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Wednesday Wonders: Welcoming Jim Weiss

January 24th, 2018

{photo by Kateri Rein}

Our time with Jim Weiss was overflowing with wonder moments, and we can’t possibly capture them all on the blog, but today we want to share a few photos and comments about his recent visit to SLOCA, to try to convey a little of the wonder he brought with him.

We were so thrilled to have master storyteller Jim Weiss come to speak to the SLO community at the Myths and Mysteries event, but we were also delighted to welcome him into our classrooms and to learn from him during presentations with our teachers and staff. It was an incredible and unforgettable few days of instruction and connection through story.

Jim was able to visit each grade level, telling stories and chatting with our SLOCA students. His gentle yet enthusiastic and engaging manner made for easy interactions with each audience, from preschool all the way through high school. Here are just a few photos (one from each level), as well as a handful of comments we heard from teachers. (Click on the photos to enlarge):

Preschool and Junior Kindergarten:

Mrs. Eades commented: "All eyes were on Jim Weiss as he walked into the room and made himself comfortable on a tiny stool. Through the artful use of voices and audience response, Jim Weiss brought the story of The Lion and The Mouse alive, and the children were captivated. It was a truly magical experience."
 

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

Kindergarten:

Mrs. Root remarked: "Jim Weiss was an absolute delight to my students. From the minute he walked through our door he got down at their level and engaged them for the entire 15-minute story. I think they could have easily listened to him for an additional 30 minutes – he was just that captivating! His story about Finn the Giant was the perfect tale for Kindergarteners and I was in awe of his ability to relate so well to 5- and 6-year-olds right from the beginning. He truly has a gift and how lucky we were to have him share it with us so freely!"
 

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

Primary:

Mrs. Perneel mentioned: "My Primary students were literally frozen, they were so star struck! One 1st grader, with eyes wide, raised his hand and when called on by Mr. Weiss said quietly, 'I listen to you on my radio!' The students were captivated and sat perfectly still for the entire 15-minute story – a huge feat when you are 6, 7 or just turned 8!"

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

Intermediate:

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

Lower Middle School:

Mrs. Wright added: "It was such a treat and inspiration to listen to Mr. Weiss bring the history and literature we are studying to life with his retelling of the Battle at Marathon during the Persian Wars, and Homer's ability to draw an eager crowd to listen as he recited the 27,000 lines of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Now I am inspired to help my students develop their own story-telling voice, using the skills and strategies he modeled during his presentations. As we aim to reclaim conversation and encourage our students to develop speaking skills, the art of telling a good story is something we can strive to achieve."
 

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

Upper Middle School:

{photo by Cheryl McCabe}

 

High School:

Mr. McCullough shared: "Jim Weiss is a living, breathing storybook. His presence on campus was a profound and deeply humorous reminder of literature's power to delight and instruct. Weiss helped our teaching staff access the power of great stories by breaking them down according to their essential narrative 'recipes.' What's more, I could listen to Jim spin a yarn for hours. Is he perhaps the most entertaining grandpa ever?"

{photo by Kateri Rein}

We agree! Once again, we want to thank Jim Weiss for sharing stories with our SLO community and for spending time on our school campus – we loved having him here and gleaned so much from his visit!

Parents, we hope you were able to read the letter he sent about his experience at SLOCA. It’s in the January 16th weekly update!