January 2010

The World’s Wisdom for Today’s Education

Celebrating diversity, learning shared positive values, building strong communities and safe learning environments.

Exciting New Developments and Added Features
The coming weeks will see many exciting new Storyvalues features, all of which will be available to licensed users of the Storyvalues Complete Package as part of our standard upgrade program. Here is a brief summary of what we’ve been working on over the winter holiday break: Tutorial Podcasts: ‘The Art of Storytelling’ A ten-part series designed to teach educators all they need to know to confidently tell stories in classrooms, libraries and schools. Throughout the series, educators can expect to gain real, practical expertise in the art of storytelling. Each video runs between 2 and five minutes in length, offering insight into such topics as How Storytelling Can Enhance the Classroom Experience, Storytelling Techniques for Better Classroom Communication, How to Prepare A Story, plus many others. Also in production is a wonderful series of ‘Storycasts’; short vignette stories that run between one and three minutes in length. These will be offered as ‘bonus material’ for license holders, and will be great for visual learners and ideal for the new ‘Smart Boards’ that are now placed in many schools. The coming year will see many more developments as well. We hope to expand our online community, and we are in preliminary planning stage for an online gallery featuring work done by students inspired by Storyvalues. In the past year we have been amazed at some of the creative ways educators and students have been using our materials, and we hope to be able to share some of this work with the ever growing Storyvalues community of schools in 2010!


STORYVALUES January 2010

2009: A Year of Achievement A Few Highlights from Our Year
2009 was an amazing year of growth and achievement for Storyvalues. It was the year we achieved approval from Curriculum Services Canada as a recommended resource for Character Education. CSC is the standard bearer for educational resources, and it’s rigorous review process ensures that all approved resources meet the highest standards. The online CSC review can be found at: http://www.curriculum.org/csc/ resources/storyvalues.shtml. 2009 also saw the development of four new programs: Foundations of Multiculturalism, Common Ground Bullying Prevention, Elements of Our Environment and Family Storyvalues. Taken together, Storyvalues now presents a unique integrated package of online resources that speak to some of the most important aspects of modern education. In October we introduced Storyvalues to the international community at the Character Education Partnership conference in Washington, DC. Our workshop, ‘Interactive Storytelling for Character Development and Citizenship’ was ranked as the best of the conference by many who attended. This workshop essentially mirrored the support sessions we offer our district and regional subscribers. We also had the opportunity meet with many great educational leaders from around the world, and are thrilled to be in negotiations with major

“Storyvalues offers a distinctive program that allows educators to integrate multicultural folktales into the curriculum through the use of storytelling. By providing a wide range of folktales from around the world, students and teachers are able to explore various concepts through auditory experiences...and related instructional content.”
School Library Journal

districts and regions in the US and abroad as a result of our CEP conference participation. In December, we were honored with a positive review in the prestigious School Library Journal. SLJ is the largest source of review information for learning resources. Here is an excerpt from that review: “Storyvalues offers a distinctive program that allows educators to integrate multicultural folktales into the curriculum through the use of storytelling. By providing a wide range of folktales from around the world, students and teachers are able to explore various concepts through auditory experiences...and related instructional content.” Great things are in store for 2010, and we look forward to working closely with all of our license holders to ensure their success in meeting their educational and community building goals.

TDSB Storyvalues Site Upgrades As part of our regular upgrade program, we completely redesigned the customized Toronto District School Board / Storyvalues Character Education website, improving usability and visual appeal. Here are a couple of examples. Storyvalues Character Education and Common Ground Bullying Prevention programs are licensed for use in all 498 TDSB primary schools.


STORYVALUES January 2010

Engaging, Interactive professional development sessions: Support:
Using Storyvalues to It’s Fullest Potential

Educational Storytelling for the Modern Classroom Setting the Tone: How to Engage Students Through Interactive Storytelling Interactive Storytelling for Character Education and Citizenship

Storyvalues featured storyteller Cheryl Thornton, MFA has performed across North America, training educators in how educational storytelling can be used in schools, libraries and classrooms.

