For Friday's session, I decided to really crack down on some of the bad habits that I think were partially to blame for the adult restlessness during story time. As I mentioned on Tuesday, we only offer one session of each story time now, rather than two, so that has dealt with the issue of people staying for multiple sessions, but on Friday, I also took the following steps:
- I put away all the chairs our closet would hold. The ones I left out were hooked together and pushed all the way to the back of the room. I guessed (rightly) that the adults wouldn't want to unhook the chairs in order to sit in them, and that they would either sit on the floor closer to the front, where I actually want them to sit, or they would sit in the back and leave room on the floor for people more interested in participating. As it turned out, the most notoriously noisy nannies used the chairs, and the others sat on the floor. Not even every chair was full.
- I kept the meeting room locked until 10 minutes before story time. This prevented people from sitting in there bored and restless for 30 to 45 minutes prior to story time. This also ensured that every person had the same chance of getting a chair or a seat near the front. A few nannies were not pleased with me when I said I was trying to make things more fair, but they were the biggest offenders so I didn't feel guilty standing my ground.
- I made sure to use highly interactive books that would force the adults to participate. I'm going to run out of books like this eventually, at which point I'm not sure what I will do, but if I can teach them to behave better in the meantime, maybe it will be okay.
Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
Flannel Board: Let's Make a Noise
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia (2008)
Song: Drive, Drive, Drive Your Car
We drove safely, then slowly and quickly.
Rhyme: Wiggle Fingers
What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell, illustrated by Ingrid Godon
Letter of the Day: Letter B
I forgot completely to show the kids how to make the letter B in sign language. I just realized it now writing this. I'll have to try to remember from now on! I did have a capital and lowercase B for the flannel board, and then we sang the following "B" songs.
Song: Sing a Happy Song
This song is fantastic. It's perfect for big groups, and will work just as well in our smaller Toddler sessions later this Fall!
Song: If You're Happy and You Know It
Song: Monkeys on the Bed
Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
At the end of story time, an unprecedented thing happened. A huge number of kids came up to me to talk about my puppets. I really think this is directly related to the fact that for the first time ever the grown-ups responsible for them were quiet enough that they could actually see and hear what happened at story time. If this story time is a sign of things to come, we're going to have a very happy Fall.