December 29, 2010

Reading is Fun ~ Christmas Storytelling at Our School

What a thrill it was to have a Seabury graduate now teacher come to our library to work her storytelling magic with a group of alumni children!

The storytelling hour was part of a larger Christmas Keiki (children's) party, which included craft making and singing of Christmas carols, for kids of graduates.

I was happy to set the stage for Jos to work her magic.

Jos has collected children's books over the years, so I was interested to know which ones she had picked to tell. Both It's Christmas, David, and Snowmen at Night made the children giggle. Jos also read Polar Express (with bells for each child to help tell the story) and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

A nice little touch were the blank jigsaw puzzles Jos passed out to the children, so they could draw and color in their own snowman, as they listened to Snowmen at Night.

There's already talk about another storytelling event for next year, perhaps even a reader's theater, with more alumni teachers participating (Annie and Jennifer's names came up).

I'm always happy to provide the space to support readers coming up through the ranks. And the feeling that comes from reconnecting with alumni and their children via books and reading? -- Utter bliss ...


For further reading:
Books boost kids’ behavioral health

December 26, 2010

December 19, 2010

Three Little Pigs iPad App Presents Pop-Up Book Of The Future (VIDEO)

This pop-up book app is dazzling, and perfect for the visual learner. There's no doubt that it offers more in the way of knowledge (the x-ray view).

But what about the kinestheti­c learner (aren't all toddlers kinestheti­c learners)?

A toddler can control the speed of a lo-fi pop-up book, look at it from different angles, finger-rea­d at his/her own pace minus the danger of setting off a distractin­g effect, i.e., use different parts of his/her brain to make as many connection­s as possible as he/she explores. There are other advantages that a child developmen­t specialist could enumerate more articulate­ly, I'm sure.

This would be a spectacula­r *additiona­l* experience­, not a replacemen­t. It's all about making connection­s, and the more connection­s the better, IMO.

Maybe I'll ask my child psychologi­st friend Heather what she thinks ...


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

12/20/10 update: See Dr. Heather's comment below, and my follow-up post on mauilibrarian2 in Olinda

December 12, 2010

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

This trailer appeared in today's #tlchat Daily, and I have decided to purchase the book!

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story, by Linda Sue Park, is the hard-hitting story of two 11-year-olds in Sudan. We read about Salva, who was a Sudanese lost boy in 1985 (and is now a family friend of the author), and Nya in 2008, who collects water for her community.

Though A Long Walk to Water is too short to offer as an independent reading choice for our students in the context of our academic curriculum, this compelling story is sure to pull in some of our world-minded students.

Here's the author's description of the book, on her website.

Interesting note: The book originated as a Breakfast Serial.


December 7, 2010

For the love of books -- Kids say the darndest things!

What a great way to start my day!

Read this Quote of the Week posted by the National Middle School Association to my Facebook page this morning:

"Books are magical, stupendous, marvelous, wonderful, amazing, incredible, beautiful, and my best friends. —Leah, Grade 6" —Jane Vossler

with a link to purchase the book


December 5, 2010

√ out FIGMENT -- A Website that Caters to Teenage Writers

"Write Yourself In!"

I'm MARVELING about Figment, a new website to be officially launched tomorrow, written up in the New York Times as a

Website for Teenagers with Literary Leanings
Figment is an outgrowth of the keitai shousetsu (cellphone novels), so popular in Japan. documented the rise of the cellphone-novel culture in 2005 in "Cell Phones Put to Novel Use".

Figment describes itself as:

"an online community for reading and writing young-adult fiction, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile phone. Here you can write a haiku or work on a 90,000 word novel while riding the bus to school. You can read a serialized novel by a friend down the block or a short story by your favorite author. It’s a place to engage with peers, authors, and content."

Here's a minute-an-a-half intro, from the site:

Print publishers are keenly interested in cell-phone novel publishing, and for good reason, as noted in Figment's link to the LA Times Article: For Japan's cellphone novelist, proof of success is in the print.

The fact that there's a teacher/librarian blog on the site makes it crystal clear that Figment is aiming to make an impact on education. And adding to the credibility of Figment's seriousness of educational purpose are the credentials of its New Yorker-affiliated team.

Figment already has 2000+ fans on Facebook and 700+ followers on Twitter. I'm guessing Figment's popularity will grow exponentially, and spawn imitators (you can count on it).

I see enormous potential for Figment and I will be looking for ways our student writers at Seabury can participate!


I just registered to receive updates from Figment.