Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Builders and Diggers Drop-In Story Time, 4/30/13

Builders and Diggers Drop-In Story Time, 4/30/13

We're having rainy weather this week, so a lot of our regular story time attendees didn't make it in this morning. The group was probably about half of our normal size. 

Book: Building a House by Byron Barton
The kids liked this book much more than any group ever has, and I think I did a good job with the pacing. It can be tricky to read books where the sentences are broken up by page turns, but I took it nice and slow and gave the kids time to absorb all the visual details and vocabulary.

Song: Building a House
I have had better luck with this song in the past, but the threes in the group were into it. Sawing, hammering, and painting were easier for them to imitate than digging and pouring.

Flannel Board Rhyme: Down Around the Corner at the Hardware Store
They're finally beginning to like this rhyme. It probably didn't hurt that my "customers" were builders.

Book: Demolition by Sally Sutton
I thought this would go over very well, but I was wrong. The adults lost interest quickly and talked through the entire thing, and the kids were distracted. 


Letter of the Day: U
  • Flannel Board Song: Red Umbrella Keeps Me Dry 
    I normally place one umbrella at a time on the flannel board when we sing this one, but I put them all up and took them down as we sang about them, and that worked a lot better. Adults - and the kids - like to know when something is going to end, and this gave them a visual way to count down.
  • Song: Here We Go Up Up Up
    I threw this in because I was unsure about the next rhyme. Then I decided to just bite the bullet and do both.
  • Rhyme: Up the Hill
    The kids were into this, but the adults were lost. I think it needed more introduction, and maybe a visual component. I'll try it again for sure.
  • Flannel Board Rhyme: Five Little Unicorns
  • Since I write a rhyme especially for this story time so I could use unicorns, I'm probably going to try sharing this for this week's Flannel Friday. The words are linked here as well.

Songs with ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song with ukulele: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun 

Rhyme: This is Big Big Big

Song: Head and Shoulders 

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Yummy in my Tummy Preschool Story Time, 4/26/13

 Yummy in my Tummy Preschool Story Time, 4/26/13

This story time was also strange - only one family came! Because the two kids were very quiet and not particularly focused, I skipped the flannel board and just shared the books and one song. Then they each colored a spoon. 
 
Book: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Book: Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Song with ukulele: Aikendrum 

Book: LMNO Peas by Keith Baker

Craft: Design a Spoon 
We used this image as a coloring page.

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Yummy in my Tummy Toddler Lap Time, 4/26/13

Yummy in my Tummy Toddler Lap Time, 4/26/13

This story time was unusual because hardly anyone showed up! By the end of the session, there were five kids in all, but for the first five or six activities, it was just me, the library associate, an au pair and a little girl. Everything was the same as the previous day's session, except that I exchanged I Like Vegetables for I Like Fruit because someone on Thursday took the veggie book home!


Book: Build a Burrito by Denise Vega


Flannel Board Song: We Eat... (based on We Eat Turkey)

We eat pizza, we eat pizza
Oh so good, oh so good.
Yummy yummy pizza! Yummy yummy pizza!
All gone! All gone!


Rhyme: Mix a Pancake

Book: I Like Fruit by Lorena Siminovich

Rhyme: Fingers


Book: Sam’s Cookie by Barbro Lindgren

Song: Mr. Sun

Rhyme: Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Song: Hands Up High

Songs with Shaker Eggs:
Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Yummy in my Tummy Drop-In Story Time, 4/26/13

 
 Yummy in my Tummy Drop-In Story Time, 4/26/13


Book: Pete the Cat: Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean
I don't normally read easy readers at this story time, but I thought they would like this one. I was half right - some of the kids really were attentive to it, but the ones who weren't into it really weren't into it. Some of the adults really liked it, though. I might use it again in a smaller group - either preschool or pajama story time.

Flannel Board: Going on a Picnic
I used food and kitchen clipart from kizclub.com to make this flannel board.

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This book got a great reaction at the beginning and end, but no one seemed to be listening in between. 

Song with ukulele and flannel board: Aikendrum

Letter of the Day: T
Song with ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song:  Hands Up High

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It



I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yummy in my Tummy Baby Lap Time, 4/25/13

 Yummy in my Tummy Baby Lap Time, 4/25/13

 Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Book: I Love to Eat by Amelie Graux
This book is a very basic board book that simply shows an object and labels it. I modeled reading this book by expanding on what was already on the page. It seemed to go over well.

