Friday, June 21, 2013

Dig Into Reading (Gardening): Drop-In Story Time, 6/21/13

Dig Into Reading (Gardening): Drop-In Story Time, 6/21/13

We had a bit of a difficult morning, because two nannies in a row complained to me on their way into story time that the other adults are too noisy so they can't hear me when I'm reading. So I did try to crack down a bit more on the chattiness during the first book, only to find one of those self-same nannies talking to her neighbor not five minutes later. Honestly, I think I do a good job of keeping the chaos to a minimum in a room of 100 toddlers, and it annoys me when someone acts like I'm not trying. But aside from the somewhat contentious start, this story time was perfectly fine, and the kids seemed to have a lot of fun.

Book: This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer and Donald Crews
This book is always a crapshoot. Today was one of its better days, even though I did have to stop twice to ask the adults to stop talking.

Flannel Board Song: My May Garden
I put the sun, rain, and seed up on the flannel board and also showed the kids some motions to do for the sun shining, the rain dripping, and the seed growing. They did so well, we did it twice.

Book: Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
I have always liked this book, and the kids seemed mostly into it. I might even think about using it again in this afternoon's toddler session instead of What Does Bunny See?

Song: So Many Plants (based on Stars Shining Bright)
So many plants growing in the ground!
Tell me what color plant I found.

I neglected to come up with a suitable verse to sing after the color had been identified, so we sang: 

Red plant grow! Red plant grow! 
Red plant grow in the deep, deep ground.

That's pretty awful. I will come up with something else before I use this again. The kids did like identifying the different colors, though, and the only tricky ones for them were orange and yellow.

Book: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
This book is another one that can sometimes flop, but not today! I saw a couple of moms who even seemed to be enjoying it.

Song: Sunny Day
Part of me just wanted to keep doing this song over and over, because it has such a calming effect on the whole room - adults and kids. But we just did it three times.

Magic Envelope: Bird
Today, we had a bird come out of  the magic envelope. We put in feathers, wings, a nest, a beak, and a "tweet tweet!" sound. The kids couldn't quite name the objects  this time, but I don't think that's a problem, as it gave them some exposure to some new vocabulary. The nannies also actually helped me name the objects the kids didn't know, which made it feel more like a group effort.

Song: Way Up in the Sky
I feel like the "big reveal" in the magic envelope has been pretty anti-climactic, and that there hasn't been a real sense of what we're doing with the final product once it comes out of the envelope. This time, the item that came out of the envelope - the bird - was actually a flannel board piece, so I was able to put it on the board and we sang this bird-related song. After  the song, we put the bird away and sang goodbye to the envelope. It wasn't perfect, but it's getting closer to working the way I want it to.

Songs with Ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song: Hands Up High 

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: The More We Read Together 
I have to start out this song higher because I'm hitting the low notes at a point lower than my singing range, and I don't think everyone can hear me.  They also don't listen when I talk, so half  the room thought we were singing The More We Get Together.

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.


  1. I understand the frustration with the talking adults. I have recently started my story times with a "consider this a sharing time with your child" talk. It doesn't *always* work, but it's definitely helpful. Good luck!

    1. I think that approach works with parents, but not with nannies. The adults at my story times are almost all nannies, and a lot of them see story time as a coffee break, and they're not invested in the "sharing time with your child" idea in the way that the parents are. I'd be happy if they would just be quiet enough for the kids to hear the stories!

      Thanks for the comment.


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