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Adventures in early literacy


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Play, Baby, Play: Ignite Session at ALA 2014

This year at ALA I was fortunate enough to be on the presenting side of things twice. Once for a Conversation Starter with the other Joint Chiefs of Storytime Underground (Amy’s write up is so good I’m just going to link to it and leave it at that). The other was an Ignite I co-presented with Brooke, who, I swear, is the best co-presenter EVER. No, really.


Mostly, the pictures speak for themselves but also we quickly (because you only get 5 minutes-each slide advancing automatically every 15 seconds) talked about why it’s important to play (motor skills, thinking symbolically, language learning, and because it’s fun, dammit!) and that babies are NOT too young for super awesome play activities in the library.

Here’s the only photo I know of that was taken. Thanks to JP for snapping it. He must have been too busy laughing (cuz, we’re hilarious, y’all) to get a non-blurry picture. Or, as Brooke said, it’s just our crazy energy!

ignite

Brooke also wrote about our Ignite, as well as the the Storytime Underground Conversation Starter: Storytime: Not Just Reading Out Loud so go over there for even more details. She clearly has her life more together than I do.

We’re both totally addicted to this kind of presentation so you can bet your bottoms we’ll be applying to do more in the future. Maybe on our collective obsession with snacks?


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Baby Art in a Bag and Sensory Hoops

At the end of baby storytime we always have playtime. It is an integral part to any baby storytime, in my opinion. Usually I just put out a bin of toys (you can see what my storytimes typically look like here and here) but after a Twitter conversation between Abby, Rebecca, Mel, Lalitha, Brooke, Jbrary, Kelly, and others, I just had to start doing more. Plus, Rebecca started this which basically give me no excuse but to incorporate more than toys into that socialization play time. Way back I had parents dab their baby’s hands and feet onto jumbo washable stamp pads and make prints on postcards, but then I didn’t keep up with doing these kinds of things. Time to change!

First up, I handed out ziploc baggies with a piece of cardstock and a few squirts of washable tempura paint (just in case the bags leaked) and let them squish and feel and explore the bag. Then, parents could take the art home to let it dry and display.  Got this idea from Brooke.

This gal was only 3 months old and didn’t do a lot with it but was definitely interested.

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Next was baby eyebrows. Pure awesome.

This week was sensory hoops. Super easy to make and a lot of bang for the buck. We already had these small embroidery hoops  leftover from a screenprinting program and I just found fabric scraps in our craft closet and in my own sewing materials. Materials included felt, tulle, flannel, suede, plastic, faux fur and sheer fabrics. I set them around on the floor with the toys and told parents what they were. They all couldn’t wait to make them at home and had lots of questions. Meanwhile, their babies were going crazy feeling, mouthing, staring, and generally enjoying these new round objects in their environment.

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Next? Perhaps water play!

 


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Guerrilla Storytime @ Washington Library Association

This was promised a month ago. My apologies for being so late.  Part of the trouble is that I did nto take very good notes so I was trying to track down some of the things I could remember but didn’t write down. I still missed a ton of stuff. So, IF YOU WERE IN THIS SESSION AT WLA, HELP ME OUT! Please add anything I missed in the comments.  Or heck, even if you weren’t there feel free to add stuff.

There were two Guerrilla Storytime sessions at WLA so I just combined both sessions. Pretty sure Washington Youth Librarians (and Librarians to be) are all geniuses. Pretty much how I felt through both sessions:

Transitions/openers/closers:

-Singing “Weeeelllll…” to catch their attention and then go into the song

-This is Big

-if you listen and you hear me go like this-cuz you’re standing really near me

Favorite songs, rhymes, openers/closers, get the wiggles out:

-Hand out lyrics sheets to parents to get more involvement

-Bubblegum song

-Have a seat on the floor (KCLS)

-Wind your watch to the tune of Frere Jacques (lyrics unknown!)

-If you’re happy and you know it

The more we read together
-cuz your book are my books
-do actions like “the more we dance together”, etc.
-use as an opener or closer
-use with names

-Storytime is over now (Mary had a little lamb)
-Good-bye sweethearts (instead of good night sweetheart)

Up down turn around

Keep your felt pieces from disappearing:
-pizza box flannel boards
-give them things to hold on to-spiders, pom poms
-make the kids your volunteers
-give them individual felt board (pizza boxes, embroidery hoops with flannel stretched, eg.)
-hide them or put them up higher

Favorite felt/prop songs:
Feet felt:-put your toes to your nose song- every kid gets a felt foot
Balloon Song (Ericka-on facebook)

Moms talking:
-ask them to stop
-make before storytime announcements
-rules displayed
-talk to them before or after storytime

Scarves/Bells:
-Rain is falling w/ scarves
-we’re going to kentucky-with bells
-we’re tapping-bells
-shake my sillies out

Rhymes:
-mother and father and uncle john
-elevator song

Phone rings in ST:
-get volunteers in the room to help with crowd control issues like this
-sing to it if it’s a good tune
-hope parents hear it
-storytime guidelines that address the issue
-treasure hunt-hey kids, let’s find the phone!

