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Too Cool!

May 28, 2021– As we wrap up our theme this month of Children’s Book Writing, we have a few more things to explore before moving on to our theme for June. This video is pretty cool! Check out this TedTalk by Artist Raghava KK as he demos his new children’s book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story — and your perspective — changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit. Stay tuned next week as we announce what we’ll be talking about next month!

 

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Comic Books and Kid’s Education

May 4, 2021– We thought that we should chat about comic books in honour of May the 4th (be with you)! Many people often think that comic books don’t count when writing for kids, but they do! Anything that kids are going to read let them read. Kids are growing up in a visual culture, so as a children’s author, do not discount the power of comic book writing. Also, remember that your comic book could be used as a teaching tool in schools and the marketing opportunities are endless. Today’s TedTalk is: Comic books and graphic novels belong in every teacher’s toolkit, says cartoonist and educator Gene Luen Yang. Set against the backdrop of his own witty, colourful drawings, Yang explores the history of comics in American education — and reveals some unexpected insights about their potential for helping kids learn. Check out our own take on a comic book for kids, Cake for Snakes, available here: Cakes for Snakes!: Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506325: Books – Amazon.ca

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Imposter Alert

February 23, 2021– As we finish up our series for this month about breaking out of our comfort zones, we see that it can be uncomfortable to realize and be proud of our accomplishments and writing life because we don’t want to be seen as arrogant and perhaps, we lack the self confidence to feel as though we deserve them. If this has ever happened to you, you’re not alone! Even after writing eleven books and winning several awards, Maya Angelou couldn’t escape the doubt that she hadn’t earned her accomplishments. This feeling of fraudulence is extremely common. Why can’t so many of us shake feelings that our ideas and skills aren’t worthy of others’ attention? Elizabeth Cox describes the psychology behind the imposter syndrome, and what you can do to combat it.

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Encourage Adventure

February 11, 2021– As we continue to explore Breaking out of our comfort zones this month, we’ve got a great Ted Talk to share with you! Meet Caroline Paul, Firefighter, Paraglider, and all-around adventurer. Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls. Be brave, be confident, and be adventurous!

 

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Overdue

December 4, 2020-Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether? Click here to watch this TedTalk: https://www.ted.com/talks/dawn_wacek_a_librarian_s_case_against_overdue_book_fines?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

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Kids in Poverty

October 23, 2020– Why should a good education be exclusive to rich kids? Schools in low-income neighbourhoods across the US, specifically in communities of colour, lack resources that are standard at wealthier schools — things like musical instruments, new books, healthy school lunches and soccer fields — and this has a real impact on the potential of students. Kandice Sumner sees the disparity every day in her classroom in Boston. In this inspiring talk, she asks us to face facts — and change them.

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Lifelong Reader

October 16, 2020- I LOVE this TedTalk by Alvin Irby. According to the US Department of Education, more than 85 percent of black fourth-grade boys aren’t proficient in reading. What kind of reading experiences should we be creating to ensure that all children read well? In a talk that will make you rethink how we teach, educator and author Alvin Irby explains the reading challenges that many black children face — and tells us what culturally competent educators do to help all children identify as readers.

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The Technology of Storytelling

September 30, 2020-iPad storyteller Joe Sabia introduces us to Lothar Meggendorfer, who created a bold technology for storytelling: the pop-up book. Sabia shows how new technology has always helped us tell our own stories, from the walls of caves to his own onstage iPad. Click on the link below to watch the TedTalk now:  https://www.ted.com/talks/joe_sabia_the_technology_of_storytelling

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Think, Pair, Share

September 21, 2020-You’re a poet and Daniel Tysdal is about to show it. Daniel will walk you through his writing process to showcase the Power of Poetry to help us remember, grieve and celebrate. Daniel Tysdal has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at UTSC since 2009. He is the author of three books of poetry and the poetry textbook, The Writing Moment: A Practical Guide to Creating Poems (Oxford University Press 2014). He is the recipient of multiple awards for his work and his research interests include creative writing and poetry. Check out the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0BUYzMypi8

 

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Does Grammar Matter?

July 13, 2020-Does grammar matter if the people we’re speaking to can understand what we mean? Let’s see what Andreea S. Calude has to say about that on this TEDEd below: