Monday, December 22, 2008

Digital Storytelling

Hi Friends,

It's hard to believe the New Year is upon us! I hope everyone is well and enjoying the holidays. I have been busy promoting storytelling at our school and helped one class work toward a Storytelling Festival in the library. They did a great job! I also received a grant to offer a Digital Storytelling Club after school for 4th & 5th graders. I hope to have a web page up showcasing their stories. I learned a ton! In fact, Alysia who helped lead the club, offered a workshop for teachers earlier this fall and we created our own digital stories. I'd like to share mine with you! Please keep in touch and happy holidays! Lorrie

Here's the link to my digital story: Following the Waters

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back from the Shore

Hello friends! Just returned from vacation at the Jersey shore with my extended family (a total of 10 people plus a few visiting cousins). At the end of the week, I entertained the group with storytelling- the story I worked on at our workshop and 2 more. Great fun and I was surprised (again) at how stories touch and entertain people of all ages.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hi Everyone

Hey - it's me. I took an "About Me" test today and they asked the question - When's the last time you cried. I had an exact date and pretty much a time too - 7/18 around 7:30 p.m. Things are beyond crazy here, we're in full workshop mode. Hope to see everyone at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Stop by and see us, we'll be there. Loretta

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hello from Jean!

I have been reading lots of stories the last couple of weeks. Seems the more I read, the more excited I am about ways to use storytelling. Of course, now I need to learn how to tell them! Today, I was speaking with a friend who is helping to develop our synagogue's environmental committee. At the end of Sept. or early Oct., she's organizing an environmental hike for families. She asked if I would tell a couple of environmentally related stories during the snack/lunch break. She said she was interested because I told her how I was learning to use stories to spark imagination and get people to think about things that are important to me. So, besides telling stories in my school, I think I will begin to tell stories in the community, if I can and if I don't chicken out.

Next weekend, my family will leave for a week long vacation at the Jersey shore with my parents and my brother's family. We have done this many times before (though not in usually in NJ), and fortunately, we have all gotten better at managing family dynamics. Most of the time, we are now able to enjoy each other's company. We will return home on a Saturday, and that Sunday, we'll drive my son back to college. I feel so lucky to have had this summer with him (he worked at a local day camp). He is becoming more of a young adult and has dropped his previous teenage angst. I love to hang out with him and just talk. I know that the older he gets, the less likely I will have summers with him. Meanwhile, watching him transform (like a monarch butterfly!) has given me more patience with my younger teenager.

I hope all is well with all of you. Anyone going to the Sept. 28 storytelling festival? Anyone planning to attend the workshops as well as the performances? Anyone interested in getting together to practice new stories?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm in!

Hi everyone,
I'm on the blog! Whoohoo!
I've been planning and can't wait to try out storytelling with my class!
More info to come...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hi everyone. What fun to be part of a blog! My kids have a whole life online, both met their significant others there. But until now, I've been limited to e-mail. Who knows what the future may hold for me here!

I haven't told my story again yet either. I'll have to just grab a captive audience somewhere sometime soon. Maybe in a doctor's waiting room!

I have bought myself a few blouses that seemed to fit this newly discovered part of myself. I intend to keep on playing!


Making Changes

In case you didn't know, we are ALL contributors to this blog. That means that any of us can add, edit, and delete. I already made the change about the Monarch Butterfly event, but if someone wants to add another event, links to important websites, a calendar, or other youtube videos, please do so. Click and play! This is for us!

Hello from Alaska!

Well, I returned to rain and much cooler weather, but still have wonderful, warm memories of meeting friends from Princeton to hold on to! Thank you, Alexis, for creating this blog and ensuring that we keep the lines of communication open (especially for those of us who are far away from New Jersey!) I begin teaching at the university this Monday for a MAT Elementary class on Brain Theory and am excited to share how story can be a powerful teaching tool. I plan to to tell a story and am thankful to Susan and the group for providing such a safe and supportive environment to share our stories and give us that extra boost of confidence.

I found a great resource to use in the classroom to help children tell stories and, along with all of the wonderful techniques that Susan shared, I plan to use it to begin the year to teach a Storytelling unit. Here's the link: Children Tell Stories: Teaching and Using Storytelling in the Classroom

Take care friends,


Friday, August 8, 2008


Does anyone have the name of the website where we can order the material and the masks that we used in class. I know we were supposed to write it down, but of course I can't find it now that I need it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm here!

I add my thanks to Alexis for setting this up. I too have never used a blog before. I didn't realize it was so easy. I am so glad that you have the know-how Alexis. It is good to hear what everyone is doing. I visited my mom in GA right after the storytelling institute. Then my husband and I spent a few days with his father in Indiana. I have been busy in between helping out my pregnant daughter who is on total bed rest. I am turning my thoughts to school and will be back getting things in order this coming Monday. I am so looking forward to using storytelling with my students and with my school. Learning from each of you wonderful people has given me much personally and professionally. I am working on choosing my next story.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hi Everyone:

Things have been interesting around here. We're in full workshop mode - we've got six workshop coming up in the next three weeks. It's insane. By the way, the dates on the blog for the workshop in Sewell are wrong - it's August 20, 21 and 22. I'll be here. Theresa is coming to our workshop in Bergen county on August 18, 19 and 20. There's still room in all of our workshops if any one is interested in teaching with Monarchs in the classroom. I haven't had a chance to tell my story any more since I came home. But the whole experience has given me a new confidence. Now Erik has to live with the monster he created. I promised Anne Lee that I would start to like my name. She said if I didn't like my name, maybe I didn't like myself. She said since you all liked me so much I must be wrong not to like myself. So I started by researching my name. Apparently it comes from a small town in Mexico on the Baja Penninsula. At one time it was the capital of the Californias (when California belonged to Mexico). There's also a town in Italy called Our Lady of Loreto (close enough) where the locals believe a miracle happened - they say the house where Jesus was concieved magically appeared there one day. They've built a huge basilica around it. So, I'm pretty impressed with my name now. Well, I guess this is a start to liking my name and myself. Besides, I made a promise to Anne Lee and I can't go back on my word. Gotta go - work calls. Talk to ya soon. Loretta

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hey Everyone from Theresa

Isn't it fabulous that the Princess Alexis is hosting an online party for all of us.
All is well here in Jersey City. The countdown to BTS ( Back to School for the uninitiated)has begun. I am already having the teacher's nightmare three weeks too early. You know the scenario: you don't know where the classroom is, you are late, the kids are hostile and uncooperative. you have no material and no idea of what you are supposed to teach! The horror.
I have the great pleasure of having Loretta over to my house for three days in mid August. We are planning a pajama party so if you all want to come, feel free! We are going to put the P in party and the fun in Disfunctional.
Hello, Friends,
I thought we were supposed to have a secret blog name, so I chose North River (rather than Lee).  For awhile, I was Charybdis, but that's hard to type and not such a peaceful presence, so I am now a river.  North River is the earlier name for the Hudson and the name still used by mariners, and there is a beautiful North River between Boston and Cape Cod.  I like the fit.  If it gets confusing, I'll switch.

You know the Native American maxim about pausing to let the soul catch up?  I feel the need to swim quietly again with our stories, including ones that Susan loaned me.   An immediate plan is to deliver my Charybdis story to my Seaport group of eccentric ship lovers.  They're mostly men, so the presentation won't be quite what they're used to.  I see it as the perfect introduction to our September meeting about Hell Gate. 

My mask has weathered well.  The crepe paper eased, her feathers are fluffier, and I removed the fuzzy ball from her mouth, so she's no longer plugged by something looking like a pacifier.   She hangs on the beach house wall -- my memory of a transformative week with beautiful friends.

Hello from Jean!

Many thanks Alexis for organizing this. Actually, this is my first time using a blog so thanks for encouraging me to try it.
I have been reading and enjoying many folktales since returning from our workshop. Peace Tales by Margaret Read MacDonald has many stories that may lend themselves to the kind of work I do. I think I'll start with a simple tale like Two Goats on the Bridge. I liked Reverend Joanne's suggestion to start with small, simple stories and help the students grow in their skills in listening/imagining. I also bought a book called The Cow with No Color/Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the World (Nina Jaffe and Steve Zeitlin). Theresa- thought you'd be interested in checking out this book for your unit on Justice.

Other than reading wonderful stories, I have been busy taking care of errands and people. I am trying to remember to play more, and leave time for nothing but silliness.

Is anyone planning to go to the NJ Storytelling Festival on Sept. 28 in Hamilton NJ? I think I will be there.
Take care, friends. I miss you and our group.



The storytelling workshop with Susan was just the first phase of our experience. It allowed us to connect with one another and tune in to our personal connections to our stories. However, if we are truly going to capitalize on what we learned then we must put it into practice. This blog will be a way for us to encourage one another, post our thoughts on our trials in schools, homes, and community centers, and a way to reconnect at other storytelling avenues. I can't wait to be a part of storytelling and to share my thoughts with all of you.