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Georgia Heard is a nationally and internationally known leader in the field of teaching writing. She was one of the first staff developers at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York, and for the past twenty-five years has visited schools and spoken at conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia.
Georgia received her bachelor's degree in history from American University and her master of fine arts degree in writing from Columbia University.
"My mother was the librarian at my school, so I always spent time in the library," Georgia remembers. "When I went to Columbia University to study writing I realized what a gift it would be to be able to help other writers."
She says that she enjoys helping other people find their writing voice, especially children who are curious about how the world works.
Georgia lives in Singer Island, Florida, with her husband and son. "Moving from New York City to Florida was a transition but now I live on the ocean and we are finally settling in. We walk every morning and evening on the beach, where we keep an eye out for hatchling turtles and ghost crabs. We frequently kayak and swim, and try to avoid hurricanes."
In A Place for Wonder, Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough discuss how to create “a landscape of wonder,” a primary classroom where curiosity, creativity, and exploration are encouraged. For it is these characteristics, the authors write, that develop intelligent, inquiring, life-long learners.
The authors’ research shows that many primary grade state standards encourage teaching for understanding, critical thinking, creativity, and question asking, and promote the development of children who have the attributes of inventiveness, curiosity, engagement, imagination, and creativity. With these goals in mind, Georgia and Jennifer provide teachers with numerous, practical ways—setting up “wonder centers,” gathering data though senses, teaching nonfiction craft—they can create a classroom environment where student’s questions and observations are part of daily work.
They also present a step-by-step guide to planning a nonfiction reading and writing unit of study—creating a nonfiction book, which includes creating a table of contents, writing focused chapters, using “wow” words, and developing point of view. A Place for Wonder will help teachers reclaim their classrooms as a place where true learning is the norm.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion