Monday, June 16, 2008

Sand Dollar Summer by Kimberly K. Jones

sanddollar.jpg 

3.5 Stars

Lise’s world is turned upside down when her mother is seriously injured in a car accident.  Unable to afford their home or return to work, Lise’s mother decides to move the family back to her childhood home in Maine.  Living on the beach for the summer doesn’t seem so bad at first, but the reality that Lise faces is nothing like what she imagines.  Her mother used to be happy, energetic, and fun.  Now Lise feels as if she has become the parent.  Her mother is quiet and withdrawn - often daydreaming about another time and another world that Lise is not a part of.  The beach house is a worn down tiny shack that doesn’t even have a TV, and the crystal blue ocean is actually bone-piercing cold and impossible to swim in, even in the hottest weather.  Lise has left her best friends behind and finds that none of the popular, cool kids her age live anywhere close to where they’re staying. Lise has a hard time accepting her situation but does her best to take care of her little brother, Free (who does not speak) and her injured mother despite her unhappiness.  Just when she begins to feel there is no hope, a stranger enters their lives.  Michael dated her mother in high school and clearly still cares for her.  Will Lise’s mother let him back into their lives - and back into her heart?  Will Lise find the inner happiness she needs to survive her new world? Sand Dollar Summer shows that even in the face of conflict and hardships, family can pull together and emerge happier and stronger than ever before.

Sand Dollar Summer by Kimberly K. Jones



 

3.5 Stars

Lise's world is turned upside down when her mother is seriously injured in a car accident.  Unable to afford their home or return to work, Lise's mother decides to move the family back to her childhood home in Maine.  Living on the beach for the summer doesn't seem so bad at first, but the reality that Lise faces is nothing like what she imagines.  Her mother used to be happy, energetic, and fun.  Now Lise feels as if she has become the parent.  Her mother is quiet and withdrawn - often daydreaming about another time and another world that Lise is not a part of. 

The beach house is a worn down tiny shack that doesn't even have a TV, and the crystal blue ocean is actually bone-piercing cold and impossible to swim in, even in the hottest weather.  Lise has left her best friends behind and finds that none of the popular, cool kids her age live anywhere close to where they're staying.

Lise has a hard time accepting her situation but does her best to take care of her little brother, Free (who does not speak) and her injured mother despite her unhappiness.  Just when she begins to feel there is no hope, a stranger enters their lives.  Michael dated her mother in high school and clearly still cares for her.  Will Lise's mother let him back into their lives - and back into her heart?  Will Lise find the inner happiness she needs to survive her new world?

Sand Dollar Summer shows that even in the face of conflict and hardships, family can pull together and emerge happier and stronger than ever before.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Science and Technology Video

Video was created using Animoto - very cool free tool available for educators!

Science and Technology Day Video

Teachers may register at Animoto and create their own accounts.  Educators are also given a promo code to use that will enable them to use Animoto with full access rights for a year, AND they can let their students create their own accounts for free (after one year, free accounts are still available but with limited picture uploads and video lengths).  Please see me for a generic educator's code if interested.

Can animoto videos be used for instruction?  Absolutely!  This can be utilized to promote events and highlight student achievement, but they also can be created to review key concepts or to introduce essential information in a unique, appealing visual format. 

You can create powerpoint slides, open them with Microsoft paint, and resave them as jpg files.  These can also be uploaded and created into a video. 

Imagine students creating their own videos for vocabulary review! 

The site is very user-friendly and has a music library ready for users to select the song they want.

Here are a few teachers' examples from other subject content areas:

Students Created Science Flash Cards 

Student Artwork

Space and Planets

Magnets and Magnetism

Free at Last - Civil Rights

Recycling

Bill of Rights

Simple Machines

Intro to the Roman Empire

Plants

 Plants Too!

Student created video on Hungary

Digital Portfolio Tools for Education

As a former high school English teacher, then Library Media Specialist, and now Instructional Technology Specialist, I am always on the look...

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