Tacky had a good year as reigning favorite character at MCDS and we enjoyed seeing his pictures posted in the Dragon Room. As he handed the crown off to Olive, he gave her a piece of advice: summer is a great time for reading while you're relaxing on your vacation!
Tacky passes the crown to Olive in a brief ceremony in the puppet show stage.
We had so much fun taking Tacky with us on our vacations last year that this year we're inviting our students to join us. Just print out the attached version of Olive and take a picture with her over the summer (or take a picture with a space for Olive and add her in digitally). Whether you're traveling to some exotic locale or staying at home Olive would love to join you. Especially if you're going on a car trip. We all know how much Olive loves sitting at the windows of cars!
So hang out with MCDS's 2012 favorite character champion this summer. Send your pictures in to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll update a slideshow with Olive's travels here on the LRC website throughout the summer (be sure to state in your e-mail if you want your picture to go on the website or only in the display in the Dragon Room). Be sure to check the blog for updates as well! If you have physical pictures, then you can drop them off in the fall and I'll add them to next year's Dragon Room display. If you have any questions or need any help adding Olive in to your pictures digitally, just e-mail me and I'll do my best to help you out. Have a great summer everyone!
"The most important developments in civilization have come through the creative process, but ironically, most people have not been taught to be creative." Robert Fritz, The Path of Least Resistance, 1994
These books are available in the LRC to spark your creative thinking this summer.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative by Austin Kleon is a fun book. It is full of quotes that will make you think. "Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic." Jim Jarmusch.
The ten transformative principles will help your build a more creative life.
In Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius by Michale Michalko, the author examines in each chapter a different creative thinking strategy. This is a very readable book; just reading the introduction in which he summarizes the eight strategies will get your creative juices flowing.
IMAGINE : How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer "Flummoxed by an intractable problem? You probably just need to work harder, right? Actually, try taking a walk instead. Thanks to how we’re hardwired, insight tends to strike suddenly—after we’ve stopped looking. In this entertaining Gladwell-esque plunge into the science of creativity, Jonah Lehrer mingles with a wide cast of characters—inventors, educators, scientists, a Pixar co-founder, an autistic surfing savant—to deconstruct how we accomplish our great feats of imagination. Notable themes emerge: Failure is necessary. The more people you casually rub shoulders with—on and off the job—the more good ideas you’ll have. And societies that unduly restrict citizens’ ability to borrow from the ideas of others—see our broken patent system—do so at their peril." --Mother Jones Watch Mr. Lehrer explain his thinking here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m1VE0QH1OLIYEA/ref=ent_fb_link
Although the author of Manager's Guide to Fostering Innovations and Creativity in Teams comes from a corporate culture, Charles Prather gives helpful advice to anyone interested in implementing innovation. Key points are how to create an environment that gets people thinking creatively, how to align teams to work toward creative solutions, and how to build a self-sustaining culture of innovation.
The first grade library is always one of my favorite parts of the school year. I enjoy reading the books the students have worked so hard on throughout the year. It's also nice to see the community coming together to read these stories as well and share the first graders' enthusiasm for their library. I've assembled some pictures from this year's first grade library in the slide show below.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore Natasha would empathize with Katsa, the main character of this book who is born with a killing Grace. She works as the king’s enforcer doing all his dirty jobs before going rogue to fight for a cause that she thinks is right.
Moribito by Nahoko Uehashi If Natasha was born in another time and place, she might have ended up like Balsa, the warrior woman at the heart of this story. Like Natasha, Balsa must fight enemies natural and supernatural to save the world.
Nick of Time by Ted Bell Steve Rogers would appreciate Nick’s patriotism and courage in fighting for his country—even though that country is England. Thanks to time travel Nick fights two of his countries greatest enemies: the Nazis and Napoleon’s army
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld Rogers would enjoy this tale of adventure and bravery from World War I. Westerfeld imagines an alternate universe where machine-obsessed Clankers and gene-splicing Darwinists create complex creatures and machines to defend what they think is the best way of life.
Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan Reading about Will as he trains to be a ranger and learns the arts of stealth and archery will make it easy for Hawkeye to relate to him while the fantasy setting will allow him to escape his own hard life for a bit.
Outlaw by Stephen Davies Hawkeye will be intrigued by this story of a modern-day Robin Hood. As someone who has changed sides himself, he will appreciate the story of an outlaw fighting for justice and enjoy the high-tech gadgetry in the story.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Adapted by Lloyd S. Wagner Illustrated by Naresh Kumar Bruce Banner would be able to empathize with both Dr. Frankenstein, the scientist whose experiment goes awry, and the monster it creates who is feared and shunned by society.
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey This modern version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will appeal to Bruce because of its exploration of science experiments gone wrong. Bruce will sympathize with Jekel as she tries to control the violent impulses brought on by her experiments.
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks Tony Stark could easily identify with the young genius at the heart of this story who learns how to wield technology as he struggles to come to terms with the legacy of his father.
Brain Jack by Brian Falkner Stark would feel completely at home with the technology in this sci-fi thriller. In this dystopia all it takes is a special headset to connect your mind directly to the internet but when computer hacker Sam discovers the possible repercussions it’s up to him to save the world.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta Thor would appreciate the epic scale of this story and relate to Finnikin’s struggles against an imposter to the throne. Much like Thor, Finnikin has a great destiny and he must fight on, despite betrayals, to fulfill it.
Snakehead by Ann Halam As the son of another man considered to be a god, Thor would relate to Perseus. His tale of adventure and bravery would appeal to Thor as well. Thor might enjoy learning more about another mythology.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz With his CIA background, Nick Fury might enjoy this story of a teenage spy. This novel, packed full of action and adventure, will allow him to watch as deadly events unfold without having to worry about them himself for once.
The Shadow Project by Herbie Brennan Much like S.H.I.E.L.D., the Shadow Project is a secret government organization that takes teens with special powers and sends them on missions all over the world to protect humanity.
Skinned by Robin Wasserman When Lia gets in an accident her consciousness is downloaded into a new robot body to save her life. But as her friends all begin to flinch at her touch and the ‘lifers’ rail on that people like her are an abomination she begins to wonder if it was worth it. If J.A.R.V.I.S. is as intelligent as he seems he might find inspiration in this novel.
Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard J.A.R.V.I.S. might enjoy this story of a robot named Waldo with an illegal level of intelligence and sentience. Waldo and his human companions must stay one step ahead of the law if he wants to survive.
Runemarks by Joanne Harris Loki would enjoy the chaos in this post-apocalyptic adventure that takes place in a realm that should be familiar to him: Norse mythology. The fact that Loki himself makes an appearance in the novel will please his ego as well.
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby Loki will feel at home in the icy setting of this novel and he will enjoy reading about the betrayal of royal children. This cold, dark novel would suit Loki perfectly.
Even with spring vacation we still checked out 1,408 items to the MCDS community last month. Hunger Games fever is still strong with 'Hunger Games' the second most searched for query and 'Catching Fire' the fourth (See my previous blog for resources to use to start further conversation around topics brought up in the Hunger Games series.) Series fiction continues to remain popular in the most checked out titles with the enticingly named Do Not Open the only stand-alone title in the bunch. The 700's with comics, sports, movies, and art continues to be the most frequented section of the library closely followed by picture books and easy readers as our students practice their reading skills before summer break. There's only a few more weeks to check out books and then on May 18th everything will be due back so that we can get organized before summer. Let me know in the comments if there's anything special you'd like to see in the year-end wrap up infographic.