I love when life, like a good story, circles back on itself – as it did last week when I visited Highland Terrace Elementary in Shoreline. In addition to presenting slide shows and workshops, I was interviewed by two delightful fourth graders who are reporters on a brand new, on-line student newsletter.
I know something about creating a student newspaper. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote, edited and distributed my own class newspaper. It was a time-intensive undertaking without computers and Xerox machines. I handwrote a copy for each row in my class each week, using my best cursive.
I was interested to see how teamwork and technology would impact a student newsletter created fifty years after mine. Most of the stories in my Fifth Grade News were about me, my friends and family. The first issue of the Highland Terrace Orcas student newsletter has a broader reach. It includes interviews, a feature on the school salmon project, photos, and a comic, and reflects the efforts of many students and parent Laura Auerbach. It is posted on line.
During our interview, Molly and Caroline pitched me questions that their classmates helped generate. Here are some of my favorites, good points of departure for our ongoing conversation at Books Around The Table.
- Who helps you write your books? – Caroline
- What did you do before you started writing? – Zainab
- How do you make up simple problems in your stories? – Perrin
- What would your ideal career be if you couldn’t be an author?
- If you get writer’s block, what do you do? – Alex
Check out the first edition of the Highland Terrace Orcas student newsletter: Student Newsletter March 2012
P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Highland Terrace Elementary. Thanks to all who made it so fun. As you can see from this video assembled by librarian Frank Kleyn, it’s a place where students and teachers and parents are all about the serious joy of learning.