Monday, December 2, 2013

Paws to Read: Winter Reading Program

iRead Paws to Read!
I've been wanting to do a winter reading program since I interned at the Champaign Public Library back in graduate school. They had a kind of year-round reading program and it was awesome. I also wanted something to keep our circulation up over the cold winter months and something to give people who were sad there were no programs from mid-December to mid-January. Although, I have to say, that asking for programs "during winter break" is a bit ridiculous when school lets out December 24 and starts again January 2! I decided I needed something that would be completely hands-off - staff were not going to be able or willing to deal with something as time-intensive as summer reading. But I wanted something more interesting than just tossing drawing slips in a jar. Then I saw Angie Manfredi's winter reading program, which is a kind of bingo game, and it was exactly the spark I needed!

This is how the program will (hopefully) work. On the youth services desk will be a holder with reading challenges. Lots and lots of reading challenges. Here are some samples (I'm still adding to them and organizing the files - if you want the complete set, email me):
Each one has a challenge on the front, a place for information on the back, and a little notation in the corner "Animals 1" that links them to the staff cheat sheet. This is a guide to help staff with reader's advisory when I'm not available. The kids don't have to do the exact things listed on the sheet (and they shouldn't be seeing it at all) it's just a starting point for staff.
Starting out, the program will be for independent readers. What counts as independent the parents and kids can decide. They can do as many challenges as they want in whatever time-frame they want. There's a box to return them on my desk and each week I'll do a drawing. The Grand Prize winners will get to pick from a stash of nice, hardcover books and the Runners Up winners will get to pick from a stash of misc. small incentives - mostly stuff that came with books or that's just accumulated over the years with some candy thrown in on top. I won't be contacting the winners - they will be posted on Facebook and on the bulletin board so people can come in and check each week to see if they won. I haven't decided how many names I will draw yet. If I have enough participants, I might draw a couple names from different age groups or something. I also haven't decided if people can win a Grand Prize more than once - it will depend on the number of participants.

So, all staff has to do is reader's advisory and let kids into the display cabinet to pick their prize, then mark them off the online spreadsheet (when I'm not here). I'll keep some extra stats but otherwise it's hands-off for me too.

Finally, I purchased iRead's summer reading program to use the artwork, since unlike CSLP you aren't limited to just the one summer. So, feel free to borrow my ideas and forms but make sure you either change the artwork or purchase the program!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Thanksgiving

  • 11-20-13: Run Turkey Run didn't come in time, so we got very wiggly. This is why I don't like holiday-themed storytimes - most of the books tend to be too long (plus the whole read about turkeys and make turkey crafts and then eat them thing is weird).
  • 11-7-12: What with the very gloomy weather (personally I like fog, but I'm in a minority) and the time change, everyone was late! However, I had a lot of older kids because there was no 4k today. Some of the younger kids got very wiggly and had to take leave early, so this storytime really works best for older kids. We didn't read Gobble Gobble.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of Dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise, Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: No programs Thanksgiving, holiday programs.

Early Literacy Theme: Print motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books and reading.

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: One is a feast for a mouse by Judy Cox

Movement: Mr. Turkey

Nonfiction: I'm a turkey by Jim Arnosky

Early Literacy Aside: If your child has trouble sitting still for a whole story, try ways to keep their attention, like singing the story, which is what we're going to do in our next story!

Music: I know an old lady who swallowed a pie by Alison Jackson

Short story: Gobble Gobble Crash by Julie Stiegemeyer

Short story: Run turkey run by Diane Mayr
Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Feather art

Prep: Feathers, paper plates, glue, crayons

Kids use the feathers and crayons to create a picture on the plates

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Hibernating Bears

  • 11-13-13: Very Hairy Bear was checked out and I did this at the last minute, so I had to skip it. I also grabbed my bear puppet at the last minute and when we did the bear hunt pulled him out and then used him for the Hibernating Bear rhyme. The kids all loved it when he "ate" berries out of their hands. I don't use puppets much, so it's a novelty for everyone!
  • 12-12-12: I didn't finish putting this together until the night before and came up short on movement. I had a horribly stiff neck the day of and this is our last week of programming and it's really chaotic and...meh, I don't know that parents noticed and everyone had a good time, but it was pretty low-key (except for R and the wolves vs. squirrels, which was hilarious).
Dancing time and name tags: "List of Dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise, Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: We Explore Science on Friday, Messy Art on Thursday

Early Literacy Theme: Print Awareness is knowing that print has meaning, how to handle a book, and noticing print all around

Opening name song: The more we get together

Early Literacy Aside: Our first story has several repeated words. Looking for refrains in books as you read aloud is a great way to increase print awareness.