Sing
-syllables
-use books that have a song you can sing
-pair a book to a song- Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda with three little pigs
-Old MacDonald with an animal book
-When animals get up in the morning
-Nancy Stewart and Jbrary are great resources

Kids punching each other:
-play a hand game that kids them doing something positive with their hands (open shut them)
-hands on your lap, hands on your ears, hands on your lap, eyes up here

Writing:
-nametags every time, not where they write it at the beginning of storytime session and then find it each week from the pile
-make comments on everything they write-encouragement
-alphabet themes-letter of the day
-trace letters in the air
-weekly nametags-they spell it out for you if the can’t write it
-finger paint with shaving cream, whipped cream, pudding
-make shaving cream rain (uses eye droppers)
-write names on crafts/take homes

Other things that came up:

-Use CD’s instead of rhymes

-What if the group only wants stories and doesn’t want to do rhymes/wigglers? We basically told her to go with the group and just read if that’s all they want but be ready with the wigglers, just in case. We think she may have a group of children from outer space.

-Talk all the time-kids will be more verbal kids that way


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Baby Storytime: Eyebrows, Mustaches, Oh My!

So a couple week ago I saw this posted on Facebook (here’s another). I shared it, commenting that it probably wouldn’t be ok in baby storytime, but Angela and Josie urged me to do it. So, I did it. And this is what happened.

Today was the last storytime before our 2 week break. I like to do favorites for the last one everytime and not only did I learn a new one, that is definitely going into the regular rotation this summer, but heard lots of their favorites from this Spring. Smooth Road, Itsy Bitsy, The Elevator Song, Andy Pandy, Icky Bicky, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Giddyap, Choppity Chop, Toast in the Toaster, and the Merry Go Round song (these are all on the Rhymes page).

So, we sang, we rhymed (and used our fingers for pre-writing skills!), we read, and we talked. But what about play? Oh, we played.

This is what I had out, plus two containers of wipes (we use Huggies). I tested the markers and oil pastels on myself first and tried wiping it off with a wipe. They both came off really easily so I shared this tidbit with parents, obviously. As Lisa suggested, you could also use tub crayons. Or face paint crayons if you have them.

BoApc_gIAAAvSaE

After we sang our goodbye bubbles song they went to town. I was really surprised by how enthusiastic they were about this activity! One dad has been begging his wife to let him draw on their daughter. She’s been able to hold him off until today. How could she say no to the children’s librarian? She couldn’t. My power is great.

The results:

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I especially love this last guy. He was obviously not as amused as the rest of us. Also, the wiggliest baby there ever was. :)

 


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Storytime for Twos: Eric Carle

Today’s 2 year old storytime ended up with an Eric Carle theme unintentionally, but hey, the guy’s great so there ya go. And this is the cutest meme and kinda related so.

Today’s outline:

Introduction, including a reminder about our district’s program marketing survey and to check out books for grown ups and let your children see you reading and enjoying it. The more you enjoy reading, the more your child will.

Hello Bubbles

Hi, Hello and How Are You with ukulele (I’m getting better, finally!)

This is Big, Big, Big

Breathe: take a deep breath and blow it out slow. Works really well for getting them ready to listen. Plus, I personally love it as a coping mechanism for stress and transition.

Book: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

We repeated the phrase “she was very busy” in chorus on each page. It was really effective in keeping them engaged through this longer book.

Let’s Go Riding on an Elevator Love this video from Washington County of this rhyme.

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

This is Big, Big, Big

Breathe

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Shakers:

Warm up with shake high, low, fast, slow, fast, stop, fast, stop

We’re Tapping by Kathy Reid-Naiman

This is Big, Big, Big

Book: If You’re  Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (4 verses)

Description of Activity: tell them about playdough and remind them to check out books and participate in our Library Week activity. Share what they love about the library or how the library has changed their lives in a thought bubble. We’ll photograph it and post it on Facebook. Had no takers during storytime but a co-worker was able to catch some after. So yay!

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: playdough with cookie cutters and stampers. Lavender colored this time. ’tis Spring!

 

 

 

 


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My Storytime for 1 year olds

It’s been almost a year since we created a one year old storytime.

To recap: Before, our toddler storytimes were for walkers up to 3 years. And the room was at capacity (66, but usually ended up at about 70). So not only were there a lot of people crammed into a room, the size difference in the children made everyone crazy. They were constantly falling on top of each other, stepping on each other, the big kids knocking over the little ones and the little ones freaking out about so many big kids. It was kind of like this but not quite as cute and furry.

