This week we were thrilled to have author Lauren Tarshis visit with our third, fourth and fifth graders in the auditorium. Not only did she personalize approximately 75 books for kids, but she connected with both students and teachers in the hour and a half that she stopped by. Through the support of our local bookstore, Words, we made this visit happen.
When I think about what made the visit so special, it had to be her stories of not having the reading “gift.” She explained how she couldn’t finish a book until high school and how she hid her reading concerns. As an adult, she wanted to be a writer and again faced challenges only to have an encounter with J.K. Rowling and understand how even someone as goddess-like as the creator of Harry Potter, can write an unsuccessful novel. Years later, Lauren has become a writer and a successful one at that. She inspires kids to learn about history and we thank her and her encounter with J.K. Rowling.
For the second year in a row, Clinton Elementary students had a short film featured in the SOMA Film Festival. This particular film was created during an after school enrichment program and the 2 students had never worked together before. Before a packed movie theater crowd, this endearing short film was received gleefully!
I am hooked… (to the podcast The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel) and cannot wait for season 2. As a huge fan of podcasts this happens often as I discover a new podcast and just can’t stop talking about it. What makes this show so much more exciting is that it is written for and recorded by kids. One of my students is even in the cast and I didn’t know it till episode 10!
This middle grade mystery centers around strange happenings at Pruitt Prep and if you give it a chance, it will make you a fan of the spoken word as well.
As a library focused website, it is probably pretty obvious that I love libraries. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I am now singing this super catchy song in my head. It was created by 2 local parents for Sesame Street Studio.
Podcasts… the new old school way to learn. I love them and listen to them regularly as well as want to make one with students in 2016-2017. So, when I was told about Brains On last week, I instantly placed it in my podcast feed and anxiously awaited a few minutes of uninterrupted time to test it out. Well… I am happy to say that I am hooked and am more excited to start my own next school year. Brains On encourages curiosity and explains in kid friendly terms answers to their questions. Here is a sample from their website.
Clinton Elementary students were super psyched to meet author/illustrator Dave Roman in March. His visit marked the first time we have had a comic writer speak and it was worth the wait. His talk focused on his craft, but also on Astronaut Academy. Third – fifth grade students had been getting ready to meet him by creating their own versions of a space academy and were ready to discuss their ideas. Thank you Dave for visiting!
Kids have stories that bubble out of them. In this presentation at the New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative conference, I led a presentation on alternative forms of storytelling to inspire teachers to be creative with their use of technology. The two main focuses were stop motion animation and book trailer creation.
In November, I was honored to not only present on the topic of modern storytelling, but to also receive the Jean E. Harris Progressive Library Award. It was so special to be recognized for the work done at the Clinton Elementary School Library. One of the library world’s great champions, Dr. Joyce Valenza, featured my acceptance speech on her School Library Journal blog, NeverEnding Search.