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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Slice of Life, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 407
1. U is for Ukulele

U is for Ukulele meetup#alaac15 provides space for meetings of all kinds. Although we’re apparently not that “uncommon,” yesterday I attended a meet-up of ukulele-playing librarians at the ALA Networking Uncommons.  We exchanged emails, discussed creating a group FB page and played a few songs.  Perhaps next year, we can have an ALSC session on Using your Uke for Story Time and Outreach. Wouldn’t that be fun?  Check out today’s gatherings at the Networking Uncommons. http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/

U is for Ukulele

The post U is for Ukulele appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. Random Radness @ #alaac15

A funny thing happened at the Metreon food court…some friends and I were admiring a woman’s Rad American Women A-Z (City Lights Publishers) tote bag. We just couldn’t resist going up to her and asking “Where did you get that amazing bag?” She said, “I have a family connection.” A few minutes later, Rad American’s illustrator, Miriam Klein Stahl, walked up to us and we were introduced. In a Wayne’s World type moment, we all felt “not worthy!” Ms. Stahl was super gracious and nice, and gave us a stack of Patti Smith stickers. Just goes to show that ALA Annual is always full of surprising and lovely random moments….

The post Random Radness @ #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Slice of Life -- The Power of Moments

I wrote a blog post last August about our "failed" fly fishing trip to Vermont. I decided that I wasn't going to let one big expectation for this school year determine whether or not it was a good year. I made the choice to capture one shining moment every day, all year long. I bought myself a little purple journal, and every day I "caught a fish." What a gift I've given myself! Moments that would have been lost in the swift current of the flow of time are saved there for me to look back on and remember. It was a great year, and I lived it one day at a time.

My students and I captured moments every week when we created our "Top Ten" for the weekly newsletter I sent to parents. I have those newsletters archived on my class website.

On Tuesday, in the silence after we clapped the fifth graders out of the building and cheered the buses out of the parking lot, I wrote this Top 10 for the school year:

10  Our Friday routines (Poetry Friday, Top 10 and newsletter, blogging, Genius Hour), including "LUNCH!" and the laughter that brought us every week.

9  The list of read alouds on the closet door. We shared so many great books, and spent an hour finishing our final read aloud on the last day of school.

8  Our "words to live by." I loved that wall full of inspiration.

7  One Little Word. I hope the students will choose another word to live by each January. One word is so much better than a whole list of failed resolutions.

6  Our weird math schedule. At first it was so awkward to have 10 more minutes of math after related arts. But with time and flexibility, we worked that 10 minutes for all it was worth. I need to remember not to get hung up on things that don't work out the way I planned. I need to be flexible and creative and make the most of what I'm given!

5  Book clubs. The conversations and learning were priceless.

4  Open-ended ("rich") math problems. My learning curve for math instruction went steeply up at the end of the year when I started designing my own math problems, rather than finding them online. I can't wait to continue improving my math instruction next year!

3  Choice in writing workshop. The writing the students did at the end of the year, when they could choose their genre and topic, was phenomenal. I need to figure out how to build choice time into writing workshop throughout the year in between our mandated units of study.

2  Genius Hour. What a grand experiment this was! I think most of the students would put it at #1 in their own Top 10 for 5th grade. It was one of the best risks I've ever taken.

1  My class. It took longer than usual for this class to gel as a community, but perhaps it was because that gel didn't come easily or early that it made it so much sweeter when it finally happened. This group was filled with such an amazing collection of smart, funny, quirky, sensitive, creative, helpful, talented, honest, enthusiastic...characters. I am a better person for having spent the year with them.

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4. Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

"Allow beauty to shatter you regularly. The loveliest people are the ones who have been burnt and broken and torn at the seams yet still send their open hearts into the world to mend with love again, and again, and again. You must allow yourself to feel your life while you’re in it." -Victoria Frederickson

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5. Opening the Doors

LREI - Wikimedia commons

LREI – Wikimedia commons

I was lucky this week to host a fellow librarian from another NYC independent school.  She had attended a workshop at my school earlier in the year and wanted to chat about the job of the “American school librarian”.  She is to be returning to France soon, and is going to be writing a paper on the subject.

We chatted about our respective schools for a bit and then got down to the real meat of the conversation.  What does it really mean to be a school librarian in the USA today? What are our roles? What could our roles be?

