Friday, October 9, 2015

Reading Explorer: 500 Books Before Middle School

I originally got the idea for 500 Books Before Middle School from a post on Facebook. I can't remember who it was, but it definitely sparked off an idea for me! I have plenty of kids who want to keep reading after they finish 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and everyone loves stickers, right?

So, this is basically the same thing just for older kids. They get a folder with the first sheet, add stickers as they read, and get a free book when they finish. They also move their names from place to place on the habitats. There are two twenty-five-title sheets for Wisconsin, two for the farm, etc. My associate, Jess, put together the pictures and the trail.

I paid for the labels and first log sheet to be printed. I buy folders in bulk at the beginning of the school year and our local Kohls stuffed the first armload for me. I got most of the pictures for the log from free coloring page sites online.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Messy Art Club: Recycled Art

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 35
Project: Bottle Cap Art

How it works: Kids decorate bottle caps with permanent markers, glue to card stock to create pictures.

  • Bottle caps (donated, a large box full)
  • Permanent markers
  • Recycled card stock
  • Glue
  • Tablecloths
Evaluations below

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Grade Library Bingo Tour

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to the library
    • Give them something to take back home and interest parents in the library
    • Make the library a fun destination!
  • Evaluation
    • 10-7-15
      • Attendance: 4 classes, each came individually, approximately 80 kids and adults total
      • Notes: It was so nice to do this with just one class at a time, and especially when there was no other program going on! Very laid-back and everyone had fun.
    • 10-30-14
      • Attendance: 4 classes total, 2 groups, approximately 80 kids and adults
      • Connections/feedback:  The first group of two classes LOVED this and the teachers told me how marvelous it was. The second two classes were a little doubtful about being noisy, but admitted that it was fine (they were actually quieter than the first classes!)
      • Notes: I tried a new 1st grade tour last year and it was a flop. This year, with ideas from several librarians and staff, I went to a bingo game with no tour and letting the kids loose.
Introduction 5 minutes
  • I take about five minutes to introduce myself to the kids, tell them how the game works (they have to stay in the lower library) and remind them not to run and yell. Kids and teachers help hand out the bingo sheets and everyone gets a crayon from the bucket.
Bingo Scavenger Hunt 10-15 minutes
  • This is basically my photo tour for the younger kids but with no tour. I took a whole bunch of pictures and then just scrambled them. You can see the game boards here. I had a whole bunch of stickers at the youth services desk and as they completed rows (more or less) they got to pick a sticker.
Storytime 10-15 minutes
  • I sat all the kids down in the open area in front of the youth services desk and told them they could draw on the backs of their bingo sheets while they listened to the story. We read A Library Book for Bear by Bonnie Baker and then The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara.
Wishing Well and Goodbye
  • The kids trade their crayon for a penny for the wishing well in the lobby and everyone says goodbye! They take their bingo sheets home.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bookaneers: Setting sail on the sea of books

