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Lakeview Students Skype with British Author, Offer Poems for Publication

Lakeview is the only school in the country to take advantage of this opportunity.

Lakeview Intermediate fifth graders are embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: they are to write poems for publication in a popular British author's book.

Jeannette Slavinski, author of "The Naked Goddess," spoke with the students at Lakeview on Thursday via Skype. She read some of the poems from her book and allowed students to read their favorite poems to her. Then she tasked the students with writing poems with the themes of love and/or war. 

For the first edition of her book, she asked people from around the world to submit their poems with the same themes and the best were chosen and published. The proceeds from book sales benefit Help for Heroes and the Wounded Warrior Project.

"I chose this theme because there are different ideas of love and war in each culture," Slavinski told the students. "The proceeds go to charity and it's only natural to use the theme of love and war."

The students have until Feb. 15 to write their poems and then they will be submitted to Slavinski. She will choose the best for publication.

"There's a quote in the beginning of her book I just love," said teacher Melissa Riegsecker. "She says 'everyone has a poem in their heart,' and I hope that as we go through this process that the students will realize writing poetry is about more than rhyming."

Riegsecker added that many students are children of military men and women and they are aware of how it has touched their families.

"We're very big on supporting our troops around the world here," Riegsecker said. "The students are excited to start this project."

 

Debbie S. January 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM
This is a great example of authentic learning and use of technology in the classroom as a teaching tool. Kudos to teacher Melissa Riegsecker for keeping it real and relevant! However, Patch makes it sound like this type of real world connection NEVER HAPPENS in education (per the tagline, "Lakeview is the only school in the country to take advantage of this opportunity.") True, Lakeview may be the only school involved in this particular project, but Skype has been around for YEARS and has been used in this manner by educators for a long time. It's fantastic that Stow is finally opening its eyes to more creative uses of technology to connect kids to the world around them (only, it seems, where personally motivated teachers have the gumption to try new things instead of being administration-led), but this is NOT new to most of the rest of the country.
Steve S January 27, 2013 at 06:10 PM
@ Debbie S. Stow has utilized Skype for years in the schools. This article is about this particular scenerio for these kids, it sounds like you are just interested in bad-mouthing the school system, shame on you.
Debbie S. January 27, 2013 at 07:22 PM
@Steve S: I'm interested in improving education, not bad-mouthing any school or district. I have first-hand experience with two Stow schools, Lakeview being one of them. Except for Mr. Worchester's excellent work as a educational media specialist, my child never touched a computer or used technology in that school. She wasn't even allowed to submit typed papers in 5th grade; they HAD to be hand written! The SMFCSD administration is NOT forward thinking or ahead of the pack when it comes to technology in my experience and observation. ALL creative use of education technology came from the bottom up in both schools - only the teachers who were personally interested in ed tech best practices and spent their own personal time and money to bring them to our students made projects like this - that would benefit ALL students - happen.
Frank Guernsey January 29, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Great Project for them!! Also, I am unsure what Debbie S. is stating above, the experience that we have seen within the district has been a large incorporation of technology within their learning experience (in comparison to neighboring school districts in which we have friends with children). I am sorry to hear about the difficulty of providing a hand written paper, but writing a paper by hand is something that still needs to be utilized in our schools.

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