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1. Small gang


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2. Student-Writen Mentor Text: Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts

Before I engage students in any unit of study, I begin by surrounding students with what it is they will be studying. I place books of the genre being explored in book baskets,… Continue reading

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3. Hervé Tullet | MIX IT UP!

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4. Hervé Tullet introduces Let’s Play!

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5. हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय

हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय आमतौर पर छरहरी काया हम सभी को पसंद होती है पर यह सोच कर वजन कम करना बहुत मुश्किल है इसलिए डर के मारे वजन कम करने का सोचते ही उनके पसीने छूटने लगते हैं.. या तो जिम जाना शुरु कर देते हैं पर वहांं से भी धबरा […]

The post हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6. Some of My Favorite Online Reading in April

I've read lots of great things online in the last several weeks. Here are some of the more important things I read--pieces that gave me lots to think about.

I love all things Kristine Mraz as she always reminds me what is important for our children. Her March article, Building Ecosystems of Joyful Growth is a must read. There are so many things mandated in schools these days but Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz remind us that there are still many things that we control and it is the choices we make that determine the kind of experiences our children have.

I also loved this article by Bobby Dodd, How to Tell If You Love What You Do.  Loving what you do doesn't mean loving every day or that the work will be easy.  These insights are definitely worth thinking about --very smart way to think about our life's work.

I enjoyed this article as a blogger--On Reviewing Bad Books When You're Part of the Literary Community by Sarah Knight at Book Riot. Being thoughtful and kind and honest to readers is important to me as a blogger and Sarah brings up some important things to think about.

I found Hard Truths: Examining How Students Spend Their Time in Our Classrooms to be a great source for reflecting on my teaching and my classroom--what matches and what doesn't. The author says "When I reflect on whether my actions line up with my beliefs, I just take a close look at the past day, week, or month in my classroom."

My Worst Nightmare--What if I Accidentally Raise the Bully? is a must-read also, in my opinion. It gave me a lot to think about in the classroom-nothing new but really thinking about giving kids opportunities to get to know each other and to really go beyond the things that happened so easily in this story when it comes to bullying and kindness.

And just another reminder that yes, independent reading is worthwhile in NEA's recent article.

Ana Menendez Mourns Her Four-Year-Old's Childhood is an important read if you are a teacher of young children.

I loved the article Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design. I am a little obsessed with classroom design theories after reading The Third Teacher and The Language of School Design.

If you have not had a chance to listen to Donalyn Miller's podcast interview at Book Love, it is fabulous!

And this--On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books. If you have read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but can't seem to make it work for your books, then this article is a must-read!

I love this article about understanding the types of mistakes. Fascinating!

And if you are a teacher who is feeling tired at the end of the year. Dear Teacher on the Tired Days is something you may want to put someplace where you can read it often during these last few weeks of the school year.

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7.


"Once the Pink Lady faced her fears she became stronger, wiser and more yes, fashionable!" Thanks so much Kate Thacker! Facing your fears helps you to move forward with strength, courage and wisdom. It's been inside of you all along! Working on myself and my dreams. It may be a while, but know that I'm thinking of you all!! Be good!

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8. Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday




Open Mic Wednesday by...





Me!!!



Today I had a day that defied all reason.  I had a cable service man come over to check out and tell me why my internet was not playing nice. 

Two hours later......  


After rewiring the cable, which had been shredded by the way, and diagnosing my modem as dead (which it was) he gave me his analysis. He showed me the evidence right under my nose then with my permission he went for it.  He rolled up his sleeves and he got on it.  I helped him thread new cable down to the basement and beyond and while we were at it we ran new cable down there for the t.v. too.  Oh my!   I was a cableman assistant for my morning!  :-)  How fun!

He replaced my modem and gave me a really cool faster one, and he connected the the PVR downstairs to the recorder upstairs .... and guess what?  ALL FOR FREE!!  Hurray it's a good day!!!

I would not let him go before I knew all the iPads in my house, and my desktop iMac was working correctly because I know how that works.  It works perfectly when the expert is here and when he's gone and it's your turn to use them....nothing works!!! He was so kind and gracious and helped me install new passwords from the modem into all my techie tools.  He was patient and explained everything to me as step-by-step we got everything up and running again.  (Notice I said "we" got it going... I was a great help I am sure!) What an amazing experience but alas ...  I have no book review today for you.  So sorry.  I left two videos for you to check out and I will review that author's work tomorrow for you.  I hope I am forgiven.  

The best news by far?  I can now post tomorrow's review faster and more efficiently (as the internet will now work) for you.  Hope you have an awesome day and be back here tomorrow for my take on the great kid's book,  "LET'S PLAY!"authored by Hervé Tullet.  See you then.







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*Instagram: Storywraps
*Email:  Storywrapsblog@gmail.com
*Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Storywraps
*Twitter: Storywraps@Storywraps1





I put hours of work finding the best kid's books to review for you each day.  If you enjoy visiting Storywraps and would like to donate something for my time and effort I would greatly appreciate it.

Go to the top of my blog on the right hand corner (above my photo) and please donate what you feel lead to give.  The amount you donate and the frequency you donate is totally up to you.  I thank you in advance for your support.  I love what I do and appreciate any amount that you may give so I can make our community even better.  Thanks a million! 



 
Read on and read always!


It's a wrap.

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9. Paul Auster

       Eric Clement had the scoop in La Presse last week but it seems to have (entirely ?) escaped English-language notice so far (or no one cares ?): that we can look forward to Un roman de 925 pages signé Paul Auster, Auster's forthcoming novel a near-thousand-pager he expects to have out in early 2017.
       No word as to the title of the just-finished work, or any of the details beyond its (great) length:

L'écrivain préfère ne pas dévoiler l'histoire de ce nouveau roman. Il souhaite que la surprise soit totale pour ses fidèles lecteurs. Il consent toutefois à dire qu'il s'agit d'une sorte de «saga».
       They follow up this week with a proper Q & A -- no additional clues about the book, but more general odds and ends (including about American politics).

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10. My tweets

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11. happy birthday, little sister!

We love each other, really, but we have odd ways of showing it.

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12. Dare to Dance: Introducing Dance Movements and Music into your Storytimes

Are you ready to energize your storytimes with dancing that goes beyond movement songs? Are you ready to dare to use your body to motivate caregivers while promoting children’s developmental needs for coordination, balance and gross motor skills?

Dancing Girls

Kids enjoy the Music in this Public Domain image from Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Our library expanded the role of our storytimes into a program that offers more than reading books, nursery rhymes and singing songs. We introduced Dance Time to teach children basic dance steps while listening to an age appropriate song.

There is so much librarians can do to enhance the library experience through dancing. Dancing provides opportunities for adults and children to learn to:

  • Follow the beats of the song with their feet and or hands
  • Balance their body parts
  • Coordinate their body movements

Additional benefits of dancing include:

  • Improve muscle tone
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Increase ability to feel comfortable about oneself

Although dancing is a natural channel of expression for many cultures, children from other cultures, including some that are predominant in the United Stated, are hardly exposed to it. In some cultures, babies are exposed to music and dancing from birth, with moms dancing around holding their babies in their arms regularly. Soon baby and mommy-and-baby dancing transforms into a semi dancing lesson with caregivers holding and moving their toddles’ hands and arms while following the beats of a song. As the child’s motor skills develop, the caregiver will now focus on simple steps using the child’s legs and feet. Dance will continue be part of the child’s life in elementary school where different dances are taught in music class.

Coming from a culture where this type of exposure to dance is widespread, in my work as a Youth Services Librarian, I noticed that lack of coordinated body movements following a rhythmic patterns in children attending our programs. Naturally, this observation changes depending on the cultural background of clients.

As a result of my observations, I supplemented our storytimes with a portion of the program called Dance Time. During Dance Time, children and caregivers are encouraged to dance to a tune following three basic dance steps that are reinforced at every storytime. When I introduced Dance Time for the first time, many children and parents were reluctant to follow me. However, after a couple months of Dance Time, these same clients appeared more relaxed and moved happily following the beat of the music.

Music is contagious and is an excellent tool to uplift spirits and transform a library program into a lifelong learning experience. Many librarians already use children’s songs during storytime. However, have you offered a “dance activity” or “movement song” to invigorate your programs? Let us know about it in the comments below.

If you feel ready to dare, try the following dance songs in your storytime:

  • Palo, palo Music Together. Palo, Palo. [Arranged and adapted by Gerry Dignan and K. Guilmartin]. Music Together: Bringing harmony Home [CD]. Princeton NJ: (2007)
  • El baile del perrito (Wilfrido Vargas)

***************************************************************************

Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Our guest blogger today is Kathia Ibacache. Kathia is a Youth Services Librarian at Simi Valley Public Library. She has worked as a music teacher and Early Music Performer and earned a MLIS from San José State University and a DMA from the University of Southern California. She loves to read realistic fiction and horror stories and has a special place in her heart for film music.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post Dare to Dance: Introducing Dance Movements and Music into your Storytimes appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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13. How To Be A Pirate

How to Be a Pirate. Sue Fliess. Illustrated by Nikki Dyson. 2014. Golden Books. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Ahoy, landlubber! Come with me. Board me ship upon the sea! Not a pirate? Don't know how? Ye can learn to be one now! Come in closer--I don't bite. A pirate ye shall be tonight!