This is my plan for "opening" book club meeting, when there is no prior book to discuss. Normally, kids will decorate their notebooks at home and just write their name and book title on them at the library. I planned for 30 minutes but expect that some will go later up to an hour. Also, Bookaneers is actually my private homage to China Mieville, but I am not going to tell the 1st graders that.
  • Program Goals
    • Meet patron request for more programs, specifically book clubs, for younger 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
  • Evaluation
    • 10-6-15
      • Attendance: 3 registered, 3 attended
      • Feedback/Connections
      • Notes: This was a bit of a wash-out. One of the attendees came by mistake - she meant to come next week with her friends who have all graduated up to the older book club. The other two were sisters, one who is only four. Not that I really mind, b/c she's a sweetie and joins in happily. Clearly I had overblown expectations from starting in February earlier this year - most kids are in sports or other after school activities in the fall apparently. I sent some marketing home with the sisters who go to a parochial school and I am going to reach out to the homeschoolers and schools (again).
    • 2-3-15
      • Attendance: 11 registered, 7 attended
      • Feedback/Connections: 
      • Notes: We went about 40 minutes. I knew all the kids and they had a great time. The Brownies came a little early and helped me clean up. I had to help circ check out the books. I have six girls and one boy and they all meshed very nicely.
      • I put about 10 books, notebooks, and notes to the parent at the circ desk if anyone wants to join later.
4:30-4:35: Introduction
  • Have kids make name tags, explain how Bookaneers will work, remind them that everyone reads at different levels and we will be reading books about lots of different things and that a parent or friend can help with reading if needed.
4:35 - 4:45: Discussion and craft
  • Pass out notebooks and bookmarks to decorate (make sure they leave space on the cover for the book title)
  • Discuss what books they like and why and what their favorite things are.
    • Fancy Nancy, Laura Ingalls Wilder
4:45 - 5:00: Booktalks, Voting, and Snack
I was initially going to have them vote and choose one title; but I had so many kids sign up that it's really hard to find that many copies of one title! So I had them vote for their first choice, second choice, etc. and handed out their first choice, second choice, etc.
  • October 2015 Titles to choose from
    • Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel (2 chose)
    • Daisy Dawson is on her way by Steve Voake
    • Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than Squirrels by Lucy Nolan
    • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
    • Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills
    • Starring Jules (as herself) by Beth Ain (1 chose)
    • The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Butler
    • The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle
    • Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet by Kevin Sherry
    • Alice's World Record by Tim Kennemore
  • February 2015 Titles to choose from
    • Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel (1 chose)
    • Daisy Dawson is on her way by Steve Voake (1 chose)
    • Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than Squirrels by Lucy Nolan (1 chose)
    • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon (1 chose)
    • Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills
    • Starring Jules (as herself) by Beth Ain
    • The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Butler (3 chose)
    • The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mad Scientists Club: Launch It!

  • Program Goals
    • Experiment with the science of force and motion
    • Encourage kids to problem solve and be creative
    • 35 kids and adults in attendance
  • Evaluation
    • 9-24-15
      • Attendance: 48
      • Connections/Feedback
      • Notes: I had an assistant at the hot glue gun and another at the race tracks. It worked well. This is really one for older kids, but the race tracks are good for all ages. Note to self - check baskets of supplies before putting them out, as several kids got invested in stapling rubberbands and were not happy to have that taken off the activity list!
    • 11-6-14
      • Attendance: 30
      • Connections/Feedback: Several new families that I talked to yesterday came and really enjoyed themselves.
      • Notes: I had a lot of younger/unattended kids so the catapults didn't work as well, since they really require a little more initiative and effort than the kids were willing to put into it. I didn't have hot glue available - I was sick and tired and couldn't handle it.
    • 9-12-13
      • Attendance: 50
      • Our first Mad Scientists Club! I decided to divide the program into two parts, a project that the kids could make and take home and an experimental/game component that they could do at the library. I realized I couldn't do much with actual talking about science, b/c of the structure of my program, but I can fully utilize the things that are already built in to my after school clubs; creative problem-solving, imagination, initiative, creativity etc. Otherwise known as "I can't control a group of 50 children, ages 2-12, coming and going at random times for an hour and a half so you're on your own, here are the supplies now do something!" I am so happy that this worked out well. Everything was a huge hit, we almost ran out of paper towel tubes but not quite, only one kid got a hot glue burn and it was wonderful.
Project: Catapults
I made some signs with instructions and pictures from several online sources, one for a super easy catapult and one for a more difficult model. I laminated these and put them out on the tables for people to refer to. I also put a warning sign that only adults could use the hot glue gun!

  • Popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, rubber bands
  • Bottle caps, cotton balls, small pompoms
  • Glue dots, hot glue gun, glue, tape, duct tape
Experiment: Racing cars
I was inspired by this program and this program as well as some of the experiments in Motion by Ellen Lawrence to make an experiment where the kids could try different kinds of friction and gravity. I set up some suggestions/rules and the kids did car races!

  • Paper towel tubes, some long boxes
  • Matchbox cars left over from summer reading prizes
  • Scraps to test friction - felt/fabric, foam, paper, tissue paper, foil
  • Scissors, packing tape, duct tape