Friday, June 14, 2013

Dig Into Reading (Digging Dogs): Preschool Story Time, 6/14/13

Dig Into Reading (Digging Dogs): Preschool Story Time, 6/14/13

Book: The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins
Two kids came to story time - a girl who is almost four, and a boy who I think is three. The little boy's eyes welled up with tears on the first page of this book, where the dog is lonely and sitting beside the "for sale" sign, and it was all I could to keep reading to get him to the happy parts ASAP.

Flannel Board: Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?
Credit for this idea goes to two sources: DLTK's Crafts for Kids, which provided the rhyme, and Tracey at 1234 More Storytimes who gave me the idea to have different animals hide the bone.  I had an elephant, hippo, lion, walrus, and snake, and hid the bone behind the walrus. He was the last one guessed, so we had a great time pulling every animal off the board and being surprised each time it wasn't there. I used a slightly altered version of the rhyme linked above:

Doggy, doggy, where's your bone?
Someone took it from your home.
It wasn't me.
It wasn't you. 
Was it the _______ at the zoo?

The kids had a ball with this flannel board. I want to do some more like it this summer! 

Song: Head and Shoulders
Song: Shake My Sillies Out 

We had been sitting for so long, we did not one, but two action songs!

Book: Dig! by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
This book is a lot like Zimmerman's Trashy Town. It follows a backhoe operator through one day on the job. The kids were very quiet, but I think they liked the story.

At this point, the little boy had to leave, and  the little girl seemed tired and restless, so I asked her mom if she would want another story, or if she would prefer to move on to coloring. Coloring won, so we skipped Harry the Dirty Dog and finished the session with a coloring page.

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.

Dig Into Reading (Digging): Toddler Lap Time, 6/14/13

Dig Into Reading (Digging): Toddler Lap Time, 6/14/13

Book: Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo
The text in this one is pretty long for a board book, but the kids were really interested in looking at the different vehicles. We had one little girl join us who has just graduated from baby story time, and even she was with me the whole  time, smiling at me curiously as I read.

Flannel Board: Goodnight Builders
I am kind of in awe that I wrote this rhyme, because it gets better each time we do it. The kids were glued to the flannel board and when we got finished, one little boy said, "All gone!"

Book: Dig In by April Jones Prince
This book is cute because the little workers get together to build a pizza. The book has moveable parts, but the ones in my copy don't move easily, so I didn't bother with them.

Flannel Board: Worm Friends
Everybody wanted to hold a worm! This rhyme is just right for toddlers, and they had a ball counting the worms and saying goodbye to each one by color.

Book: One Mole Digging a Hole by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
I have been hoarding this book for months because I was worried it would be lost or stolen before I could use it at story time. It was worth the wait. The illustrations are bright, bold, and funny, and I got a kick out of seeing the different animals working in the garden.

Rhyme: Summer Dance
I was looking for a brand-new action rhyme and this one was a definite hit. I really recommend grabbing rhymes from Highlights High Five magazine. I've used a lot of things from there and most of them are really wonderful. This will become a weekly addition to this story time for this summer!

Activities with Foam Flowers:

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun
It was a good thing Mr. Sun was on hand because our little toddler newbie cried a bit when she gave me her flower back and the puppet was a good distraction!

Song: ABCs

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers

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.

Dig Into Reading (Mud): Drop-In Story Time, 6/14/13

 Dig Into Reading (Mud): Drop-In Story Time, 6/14/13

What an amazing story time! It was a huuuge group, but a lot of nannies I haven't seen all year are back for the summer, as well as a lot of preschoolers who are in that in-between stage after school lets out and before summer camp begins. I can't remember the last time an audience sat quietly for books and actually seemed to enjoy them, and this was, by far, the best reception I have had for the magic envelope. I hope this is a sign of pleasant Friday mornings all summer long! 

Book: Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car by John Burningham
Since the group was so interested in this book and the adults were so well-behaved, I was able to really get into reading it with a lot of expression and  a lot of dramatic pauses. I can always tell when I'm performing a book well, and this was probably one of my top ten read-alouds ever.

Song: I Like to See the Raindrops Fall
I added a verse to this song to make it more suitable for the mud theme.

