Thursday, January 19, 2017

Raising a Reader

Occasionally I present to adults about reading, literacy, etc. These are those occasions.

1-19-17 MOPs
I talked about 3 words to remember - RELAX, EXAMPLE, and INTERACT. I told moms to relax about their preschoolers not reading, to cut out some time for themselves so kids see them reading, and to focus on interaction in screen time.

I used these books to demonstrate the five early literacy skills - Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play
  • Hoppity Frog by Emma Parish (board book)
  • Blocks by Irene Dickson
  • Sing by Joe Raposo
  • What animals really like by Fiona Robinson
  • Create with Maisy by Lucy Cousins
  • A squiggly story by Andrew Larson
as well as toy bags from the library. I also had event calendars, 1,000 books before kindergarten folders, and handouts with resources.

A Long Time Ago
I was invited to a child development class at the high school to speak about library-as-a-career stuff, choosing books for children, and reading aloud. First time I've ever really been in a high school classroom. It went ok, I even got some kids to laugh at the right spots and some mildly interested questions. I'm putting down what I did because I might go back some time for the earlier child development class and I don't want to start from scratch...this is sort of roughly what I did, although it was a lot more hopping around and not as organized as it looks here.

First, I gave a brief How-I-Became-A-Librarian speech. Next time, I should add in the practicums and experiential work I did, not just the schooling, partly because I think hands on is more useful than academics and partly because I had extra time at the end, so I can!

Then, I started with the very early board books and gave examples of reading books with infants and young toddlers. The boardbooks I used were:
  • eyelikenature: Leaves
  • indestructibles: Flutter! Fly! by Karen Pixton
  • Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
Then I talked about books with more narrative and text for older toddlers, as well as how different books work for different kids.
  • How do dinosaurs love their cats? by Jane Yolen
  • Can YOU make a scary face? by Jan Thomas
I also showed books with a simple storyline and pictures that work well with both toddlers and preschoolers and talked about adapting stories to fit your group.
  • Digby Takes Charge by Caroline Church
  • Duck Soup by Jackie Urbanovic
I talked about what makes a good easy reader, how easy readers are changing (from stuff like Dick and Jane to Toon Books and Mo Willems) and what makes a good beginning chapter book.
  • Pigs make me sneeze by Mo Willems (also used this to show how some easy readers work as read-alouds)
  • Benny and Penny by Geoffrey Hayes
  • Extreme Machines by Christopher Maynard (really, any DK nonfiction reader will work here)
I talked about how important it is to keep reading aloud to kids after they've started reading on their own, how it increases vocabulary and improves comprehension and is just plain fun!
  • Book that eats people by John Perry
  • Chester by Melanie Watt
  • Billy Twitters and his blue whale problem by Mac Barnett
I also did a presentation on using nonfiction as read-alouds and beginning readers and why it's important not to limit kids to fiction.
  • Down down down by Steve Jenkins (this is a great example of using nonfiction with text that's too dense for reading aloud to a pre-1st grade group. It makes a great interactive experience by having the kids guess the names and types of different animals and discussing their behavior)
  • Wolfsnail by Sarah Campbell (I would have taken my galley of Growing Patterns, but I lent it to somebody else...they were duly grossed out by the meat-eating snail and I used this as an example of a nonfiction easy reader that also works as a read-aloud)
  • Forest Explorer by Nic Bishop (I couldn't find Spiders or Frogs or Moths & Butterflies. This one doesn't really work as a read-aloud, but I wanted them to see an author that can be used much the same way I use Steve Jenkins but with photographs)
Extra books I took but didn't use:
  • Busy Penguins by John Schindel (boardbook)
  • Birthday for cow by Jan Thomas (picturebook)
  • Race you to bed by Bob Shea (picturebook)
  • Night Lights by Susan Gal (picturebook)
  • Mitten by Jan Brett (picturebook)
  • Froggy eats out by Jonathan London (picturebook)
  • Dinosaur Hunt by David Catrow (easy reader)
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa (easy reader)
  • About Amphibians by Cathryn Sill (nonfiction picturebook)
  • Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald (picturebook)
  • Pigeon finds a hot dog by Mo Willems (picturebook)
  • Wild boars cook by Meg Rosoff (picturebook)
  • Guess Again by Mac Barnett (picturebook)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Winter Wigglers: Dance Party

