Friday, September 26, 2014

We Explore Nature: Birds

  • Program Goals: 
    • Learn about birds
    • Encourage use of library birdwatching station
    • Encourage children to go outside and explore
    • Develop early literacy skills
    • 20 parents and children in attendance
  • Attendance: 17
  • Connections/Feedback: I haven't reached the attendance goal, but this was an awesome group, new people, the kids enjoyed it, and we all learned what "oviparous" means!
  • Notes for the future: 
    • 9-26-14: I am always torn between doing younger activities/stories because I have toddlers, or sticking to the original idea which is that I'm creating these primarily to use in outreach and just testing them here. I ended up planning this the day before so wasn't able to request a lot of the books I wanted (checked out) and also didn't have time to finish the Little Bird flannel board I wanted to use.
Project 1: Creating bird puppets and bird flocks (10-10:15)
Kids label their space with a nametag, and decorate the birds and tape them to their popsicle sticks. They also decorate the birds, tape them to ribbons, tape the ribbons to a popsicle stick, to create a "flock" of birds that fly when they run with the streamer.
  • Supplies
    • file labels (name tags)
    • Die cut bird shapes
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Ribbon, feathers
    • Tape, markers, crayons
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
Collect everyone with the Storytime Song, ask parents to pass out snack while we read a story. Lots of discussion of birds' habits and different kinds of birds
  • Books
    • A Bird's Life by Ellen Lawrence
    • The Long, Long journey by Sandra Markle
    • Mama built a little nest by Jennifer Ward
    • About birds by Cathryn Sill
    • Nest by Jorey Hurley
    • Froodle by Antoinette Portis
  • Flannelboard/Movement
  • Snack
    • pretzels, apples
    • napkins
Project 2: Wings (10:40-11)
I have precut cardboard wings that I use for butterfly programs (so they're not really the right shape for birds) but we made our own wings anyways. With a really large group I'd probably change this out for something else - making nests out of yarn or something.
  • Supplies
    • Cardboard wings
    • Decorations (used tubs of collage items from previous program)
    • Glue, tape, markers, crayons
More Bird Books
  • *Feathers: Not just for flying by Melissa Stewart
  • Look up! Bird-watching in your own backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
  • *Have you heard the nesting bird by Rita Gray
  • *I Spy in the sky by Edward Gibbs
  • Early bird by Toni Yuly
  • Alex the Parrot by Stephanie Spinner
  • Noodle and Lou by Elizabeth Scanlon
  • Elsie's bird by Jane Yolen
  • South by Patrick McDonnell
  • How to heal a broken wing by Bob Graham
  • How to paint the portrait of a bird by Jacques Prevert
  • Grumpy bird by Jeremy Tankard
  • The baby beebee bird by Diane Massie
  • Backyard birds of winter by Carol Lerner
  • Birds, nests and eggs by Mel Boring
  • Marsh morning by Marianne Berkes
  • Puffling patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin
  • Pale male by Janet Schulman
  • Roly-poly egg by Kali Stileman
  • About hummingbirds by Cathryn Sill
  • Woodpecker by Dee Phillips
  • Spotted owl by Dee Phillips
*Would have used in storytime but were checked out

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mad Scientists Club: Cardboard Engineering

This is something from Minecraft, obviously
  • Program Goals: 
    • Engineering!
    • Encourage kids to plan and think ahead
    • Encourage kids to be creative with a limited selection of items
    • 35 kids and adults in attendance
  • Attendance: 35
  • Connections/Feedback: Several new families, including one with a preschooler and an ESL family - both groups I am working on reaching. We have a lot of Hispanic families who use the library, but very few of the kids come to programs - there is the language barrier for the parents and I think a lot of them think programs cost money. I also had time to chat with some long-time families about potential programs for next year and got an awesome idea from one mom for the preschool obstacle course I'm planning.
  • Notes for the future
    • 9-25-14: This was great - very simple and the most time-consuming part was collecting enough boxes and lugging them up and down from the basement. I did have a LOT of duct tape - a whole stack of 5 rolls. It would be even cooler if I had colored duct tape next time.
I usually have a separate project and experiment, but this doesn't lend itself well to that. I had a large board up with instructions for the kids
  1. Think: What are you making?
  2. Plan: Draw a plan! Collect supplies!
  3. Measure = 2, Cut = 1
  4. Build!
Don't have what you need? Didn't work? Back to step 1!