Long story: A bedtime for bear by Bonny Becker

Movement: We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen

Nonfiction: Under the snow by Melissa Stewart
Alternate: Over and under the snow by Kate Messner

Movement: Hibernating Bear

Short story: Very Hairy Bear by Alice Schertle

Short story: Old Bear by Kevin Henkes

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Hibernation collage

Prep: animal magazines, scissors, paper, glue, crayons, markers

Kids cut out pictures of animals and draw what they do in the winter

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Preschool Interactive: First came the egg

  • 11-6-13: We were feeling a bit wiggly and some kids didn't stay the whole time. I mixed up the order a bit but we did everything except Hatch (this was a younger group).
  • 3-7-12: This is a recycled storytime from last year, and then I made some last-minute changes. Red Hen was a huge hit, then we added in Tom's Tweet by Jill Esbaum which didn't work well with this large group. Hatch, in the abridged form I use, went much better than the last time. I skipped Animals on the farm and read Foxy and Egg by Alex Smith instead of No sleep for the sheep. One boy informed me "you read that before!" which is entirely possible as it's a deliciously wicked book.
  • 2-6-13: I don't know if it's the weather, or if five days a week 4K is making it's presence felt, but I feel that our attendance is dropping off. Only 14 people today, only about 8 last week (granted that was a big snow storm that day). It was a very peaceful group and they did enjoy the stories though. I switched to Boots by Laurie Berkner for the opening song. I just wasn't feeling the butterflies.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of Dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise, Idaho
Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Kohls Wild Theater

Early Literacy Theme: Print Awareness is knowing that print has meaning, how to handle a book, and noticing print all around

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Foxy and Egg by Alex T. Smith

Movement: Here's a little egg

Early Literacy Aside: Our early literacy theme today is print awareness. We will be noticing the text in this story by matching some of the words to the pictures when we look for hidden animals.

Nonfiction: Hatch by Roxie Munro
What will hatch by Jennifer Ward

Movement: Animals on the farm

Short story: The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend

Short story/Flannelboard: The Red Hen by Rebecca Emberley

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Hatch an egg

Prep: Die cut white circles, ducks, and birds. Scissors, tape, markers, crayons

Kids cut one circle in half. Tape the half to the intact circle to make a pocket. What's hatching from your egg?

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Halloween

  • 10-30-13: I picked out an alternate pumpkin story, in case my audience was too young. I love Kohara's Ghosts in the house, but it always makes me nervous that I'm going to have an anti-ghost or anti-witch family get upset, especially since I am getting more homeschooling families who are pretty conservative, so I replaced it with Lois Ehlert's Boo to you. I also changed over the ghost craft for take home. It probably doesn't matter, since I think most of those families just don't come to the library in October, but better safe than sorry. This was a younger group overall so we didn't read The Biggest Pumpkin Ever and our favorite title was Just Say Boo!
  • 10-10-12: I picked out bits of Awesome Autumn to read, as it was a bit long. Half the kids suddenly appeared with food, so I'll have to make an announcement if this happens again - this is supposed to be an allergy-safe program. Some people peeled off their tape, some didn't. I had extra bags ready in case some people didn't want ghosts, but didn't have anybody there who objected.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of Dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise, Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements:
Messy Art Club monster boxes tomorrow, library closed Nov. 1

Early Literacy Theme: Letter knowledge is knowing that the same letter can look different, that letters have names and are related to sounds

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: The biggest pumpkin ever by Steven Kroll
Alternate: Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Movement: Autumn Leaves

Early Literacy Aside: One of the ways we practice letter knowledge is by looking at letters in books. This book has lots of big letters and we're going to look closely at the different ways they are written.

