Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pre-K / K Class Visit, 1/19/12

The Catholic school next door brought their Pre-K and Kindergarten class over for story time this morning. I generally have a great experience any time any of their groups come over, but today was especially wonderful. I really think starting the day with them has made me much more pleasant to be around on this otherwise crazy day!

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 
The teacher told me before we started that there are some kids in her class who don't speak any English,  but they responded so well to this song, they sing it every day. There is something magical about this tune, I think!

Book: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea, illustrated by Tom Slaughter (2011)
I can't think of anything more enjoyable than a group of three-, four-, and five-year-olds shouting "No!" to silly questions. My library's copy of this book was instantly destroyed and taped back together after the first time it circulated, so it doesn't look gorgeous by any means, but this group loved it. They just loved it. I have never heard such laughter.

Song: Roll Your Hands
Once you have silly kids on your hands, the best thing you can do is sing a song  that promotes more silliness! We rolled hands slowly, then quickly, then repeated it with clapping, stomping, and shaking. Giggles all around. 

Book: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (1985)
I have never laughed much at this book, but they were on a roll today, and laughed themselves silly over fishing, eating, and battling in the tub. They didn't get the ending, but it didn't matter.

Song: There is Clapping in the Castle (a cappella)
I didn't want to deal with the iPod on a morning with back-to-back programs, so I sang this Nancy Stewart song without the recording.  It was too short, but it didn't matter. They danced around and sat back down for not one, but two more books.

Book: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean (2010)
Oh, Mr. Eric. That man is a genius. I learned the tune for Pete's song from his free download, and hammed it up with the kids this morning. They adored it, and apparently didn't already know it, which was a treat. They were so cute, joining in with me on the singing, bopping their little heads to the rhythm, and helping me out with each, "Goodness no!"

Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (1999)This book was almost anti-climactic after the other three were such hits, but it still cracked them up, and one very wise kindergartner explained the ending for those who didn't quite get it on their own.

I love class visits. Unfortunately, no time to bask in the success of this one - I have an after school story time at 4:00!

Baby Lap Time, 1/18/12 & 1/19/12

My second seasonal series of Baby Lap Time for ages 0 to 18 months began yesterday. I was very nervous for the afternoon session, and very rushed for the one this morning, but both times, I really feel like I did the best job I have ever done in a program for babies, including all of the sessions I did last Fall. My Wednesday audience didn't seem to really "get it" and I felt like there were some silent judgments being made about either my sanity or my entertainment value, but the Thursday group was fantastic and showed their enthusiasm by clapping after each song and thanking me at the end. As I write this, several of the wonderful nannies who attended the program are still sitting in the story room singing the songs with the babies, which makes me smile and provides a great soundtrack for the otherwise hectic morning I am having! Also, I'd like to note that this is the first story time with babies I've ever done at which I have not used any recorded music. This is possibly another reason the Wednesday group didn't seem receptive. 

Here is the order of events:

Hello: Say Hello
Last time around, I used nametags to try and learn the babies' names, and that was a flop because the kids wore them on their backs, and I couldn't see them during the actual program. So this time, I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone, and actually singing hello to each child's name. My biggest fear - and I know it's ridiculous - is that someone will say a child's name in an unfamiliar accent, and I will not be able to figure out what it is. And that almost happened, but because I had them sign in and had spent some time looking over the names, I was able to decode each one. We clapped as we sang, and one little girl actually waved at all of us like Miss America when we sang her name.

Rhyme: Cheek Chin
Yesterday, I forgot that the last verse of this rhyme asks the caregiver to lift the baby up into the air, so they weren't ready for it, and got kind of flustered. Today I was better prepared and warned them at the beginning what was coming up. (I also display the words to the rhymes on a music stand, but not everyone could see them. This group is much bigger than our groups last session, so I might need a new strategy.)

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big
As popular as this is with my drop-in groups, it didn't feel like it worked as well with this one. I'm not sure why. I'll probably do it a couple more times to see if it will catch on once they know it.

Song with Stick Puppets: Dance Like Snowflakes
Thank you, Melissa of Mel's Desk for inspiring me to do this! (I got the idea from this post.) I used the clipart snowflakes I made for my flannel board and stuck them to popsicle sticks so I could wave around them while we sang. The babies loved watching me twirl and swirl those snowflakes around!

Flannel Board Story: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (from DLTK)
Interestingly, the group that didn't respond to anything else - the Wednesday session - seemed like this flannel board while today's group was less enthusiastic. I think this was a function of the size of the group and the fact that not everyone could see the board, especially those closest to me. I'm not sure what to do about that. I'll do some experimenting.

Song: Bumpin' Up and Down on my Little Blue Sled
This is a repeat from the Fall, where we sang Raffi's version about the red wagon.

Song with Stick Puppet: Have You Ever Seen a Penguin? 
My penguin was kind of too small for this group, but we managed.

Nursery Rhymes with Shaker Eggs: 

This is the part of the program I feel (haha) shakiest about. Part of me wants to go back to shaking to a song, and part of me thinks it's actually really important to include these nursery rhymes because so many of the adults didn't seem to know them. I have some other rhymes also in my repertoire so I think I'm going to stick with the plans I wrote for the upcoming weeks and re-evaluate for the Spring if necessary.

Book: Baby Faces by Margaret Miller (1998)I chose to do one book and one flannel board this week. It went well like that, but I am considering adding in another book next time around.

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It
After clapping our hands, we beeped noses, tickled tummies, and shouted hooray.

Song: Tony Chestnut
I failed to explain the meaning of this song before singing it yesterday, and no one got it. This morning, I remembered to let them in on the joke ahead of time, and it made all the difference in the world.

Song: Head and Shoulders
I sang this to the tune of London Bridge, as they do on Wee Sing for Baby.

Bounce: Mother and Father and Uncle John
No one finds this as amusing as I do. I really like this one.

Song: Where is Big Toe?
I love this song! I might introduce it to my drop-in story times as well. It's a good one for babies, especially, since the caregivers can easily point to their bodies as the song goes on.

Goodbye: Open, Shut Them Goodbye Song
This is such a great goodbye song. I love it for this age group.

As busy as this next six weeks is going to be, I'm looking forward to perfecting this program and hopefully developing relationships with new families who will stick with this library through childhood!

7 Tween and Teen Novels About Autism

Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a TreeEmma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out Of A Tree
by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean finds herself in unexpected trouble when she tries to help a classmate solve her problems after noticing her crying in the bathroom.
Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in LoveEmma-Jean Lazarus Fell In Love
by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean tries her best to navigate the unfamiliar waters of a new crush. 
Anything But TypicalAnything But Typical
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Jason reads and writes fan fiction, and makes friends with a fellow writer online, but worries she won't want to be friends if they meet in person. 
Marcelo In The Real WorldMarcelo in the Real World
by Francisco X. Stork
After years of special schools that keep him isolated from the "real world", Marcelo takes a summer job in his father's office, where he inadvertently uncovers some wrongdoing.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone, who has Aspberger's,  investigates the death of his neighbor's dog.
by Cynthia Lord
Twelve-year-old Catherine is frustrated by her autistic brother's inability to follow the many rules she has created to help him function better in society. 
The London Eye MysteryThe London Eye Mystery
by Siobhan Dowd
Ted must use his logic and ingenuity to find his missing cousin.

Gettin Crafty Post #11: Native American Pendants

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

I. Supplies

II. Prep
Because I hate cleaning up scraps from the floor, I cut out the pendants ahead of time and punched holes in them. I also pre-cut the lengths of yarn.

III. Instructions

The kids colored, then chose a piece of yarn and made the pendant into a necklace. We did this craft around Thanksgiving, but it would work any time as part of a program, unit, or display on Native American culture.
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