  • Cardboard (every box for the last month and then some!)
  • Duct tape, packing tape, regular tape
  • Scissors, hole punches, staplers
  • Pencils (I still have about 3500 that were donated)
  • Pencils, scratch paper, rulers
  • Markers and stickers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September Outreach: Meet the Librarian

  • Program Goals: 
    • Introduce myself to the children and teachers
    • Set expectations and a routine for outreach storytimes
    • Practice following directions
    • Show them that storytime will be fun!
  • Connections/Feedback:
  • Notes for the future: 
    • TLC Wednesday class (4K): 8 kids, so a very small class, and mostly older. I'll be able to bring more kindergarten level stuff (when they've learned to sit still better!)
    • TLC Thursday class 1 (4K): 13 kids, this had most of the library kids in it so many of them are familiar with storytime, or at least familiar with me.
    • TLC Thursday class 2 (4K): 13 kids, only one I recognized. They were very quiet, but this is definitely the youngest of the four year olds. One kid who will need a little extra watching. I need to fix the flannelboard numbers - the kids twist them up while they're holding them and then they don't go right on the board. 
    • TLC Thursday class (3s): 5 kids, all very enthusiastic but pretty quiet. I will need to bring some more younger things - maybe some more games and songs.
    • Tibbets Tuesday class 1 (Kindergarten): This class is a little short on time, so I need to prepare a shorter program, especially if I want to have time for the closing song. They go to music immediately afterwards, so I am handing out their nametags with the opening song. Bigger classes this year - all three kindergarten classes are back up to around 20.
    • Tibbets Tuesday class 2 (Kindergarten): This teacher has really amazing classroom discipline - I can do longer, more complex stories because the kids are used to sitting still and have a very firm routine. I do need to be finished a little early so they have time to line up for their music though.
    • Tibbets Tuesday class 3 (Kindergarten): This classroom is very wiggly! The teacher feels comfortable leaving me in charge and doesn't have the aides that are sometimes in the other rooms, so to keep things running smoothly I need to intersperse the stories with more movement and activities.
  • Warning: Do not open this book by Adam Lehrhaupt
  • Count the monkeys by Mac Barnett
  • Caveman: A B. C. story by Janee Trasler
  • Exclamation mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Baby Bear counts one; Baby Bear sees blue by Ashley Wolff
  • Humongous Hamster by Lorna Freytag
  • Opening: The more we get together (kids say names when I point to them)
  • ABC Stop song
  • Loud and Quiet
  • Letters and Numbers for Baby Bear
  • Closing: Sunny Day
Remote Collections
  • TLC - Back to school, library, friendship, and just for fun
  • Tibbets - (I am starting a remote collection with one class) - back to school, library, friendship, and just for fun

Friday, September 12, 2014

We Explore Favorite Artist Lois Ehlert

  • Program Goals:
    • Introduce Lois Ehlert and her art
    • Practice motor development (cutting, gluing), using rulers and scissors
    • 20 children and adults in attendance
  • Attendance: 17
  • Connections/Feedback: Lots of positive comments about how much they enjoyed the program. Two caregivers weren't familiar with Ehlert and checked out a lot of her books. I reconnected with a homeschool family that is going to start attending programs again and talked to two families about having programs a little later in the morning so 4K children could attend.
  • Notes for the future: 12 people came to the program itself, two families went to get their four year olds at school afterwards and came back, and one family came afterwards.
Art Project Part 1: Cutting (10-10:15)
Parents label the child's space with a name tag and then I encourage them to cut out lots of different shapes. I also had several matching games with our new magnetic chalkboard for the kids to try out if they got bored cutting. At 10:15ish, I sing the Storytime Song
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I get all the kids more or less sitting down and ask a parent or two to pass out the snack during the first story. Depending on the age of the kids, we'll talk about different aspects of the art, anything from identifying colors and shapes to asking questions about the author's process and materials.
  • Books
    • Planting a Rainbow (big book) (talk about colors)
    • RRRalph (talk about found objects in collage)
    • Fish Eyes (talk about counting)
    • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (sing, talk about letters)
    • Oodles of animals (talk about shapes)
  • Snack
    • Apples and sweet peppers
    • Napkins
Art Project Part 2: Collage (10:40-11)
I asked the parents to help me distribute the rest of the materials needed for creating the collages. The kids used the shapes they'd cut and the found objects (one tub for each table) to create pictures.
  • Supplies
    • Found objects (yarn, buttons, seeds, etc.)
    • Glue, white construction paper

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Messy Art Club: Painting Wooden Shapes

Painting a snake, 2013
  • Program Goals: 
    • Younger kids - encourage motor development (painting), create patterns, recognize colors
    • All ages - encourage creativity and experiment with different art techniques and supplies
    • Provide a flexible program open to all ages and skill levels
    • 35 children and adults in attendance
  • 9-12-14
    • Attendance: 37
    • Connections/Feedback: Several new families
    • Notes for the future:.Many people expected Lego Club because we usually start with that, but the schedule didn't work out that way this year. I didn't cover the tables, and then my aides didn't end up being available, and I had to scrub like crazy to get all the paint off.
  • 10-10-13
    • Attendance: 35
    • Notes for the future:
      • I had meant to do snakes in the summer, but forgot. I thought they made a nice Halloween project, but nobody else really seemed to get this.
  • Wooden shapes (left over from various projects and prizes)
  • Wooden snakes (purchased in bulk two summers ago and only used a few)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper plates, paint brushes, aprons
  • wax paper, old sheets
Instructions and Notes
  • I covered the tables with the old sheets and with some leftover plastic table cloths
  • I spread the wax paper out for kids to put their painted objects to dry on - just putting them on paper plates, etc. they stick
  • We don't use water cups - I tell them to take a new paint brush when they want to switch colors.