Nonfiction: Awesome autumn by Bruce Goldstone

Song: I'm a little pumpkin

Short story:  Boo to you by Lois Ehlert

Short story: Just say boo! by Susan Hood

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Tape art/masking tape letters

Prep: Masking tape, paper, crayons, markers

Kids make art with the tape or letters, draw, peel the tape off to reveal white letters (paper will rip a little)

Take Home Insert

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mad Scientists Club: Color Science

  • Program Goals

  • Old magazines with animal pictures
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors, markers, glue
Project/Experiment: Paint a rainbow/Mix it up paint
  • White construction paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes, eye droppers
  • Plastic palettes
  • Aprons, paper towels, wipes, covers for tables
  • Color by Ellen Lawrence (Science is FUNdamental)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Folktales

  • 10-23-13: I let the kids glue on their own eyes, instead of doing it ahead of time. We used glue dots and this was a fascinating thing for everyone. Only 21 people, but in my library that works out to about 5 adults and 16 kids, so that's a good number. I didn't need the last two stories, b/c this is a pretty long storytime with all the actions. [Replaced Greedy Sparrow]
  • 10-3-12: We had some crazy wigglers today, so I skipped Greedy Sparrow, but we read all the others and enjoyed them. I need to be firm about kids not touching the flannelboard, but it's never been an issue before!
Dancing time and name tags: "List of dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements:
Mad Scientists Club tomorrow, We Explore Fall on Friday

Early Literacy Theme: Narrative skills; expressive language, including being able to describe things, tell events in order, and to retell stories.

Early Literacy Aside: Today we're going to be reading lots of folktales, stories people have told to each other for a long, long time. Folktales are a great way to develop narrative skills because they have simple, predictable plot structures and usually include repetition.

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: No dinner! by Jessica Souhami

Movement: Little old lady who was not afraid of anything by Linda Williams

Music: Cat goes Fiddle-i-fee

Movement: Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

Short story: Ivan the terrier by Peter Catalanotto

Short story: Huff and Puff by Claudia Rueda

Closing song: Sunny Day
Process art: Eye tell a story!

Prep: Glue sets of eyes onto white paper. Put out markers, crayons, pencils.

Kids draw faces around the eyes and create their own stories about the characters.

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Colors

  • 10-9-13: Kind of ironic that I invited the preschool to join us b/c of dropping numbers...and now I'm getting big numbers. 36 people today! We didn't read Go Go Grapes or do Hop little bunnies - our flannelboards took up a lot of time. [Replaced Crafty Chloe, Pass it on]
  • 6-13-12: Very chaotic beginning to the summer session, but lots of new people came and had positive responses. Did have some people who left halfway through - always worrying, wondering if they got bored or had to be somewhere, or thought the program was something else...Anyways. Two kids were scared of Hop Hop little bunnies - first time that ever happened, but I toned it down in the repeats and it was ok. Pass it on passed over the heads of the younger kids but a couple older siblings giggled through the whole thing. And my flannelboard of colors was too hard to put up - I need to attach the letters to bigger pieces of flannel so I don't have to fiddle with them.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Messy Art snake painting, family game night, We Explore block party

Early Literacy Theme: Letter Knowledge is knowing that the same letter can look different, that letters have names, and that letters are related to sounds.

Opening name song: The more we get together

Early Literacy Aside: We are going to practice recognizing letters and colors today at the same time! In our next story, Baby Bear sees many different colors and we're going to spell them out on the flannelboard

Long story/Flannelboard: Baby Bear sees blue by Ashley Wolff

Movement: Five Eggs and Five Eggs

Nonfiction: Go Go Grapes! by April Pulley Sayre

Movement: Hop Little Bunnies

Short story/Flannelboard: One little blueberry by Tammi Salzano

Short story: Monsters love colors by Mike Austin

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Painting

Supplies: Paper, paint, brushes, water, aprons, baby wipes

Prep: Lay everything out!

Kids: Paint!