FOCUS On: Support and Storytelling Workshops
The above pictures were taken at a recent all-day Educational Storytelling workshop at the Jewish Family Services centre in Carlsbad, California. JFS is a licensed user of Storyvalues, and storyteller Cheryl Thornton delighted and engaged the participants with a professional development session they will not soon forget. It’s not every day that seasoned professionals get to be transformed into an Iguana, or a Monkey, or a mythological being such as ‘The Boss of Fire’. Yet, that is precisely what happened that day in Carlsbad. These educators and social workers were thus introduced to the dynamic, imaginative world of how storytelling can be used to engage students and coworkers alike. A wonderful time was had by all, and the techniques learned that day made a huge positive impact on the working life at JFS that is still talked about to this day. Storyvalues support sessions are available to all regional and district license holders, and are a great way to get the most from the Storyvalues programs. More than that, however these engaging sessions open up the lines of communication and often serve as a clearing house for new ideas to be shared among the participating educators, allowing everyone to ‘get on the same page’ with board and provincial initiatives like inclusive education, bullying prevention and character education. The sessions are also great fun, and a prime opportunity for participants to free their inner mythological characters!


STORYVALUES January 2010

Storyvalues Educator Case Study
Lisa McDonald, Toronto
Lisa McDonald is one of those educators that can really make a positive difference in a young person’s life. She used the Storyvalues Character Education program as an inspiration for an extended multimedia project for her grade 5 class. Using Storyvalues as a model, she assigned each student with the task of writing their own story about the character attribute, ‘Honesty.' After the writing was completed for each student’s story, they set about to create recordings, often using musical backgrounds found online to accompany their narratives. Each student was further instructed to create illustrations for their stories. The resulting artwork is stunning, and a testament to how stories inspire the imagination and creativity of students. The artwork was scanned into the class computer. Each student then assembled the artwork, along with the narratives and music into ‘e-booklets’, using commonly available software found online. As a final step, all the e-books were uploaded to a class ‘wiki’ web page, viewable by the general public. Here is the web address for this wonderful project: www.oakridgestoryvalues.pbworks.com

“Media is becoming more and more relevant to all parts of the curriculum... These are the tools that kids are going to need in the future. There is a learning elements that is really significant, and teachers want to be a part of it.”
Lisa McDonald, Teacher / Librarian

Lisa’s students were justifiably very proud of their accomplishments, and they were thrilled to see their work online and available to the general public. Each of them is now a ‘published author,' and the familiarity they now have with current media technology will serve them very well as they mature into adulthood in the ‘age of information technology.' Lisa’s achievements with her grade 5 class are made all the more poignant by the fact that many of her students are

new to Canada and use English as a second language, thus demonstrating how Storyvalues can be helpful for ELL students (as noted by Curriclum Services Canada). Lisa McDonald’s ingenuity and creativity is an inspiration to us as we continue to develop and refine Storyvalues. In the coming months we will highlight other amazing educators and the creative ways they are using Storyvalues in classrooms, libraries and schools, so stay tuned!

The Time is Right For Eco-Friendly Resources
Every day we seem to hear more bad news about the state of the environment, to accompany the good news about how modern technology can be used to help create a more sustainable environment. There is no question that computers and interactive use of the internet will be fundamental aspects of future education. These tools have revolutionized the way we think; facts are more easily obtained than at any time in history, and creative

enhancing software allows individuals to record music, edit video and create digital art that can be seen by millions at the click of the upload button. The ‘old school’ model of quickly obsolete paper textbooks is quickly giving way to banks of computers accessing ‘virtual’ information that can be easily updated and kept current, all with virtually no waste. Storyvalues is proud to be at the forefront of this new, very positive trend by providing resources that allow schools to become more ‘eco-responsible’. Here’s to a sustainable future!