Virtual Author Visit Adds to Novel Study

Virtual Author Visit Adds Real World Learning to Novel Study
Posted on 04/21/2020
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author visit collageWhen Independence Elementary fourth grade teacher Jenny Garwood realized she and her students would miss out on completing their latest class novel together, she resorted to the next best thing: Zoom. But the virtual class meeting doubled as real world learning when it included one more visitor than can be found on most online book discussions happening these days - the book’s author herself.

“Connecting with an author is always a gift,” Garwood said, “but my students loved getting to ask her questions face-to-face over Zoom.” 

When Garwood discovered that Grace Lin, the Newbery and Caldecott Medal Award author of “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” was offering virtual question and answer sessions, she jumped on the opportunity. From there, she gained access to the audiobook to ensure all of her students could finish the book at their own pace. She even took the lesson a step further, reading aloud one of the author’s picture books and discussing her TED Talk before brainstorming questions to ask during their virtual meeting. 

While the lesson didn’t go exactly as her teacher had originally planned it out, fourth-grader Olivia Maudlin appreciated the turn of events. “The best thing that happened this week was meeting Grace Lin!,” she said. “I was super excited when we got to  meet her. Even when we were just at home and just talking, I felt like I was there.”

Zoom has quickly become Lakota’s go-to tool for keeping students and staff connected during this time of remote learning. In the district’s first seven days of remote learning, teachers and staff used the video conferencing tool to collectively host more than 1,600 meetings that were attended by more than 10,000 individuals.
Click here to read more about Lakota teachers’ creative use of Zoom to continue learning remotely.