|Art work and products courtesy of LLC, Lake City MN and the Redlin Art Centre, Watertown SD.|
The event my sister-in-law, Karen and I attended was the Colony Teachers Mini Conference, and the main focus was Teaching Informational Writing to PreK-12 students. The speaker for the first day was Jill Jackson from Los Angelos. Her book, How to Teach Students to Write Informational Text, which I'm happy to say we got to take home, offers a structured and simple way to teaching this type of writing. I'm looking forward to using it, come September.
I don't usually attend conferences towards the end of a school year, but this one was well worth the trip, especially since I came away with lesson plan inspiration and a valuable resource - a good start for planning the writing aspect of the upcoming school year!
I was also delighted to get the chance to share my book with the attendees. One of the organizers invited me to do that and had a table set up for me, where teachers (all of them teach at South and North Dakota colonies) could buy Hutterite Diaries during breaks. It was great to chat with these teachers; they got really excited when I was able to tell them that I have relatives at "their colonies". One of them told me she has a book club with the colony ladies, so she bought multiple copies of my book. It would be fun to Skype with this group, or with any of the schools that bought my book, for that matter. I did that with a Manitoba school when my book first came out, and it worked quite well.
I brought along some Hutterite-written children's books from HB Book Centre to show these colony teachers and they were happy to learn that there are books available with "Hutterite characters". I just wish we had more! If you have any budding writers on your colony, encourage them to write children's books. I'm sure there are many beautiful stories begging to be published.