Premise/plot: The title says it all, this book "teaches" how to be a pirate.

My thoughts: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I like the rhythm and the rhyme of it. It gets that part right at least!!! The plot is simple enough, and, in a way it's predictable enough. There is just something joyful and fun about this one.
Rules for pirates?
Let's just say...
ye can throw all the rules away!
No more toothpaste!
Farewell, bath!
once ye choose the pirate path.
Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. BLUE PRINT 2016 - designastration studio

And if you are attending Blue Print you will see new designs from Tiffany Laurencio. Tiffany started the  Designastration Studio just a couple years ago and has since had several successful shows at Printsource New York and is looking forward to exhibiting for the first time at Blue Print.

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15. Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play

DSC_0966

I’ve written often about Valerie Geary around here, my critique partner I met when we both started blogging in 2009. We’ve seen each other through a number of manuscripts, a million emails about the writing life, and one glorious writing retreat that included mid-morning runs, lots of good conversation, and a bottle of wine I received when May B. sold (thanks, Helen Theriot!).

I don’t know how I’d keep chugging away without friends who understand this weird and wonderful process, who encourage me when I need it and let me do the same.

Here’s a recent exchange:

me: I’m tinkering with the new book. Very slowly. Long hand and then some typing. Two and a half hours gave me something like 200 words.

Val: Keep tinkering, friend. No rush, no urgency. Breathe, find small moments to create. These first few steps are so small and feel like they take us nowhere, but they are important to building a book. We’ll take bigger steps later on down the road. For now…play.

 

The post Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose

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16. Author Interview: Donna Gephart on Lily and Duncan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations
ajudd@penguinrandomhouse.com

From the promotional copy of Lily and Duncan by Donna Gephart (Delacorte, 2016):

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

How would you describe your body of work for young readers? Are there themes you frequently revisit, and if so, what about them fascinates you?

I write for the lonely child I was when I visited the Northeast Regional Library in Philadelphia, looking for a friend inside the pages of a book. I often write on the themes of loneliness and feeling like you don't quite fit in. My books broach difficult topics, like bullying and grief, but always, always conclude on a hope-filled note.

Congratulations on the release of Lily and Duncan! What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

Thanks! I write about the genesis of both Lily's and Dunkin's story in the author's note at the back of the novel. Lily's story stemmed from an unforgettable documentary I saw about a trans girl, and Dunkin's story emerged from a promise I made to our older son, who deals with bipolar disorder.

What was the time between spark and publication, and what were the major events along the way?

I saw the documentary that inspired me to write the novel in 2012. Recently, I was looking through my mountain of notes for the project and discovered that in 2012 I had written the ending of the novel . . . and that ending remains unchanged from the version that comes out May 3. It took all the time in between to figure out how to get to that ending — lots of research and deep thinking.

Would you elaborate on your research process?

I spent years researching this novel — talking to experts, watching documentaries, reading books, articles, memoirs and novels, etc.

How did you approach balancing the characters as joint heroes of the story?

This novel is told in alternating perspectives from each of the two characters. I had such familiarity with the mental health piece of this novel that I needed to remind myself to make Dunkin's story as strong as Lily's. When a reviewer recently said Dunkin's story almost eclipses Lily's, I know I have succeeded.

In this dual narrative, each character has a unique voice and tells their story from that very personal perspective. I felt this was the best way to get readers inside the heads and hearts of each character as they navigate very difficult terrain in their eighth grade lives.

What were the other challenges (literary, logistical, emotional, etc.) in bringing the story to life?

This was a difficult story to write because of the emotional intensity of each character's journey, but it was a story I felt strongly needed to be told to help encourage empathy and understanding and end stigma.

What advice do you have for authors in approaching stories with similar elements?

It's important to research thoroughly and tell the emotional truth. And don't forget the humor. Humor has a way of shining light in the darkest of places.

Your co-protagonists are in eighth grade, and the book is marketed to ages 10+. This developmental/literary category sometimes gets lost between middle grade and YA. 

Why should we pay more attention to tween-agers and books that reflect them?

Tween-agers deal with some difficult issues before the adults in their lives are ready for them to do so. I've already had teachers and counselors from elementary and middle schools tell me that students from their schools were transitioning. I know when I was teaching writing to young people, these tween-agers were dealing with some very difficult things that most adults would never have imagined.

