Saturday, June 2, 2012

After School Read-Aloud and Craft: Eyes, 5/31/12

The theme for this week's after school program came to my mind when I was shelving easy readers and put Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles on the shelf across from The Eye Book. I had seen a template for paper eyeglasses a while back, and figured it would be a simple but fun activity that would require minimal planning. As it turned out, this was one of the most well-attended and most successful after school activities we've had all year.

The Read-Alouds: Books About Eyes and Eyeglasses

Book One: The Eye Book by Dr. Seuss (1968)
I read this one mostly to set the tone and get us going. Most of the kids who came were in kindergarten, and they enjoyed pointing out each instance of rhyme they noticed.

Book Two: Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles by Jane O'Connor (2010)
I had this on display and didn't plan to read it, but with 6 girls and only one boy in the room, I decided to give in when the girls pleaded with me to read it. As it turned out, everybody liked it, even though one page was missing. 

Book Three: The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon (2010)
I chose this one because it doesn't get a lot of love from our customers, and it's a great story! This group enjoyed it a lot, and they all thought it was neat that the main character gets to wear a patch.

Song: These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner Band
I only do songs during the after school sessions when I have a really good one that complements the books. This was a good example, and they seemed to enjoy doing the motions.

The Craft: Silly Glasses!
I. Supplies 
  • Copies of a template from First Palette (we used the star shape)
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • White glue 
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch
II. Prep

I colored my silly glasses with a fun colorful pattern, then glued it together. It was somewhat floppy since I didn't have cardstock, so I worried the kids would have trouble keeping them on their faces. To solve that problem, I punched holes in the arms of the glasses and ran a string through them so they could be worn around the kids' necks.

 III. Process
The kids loved this. Every one of them colored a different design, and some of them got so intensely involved, they wound up working right up until we closed. They all loved the idea of wearing the glasses around  their neck, and each one of them came up to me to show me how they looked on their eyes.

The Display: More Sight-Related Books
I had some trouble finding a good number of really good books on this subject, aside from the ones I read, but I raided the non-fiction section and put together a decent display - which the kids actually spent time looking at! - nonetheless. 
I have really enjoyed these last few after school programs. It's something I definitely want to continue in the Fall, and that I will start planning for this summer so I can be prepared with some more great crafts.

Baby/Toddler Lap Time, 6/1/12

I have to say it's a little bit discouraging to have an adult approach me after story time to say, "That was a tough one, huh?" But she was right. I had the attention of most of the kids, but some of the adults just would not sit quietly no matter what I did. We did our "quiet signal" at least three times, and that helped some, but it was just a restless morning. Thank goodness, we're moving to the larger meeting room on the second floor beginning next week. I think people will feel more included in the story time, and therefore more interested in participating, when they're not all crowded in the doorway. In any case, here it is - the first Baby/Toddler Lap Time of summer reading!

Opening Song: Hello, how are you? 

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake

Book: Max's Starry Night by Ken Wilson-Max (2001)
I have been trying to read one longer book and two shorter ones with my groups lately, but this was clearly not the morning for a book like this one, with dialogue and lots of really similar-looking illustrations. I think it went over well with the few preschoolers in the front of the room, but the babies and toddlers lost interest, along with their grown-ups, very quickly.

Song with Stick Puppets: Stars Shining Bright
This song went over very very well, thanks in part to threes and fours knowing their colors. I will do this again, as a flannel board, and with puppets, once I make permanent flannel board pieces. (I only had time to put together paper puppets yesterday.)

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Book: The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood (1984)

Song: Five Little Monkeys

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Moon Moon Moon 

Flannel Board Song: Five Astronauts Went Up in Space 

Book: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
This had the right amount of text, and would have been just fine, I think, if the group hadn't totally lost interest by this point. I'll try it again later in the summer in a session with a different format.

Song with Puppets: Goodnight by the Laurie Berkner Band
The Tuesday group loved this song; the Friday group seemed perplexed. We'll try again next time.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This
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