Skyping with an author


Mrs. Marino’s 4th grade class

Being a connected educator has been awesome beyond belief, but my absolute favorite moment of this new roller coaster ride happened this past week. My sweet friend (Sara Moore) that teaches high school English connected me with Jena Ball and Marty Keltz. Jena is the creator of Critterkin, a precious book series about how animals are in fact our family. Marty is also a founder of Critterkin and an Emmy award winning producer. Have you ever heard of The Magic School Bus or Goosebumps….yeah, that’s Marty. These two amazing people are teaming up with schools to teach children the importance of being kind and many other characteristic traits that we definitely want out students to know about. Our school has a Family Reading Night once a month. We decided that this would be the perfect reading for February. We met in the library and Jena and Marty Skyped in to read to our students. What a fabulous opportunity for our students to have a real author read her book aloud to them! It was a very proud moment for our entire school. The students were beaming, the admin. was ecstatic and I was on cloud nine. Jena and Marty captivated the kids with their sweet story, funny antics and New York accent (Marty). Because the evening was so successful, we decided to take this a step further. The next week Jena Skyped back in with my entire 4th grade to talk even more about what it means to be kind. Jena had already communicated with the local Humane Society on how our school could help out. She then sent me images of all the dogs that are currently available for adoption at the local shelter. We assigned every student their own dog. This helped the students make a connection with the sweet puppies. Jena then captivated 55 4th graders as she taught them how to draw a dog. You could have heard a pin drop! You talk about engaging your students. They were intent on doing a great job. You see, Jena had already told them that their pictures would be passed on to the shelter and would help these animals get adopted. You want students to be engaged? Give them a purpose. You want students to learn? Give them something to be passionate about. Our students went on to write persuasive paragraphs on why their dog should be adopted. We are now in the process of scanning the images so that Jena may send them on to the Humane Society. So once again, that you Twitter for allowing me to be connected. Because If I am connected, that means my students are. Thank you Jena and Marty for absolutely engaging and inspiring 55 4th graders. That is no easy task!!!  Much love to both of you. 



3 thoughts on “Skyping with an author

  1. This is so wonderful! I got goosebumps hearing about how passionate your students were about their projects! Thank you so very much for sharing!

      • We’ve skyped with park rangers in Wyoming but not an author. So that’s next on our list I guess! We had Katy Mcky (Wisconsin children’s author) do a workshop last month. Highly recommend her!

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