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Reading Words, Growing Gardens

  • 10-2-13: I realize that most people don't garden in October, especially not in the midwest, but I feel it's nice to do something to green up the coming winter. Like my butterfly program in January. We didn't read Plant a Little Seed. Instead of using food coloring, I used tempera for the eye droppers. I poured some water in the cups and then a dollop of paint. While it was messy - as you can see - it was easier to clean up than food coloring. This little character hasn't been interested in storytime since he started coming last summer, preferring to hang out in the play area, but the eye droppers were irresistible and he couldn't tear himself away! It did take me almost an hour to clean up though.
  • 8-8-12: Last PI of the summer session. We didn't have time to read Plant a little seed - Pretty ladybug is a looooong song, especially if you have more than 10 kids (I had around 20). The eye dropper project was a little messy, so I don't think we'll do it too often, but the kids loved it.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Experience and Explore Early Literacy tomorrow

Early Literacy Theme: Print Awareness is knowing that print has meaning, how to handle a book, and noticing print all around

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: How to teach a slug to read by Susan Pearson

Movement/flannelboard: Pretty ladybug

Nonfiction: Wolfsnail by Sarah Campbell

Movement: This is the way we plant a garden

Short story: Plant a little seed by Bonnie Christensen

Short story: Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Dip and dye papers (Preschool Art pg. 36)

Prep: Cover tables with newspaper, make bowls of food coloring, aprons, coffee filters, eye droppers

Kids: Drip paint onto the filters with the eye droppers

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Alligators and Crocodiles, with a few monkeys on the side

  • 9-18-13: I invited a local 4k school to join our storytime and this was the first trial of that. They came around 9:30 and checked out books and did the craft, then joined storytime, then they left and the "regular" people - all 11 of them - did the craft. I am back to obsessing over this program. And we didn't actually use Catch that Crocodile, although one of the moms sat down to read it to her kids afterwards.
  • 9-19-12: This was a good one - it's all things I know well (except Albert Alligator, and I did that 3 times so it's in my head now). Some people were very worried that there wasn't a "sample" of how the craft was supposed to look. I've found this is almost always grandparents for some reason. So I did a lot of explaining about process art. The egg carton thing didn't really work - there wasn't time to cut out enough and..meh. The paper was enough.
Dancing time and name tags: "List of dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Welcome Step Ahead, Lego Club tomorrow, Science with Pattie on Friday. [replaced What to do if an elephant stands on your foot]

Early Literacy Theme: Narrative Skills is expressive language, being able to describe things, to tell events in order, and to retell stories. Narrative skills help children understand what they hear and read.

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Hooray for Amanda and her alligator by Mo Willems

Movement: Albert the Alligator

Early Literacy Aside: For our nonfiction story today, we're going to read a folktale. These are stories that people have been telling each other for hundreds of years. They make great read-alouds because they often have fun parts to repeat and interesting characters, like the tricky monkey in this story. Folktales help kids learn narrative skills, b/c they have repetitive refrains and make it easy to retell stories.

Nonfiction: Monkey: A trickster tale by Gerald McDermott

Flannelboard/Movement: Five little monkeys 

Short story: I'd really like to eat a child by Sylviane Donnio

Short story: Catch that crocodile by Anushka Ravishankar

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Alligator mouths

Prep: Cut green paper into two large triangles. Popsicle sticks, tape, scissors, markers, crayons

Kids cut teeth along one edge, tape to sticks, decorate, and chomp!

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Preschool Interactive: What's New

  • 9-11-13: Aaand, we're back! I've decided to use the first storytime back to introduce fun, new books. I've also changed from labeling the storytimes by early literacy skill to theme. I'm ok with themes as long as I remind myself that you only need one book to make a theme, you don't have to slavishly follow it in every book, song, rhyme, and craft. I had a very large group - about 35 people - with lots of babies and 4k kids (no 4k today). I did have a few panicky moments that the babies were crying, the kids were wiggly, etc. but I reminded myself it was the first day and it was all ok. We didn't have time for I Spy Pets, but two parents were excited to check out the books afterwards. I loved how everyone magically quieted down at the end when we sang Sunny Day and my kids from last year sang their hearts out. [replaced Fuddles, Happy Birthday Hamster, Don't squish the sasquatch]
  • 7-25-12: We're really loving the glitter finger paint I got from Discount School Supply. I did have a lot of kids today who didn't want to touch the paint, but that's why I keep brushes handy! Had an unusually quiet and listening group today, best reading of What do you do with a tail like this EVER! I have a flannelboard of pictures from the book and I handed out a couple from each page. When the kids' picture came up, they put it on the board and we guessed what it might be, then we turned the page and read about their animal. We didn't actually use Five Gray Elephants, we were busy reading!
Dancing time and name tags: "List of dances" from Jim Gill makes it noisy in Boise Idaho

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Welcome back to Preschool Interactive. Ice Age Trail, Mad Scientists Club, Step Ahead preschool will be joining us. Kids' displays, 10KBK.

