Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Club!

A few fellow colleagues and I started a book club to help us keep up on all the new juvenile and teen books.  Since we are just getting started we are just book talking the current books we are reading.

Here's what we looked at today--at our first club meeting!

We All Looked Up
by Tommy Wallach

Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson

The Marvels
by Brian Selznick

Lockwood & Co. (series)
by Jonathan Stroud

I shared:

Firefly Hollow
by Alison McGhee; illustrated by Christopher Denise
A sweet story of discovering who you really are, what it means to have a friend and to be a friend, reaching for your dreams, and also letting go of your dreams.

Nooks & Crannies
by Jessica Lawson
Part Roald Dahl part Nancy Drew--this is an exciting mystery featuring six unlikely children, a detective mouse, a mad countess, and a fortune at stake!

In November and December we will also do a general "what new teen/juvenile have you read" and in January we will start assigning genres for each month.

Baby Storytime--Movement

After week off for a conference I am always excited to be with my baby group again!

Words can be found here.

Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Good Morning To You
Little Bear
Baby Hokey Pokey
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Wheels on the Bus (horn--beep nose; baby--bumpity bump)
Pease Porridge Hot
Tiny Little Babies
Acka Backa Soda Cracker
Parachute--If You're Happy and You Know It (slow, fast, high)

Read Aloud

Baby Party
Rebecca O'Connell; illustrated by Susie Poole
Image result for baby party rebecca o'connel

Shared Reading
Variety of board books featuring movement including

Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop
by Anna Dewdney

Shake It Up, Baby!
by Karen Katz
[Language Use]
Recite and sing familiar songs, rhymes and nursery rhymes and encourage parents to share their favorites with their child.

Parent Tip
At the Young Child Conference I attended last week I learned a little more about the word number gap and the strong correlation between language and learning to read.  Be sure to talk to your child often throughout the day.  Be a "newscaster" and describe things you are doing and what you see, hear, and so forth.

Play and Learn

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grandparent Theme Storytime

Grandparent's Day was September 13--so what better way to celebrate than to have a grandparent themed storytime?


Piglet and Granny
by Margaret Wild; illustrated by Stephen Michael King

Off We Go!
by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Laurel Molk

No Trouble at All
by Sally Grindley; illustrated by Eleanor Taylor


Let's Clap!
(tune: Have you ever seen a lassie?)

Let's clap our hand for grandma
For grandma, for grandma
Let's clap our hands for grandma
Let's clap them this way.

Clap this way (high) and that way (low)
Clap this way and that way
Let's clap our hands for grandma
Let's clap them this way.

Let's stomp our feet for grandpa
For grandpa, for grandpa
Let's stomp our feet for grandpa
Let's stomp them this way.

Stomp this way (left) and that way (right)
Stomp this way and that way
Let's stomp our feet for grandpa
Let's stomp them this way.

The Tempo Marches On
from CD Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on his Toe Leg Knee


[Language Use]

In the story of Piglet and Granny, Piglet tells the farm animals the things that Granny has taught her to do and fun things they do together.  What are some things you like to do with your grandma or grandpa?

Play and Learn

All About Grandma/Grandpa pages (created by a colleague)


Picking up/Sorting Dinos

Preview of Busy Bags

  • Colored paper clips

  • Hole punches
  • Crazy straw

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Outreach Stotyimes for September--Animals

I was able to visit two different childcare centers today!  I had limited time to prepare to I gathered books around a wide theme--animals.  The hardest part was narrowing down which ones to read since there are so many to choose from!  Mover Over Rover finally came in after I did my first outreach.  I replaced two books with this title (because I love that book!)


What the Ladybug Heard
by Julia Donaldson; illustrated by Lydia Monks

Lion vs. Rabbit
by Alex Latimer

If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON'T!
by Elise Parsley

What Noise Does a Rabbit Make?
by Carrie Weston and Richard Byrne

2nd outreach visit I switched to 
Move Over Rover
by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by Jane Dyer

Oh, No!
by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann

Watch Out! Big Bro's Coming! 
by Jex Alborough

Preschool (3 year olds)
Tiny Little Fly
by Michael Rosen and Kevin Waldron

2nd outreach visit I switched to 
Move Over Rover 
by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by Jane Dyer

Two at the Zoo 
by Danna Smith; illustrated by Valeria Petrone

The Very Busy Spider
by Eric Carle
Image result for very busy spider

I Spy on the Pets
by Edward Gibbs

The Very Busy Spider 
by Eric Carle
Image result for very busy spider

by Marie Torres Cinarusti; illustrated by Stephanie Peterson

Roar! A Big-mouth Book of Sounds


Old McDonald had a Farm

Are You Sleeping?
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping
Little alligator? Little alligator?
Wake up little alligator
Wake up little alligator
Chomp, chomp, chomp!
Chomp, chomp, chomp!

Additional Verses

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree

Find the Dog's Bone (magnet board guessing game)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


In August Mel and I were able to attend the Starting Strong Conference—all things early learning!  I attended several workshops about the importance of play for children.  So what is play and why is it so important?

Play is at the heart of learning and is different for each child.  Mr. Rogers said, “Play is really the work of childhood”.  Simply put, playing is how children learn.  In early childhood “if you’re not playing then you’re not learning.”

But play is not a free-for-all!  Children need play that is rule-governed, meaning there are limits to the materials, time, and space for play.  Play must be positive, voluntary, meaningful, symbolic, pleasurable, and episodic.

The best play is opened-ended to allow for discovery and divergent learning.  The brain likes novelty—meanings having supplies to use in creative ways.

I love our play and learn storytimes!  They were one of the things that attracted me to apply for this job.  Giving children time to explore, discover, experiment, and manipulate in a safe environment is vital in early learning.  Play solidifies our books and songs and encourages parents and caregivers to engage with their children.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Baby Storytime--Animals!

Babies love animals and making/listening to animals sounds!  What better way to start off the fall storytime season than with animals!

Words to most of these can be found here

Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands
Good Morning To You
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
(puppets--duck, cat, pig, and cow)
Baby Hokey Pokey
Wheels on the Bus
Hey Diddle, Diddle
Pease Porridge Hot
Tiny Little Babies
Acka Backa Soda Cracker
Tickle the Clouds

Read Aloud Book

Week 1
Baby Says "Moo!"
by Jo Ann Early Macken; illustrated by David Walker
I used quite a few paperclips so I could skip pages in order to read it to my baby group.  Basically I skipped the parts of the parents asking what something says and the refrain that follows.

So here's how the first part of the book went...
Baby rolls along, grabs a yummy snack,
Waves at people, and they all wave back.

Baby takes a ride through the busy city
Waves at the yellow bird, singing so pretty.

Week 2
Who Says Woof?
by John Butler

Shared Reading

A variety of board books featuring animals including:

We Love Each Other by Yusuke Yonezu

Owl and Friends by Joyce Wan

To parents: Making animal sounds with your baby helps to develop their language skills.  Encourage your baby to copy the animals sounds.  Point to and name animals as well.  Encourage them to repeat.

Play Time
Nothing special...

Sheep Storytime

So excited to do storytime after a whole month without doing one at Otis!!


No Sleep for the Sheep
by Karen Beaumont; illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic

Where is the Green Sheep?
by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek

Songs/Rhymes/Flannel Board

Mary had a Little Lamb (idea from Mallory)

We sang Mary had a little lamb; but I would put up a different color sheep and then say something that was that color.

Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb
Mary had a little lamb its fleece was ORANGE as CARROTS!

We ended with a white sheep!

Dancing Sheep
(from Susan Dailey)

Shhh!  It’s time to go to sleep (put finger to mouth, pretend to sleep)
But into my bedroom one sheep creeps. (creep fingers)
“Don’t go to bed,” the one sheep said.
“I would rather dance instead!”

Soon he was…  (draw these words out)
Dancing on the ceiling! (move hands above head in “dancing” motion)
He was dancing on the floor! (move hands on floor as mentioned above)
He was dancing on the window! (move hands to one side)
He was dancing on the door! (move hands to other side)

He kept on…Dancing on the ceiling! (sing faster)
He was dancing on the floor!
He was dancing on the window!
He was dancing on the door!
(repeat several times getting faster each time through)

“Stop that dancing, silly sheep.
It is time to go to sleep!”
Soon the sheep lay on the floor.
Soon the sheep began to snore.

So I started …  (draw these words out)
Dancing on the ceiling!
I was dancing on the floor!
I was dancing on the window!
I was dancing on the door!

Where is the Green Sheep? Hide and Seek Flannel (idea from One Little Librarian)

After reading Where is the Green Sheep we had our own little hide and seek activity using the magnet board.


In the book No Sleep for the Sheep there is a rhyming phrase I taught the children before reading, "'Shhh! Not a peep! Go to sleep!', said the sheep."  I reminded the parents that saying rhyming words with their children build their language and listening skills.  Throughout the story I encouraged the children to say the phrase with me.

Play and Learn

Glue cotton balls onto sheep cutout

Mary had a Little Lamb Maze (from Literacy Centers and Activities Nursery Rhymes Volume 1)

Farm/Zoo Animal Magnet Sort

Where is the Green Sheep? Hide and Seek Flannel
Children also had a good time matching the colored sheep to their colored bush!


And this storytime would not be complete without a stamp on the hand of a green sheep!