Something had to give so we split the ages. 1 year olds and 2 year olds (though we don’t card so if parents are comfortable with their little guy being with a bigger guy, that’s fine!).

It is working beautifully and I have learned a few things about the difference between a storytime for ones and a storytime for twos. When we first made the change I kept the content basically the same with just one less book for the ones. It was fine, but I knew it could be better and there really are some significant differences between a 13 month old and a 25 month old. So, here’s what my one year old storytime looks like today. It’s more of a modified version of Baby Storytime rather than Toddler Storytime and it works a lot better that way. For me it’s all about the kinds of rhymes, songs, and books, rather than how many are happening in each storytime.

Openers:

Hello Bubbles

Hi, Hello and How Are You? with the ukelele, we wave for the first verse, stomp for the second and clap for the third.

This is Big

These are the same for ones and twos. I feel it helps their transition to the older group to hear the same songs.

Book: I always have a few options on my table so I pick a meatier one for the first book because my second and final book will be sung. Examples: Jazz Baby by Wheeler, I Went Walking by Williams, Peek-A-Moo (or Zoo) by Cimarusti, Barnyard Banter by Fleming

Rhyme or Song: Usually something done seated like Giddyap, Giddyap, If You’re Happy and You Know It, or Ram Sam Sam

Rhyme or Song: Usually something a little more raucous or standing up. Head. Shoulders, Knees and Toes, The Elevator Song, or Go In and Out the Window.

Stand Up Song: Now we stand up for sure. Thanks to Anna, all my groups are now addicted to Fruit Salad so I like to work it in somewhere. The Merry Go Round song is popular as well (and works with them all on the parachute). I let grown ups know they can hold their children for these songs or just follow along with me and their children will learn the movements as they get older.

Activity/Prop: Shakers, Scarves, Parachute, Flannel Sets. I either do 3 songs with the scarves or parachute, 1-2 with shakers, or one flannel rhyme like 3 Little Ducks, 3 Little Monkeys, etc.

Rhyme: This is Big

Closing Book: This is always a sing along book, usually Jane Cabrera because I love her and so do they. I pick 2-3 verse to sing each week and change the book each month.

Explain after storytime activity

Goodbye Bubbles

Activity: Something sensory, artsy, or play centered and very open ended.


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Upcoming Webinar: Create a Personal Learning Network That Works For You

Hooray! I’m excited to announce that on March 25th I will be co-presenting an ALSC Student Session webinar (this means it’s free!) with fellow Joint Chiefs Cory and Amy. We will be talking about the whys and hows of creating your own personal learning network.

This promises to be a good time (we have Ninja Turtle gifs, need I say more?) and educational so we hope you’ll join us! If you can’t make it on the day the webinar will be archived.

Here are the details:

Create a Personal Learning Network That Works For You

Join the Joint Chiefs of the Storytime Underground, an online community for youth services librarians, as we discuss how you can use social media to create your personal learning network, or PLN. We will explore how your PLN can help you meet and collaborate with others in the field as you take charge of your career and professional development.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is open to all students, ALSC members, non-members and anyone with an interest in a career in children’s services.

Course Level & Prerequisites

No specific course level nor prequisities are required for this course.

Instructor(s)

Cory Eckert is a Librarian III with the Houston (TX) Public Library. She also serves on the ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee, the LLAMA Membership Committee, the YALSA State Association Outreach Committee, and the YALSA State Conferences Road Trip Task Force.Kendra Jones is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Community Library, part of the Fort Vancouver (WA) Regional Library District. She also serves on the ALSC Managing Children’s Services Committee.

Amy Koester is the Children’s Librarian at the Corporate Parkway Branch Library of the St. Charles (MO) City-County Library District. She served on the ALSC 2014 (John) Newbery Award Committee.

Date(s) & Time(s)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
7 PM Eastern
6 PM Central
5 PM Mountain
4 PM Pacific

Credits &/or CEUs Heading

College credit nor CEU’s are available for ALSC Student Sessions at this time.

Fee

Student sessions are offered free of charge.

Technical Requirements

To take part you must have a computer, Internet access, web browser, and a copy of Flash® Player 8 or higher. You can download a free copy of Flash® Player from the Adobe website if you do not already have it. For more information, view a video about Abode Connect meetings produced Adobe.

How to Register

To sign up for this webinar, please fill out the registration form. Registration is free. Participants must register before Monday, March 24 at 4pm Central. A few days before the event, registrants will receive an email with a direct link to the forum. For more information, please see the contact information below.

Contact

Dan Bostrom
ALSC Membership/Marketing Manager
(800) 545-2433 ext 2164