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an active program during winter
    • Offer a program on Wednesday morning that will be open to toddlers and preschoolers
    • Encourage parents to play with their children
    • Attendance: 20
Playlist no. 1
  • Hand out shakers
    • Victor Vito by Laurie Berkner
    • Shakin' Everywhere by Jim Gill
  • Sit Down
    • The Little Bird by Elizabeth Mitchell (Blue Clouds)
  • Put away shakers and stand up
    • Hands are for clapping by Jim Gill
    • Train beat song by the Sugar Free Allstars
    • Loud/Quiet by Caspar Babypants
  • Sit down and hand out strummies
    • Samantha the Butterfly by Fox and Branch
  • Put away strummies and stand up
    • List of Dances by Jim Gill
    • Sneezing song by Jim Gill
  • Hand out shakers again
    • Fruit Salad Salsa by Laurie Berkner
    • Rattle my rattle by Elizabeth Mitchell
  • Put away shakers
    • Silly Dance Contest by Jim Gill
    • Sunny Day by Elizabeth Mitchell
Playlist no. 2
  • As kids come in
    • Good Morning by Stacy Buehler "Songs for Wiggleworms"
  • Dance around edge of rug
    • Merry-go-round by Elizabeth Mitchell "Little Seed"
  • Dance
    • Fast and Slow by Laurie Berkner "Rocketship Run"
  • Sit down
    • Beethoven's Five Finger Play by Jim Gill "Music Play for folks of all stripes"
  • Curl up small to start, follow actions
    • Baby's getting up by Caspar Babypants "This is fun"
  • Balance around edge of rug
    • Balance Beam by Laurie Berkner "Rocketship Run"
  • Make a train and move around room, depending on age of kids
    • Little red caboose by Elizabeth Mitchell "Catch the Moon"
  • Stand up and dance, following the instructions (sit down at end)
    • I changed my mind by Jim Gill "Music play for folks of all stripes"
  • Hand out shakers, stay sitting
    • Milkshake song by Anne-Marie Akin "Songs for Wiggleworms"
  • Shake to the rhythm, pick and eat apples (flannelboard), put away shakers
    • Ten Green Apples by Alan Mills
  • Stand up, do actions and basically jump up and down
    • Drive the firetruck by Rob Newhouse "Songs for Wiggleworms"
  • Follow actions
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly by Rob Newhouse "Songs for Wiggleworms"
  • Sit down, hold up fingers
    • Five days old by Laurie Berkner "Rocketship Run"
  • Stand up and do animal actions (tell kids to do their favorite animals)
    • Animal inside you by Frances England "Family Tree"
  • Dance and follow actions
    • I really love to dance by Laurie Berkner "Buzz Buzz"
  • Hand out shakers, follow actions
    • Stop and Go by Elizabeth Mitchell "Catch the Moon"
  • Follow actions, sizzle and pop
    • Popcorn calling me by Laurie Berkner "Buzz Buzz"
  • Follow actions
    • Walking, Walking by Anne-Marie Akin "Songs for Wiggleworms"
  • Dance elegantly
    • Ella the elegant elephant by Caspar Babypants "Hot Dog"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Wigglers: Block Party

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an active program during winter
    • Offer a program on Wednesday morning that will be open to toddlers and preschoolers
    • Encourage parents to play with their children
    • Attendance: 20
  • Blocks (I plan to slowly grow this collection. I'm especially interested in adding chalkboard blocks, but didn't have time to make them)
    • Vinyl blocks from children's area
    • Wooden, cardboard, and rubberwood blocks from Discount School Supply
    • Duplos and duplo tables
  • Other play materials
    • Chalk for the chalkboard wall
  • I moved all the tables to the back of the room and put on Elizabeth Mitchell or other calm music. There is an easel at the front of the room with a poster for the block party on it and a clipboard for people to sign in.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Take Home Storytime: Animals in the Snow

  • Program goals
    • Pass on early literacy message and encourage families to continue early literacy at home
    • Encourage circulation and storytime attendance
    • Reach families who are unable to attend storytime
  • Notes
    • Last used January 2017
Miss storytime? You can practice many of the early literacy concepts we use in storytime at home! Don't forget to sign up for text alerts so you can make it to the next storytime!

Theme: Animals in the snow

Use the five early literacy practices; talking, singing, reading, playing and writing with these books and projects!

TALK about the books. What animals do you see in the books? How do they behave in the snow? Are they real animals or pretend animals?

Get ready to WRITE by using fine motor skills to make a rainbow snowflake.
  • You will need scratch paper (newspaper or paper bags), paintbrush, and water
  • Instructions - put your snowflakes on the scratch paper. Lay your bleeding art tissue on the snowflakes. "Paint" them with water and watch the colors bleed onto the snowflake!
SING a song or do a fingerplay rhyme. Rhyming and clapping rhythms helps children hear the sounds in words, part of phonological awareness. The following rhymes are great for recognizing rhythms and there are several versions online.

Five little penguins
Five little snowmen standing in a row
Search online for "learning with snow by Jean Warren" for more activities and songs

PLAY in the snow! What kind of things do animals do in the snow? Can you copy them? Can you look for animals in the snow?

READ together! The following books talk about real animals in the snow and fun stories about playing in the snow.

The fox in the dark by Alison Green
Animals in Winter by Martha Rustad
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan
Kitten's winter by Eugenie Fernandes
Duck skates by Lynne Berry

For more library events, new books, and more, check out our website at, join us on Facebook, or talk to a librarian. Please let me know if you have suggestions or questions!

Jennifer Wharton, Youth Services Librarian, 262-723-9143