Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SC Geographic Alliance newsletter

Last year I hooked up with the SC Geographic Alliance during the SCHEA convention in Sumter. That led to Geofest in September and February. The quarterly newsletter came out today. I love finding new leads for my books. Not only does the SC Geographic Alliance provide information and resources for SC teachers and schools, but they provide other leads that help me expand. I just checked the resources listed and they have a listing of children's literature that can be used in schools, so my next project is to find out how to get listed as a resource - lol.

The biggest news pertains to the new SC Social Studies standards and that definitely helps me with my study guides and other aspects of the books.

The calendar was showing an entry for the SC Independent Schools Association on November 4. So what do I do? I explore. I find the website and explore it. It seems that November 4 is the date of the State Teacher's Conference. Guess where I'm going to try to be with my books? You guessed it - at the SCISA teacher's conference. With over 1100 teachers in attendance, I should have a pretty good turnout at my table.

Also in November it shows SEDAAG. Again, I had to explore but don't think they have exhibitors at the conference but when I can find out who to contact, I'll see. The biggest problem with this conference is that I will be in Savannah for the Savannah Children's Book Festival the days before so I would be there already but I don't know if I can afford to stay three or four extra days. Everything will be dependent on how things go at events in the next couple of months.

I also found out that Geographic Awareness week is November 13 through the 19th. I'm planning on some activities during the week with some giveaways, so stay tuned as Geography Awareness week approaches.

See you all in the postings - Ma America (Mrs. E) & the JGDS

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book review: Walking Through Walls by Karen Cioffi

Walking Through Walls is Karen's version of a Chinese folk tale. I felt that Ms. Cioffi did an excellent job of making of the reader feel as if he were experiencing everything Wang was. The dragon in the dream. The colorful animals that were there on Wang's journey. The magic Wang saw and experienced.

Wang was but a poor farming boy who wanted to become an Eternal, someone who has lots of power and magic. He wanted to use the newfound powers for evil, to become rich by stealing from the rich people in his village. He set out on a journey to discover the Eternals. He worked much harder than he did at home but in the end, the journey of leaving home for a year turned out to be the best thing for Wang.

Wang needed to really discover who was inside and by trying to have things he wasn't meant to have, he learned his lessons well and came to the realization that no matter whatever power you may desire, the power of good always trumps out.

Ms. Cioffi follows the story with some reading comprehension questions and some history about the Chinese culture and how life was in the time of beliefs such as magic and mythical creatures. Karen's writing flowed and allowed me to experience some of the journey in Wang's life in becoming who was truly to become.

Title: Walking Through WallsAuthor: Karen Cioffi
Illustrator: Aidana WillowRaven
ISBN: 978-0-9826594-7-2
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
Price: $14.99
Genre: MG/YA

Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

You can find Karen at the following places:
Karen's Writing and Marketing website
Karen's blog
Karen's DK Writing site
Karen's linkedin addy
Karen's twitter account
Karen's facebook page

Walking Through Walls blog
Day's End Lullaby

Please be sure to stop by Susanne Drasic's blog on July 21st for the next stop on the Walking Through Walls Tour.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Global Read Aloud and Skype

The Global Read Aloud project is coming to a school near you very soon (starts September 19th and runs through October 14th). We have over 200 participants so far and would love to add more schools and teachers and/or librarians and even volunteer readers. Click on the title to go to the GRA blog and sign up area. We have a created a wikispaces page for both age groups (the K through 3rd will be doing two Flat Stanley books this month long reading time; the 4th grades on up will be doing Tuck Everlasting) as well as a Google group for the project.

