Flannel Friday Roundup for Jan. 6 2017

7 Jan

Hello Flannel Friends!

We’ve got a plethora of excellent flannelboards today to inspire and delight you!

Let’s start with Fun with Friends at Storytime’s terrifically cute fox and all his many socks! The kids get to learn some color words outside of the usual – turquoise and tan!

Next, The Dilley Dally has a 3D Cold Lady Who Swallowed some Snow. I’ll bet the kids LOVED feeding her!

Look. Just LOOK at these adorable little kitties from One for the Books! And glove puppets are such fun, too!

The Felt Board Magic has given us not one, but TWO awesome flannelboards this week! Thank you Kate! Five Little Birthday Candles and Two Little Black Birds (with excellent feathery tails).

Mr. Keith at Felt-tastic Flannelboard Funtime (BEST. NAME. EVER.) has graced us with some disgustingly cute kawaii bunnies and which is appropriate given that I totally fell down a rabbit-hole of cute going through all his past posts.

On my own blog I shared my new flannel for Emma Garcia’s Toot Toot Beep Beep. I hope y’all like the 60s shout-out with the tie-dyed VW van!

And last but miles from least a special cheer for my glorious friend Julie and her FIRST EVER FLANNEL FRIDAY POST (in fact, it’s her FIRST blog post!)! She’s got Eensy Weensy AND his pals Itzy Bitzy and Big Humongous Spiders (the latter I hope to never ever meet in real life).

Happy Flanneling!

Flannel Friday: Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia

6 Jan

Hello Flannel Friday Friends!

Today I’ve got a flannelboard version of Emma Garcia’s Toot Toot Beep Beep. We’re doing a storytime about colors, and this is a GREAT toddler-appropriate book that talks about colors and vehicles and lets us make great noises like WHOOSH! and CHUGGA and, of course, BEEP. There are a number of excellent vocabulary words that mean “goes” – rushes, glides, trundles, hurtles, and more.

I made the vehicles very much emulating Garcia’s illustration style. Why mess with a great thing?

And here are the vehicles all tucked away for the night in the parking lot:

toot3

Please note my shout-out to the 60s-era camper van with the tie-dyed felt background on the green van.

I’m lucky enough to host the roundup today! So check back here on Saturday to see all the Flannel Friday goodness compiled in one place.

Happy flanneling!

Stories and More: Talk, Talk, Talk

30 Dec

Here’s what we did for Stories and More in October!

FOCUS: TALKING.

Talking and being spoken to is how children learn how language works. They need to hear and understand lots of different words in order to recognize them when they’re reading on their own. While children learn many unique words from hearing stories read aloud, they can also learn so much about language structure, how to make sounds, and, of course, lots of vocabulary words.

Storytime plan:

Opening song: Hello and How Are You?

Hello, hello, hello and how are you?

I’m fine, I’m fine, I hope that you are too!

Introductions and Early Literacy Reminder: Today we’re talking about talking. Hearing language is how we learn to speak. We learn words and how language works. Children need to know LOTS (tens of thousands) of words in order to become readers. The best ways to give them words? Talk to them and read to them!

Rhyme: Wake Up Toes

Wake Up Toes, wake up toes, wake up toes and wiggle, wiggle wiggle.

Wake up toes, wake up toes, wake up and wiggle in the morning!

Ask for suggestions for more body parts to wake up!

Early Literacy Reminder: Books with questions like this one are a great way to spark conversation! But you can make up your own conversation too – talk about the pictures and ask your own questions like “what do you think will happen next?”grow

Book: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea

Flannelboard: Make a pig. The kids have to use lots of words for this one! They need to tell me which body part goes where, which parts are missing, and what I get wrong. It’s very much a conversation, and the kids drive it!

Active Rhyme: Can You Hop Like a Bunny?

Can you hop like a bunny? (hop)

Can you jump like a frog? (jump)

Can you waddle like a duck? (waddle)

Can you run like a dog? (run in place)

Can you fly like a bird? (flap arms)

Can you swim like a fish (swim)

Can you sit as still as can be?

As still as this? (sit down quietly)

We usually do this at least a couple of times.