Song: C is for Cookie
This was a cute sing-along. I used stick puppets to hold up a cookie, then a banana, a slice of pizza, and a grapefruit. The parents all knew the tune, so it worked perfectly!

Song: All the Little Babies

Song: Tony Chestnut

Rhyme: One Two

Book: Lunch by Denise Fleming
This book doesn't usually go over that well, but I found it easier to read to the babies than to larger groups.

Song with Stick Puppet: Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Song: A Bouncing We Will Go

Rhyme with Puppet: Hey Diddle Diddle

Song: ABCs

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It



I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Yummy in my Tummy Toddler Lap Time, 4/25/13

Yummy in my Tummy Toddler Lap Time, 4/25/13

Book: Build a Burrito by Denise Vega
This book is just the right length for this age group, and the kids always like it. 

Flannel Board Song: We Eat... (based on We Eat Turkey)

We eat pizza, we eat pizza
Oh so good, oh so good.
Yummy yummy pizza! Yummy yummy pizza!
All gone! All gone!


The kids loved this! "All gone" is a familiar phrase that even the littlest ones knew, and they were thrilled to tell me everything was gone when the board was empty at the end of the song.


Rhyme: Mix a Pancake
This went over better in this smaller group than it did last time in the large drop-in story time. The kids like to do the mixing motion. 

Book: I Like Vegetables by Lorena Siminovich
I have never used one of these books with toddlers before, but it was a huge success! The kids knew the names of the vegetables and happily called them out! 

Rhyme: Fingers
I just rediscovered this rhyme - I'll probably use it for the next few weeks. 

Book: Sam’s Cookie by Barbro Lindgren
This is a simple story about a boy whose dog steals his cookie. The kids responded really well to it, even though the illustrations were a bit small for the size of the group. 

Rhyme: Way Up High in the Apple Tree

Song: Hands Up High

Songs with Shaker Eggs:
Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Yummy in my Tummy Pajama Story Time, 4/24/13

 Yummy in my Tummy Pajama Story Time, 4/24/13

Book: Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar? by George Shannon
I have mixed feelings about this book. The rhyming text is a bit clunky, and at times, the structure of certain lines favors the rhyme, rather than the meaning of the text. Still, the overall message about the many people involved in the process of baking a cookie, is positive, and the kids responded well to the illustrations.

Song: Bake Some Cookies
I was on the hunt for a cookie-themed song, and a colleague told me that Saroj Ghoting had a cute one. I don't know if this is  the one she was referring to, but it worked surprisingly well for being such a strange take-off on a popular song. I wouldn't have done this song with a larger group, but with this small group filled with involved parents, it was a perfect choice. 

Book: Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturges
I had forgotten how long this book drags on. I think we could have cut out three or four "verses" and been just fine, but since I didn't remember the ending, I didn't want to take out anything mid-story without knowing if it would ruin the ending. (As it turns out, I don't think it would have.) 

Flannel Board Rhyme: Down Around the Corner
I have done variations of this flannel board a few times, but this time, I changed how I manipulated the pieces. I normally put up the cookies and trade them for quarters one at a time. This time, I had the kids on the board the whole time, holding the quarters, then traded quarters for cookies, then had them "run away." It sounds complicated, but the kids were a lot more attentive to it than usual.

Book: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
The parents always seem a little mystified by this book, because it just repeats the same thing over and over again. This group of kids really connected with it, though, and they were surprised and pleased by the ending.

Rhyme with Cow Puppet: Hey Diddle Diddle
I connected this rhyme to the book by asking the kids where milk comes from.

Song: Moon Moon Moon

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Monkeys on the Bed  

Song: Goodnight
We sang goodnight to a cow, cat, and dog. The group was larger and more active than normal, so I had to let a couple of busy toddlers hold some of the puppets in order to keep them from destroying  the room.

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Spine Poetry 2013

April is National Poetry Month. You may have noticed I have been reviewing a lot of poetry in the past few weeks, but I've also been writing some. Inspired by the gallery Travis Jonker puts together every year, I have created a new set of book spine poems for 2013. Pictures of each poem are below and underneath each photo is the way I imagine the poem is punctuated when I read it. At the end of the post is a bibliography of the books used in the poems.

