Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: And the Trees Crept In

And the Trees Crept In And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Silla and Norie arrive at their aunt's isolated manor home on a cold rainy night after fleeing an unknown terror at their home in London. From this point forward, Silla's dreamlike narration illustrates a spiral into madness and fear that leaves the reader wondering what is truth and what is imagination. When Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic, the food runs out, Norie "speaks" of a man with no eyes, a mysterious boy appears from the woods, and the trees keep getting closer and closer to their home, Silla slowly unravels a horrific mystery. This is truly more of a dark psychological horror than a "give you nightmares" horror.

I have to admit that listening to this story was difficult because of the circular narration, but it was worth sticking with it until the end!!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TECH Note of This 12/12/2017

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nanette O'Hare had it all - solid family, friends, star status as a soccer player, straight As - but something was missing. When Nanette is given a copy of an out-of-print, cult classic book, her inner-rebel is awakened and things are never the same.

Through zany friendships, reckless abandon, loss, and a little therapy, Nanette learns that her story is more than a sum of what's happened to her thus far, and she's willing to pay the price to push beyond everyone else's versions.

Through Nanette's unique voice, this tale of independence and voice will resonate with many teens (and adults!).

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Free & Simple Speaking and Listening Activities for Students

Communication is a vital tool for today's students, and a great way to increase students' oral fluency is to have them speak more in class. This doesn't mean you have to build in more time for student presentations! There are many activities that you are already doing that can naturally build in speaking components without taking away instructional time from class. Check out the short video below to see three easy ways to add speaking (and listening) activities to your content.

Resources: check out these links to all of the tools demonstrated in the video.
  • Vocaroo
  • Screencastify or Loom screen recorders
  • Flipgrid
  • Our favorite headphones - Avid w/microphone are a great deal for $6.99 a pair via the REMC Bid pricing if you are in Michigan or you can find them online for the retail price of around $13-14.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: Rabbit Cake

Rabbit Cake Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Elvis Babbitt is a quirky, precocious, and lovable narrator. Trying to find some sense of understanding after her mom's unexpected death (she drowned while sleepwalking), Elvis' "grief chart" just doesn't always seem to fit the bill. How can she grieve when her older sister Lizzie's sleepwalking has evolved into sleep-eating and so much more. Her dad is not much help since he's taken to wearing her mom's silk bathrobe and her favorite shade of lipstick. Elvis' innocence and humor lead her on a journey through grief that's heartbreaking, hilarious, and filled with hope.

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Review: The Nest

The Nest The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Plumb family is the epitome of dysfunction. Leo, Bea, Jack, and Melody are fairly privileged adults who are not-so-patiently waiting for the inheritance their late father didn't really mean to leave them. When Leo's reckless lifestyle results in the need for a cover-up, "the nest" is raided and life is thrown askew for each of them. Characters who start out as those you love to hate end up a bit wiser, and maybe even a bit endearing (well, most of them).

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Review: Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This epic fantasy checks off all of the boxes. This beautifully written (and narrated-audio version), well-crafted tale immerses the reader into a mysterious world filled with magic, alchemy, heroes, monsters, and mystery.

Laslo Strange is an orphan who's found himself cast into the role of junior librarian - or more accurately, servant to the "scholars". He is obsessed with his own research into the lost city of Weep, so much so that he's actually penned his own books that chronicle all he's learned of this mysterious land that's been erased from the minds of humankind. Yet when an unlikely opportunity arises, Laslo finds himself a member of a band of great minds and warriors led by the Godslayer, and his dreams of the mythical city of Weep may just become a reality.

Can't wait for the sequel - "Muse of Nightmares" - to be released!!!

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