Within this conversation, she filled me in on what it is like to be a school librarian in France. She lamented the fact that there are no elementary school positions — there are only middle and high school librarians in France.  I found this incredibly interesting, as my experience has shown me that elementary positions in the States seem more easily defended than high school positions (“they can just use the internet”).  We spoke about research, stand alone classes, pushing in and progressive integrated curriculum.

I have to say, this tête à tête was just what I needed to get the wind back in my sails for the end of the school year.  It reminded me again about the importance of our jobs as school librarians and the importance of opening the doors and letting folks into our spaces and our practice.

The post Opening the Doors appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6. Annual Anticipation

In just over 20 days, I will be heading to San Francisco. I will be joining thousands of librarians making their way to the annual conference. This year is perhaps the most special conference ever for me. As a member of the 2015 Caldecott committee, I get to see the medal bestowed upon Dan Santat at the Caldecott-Newbery Banquet on Sunday, June 28 (ok I KNOW it is actually called the Newbery-Caldecott banquet, but hey, I’m calling it my way this year). Pretty exciting stuff!

Angela's Caldecott memory book signed by fellow committee members

Angela’s Caldecott memory book signed by fellow committee members (photo by A. Reynolds)

There are plenty of things I am looking forward to. Conference sessions, Guerrilla Storytime, the exhibits, running into librarian pals, spending time with old friends. But honestly, I am really looking forward to seeing those 14 special people that I share secrets with (aka the 2015 Caldecott Committee). Since February, our committee has been chatting via email. We’ve sent links to one another, and proudly read interviews with “our” illustrators. We’ve shared joys and ideas. We’ve shared thoughts about what to wear to the banquet. We’ve booked tattoo appointments & planned outings in San Francisco (we even have an official social -butterfly coordinator). I think we are all looking forward to a reunion in San Francisco. I know we are looking forward to meeting the illustrators of the amazing books we chose. We are gleefully anticipating celebrations with creators and publishers. And we can’t wait to honor the books that we are so delighted by. More memories will be created, I am certain of that.

It is going to be whirlwind of a time. Living in the woods, far away from my ALA colleagues, I always look forward to this time to refresh, get inspired by Big Ideas, and rejuvenate. This conference is going to charge my brain’s batteries for good long while. Yes, I get sentimental about this whole librarianship thing this time of year. I’ve never once regretted that push from a grad-school professor who insisted I join ALA and ALSC. Yes, I have served on maybe the best committees ever. But ALSC has served me well, too. Thanks, ALSC, for being the way to stay in touch. See you in San Francisco!

The post Annual Anticipation appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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7. Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

Share a story with us today, and every Tuesday.

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8. An Unusual School Visit

An Unusual School Visitinstitution-icon

We’re accustomed to classroom visits … there’s Read Across America Day, Library Card Sign-up Month, Summer Reading Club outreach, and any other number of reasons why public librarians visit classrooms.  Last month, a colleague and I enoyed another type of classroom visit.  We were virtual guest lecturers for a university class in Children’s Literature.  The class was not for librarians, but rather, for aspiring teachers.  We spent two weeks with the students during their planned chapters on censorship and graphic texts.  We introduced discussion articles and scenarios, and participated in the discussion boards by posting topics and responding to students’ questions.

training-icon (1)

I firmly believe that librarians and teachers should be close partners in serving their constituent children.  I am fortunate that my library is located in a school district that is wonderfully cooperative, and where I have met and worked with many caring teachers.  Still, I have often ranted about things that annoy me  – particularly minimum page requirements and a frequent admonishment that picture books (and by extension, graphic novels) are “not allowed.”

This partnership with our local university, gave me the opportunity to speak directly with the future generation of school teachers.  We spoke of the importance of knowing one’s collection and being prepared to defend it; the value and appeal of graphic texts; the collection development resources available from ALSC, ALA, and other organizations in making collection development decisions; and a myriad of other topics related to censorship and graphic texts.  It was refreshing to hear what is on the minds of future teachers and to offer to them a librarian’s perspective on the same.

Kudos to Constance Chismar, Ed.D. of the Georgian Court University English Department for asking us to participate and to Ocean County Library for allowing us to attend.  If you have a local university or college that offers undergrad degrees in education,  inquire if you might participate in something similar.  It was a valuable experience for me and my colleague, the university students, and the children who will someday benefit from the partnership!


Images from openclipart.org

The post An Unusual School Visit appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. Write, Share, and Give

Share your story today!

