Sunday, March 22, 2015

Storyteller's Choice preschool storytime plan

Every few months my staff and I meet to choose themes for upcoming storytimes.  Usually we have little issue deciding on a theme for each week.  Those rare occasions when we aren't able to think of a great theme (that hasn't been used within the past year), we end up going with Storyteller's Choice (also called Storyteller's Favorites). Sometimes I use the same basic plan from a previous storytime, just changing the stories (click here for another Storyteller's Choice storytime).

This past week was one of those times.  The hardest part is deciding which stories to share!  The second hardest?  Deciding on a craft to go with the program.

Click here to download the Storyteller's Choice preschool storytime plan as a PDF.  Please note, to view the files, you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (get it free here).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I < 3 You Preschool Storytime Plan

Because another staff member and I take turns with presenting preschool storytime at her branch, I don't always get to do the Valentine's Day theme. This year I did.  What fun!
Click the link for the I < 3 Valentine's Day theme.
To view the files, you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (get it free here).

As I've mentioned recently, I have a Cricut Explore cutting machine.  I love using it for a variety of crafts - including for materials to use at work.  For the Valentine's Day preschool storytime craft I made bees and hearts on my Circut. I assembled the bees before the program, as we can have as many as 24 children - many younger three-year-olds.  I also wrote "mine." on all of the hearts.  Everyone enjoyed this easy and adorable craft.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Over the Rainbow Preschool Storytime Plan

As a general theme for St. Patrick's Day, we decided to go Over the Rainbow.  I incorporated a holiday themed book into my storytime plan (There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover! by Lucille Colandro), but mostly focused on colorful stories and rhymes. 

To download and view the full preschool storytime plan, click here. Please note, to view the files, you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (get it free here).

Our craft was a fairly simple one.  Using a lovely sky blue colored paper, I copied this rainbow (click here for pdf) that I made a few years ago. The kids could then glue torn pieces of colored paper onto the appropriate bands.  The kids ha a lot of fun with it and several of the adults were thrilled that I incorporated the appropriate number of bands and included indigo.
The finished product.  I made some extras and put them out as a Make-and-Take.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

February 2015 Reads

So far this month I have been slacking with my reading!  In my defense, I had company for 10 days, and didn't spend nearly as much time reading or listening to audiobooks as I normally do.

February was an OK month for reading.  I managed to finish 26 titles, including a few award winners/honors.  As usual, if the title is in bold that means I rated it five stars on my Goodreads account.

Here are the titles I read in February:

Firebird by Misty Copeland
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell
At Last by Barbara Bretton
Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
The Spanish Doctor's Love-Child by Kate Hardy
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin
Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Sweet Hearts by Jan Carr
A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig
A Wonderful Year by Nick Bruel
Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant
Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw    
Saga, Volume 3 Brian K. Vaughan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

ECRR2 - Reading

Every Child Ready to Read 2 (ECRR2) is an early literacy guideline/parent education initiative developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - divisions of the American Library Association.  It was originally released in 2004 and revised a few years later (hence the 2). There are five skills emphasized in ECRR2: Play, Sing, Write, Talk, Read.

This is the fifth and last in a series of posts about ECRR2, focusing on the five practices.  

The Importance of Reading in Early Literacy Skills

This might seem to be a given.  In order to have strong literacy skills, one must be able to read.  The single most effective way to help your child become a proficient reader is to take the time to read together.  With shared reading, your child's vocabulary will increase as she will hear many new words. 

It is important to read together every day.  Ideally you will do this 15-20 minutes, but if your child is a wiggle worm don't fret!  Reading only a few minutes here and there is also helpful.

Remember, books help to teach new words.  By using less common words - ones that aren't often heard in everyday conversations - books increase vocabulary.  For example, a picture book may say that a character snoozed or dozed, but in a regular conversation we may say that someone slept or napped.  As you and your child share books, talk about what the words mean.  This will help her understand how to use the new words.

As always, have fun. If you and your child both enjoy the activity, it will benefit not only her literacy skills, but also your time spent together. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Reading Resolutions update

It's time for a Reading Resolutions update.

