Monday, July 14, 2014

Storytime: Animals

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes

Sticking with the Fizz Boom Read! CSLP science theme, I have chosen seven topics for our summer. This week we did the easy, generic topic of animals.

My own kids and I managed to come down with strep throat over the long holiday weekend, and while I was feeling much better come storytime, my singing and reading voice was not completely healed yet. Luckily I had a volunteer who comes on Monday evenings who had previously said she was willing to read for me anytime, and on Tuesday morning my library director was available to read. The songs were all done from cds, and I just introduced each thing we did.


1) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
My current opening song. I start by asking them to show me their glasses and their book so that they remember the signs. We sing it through twice, then I ask them to put their "books" in their lap while we read our first book.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)


2) What Pet to Get? - Emma Dodd  OR  Where's My Mom? - Julia Donaldson
I let my volunteer readers choose between a handful of books what they would like to read.


3) Song - I Know a Chicken - Laurie Berkner
Chickens are animals too. :) This is a favorite song for my kids. Luckily we had just enough egg shakers to go around!


4) If You're Happy and You Know It - Jane Cabrera  OR  Mommy Carry Me Please - Jane Cabrera
Again I let my volunteers choose. The If You're Happy book went over really well because it got the kids up and moving, another one I would have personally chosen for this slot is Eric Carle's From Head to Toe.


5) The Monkey Dance - Wiggles
A really easy song to act crazy and jump around and get some energy out!


6) Brown Bear, Brown Bear - Bill Martin Jr.
Both volunteers chose to end with this book. Most of the kids read it right along with them. :)


7) Animal Craft
I purchased some Color-In Masks from Nasco. The kids colored them however they wanted -- I put up pictures of some animals and we had animal books around the room for inspiration. Most just scribbled whatever colors they wanted, but some of the older ones really tried to make theirs look like animals. Tigers were popular (which is what my example was), as were the purple cats from our last book. :)



Other animal ideas:
From Head to Toe - Eric Carle
Actual Size - Steve Jenkins (I probably would have used this one myself, it's a great book for incorporating some non-fiction into storytime, as are the books below)
Whose Legs, Tail, Eyes, Nose, Ears are These? - Peg Hall
5 little monkeys
Old MacDonald
Paper bag puppets
Anything from my previous zoo storytime




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Storytime: 5 Senses

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes

Sticking with the Fizz Boom Read! CSLP science theme, I have chosen seven topics for our summer. This week we talked about the five senses.


1) What's the weather? 
I made a weather chart for week one of summer reading, and am going to start each week this summer talking about the current weather. We sang this little song to go with it, to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine:

What's the weather, what's the weather,
What's the weather everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy, is there rain, or is there sun?


2) Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
To introduce the topic of our five senses, we talked about some of the cool things our bodies can do, and sang this classic motion song.


3) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
My current opening song. I start by asking them to show me their glasses and their book so that they remember the signs. We sing it through twice, then I ask them to put their "books" in their lap while we read our first book.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)


4) My Five Senses - Aliki
A simple book that describes our senses. I had the kids point at the parts of their body each time we talked about a sense -- pointing at eyes on the page about seeing, etc.


5) Five senses flannel
This idea is from Miss Meg's Storytime. Rather than creating all new flannel pieces, I raided what I already had in my drawer and pulled out things like a bird, flower, strawberry, rabbit, and ice cream cone. Then I printed out the senses words and flannel backed them. We looked at one item at a time and I went through the list - Can you see it? Can you hear it? Can you smell it? Can you touch it? Can you taste it? and put up the correct words next to the item.


6) Rain - Manya Stojic
This book made a nice connection to last week's discussion of weather. The kids liked the big bold pictures of animals. It's a really neat book for describing how you can use all five of your senses to describe one thing.


7) Senses Hokey Pokey
You put your seeing eyes in, you put your seeing eyes out
You put your seeing eyes in, and you blink/shake them all about
You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

...touching fingers...
...smelling nose...
...listening ears...
...tasting tongue... (the kids LOVED this one, trying to sing with their tongue sticking out!)
...whole self!...


8) Senses on the Farm - Shelley Rotner
There are a couple other books in this series (Senses in the City and Senses at the Seashore), and I thought this one would be most relevant to the kids in our small town. I paperclipped a lot of the pages, choosing just two or three of each sense.