It's important that these books be available for those young readers who need them — which is all young readers, to increase empathy, understanding and kindness.

The more we know, the better we do.

What do you do when you're not reading or writing?

Taking long walks, jogs or bike rides in nature always renews me. I love coming across wild turkeys or peacocks strutting around. And I enjoy cooking (and eating!) creative vegan meals. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Cheap, Lazy Vegan.



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17. BLUE PRINT 2016 - jane farnham

Jane Farnham will also be showing new designs at Blue Print this May via her agents Cinnamon Joe. The show runs just before Surtex on 12th-16th May at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York.

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18. A Yummy THANK YOU from the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

Thank you for sharing TLA 2016 with us!
Thank you so much to all those who stopped by to see us at TLA! We adored sharing our TLA reception with you! Congratulations to the winner of the custom Sweethearts cake, Robbi Lenox of Cimarron Elementary in Galena Park ISD, who celebrated her birthday at TLA and was able to share the cake with some friends. Also a huge thank you to our cake illustratrator Akiko White


The cake!


Sweethearts with the cake!
(L to R: Jessica Lee Anderson, Cory Putman Oakes, Akiko White, P. J. Hoover, Jeanette Larson, Bethany Hegedus, Christina Soontornvat, Nikki Loftin, and Carmen Oliver)



Akiko White with our cake winner, Robbi Lenox!

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19. SURTEX/BLUE PRINT - jennifer nelson artists

The wonderful Jennifer Nelson Artists are going to be showing at Surtex and Blue Print in New York this month. So expect lots of wonderful new art from designers Bee Brown, Jill McDonald, Lauren Lowen, Jessica Swift, Anisa Makhoul, Jennifer Orkin Lewis and fab new arrival Jill Howarth.

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20. STORYWRAPS: Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday

STORYWRAPS: Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday: Open Mic Wednesday by... Me!!! Today I had a day that defied all reason.  I had a cable service man come o... Read the rest of this post

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21. Beltane on Calton Hill

Scotland is fascinated by fire. Several traditions and ceremonies involve it in very old ways, for instance during the torch parade for Hogmany, Samhain, and the celebration of Spring or Beltane (always on April 30th), with the symbolic joining of the May Queen and the Green Man, who dies and is brought back to life each year. (Click the image to see the website and learn more about the tradition.)

I was very excited to see this so we bought our tickets early. Stan jogs up Calton Hill several times a week, but for Beltane, the hill was restricted to manage the enormous crowd. Gates opened at 8:00. We bundled up and began our journey, which became more and more magnificent as the sun set over New Town and the Firth.
And we saw some hints of what was to come.
This was going to be interesting.
The ceremony doesn't begin until the sun goes down, so you walk around for a while, listening to the story of Beltane and admiring the amazing costumes. It makes you think an alternate reality isn't that hard to believe.
When it's completely dark, the ceremony begins. By then, it was very crowded and very cold.
The May Queen is introduced and the procession begins...
With the Green Man just behind. (I'm so sorry I didn't get a better photo of him - he was grand!)
Behind them, follows the court.
With their drums. Click the image to go watch and listen on YouTube.
We followed the procession for a bit and saw the fire arch and dancing birds, but I have to admit, by then I was cold to the core and we went back down the hill in search of hot toddies (which we found). It took me until the next afternoon to warm up, but I'm happy to say that according ancient tradition, Spring is officially here. More on that soon...

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22. Sneak Peek: Shining Sea by Mimi Cross + Giveaway (US Only)

Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to present a sneak peek from Mimi Cross's SHINING SEA, releasing May 24, 2016 from Skyscape. Check out information about the book below, the sneak peek, and a giveaway!     SHINING SEA by Mimi Cross Release date: May 24, 2016 Publisher: Skyscape ISBN: 978-1503935532  ...

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23. Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Oulipo-author Paul Fournel's 1978 novel, Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do.

       This actually came out in English very quickly, George Braziller publishing it in 1979, and for example the Kirkus review suggested:

(I)t remains an odd, narrow exercise -- significant only as a minor-key promise of things to come from this young French writer.
       Ah, yes, the promise ! And a lot did come -- only not into English, with the recently published Dear Reader the first of his novels to be translated since then, after well over thirty years ! (though there was also that bicycling book in the meantime).
       Born in 1947, Fournel was indeed a promising young 32-year-old when Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do -- and only now returns to the US/UK scene when he is closing in on 70.

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24. Rabbits


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25. Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids

  One of my favorite picture books of 2016 thus far is Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook, May 2016). I’ve got a review of it over at BookPage. That is here. Today, Lane shares some early studies and sketches, as well as some final art from the book. (Note: Some […]

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