Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Storytime Marathon Week: Day 2

So this morning I had my weekly baby storytime program.  If you've magically found your way here with no knowledge of what a baby storytime entails, it's heavily dependent upon parent/caregiver participation, and my job as a presenter is more to facilitate an interaction between the adults and babies.  I try to include a lot of singing and finger-plays and lap bounces--though babies rarely stay in laps--sometimes I'll bring out the flannel board to demonstrate dialogic reading, and we usually read one book together, or we take a few minutes for the adults to share a book--or a few pages--with their child/children.

This week our theme was "Fall" and the Early Literacy skill was Oral Language (which corresponds to Narrative Skills in the first version of Every Child Ready to Read).  I'm including a list of the rhymes and songs we used below.  Each week I have handouts for the parents that include the rhymes and a note about the Early Literacy skill we mention.

Most weeks the group is probably between 5 and 10 children.  Every week I use the same opening and closing songs; I always use "If You're Happy and You Know It," "Two Little Black Birds," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

Baby storytime can be a little tedious, because you don't get as much feedback from the kids (RE: hugs) but I did have the wonderful experience of having a mom come up to me and tell me that since we did "Elephants in the Bathtub," they sing it every night at and now her daughter loves bath-time.  And that is just amazing to me!

The other nice thing about baby storytime is that it gives moms the opportunity to interact with one another.  Being in a community with a high population of military families, it's really satisfying to see the library as a place where people can connect to one another.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Storytime Marathon Week: Day 1

So today begins my storytime marathon week; I'm set to present four times this week between outreach, baby, and family storytime, so as the old adage goes, "One day at a time."

I've been presenting outreach storytimes since March, and I always get a bit of stage-fright before hand.  I had a dance instructor who told us that having butterflies just means that you care.  I'm going to the same Child Development Center that visited me over the summer and the students sang me 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' in Spanish.  I'm presenting the same Alligator/Crocodile storytime I did for our Family Storytime here at the library earlier this month (with a few adaptations); it's a program I prepared for, I've presented it twice already, and its all books and songs I enjoy.  Right now the thing that I'm most concerned about is just getting on post.

For myself, the thing I've found about storytime outreach is that it's wonderful once you get there!  It's the running around, playing telephone tag, and finding fill-ins for the public service desk that's an absolute bear.  I'm not a fan of talking on the phone, but I'll do it--I just can't seem to get anyone to call me back.  But for now the hard part is over.  I'm excited to hit the road; I'll let you know how it goes!

Later that day....

Well, I did get lost, but other than that, storytime went just about perfectly.  I had 16 preschoolers and everyone seemed to have a good time.  As always, the alligator puppet was well-received and "Teasing Mr. Alligator" was a crowd favorite.  I'm including the songs and stories we did below.

Open Shut Them
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.

Creep them, creep them,
Creep them, creep them,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open up your little mouth,
But do not let them in.

Notes: Such a great story for building anticipation and dialogic reading.  

Teasing Mr. Alligator
Three little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

Two little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

One little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

No more monkeys swinging in the tree!

Notes: I think this one might be a touch more popular with caregivers than kids; it's absolutely precious!  I actually wondered if one of the boys had read it before because as soon as I opened it up he started going on about fire.  If you haven't read this one *spoilers* it's "The Ugly Duckling" and the eponymous crocodile is actually a dragon.  The kids really seemed to enjoy the way he sneezes fire and grows wings at the end.  

The Alpha-gator Story
(Since I can't take my magnet board on the road) I used the alligator puppet on one hand and went through the ASL alphabet with the other.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Flannel Friday: Pumpkin Edition

I'm planning a "Pumpkin Patch" themed storytime for October, working on building vocabulary.  Particularly I wanted to look at the vocabulary for feeling and emotions, because children who have the vocabulary to describe feelings are better at regulating their emotions.  I made happy features, sad features, surprised/scared, and angry features for the one pumpkin.  

I'll was going to do the activity after "Five Little Pumpkins" and prompt the kids and parents to make different faces; with a small group of preschoolers I think I could invite them to come up and make different face combinations.  

Halloween, here we come!   

This week's Flannel Friday Roundup was hosted at Mel's Desk here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

ELS Unconference

Storytime Book and Rhyme Ideas from Severn!

Preschool Book: Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman

I used this book for a sneeze-themed preschool storytime, along with Baa-Choo, and Flea's Sneeze.  The students really seemed to enjoy building the anticipation.  We got a little rowdy, but thankfully the results weren't quite so disastrous as the ones in the book!

Toddler Book: Breathe by Scott Magoon 

I'm planning on using this book for a quiet family storytime in November along with The Quiet Book, lullabies, and information about breath and relaxation.   

Toddler Rhyme:
From “Kindergarten Wall” 
By John McCutcheon

Of all you learn here remember this the best:
Don't hurt each other and clean up your mess
Take a nap everyday, wash before you eat
Hold hands, stick together, look before you cross the street
And remember the seed in the little paper cup:
First the root goes down and then the plant grows up!

Baby Rhyme:
“Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” with Scarves

Shoo fly, don't bother me. Shoo fly, don't bother me
Shoo fly don't bother me, 'cause I belong to somebody.
I feel, I feel, I feel like the morning star.
I feel, I feel, I feel like the morning star.


I'm planning on using this cute little guy for a Monster themed Family Storytime in October.  We're going to be looking at phonological awareness, and wouldn't you know it, 'monster' and 'mummy' both begin with the M-sound!

  • Colored construction paper
  • White paper (I used scraps from recycling cut into strips)
  • Glue sticks
  • Googly eyes (Or provide crayons for kids to draw in eyes, if they so desire)

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

What to do:
  1. Print off copies of a naked gingerbread man.  That's right, two holidays one cut-out!  You can cut the little dudes out or provide scissors for kids to cut their own.
  2. Have kids glue strips of white paper to form the mummy's bandages.
  3. Add googly eyes (I think it really brings the whole thing together, don't you?)
  4. Play "The Monster Mash" and have a spontaneous mummy-monster dance party.
As an aside, you can offer kids a construction paper background (half a sheet should do it) to glue down their mummies and color around them.  I left out crayons for a similar decoupage Alligator 'A' craft at my last storytime and was really impressed by how creative the kids got.  (Who would have thought to give an alligator eyelashes?  It was so cute!)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fizz Boom Read in Review

From Kick-off to the last of the prizes, my first Summer Reading Club was certainly a memorable experience, thanks to my fabulous colleagues.  I supervised our teen volunteers for the summer, which was a unique experience, to say the least.  And the Bubble Lady put me in a bubble for her presentation--another first!