9) Senses stations and take-home activity
Instead of a craft this week, I set up five stations around the room. The kids could go to each station and do an activity related to one of their senses.
Cardboard, tree bark, smooth and rough stones,
nail file, steel wool, cotton balls, feather
Coins, jingle bells, cotton balls, LEGOs, corn, marbles
Cotton balls with lemon juice, vanilla extract, pepper, cinnamon, coffee
I managed to erase the pictures I took of sight and taste before getting them to my computer. Whoops. For sight, I listed 8 things for the kids to find in the painted mural around our room (a basketball, a rainbow, the letter T, etc.) like I did during my E is for Eyes storytime. For taste, I put out little plastic cups in three groups -- one had a few granules of sugar, another a bit of salt, and the third a tiny bit of unsweetened lemonade mix.

I had a lot of parents say they really liked the stations idea! It really reinforced what the five senses are. I also sent home a paper with some ideas of ways to use five senses at home, like describing tastes while eating and playing I Spy while on a walk.



Other senses ideas:
Five for a Little One - Chris Raschka
Senses at the Seashore - Shelley Rotner
Senses in the City - Shelley Rotner




Friday, June 27, 2014

Storytime: Weather

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes

Hurray for the beginning of Summer Reading! Our Pre-Reader group is our most-highly-sought-after program. We offer storytime each week, with two time slots for families to choose between, and they always max out on registrations. We end up with 60 kids total ages 2-5, while our 1st-6th grade group has 80-100 and our teens have around 25. In the future I'm hoping to really work at encouraging the kids to come back as they get older!

Sticking with the Fizz Boom Read! CSLP science theme, I have chosen seven topics for our summer. We opened with Weather.

1) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
We used this as my opening song all last summer and last school year, and the kids seem to like it so much that I decided to not change it. I start by asking them to show me their glasses and their book so that they remember the signs. We sing it through twice, then I ask them to put their "books" in their lap while we read our first book.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)


2) Hello Sun - Dayle Ann Dodds
A simple little story of a girl and her cat who want to go outside but keep needing to come back in for different clothes because of the changing weather.


3) What's the weather? 
I made a weather chart similar to this one. I hope to incorporate talking about the current weather each week this summer. We sang this little song to go with it, to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine:

What's the weather, what's the weather,
What's the weather everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy, is there rain, or is there sun?


4) Mr. Sun - Raffi
It has been a rainy week, so we transitioned to hoping the sun will come out, and singing this song to help him along. I used a combination of motions from Jbrary and Raffi himself.

Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun (make big sun with arms over head)
Please shine down on me (wiggle fingers and come down, kind of like rain actually)
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun (make big sun with arms over head)
Hiding behind a tree (hide eyes with hands)

These little children are asking you (point at self with thumbs)
To please come out so we can play with you (hands make "come here" motion)
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun (make big sun with arms over head)
Please shine down on me (wiggle fingers and come down)


5) Little Cloud - Eric Carle
A small cloud changes into different shapes. I let the kids tell me each time what they thought it looked like.


6) Itsy Bitsy Spider
The previous book ended with it raining, so I told the kids they knew a song about rain. We sang it the traditional way, then also did the "great big hairy spider" (in a really deep voice) and the "teensy weensy spider" (in a high squeaky voice).


7) Sounds of rain activity
I told the kids we were going to make it sound like rain inside our room. I had them just watch and imitate me:

Rub hands together
Pat the floor with hands
Clap hands
Stand up and stomp while clapping
Clap hands
Pat the floor with hands
Rub hands together

I then had fun jumping between the really quiet and the really loud and back again. :)


8) A Rainbow of My Own - Don Freeman
I paperclipped a couple of pages together in this one, knowing it was our last book and our first storytime, the kids would be getting a little antsy. It led into our craft, where the kids got to take home a rainbow of their own!


10) Rainbow Craft
Construction paper (pre-cut), glue, and cotton balls. Easy peasy.
My 4-year-old daughter's version



Other weather ideas:
Kipper's Book of Weather - Mick Inkpen
Colors of Weather - Laura Purdie Salas
The Wind Blew - Pat Hutchins
Storm is Coming - Heather Tekavec
In the Rain with Baby Duck - Amy Hest
Baby Bear Sees Blue - Ashley Wolff
Just a Thunderstorm - Gina Mayer
It Looked Like Spilt Milk - Charles Shaw
Snowy Day - Ezra Jack Keats
The First Day of Winter - Denise Fleming
All You Need for a Snowman - Alice Schertle







Monday, June 16, 2014

Bulletin Board: Star Scientists

In honor of our Summer Reading Program (Fizz, Boom, Read!), I wanted to make my #2 bulletin board something science-y (#1 has info about our summer programs). I wanted it to be interesting and simple to assemble, and something that could stay up all summer long. While searching Pinterest for science-themed bulletin boards, I came across this page from The Teacher Garden. It was perfect!! Mrs. K even had all of her biography sheets available for free download (thank you!!!!). I printed six and matted them on construction paper to put up on my board. I wished I had space to put all 10 scientists up, but I didn't want the board to get too busy.
We have some great display space by our corner fireplace.
Trying to make it personal. :) 
Now I can sit back and not have to do anything with my bulletin boards until fall! Bring on summer reading!






Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bulletin Board: Where will reading take you?

Here is a really simple bulletin board I made, good for any time of the year. I saw the idea in a few places on Pinterest (such as here and here). I used butcher paper to make the poles, and printed the place names in Publisher.
Where will reading take you?

Panem
Neverland
The Shire
100 Acre Wood
The Emerald City
Camp Half-Blood
Hogwarts
Narnia
Whoville

Many of the books have been made into movies, and so I could Google search "Hunger Games font" and find a free font to download and use. 

Do you know what book each of these places is from?? :)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bulletin Board: Summer Reading 2014

Here is the bulletin board I created to advertise our Summer Reading Program events:

The "Summer Reading" heading was taken from a neat website I found called MyFunStudio.com. You can enter any text you want and it will give a PDF or PNG file of the periodic table letters in those words.

The white pages describe each level of summer reading (the adult display is upstairs), with the special events each group will have during the summer.

I used the clipart images from the CSLP cd, printed in color on regular paper, and the two large posters were ordered from CSLP/Upstart.

It's something simple I can keep up all summer long!



Friday, June 6, 2014

Judging Books by their Covers: Eragon

Jessica at Quirky Bookworm hosts Bookworm Fridays on the first Friday of each month, and June features a "Judging Books By Their Covers" linkup. Here's my contribution!

A year or two ago I was searching my library's ebooks for something new to read. I'm a fan of fantasy books like The Lord of the Rings, and when I came across Eragon it caught my eye.

One Boy… One Dragon… A World of Adventure. When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands …

I read the first two books in the series, then put it aside for awhile since they're so long (think Harry Potter, but much more in-depth and descriptive). Just a week or so ago I was in need of something new to read again and was craving some fantasy, and decided to pick up where I'd left off and start book three.

Since I'd only ever seen one cover of this book (see the 2003 hardcover edition below), I thought it would be fun to search for others for this linkup post. And boy did I discover some fun stuff!! First off, there is actually an entire wiki dedicated to this series. I found multiple book covers as well as the history of the series. I had no idea Christopher Paolini wrote the first draft of Eragon when he was only 15! His family self-published the book first, then a famous author came across a copy of it and took it to his publisher. It then became a NYT bestseller.

So which cover is your favorite? If you saw all of these together on the shelf, which one would you reach for?
2003, hardcover edition.
The paperback edition features
a closeup of Saphira's face.
Original, self-published cover, 2002
10th anniversary collector's edition
Japanese edition
Swedish edition
Vietnamese edition
I found the following covers through a Google image search, it appears a college design class had the assignment of re-designing the cover to this book! What a neat idea!

And of course, one of the movie posters. I haven't seen it, but from what I've read the movie is "loosely" based on the book. Come on people, if you're going to create a movie with the same name and plot line as a book, you should try to make it as close to the book as you can! If I remember correctly, I've heard that in the movie, Saphira isn't even blue.

I think my favorite covers out of all of these are the first of the design class -- I like the blue egg and the sunrise, it sets the stage for where the story begins -- and the original edition designed by the author. The collector's edition is pretty sweet too.




Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: A Snicker of Magic

This book caught my eye on our "new books" shelf a couple months ago. A Snicker of Magic was published in February of this year, and is the very first book by Natalie Lloyd Page. The bright cover caught my attention, and come on, who doesn't like ice cream? After watching it sit on the shelf, then reading someone else's rave review about it, I decided to give it a try.
I have not been a "middle grade" (typically 4th-6th) reader since I was in those grades myself. During the last year or so I have been on a YA kick, and just recently finished all of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. So diving into a smaller chapter book was a little strange for me. I was worried there would not be the character development that can come with longer books, but I had nothing to fear. This book was amazing.

Felicity Pickle (12 years old) lives with her mother and younger sister, and they are constantly on the move. They never seem to settle into any one place for very long before Felicity's mother gets the itch to leave and uproots them from their temporary home and school. When they arrive in Midnight Gulch, something is different. Felicity's mother grew up there, but there is definitely magic in the air. All her life Felicity has been able to see literal words around people and things, which she writes in journals or on her shoes, and in Midnight Gulch other people seem to have small amounts of magic as well. Even the ice cream is magical.