Thirteen:
The normal kid. 
One crazy summer, 
Fall is not easy, 
The long Winter, 
and then it's spring...
Time's up! 
Thirteen plus one:
Odder than ever 

 Middle school is worse than meatloaf
Things are gonna get ugly 
Mercy on these teenage chimps

Following Grandfather,
Lulu walks the dogs
Where the red fern grows.

When the library lights go out...
Harriet the Spy,
Ramona and her mother,
the mouse and the motorcycle
Mrs. Noodlekugel, 
The Cat in the Hat - 
Everybody, everybody, 
let the games begin!  


Bibliography
Ajmera, Maya. Let the Games Begin!
Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cleary, Beverly. Ramona and Her Mother 
Coville, Bruce. Odder Than Ever 
Fitzhugh, Louise. Harriet the Spy
Myracle, Lauren. Thirteen
Myracle, Lauren. Thirteen Plus One
Pinkwater, Daniel. Mrs. Noodlekugel
Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows
Wells, Rosemary. Following Grandfather 
Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. The Long Winter

Monday, April 22, 2013

Music! Music! Music! Preschool Story Time

 Music! Music! Music! Preschool Story Time

This was a smaller story time, but a very nice one. Seven kids attended in all - one preschool boy with a toddler brother (and their mom), one preschool girl with a toddler sister (and their nanny), one of the girls from the Catholic school Pre-K and her first grader sister (and their nanny), and a little boy who always comes with his mom. Our theme was music, so we did some listening, singing, and dancing.

Book: This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
As I have in the past, I had the kids say  the nicknames of the various jazz musicians. They did okay with the book, but they didn't like it as much as the groups of past years.

Song: Hands Are for Clapping
Since I already had this on hand from the morning story time, I used it again with these guys. They got surprisingly into it - especially when we started snapping our fingers.The first grade big sister also got really into whistling.

Audiobook: Zin! Zin! Zin!A Violin by Lloyd Moss
I downloaded the audio version of this book from Overdrive onto one of our branch iPads and used my old laptop speakers to make the sound loud enough. I held the book and turned the pages as the audio played so the kids would still have the benefit of  the picture book, but they would also get to hear the different musical instruments. The slow pace could have made this story a flop, but the kids loved it. By the end, they were conducting and applauding in accordance with the soundtrack, as though they were part of a real concert.

Song: Shake My Sillies Out

Book: Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
I'm not that fond of this book, but the kids were crazy about it.

Craft: Paper plate maracas
My coworker and I stapled shut paper plates and filled them with beads, then gave them to the kids to color with markers. This was a hugely successful craft, which inspired lots of loud shaking and dancing and lots of bewildered smiles from the poor grown-ups who had to take those noisemakers home.

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Music! Music! Music! Toddler Lap Time, 4/19/13

 Music! Music! Music! Toddler Lap Time, 4/19/13

I wasn't planning to do this story time, but my co-worker who was going to do it lost her voice! So I pulled some tried and true books and stepped in at the last minute to take over. This was the largest afternoon toddler group we've had in a while, which is nice, and it was a great story time!

Book: Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Steve Songs and Christiane Engel
As we did this morning, we read the verses and sang the chorus. 

Song: One Little Finger
This is a song I used to use all the time, but that I haven't broken out in a few months. It seemed to drag on a lot longer than usual, but the kids were very attentive.

Book: The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz
Personally, I am so sick of this song, but the kids love it, and this book makes it somewhat palatable because I love the illustrations. The grown-ups were wonderful about singing every verse. 

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers

Rhyme: The Rhythm in My Feet 
I was iffy about using this one. It was on my agenda for this morning, and I skipped it, and I almost skipped it again. But I'm glad I didn't. I took it very, very slow, and all of the grown-ups did a great job modeling for their kids. We might try this one again for a few weeks to see if it becomes a favorite.

Song: Sing a Happy Song
It was too humid in the room to be dancing around and singing this song, but we did it anyway.

Songs with Shakers: 
Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: Row Your Boat

Song: ABCs

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Music! Music! Music! Drop-In Story Time, 4/19/13

 Music! Music! Music! Drop-In Story Time, 4/19/13

Book: Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Steve Songs and Christiane Engel
I normally sing this book all the way through, but since I was using three singable picture books, I decided to read the verses and ask everyone to sing the chorus. It was my best story time experience with this book, and since I have to step in and do the toddler story time this afternoon, I'll be using it again then.

Flannel Board Rhyme: There is Music
See yesterday's Baby Lap Time post for the words to this simple flannel board rhyme.

Book: The Wheels on the Bus  by Maryanne Kovalski
This song is a perennial favorite, and the end of the textual part of the story, where they sing so much they miss the bus got a good laugh.

Song: Hands Are for Clapping
I used the recording of this song because of the instrumentals and whistling at the end of each verse. It used to be a favorite back when I regularly used recordings, but it was not as well received today as I would have expected. I think there were just more people here than usual.

Book: Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Jane Cabrera
This one also has a great surprise ending that everybody liked. The only problem is that there are so many verses and I never know whether to skip a few in the middle.

Letter of the Day: S
Songs with ukulele: ABCs/ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Outreach Round-Up, 4/8/13 - 4/18/13

Psychiatric Institute: Monday, 4/8/13
Books: Make Way for Ducklings, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Matilda's Humdinger, Heroes of the Surf 
Notes: This was the smallest and youngest group of kids I have had at this location thus far, and they were not as attentive as the previous two groups. Still, it was a treat to introduce them - and their teachers - to Make Way for Ducklings for the very first time. I would not have read four books ordinarily but an administrator came in to see my story time, and she was late, so she requested one last book.

Catholic School 5th Grade: Thursday, 4/11/13
Poems: "Instructions" by Neil Gaiman, "The Adventures of Isabel" by Ogden Nash, "maggie and milly and molly and may" by e.e. cummings
Notes: I asked the students to rate each poem from 1 to 3. The scale they were given was as follows: "1= This was a great poem! 2 = This poem was just okay. 3 = I never want to hear this poem again!" After tallying their votes, The Adventures of Isabel was the winner. After three weeks of reading and rating poems, I will reveal their overall results and give them copies of the poems to keep.

Catholic School Kindergarten & First Grade (Two Separate Sessions): Friday, 4/12/13
Book: Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover  
Notes:  The kids in both classes liked this book, though they had some issues with suspending their disbelief. ("Um, Miss Katie, Rabbits don't talk.") They didn't laugh out loud as much as I expected, but they were quiet and engaged the whole time, which is very rare for them. The kindergarteners, who have a special affection for George and Martha, enjoyed it somewhat more than the first graders.



Rec. Center Cooperative Play Program: Wednesday, 4/17/13
Books: A Sick Day for Amos McGee, May I Bring a Friend?, ABC Zooborns
Songs: Shake My Sillies Out, Cuddly Koalas
Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big
Notes: This was a much smaller group than usual - only five kids! They loved the first two books, and were interested in and confused by the ABC Zooborns book. I think their teacher enjoyed it even more than they did!  Also, apparently, in two years, I have never used Shake My Sillies Out at the rec. center because the  teacher said she loved it and had never heard it.

Catholic School Pre-K: Thursday, 4/18/13 
Books: May I Bring a Friend?, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library 
Songs: If You'd Like to Read a Book, Monkeys on the Bed, Shake My Sillies Out, These Are My Glasses 
Notes: I used two of the books from the Rec. Center story time, but added the Don Freeman title as both a tribute to library week and a third example of "zoo animals in unusual places." This was one of the best class visits I've ever had with this group. 

Catholic School 5th Grade: Thursday, 4/18/13
Poems: "Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright by Stephen Vincent Benet, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, "How to Change a Frog into a Prince" by Anna Denise
Notes: The group was pretty vocal about how much they disliked each of these poems, but the last one did get a five top ratings, mostly from the girls. I think they will be surprised how the voting turns out when all is said and done. Now I just need to find three more poems for next week that they will have some hope of liking. 

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/18/13

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/18/13

After last week's breakthrough regarding the best format for read-along story time, I felt confident in preparing this week's session. I kept the same format, and made sure to keep the kids involved at every stage of the game. Only three kids truly participated, all of whom are regulars, and they were wonderful the entire time. Read on to find out what made this session such a success.