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10. Moving Beyond Despair in The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer

Over the past couple months I’ve looked at both of Satoshi Mizukami’s works that are available in English, Spirit Circle and Hoshi no Samidare: The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, and my feelings on Biscuit Hammer were rather lukewarm. I felt like Spirit Circle improved on all of the problems I had with the story but that was expected, ... Read more

2 Comments on Moving Beyond Despair in The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, last added: 5/24/2015
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11. Tuesday Slice of Life

Write, Share, Give

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12. Share your Slice Today!

Write, Share, Give

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13. Disneyland for Librarians

There’s a new library in Nova Scotia. Central Library in Halifax opened mid-December with great fanfare. Thousands of people turned out for opening day. Thousands! Now, Halifax is about a 2-hour drive from our small, rural community, but it is still exciting to me that we have this library. It is simply amazing.

photo by A. Reynolds

photo by A. Reynolds

I get pretty excited about a new library anywhere. We have a couple in the works in our region, and we plan to take a page from the Central Library book and create spaces that draw people in. The thing that I love about the new library in Halifax is that though it is not near us, we are still benefiting from the buzz. Libraries are on people’s minds.

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

The building is just amazing. Honestly I feel like I am in Disneyland for Librarians when I go there. And I am not alone—I’ve had parents tell me that they’ve taken their kids to the city for a museum trip, and the kids kept asking “When are we going to the library?” It is that cool. With a giant Lite-Brite wall, a play area that is downright fabulous, a LEGO table, iPads galore, and a space that makes you feel right at home, why wouldn’t they want to go there? There’s even a gaming area and a lovely built-in puppet theatre.

The Teen area is a big WOW as well. There’s a recording studio, a craft/maker room, tons of great programs, another gaming area, really comfy seating, and staircases that remind me of Hogwarts (though these don’t actually move). And the colors! So bright and happy. Go there on a weekend and you won’t find a spot to sit. After school the place just buzzes.

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds


Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

So what can a rural library take from this? Central Library is a million miles away from anything we will ever have in our region as far as size goes. But we can listen to our patrons, and if they ask for something, we should try to do it. We can make our library comfortable, with ample plugs for devices and spaces where people can work on whatever they need to work on. We can allow covered drinks and food. We can make the space bright, modern, clean, and welcoming. We can add local art. We can make play spaces and quiet spaces.

I want our libraries to be the place that kids and teens choose to visit. I think we need to figure out how that happens, without building a 5-story gem. The building is part of it, but the feeling is the real draw. We can all learn from other libraries, and continually ask our communities how we can better serve them.

The post Disneyland for Librarians appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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14. Write, Share, Give

Reminder: Our TWT family is expanding. If you are interested in sharing your love for writing workshop, working with kids and inspiring others through your teaching we hope to hear from you. Here… Continue reading

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15. Making the Bulletin Board Your Patrons’ First Stop

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 8.53.55 AM

Urban Dictionary’s definition of Shelfie.

In our library we have a bulletin board just to the right as folks walk through the door.  We’ve always kept it looking “nice”.  Some timely book displays…occasionally some student work (our second graders’ tall tale characters are a favorite) graced the construction paper background.  But honestly?  I was getting bored looking at it all the time.

So I did what any good librarian would do and I headed to Pinterest for some ideas.  Sure there were lovely book ad type of displays, but this is exactly what I wanted to get away from.  And I realized, what I wanted was for our students to have an interactive experience.

We started with gratitude.  Modeled off the Gratitude Graffiti Project we seeded our bulletin board with post-its featuring things we are grateful for. Every time anyone (teacher, parent, student) walked through our doors they were invited to add something.  In no time our board filled up with positivity.

Next, I found this fabulous first lines interactive board on Pinterest. Intriguing first lines have always been of interest to me, and I knew some titles that would have to be included.  It’s super easy to switch out the titles after a little while to freshen the board up, and I have to say, circulation of the titles featured has gone up as well!  Bonus!

Our next venture helps our students see that not just our fabulous team of librarians are readers, but all the folks in our school.  We put out a call for staff and faculty to send us a selfie AND a shelfie.  We will ask our students to see if they can pair up the person with their shelf!  The next month we will put out a call to the students, and feature their selfie/shelfie combos.

Our bulletin board is quickly becoming a talked about, interacted with and exciting part of our space.

The post Making the Bulletin Board Your Patrons’ First Stop appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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16. Five Things I Wasn’t Prepared For…

Here is a story, told in pictures, of five things I wasn’t prepared for before I became a storytime librarian:

[Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

[Making finger puppets after a day at ALA Midwinter. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

1. That I would chose to spend so much of my free time doing things I love that happen to relate to work.

First of all, this is 100% my choice to spend my time researching beginning readers and making flannelboards. And I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make me happy.

