ONE SCHOOL’S JOURNEY By Eleanor K. Smith and Margaret Pastor

One School's Journey_cover

Available on Amazon.

I am very excited to announce that my book about Authentic Learning with my former and forever principal, Peggy Pastor, is now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.  Click on the Amazon link above to check it out!

One School’s Journey tells the story of an elementary school in Maryland, in the suburbs near Washington, D.C.  The school’s student population is extremely diverse, with students representing many races, socio-economics levels, and academic abilities.  The path towards the use of authentic projects to teach and reach this diverse population is chronicled by the two authors –  Eleanor K. Smith (me), a teacher, and Margaret Pastor, the building principal.

While offering procedure, guidance, and examples, this is not a book of lesson plans.  Our bias is that for true authentic teaching you cannot follow someone else’s lesson plans.  Authentic projects come from the heart and are adapted to meet the needs and interests of the students.

This book is about the journey of the staff at our elementary school, as we set down the path to discover how to engage our students.  What was not a surprise, was that when children are engaged, they learn. And authentic projects engage the learner.   Our hope is that the reader will find inspiration from what we discovered along the way.

Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars in the Classroom

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Available on Amazon

A friend asked for ideas on how to use Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars in her classroom, and I thought this was a great question!

I came up with two ideas.

First of all, I hope it is a great book to use to support the study of the planets in the primary grades.  All of the information in the book about Mars is factual. (I have space scientists in my family and had all my facts triple checked!)  I have heard from folks who bought the book, that it is a great conversation starter for kids about space.

Another use for the book would be that it was written by a teacher and illustrated by her former student.  Neither of us are professionals, and neither of us has done anything like this before.  I hope it would be an Authentic inspiration for students to write their own books about what they are passionate about.  You don’t have to  get your book published and sell it on Amazon for it to be a real book.  With technology today, it is fairly simple to produce a book to share with friends.  Holding a “book fair” to showcase student work would be a great way to present final products.

I would also be honored to communicate with students who are working on writing their own books.  I am happy to email, Skype, or visit in person – if you happen to live in Central Pennsylvania, the DC suburbs, or any place I could use as an excuse for a good trip – Venice would definitely be doable!  If you are in the DC area, I could also see if my illustrator is available.  He is pretty busy with college, but I might be able to get him to join me on a visit.  Again, it’s those interactions with real people that have accomplished real things that make the experience Authentic.

*If you use Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars in your classroom, please let me know how!

Coming Soon: ONE SCHOOL’S JOURNEY by Eleanor K. Smith and Margaret Pastor

Now available on Amazon

One School’s Journey tells the story of an elementary school in Maryland, in the suburbs near Washington, D.C.  The school’s student population is extremely diverse, with students representing many races, socio-economics levels, and academic abilities.  The path towards the use of authentic projects to teach and reach this diverse population is chronicled by the two authors –  Eleanor K. Smith (me), a teacher, and Margaret Pastor, the building principal.

While offering procedure, guidance, and examples, this is not a book of lesson plans.  Our bias is that for true authentic teaching you cannot follow someone else’s lesson plans.  Authentic projects come from the heart and are adapted to meet the needs and interests of the students.

This book tells the story of the journey of the staff at our elementary school, as we set down the path to discover how to engage our students.  What was not a surprise, was that when children are engaged, they learn. And authentic projects engage the learner.   Our hope is that the reader will find inspiration from what we discovered along the way.

One School's Journey_cover