I like to feel the squishy mud, 
the squishy mud, the squishy mud. 
I like to feel the squishy mud 
on a stormy day.

Book: One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
I wish I had remembered to ask everyone to quack at the end of each page. That's a tip I picked up from Saroj Ghoting and have used in the past, but I was so shocked by how well things were going, I basically just forgot. 

Song: Pigs in the Mud
This is not my favorite song, but it has simple motions that I find most of the kids pick up pretty quickly. They really got into it, and the adults actually seemed to think the song was cute.

Magic Envelope: Dog
I think it was hugely helpful that all the kids know what a dog is. Sometimes I think they might not know what to expect from the magic envelope even when I tell them what is supposed to come out, but this time, there was excitement all around. We put a collar, a dish, a leash, a doghouse, a bone, and "woof woof!" inside the envelope and pulled out... Bingo the dog!

Flannel Board Song: BINGO
I used yellow letters to spell BINGO then changed them to purple one by one. We clapped the purple letters and sang the yellow ones. It was definitely the best performance of BINGO we have ever had.

Ukulele Medley: ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Baa Baa Black Sheep

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It

Song: The More We Read Together
I have decided to definitely keep using this at the end of the story time, but possibly not in place of If You're Happy. I know it might not make a difference, but ending on a reading-related note makes me feel like I'm doing more of my part to remind the adults that story time is as much about reading as it is about singing, etc.

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 for Beginning Readers, 6/13/13

Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers, 6/13/13

Only two kids - twins - showed up, and they are known to be slightly too young for this story time, and very very quiet. I knew right away that most of what I planned was beyond their developmental level, so I cut some of the activities and just went with a very basic story time. 

There wasn't much reading along because of how young the kids are - and the fact that English may not be their first language - but I shared a flannelized version of Whose Garden Is It? by Mary Ann Hoberman. I read most of the story aloud, but asked the kids to help me name each animal, and once we had named them, I put their names on the flannel board with their accompanying images. With kids who could read, I would have had them actually sound out the names of the different animals.

Bag of Verbs
These kids ordinarily don't do anything during this part of  the story time, but this time, they actually stood up and did some of the movements. Progress!

I read A Hole is to Dig, which they didn't seem to like - or understand - at all.  They would really do so much better at the preschool story time, but the mom doesn't seem clear on the difference, and I haven't had much luck trying to explain it.

Write and Draw Activity
I handed out copies of the worksheet below, asking them to draw what they might find in a hole. At first, they just colored all over the papers, but when I asked them to think about what might be inside the holes they dug, the boy said "a diamond" and the girl said, "a heart shape." I wrote their responses on the lines so they could show their mom.

I am really hoping for a resurgence in attendance for this story time this summer. I'm only doing four story times a week this summer, and three of them, including this one, are likely not to attract participants. I'll keep promoting them and hope for the best!  

Flannel Friday: Sarah's Silly Socks

This week, I'm sharing the simplest flannel board story I have ever written. I wrote it for an S-themed preschool story time, and purposely made it very simple because I have a few kids who like to sit with the flannel board and retell the story after story time, and I knew this would be something they could easily memorize.  I'm disappointed that I didn't have the chance to make a full body for Sarah, the little girl in the story, but if I was going to use this for a clothing story time, I'd probably make sure she had feet to put the socks on.

In any case, here is Sarah's Silly Socks.

This is Sarah. She is looking for her silly socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
No. Those are just plain red socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
No. Those are just plain blue socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
No. Those are just plain yellow socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
No. Those are just plain green socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
No. Those are just plain brown socks.

Are these Sarah's silly socks?
Yes! Those socks are silly!

I liked having the plain colored socks because the kids could easily identify the colors and share in telling the story with me. I would like to add some more socks to Sarah's collection, and maybe have her look for something different. For example, we could have all socks with different patterns and try to find the ones with stars, or polka dots, or whatever. Another variation might be to have Sarah look for other silly things that start with S - her silly spoon, her silly shelf, her silly snack, her silly shorts, etc.

This week's Flannel Friday host is Kathryn, who blogs at Fun with Friends at Storytime.
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