Working with felt and sewing finger puppets have become my favorite way to relax. Seriously, I sewed a set of five little ballerinas during last year’s Stanley Cup play-offs and it was the only way I could avoid a panic attack while cheering on my team.

[Me, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

[Me, dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

2. That I would suddenly develop the talent to make anything that I needed out of craft supplies.

Do you need a musical instrument? Give me two pieces of paper, two rubber bands, and two popsicle sticks and I will give you a harmonica. Do you need a traffic light prop for storytime? Easy — one piece of foam board, three small paper plates, three recycled paperclip boxes, three sheets of felt and hot glue.

How about a Frozen costume? I made my Princess Anna costume in about an hour and a half using discounted black fabric, a few felt sheets, a spool of ribbon, a $5 tshirt, and a recycled formal dress.

[Storytime scarves in the washer! Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

[Storytime scarves in the washer! Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

3. That I would become very conscientious about germ exposure!

My weekly routine involves taking our scarves home to wash after every use. (My library is lucky enough to have about 120 scarves — more than enough for multiple classes and a single weekly wash.)

My daily routine involves washing shaker eggs and wiping down board book pages. Lately, I’ve upped the game to include spraying the room with disinfectant and wiping down all surfaces (doors, cabinets, handles, counters, etc.). It may seem like a lot of work, but I want my little ones to stay healthy!

[Ukulele & accessories. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

[Ukulele & accessories. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

4. That I would never stop learning or wanting to learn new skills.

The great thing about storytime is that there are always new books and songs and rhymes to explore. I love finding a new favorite read-aloud and sharing it with my storytime families.

As you might guess with the picture, my big goal this year is to learn how to play the ukulele and to feel confident enough to perform in storytime! I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m slowly improving. I feel like I’ve finally got strumming down after a weekly practice session.

[A thank-you note from a patron. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

[A thank-you note from a patron. Image courtesy of the author; originally posted on Instagram.]

5. That I would feel such fulfillment and joy each day of work.

I have the best job in the world. I spend my days connecting preschoolers with books, dancing with toddlers, and watching babies grow up.

There is absolutely nothing better than seeing a child’s face light up when they see you and have them demand a hug. Or hearing about how a child insists on playing “Miss Katie” when they get home.

Obviously these are all pretty sweet things that I wasn’t prepared for (well, except for the germs!), but how about you? What were you unprepared for with storytime?

Let me know in the comments!

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library


The post Five Things I Wasn’t Prepared For… appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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The Eighth Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge is almost here! Stacey, Anna, Beth, Dana, Betsy and I are all sharing hosting duties this year, and are so looking forward to all the… Continue reading

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18. Using Your Own Writing as a Teaching Tool

It seems appropriate that today’s post should be related to using your own writing in the classroom. We are, after all, in the midst of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. And what… Continue reading

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19. Orange Manga Review

Title: Orange Genre: Slice of Life, Romance Publisher: Futabasha (JP), Crunchyroll (US) Story/Artist: Ichigo Takano Serialized in: Manga Action A review copy was provided by Crunchyroll I tend to find straight up romances boring these days. Kuniko Ikuhara (lately of Yuri Kuma Arashi) says it very well here, that [straight] romances have been done so ... Read more

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20. Librarian currency

Librarian “Currency”

pile of cash

Image credit: openclipart.org

No, not this.  No, not “relevancy” or “state of currentness” either.

I’m talking about items that are sometimes more precious than cash and harder to come by—librarian currency—traded for goodwill, future favors, or goods of equal value.

Here are some items that pass for currency in my library:

  • Oatmeal boxes: Useful for drums, tubes, castle turrets and more,  they’re an invaluable resource, and trade well in the children’s librarian barter system
oatmeal box

Photo credit: L. Taylor

  •  Toilet paper tubes: The “penny” of the YS currency system,  useful but low-ranking

Photo credit: L. Taylor

  • Lego ®: Need a program in a hurry?  Better borrow some!