Early Literacy Theme: Print motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books and reading. We're going to read lots of new books today, that the library just got! Letting kids pick out their reading choices and trying out new books is a great way to get motivated to read together.

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Millie and the big rescue by Alexander Steffensmeier

Movement: Loud Bird by Caspar Babypants

Nonfiction/Flannelboard: What do you do with a tail like this? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Movement: I saw a little duck

Short story: I spy pets by Edward Gibbs

Short story: Little Mouse by Allison Murray

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Fingerpaint

Prep: Cut fingerpaint paper into smaller pieces, have sticks to scoop out paint and paper plates to put it on.

Kids paint!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Book Experience

  • Improve notes
    Goals - early literacy message and information about plants. promote pizza gardens program in august and get people to visit the library gardens, motor development
    Attendance - goal of 25
    Notes for the future

  • 8-10-13: I've been trying to find a simple but fun end of summer reading party for several years. I really want something that will be a "tradition" b/c I am all about repeating programs that people can then expect. So, we did a book-themed party that we could easily expand or trade out themes. I had hoped to get community members to run the tables, but there's really no one around in August and it worked out fine. I mostly had my aides put it together and about 40 people came, which was just perfect. I had multiple copies of books at each table. I think next year I'd have a couple more older kid activities, as almost everything was younger, although the kids still enjoyed it. The best creations were the vampire Elephant and Piggie puppets and the miniature frogs a kid cut out to decorate his journal.
Elephant and Piggie
  • Elephant and Piggie puppets
  • Elephant and Piggie activity sheets
  • Markers, scissors, glue
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Someone donated a big stack of used journals and I put them out for the kids to redecorate
  • Scrap paper, pencils, scissors, glue
  • I die cut large fish to decorate and then used the cut-outs for suncatchers
  • Holepunchers, yarn, glue, shells, tape, tissue paper
  • Goldfish snacks
Curious George
  • I had a party kit for this with stickers, activity sheets, and temp tattoos
  • I also baked banana bread
Eric Carle
  • Caterpillars - pom poms, glue dots, clothespins
Press Here
  • I had an activity kit for this with activity sheets and stickers
Alice in Wonderland
  • The local dance school, Toe to Toe Ballet, brought several of their dancers in costume and a lot of their props. They had some activities and little prizes and kids could get a ride in the teacup!
Extra Snacks
  • I had lots of cookies and brownies left over from events of the previous week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Preschool Interactive: summer

  • 8-7-13: Aaaand we're done. Only 15 people came today, really just two families. Most people are on vacation (school here doesn't start until September) or they were over in the park with Pattie. But the kids did like the summer stories and we just talked a lot. [Replaced Traction Man and the beach odyssey, Cactus Hotel, Hot rod hamster, Hogwash]
  • 6-20-12: Hmm. Having trouble getting the kids to salsa with me! I'm working on getting the older kids to help me demo, otherwise the kids just stand there shaking the shakers. It was insanely hot and I didn't need Hogwash (which hadn't come in time anyways) so I left it out. Not quite back in the groove of storytime and this is a crazy week.
Dancing time and name tags: "I know a chicken" by Laurie Berkner from Best of the Laurie Berkner Band (shakers)

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Book Experience, programs end on Saturday, changes in the fall

Early Literacy Theme: Print Awareness includes knowing that print has meaning, knowing how to handle a book, and noticing print all around

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Night Sky Wheel Ride by Sheree Fitch

Movement: Hop little bunnies

Nonfiction: It's a firefly night by Dianne Ochiltree

Movement: Five hungry ants

Early Literacy Aside: Our next story is about observing the world around you. One way to do that and practice your print awareness is look for words

