Meet the Author

A few months ago, I asked a friend, author, and fellow teacher if she could come visit our school and share her fabulous books. She agreed and I was thrilled! Gladys and I actually know each other since my college days. We both followed the path into teaching. I think this is what makes her an extraordinary author. She knows how to connect to students and tap into their interests. 

On Friday, my school had the pleasure of hosting author, Gladys Barbieri. She did a 45-minute presentation to our kindergarten through third grade students. She has published two books, Rubber Shoes and Pink Fire Trucks.
January 24, 2014
The students were overjoyed to have the opportunity to meet a real author! Bringing authors to school, in-person and virtually, has many benefits to both students and teachers:
  • We are able to see that authors are real people. 
  • We become personally connected to the author and their publications.
  • We gain an appreciation for the hard work and effort required to be a writer.
  • We are inspired and motivated to be better writers. 

A few days before Ms. Barbieri came to our school, we reviewed one of her books and worked on coming up with questions for the author and about the reading. We then came up with a vocabulary list as a class. As I read the book, Pink Fire Trucks, the students wrote down “no-excuse” and “expert” words on the T-chart mats. The no-excuse words are basic tier 1 academic words, the expert words are either tier 2 or 3 academic words.
As a class, we discuss the expert words, then construct meanings of the words. They usually use the mats to work in collaborative conversation groups, following to develop their questions, complete sentence frames, or use for retelling.

My student writing down "no excuse" and "expert" words in her T-chart.

My colleague, Diana Estrada, made these mats for me. She glued a white paper on construction paper. She labeled one side "no excuse" and the other "expert." She then had them laminated. The students use dry-erase markers on them. They easily erase using a sock or a piece of fabric. 
We continued the lesson by getting into our collaborative conversation groups. The students are aware of their expectations and discussion rules. To access my steps to structuring an academic class discussion click on the following: Academic Class Discussion Rules & Guidelines

Here are some pictures of her visit!
Author, Gladys Barbieri

Ms. Barbieri & I

Ms. Perez, MGE Principal, introducing our special guest

Reading her book Rubber Shoes, A Lesson in Gratitude

When we returned to class we went over our experience and wrote in our journals. I then handed the students a blank sheet of paper. I asked them to illustrate their favorite event. This is what they came up with! The drawings were too cute!


  1. What an honor to have you share my visit with your school. Like I mentioned, the students were engaged, attentive, active participants and ready to learn. Thank you for the write up. I hope this post/blog continues to inspire teachers to bring books, words and learning to life.

  2. You've inspired me! Thank you for taking the time to visit our school.