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Re: teaching bookmaking

Dear Lee
        I've written before about teaching bookmaking in the schools and you
could find some of them in the archives. I thought I'd try to quickly
summarize what I do. If you, or anyone on the list, would like a copy of
my brochure, I'd be happy to send it if you send me your postal
addresss. It has fairly thorough descriptions of my workshops.
Also, I'll put in a plug for the book I wrote, Multicultural Books to
Make and Share, which is published by Scholastic Professional Books and
has 16 book projects and is geared for grades K-6. It's available on
Amazon.com and from Scholastic, 1-800-724-6527. I'm shipping off a new
manuscript today, Step-by-Step- 3-D Pop-Up Reports for American History,
which will be out next year, and working on one with book projects for
learning basic kindergarten concepts.
        I teach mostly grades K-6, but have also worked with older grades. I
probably do 2/3 of my teaching with kids and 1/3 with teachers. I just
do the bookmaking with the kids and the teachers work with them later on
content. I show them a few examples of ways I've used the book form to
get them thinking. I have a pretty extensive collection of samples I
have made that use books for specific subjects, solar system, penguins,
insects, explorer's time line, etc. and teachers and students find them
very helpful.
        I work with up to 50 kids at a time. I prefer 30 minutes for K-1 or 2,
although I've done longer sessions, and 40-50 minutes for the older
grades. With 25 kids or less I sometimes do longer sessions, up to 1 1/2
or 2 hours, but 50 is too many kids to keep focused beyond the 50 minute
time period. I bring all the materials precut to size and the tools. I
work in a tight time frame and I don't trust the school to get exactly
the materials I want. I'm posting separately information about the tools
and materials. I do mostly folded books. I've done sewing with about 35
kids tops, but I prefer smaller groups. Most schools want to get the
largest number of kids seen within a day so they prefer the larger
classes and shorter time periods which doesn't allow time for sewing.
I'm constantly finetuning my directions and have been surprised to find
how much I enjoy the process. I do a lot of accordion books and use one
sheet of paper folded into four as my base. For longer books we attach
sections and make 8 or 12.
        I started teaching as a way to take the burden off trying to make money
from my artwork and it has blossomed into a whole career. The kids and
the teachers love it and I am always getting positive feedback. It is
great to feel I'm making a difference.

in good spirit,

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Newburyport, MA

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