Friday, May 17, 2013

Outreach Round-Up, 4/24/13 - 5/17/13

Wednesday, April 24: Public School Pre-K (Two Separate Sessions)
Books: Ol' Mama Squirrel, Ribbit, She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain
Notes: These books were much shorter than what I normally read to these groups , and the sessions ran really short! Ol' Mama Squirrel was a huge hit, but they didn't love She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain nearly as much as I did.

Thursday, April 25: Catholic School 5th Grade
Poems: "Stuff" by J. Patrick Lewis, "I Tried to Do My Homework" by Jack Prelutsky, "My Brand-New Bathing Suit" by Sandra Brug
Notes: This group was basically done with poetry by this week, and they didn't react strongly to any of the poems.

Friday, April 26: Catholic School Kindergarten & First Grade (Separate Sessions)
Book: Bink & Gollie  
Notes: Both groups loved Bink & Gollie and begged for more! Unfortunately, copies of the second book were checked out and we had not yet received the third. 

Thursday, May 2: Catholic School 5th Grade
I revealed the results of the kids' votes on the poetry I read to them during the past three weeks. The most popular poem was "Adventures of Isabel" by Ogden Nash. Second place was  "How to Change a Frog into a Prince." Third place was "My Brand-New Bathing Suit."

Thursday, May 9: Catholic School 5th Grade
Reader's Theater: Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye 
Notes: This clever fractured fairy tale made for a great reader's theater experience, especially for those kids who got into character and read with expression. 

Friday, May 10: Catholic School Kindergarten
Book: Millions of Cats
Notes: This was my favorite book in kindergarten, and just as I did way back when, these kids chanted along with me to the refrain. Their teacher thought it was morbid how the cats ate each other up, but the kids didn't bat an eyelash.

Friday, May 10: Catholic School First Grade
Book: Mr. Putter and Tabby Paint the Porch
Notes: My focus for this group was to teach them to browse. Often  they come in with a long list of specific books they want, but if none of those are available, they don't really know how to look on their own. To give them some help, I pulled a bunch of first grade friendly books and laid them out like a book fair in the story room. I told the kids to first look and see what was available and then decide what they'd like to take. For the first time, every child found a book that satisfied him/her, and that satisfied the teacher who only lets them check out books on their own level. I read a Mr. Putter and Tabby book because we had a lot of those available, and I was hoping they'd get checked out. Many of them did!

Monday, May 13: Psychiatric Institute
Books: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Critter Sitter, Giant Dance Party, Knit Your Bit 
Notes: This group begged me not to leave even after I read four books. All four stories were big hits!

Tuesday, May 14: Public School After Care 
Poem: Ears Hear 
Books: That is NOT a Good Idea, Giant Dance Party
Flannel Board: Quick as a Cricket
Song: Hat, Coat, Pants and Shoes 
Notes: I love early elementary school kids, so even though this group was large, noisy, and wild, I was in my element. We had a fantastic time. Both books were perfect for the age group, and Ears Hear is the best icebreaker for new groups that I have discovered. I ask the kids to make lots of noise, and they always do so willingly!

Wednesday, May 15: Rec. Center Preschool
Books: Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop, Demolition, A House is a House For Me 
Songs: Sing a Happy Song, If You're Happy and You Know It, Here's My Toolbox
Rhyme: Houses
Notes: This group loves everything. They were especially fond of the toolbox, and of the illustrations in A House is a House For Me. Because this was my last visit for this school year, they presented me with a huge canvas with all their handprints painted on it, and my picture with the kids in the middle. Very cute!

Thursday, May 16: Catholic School Pre-K 
Books: Meet Me at the Art Museum, Katie's Sunday Afternoon, Little Green
Songs: If You'd Like to Read a Book, Shake My Sillies Out, These Are My Glasses, The Artist's Crayons 
Notes: The first two books I read at this session were new to me, though Katie's Picture Show - the first book in the series of which Katie's Sunday Afternoon is a part -  was a favorite of mine as a kid. I wasn't sure how this group would do with more sophisticated books, but they did surprisingly well.  I purposely threw in one very short book as  the last story, but they probably could have sat through a third long book if we'd had the time. 

Friday, May 17: Catholic School 3rd Grade & Catholic School 4th Grade (Separate Sessions)
Book: Spot the Plot
Notes: I read each clue, then asked the kids to guess the title of each book. After they guessed, I showed them the actual books, which were hidden under big pieces of paper on two tables. Third grade did very well - the only one they couldn't guess was Tacky the Penguin. Fourth grade hardly guessed any of them correctly - they only knew the ones that had been made into movies. Still, both groups really enjoyed this activity - I'd use it with this age level again.

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