What does this mean to teachers and schools out there? Ma America, The Travelin' Maven (Ms. Elysabeth/Mrs. E) will be offering free Skype virtual classroom visits during this month long project. She will start reserving time slots the 1st of August for free Skype visits during the month of September and this will carry through the end of the project (October 14th). If you are interested in having Ms. Eldering in your class or school during the GRA project time or even before that during September for free, please contact her via email (eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com) to set up your free-of-charge virtual visit. After October 14th, fees will be applied as per her School Visit website page. Hope you all will join us in this world wide project. See you all in September.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SC Festival of Discovery

So Saturday, Jess and I trekked to Greenwood to set up for the festival, which happened to be outside. The crafters were in a parking lot along Main Street in front of a couple of buildings and on the other side of the street, the stage and performances and first aid area as well as all the BBQ pits were. It was very hot Saturday, this being July and all. Anyway, right after we set up the tent and got the tables semi-situated, it started to drizzle (thankfully we had a screened tent). The rain didn't last long and not much was affected - mostly the one table where Jess had set out the games for the kids to play but I had laminated everything and the bingo pieces and prizes were in plastic boxes so nothing really to get ruined. I did walk the craft tables once and let Jess walk them and get our food and stuff at lunch. We sold four books for the whole day but I had several teachers and librarians and a couple of homeschoolers or someone who knew a homeschooler stop by the table and ask all kinds of questons and took my contact information. I think in total we had nine serious inquiries of the folks who are teachers, librarians or homeschoolers. Fingers crossed all those leads do pan out. The guy next to me who was selling marshmallow guns took a handful of bookmarks because he said he was the custodian at his school and he would pass my info to the media specialist at his school.

Here is the table, after we pulled it inside the tent because of the sun and heat (we originally had it facing out at the doorway but the sun was coming down on the display, we just moved it inside. We didn't really have it arranged too well since you can't see the new cover for Wilderness, but it's all good.

This is the other table with Ms. Faye's book on it and my afghan which is the prize for the drawing I will be doing on December 1. Jess had her game pieces on the other end of the table. We had a few people pick up Ms. Faye's book but no one bought a copy. I'll put her bookmarks in the library when I go up there next week.

Only one man played the State Capital Quiz - not sure what he won because I had stepped away to the restroom. I did hear him say he almost majored in geographic studies in school.

I did meet one lady who was doing face painting and she painted my arm as advertisement for her - I got this beautiful red, white and blue butterfly done. She is quick and very good at what she does.

Jess saw the bushes that had been cut as "monsters" and decided to take pictures. The green one was at the end of the parking lot and the red and white one was kind of behind us but to the left (as you were facing the tent). Greenwood sure has changed since I attended school at Lander eons ago. But it is a very nice town and the upgrades do wonders for the economy.

We stopped at DQ on the way home to get something to cool us off and that ice cream cone hit the spot. Overall, I think we had a very good day, although the heat did get to me. After I dropped Jess off, I kind of fell asleep in my car (took the key out of the ignition, was about to get out and had opened the door a tad, but I think I passed out for a bit - not really fell asleep), came inside and crawled on the bed for about an hour or so and then got up and checked emails and was right back to bed within a couple of hours. I thought I really had drank plenty of water but apparently not enough or my body doesn't adjust to extreme temperatures very well any more. Yesterday was kind of a blur. I couldn't even really start work until late evening. I will think about doing this event again and if I do, I will have to get some personal battery operated fans and hope we are on the other side of the parking lot where all the shade trees were. Have a year to decide whether we do this one again or not - :) See you all in the postings - Ma America!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Drawing prize (red, white and blue afghan) finished

(this is folded in half but the total length is about 45 inches and about 36 inches from top red strip to bottom blue strip)

I had this red, white and blue yarn to do something fun for promoting the books but wasn't sure what I would do. I decided in May to make a mile-a-minute afghan (see posting here). The afghan is finished and we have at least six people in the drawing so far. The deal is for any purchase one makes, either directly at events or through or by way of the website you will be entered in the drawing. The afghan will be on display through November with the drawing being held on or around December 1st with the prize being mailed on or about the 7th of December. If you order from online (amazon), please be sure to email me your contact info so that I may put your name in the drawing. Good luck to all who are entered.

Web Page Hit Counter