When picking a date for Darleen’s visit — think simple— try not to combine Darleen’s author visit on the same day as picture taking, carnivals, field trips, and other school-wide events.
However, if you wish to combine her visit with a book fair or another visiting author/illustrator, feel free to do so.
Pick out a first and second choice of dates, email Darleen with your choice dates and she will let you know if these dates are open. When a date is settled upon, she will send you a confirmation letter with her phone numbers. Feel free to call her with any questions or concerns.
Here are two GREAT ideas:
Once, Darleen visited Bishop Elementary School, Lawton, OK, where Rhonda Boyce, LMS, had a great idea. She told all her students that if they read any of Darleen's books, even the books which were under their AR level, she would still allow them to be tested and to receive points for taking the tests. This encouraged the older students who would normally not have read the books. It was a great way to pick up easy AR points PLUS a great way to prepare them for Darleen's author visit. She said, "The kids loved the opportunity and the books flew off the shelf!"
Be sure to have your library copies of Darleen's books returned to the library so that she can autograph them. And don't wait until the day of Darleen's visit to ask for them, as many of the books will be in the students' homes. Start asking a few days ahead of time and let the student/teacher know that the book will be returned to them afterward.
Step 2. Preparation & Promotion
Read, do book talks, and share Darleen’s books with your students and teachers.
Use this site to print out fun book activities, writing lessons, songs, arts & crafts, and other ‘goodies’ which your students will love. Some of the fun things you'll find on this site are: bookmarks, "Bee-Bop Buttons", 30-Minute Bulletin Board packets, "Funny Money", AR tests, Reader's Theaters, etc. All these activities are here— at the click of a button for your convenience— to make your planning ‘hassle free!’
Step 3. Place Book Order
Four weeks (or as soon as possible) before Darleen’s visit, send home her handy ‘Announcement Letters’ that will announce Darleen’s visit and take book orders.
Then collect the orders and place your book order with your local bookstore or with Darleen’s publisher.
For more on book ordering, look on the menu for "How 2 Order Books", "Announcement Letters", "Reminder Notices."
Step 4. Make a Schedule
Please keep in mind, that Darleen will do four sessions of your choice per day, plus autographing. Click here for session choices.
If you prefer more sessions, there will be an extra fee for each additional session. Also, she’ll need a 15-minute break between sessions for the coming and going of students.
Also, if you'd like Darleen to do something different than her usual four session choices, keep in mind that she can also visit classrooms, visit with students one-on-one, visit with select students such as the Gifted & Talented, writing clubs, book clubs, journalism classes, school newspaper staff, high-readers, low-readers, etc.
Pre K-1 = 30 mins
2nd and 3rd = 45 mins
4th through 12th = 50 minutes to 1 hour
Please allow at least one hour for lunch.
8:00 Arrive, set up
8:30 - 9:00 Author Talk
9:15 - 10:00 Author Talk
10:15 - 11:15 Autograph
11:15 - 12:30 Lunch
12:45 - 1:45 Author Talk
2:00 - 3:00 Hands-on Writing Workshop
8:30 Arrive, set up
9:00 - 10:00 Author Talk
10:15 - 11:00 Hands-on Writing Workshop
11:00 - 12:00 Lunch
12:15 - 1:15 Author Talk
1:30 - 2:30 Hands-on Writing Workshop
2:30 - 3:30 Autograph
9:00 Arrive, set up
9:30 - 10:00 Author Talk
10:15 - 11:00 Author Talk
11:15 - 12:15 Lunch
12:30 - 1:30 Hands-on Writing Workshop
1:45 - 2:30 Idea Files: Jumpstart Story Writing & How Darleen Gets Her Ideas
Step 5. Get the Location Ready
Please have these items in the room where Darleen will be speaking:
Table to display her books & chair
Two extension cords
Large screen or empty white wall
Cart for Darleen's projector & laptop
Chairs for teachers (don’t forget the teachers!)
Darleen brings her own microphone/sound system and projector.
Please note: If you have skylights or large windows in the room make sure the room can be darkened enough for her PowerPoint.
FOR OUT OF STATE--If she’s traveling out of state, please have a PowerPoint projector and a sound system available so Darleen doesn’t have to bring hers on the plane. Also, please provide a computer/laptop and projector. Darleen will bring her memory stick for her PowerPoint slides show.
Step 6. Autograph Sessions
Darleen can autograph during a designated autograph session so that she meets students one-on-one, after school has let out, or between her sessions. It's your choice!
Step 7. Lunch
Whatever you have planned sounds good to Darleen. She will eat with students or teachers. Often, schools will select a group of students to eat with Darleen and will get a local pizza parlor to provide pizzas, etc. These are often students who have been 'caught reading' or who have written an essay of why they would like to eat with the author or students who just need extra encouragement in reading and writing.
Step 8. Enjoy Your Day!
Don't worry. If you have never hosted an author visit before, Darleen will be happy to walk you through it. She's just an email or phone call away.