1. Participate in at least one 48-hour Reading ChallengeIf not done by June 30, 2015, organize my own. One day I will do this!  Dewey’s  24-hour Read-a-thon is slated for April 25, 2015!

2. Read more books from the below lists.

  • Read 2015 winners/honors for Caldecott, Belpre illustrator, Coretta Scott King (CSK) illustrator, Odyssey(read 31/attempted 4) YALSA non-fiction , and Geisel  (a.k.a. the awards I finished reading in 2013 and again in 2014).  The 2015 winners/honors will be announced on February 2, 2015, adding several titles to my TBR list. Finished Caldecott, Geisel, Belpre illustrator, and CSK illustrator. Currently reading the last of the YALSA non-fiction titles and will soon begin the Odyssey titles.
  • Schneider Family Book Awards - 36 total books 15 read/1 abandoned
  • Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's Young Adult Literature Award 30 total books 22 read/1 abandoned
  • Morris 35 total books 24 read (Finalists announced in December 2014; winner announced February 2, 2015)
  • Read at least six honors/winners from: Newbery (400 total books 92 read/1 abandoned), Printz (77 total books 35 read and 7 abandoned), and CSK author (160 total books. 32 read. 1 abandoned).  Book group’s March book is this year’s Printz winner, so I will start that soon!

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm


CSK author
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

3. I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be the Year of Non-Fiction.  This means I plan to focus on reading non-fiction titles - not just those on award lists such as YALSA Non-Fiction (25/30 read as of December 15, 2014) and Sibert  (39/53 read as of December 15, 2014) – but non-fiction in general for a variety of ages.  This will include biographies. YALSA Non-fiction finalists were announced in December, but the winner for that award – and the winners and honors for most of the other Youth Media Awards won’t be announced until February 2, 2015. (UPDATED TOTALS: YALSA Non-Fiction (29/30 read) and Sibert (43/59 read)

4. Read the Harry Potter and the Outlander series again. Both are favorites of mine.  After recently watching all of the Harry Potter movies, I realized how many details I had forgotten (that are missing from the movies as well).  I think it is time to revisit the stories.  I’ve listened to the Outlander series twice.  It takes quite some time!  Hopefully by starting them again this month I will finish in time for the next book to be published. (Please be soon.  Please be soon. Please be soon.) I’m participating in a Buddy Read of the Harry Potter series through one of the Goodreads groups I belong to.  So far I have read books 1 and 2, and will start book 3 next week.

5. Set aside time each week to read the libraryland blogs, journals and other news sources. This really needs to be a part of my regular workweek.  Ever since Google’s blog reader bit the dust, I’ve fallen behind on reading blogs.  I’m trying Feedly, but need to get in the habit of checking it on a regular basis.

6. Keep up with tracking books read!  I read over 775 books in 2013.  My goal for 2014 was 1000, and I ended up reading just over that amount. In 2015 I am going to go with a less hectic goal of 500. I have been using Goodreads for years, and plan to continue. I am seriously considering lowering my goal to 250 as I plan to read more novels and non-fiction this year. In fact, I am going to do that after this is posted!  I can always raise it again if desired.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

January 2015 reads

Here are the titles.  As usual, if the title is in bold that means I rated it five stars on my Goodreads account. 2015 is off to a slow start. I read only 21 books in January.  Almost half were picture books.  As part of my 2015 Reading Resolutions, I started the Harry Potter series.  I had forgotten how innocent the first book is compared to the final book of the series!

Also as part of my 2015 Reading Resolutions I read several books from the various award lists.  Those books are noted in parentheses.  As usual, if the title is in bold that means I rated it five stars on my Goodreads account.

Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business--and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully (YALSA Non-Fiction)
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves by Sarah Moon, James Lecesne, et. al.
Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems
Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin, Gardner R. Dozois
Scar Boys by Len Vlahos (Morris)
A Taste of Temptation by Cat Schield
Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm (Newbery)
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Always by My Side by Susan Kerner
Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz (Stonewall)
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen (YALSA Non-Fiction)
A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis
Penguin by Polly Dunbar
Penguins by Liz Pichon
If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor
Penguins by Kate Riggs
A Week in the Snow by Gwen Masters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris