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Behind the Soundscape: Baseball Saved Us

We sat down with composer Ian Silver and Audio Lead Matthew Boerner, two of the talents behind some of your favorite Novel Effect soundscapes, to ask them about creating the soundscape for Baseball Saved Us, a story about a Japanese American boy and his family finding identity in baseball during WWII internment camps.

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Adding Magic to Your Classroom’s Storytime

If you’re newly discovering Novel Effect in this blog post, you’re in for a treat. Novel Effect is a completely free mobile app that will respond to your voice as you read out loud. It will follow where you go and at your own pace, and along the way, you and your students will be entertained by sound effects, theme music, and even character voices that will bring the story to life

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5 Things on Our Fall Wish List this Year

What started as a craving for pumpkin spice has now evolved into a full-on love affair with Fall. The weather, the smells, the flavors – it’s the seasonal equivalent of a giant hug. We didn’t want to miss a single moment of this autumnal love fest, so we compiled a list of our must-do Fall activities for this year.

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National Techies Day

At Novel Effect, we're celebrating National Techies Day by talking to some of our Techies - these awesome people we get to work with daily to create magic - and asked them why they opted for a career in technology.

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Blast Off to Storytime!

Your little space explorers are in for a wonderful treat. Novel Effect is pleased to announce the release of our first title from our new partner, Gibbs Smith. 3-2-1 Blast-off!: A Journey to our Solar System introduces space travel to children in an engaging way with fun facts, wonderful illustrations, AND interactive flaps to lift!

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Reading this new release from Gibbs Smith with Novel Effect adds an extra level of engagement. You and your little ones will get to hear real astronaut sounds, interstellar music, and all the best robot noises you can imagine!

After reading the book with Novel Effect, you can keep the conversation going to really reinforce all the educational benefits! Here are some discussion questions to help you get started:

  1. One of the elements of space travel is cooperation. What are some ways people work together to get a big job accomplished?
  2. How does the astronaut communicate with people on the ground? What are their main jobs?
  3. How does the astronaut describe the moon? How do you describe the moon?
  4. Do you remember some of the other planets mentioned? What were they like?
  5. What are some places you’d like to travel to learn more about?

 

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This week we celebrate Banned Books Week, an annual celebration for the freedom to read. See our “Banned Books Week” shelf in the app with titles from our collection that frequently appear on banned or challenged lists.

 

Reading, Reading, Reading: Five Ways to Foster the Home/School Connection

Now that school is under way and your children settle into their routines, how can you ensure connections with your kids stay at the forefront? Linking experiences from home to school (for example, reading a story aloud) can establish the connections that children need for success in later literacy learning. Here are some ways you can build literacy bridges to school and home:

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First Day Jitters

Whether you're already a few weeks into the school year or have the first day rapidly approaching, we've compiled a list of books that you can read with your children or students to help them process all the emotions running through their little bodies this time of year.

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Back to Something….

It’s a time for renewal, for starting over and getting to know a new class of wonderful students, making new friends and celebrating a new chapter of teacherdom. At Novel Effect, we’ve been there. We know that you want something new to spice up the ol’ lesson plans.

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3 Fun Activities for Community Story Times

Between the heat and vacation, we know the challenges of coming up with new ideas to add interactivity into routine story times. This blog, we’re focusing a bit on resources for community storytellers.

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Summer Reading Fun and Adventures

While research shows the "Summer Slide" can cause the kiddos to lose some of what they learned the previous school year, there's plenty of fun ways to incorporate the brain-boosting activity of reading into a summer of adventure!

Here are some of our suggestions, inspired by items in the Novel Effect library:

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