Character, Driven by David Lubar

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Charming male protagonists are hard to come by in YA fiction. Cliff Sparks is charming, witty and full of puns.

“… by accident of birth, I am well named for this story. Think about it.

Cliff.

Precipice.

Edge.

There you have it. I’m Cliff. Cliff Sparks.”

Cliff plans on going to college, but his unemployed and angry father keeps dipping into his college fund, most of which was earned by Cliff, who works two jobs AND goes to high school. So he will probably end up taking a course or two at the community college while continuing to work. Cliff wants to “come of age” aka lose his virginity and becomes smitten with the beautiful and artistic new girl at his school. This poignant coming of age story is written in a no-holds barred teen boy’s voice. Expect talk of breasts, farts and other parts of the anatomy. Also expect clever plays on words, fantasies and a big secret.  Cliff’s a keeper; I don’t regret a single moment I spent with him!

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Rethinking Freshman Orientation

Here’s the Prezi I have used the last few years to keep myself on track for freshmen orientation. Not terrible, but by the end of the first two weeks of school, I was so TIRED of talking and found it practically impossible to keep things fresh and interesting.

This year I decided to let the freshmen do their own orientations with a little help from Google Forms, QR codes, Animoto, Adobe Voice and some upperclassmen. I created a Google Form for the students to record their answers.

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We made videos with Animoto or Adobe Voice to answer all the questions on the Orientation Form.

We created QR Codes to take the students to the videos and placed them all around the media center. Students used their own mobile devices or school iPads to scan the QR codes and fill out the Google Form. I was able to quickly check for understanding and remediate as needed.

Google Forms + QR Codes + Animoto + Adobe Voice =  a better orientation for all students and a happy librarian!

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