Friday, September 30, 2011

Timpanogos Storytelling Festival

I finally was able to attend a storytelling festival that I've wanted to go to here in Utah for years.  I went with my grandmother, mother and sister and we had so. much. fun.  Professional storytellers from around the country, child storytellers who won local contests and puppeteers attended for three days of fun workshops.  By the end, we had some favorite tellers and could distinguish the variety of telling styles.

I also shamed myself in the gift store trying to play with the puppets.  I'm much better in my head than dialogue-ing out loud.  The gift store was so tempting but I controlled myself and took some pictures of the books suggested to aid in storytelling and oral language.

If you've never been to this festival, then plan on it for next Labor Day.  Totally worth it!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gallery Walk

One of my favorite assignments to give teachers is The Gallery Walk which has them create categories of children's literature, criteria, and book choices to display creatively.  Here are some of the results....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Selznick's #2

After seeing the movie trailer for "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" my son and I decided to read it.  He raced through it and wants to invent a million things now.  If you've never read it, you've got to!  Fast paced, beautiful illustrations, and a plot full of interesting facts and imagination.  I love that it is the only chapter book ever to win the Caldecott.  I personally use it for tutoring older struggling readers because it is huge and thick and perfect for grades 4 and up.  

The author, Brian Selznick has a very cool website too at...The Franklin Institute video about automata is amazing!

And what makes me even more excited is his next novel out this November:

"Scholastic Press has just released the cover art for Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. His new novel expands on the heavily illustrated format of the earlier novel, presenting the stories of two children living 50 years apart, a girl in 1927 and a boy in 1977, who each set out on a quest to find what is missing in their lives. Wonderstruck will be released simultaneously in the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and Canada on September 13.

Tracy Mack, executive editor of Scholastic Press, has been working with Selznick on his latest novel for three years. She says that in Wonderstruck the author “ups the ante and challenges himself to play with the form he created in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and evolves the form further.” Where that book offers a single story told in words and pictures, she explains, “This novel tells two independent stories—one told in words, the other in pictures. The structure is wholly original, the transitions between stories are awe-inspiring, and how the two stories ultimately come together is tender and resonant.”

Scholastic’s creative director, David Saylor, calls Selznick “a brilliant bookmaker who has a unique vision for all his projects,” and says that his own role in the creation of Wonderstruck “is to help realize Brian’s vision for the book in physical form: how the cover, case, and interior design details should look, how the artwork is showcased, and how the finished book will look and ‘feel’ as both an object and a reading experience. All the details matter to Brian, and I’m his sounding board on the multitude of design decisions that go into making his books.”

For the newly unveiled cover of the novel, Saylor notes, “We really wanted something dramatic, but also something iconic.” After bouncing around many cover concepts that were more complicated, he says, “we were drawn back again and again to the simplicity of the lightning bolt and the New York City skyline in 1977. That image will resonate with readers in surprising ways, starting from the first page and continuing through to the very last.”

The announced U.S. first printing for Wonderstruck is 500,000 copies. Mack believes that the novel will strike a chord with Hugo Cabret fans. “It gives readers much of what they loved about Hugo Cabret, and something entirely new at the same time,” she observes. “Hugo Cabret turned so many reluctant readers into readers, and this new novel has that same potential.”

Not long after the publication of Wonderstruck, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is due to spring to life on screen. A movie adaptation of the novel, which has more than 800,000 copies in print, is scheduled for release by Paramount Pictures in November, directed by Martin Scorsese. "(

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cursive License

Have a kid learning cursive?  This idea was in my son's third grade classroom.  Once he completed his cursive instruction and practice book, he received the license to write cursive.  He keeps it in his wallet and is very serious about it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bubble Gum Hike

At a family event this summer, we took gave each child paper, bubble gum and instructed them to find particular items and anything they found interesting and use the chewed gum to stick it on.  The final results were informative.  Lots of rocks, plants, flowers, bugs, sticks, and feathers.  Perfect idea for a field trip!