Classroom Visits via Skype

I’m joining many teachers and guest speakers all across the country as we recognize the upcoming World Read-Aloud Day through “Skype in the Classroom.” I can’t wait to see how it’s going to go!

On Wednesday, February 26, I’ll be in Oregon, but reading The Itchy Little Musk Ox to Ms. Oldham’s students at Willow Crest Elementary in Anchorage. We’re beginning a half-hour of reading and chatting at 9:15 a.m. Alaska time, so if your early elementary class elsewhere in the country would like to join us, it’s so easy! You can register through Skype’s education program.

It’s all part of World Read-Aloud Day, with the Children’s Book Council and LitWorld, putting their resources behind the event, which is now in its fourth year. The actual Read-Aloud Day is Wednesday, March 5, and I’ll be visiting an Oregon classroom on that day.

Even if you don’t take part in a Skype lesson, if you have a special kid in your life, make sure to celebrate March 5 by sitting down with a book and then talking about it afterward. And know that millions of others will be doing the same thing that day.

What you see at right is my living room “studio” that I can set up and take down as needed. I elevate my laptop on a piece of exercise equipment (which gets much more use this way). And because ease in screen-sharing hasn’t quite landed for me, I figured out my own way. I have a Windows movie of illustrations from the book I’m reading cued up to run on the television. Once we connect with a classroom on Skype, I greet the kids, talk about Alaska (note map on floor), and introduce the book before stepping aside to run the movie on the TV as I read aloud. Laugh, but it works!

The scariest time was when I was happily chatting with some students on Skype, getting ready to run the movie, and suddenly, I could hear my puppy Willow around the corner in my office SHREDDING PAPER. I managed to not run off camera until our session had ended.

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