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.
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