Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Drop-In Story Time, 8/28/12

Summer is over, and before I've even had a chance to catch my breath, we've moved right onto our Fall schedule. Due to some changes in staffing and some other factors, my branch has made some changes to the way we're doing story time. Starting this week, we've cut it down to one session on Tuesday and one session on Friday for ages birth to 5. We were a bit more crowded than we would have liked this week, because some other nearby branches are on a break from story time, and our bigger kids haven't all gone back to school yet, but I think the numbers will be more manageable in September.

In any case, based on the fact that our groups are now larger, and knowing how difficult it was to keep their attention all summer, I've changed the structure of my story times a little bit. I've sort of divided the half-hour session into three parts - actual story time, a lesson about a letter of the alphabet, and a sing-along. (I feel much less guilty about simply singing for the whole second half of story time when there is an obvious early literacy component.) This Tuesday morning session was the first one with the new format, and it was very successful, so I hope this is a sign of good things to come. Here is what story time looked like yesterday:

Opening Song (with ukulele): Hello, how are you?

Book: Faster! Faster!  by Leslie Patricelli (2012) 

Song: Roll Your Hands

Rhyme: Hop Your Bunny
We did this rhyme with one bunny at first, then repeated it with two bunnies.

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake

Book: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle (2011)

Flannel Board Song: The Artist’s Crayons 

Letter of the Week: Letter A 
I placed two felt letters on the board - a capital A and a lower case a - then showed everyone how to make the letter A in American Sign Language. Then I showed them a picture of an ant and put that on the flannel board.
  • Song: The Ants Go Marching
    We only counted up to five ants, because I secretly despise this song.
  • Rhyme: Alligator Rap
    I showed a picture of an alligator, asked the kids to identify it, then put it on the flannel board. We did the rhyme twice.
  • Rhyme: Way up High in the Apple Tree 
    I showed the kids two apples, again asked them what they were, then put them on the board. We did this rhyme twice as well.
  • Song: Five Astronauts Went Up in Space
Song: ABCs

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

 Song: Chickadee

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flannel Friday: Harold's Other Crayons

On Wednesday, when I shared Harold and the Purple Crayon with a preschool group, I also created a flannel board song to sing. I used a tune that is usually reserved for my toddler songs about clothes - Mary Wore Her Red Dress - and took a different approach. Here is the end result:

Harold was working on a picture. He used his purple crayon. 



Harold used his purple crayon,
purple crayon, purple crayon. 
Harold used his purple crayon 
all day long. 

The next day, Harold was still working on his picture, but he was tired of purple, so he used.... blue



Harold used his blue crayon,
blue crayon, blue crayon. 
Harold used his blue crayon 
all day long.  

The next day, Harold was still working on his picture, but he was tired of blue, so he used.... green


Harold used his green crayon,
green crayon, green crayon. 
Harold used his green crayon 
all day long.  

The next day, Harold was still working on his picture, but he was tired of green, so he used.... yellow!

  
Harold used his yellow crayon,
yellow crayon, yellow crayon. 
Harold used his yellow crayon 
all day long.

The next day, Harold was still working on his picture, but he was tired of yellow, so he used.... orange!

 

Harold used his orange crayon,
orange crayon, orange crayon. 
Harold used his orange crayon 
all day long.

The next day, Harold was still working on his picture, but he was tired of orange, so he used.... red!


Harold used his red crayon,
red crayon, red crayon. 
Harold used his red crayon 
all day long.

Wow, look at all of Harold's crayons. Let's say their colors one more time. 

Do you know why Harold used these colors? 

Because... he was drawing a.... 


 RAINBOW!  

Though I created this flannel to be used with a specific book, I think it could be adapted in a number of ways:
  • Change Harold to "The artist" for an art-themed story time (and maybe pair it with The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse)
  • Change Harold to "The leprechaun" for a St. Patrick's Day Theme, and add a pot of gold to the end of the story. 
  •  Change what Harold / the artist draws - maybe have him draw something for each color, and put those items on the flannel board as well.
  • Change Harold's medium - Harold used his purple marker, purple paint, purple glitter, etc. 
  • Change  the song to a chant and get the kids to clap, snap, or tap to the beat. 
 This week's Flannel Friday host is Lisa, who blogs at Libraryland. Everything else you could ever want to know about Flannel Friday can be found at the official site.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Preschool Story Time, 8/22/12 (at another branch)

 I also filled in for preschool story time yesterday! I originally planned a creativity theme, but then ended up making up much of it as I went along.

