creative Writing twice during the 2008-09 school year! Remember that Pat videoconferences live from St. Louis, Missouri, so all times listed are central- standard or daylight, depending on the time of year:

Fall dates/times:                              Spring dates/times:
November 11, 4 pm                   February 24, 4 pm 
November 25, 1 or 2 pm           March 3, 9:30 or 11 am 
December 16, 1 or 2 pm           March 17, 9:30 or 11 am

Teachers select one time slot and use it for both sessions. Fall dates are grouped together, spring dates are grouped together. No mixing ‘n matching, please! Also, we limit each videoconference time slot to three schools, with no more than 30 kids at each site. If there are a variety of grade levels interested, we group accordingly. A former teacher, Pat works with elementary through high school students. This is an interactive writing series.

This school year marks Pat’s 10th anniversary of videoconferencing with New Links to New Learning and Cooperating School Districts! We hope you can join us as we start this new chapter! To sign up for the videoconference series, and to find out about pricing and connections, contact Rebecca Morrison at Cooperating School Districts.

the end….?

May 16, 2008


After your videoconferences with author Patricia McKissack, here’s some follow-up work you can do with your class:
  • Go over the assignment with the students.
  • Review what happened during the videoconference with the students and ask them to explain what they learned and how they will make use of it in their work.
  • Collect student projects and evaluate them.
  • Try to schedule another videoconference with the presenter so that students can share their projects and get valuable feedback.
  • If another videoconference with the presenter is not possible, and you were one of several connecting schools, see if you can schedule a videoconference with the other participating sites to share student work.  Do you have another great follow-up idea? Please share!