Thursday, December 5, 2019

Bookaneers: Setting sail on the sea of books

making puppets for Mr. Ball
Bookaneers is actually my private homage to China Mieville, but I am not going to tell the 1st graders that.
  • Program Goals
    • Reach beginning readers
    • Collaborate with school reading specialists to meet the needs of struggling readers
    • Encourage kids to build reading skills and enjoy reading!
    • Attendance: 5 kids (grades 1-3)
4:30-4:35: Introduction (new attendees and beginning of the year)
  • Introductions
  • How Bookaneers works
    • At the first meeting, or when they attend for the first time, kids receive a binder with a variety of starter sheets. They can get more sheets as needed from me or at the next meeting. They do not have to fill in the sheets for each book, they're just for fun and to help them remember what they read. I taped a letter to the parents inside each binder. 
    • Books are due at the next meeting. They have a due date taped to the front of each book. Don't forget your library card!
    • It's ok if you don't feel like talking about your book or didn't finish.
    • It's ok to have a parent or friend help you read and/or write in your binder
    • We all read at different levels and speeds. This isn't a contest or a class; we're here to have fun reading together!
4:30 - 5:00: Discussion and craft
  • Make/decorate notebooks and bookmarks if it's the first meeting, discuss what books they like and why and what their favorite things are. 
  • Otherwise, crafts and talking about our books! We talk about genres, what makes a book funny, scary, or sad, expand on nonfiction topics, learn new vocabulary (I'm still trying to get them to remember "anthropomorphic"), and discuss the art in the books. Sometimes the crafts tie into books, sometimes it's just whatever I came up with earlier that day.
  • Final meeting we decorate t-shirts and the kids get a free book
5:00-5:15: Booktalks, snack
  • The kids get a snack (I try to make it something relatively healthy - dried fruit, pretzels, goldfish, apples, etc.) and I booktalk the selections for next time.
  • If it's the last meeting of the school year, they each get a book to keep from the prize cart.
5:15-5:30: Choosing books and wrap-up
  • Kids pick their book(s) for next time, finish crafts, younger siblings come in and eat snacks, etc.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Maker Workshop: Candle making

  • Program goals
    • Become comfortable experimenting with candle-making
    • Test various methods of melting wax
    • Learn new skills
Supplies (in house)
  • glass jars (recycled from staff and patrons)
  • heat gun
  • pour pot (lent by me)
  • paring knives from clay kit
  • popsicle sticks
  • towels to use as pot holders
  • aprons
  • fan to speed up cooling process
  • microwave, ancient but workable
  • wax melting pot
Supplies (purchased)
  • I would still like some glass measuring cups for easier pouring, but otherwise I have all the supplies now - wax melting pot and heat gun.

Holiday Craft Extravaganza

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an inexpensive holiday program for families
    • Encourage creativity and using different art styles/materials
    • Help build gross and fine motor skills
Project: Felt softies
Sew and stuff shapes to make ornaments or just cute little presents.
  • Felt (die-cut gingerbread men, teddy bears, Christmas trees, stars)
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing materials
Project: Danish Christmas Hearts
These are woven heart baskets that can hold candy etc. It's tricky to weave them without ripping them if you use paper, and felt can get a bit twisted. This one needs more fine motor skills. Google "Danish Christmas hearts" for lots of instructions.
Project: Fuzzy tree friends
My associate made these cute felt candy cane mice - the kids really enjoyed it, but next time I'd probably cut a few more in advance. I think she got the pattern here.

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Candy canes
  • Google eyes
  • Mouse pattern
  • Permanent markers
Project: Puzzle ornaments
Using up the puzzle pieces! You can paint these, but I'm not up for it by this time of the year usually. Again, I'd hot glue more ornaments in advance.

  • puzzle pieces
  • glue, glitter, glitter glue
  • hot glue gun (supervised)
Project: Ceramic ornaments
I got a deal on these, otherwise to get enough for potentially 50-60 people is too expensive. 

  • Ceramic ornaments (60?) (Discount School Supply)
  • Acrylic paint, brushes, aprons, paper plates, wax paper (to dry them on)
Project: Plastic ornaments
You need a lot of these and they are cheap plastic, so get extra! The big bubbles are the best, but people like the other shapes so I try to get some of them as well. Make sure you get the ones that pop open, otherwise kids will just fill them with sequins and nobody has that many sequins (except me b/c I have barrels in the basement)

  • Colorations Clear Ornaments (Discount School Supply)
  • Sequins, ribbon, glitter glue
  • glitter, containers to shake it in
  • glue, scissors, tablecloths
Project: Paper chains
If you don't have fancy paper, regular paper and markers works just fine.

  • Paper, markers, scissors, tape
Project: Glitter Pinecones
The important thing with this is to have enough big tubs to shake the glitter over and to remind people to tie their strings on FIRST.

  • Pinecones, yarn or ribbon
  • Glitter, glue, large plastic tubs

Project: 3-D paper ornaments
You fold the die cuts in half, glue the halves together. You do need symmetrical shapes. You need at least four, but you can add more and make it fancier. It works best if you glue the yarn or ribbon down the middle while/before you add shapes.

  • die cut shapes (Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men)
  • hole punches, markers, scissors

Friday, November 8, 2019

Library on the Go: Fall 2019

I have a smaller schedule of LOTG visits this fall, mostly just one elementary school and OPtions, our charter school. The first grade classes I am visiting are larger - about 60 students as opposed to 40 - and I almost immediately got low on easy readers, so I'll need to beg for some more funding there. For more information on Library on the Go, you can check out previous posts.


  • Two OPtions - first one about 10 books (beading and pipe cleaners), second about 15 books (same project but only one kid was into it as opposed to everybody the first time). Read some books from my eraser storytime.
  • Tibbets 1st grade classes, about 75 books.

  • Two OPtions - first one about 10 books (beading), second about 30 books (button maker) and I read I am a mouse and Dragons eat noodles on Tuesdays. Gave out all my slime and holiday Craft Extravaganza flyers.
  • Three 1st grade classes (60 books)
  • Three 1st grade classes (about 60 books)
  • Two OPtions visits (about 10 books)
  • EL night (about 10 Spanish books)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Outreach Storytime: Erasing Mistakes

  • Program Goals
    • Build resilience and encourage kids to accept mistakes
    • Complement school curriculum on social-emotional skills
    • Distribute handout to encourage kids to visit the library
Toddlers (*nonfiction)
  • The case of the missing chalk drawings by Richard Byrne
  • Chalk by Bill Thomson
Preschool and Kindergarten (*nonfiction)
  • Perfect by Amato
  • This is a Whoopsie! by Andrew Cangelose
  • When pencil met eraser by Karen Kilpatrick
Long Stories (*nonfiction)
  • Eraser by Anna Kang
  • Linus the little yellow pencil by Scott Magoon
Learning points
  • Resilience, trying again
  • It's ok to make mistakes