Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mad Scientists Club: Building Science

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
Project/Experiment: Cardboard Engineering
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!

I've also tried cardboard squares for building - it didn't work quite right, but I probably didn't get the squares cut correctly.

Supplies (cardboard engineering)
  • 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
  • Duct tape. Lots and lots of duct tape
  • Cardboard boxes. Many, many cardboard boxes
  • Lots of little pasteboard sticks (donated)
  • Shape stickers, colored masking tape, yarn
  • Scissors, regular tape, staplers
Project/Experiment: Bridges
  • Cardboard/boxes
  • Books on bridges
  • Popsicle sticks (2 sizes)
  • Yarn
  • Tape (regular, duct tape, packing tape)
  • Scissors (big and small)
  • Glue dots
  • Staplers, hole punches
Experiment: Pendulums
I got the idea from Adventures of a Children's Librarian. It didn't work perfectly, mostly because I had trouble getting the balls attached to the ladder (decided the roof was a bad idea) but the kids really liked it.

  • Playground balls, sensory balls, ladders, yarn etc. to hang them with
  • Blocks

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Library on the Go: School year 2017/2018

I'm continuing to work on defining this pop-up library/bookmobile program. I've sent some of the easy readers over to schools a few times, but that part of the program has never really taken off. What I've ended up doing is separating remote circulation, or pop-up libraries, from Library on the Go by whether or not adults are in attendance. If adults are there, I bring actual library materials that require cards to check out. If adults are not present, as in the case of classes, then it's a good venue for Library on the Go. I don't bring crafts to the classroom venues.

I've visited a couple classrooms, kindergarten through 2nd grade, and found that these work best when I line the kids up to pick their book, tell them to put it in their cubby or backpack, and make sure each gets a bookmark with the "rules" and schedule. In the spring I set up regular, twice-monthly when I can manage it, visits to OPtions, our local charter/homeschool co-op which is associated with the school district. Ideally, I'd go there on Tuesdays when they're busiest, but that simply doesn't work with my schedule so I've been going on Thursdays. So far the kids have been pretty faithful about returning the books to the library or to me when I come back. I expect some will end up in the school "library" though, and I'm ok with that.

I'm taking Library on the Go to one outreach venue that I would normally take remote circulation to in May. It's going to be a county-wide festival for health and wellness and I'm emphasizing our active programs and circulating kits as well as having a "healthy mind" by reading. I want to promote where Library on the Go will be during the summer, so I hope to have it planned out and on the bookmark instead of just "TBD" notes!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

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
    • 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 (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. 
    • 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
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, April 3, 2018

Lego Club

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity, problem-solving, and math skills
    • Encourage collaboration and a friendly space for kids and parents to interact
    • Offer a program that fits a variety of ages, needs, and abilities
    • Attendance: 35
  • Build a creation with 25 pieces
  • Build a creation from one color
  • Build a vehicle
  • Build a robot
  • Build a city
  • Build a winter vehicle
  • Build a (Star Wars) space ship
  • Build an animal
  • Build a school
  • Build a chicken
Lego Club is my longest-running after school club. It's a drop-in program - people can come any time between 3:30 and 5:30 and stay as long as they want. There is a display of Lego and related books that can be checked out, as well as flyers for upcoming programs.

I tell kids that it's an "all you can create buffet". They use the plastic bowls to go down the "buffet" and make choices, and then build on the tables. Everyone knows that if it's on the buffet it's fair game, if it's on a table in the rest of the room you have to ask (some of us are still practicing this though)

Legos were provided through donations and supplemented with Pig Money.

During Lego Club I take pictures, admire creations, talk to parents about upcoming programs and whatever is on their minds, settle fights, keep an eye on kids who don't have adult supervision, and sort the Legos. When they are finished building, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to the full 2 hours, they get their picture taken for the bulletin board and Facebook and put their creation on the "play" table. We don't break them down until they are gone. (I used to put them on display but we had to keep cleaning them up and we ran out of space).

Attendance used to go up to 50 and above, but now tends to hover around the 20 range. It's mostly a fill-in program at this point. If I'm busy or unavailable, it's easy to have my aides or associates run things.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Mo Willems: Pig Party!

Let's go for a drive!
  • Program Goals
    • Saturday program in spring
    • Celebrate Elephant and Piggie!
  • Craft: Elephant and Piggie Puppets
    • Create puppets with lunch bags and puppet pieces
    • Supplies
  • Craft: We are in a book
    • Create your own books
    • Supplies
      • Handmade paper, notebook paper
      • Scissors, staples
  • Craft: We are growing!
    • Create your own grass character puppets
    • Supplies
      • Green paper, markers, scissors, popsicle sticks, tape
  • Craft: The Cookie Fiasco
    • Create a cookie
    • Supplies
      • Cardboard circles (die cut)
      • Markers, decorations, glue
  • Craft: There is a bird on your head!
    • Decoupage an egg
      • Styrofoam eggs
      • Tissue paper
      • Glue
      • Paintbrushes
  • Craft: Today I will fly!
    • paper airplanes
  • Game: Can I Play Too?
    • Mark off area
    • Game is to keep a balloon (ball) in the air without using your hands
    • Supplies
      • Balloons
      • Masking tape (to mark floor)
  • Game: Let's go for a drive/Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!
    • Masking tape road lines in lobby - have kids decorate cars and "drive" them in the lobby. Must take turns! At least one person to supervise!
    • Supplies
      • Cardboard boxes, stickers, markers
  • Food
    • I Really Like Slop!
      • cereal to mix and match
      • Supplies
        • Bowls, cups (for scooping), spoons
        • Breakfast cereal
    • Should I share my ice cream?
      • ice cream, bowls, spoons
      • server, napkins, trash can
    • Duckling gets a cookie?!
      • cookies from school, napkins
  • Decoration and Misc.