Laika Studios

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the 89th annual Oscar awards. An event that was inspiring, and oh so fun! Do you ever wonder about what goes into making a movie? Especially how the animators, artists, and storytellers create a feature film using mainly stop animation? Well, one of the movies nominated for an Oscar this year was Kubo and the Two Strings (Zootopia won the award). This film comes from the amazing Laika Studios and is a film that broke new ground in terms of the technologies used in combination with their signature stop animation style. You may be familiar with some of the other films Laika has created. Some of them include Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, Coraline, and Corpse Bride. Check out the videos below to learn more about the making of Kubo and the Two Strings. Visit to learn more about Laika. And of course, see the film! 7:09 minutes, Academy Original: 8:02 minutes, Behind the Scenes on Puppets: 6:20 minutes, Academy Original: Want even more videos but having a hard time finding them? Email me, I’m happy to assist! Most importantly, keep on making and creating! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Infographic: 200 Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good”

I was recently contacted by the creator of a handy infographic that fits in well with the  128 Words to Use Instead of “Very” infographic. I envision this being extremely helpful to writers of any age. Please take a minute to check out: 200 Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” In order to make the infographic a bit more accessible for those of you that prefer black-and-white versions of each section, I’ve created a multi-page PDF to accompany the original. There are a few words that have been removed and some added however the rest remains the same. Below are links to the full page and quarter page versions of all sections of the above infographic. Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” – full pages PDF Powerful Words to Use Instead of “Good” – quarter pages PDF As always, please contact me if there’s any way I can be of assistance. Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: National Council for the Social Studies

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) provides a great deal of resources including their online teacher’s library, position statements, professional development, and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for the Social Studies. One resource within the position statements is their piece on Media Literacy. Media literacy is greatly needed within our information overloaded society. I would highly recommend reading this short piece as the key questions included are useful to any educator and the concept is one of great importance. In addition, the NCSS publishes a list of notable trade books for young people. You must be a member for the current year’s list however all prior lists are accessible without a membership. This is a great list to consider when deciding what books to add to your home, classroom, or school library! Your librarian, Katelyn

Quality Resource: National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is the home of Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. Not only are subscriptions of these fun to give as gifts but these magazines are popular reading choices for elementary students (they even have a reduced rate for educators). I would highly recommend getting a subscription for your home, classroom, and/or library! More than the magazines though, the NWF provides some great lesson plans, activities, and printouts! I’m always a proponent of having materials ready for students who want to learn about things outside of school (or have a few extra minutes of free time). Therefore, there was always a stack of printouts near the circulation desk of something or another for students to bring home. This was never advertised but most students eventually found their way and took one if that week’s item interested them. Each week there was something new and I kept all the leftovers in a three ring binder behind the desk with a post-it of what week it was available. Examples of printouts from the NWF include Backyard Birds and Toasty Robin. I would always print front and back in order to cater to more students. As you will notice from these two […]