A Visit to the Glenville School
in Greenwich, Connecticut
A Visit to the Berkeley Carroll School
in Brooklyn, New York
In conjunction with my children's books, I am available for school visists. Below are two of the programs I have done in various schools. Contact me for more information.. I am now also available by Skype for out of town visits, without the cost of transportation!
Figuring out Fractions
After reading my book, Fractions in Disguise, I present some related ideas about fractions. Using a home-made "reducer", much like the one in the book, students play he part of the hero and fraction collector as they try to figure out how to see through the disguise and reduce the fraction.
Playing with Probability
After reading my book, A Very Improbable Story, I present some related probability challenges. Using props taken from the book (such as bags of marbles and a large box of Oatie-Woofs, a fictional dog-shaped cereal) the puzzles that are presented briefly in the book are explained in detail, and a few new ones are introduced, creating a deeper understanding of probability (and magical cats). Best for grades two through six.
How Did It Get to be a Book? ( Be the Illustrator!)
The children are read (before I arrive) a few sections of one of the books, without being shown any illustrations, and they are asked to envision what the illustrations would look like. They are asked to pick a section they like and illustrate it.
When I come, I read them a section from my original, typewritten manuscript of either that same book or another. I explain that when I wrote the book, this is what I sent to the editor. I then walk them through the proces of making those pages into the final book, from editing (I show a copy with editor's comments), to initial pencil illustrations (also shown), to inked and/or colored illustrations, to a galley of it all put together, to finally a published version. I ask them questions about how what they envisioned was or was not like what they saw in the end.
One of the most exciting things about this program is it makes the process of creating books seem not just interesting, but possible. It inspires the children in their own writing and illustrating.