First, since the school group that came showed up 15 minutes before the start of story time, I had a room full of silly, laughing kids. I decided to channel some of their energy into singing and moving around, so we did that for a few minutes before starting. Then, once it was actually time, we got underway.

Opening Song: Hello how are you? 

Book: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (1955)

Flannel Board Song: Harold's Other Crayons (see my Flannel Friday post tomorrow for details)

Book: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (1995)
As we counted the instruments, I asked the kids to show me the number of fingers for duo, trio, etc.

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

 
Book: Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia

At this point in story time, just before I started to read, the school group got up and started leaving. To keep things somewhat under control, we sang goodbye to the kids as they left, then had everyone who was not with the school and wanted to stay move closer to me so they could hear the  rest of the books.

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Book: How Can You Dance?  by Rick Walton, illustrated by Ana Lopez-Escriva (2001)
This was a surprising hit. The kids loved talking about the different animals and their movements. I think it was so successful because I really relaxed with and didn't have to compete with chatty adults to get through the story. I'm brainstorming ways to kind of train the nannies back at my own branch on how to listen to a story.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby Time (Transportation Theme), 8/22/12 (at another branch)

I filled in at another branch yesterday morning and had lots of fun with this transportation-themed story time. 

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers 

Book: What Do Wheels Do All Day? by April Jones Prince, illustrated by Giles Laroche (2006)

Song: Bumpin' Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon 


Book: Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia (2008)


Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up 

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby 

Book: My Car by Byron Barton (2001)

Song: Drive, Drive, Drive Your Car 

Flannel Board Rhyme: Seven Snazzy Aunties
Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Book: School Bus by Donald Crews (1984)

Song: There's a Little Wheel a-Turnin' in my Heart 


Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby/Toddler Story Time (Tree Theme), 8/21/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Book: Hello, Goodbye by David Lloyd, illustrated by Louise Voce (1998)
I did a lot of different things with my voice, depending on how the different characters in this book spoke, and got the adults to do it with me. I wish I could keep their attention beyond just one story, because this was really great!

Rhyme: Two Little Robins (based on Two Little Blackbirds)

Book: Little Robin Redbreast by Shari Halpern (1994)

Song: Where is Big Cat?

Song: The Trees are Growing High

Song: Ooki Na Kuri No Ki No Shita De (Under the Big Chestnut Tree) by Elizabeth Mitchell
I only sang the English this time.

Book: The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri (2007)
Song: Brown Squirrel
I use to do this with a stick puppet, but I did it as an action rhyme and it was much better.

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Book: The Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert (2004)

Song: Four Red Cherries

Song: Sunny Day

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby/Toddler Lap Time, 8/17/12

I can't find my notes from this story time, so this isn't everything, but here is what I remember:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: This is Baseball by Margaret Blackston, pictures by John O'Brien (1997)

Song: Baseball Player

Book: Let's Count Goats by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jan Thomas

Song: One, Two, I Love You

Book: Fire! Fire! said Mrs. McGuire  by Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by Richard Egielski

Flannel Board Song (with ukulele): Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?
I was so impressed by the child who suggested "builder" as the name for our construction worker. So much easier to sing! 

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Preschool Story Time (Silly Theme), 8/17/12

Opening Song (with ukulele): Hello, how are you?

Song (with ukulele): I’m in the Mood for Singing
We sang about singing, dancing, and reading. 

Book: Silly Tilly by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by David Slonim (2008)

Flannel Board: Silly Sally by Audrey Wood (1999)
We only have a board book of this one at my branch, so I blew up some of the illustrations on the copy machine and told it as a flannel board instead. They liked it.

Song: Shake My Sillies Out
Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)
Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers

Rhyme: Wiggle Your Fingers and Toes

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big 

Book: Wiggle by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Scott Menchin (2005)

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby

Song: The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: Five Little Monkeys

Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Circle Time, 8/14/12

The theme of my last Circle Time for  the summer was Nature Detectives.

Opening Song (with ukulele): Hello, how are you?