Name That Kitchen Tool 
Last week,  I used paper flashcards to have the kids  name various popular characters. This week, I thought of doing the same thing with things in the kitchen, but then realized it would be much easier to present the photos and words to accompany them on the iPad then it would be to cut out a bunch of pieces of paper. I created a very simple presentation in Google Drive, downloaded the Drive app to one of my branch's iPads, and held the iPad in my hands to show the kids. It worked like a charm. No one could sneak into my pile to "cheat" and see what would come next, and all the kids had great things to say about what happens in the kitchen. ("The refrigerator is to make things freezy." "A wok? That sounds like walk, walk, walk." "I had sunny-side up eggs in a frying pan this morning!")

What We Like to Eat / What We Don't Like to Eat 
On the whiteboard easel, we made two lists, one of foods we like, and one of foods we don't. The answers were mostly generic, but I was impressed by the little girl who supplied both "skin on chicken" and "edible flowers" and who said, suddenly and with great excitement, "Do you know what I love?! Salmon!!!!" Kudos also to the little boy who said, "In some countries, people eat bugs. I do not like to eat bugs."

Bag of Verbs 
I thought about using a different set of words for the kids to act out,  and then I realized repetition of these words - with corresponding movements - is actually probably the best way for the kids to learn the ones they don't know, and to begin to associate the way the words look with their meanings. We did 9 words today, and the kids were wonderfully creative with their movements for things like "sleep," "crawl," and "wiggle." We also talked about what could be juggled and what kinds of vehicles we could drive.

Read-Aloud 
Today, we read Yoko by Rosemary Wells. At this point, three girls joined the group, but only because they wanted to color. Interestingly, the three girls were the ones who liked the book the most - the others were lukewarm about it, and said so.

Read-Along
For this portion of the story time, we used the iPad again, this time to tell a story I found in a 1994 issue of Ladybug magazine. The story is called "I Want Fruit," and it narrates a simple exchange between Becky, who wants fruit, and her mom, who offers many types of fruit, then finally surprises her daughter with a fruit salad. I created another simple Google Drive presentation showing just some of the words from the story - including the color and name of each fruit, and Becky's repeated refrain of "Maybe." The telling of the story didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked, but it was my first time using the iPad in this way, so I think it will get easier with time. The kids were much more engaged than normal, and kids at different levels were able to supply different words depending on whether they read the words, the pictures, or the color of the text. Though I don't want to use the iPad every week, I think having these visuals on a screen instead of on shoddy-looking construction paper or cardstock was a huge improvement. *If you would like the words to the story or my Google Drive presentation, send me an email, and I am happy to share. "I Want Fruit" may also be available in your local library's online databases.
 

Writing and Drawing Activity
Each child received this handout, which asked for their name, and their favorite meal. Most of  the girls copied each other and drew fruit salads. One of the boys drew a pancake with chocolate chips and syrup, then carefully wrote pancake along the bottom with my help. The activity was a little much for some of them, but they all enjoyed coloring, if nothing else. If this had been a group of kindergarteners, this activity would have been absolutely perfect. *Click here to download the handout.

Flannel Friday: The Quilt that Grandma Made

This is my second flannel board inspired by the letter Q. It's a poem entitled "The Quilt that Grandma Made" which is written by Bonnie Highsmith Taylor. I found it in the January 2011 issue of Highlights High Five magazine. (Out of respect for the copyright, only the first stanza appears below. The full poem can be heard in the audio version of the magazine, which can be accessed free online.)


To introduce the flannel board I might say something like...
"This is Grandma. She likes to make quilts. This is a poem about a quilt that she made."
Cuddly rabbits,

cuddly bears, 

Cuddly chicks

and ducks in pairs
In the quilt that Grandma made.


The second stanza adds the geese, sheep, and kittens, and the third stanza finishes with ponies, puppies, and "cuddly me." It looks like the photo above when it's complete!

I created the quilt myself in Microsoft Word, by creating a table, giving it a border, and filling in each square with a background color and clipart. The clipart I used is in the public domain. You can download a copy of the quilt here

This week's Flannel Friday host is Courtney at Miss Courtney Meets Bobo. Find out more about Flannel Friday on the official website.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Music! Music! Music! Baby Lap Time, 4/18/13

 Music! Music! Music! Baby Lap Time, 4/18/13
 
This was a great group this morning. Lots of smiling, attentive babies, and lots of wonderfully  active and involved mommies! (No daddies this time around.)
 
Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Book: Baby Dance by Ann Taylor
It amazes me how mesmerized the babies are by  rhyming text. Most of them stared at me rather than  the illustrations!

Song: A Bouncing We Will Go
This song is a great idea, which I borrowed from KCLS. It was definitely the best-received bounce I have ever used, even more popular than All the Little Babies!

Book: Hush Little Baby by Shari Halpern
The parents got a kick out of this - some of them didn't seem to know it, but laughed at some of  the rhymes - others sang right along with me!

Song: Tony Chestnut

Rhyme: One Two, One Two
As the adults learn this, they are getting better and better about interacting with their babies as we say it. The clapping in the final verse is a big hit with one of  the babies whose mom told me she only just learned to clap a week ago!

Flannel Board Rhyme: There’s Music in a Hammer
I found a couple versions of this rhyme online and combined them to make my own:

There's music in a hammer when you bang it on a nail.
There's muic in a shovel when you tap it on a pail.
There's music in a kitty-cat when you step upon her tail.
 Meeeeowww! 

Flannel boards are always hit and miss with babies, but whenever I include them, the few kids who are crawling or standing will always come right up to get a closer look. I don't expect a four month old to get much out of the visual aides, but the almost-toddlers really do like them. The parents seemed puzzled by this one, but the rhyme and animal sound make it a fun one anyway.

Rhyme: The Baby in the Cradle

Song: All the Little Babies

Song with Puppets: Did You Ever See a....?

Song: Row, Row, Row, Your Boat

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: ABCs

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It
 

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Animals Preschool Story Time, 4/12/13


Rhyme: There Was a Little Turtle
I introduced this as a rhyme, but a child informed me it didn't rhyme so it has to be called a poem. This is the second time in two weeks I have been called out about this by a four year old!

Book: Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
I love this book so much, and the kids did, too.

Song: Shake My Sillies Out

Book: Guess What I’ll Be by Anni Axworthy
This was a perfect guessing game for this mostly-four-year-old group. 

Song with Poster: Over in the Meadow 
One little girl got really into  this song. Another asked questions after each verse. It was much more successful this time than the last  time I used it.

Books: Big Woods Orchestra by Guido Van Genechten
The kids showed no interest in this book during story time, but then they asked me to read it again during the craft. I read an abbreviated version without all the bird calls, and somehow they seemed to like that better than the first time through when I made all the silly sounds!

Craft: Bird Coloring Page 
Everyone got really into the design of their birds. Even some older girls who didn't come to story time stopped by to do some coloring!


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Spring Animals Toddler Lap Time, 4/12/13


Song: Way Up in the Sky

Book: It's Spring! by Samantha Berger 

Flannel Board Rhyme: Hippety Hop Hippety Hay

Flannel Board Song: Mary Had a Little Lamb (with different-colored lambs)

Book: Flip, Flap, Fly by Phyllis Root

Song with Puppets: Did you ever see...?

Song: Hands Up High
I have never seen parents participate so well! These people were on their feet the whole time and super-involved.

Song: Head and Shoulders

Songs and Rhymes with Shaker Eggs: We were such a small group, I gave shakers to the adults, too. That seemed to work pretty well, so I might try to make some more so we can do that every session without worrying we'll run out.


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Spring Animals Drop-In Story Time, 4/12/13


Book: Splish, Splash, Spring by Jan Carr

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Book: A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

Song: Way Up in the Sky

Letter of the Day: R

Songs with ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: Hands Up High

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Chickadee

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/11/13

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 4/11/13

Name That Character 
I printed out colored pictures of several characters from picture books and easy readers that I thought would be familiar to kids in this age group. The list included Madeline, Olivia the Pig, Frog and Toad, Elephant and Piggie, Fly Guy, Pigeon, Ladybug Girl, and Fancy Nancy. The group was a little younger than usual, and none of them are yet reading independently, but they knew all the characters except Ladybug Girl and Fly Guy. 