Short story: Wait! Wait! by Hatsue Nakawaki

Short story: Summer days and nights by Wong Herbert Yee

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Suncatchers

Prep: Cut shapes out of shirt cardboard, tape, tissue paper, markers, yarn, hole punchers

Kids tape tissue paper over the cut outs, decorate the outside, and hang them with yarn (or make necklaces out of them)

Take Home Insert

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preschool Interactive: Letter Knowledge

  • 7-31-13: At 9:55 there was one little girl in the play area. When I opened the door, and by the time everyone had wandered in, we had about 35 people. We did have one super wiggly kid, but I just kind of read over him and everyone really loved the beach project. The toddlers yesterday were crazy about it too. [replaced Monkey by McDermott, Is this a house for hermit crab, Blue Chameleon]
  • 7-30-13: Pattie was on vacation so I just used this with the toddlers in both Tuesday sessions. I added Baby Bear Sees Blue and its flannelboard and cut some of the other books.
  • 8-1-12: I had a nice mix of old and new attendees. Z is for moose was hugely popular. I still don't like it.
Dancing time and name tags: "I know a chicken" by Laurie Berkner from Best of the Laurie Berkner Band (shakers)

Introduction, welcome, and announcements: Messy Art quilting, no more We Explore until fall, Book Experience.

Early Literacy Theme: Letter knowledge is knowing that the same letter can look different, that letters have names and are related to sounds

Opening name song: The more we get together

Long story: Hands off my honey by Jane Chapman

Movement: We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen

Early Literacy Aside: Letter knowledge includes number knowledge, so we're going to read some stories about numbers.

Nonfiction: These bees count by Alison Formento

Movement: Jumping Beans

Short story: Count the monkeys by Mac Barnett

Short story: Z is for moose by Kelly Bingham

Closing song: Sunny Day

Process art: Sand/Glue beaches

Prep: Pour rainbow sand into big tubs. Paper plates, shells, glue, spoons

Kids Draw pictures with the glue, then pour the sand over them and shake it off into the tubs. Add shells to make a beach scene.

Take Home Insert

Friday, July 19, 2013

We Explore Bubbles and Chalk

  • 7-19-13: I though about not doing a We Explore this week, but I decided to just repeat yesterday's Messy Art Club. We only had 13 people, but it was a nice, peaceful little morning program and the kids really enjoyed blowing bubbles and jumping in the pool. So, numbers not as cool as the 100+ who came to our giant bubble program last year, but much more happy for everyone involved in the program.
  • Bubble solution from Walmart
  • Bubble wands (bought from Amazon with money donated by VIP Aktion Club)
  • Chalk
  • Swimming pool

Friday, July 12, 2013

We Explore Sound

  • 7-12-13: Only three families came and only one of them could stay. The kids weren't that interested, so they read books and the mom and I made wind chimes and talked about our plans for middle school visits next year (she's a teacher). Sometimes summer is like that.
I just went with lots of recycled supplies for this. We poked holes in the tops of the cups with pointed pliers and the point of my compass, then used a hole punch to make holes around the edge. We used a pipe cleaner for the top to hold it, then ribbon around the edges. Then we tied stuff to the ribbon and tested out how it sounded.

  • Plastic cups
  • Yarn, ribbon
  • Scissors, tape, hole punch, compass, glue dots
  • buttons, pony beads, metal washers, straws, popsicle sticks

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dance into summer with Ella Bella Ballerina

  • 6-11-13: I scheduled both my aides and made sure they were there at 11:30 for decoration and prep (the party was at 1:30 and we finished cleaning up around 3:45). I also required registration this year, as the Fancy Nancy party last year was crowded to the point of chaos. We had 74 people, which was a much more manageable number than in the past. The tv died halfway through but we didn't run out of anything and everyone loved it!