Book: How To Be a Nature Detective by Millicent Ellis Selsam (1996)
I wasn't sure how a non-fiction title like this would go over with the kids, but they were surprisingly mesmerized.  They loved learning the characteristics of  the different animals' footprints, and as the follow-up activity showed, they could even apply what they had learned!

Flannel Board: Guess Whose Tracks
I printed out some Microsoft Clip Art showing different animal tracks and asked the kids to name the animal. The last one was a human footprint, which got a laugh. 

Book: Around the Pond - Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George (1996)
More guessing in this book. They did well - when they didn't get the specific animal, they did know generally that it was a bird, or a frog, or whatever. 

Book: We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
This book we acted out. I used a music stand to hold the book so my arms could be free to move. We didn't really have a specific set of movements; we just did whatever seemed to fit the action in the story.

Song: Move Like the Animals
I started us off with one verse, to the tune of Skip To My Lou ("Chomp like an alligator just like so...") and let the  kids choose the rest. My favorite suggestion - "Jump! Like a chipmunk!"


Book: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (2004)
This book was not the hit I expected. They were just not that impressed.

Song (with ukulele): Oh, Little Flower
I used the music stand and Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow to point out some different types of flowers. We sang about tulips, cornflowers, and other flowers - one for each color. 

Book: Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes
For this one, whenever we heard the word "spiral" we made a swirling motion in the air with one finger. They did a pretty good job, even if this book was the weakest of the entire session.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

After the goodbye song, we turned on the bubble machine and popped bubbles for  the last time. Based on the success of this program, we'll be offering a preschool story time with a similar format starting in September.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #44

The Funny Little Woman. by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent. Published 1972. Caldecott Medal 1973. Puffin. ISBN: 9780140547535

When an old woman’s rice dumpling goes missing, she has to venture into the world of the oni to get it back. The monsters she encounters are actually pretty scary-looking - even more so than Sendak’s wild things! - but the woman’s bravery knows no bounds, and in the end she outsmarts them all and becomes more successful than ever before! The illustrations are very similar to the ones in Tikki Tikki Tembo, since both are done by the same artist. What I like about these, though, is how Lent keeps us ever-aware of the fact that the woman is underground by drawing her home in black and white and showing only the world of the oni in color. It’s a neat technique and does a great job of keeping the reader aware of what’s happening, and of the woman’s desire to get home, in a subconscious way.

Bambino the Clown by Georges Schreiber. Published 1947. Caldecott Honor 1948. Viking Children's Books. ISBN: 9780670147564

While I appreciate the beauty of the illustrations in this book, the story itself didn’t really do much for me. I was a bit weirded out by how comfortable Peter was with talking to a strange man and going home with him to learn clowning, and I was equally puzzled when that relationship, between the clown and his apprentice, didn’t become the central focus of the book. I loved the painting where Bambino falls from his tower of tables and chairs. It conveys a great sense of movement and sound at the same time, and requires no words to describe what is happening. Unfortunately, the text wasn’t nearly as nuanced or exciting.

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Published 1985. Caldecott Honor 1986. Aladdin. ISBN: 9780689717383

This book is a childhood favorite of mine, but I’m sad to admit that the story isn’t as good as I remember. I think I actually imagined more of a story in my head based on the illustrations which really fleshed out what is otherwise very bland text. It’s probably this very quality - that the illustrations tell stories not conveyed by the text - that caused it to win a Caldecott Honor in the first place. I love the crowded scenes filled with loving, active relatives, and even as an adult, I still like looking over the illustrations, looking at all the details of their clothes, food, tools, and musical instruments. I am also fond of the recurring image of the grapes growing in Virginia, which is used to indicate how much time has passed while the relatives have visited. It’s an especially nice touch that the last page of the book shows nothing more than a bunch of ripening grapes.

The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Published 1995. Caldecott Honor 1996. Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9780027861310

I was surprised by how much I liked this strange little book about a friend who does everything he can to save his friend and his intended bride from a zombie curse. It involves just enough supernatural elements to be creepy, but it also seems completely plausible. I love the Caribbean setting and the incorporation of the language of the West Indies. This would be a great read-aloud for some of the older elementary groups who visit my library, and it will add some diversity to my repertoire. I will definitely visit this one again in the near future.

