Last February my first children’s story, the I’m Sorry Story was released by EduMatch Publishing. It’s a story that follows a young man, Ryan, and his journey of discovering how to take responsibility for his actions and making things right with others when he’s wrong. I wrote it my fifth year of teaching fifth grade while pregnant with my oldest child, who is now 11. When I first wrote this story, it was to create conversation around the importance of a sincere apology without lecturing my students.
Although it has seen many revisions over the years (to make it more relevant) from the first time I read it to my fifth graders, to this past spring and summer when I’ve read it to others in our country and around the globe, it has, indeed, created amazing conversation with young people! The illustrator, Rheanna R. Longoria, and I were co-teachers in Texas and remain friends. We envisioned the characters to look like the beautiful students we taught. The font is Dyslexia friendly, and we hope that many children will see themselves in this story.
Virtual Author Visit Embraces Alaskan Digital Citizenship Standards
The only thing missing is sharing the I’m Sorry Story with classrooms in Alaska! Technology has allowed me to join classes across the nation and world, and as my family and I have been relocated from Dallas to the Anchorage area for the last year and a half, my goal is to share with students in our new home state, as well. With a virtual author’s visit, I’d read the I’m Sorry Story to your class while showing the illustrations on full screen. When it’s finished, I have a variety of discussion questions and possible activities to go along with the story. This story and discussion fully encompasses social emotional learning, but also aides in providing useful Digital Citizenship skills, such as 3‐5.DC.2 Students practice and encourage others in safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology and interacting online, with guidance from an educator.
It’s been incredible to facilitate discussion with young people, from kindergarten to eighth grade. I’ve been impressed with the respectful practices from both educators and their students when we meet virtually. Giving students the opportunity to talk to an author virtually, also empowers them and embraces: 3‐5.EL.3 Students seek feedback from both people and features embedded in digital tools, and use age‐appropriate technology to share learning.
Social Emotional Learning Has Never Been So Important
Social emotional learning is absolutely important this year, maybe even more important than it’s ever been, according to educator and author Rachelle Dene Poth in her recent article: Why SEL is More Important Than Ever: Meeting SEL Needs Virtually
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story, a children’s book about taking responsibility for mistakes and making sincere apologies. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com.