Butterfly Masks
  • Die cut masks
  • Glue, glue dots, tongue depressors, tape
  • Sparkles, feathers, markers
Tissue Paper Tutus
  • Tape, ribbon, tissue paper
Paper Doll Ballerinas
  • Cut out paper dolls
  • Markers, sparkles, tissue paper, yarn
  • From The Crafty Crow
  • Mini pink cupcakes (2 batches)
  • Pink lemonade
  • Frosting, sprinkles
  • Popsicle sticks, napkins, plates, cups
  • Book table - included ballet books by
    • James Mayhew - Ella Bella Ballerina
    • Rachel Isadora
    • Katherine Holabird
    • and more!
  • TV - ballet movie playing


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Reading 2013 Edition

These are the programs I'm doing this year:

Rubber Ducky Readers
Dig into Reading
  • Ages 3-12
  • Turn in a bookmark each week and receive a prize
  • I convinced a number of children's librarians in our consortium to adapt and use a bookmark program based on Marge Loch-Wouters' summer reading bookmarks last year. It went great and we made a few changes for this year, but are basically sticking with the same formula.
  • I try for prizes under 50 cents but stuff the kids can actually "do" something with, not just add to their stash of plastic crap. Some of the prizes I'm using this year:
    • One of the week's prizes is a book. I have built up quite a large stash from donations, Scholastic warehouse sales, and review copies and ARCs. This is very popular - kids love choosing a book
    • Hi-bounce balls - our next most popular prize. I got them on sale this year so they were even cheaper! They have lots of different patterns.
    • Wooden shapes from Discount School Supply. We've tried the 3-D ones, but they were too confusing so I just get their selection of different shapes that kids can decorate.
    • Frog poppers, mini bubbles, plastic snakes, card games, color me hand puppets, stickers, and mini playdough are a few of the other things I give out.
  • Funded by Kohls cares for kids, a couple local businesses, and my supply budget (donations were down this year, but fortunately I got a LOT of Kohls money)
Super Readers Club
  • Ages 6-12
  • Turn in a reading log in August and choose up to 7 passes/prizes (program is supplemental to Dig into Reading - i.e. you can do both)
  • I had voracious readers complaining that the bookmark program was too easy and I got tired of having to investigate each pass to see at what age children needed a ticket and then having to double-check all the kids to see which ones actually needed a pass and which could get in free and it was a pain for staff to remember to hand out the passes. So I decided that only Super Readers would earn the passes. I fully expect some irate parents to come down on me, especially if we get County Fair passes this year, but I will live through it. I had plenty of backlash when I stopped doing drawing prizes for the younger kids and that turned out to be a good decision. Our consortium provides the passes and I will supplement with leftover prizes as needed.
Teen Summer Reading
  • Ages 13+
  • Every week you turn in a review sheet you get to choose a book OR a prize (i.e. candy bar). You can turn in as many sheets as you want, although you only get one prize per week. In August I collect all the sheets and do a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
  • I only have about 20 teens who participate and somewhere around 17 they usually join the adult program. I've shared this form with the rest of the consortium, but I think only one other library is using it.
Summer Reading - Daycare Version
  • I have been thinking about this for a while and after I saw a presentation at WLA from...I think Appleton librarians? I decided this was the year. I started with the small daycare that I visit every month (they only have about 20 school-age kids in the summer). I made three logs, Listeners and Pre-Readers, Beginning Readers, and Independent Readers and made several copies for the classrooms.
  • In mid-June, I will be taking the logs and a selection of books and visiting whatever kids happen to be there that day. The kids and teachers will color in the shapes throughout the summer and then I'll go back in mid-August, pick up the logs, and distribute ice cream coupons! I'm thinking about taking stickers too.
  • If this works out well, I'll try it with the BIG daycare in town, but that's a jump to several 100 kids, so I'm trying it small first.
I stopped doing registration - I keep statistics only for actual participation now. I am giving out museum passes to all the Dig into Reading participants when they "register" i.e. get their first bookmark, because I have an unlimited number of those and I wanted something to give people when they "signed up".

You are welcome to use my materials, but please be aware the the artwork is copyrighted by the CSLP, so if your library does not participate in that program you will need to use different artwork.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Middle School Madness: The T-Shirt Fiasco

  • 5-8-13: Last meeting of the school year. I am planning to continue this program next school year, although at the moment I don't feel like doing any more programs ever again...only 5 middle schoolers came, so it doesn't look like May is a good time for this program. I let in a bunch of high schoolers and promptly regretted it when they all decided to make "legalize marijuana" t-shirts. I probably could have handled it better, but I was too tired for an argument and I just told them if their parents or the school gets them in trouble, they are on their own. They told me their parents would think it was funny and they weren't going to wear them to school. Whatever. Note to self: Do not let high schoolers come to this program, especially this group who are very much in the "we are shocking and On The Edge" phase.
The Challenge
  • This was going to be our Maker kit brushbots, but I realized too late they needed tools we didn't have. I did have the spinbot available, but they weren't interested. They definitely liked the idea of the brushbots, but we'll have to do them next year.
DIY Project
  • T-shirts - I basically wanted to use up the leftover shirts and paint and markers from the spring break t-shirt party. The middle schoolers behaved perfectly nicely and made fun shirts. Not so the high schoolers (see above).
  • I bought 6 cheap party pizzas and baked them in the community room oven (note to self - there is no good knife in the kitchen! I will need to bring one next time) If I had had a normal-sized group, we would have needed more pizza.
  • Leftover marshmallows and pretzels.
Wii and New Books
  • The middle schoolers played some Just Dance Summer and they liked the retro Kirby Collection, but there weren't really enough kids there for it to get going.
  • Nobody looked much at the books.
  • I bought the pizza and one pack of 5 t-shirts but everything else I already had. I bought the Maker kits last January.
I didn't take any pictures. I just wanted to go home and sleep.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Middle School Madness: The madness begins

  • 2-6-13: This is my new after school program - just for middle schoolers! It's going to be roughly once a month during the school year. I really, really hope it works! I am offering wii gaming, snacks, projects, and new books. It worked! I didn't write this until afterwards, so I kinda figured out how it would work as we went along. About 20 6th grade girls came and stayed for over an hour, with another 10 or so 7th graders looking in, random drop-ins getting cookies, etc. The older kids won't come with the younger ones there, but since most of our problem kids are these 7th graders, that's fine by me. It did get a bit twirly near the end, and I think some music would help, but there's a huge disparity in musical tastes and family rules, so I'm not sure what I'd play. Having the middle school announce it on the PA that same day did the trick.
The Challenge
  • This challenge was marshmallows and pretzel sticks! You couldn't eat any until you'd made something. Things made included random structures, mini-weights, and a car.
DIY Projects
  • We painted a variety of wooden things I had left in the closet and I bought some tops from School Discount Supply. The butterflies and snakes were the most popular (also from School Discount Supply)
  • I baked cookies and banana bread and our director baked cookies as well. The kids also ate a lot of pretzels and marshmallows. They would have liked soda, but I don't want to clean up spills nor do I wish to give them any more unhealthy sugar.
Passive: Wii and New Book Table
  • The girls (and a couple boys) pretty much took turns playing Just Dance 3 the whole time. There was mild interest in the books, specifically Zachary Sherman's Bloodlines, Ayun Halliday's Peanut, and the latest wolf book by Kathryn Lasky, but nobody had a library card. Some kids were going to ask their parents to bring their cards when they got picked up so they could check stuff out.
  • Wii games (put on hold on Monday)
  • New books (saved behind my desk until the program)
  • Cookies and banana bread (baked by myself and director)
  • Paper napkins and serving dishes (liberated from the staff room)
  • Marshmallows (found in my storage room)
  • Pretzels (Purchased - $2)
  • Paper plates (Purchased - I use these for a gazillion things and just buy more when I need them)
  • Acrylic paint (Purchased - I use this for different things and just add more when I run out)
  • Paintbrushes (storage room - I dispose of these after they're used, not worth cleaning)
  • Plastic tablecloths (Purchased - $2)
  • Wooden tops, butterflies, and snakes (Bought the tops for about $10, the other things were left over)
  • Wax paper (storage room)
  • Water cups
  • Disinfectant wipes (for clean-up)
Yasmin meets the challenge
Marshmallow challenge

More marshmallow challenges

Splatter-paint butterfly

Dancing to Wii

Giovanna's creation

It's a car!

Heavy weights!

Painting stuff

Robot zombie snowman

Joanna  (sp?) shows off her creation

A happy butterfly

Everybody dance!

Look at the detail and shading! Best snake!