Thursday, February 14, 2013

YEA! - My first SKYPE VISIT to a School!

Visiting schools has always been a wonderful adventure for me.

However, the yen to go further afield, and visit classrooms that were previously too far away to contemplate, always nagged at me.  I wanted to load up my Magic Carpet with books, ideas, and intriguing things that would "HOOK Kids on Reading," and even hook them on writing stories of their own. 
I had an urge to fill receptive and fresh young minds with the thrill of writing stories, the fun of creating characters, and the satisfaction of finally feeling their fun plot come alive on the page.

Not to mention the pleasure of my actually reading one of my
own books to a class full of (hopefully) eager listeners. 

and it feels YAHOO-ish!

Or, "extra grouse" as the Aussies would say.

The school I Skyped with was in Maryland.  
( No real names or school names for safety sake)

These Grade one students were old hands at using Skype.  I was the bumbling new-chum.  Such an array of smiling and eager faces.  Such smart kids. Intelligence buzzed around that classroom like music from a well practiced orchestra, with the teacher, Ms. Mary Catherine, conducting and guiding  all of them. 

I was nervous at first - after all, so much could go wrong! I had never Skyped a class before.  Would they fidget and yawn?  Would I fluff my lines, or forget what to say?  Would I get cut off and be left with a blank screen?  YIKES!!  Everything sailed along as smooth as maple syrup on a waffle.  I began to enjoy myself.  I HAD FUN!  Who wouldn't have fun with such a bright bunch of kids.

And these old hands at the Skype game loved to ask questions:
About the Mama Grizzly Bear book I read to them
About Aussie animals
About me

I guess they would still be asking questions if I had stayed with them on Skype.
Bright, intelligent minds always want to know
the HOW and the WHY of things.

Thanks to their teacher, I have just received a package of the most amazing drawings and stories from this first grade class.  The idea was to write about someone they knew, and then draw them, with the things they liked about the person as a part of the drawing.  I could not fit in all the pictures, so I chose just three for you to enjoy.

                                           Every drawing was unique and super imaginative -

Ann drew this picture.

Jake drew this one.

Nora drew this.

Stephen drew this.

Note the eyes, hair, and mouths etc -
all fit the descriptions of the people each child wrote about.

                                            THEY ARE AWESOME!

                                                             So there you have it. 
                                        Thanks to these terrific first graders in Maryland,
                                                and their teacher, I am no longer a
                                                      new-chum at class Skyping. 

                                         I am sending this big hug, and many thanks, to

Ms. Mary Catherine and her amazing students.


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critques 



  1. What a fun way to visit a classroom. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's a wonderful way to visit with the children and inspire them with your stories and knowledge, Margot. And what a great experience for you! I'm proud of you for taking on this technology challenge so beautifully, and what a special reward getting the pictures from the children!

  3. Margot

    If anyone could make a success of using Skype to reach a classroom I knew you could. Congratulations! It sounds like a fun experience.

    Shari Soffe

  4. Margot,
    I think you sounded like you had too much fun!!! I am hoping to do this one day and you are an inspiration. :0)
    All the best,

  5. Margot, this is such fun! I felt as if I were there with you and the kids. Congratulations. I love the art work!

  6. Margot, WOW. You put me to shame. I haven't even attempted Skype yet. Congratulations!!!

  7. This is amazing, Margot. I love how it gives us freedom to connect with readers anywhere in the world and am impressed by the school too - being able to organise and set this up. I'm interested in how you organised it in the first place - did you just advertise your availability online and they contacted you or did you send out queries? Either way, great work!

  8. Thank you so much ladies, for your kind words. I did have fun. The kids were wonderful to work with too. I send out a message on various social networks and received some replies. One from Australia, and another from Canada, as well as the US. Once you have your basic times and program set up, it just means tweaking to fit specific needs.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

  9. What a great idea! Sounds like a great experience for all.

  10. It really was, Debra. The kids learn and we both have fun at the same time. Win! Win!

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques