Monday, July 31, 2017

Birds--Preschool Storytime

I found Peck, Peck, Peck several months ago and was excited to use it in storytime; however because of our storytime mashups and training storytime people I finally got to this theme today!


A Bird is a Bird
by Lizzy Rockwell

Hooray for Birds!
by Lucy Cousins

Peck, Peck, Peck
by Lucy Cousins

Graph Question
Which bird would you like to see?
Eagle (2)
Penguin (3)
Ostrich (0)
Flamingo (3)


Are You Sleeping?

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Little bird, little bird
Wake up little bird!
Wake up little bird!
Flap, flap, flap!
Flap, flap, flap!

Additional Verses:
Flamingo--stand on one foot

Play and Learn

Hole Punches!
Peck holes just like the little woodpecker in Peck, Peck, Peck

Flannel Pizza
Counting Cars

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stories and Meals in the Park

Last week I did our 2nd storytime in the park while the children ate their free lunches provided by the school district.  Kids' ages ranged from 4 to 11.  Not a huge group, and so of the kids who got lunch choose not to stay and listen to the books.

Here's what I read:

Count the Monkeys
by Marc Barnett; illustrated by Kevin Cornell

The Princess and the Pig
by Jonathan Emmett; illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Even Monsters Need Haircuts
by Matthew McElligott

That Is Not a Good Idea!
by Mo Willems

STEM for Baby Storytime

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for BABIES?!  Yes!  And we do more of it than you probably think!  Here are just some of the areas I came up with that deal with STEM:

Cause and Effect
Size (Big/small)
Nature--animals, plants, water
Positional Words
Light--mirrors, colors

Read Aloud

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Sequencing, counting, colors, big/small, nature

In addition to our regular play and learn toys--highlighting how each relates to STEM (see list above)--I set up a water "table"

STEM Preschool Storytime

Our third "mash-up" storytime for the summer...featuring all things STEM!


Charlotte the Scientist is Squished
by Camille Andros; illustrated by Brianne Farley

Shape Shift
by Joyce Hesselberth

Graph Question
Science and math are all around us!  What is your favorite way to learn about science and math?
Bathtub (1)
Playing outside (5)
Cooking (4)
Playing a game (1)


ABC Welcome Song

Pattern Song; adapted from Songs for Teaching

It’s pattern time! It’s pattern time! 
So move your body while I move mine

Clap your hands.  
Stomp your feet.  
Jump up; turn around, 
Do something neat.

(I used four cut out shapes--with magnets on the back--to create patterns.  Each shape was one of the four action in the song)

Animal Goodbyes

STEM Play and Learn Stations

Aluminum Foil Boat/Sink and Float

Cornstarch Quicksand

Bear Balance Set with Weight STEM Challenge Cards from Playdough to Plato

Geometric Shape Art


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Monkeys--Toddler Storytime

I subbed last minute for Toddler Storytime today.  I don't have a ton of experience with toddlers, but I think it turned out well.


Kiki's Blankie
by Janie Bynum

More and More
by Emma Dodd

Spunky Little Monkey
by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson
illustrated by Brian Won


Slow and Fast
(tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Roll, roll, roll your hands
As slowly as can be
Roll, roll, roll your hands
Do it now with me.

Roll, roll, roll your hands
As fast, as fast can be
Roll, roll, roll your hands
Do it now with me.

Clap, clap, clap your hands

Stomp, stomp, stomp your feet

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

My Hands

If You're Happy and You Know It

A is for Alligator
A is for alligator, snap, snap, snap
B is for bird, flap, flap, flap
C is for circle, turn round and round and round
D is for dizzy, let's all sit down!

Our Hands Say Goodbye
Our hands say goodbye with a clap, clap, clap
Our feet say goodbye with a tap, tap, tap
Clap, clap, clap
Tap, tap, tap
We roll our hands around and say…
Let's do it again!
(2nd time) Good-bye!

Play and Learn

Bean Bags--they loved putting them in the buckets and carrying them around



Monkey Coloring Page

Trail Mix and Match from Learning Resources

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Storytime Training

We are in the midst of training a fairly large group of public service associates and specialist to do storytimes.  Mostly so that there are "back-ups" at all the branches in case the main storytime person can't be there.  That way we are not constantly sending people from the Valley to go out to do them, which makes it tight here.

I have been mentoring four of the newbies to storytime.  It has been a great experience to do some training, observing, and giving feedback about one of my passions--storytime and early learning!  Because each new storytime presenter needs to present an actual storytime it has been easiest on the schedule to just have the newbie "take over" my regularly scheduled storytime.  So, in other words, I haven't done many actual storytimes this summer--which is a bummer, but like I said, it's been good to help others "catch the vision" of storytime--it's so much more that just reading a few books!!  I've tried to stress the "whys" behind the "hows".

I have also observed several newbies whose mentor wasn't able to observe their storytime.

Storytime in the Park

We are trying something new this year by partner with Spokane Valley Parks and Recreations to do six storytimes in the parks.  They host daily activities at three of the area parks with a free breakfast or lunch provided by the school district.  The library will be visiting the parks twice, once in June and another time in July to read books to the kids while they eat.  Our first storytimes in the park was June 28.  Numbers for the three parks had a staggering difference in the number attending:  5, 18, 48.  I was at the park with 18 in attendance.  Here are the three books I read while the kids (ages 2-10) ate their lunch.

Troll and the Oliver
by Adam Stower

Let's Do Nothing
by Tony Fucile

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf
by Mark Teague

Building Storytime Mash-Up

Our 2nd Storytime Mash-up* for the summer--BUILDING!!

*We wanted to do more early learning programming in the summer, but we really have three problems:  it's been hard getting people to come to another program, space, staff.  So we decided to try a "mash-up"--storytime and a special program.  So far so good!

Jack's House
by Karen Magnuson Beil; illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Rex Wrecks It
by Ben Clanton

Which kind of building would you like to build?
Tree House (4)
Castle (2)
Skyscraper (0)
Pet Store (1)


ABC Welcome

Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop
by Lisa Shulman; illustrated by Ashley Wolff
* with visuals!

Animal Goodbyes

Play and Learn

Large Foam Blocks
"Window" Blocks
KEVA Planks
Craft Sticks/Clothes Pin/Binder Clips
Pool Noodle Blocks
Play Tools

Baby Storytime for June--Interactive Books

In June we looked at/read "interactive" books--books with flaps, holes, textures, and pull tabs as well as one week of our Storytime Mash-ups:  Building!

Read Aloud Books

Spot's First Walk
by Eric Hill

Peek-A-Boo You!
by Jane Cabrera

by Irene Dickson

Jack: It's a Sunny Day
by Rebecca Elgar

Shared Reading
A variety of board books with an "interactive" element

The Finger Circus Game
by Herve Tullet

On My Beach
by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich

My First Busy Book
by Eric Carle


*This is the Way We Clap Hello
*Good Morning to You
*Little Bear
*There was a Little Duck
*Tiny Little Babies
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Three Little Monkeys
I'm a Little Teapot
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Humpty Dumpty
Hey Diddle Diddle
Hickory Dickory Dock
One Bright Scarf
Tickle the Clouds
Parachute (Alabama Mississippi)

Play and Learn
For building week I brought out three sets of stacking cups, some heavy duty plastic drinking cups, wooden blocks, and plastic blocks.

We recently got a set of O balls that the babies are enjoying.
The moms have really been enjoying talking to each other during the play and learn portion.  I have one in particular to who kind of the "glue" of the group.  One week she wasn't there and it ended up being a kind of quiet group that day.

Book Tasting Event with 3rd Graders

On Tuesday, May 30th I hosted our first ever Book Tasting event!

If you're not familiar with the idea of "Book Tasting" it is an opportunity for kids to spend a minute or two with a book that has been selected by a teacher or librarian.  After looking at/reading a page or two of the book the child is asked to rate it on how much they think they might want to read it.  Then they move to the next book, spending a minute or two with each book and so forth.  Ideally kids would "taste" at least 20 books and hopefully find at least one that they might enjoy reading.

I pulled in over a 100 books to look through that I thought would be appropriate for 3rd--going into 4th grade.  I tried to get books that would reach all reading levels and hopefully something that would reach each kind of reader.  After looking through the books I developed seven "categories" of books and put 8 books into each category.  I had to pull in some additional books to even it all out.  I was very pleased with the categories and the variety of books--topics, format, reading levels.  (See below for the categories and book list).

