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.

ABCs: S is for Story Time Preschool Story Time, 5/17/13

 ABCs: S is for Story Time Preschool Story Time, 5/17/13

Book: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
The group was small - a six year old, an almost five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a toddler. The oldest two kids liked this book, but the little ones were distracted.

Song: Shake My Sillies Out 
During this song, for no reason, all the kids took their shoes off. Then they put them back on. 

Book: Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
This was not the hit I expected it to be, so I cut out the next book and quickly skipped through to the end of the story time. 

Flannel Board: Sarah's Silly Socks
This flannel  board will be featured in an upcoming Flannel Friday post!

Book: Stripes of all Types by Susan Stockdale
The illustrations in this one were very engaging. This was a great last book in a story time filled with fidgety kids! 

Craft: Letter S Snakes

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.

ABCs: L is for Library Drop-In Story Time, 5/17/13

 ABCs: L is for Library Drop-In Story Time, 5/17/13

Book: Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
This was a big hit - to the point that a nanny came up and snatched it before story time was over so she could check it out. Since books don't often get checked out after my story times, this was exciting - even if it was also rude.

Song: Llamas on the Bed
Just like monkeys on the bed - but with llamas! I don't do a lot of piggybacking with this song, because it works so well on its own, but I think it's fun to change things up every once in a while to match a book. The kids responded very well to the change, and sang along - some of them very loudly and with great enthusiasm!

Book: I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric Kimmel
Ordinarily I look to use this book with Pre-K kids to practice retelling a story - which we do with the song that follows. It's just short enough, though, that this mixed age group could appreciate it, too.

Song: I'm Going Down to the Library
Lark, lamb, lion, lizard and leopard all went to the library! Everyone sang along - it was amazing!

Letter of the Day:
  • Rhyme: Blue is the Lake
  • Rhyme with Puppet:  Ladybug, Ladybug
    This rhyme works really well when you ask the kids to make ladybug legs with their fingers and land  their ladybugs on their own arms, heads, knees, etc.
  • Flannel Board Song: Mary Had Some Little Lambs
    Mary had a white lamb, a red lamb, a blue lamb, a green lamb, and a black lamb.One little boy in the front row loved this song and sang it at the top of his lungs!
Songs with ukulele: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song with ukulele: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: Mr. Sun 
Mr. Sun is now a required presence at story time - all the kids give him high fives at the end! 

Song: Hands Up High

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.

Flannel Friday: Evolution of a Flannel Board: Vincent's Vests

Adding a letter of the day to my large drop-in story times was something I did to make life easier. Sometimes, though, the activities I do for a certain letter the first time around just don't satisfy me, and I'm left looking for new ideas. That's what happened with the letter V. What follows is the road I took from inspiration to finished product, as I created a flannel board called "Vincent's Vests."

First, I thought I'd just throw together a simple song based on Daddy's Ties. Instead of Daddy, we'd sing about Vincent, and instead of ties, Vincent would wear vests. That concept looked like this:

But would the kids be able to tell where a vest is actually worn? Would they be creeped out by Vincent's lack of arms? What was the point of having sleeves if no one could  tell where the arms went?

I decided to add some arms.

This was an improvement, but still not quite enough. Now it looked like he was wearing a vest with nothing underneath it, which is not really how we wear vests. To make things a little more realistic, I created a tee shirt for Vincent to wear under his  vest.

Better? Definitely. But still...

What if Vincent had a full outfit? Then I could always add to it later on, and with a few different faces and some arms with different skin tones, I'd basically have a full set of flannel board paper dolls. I decided to give it  a shot.

I was all set to go into story time with this version. Just one final problem. Vincent didn't have a neck! In Publisher, I quickly drew a little rectangle, then I printed it out and colored it to match Vincent's face and arms. I stuck it on the flannel board behind Vincent's head and under his tee shirt.

Finally, Vincent was finished!

When I took him to story time, this is how he looked:

And then we sang... 
Vincent wore his yellow vest, yellow vest, yellow vest
Vincent wore his yellow vest all day long. 

 Vincent wore his green vest, green vest, green vest
Vincent wore his green vest all day long.  

  Vincent wore his red vest, red vest, red vest
Vincent wore his red vest all day long. 

  Vincent wore his blue vest, blue vest, blue vest
Vincent wore his blue vest all day long.  

  Vincent wore his brown vest, brown vest, brown vest
Vincent wore his brown vest all day long. 

The kids were totally fascinated by this flannel board. I think they liked the fact that Vincent was so big that we had to turn the flannel board on its side to play with him. 

Want to make your own version of Vincent's Vests? Here are links to the images I used for his various pieces: 
Some of them - especially the pants - need to be resized in Publisher or Word to make them look as they do in my photos. The pants needed to be widened, then cut very short. The shoes are also a bit large and need to be shrunk down.

This week's Flannel Friday round-up is hosted by Storytime Katie.
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