Thursday, August 1, 2013

Follow Your Nose Preschool Story Time, 8/1/13

Follow Your Nose Preschool Story Time, 8/1/13

Small crowd today - just five kids, including the four-year-old twins who typically don't talk, a six-year-old and her toddler brother, and one other toddler.

Book: Farley Follows His Nose by Lynn Johnston
This is surprisingly well done. I love the For Better or For Worse comic strip,  but I wasn't sure how a picture book would hold up. I couldn't tell whether the kids liked it, but I would try using it again.

Book: Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
This book was a hit. The false sneezes and eventual havoc gave at least one kid the giggles.

Activity: Bingo the Clown Clothesline
This activity was designed to introduce a little bit of movement into the story time without requiring a lot of singing.  I wanted something with clown noses, and I came across this Colorful Noses Movement Activity with a reindeer rhyme from Mailbox magazine. I changed the reindeer to a clown and put each verse of the rhyme on its own little card. Then I labeled the backs of the cards with colors and strung them up so the kids could easily choose one. Then we did the movements as a group. It sounds a bit complicated, but it was actually a big success.

Flannel Board Story: A Perfect Nose for Ralph by Jane Breskin Zalben
Next week, my Flannel Friday post will  focus on this flannel board. I like the way I told this one. I think I'm better at telling stories without the book in front of me than I realize.

Book: I Broke My Trunk by Mo Willems
I think I might need to stop reading Elephant and Piggie books aloud. The kids don't seem to follow the dialogue, and I'm not willing to do silly voices.

Coloring Page: "Color the Elephant" from TwistyNoodle

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.

I Love Bugs! Baby Lap Time, 8/1/13

I Love Bugs! Baby Lap Time, 8/1/13

My co-worker who normally does this story time was under the weather today, so she asked me to cover for her. I was more than happy to do so - it was great to be back at baby lap time!

Book: I Love Bugs by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Shari Halpern
I especially liked the way I read today. I was in perfect "baby voice." Perhaps having a break from this story time has done me good!

Rhyme with Puppets: I’m a Little Bumblebee
Babies love puppets. Their little eyes were just mesmerized.

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song with Puppet: Mr. Sun

Bouncing Song: All the Little Babies

Book: Arabella Miller’s Tiny Caterpillar by Clare Jarrett
I really enjoyed how much the adults enjoyed this book. I thought it might be too lengthy but the sing-song rhyming seemed to appeal to everyone. A nanny even checked it out at the end of  the session.

Songs with Butterfly Puppet: Fly Like a Butterfly / Flutter Flutter Butterfly
I asked the grown-ups to help the babies make butterfly wings, and one little girl did it all on her own and kept it up for the entire first song! Amazing!

Rhyme with Stick Puppets: Two Little Houseflies / Fireflies / Dragonflies
I changed the words to Two Little Blackbirds and did rhymes about three different pairs of "flies."

Song: Tony Chestnut

Song: ABCs

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 (Letter M), 7/31/13

 Read-Along Story Time for Beginning Readers (Letter M), 7/31/13

Yesterday I had the pleasure of performing my Read-Along Story Time twice - once at the main library as a special summer program, and once at my own branch as part of our regular weekly schedule. Though I focused on the letter M in both sessions, there were some major differences between the two story times, just based on the age and number of kids. Below are comments on the activities shared in both sessions and how the kids reacted to them. 

Main Library: 
The librarians at the main branch originally expected a camp group to attend this session, but that fell through, so I wound up with just two kids - a girl going into fourth grade, and a boy going into second grade. I spent a few minutes before the official story time chatting with them and getting to know them a little bit, so it was a natural transition into the story time environment.

My Library: 
Many of my regulars didn't make it in yesterday, but some new participants joined in, and there were 11 kids in all by the halfway point in the session. Most of the kids were true beginning readers, with just 3 of the 11 kids being slightly too young to truly participate.

Introducing Today's Letter (M)
Main Library:
Since these kids were older, and because I didn't really want to bring the iPad with me, I opted to have them list M words for me. They did a great job - the fourth grader was especially great, with contributions of lots of names of people and states that started with M. The boy's mom even got involved, which was great to see, and her son seemed to enjoy her participation.

