YES. I love doing school visits!
But the Pandemic says NO.
And from the looks of things it may be some time before schools will be inviting authors to visit them in person. Well ... let's not let a little something like a Lockdown stop us.
Dear teachers, in response to the strange situation we find ourselves in, I have decided to release my presentations as videos.
I will be pricing them at a fraction of the cost of a school visit in person. If your budget still allows, contact me to book a Q&A via Zoom or your preferred video conferencing platform. Here are notes on how to have a successful Q&A. There will be loads of free videos too! Watch out for them!
The first video – for my new book, Ferdinand Magellan (ages 8 to 11) – is already up. See you SOON!
WE'VE WATCHED YOUR VIDEO PRESENTATION AND WOULD LOVE YOU TO DO A Q&A ... WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
The Q&A sessions would be the length of a class, somewhere around 45 minutes.
If the children have watched my presentation video first, they should be bursting with questions to ask me. But we all know that it is easy to find that you've forgotten all your questions on the day so I am going to break the ice by using a teaching strategy called Notice and Wonder.
I read about it in a New York Times educational series called What’s Going On in This Graph? which helped teachers use New York Times graphs and diagrams as a platform for Maths teaching. The students were asked to look carefully at the diagrams and think about, among others, these two questions:
What do you notice?
What do you wonder? What are you curious about what you notice?
The students then conclude with “The story this graph is telling is ...”
It struck me that this would be a terrific way to encourage critical thinking when exploring history like the Age of Exploration.
So far, children never run out of things to notice in my videos. And talking about this warms them up to more discussion!
If you would like to invite me to a Q&A after your class has watched one of my videos, do get in touch via my contact form in the footer below.
how to make my virtual visit a SUCCESS
• Inviting me to a Q&A via Zoom or any other video conferencing platform in addition to the video is optional. But please note that I will only do a Q&A if the children have watched the video.
• Do let me know in advance what the conferencing platform is so that I can prepare.
• A quick practice session before the Q&A event will be much appreciated!
• Please set up so that I can see the children and they must come up to the computer screen to ask me their questions
• If I am speaking to multiple classes in different classrooms, please make sure that each window displays the name of the class
• Please can the adult in charge of the children be visible to me so that they can help me call on children
• If you can, do read even just a chapter of the book before my Q&A virtual visit.
• If the school purchases books, it would be good to distribute them to the children before my event.
Thank you! We're gonna have fun!