Nothing Like a Skype

This week, the students have been taking the New York State ELA tests.  The students sat for two hours taking the test on Wednesday, and on Thursday, they sat for three hours.  The students worked so hard answering multiple-choice questions and answering short response questions.  They finished the testing with an essay.  It has been a long two days, which has resulted in a long week.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had the pleasure of Skyping with Mrs. Augusta Scattergood.  We finished reading her book Glory Be last week, and after we finished the book, each student had a chance to write down two questions about the book, writing, and/or reading.  The kids came up with some amazing questions.  The main character, Glory, came to life during the reading, and they talked about her as if she was someone in our classroom.  They were very excited about the visit.

Before the visit began, I prepped them on the expectations.  I explained how important it was that they were a good audience because I had been Skyping with Mrs. Scattergood for six years, and I want to be able to Skype for six more years (or more).  Right at the beginning of the Skype, Mrs. Scattergood told the class that we had been Skyping since 2012 and that would make it seven years.  I was wrong, but I was amazed that she kept all of the emails.  I realized that over the years my students must have asked good enough questions for Mrs. Scattergood to remember us.  I was honored and proud.

Mrs. Scattergood was amazing!  She answered thirty minutes worth of questions (I told her that we would only take twenty minutes of her time) and never seemed rushed at all.  Her answers were thorough and she had the students’ full attention.  She explained how she wrote the book.  She explained the inspiration for the characters in the book.  She talked about the challenges of writing the book.  She made writing seem real, and the kids completely understood what she was saying.  They were inspired.  I was inspired.

When the Skype ended, the kids were running to the library to check out her other books.  They were talking about it in the hallways and study halls.  I’ve learned that some were even talking about it at home.  Without a doubt, it was the highlight of the week.  I can’t wait for another visit next year.:)

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