Image credit: openclipart.org

  • Cans – hey, you never know
Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

  • And these little creepy heads?  Well, I’m not quite sure what they traded for, but someone took them!
Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

Photo credit: Lisa Ferrara

So, what items are in your barter system?  Share yours – the curiouser, the better. :)

The post Librarian currency appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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21. Spring Break

Creative Commons Search Crystal Ball Take #3, by Isabel T

Creative Commons Search Crystal Ball Take #3, by Isabel T

While I listen to the meteorologist telling me to expect snow tomorrow, and see the pictures of my friends’ vacations on Instagram, I find myself reflecting on my library year and the changes that I want to be making.

When I first started in the school library, the culture shock was fresh and up front. I was used to working in a large public library with a population ranging from babies to teens in my section. We rarely saw parents. We rarely questioned book choices. We were always running. Finding books, readers’ advisory, RIF programs, lapsits, story-times, loads of programs and lots of desk time.

When I started at school I had a full compliment of classes, but the collection I was working with was a fraction of the size.  Parents were always in the library.  This was different.

Anyone who has worked both in school and public libraries understands that the charges of the jobs are different. As a school librarian, my main role is to support the mission of the school. I also support the classroom teaching and of course all of the readers. It is wonderful really getting to watch students grow into readers and scholars.  But there seemed to be an element of fun that was missing at school that was always present in the public library.

As I have spent time at school (13 years and counting), I find myself adding elements of my old public library life into my school library life.  Crafting and making, heart throb biographies, and DEAR are all making their way into my curriculum. Puppets may be next.

So as I look back at this year and at the soft goals that I try to have most if not all of my work with the students connect to, I have figured out one more to add.


The post Spring Break appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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22. Write, Share, Give

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLS bloggers. Don’t wait. Write NOW!… Continue reading

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23. Write, Share, Give

Have you been a year-long slicer?

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24. Putting it all together

Other than a few favorite story times that I repeat yearly, I always like to try something new. Similarly, I’m always interested in learning something new.  In February, I put it all together – mixing things that interest me with several of the library’s most wonderful assests –  technology, diversity, creative space, and kids.

I offer you the ingreadients for “Read, Reflect, Relay: a 4-week club”


  • 1 part knowledge from ALSC’s online class, “Tech Savvy Booktalker”ALSC Online Education
  • 1 part inspiration from ALSC’s online class, “Series Programming for theElementary School Age”
  • 1 new friendship spawned by networking and a love of nonfiction books
  • a desire to participate in the #weneeddiversebooks campaign
  • computers
  • books
  • school-aged kids#WeNeedDiverseBooks
  • space and time to create

Each club participant read a Schneider Family Book Award winner of her choice.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Schneider Family Book Award, I’ve linked to its page. Winning books embody the “disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

I asked each of the participants to distill the message of her book into a sentence or two – something that would make a good commercial.  Then I gave them a choice of using Animoto, Stupeflix, or VoiceThread to create a book trailer or podcast.  All three platforms were kind enough to offer me an “educator account” for use at the library.  Other than strict guidelines on copyright law and a “no-spoilers” rule, each girl was free to interpret and relay the message of her book as she pleased.

Coincidentally, after I had planned the club, I was chatting online with Alyson BeecherWe were both Round 2 judges for the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction CYBILS Awards.  I had no idea that she is also the Chair of the Schneider Family Book Award Committee!  When I told her about my club, she immediately offered to Skype or Hangout with the club members.  We hastily worked out a schedule, and Alyson’s visit on the last day of the club was one of its highlights!

The girls ranged in age from 10 to teen.  I think you will be impressed with their creativity.

WordPress does not allow me to embed the actual videos and podcasts, but you can access them via the links below – or visit them on Alyson’s site where she was able to embed them.  Enjoy! :)

·        Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (2012 winner, Middle School)  https://animoto.com/play/kUdNM1sa4fWKfZOXId63AQ

·      After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (2011 winner, Middle School)   https://voicethread.com/new/myvoice/#thread/6523783/33845486/35376059

·    Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen)  https://animoto.com/play/qFPwi1vYP1ha2FF0vVUuFg

·      Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (2010 winner, Teen) (another one)    http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/9GKeiQfgsj9Q/?autoplay=1

·      A Dog Called Homeless by Sara Lean (2013 winner, Middle School)    http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/DQ4tJG8mnsYX/?autoplay=1

If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to see my video booktalk (or adapt) my video advertisement for the program, just leave a message in the comments.  I’ll be happy to respond.

 *All logos used with permission and linked back to their respective sites.

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25. Write, Share, Give

WRITE a slice of life story on your own blog. SHARE a link to your post in the comments section. GIVE comments to at least three other SOLS bloggers. Stretch yourself as a… Continue reading

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