Each book got a "flag" of which category it was under so kids could more easily find the book in the menu.  I put the physical books in the same order as they were listed in the menu to also help the kids more readily find the book in the menu.
I had 50 chairs set up with around our meeting room; each chair had one of the books on the menu.  I knew the kids wouldn't get around to all the books, so I put books out that they would see at least three from each category.  All the books in each category in order, then the seven categories in order around the room.  [Animals:  The Big Move, Challenging:  The City of Ember, Graphic Novel:  CatStronauts, Great Author:  Tom Angleberger...]  This helped all of us more easily find the book title on the menu.
The menu was printed on 17x22 paper, folded twice.  Each page had a one category with the book titles listed.  Each title had a face scale for kids to fill in as to how much they think they might like to read the book.

The kids walking over from the nearby school for the Book Tasting!

Here I am explaining  to the kids the process before we head in for the Book Tasting.

The 3rd graders enjoying looking at the first set of books.

A book menu with two books "tasted".  One got a full smiley face (I really want to read this book!) and one smiley face (I think I would like to read this book)

We did about 20 "rounds"--so each student got to see at least two books from each category.  It took longer than I had hoped for each book.  Using tables would have helped, but we just didn't have the room!

My "last minute idea"--that I didn't get to do this year, but hopefully can do in the future, is to offer a free paperback book for any student to brings their Book Tasting Menu back during the summer.  I think our Friends would pay for some books from the Scholastic Warehouse Sale.

After our 20 or so rounds I gave the kids about 5 minutes to walk around the room and look at other books that were available.  Then they had about 10 minutes to browse the library before heading back to school.

A few students enjoying Garfield after the book tasting.

Book Tasting Menu

The Big Move (Commander in Cheese) / Leavitt
Clover's Luck (Magical Animal Adoption Agency) / George
The Mouse and the Motorcycle / Cleary
A Nest for Celeste / Cole
Obi: Gerbil on the Loose / Delaney
Rescue on the Oregon Trail (Ranger in Time) / Messner
Sasquatch Escape (Imaginary Veterinary) / Selfors
The World According to Humphrey / Birney

Challenging (200+ pages)
The City of Ember / DuPrau
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library / Grabenstein
Familiars / Epstein
Hercufleas / Gayton
Legendtopia: The Battle for Urth / Bacon
Loser / Spinelli
The Magic Thief / Prineas
The Terrible Two / Barnett & John

Graphic Novels
CatStronauts: Mission Moon / Brockington
The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo / Weing
El Deafo / Bell
The Great Pet Escape / Jamieson
HiLo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth / Winick
King of Kazoo / Feuti
Little Dee and Penguin / Baldwin
Varmints / Hirsch

Great Authors
Tom Angleberger -- Inspector Flytrap
Judy Blume -- Tales of the 4th Grade Nothing
Beverly Cleary -- Ramona the Pest
Andrew Clements -- Frindle
Dan Gutman -- Babe & Me
Gordon Korman -- Swindle
Lois Lowry -- Number the Stars
E. B. White -- Charlotte's Web

National Geographic Kids Alanac 2017
Can You Survive the Jungle? / Doeden
Guinness World Records: Incredible Animals
It Can't Be True 2 / DK
Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome / Montague & Novak
Orangutan Orphanage / Eszterhas
Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White / Sweet
Together Forever / Quattlebaum

Pairings--Books + Audio Visual
Because of Winn-Dixie (+DVD) / DiCamillo
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (+Playaway) / Dahl
The Cricket in Times Square (+CD) / Selden
The Indian in the Cupboard (+DVD) / Banks
James and the Giant Peach (+DVD) / Dahl
Masterpiece (+CD) / Broach
The One and Only Ivan (+picture book--Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla / Applegate
Stubby the War Dog (+CD) / Bausum

39 Clues / various
43 Old Cemetery Road / Klise
Billy Sure: Kid Entrepreneur / Sharpe
Blast to the Past / Deutsch
Boxcar Children / Warner
Geronimo Stilton / Stilton
I Survived / Tarshis
Myth-O-Mania / McMullan