My Library: 
I did my usual iPad presentation, though we didn't read the sentences as a group. I let the kids call out the words and I read the sentences, trying to break the ice for some of the newcomers by asking questions and chatting about each word. The sentences are below:

If you want to buy something, you will need money.
The sun comes up in the morning.
What does a magnet do?
Have you ever played with a marble?
What do you like to eat with your macaroni?
This muffin looks delicious!
I need to wear mittens when it is cold outside.
Look at this silly monkey!
Get ready to climb the mountain!
Who sends you mail?

Main Library: 
I presented Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty as a flannel board. My Flannel Friday post tomorrow will show the whole thing in depth, but the basic gist is that I put the dialogue up on the flannel board for all of us to read together. I also made sure to have copies of the book and its sequel on hands so the kids could look at them afterward if they wanted.

My Library: 
I did not share this story with the kids at my own branch, as I know many of them often attend preschool story time with their siblings and had just heard the story last week. I also just kind of got burned out on telling it after sharing it twice in less than a week. Instead, for this story time, the opening story was "The Club," which is the first part of Arnold Lobel's book, Grasshopper on the Road. To make it more interactive, I held up signs and word bubbles when I wanted the kids to read a part of the story. Not every child could read the signs, but at least two could, and that was enough to keep things moving.

Bag of Verbs
Main Library:
Since these kids were older, I didn't bother with the bag of verbs with them. They might have been into it, but I decided we were on such a  roll, we didn't need to stop and let out our wiggles.

My Library: 
This was one of the better games of Bag of Verbs we have had. Every child participated, except the one little girl who never does, and for the most part, we didn't have any behavior that was too wild or too out of control.

Read Aloud: Penny and her Marble by Kevin Henkes
Main Library:
I asked the kids one question at the end of each chapter, which I hoped would prompt them to think about the book a little bit. Since they were pretty savvy readers, they answered me right away, with thoughtful and smart responses. Here are my questions:
  • Chapter 1: Did Penny do the right thing? What does that look on her face mean?
  • Chapter 2: Why couldn't Penny stop thinking about the marble?
  • Chapter 3: What should Penny do to make herself feel better?
  • Chapter 4: What was different about getting to keep the marble the second  time?
My Library:
We read the same book at my library's session, and I asked most of the same questions. These kids were not as sophisticated as my morning duo, but with a little prompting, they still discussed the book with me somewhat. One little boy who is always a handful kept getting upset because other kids wanted a turn to talk, but I kept him pretty well in check and made sure to give positive attention to each child who had a comment.

Literacy Game: Monkey Match
Main Library: 
I had a set of monkey faces, each with different words on them, and we sorted them by category. First, we divided them into words starting with M and words ending with M. Then we separated words with three letters from words with four letters. Finally, we used thumbs up and thumbs down signals to indicate whether words did or did not have the letter A in them.  Though this was a really basic activity for these older kids, they were great sports about participating, and there were a couple of words (mast, specifically) that the kids weren't too familiar with, so it was a nice chance to work in some new vocabulary.

My Library: 
This activity was a bit more challenging for the crowd at my branch, but I think it was more interesting for them because it was tricky. The kids who were truly beginning readers did really well, both at sounding out the words and finding their correct categories. The thumbs up / thumbs down approach works especially well.We skipped the starts and ends with M category, just because they seemed like they were getting bored.

Main Library: 
I did a second read-along activity with this group, because the coloring sheet would have been too basic, and they were doing so well with everything. We read "The Club" from Grasshopper on the Road, using the same set of signs I mentioned above. These kids reacted much more strongly to the message of the story than the younger crowd at my branch.

My Library:
We didn't do another read-along at my branch.

Coloring Page 
Main Library: 
I didn't provide a coloring page for this group.

My Library:
We colored muffins. I told the kids they could decorate their muffins with things beginning with M, but most preferred to keep things realistic and draw on actual edible toppings. I used to worry more about these coloring activities having a clear literacy component, but honestly, just letting them color and tell stories about their pictures is sometimes an educational experience unto itself.

Visor, Tee-shirt, Shorts and Shoes
Main Library:
I felt awkward just ending story time, so I offered the opportunity to sing a silly song, and both kids were all for it. I particularly cracked up the second grader, but both kids enjoyed the element of surprise at the end of each verse.

My Library: 
We ended story time with the coloring page at my branch.
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