As the history of the town unfolds, friendships form and Felicity is hopeful they've finally found a place to really call home. There are many things in this book that kids can relate to -- being a little different and not fitting in, being the new kid in class, a single-parent home, wishing for friendship, the desire to help others, and more.

A few other people's blog posts that I've read are already calling for A Snicker of Magic to be a Newbery candidate. As I said earlier I don't have much experience with reading middle-grade, but I can definitely see why this book could become an award winner. Such amazing word-pictures, plot line, character development, and just enough magic to make it fictional, yet not so much to make it unbelievable. As Felicity would say, it's a "spindiddly" book!




This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Your price does not change, but your purchase indirectly helps support this site.

Friday, May 23, 2014

One month and counting!

One month from today our Summer Reading Program begins! We're getting a bit of a late start this year as our local schools had something like 18 snow days and kids are going to be in school until June 20.
Hard to believe this was barely 3 months ago.
I'm farther ahead in my planning than I was this time last year -- I have performers booked, crafts and experiments figured out, storytime topics roughly planned, reading logs almost done. But I still have a lot to do in the two weeks before kids come in to register and pick up their first reading log.

The biggest task hanging over my head is calling local businesses to solicit donations. I sent out letters to them in mid-April, and a handful have responded on their own. But there are a bunch that I haven't heard from, and we rely on them for things ranging from free ice cream cone coupons to large end-of-summer prizes. It's just that 1) I don't like asking people for money and 2) I don't like talking on the phone.

Time to make some lists. It's finally warming up outside (temps in the 70s-80s this week!) so there's no denying it any longer. Summer is coming, and it's coming fast...


When does your summer programming start? What do you still have left to do?

P.S. It's also my oldest daughter's 4th birthday today. :)




Monday, May 19, 2014

Storytime Session: Music & Movement

When my regular-session storytime ended, I couldn't bear the thought of those poor parents and kids with nothing to do on Friday mornings until our summer reading program starts in mid-June! I had heard a number of other libraries talking about their music and movement, jump & jive, etc. programs and thought it might go over well with our kids.

There are a handful of songs my storytime kids love that we used to do regularly, but I got into the habit of choosing songs and rhymes that fit our weekly topics instead. I thought this Music & Movement program would be the perfect way for the kids to enjoy those songs, and I advertised it as such:
I ripped songs from my collection of cds onto my computer, then created a playlist of nine songs and burned them to a cd. We start with lots of movement, mellow down a bit, pause to read a single book (which is a great opportunity for me to just pick some of my favorites that don't always fit into regular storytime!), then finish with a few more big songs.

THE KIDS LOVE IT.
"Wait a minute! We're fish! We don't take showers..."
This was from the very first week, where I had 7 kids.
We doubled in size the following week!
video

And I love it too.
  1. The parents appreciate that I don't need any registration or notice of whether or not they will be there, since how many kids we have each week has no effect on what we do (no craft supplies, chairs to set out, etc.). 
  2. There is no additional planning for me, other than pulling a single book off the shelf to read, so I really do get a break from storytime.
  3. I get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise. :)
  4. I now have essentially a "sub plan." If there is ever a week, even during the regular-session, that I suddenly cannot be there, all any staff needs to do is pop the cd in the player and let the kids have fun.
I am totally going to keep this program going. I'll have it during August, once summer reading is done but our regular-session hasn't started up yet. I'll have it in December, since that was the time when I only had 2 kids show up for my storytimes anyway. It truly gives me a break, yet still offers something for kids and families to do at the library on a weekly basis. 

Here is my current list of songs -- I might tweak it later, add or take away a song or two. It lasts about 25 minutes. 
  1. Shake Your Sillies Out - The Wiggles, Yummy Yummy
  2. Hot Potato - The Wiggles, Yummy Yummy
  3. The Goldfish - Laurie Berkner, The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band
  4. If You're Happy and You Know It - Twin Sisters Productions, 30 Toddler Songs
  5. Twinkle Twinkle - Twin Sisters Productions, 30 Nursery Rhyme Songs
  6. Moon Moon Moon - Laurie Berkner, Whaddya Think of That (I changed a few of the motions to this one)
  7. These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner, Whaddya Think of That
  8. pause to read a book
  9. Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) - Laurie Berkner, Whaddya Think of That (we just sleep on the verses, and run and jump and stuff during the wimoweh)
  10. We Are the Dinosaurs - Laurie Berkner, Whaddya Think of That
Yup it's heavy on LB. But those are the cds I found in my stash when I took this job, and YouTube has great videos with the motions to the songs. I'm sure as time goes on I'll discover other great artists, but this is what we've got for now. :)



This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Your price does not change, but your purchase indirectly helps support this site.