Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome, Winter After School Program, 1/5/12

This is the much-awaited replacement for my horribly cursed Monday afternoon story time. The idea was to reach families with kids in preschool and early elementary school, and to stop catering so much to the babies and toddlers. I chose Thursday because, during the Fall, that was our busiest day after school. Now, though, Wednesday is the busiest and today's story time was much like the Monday ones used to be. I really just can't win when it comes to afternoon programming.

But it wasn't a total disaster, and I remain hopeful that the coming weeks, where my themes are more sophisticated and even less baby-friendly, will bring in more of my school-age crowd and fewer of the two and unders.

Here is what I ended up presenting.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
This song turns off the older kids, and I saw kids actually choose not to come into the room based on the fact that we were singing. I know it's my security blanket, but next week, when my program focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr.,  I'll be leaving it out in the hopes that some fourth and fifth graders might join us.

Book: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr (1987)
I haven't read this book in a very long time, and was glad to revisit it. The kids also seemed really into it, which surprised me, given how quiet and introspective it is.

Rhyme: Frozen is the Lake
I wrote this rhyme, again based on Blue is the Lake. It went over pretty well, but could have used more practice.

Book: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
The kids all knew this book, and seemed to enjoy it. And I can't imagine doing a Winter story time without it!

Song: Skate on the Frozen Pond
I wrote this song based on Curtsy Like a Princess from my Fantasy story time. It was a pretty big hit - definitely the most successful non-book activity of the program.

Book: The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel, illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker (1989)
I really wanted the kids to say the name of each article of clothing when I pointed to it, but even when told what to say, they sat mute. This is not a group for class participation!

Song: Five Little Snowmen Riding on the Sled
This song is becoming a dud. I don't understand why.

Book: Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (2002)

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
Again, the kids don't like this. No idea what to do instead.

Other books I considered reading at this story time include:
Find more Winter story times on these other blogs:

6 Tween and Teen Novels About Weight Loss

The Summer I Lost ItThe Summer I Lost It by Natalie Kath
Kat writes a weight loss diary to help her achieve sensible, healthy weight loss while also sorting out her relationships with two boys.
Big Fat ManifestoBig Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught
Jamie Carcaterra, writer of her school's Fat Girl newspaper column is distressed by her boyfriend, Burke's decision to have weight loss surgery.
The Melting of Maggie Bean (Maggie Bean, #1)The Melting of Maggie Bean by Tricia Rayburn
Maggie Bean kicks her candy habit by taking up swimming and facing down the hard times that led her to overeat.
Fat Kid Rules the WorldFat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
Troy Billings weighs nearly 300 pounds and sees the entire world from the perspective of a fat person until he meets Curt MacCrae and discovers punk rock.
Staying Fat for Sarah ByrnesStaying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
Moby, an outsider because of his weight does his best not to lose weight so that Sarah, also isolated due to disfiguring burns on her face, won't be the odd one out all alone.
Jelly BellyJelly Belly by Robert Kimmel Smith
Eleven-year-old Ned must spend a summer at Camp Lean-To to help him lose weight, but it's difficult when he and his bunkmates keep finding ways to cheat on their diets. 

Gettin' Crafty Post #10: Masquerade Masks

For an introduction to this new series of Gettin' Crafty posts, visit Post #1.

I. Supplies 

Masquerade Mask templates   (from First Palette)



Large Craft Sticks


 Scraps basket
I use my basket - which looks almost identical to this one - for a whole host of things, including passing out shaker eggs at story time and carrying craft supplies to and from the closet. We don't have a garbage can that can be easily moved  to the craft area, so I ask the kids to use the basket for their little paper scraps instead, and dump it periodically throughout the afternoon.

II. Prep
The only thing I needed to do was print the templates and lay out the supplies.

III. Instructions
These are the instructions I printed up and placed at the craft station:

  1. Choose and color a mask.
  2. Cut out the mask.
  3. Glue craft stick to the mask.
  4. Hold mask up to face.
I put this craft out on a day when there was no school, and had to replenish all the masks around 4:00pm. Over 60 kids participated in this activity. It would work just as well for Mardi Gras as it does for Halloween.
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