Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Author Visit - Matt Tavares

It has been a YEAR in the making, but last week our school hosted author/illustrator Matt Tavares. Matt was great and the students loved him. He talked about how he writes and illustrates his books and he tailored each presentation to the different grade levels he saw throughout the day. He also has the COOLEST story about how he uncovered some facts about Hank Aaron's first home run in the major leagues - my students found that to be pretty cool! The story is on his website if you would like to read it.

While Matt was here, he also filmed a segment for our local school districts' TV station, GCPS TV. They call the series The Author in You and Matt filmed here with a few of our students. The TV station is now online and I will post a link to the show when it is on their website. In the meantime, check them out, they have some great original programing.

Since Matt writes a lot about baseball I decided to try and get our local minor league team, the Gwinnett Braves (GBraves) to host a night for my school and also host Matt that night since his latest book is about the most famous Brave of all time, Hank Aaron. I put the GBraves in touch with Matt's publisher Candlewick Press and they arranged to have Matt throw out the first pitch, have the first 200 kids receive a copy of Henry Aaron's Dream and have Matt sign them. And I SWEAR I had nothing to do with this, BUT who were the GBraves playing that night... yep, the Pawtucket Red Sox. My youngest son, the aspiring Red Sox player ,got to go on the field with Matt and help him warm up before the big pitch, I think it was a thrill for BOTH of them to be on the field. Matt did a great job throwing out the first pitch, but I think he was a little disappointed that the Paw Sox didn't come recruit him (then again, the way the Sox are playing these days, maybe they made a mistake!). I ended up selling 400 tickets to the game and our chorus sang the national anthem (they did such a great job!) We all had SUCH a good time and the students thought it was SO cool that Matt and his family sat with us at the game!

I love author visits, and to me, they are so worth the time, effort and money that a media specialist puts into having them, but the two days that Matt was here and all the activities that we had planned while he was here was SOO much fun and so worth it. It might be hard to top this next year....

Take a look at this quick slide show for pictures from Matt's visit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Poetry Cafe

Finally had a chance to put together a slide show with pictures from last weeks Poetry Cafe. I think it was a HUGE success - I think doing it after CRCT was the key (a lot of teachers seem to do poetry after the CRCT) and talking it up to the teachers and to the kids on announcements I think helped with the response I got - I have actually held it over one more day to accommodate all the teachers that wanted to sign their classes up. This will definitely go in my plans for next year! And like I said to the kids - everything sounds better when said into a microphone!