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.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fall Festival

Fishing for prizes
  • Program Goals: 
    • Distribute information about fall programs
    • Connect with new and returning families
    • Mark beginning of fall programming
  • Attendance: 50
  • Connections/Feedback: Passed out lots of calendars, signed up several new kids for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, invited several new people to after school clubs
  • Notes for the future:
    • 9-6-14: This was actually going to be a community baby shower, but we ran out of time to get it set up. So I did a little fall festival instead. I had no money, so had to do this with what I had on hand. I planned to start setting up at 9:30, program 10:30-11:30, clean-up, done by 12. I went home at 1:30. People were having fun and didn't want to leave and I had to finish some other stuff. The fishing for prizes was popular, nobody really did the Mad Scientists Challenge, and only some did the Messy Art. It was mostly little kids who preferred Pattie's crafts with lots of stickers and stuff. The Survey did not work well - computer issues - but a couple people did it.
Ms. Pattie
  • I gave Pattie two tables for whatever information/activities she wanted to do to promote her fall programs at the library and in the community.
Library Information
  • I kept one table for flyers, newsletters, and information about fall library programs and the library in general. I also set up the laptop here for people to take the survey.
  • Supplies
    • Newsletter, calendar
    • Text alerts
    • Wisconsin digital library
    • After school club bookmarks
    • 1,000 books before kindergarten
Lego Club Challenge
  • The challenge had two tiers - "Basic beginner" was a challenge to build a tower, "Master Builder" was to create something with a fall theme. When the kids complete it, they come and get a lego Club membership card.
  • Supplies
    • A big tub of legos
Messy Art Club Challenge
  • The challenge was to create a fall-themed piece of art. I suggested leaf streamers.
  • Supplies
    • Die cut leaves, ribbon
    • markers
    • tape, popsicle sticks, scissors
Mad Scientists Club
  • Engineering challenge - The challenge was to create a structure out of pencils that either moved or could bear weight with ONLY those materials provided.
  • Supplies
    • thousands of pencils (left over from donation)
    • rubber bands, yarn, glue dots
Prize Fishing
  • I filled a swimming pool with colored shredded paper and then threw in a whole bunch of Halloween plastic rings I had left over and some of those shaped rubber band bracelets. Then I had paper clips and told the kids to make a fishing rod (using materials from the other stations) and they could "fish" for a prize.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

I've never posted how we do 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, so here's a handy guide. I adapted the materials used at La Crosse by Marge Loch-Wouters and it's worked very well for us.

Each child, ages 0-5, gets a folder with a sticky label on it, the first log (1-51) and a resource bookmark. I sometimes hand them out through daycares/preschools, but generally I depend on in-house marketing and talking to new families after storytime, etc.


  • Folders (bought in bulk at back to school sales)
  • Sticky labels (printed at a local print shop and I have a lifetime supply because I couldn't find them and had more printed!)
  • First log, 1-51
  • Resource bookmark
  • I have flyers up around the library and at a few places in town.
How it works - parents read to their child, they color in one petal for each book read and write the titles on the back. They bring in their sheet and get a special sticker for each flower completed (10 books) and the next log. When they reach 1,000 books, we take a picture and they get to pick a free picture book.

  • Stickers - favorites are the foam stickers from S&S Worldwide but I also use summer reading stickers and stickers scavenged from our tv tie-in tub books.
  • Books - collected from donations, review copies, and a few trips to Scholastic Warehouse sales
Every month I update the giant flowers on our columns, stamping for each sticker given out (which is also how I track participation - I keep track of how many folders and stickers are given out each month). I would have liked to do something that the kids did, but it's not possible since the children's desk isn't regularly staffed and it's too much extra work for the front-desk reference person to continually walk back to the children's area.

People often ask if it's ok to re-read books, what if they forget to write them down, etc. It's all good! I don't have time or the inclination to police the finer points and I don't really care. The big thing is that families are reading and kids are getting fun stickers.