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Baby Lap Time #6, 8/17/12

Opening Song: Please Tell Us Your Name

Rhyme: Cheek Chin 

Bounce: All the Little Babies


Book: Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri (2006)

Song: Tony Chestnut 

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby

Song with Puppet: Buzzing Buzzing Bumblebee

Book: Pots and Pans by Patricia Hubbell, illustrated by Diane DeGroat (1998)

Rhyme: Hey Diddle Diddle

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: Where is Big Toe?

Song with Shaker Eggs: ABCs

Song with Shaker Eggs: Shake My Sillies Out

Song with Shaker Eggs: Can You Shake Your Egg with Me?

Goodbye Song: Shaker Egg Goodbye Song

Baby/Toddler Story Time (Brown Theme), 8/14/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake 

Book: The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (1989)
Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle (1967)

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby

Book: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain by Chris L. Demarest (2003)

Song: Monkeys on the Bed

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Song: One Little Finger

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby/Toddler Lap Time (Black Theme), 8/10/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider


Book: Little Black Book by Renee Khatami (2011) 

Song: Flap Flap Flap Little Bats 

Song with Puppet: Buzzing Buzzing Bumblebee

I wrote these words, to be sung to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:  

Buzzing bumblebee (bumblebee)
Buzzing bumblebee (bumblebee)
Buzzing oh so happily
Buzzing, buzzing bumblebee (bumblebee)

Rhyme with puppet: Ladybug, Ladybug 

Book: Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews (1995)

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up 

Song with Flannel Board and Ukulele: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Book: Just Like Jasper! by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen (2008)

Rhyme: Two Little Kittens
Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Preschool Story Time (Rainy Day Theme), 8/10/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song (with rainstick): It’s Raining it’s Pouring

Book: Rain by Robert Kalan, illustrated by Donald Crews (1978)

Song: I Like to see the Raindrops Fall

I wrote the words to this song, which is sung to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush:

I like to see the raindrops fall, 
the raindrops fall, the raindrops fall
I like to see the raindrops fall 
on a stormy day.

I like to hear the thunder  clap
the thunder clap, the thunder clap
I like to hear the thunder clap
on a stormy day.

I like to see the lightning flash, 
the lightning flash, the lightning flash
I like to see the lightning flash
on a stormy day.

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Book: Rain Drop Splash by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Leonard Weisgard (1946)

Rhyme: Rain is Coming Down

Song with Flannel Board and Ukulele: Red Umbrella Keeps Me Dry

Sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb:

Red umbrella keeps me dry,
keeps my dry, keeps me dry. 
Red umbrella keeps me dry
on a rainy day. 

Change colors and repeat.

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Book: In the Middle of the Puddle by Mike Thaler, illustrated by Bruce Degen (1988)

Song: Rain Rain Go Away
I used zoo animal puppets and substituted the line "Little Johnny wants to play"  with "little giraffe wants to play," "little elephant wants to play," etc.

Song: Sunny Day

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Summer Baby Lap Time #5, 8/9/12 and 8/10/12

Opening Song: Please Tell Us Your Name

Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Book: Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker (1999)

Bounce: All the Little Babies 

Song: Tony Chestnut 

Song: Head and Shoulders, Baby 

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers


Book: Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett (2008)

Rhyme with Puppets: I'm a Little Bumblebee

Song: Mrs. Moon (based on Mr. Sun)

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Song with Shaker Eggs: ABCs

Song with Shaker Eggs: Can You Shake Your Egg with Me?

Goodbye Song: Shaker Egg Goodbye Song

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pajama Story Time, 8/8/12

The end of summer is nearly here, but I've been so busy, I haven't been posting about any of my story times for the past couple of weeks. I'm going to catch up over the next day or so - please forgive me for not typing up commentary on everything. My schedule is going to calm down quite a bit once school starts next week, but until then, it's rush rush rush!

Here is my pajama story time from two Wednesdays ago:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Mr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham (1970)
 
Book: Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen (1982) 

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Book: Stanley Goes Fishing by Craig Frazier (2006)
 
Book: All Night Near the Water by Jim Arnosky (1994) 

Song: Moon Moon Moon
 
Song: Twinkle Twinkle / ABCs
 
Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
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