Making a List 
After we had gone over some characters, we made our own list of the kinds of books we like to read. Many of the  responses were repeats from the Name That Character activity, but not all. We also used the whiteboard on the easel instead of posterboard which made it a lot easier for me to write things down. The only downside is we didn't get to save our list to hang up. In any case, before the list got erased, here's how it looked: 


Bag of Verbs
In a brown paper lunch bag, I put 20 slips of paper with verbs printed on them. I explained what a verb was, then we chose words out of the bag at random and made motions to illustrate their meaning. Since the group was small, each child took two turns choosing words. If the kids had been a bit more advanced, I would have had them help me read the word, but as it was, they were great at getting into the spirit of  things and acting them out.

Read-Aloud 
This week, we read Wild About Books. I chose the story with my regulars in mind, since they're all nearing the end of kindergarten and would "get" a lot of the humor, but even these younger kids did well with it. The only part they really didn't engage with was the section where the scorpion reviews the insects' haiku. Oh well.

Read-Along 
This week's read-along was a poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins called "Good Books, Good Times." I tried using this with a Pre-K group very early in the year and found that it did not work well for chanting as a class, but it worked better as a read-along. The kids were not readers, but I showed them that each line started with the word "good" and they said at least that word with me in every line. We also learned what "fiction" means. 

Writing and Drawing Activity 

I created a handout, again with bigger kids in mind, which asked the kids to write or draw the books they would like to see on their bookshelves. Two boys who were at the story time where we read Chicken Butt insisted on writing Chicken Butt as the only title on their shelves. They also asked me to write "Miss Katie Butt" but I said I didn't really like that and asked them to choose something else. In the end, everyone just colored, and that was perfectly fine. I plan to save this activity - and perhaps modify it as a way to prompt kids to share what they read with this summer. It would have been a perfect writing activity for my kindergarteners and first graders. (Click here to download a copy of the handout as a .pdf.)

After this session, I can actually feel a predictable structure coming together for this story time, which makes me very happy. I'm so thankful to the library associate at my branch who filled in for me a couple of weeks ago because she used a poem with the kids, which gave me the idea of using a one-page handout instead of a homemade booklet, which has made a huge difference. I also think having a set structure that repeats each week will keep the behavior problems under better control. My thought is that we will use the Name That ________ activity as a means of introducing and reviewing vocabulary. Making a list gets the kids talking and sharing information. Acting out words helps with vocabulary and also gets the kids moving around. (I have other sets of words to use in the future as well, including sound words and musical instruments.) Doing the read-aloud before the read-along allows me to keep a structured story time setting until just before we draw and color, so there is no opportunity for the kids to get distracted and start being overly silly. I plan to use this same approach next week, and hopefully many of  the regulars will be back to join me!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Animals Baby Lap Time, 4/11/13

 Spring Animals Baby Lap Time, 4/11/13

Rhyme: Cheek Chin

Book: Hop! by Phyllis Root
I haven't used this book in a couple of years, and it wasn't as great as I remembered. It rhymes, though, and the babies did seem to enjoy hearing the language.

Rhyme: Hop Your Bunnies

Song: All the Little Babies

Book: In My Nest by Sara Gillingham
This would not have been my first choice for a baby story time book, but it worked out okay.

Rhyme with stick puppets: Two Little Blackbirds
My birds do not stay on my stick puppets because the birds are too large. Next time we might have to do this on the flannel board.

Song: Tony Chestnut

Rhyme: One Two, One Two
We'll keep using this one for a few weeks. It's catching on.

Rhyme: Mother and Father and Uncle John

Song: ABCs

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Rhyme with Puppets: I’m a Little Bumblebee
This group liked this rhyme much more than others I have shared it with recently.

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Where is Big Toe?
This is the perfect song to plug in when the program is running short and everybody's attention is still with you.

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Spring Animals Toddler Lap Time, 4/11/13

Spring Animals Toddler Lap Time, 4/11/13
(What you see on the wall behind the flannel board in this photo is part of a diagram of the water cycle that my amazing colleague drew for her Explorers' Club program.)

Song: Way Up in the Sky
We are now doing this song at basically every session, and almost all the kids know the motions, even toddlers I might have thought were too young. It's my new favorite.

Book: Who’s Awake in Springtime? by Phillis Gershator
This book is... just not good. It doesn't make sense and the ending is confusing.

