Friday, February 15, 2013

Sending You My Love Preschool Story Time, 2/15/13

   Sending You My Love Preschool Story Time, 2/15/13

This was the smallest and quietest preschool group I have ever had, so I really have no idea whether they liked the things I shared with them or not.  There were one baby, two toddlers, three preschoolers, and a first grader, and they smiled a lot, but said absolutely nothing. There aren't many comments below because I am literally the only one who said anything for the full thirty minutes!
Book: Love, Mouserella by David Ezra Stein 

Book: Slugs in Love by Susan Pearson

Song with ukulele: Mail Myself to You
I made up some simple hand motions to go with this song. I taught them the motions, then played the song on the ukulele while they did the movements.

I'm gonna wrap myself in paper 
(hug self)
I'm gonna dab myself with glue 
(pound hands)
Put some stamps on top of my head
(pat head)
I'm gonna mail myself to you
(point to self, then others)

Book: A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats

Game: Delivering the Mail 
The little basket in the photo above had paper letters in it that I made on my computer, and attached to the posterboard were six little mailboxes, each labeled with the name and picture of an animal which matched the names and pictures on the letters. The kids each got a few to deliver. They did it so quietly and so seriously, it didn't look like much fun, so we did our silly song next.

Song: Hat, Coat, Pants and Shoes 

Book: Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett

Song: These Are My Glasses

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.

Sending You My Love Toddler Lap Time, 2/15/13

Sending You My Love Toddler Lap Time, 2/15/13

This story time also had the generic love theme, and I used three books with love in their titles.

Book: My Love For You All Year Round by Susan L. Roth

Song: Love Grows

Book: I Love Animals by Flora McDonnell
This book was the favorite of the bunch. 

Song with poster: Old MacDonald

Book: I Love Trucks by Philemon Sturges

Song: Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Firetruck
They loved this song!

Song: Shake My Sillies Out

Song: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Songs with Foam Hearts
  • H-E-A-R-T
  • There’s a Heart Upon...
Song: ABCs 

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

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.

Sending You My Love Drop-In Story Time, 2/15/13

 Sending You My Love Drop-In Story Time, 2/15/13

The problem with Valentine's Day falling on a Thursday is that none of my Valentine's Day repertoire will work for my Friday story times! Thus, this morning's drop-in story time had a love theme instead. This picture was taken after story time in our staff kitchen, which is why the lighting is better than usual!

Book: Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
This story is pretty short and sweet, but for babies and  toddlers, it is somewhat long, so I wasn't sure how they would like it. I think the preschoolers who were at story time enjoyed it, and I know the adults did, as there was spontaneous thunderous applause after the last line. It's also kind of a tearjerker, but no one really teared up. 

Song with flannel board: Five Little Penguins Riding on a Sled
This song is based on Monkeys on the Bed. I used the flannel board to force myself to slow down and count the penguins.

Book: The Way I Love You by David Bedford
I really like the way I read this one today. My husband pointed out to me once at home that my voice is always the same when I'm reading, and I started noticing it, too. It's not that I was reading without inflection, but that when I read certain recurring phrases that appear in a lot of books, I was always reading them with the same inflection without regard for the context. So today when I read this book, I really thought about how to make it interesting to the kids. And it worked! The kids seemed really interested in the main character and her dog, and  the adults actually were quiet for almost the entire book.

Song: Love My Puppy, Yes I Do
We sang this song about a puppy, and then about a kitty. We did each verse twice, and I sang the first  time through as though the pet was a boy, and the second time with female pronouns.

Book: Grandma Calls Me Gigglepie by J.D. Lester, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
I have read this at story time in the past, but not in a while, so when I found it this morning, I was excited. There was one grandmother I noticed who seemed really pleased by it as she sat with her twin toddler grandsons.

Song with Poster: Old MacDonald
I've found that the adults do better when they have a visual aide to help them know what to sing and when to sing it. Since I wanted to play this on the ukulele, I decided it would be easier to make a poster than  to manipulate flannel board pieces. I tried taping the poster to the whiteboard, but it fell on me twice, so in the end, I asked a nanny to hold it for me. She did a great job, and I actually think people paid better attention when one of their own was up front with me.

Letter of the Day: C

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

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

This was the best drop-in story time I've done in a while. The others have been good, but this one stood out somehow, possibly because of the great participation from the adults. I was also exhausted when it was over, which is always a good sign that a program has gone well!

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.

Read-Along Story Time, 2/14/13

 Read-Along Story Time, 2/14/13

Though attendance was down yesterday, owing to the fact that this is a holiday weekend and there is no school today, this was one of the best read-along story times I have done so far. There were eight kids, ranging in age from four to six. Four were in preschool or Pre-K and four were in kindergarten or first grade.

Welcome Message 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Today we will read two stories about Valentine's Day. We will make a list of Valentine words. We will write messages on hearts. It is time to begin! 


Miss Katie

The kids who could read knew the phrase "Valentine's Day" so I paused and let them read it. This was not my best welcome message, but they didn't seem to notice.

Today's read-along was a free download from Teachers Pay Teachers, which has a lot of helpful printables, some of which cost money, but many of which are free.  The book is called "Will You Be My Valentine?" and it shows pictures of different animals asking us to be their Valentines. We read it straight through, then we went back through it to decide whether we would or would not want to be valentines with that animal. (They said yes to monster and pig, but no to bee and turtle.)

Picture Book Read-Aloud 
Our read-aloud was The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever  by Brenda A. Ferber, which is  illustrated by Tedd Arnold. It was perfectly age appropriate and the kids really enjoyed it. I thought it was especially hilarious when one of the boys asked me what cooties were. Apparently, cooties are not a thing in kindergarten anymore.

Making a Word Cloud
Storytime Katie makes word clouds with the kids at her Growing Readers story times, and her blog inspired me to try it.  I used the reverse side of my welcome message to write the words. To get things started, we passed around a heart labeled "My Turn" so there would be no problems, as there sometimes are, with certain kids fighting about who is next. As one of the girls was passing the heart to the next child, a boy, she said, "He's my husband!" When I said, "He is? Oh my goodness," the little boy in question said, "Oh, yes, we are falling in love." It was adorable, and so perfect for Valentine's Day. When we were finished, the word cloud looked like this:

Hat, Coat, Pants, and Shoes
This group was an especially good audience for this song. They laughed themselves absolutely silly.

Writing Conversation Hearts
Our final activity was a handout from a blog post at Kinder Alphabet. I put out colored pencils and let the kids decorate their hearts. The ones who know how to write wrote down things like, "Love" and "Mom" and "Happy" and the younger kids colored and drew designs. I talked with everyone as they worked and was surprised by how much they had to say about their work. I definitely want to do more activities like this one in future weeks.

I look forward to this program every week, and this particular session was so much fun. I'm really glad to see some of our early elementary schoolers coming in more regularly and enjoying themselves at a program suited to their abilities.
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