Flannel Board Rhyme: Hippety Hop Hippety Hay

Flannel Board Song: Mary Had a Little Lamb (with different-colored lambs)

Book: Flip, Flap, Fly by Phyllis Root
I still love this book - we'll use it again in the afternoon session.

Song with Puppets: Did you ever see...?
We sang about the ladybug, bumblebee, and butterfly.

Song: Hands Up High

Song: Head and Shoulders

Songs and Rhymes with Shaker Eggs
Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Flannel Friday: "Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.

I have had a lot of ideas for flannel boards lately, but not a lot of time to make them and take photos and make posts about them. This week, finally, I managed to get my act together to make two flannel boards related to the letter Q. I'll share one this week, and one next week. Today's is called "Quiet! Quiet! said the Queen", and it is an original story that I wrote.  Please feel free to use it, but please give me credit if you post it online.

"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.
by Miss Katie

"Wahoo!" yelled the King.
"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.

"Wahoo!" yelled the King.
"Hooray!" shouted the Prince. 
"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.

"Wahoo!" yelled the King.
"Hooray!" shouted the Prince. 
"Yippee!" cheered the Princess.
"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen. 

"Wahoo!" yelled the King.
"Hooray!" shouted the Prince. 
"Yippee!" cheered the Princess.
"Waa! Waa!" cried the Royal Baby.
"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.

"Shhhhh!" whispered the King.

"Shhhhh!" whispered the Prince.

"Shhhhh!" whispered the Princess.

"Zzzzzz..." snored the Royal Baby.
"Quiet! Quiet!" said the Queen.

This week's Flannel Friday host is Kendra at Read Sing Play. For more about Flannel Friday, visit the official website.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Animals Drop-In Story Time, 4/9/13

Spring Animals Drop-In Story Time, 4/9/13

Song with Puppets: When Cows Get Up in the Morning 
I really like this song as an alternative to Old MacDonald. The kids seemed to enjoy it more, too.

Book: In the Spring by Craig Brown
This is a good book for introducing the correct names for the mother and baby animals. The ending, where the farmer's wife has twins, is cute, but not particularly exciting. It went over fine, but it's never going to become a favorite.

Song: Way up in the Sky
We have been doing this song pretty regularly for a few weeks, and this morning, I noticed that many of the little toddlers know all the motions. We sang it twice - as we usually do - to give them a chance to show off! 

Book: Birds by Kevin Henkes
This book was a bit long for my antsy group this morning, though the ones who paid attention showed the usual enthusiasm. The high temperature here today is 88, and it was pretty warm this morning, so I'm not surprised that the kids were a bit distracted.

Rhyme: When Skies Turn Blue
This is the first half of a poem. The kids didn't like it as much as I expected, though they did all of  the motions with me.

Song: Shake My Sillies Out 

Letter of  the Day: Q
  • Flannel Board Poem: The Quilt that Grandma Made
  • Flannel Board Story: Quiet, Quiet said the Queen
    (I have scheduled Flannel Friday posts about each of these flannel boards - stay tuned!)
Songs with Ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song with Ukulele: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It


I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Signs of Spring Toddler Lap Time, 4/5/13

  Signs of Spring Toddler Lap Time, 4/5/13

Book: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson 

Song: One Seed by the Laurie Berkner Band

Book: Planting Seeds by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 

Song: Sunny Day
I decided not to sing Love Grows again, as it was not a big hit and went instead with Elizabeth Mitchell's Sunny Day. The kids liked this one, and the adults remembered it from previous sessions. 

Book: Ten Little Caterpillars by Lois Ehlert
This book was a bigger hit with this group than it has been with any other. One little boy came right up and pointed out the caterpillar on each page.

Song: One, Two, Three Caterpillars 

Song with Puppet: Flutter, Flutter Butterfly 

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Songs with Foam Flowers: 
  • Oh Little Flower (also with flannel board)
  • There’s a Little Flower Growing...
Flannel Board: Color Rhymes 

Flannel Board: Five Little Birds 

Song: Chickadee
I normally don't do this song right after the flannel board that uses the exact same words, but it seemed like it would go over well this time, and I was right. It's also nice to have the repetition of the same ideas in a different format.

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

I use the same hello and goodbye songs at almost every session. Click here for the tunes and words. For descriptions of each of my story times, click here.
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