Settling Rhyme: One Little Fish

One little fish is swimming in the water (put palms together and zig zag like a fish swimming)

Swimming in the water,

Swimming in the water,

One little fish is swimming in the water

Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, POP! (raise hands and clap together on POP!)red

Book: Red Sled by Lita Judge

This is a great example of an “almost” wordless book. The story is told through the sounds and images. So we have to use those to figure out what the story is – we can tell our own story!

Fingerplay: Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill (hold up two fingers)

One named Jack (move one finger) and one named Jill (move other finger)

Fly away Jack! (move finger behind back) Fly away Jill! (move other finger behind back)

Come back Jack! (bring finger back to front) Come back Jill! (move other finger back)

Repeat again using:

Sitting in the snow…fast, slow.

Sitting on a cloud…soft, loud.

Sitting on a gate…wobbly, straight.

Sitting on a lily…serious, silly.

I got some of these from Jbrary. Theirs has NINE verses!

Goodbye Rhyme: Our Hands Say Thank You

Early Literacy Play Activities:

Imaginative play is a great way to have a conversation and build language skills. I brought out a big tub of plastic food and dumped it on the floor. I put out paper plates and crayons, as well as a paper menu with checkboxes I made. The kids created plates of food they wanted to eat, talked to their grownups about what they liked, didn’t like, and hadn’t eaten, and otherwise made up their own play. It was very open-ended.

I also made a bunch of wordless books available for the caregiver and child to sit and look at and use to make up their own stories. I also put out some non-fiction books that had great pictures to talk about. I used titles like Pinkney’s The Lion and The Mouse, Idle’s Flora and the Flamingo, Miyares’ Float, Savage’s Where’s Walrus, and more.

Take-homes:

newsBooks: Babies took home a copy of At the Park, a black-and-white wordless book. Toddlers got a copy of Red Sled, and Preschoolers took home Good News, Bad News! by Jeff Mack. All books that can be talked about!

Activities: Babies took home a Brown Bear, Brown Bear box. At home it can become a mystery box – the caregiver puts and object inside, removes it with the child, and talks about it. A new item can appear in the box periodically.

Toddlers and Preschoolers took home a set of these animal faces that I made in Word and four craft sticks. They could color and cut out the faces at home and then tape or glue them on the sticks for instant puppets! My hope was the kids and caregivers would have a puppet show and make up stories together!

Here is the handout that went in the bags and includes more information on the books and activities and how to use them, plus additional ideas for home.

I hope this is useful! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

 

Stories and More: Movement and Motor Skills

17 Dec

In July I started a new position as an early literacy librarian for a suburban library district. One of the major parts of my job is facilitating a program called “Stories and More: Literacy to Go.” It’s kind of a storytime/literacy workshop hybrid,  for children aged 0 – 5 and their caregivers, and while I do a half hour storytime, I follow it with a half hour of activities targeted to build early literacy skills and do a LOT of modeling for caregivers. Additonally, at the end of the program, each child takes home a new book (often one we read in the storytime) and an activity to do at home to continue learning. I create a handout for the parents that explains the activity, how to share the book at home, and gives other examples of learning activities they can try at home. I also give titles of other similar books they may enjoy borrowing from the library.

Let me tell you: planning these programs is A LOT OF FUN. I do 9 sessions a month at branches throughout the system and many of them are fully attended (we do have registration in order to keep it from getting chaotic). I see close to 200 children each month! I am fortunate, also, that these programs are partially funded by our local Early Childhood Council, which affords me the funds to purchase books, and activities for all the children each month and to purchase materials for the activities.

I thought I’d start sharing my plans with y’all in hopes that you might find something useful! So here’s what we did in September:

FOCUS: MOVEMENT. FINE AND GROSS MOTOR. 

We know that fine motor skills are inextricably linked to learning to write. Children need the finger strength in order to hold a pencil! We also know that gross motor practice can help with things like memory, balance, coordination, and connecting both halves of the brain by “crossing the midline.” So I thought we could do a little of both in this Stories and More.

Storytime Plan:

Opening Song: Hello and How Are You?

Hello, hello, hello and how are you?

I’m fine, I’m fine, I hope that you are too!

Introductions and Early Literacy Reminder: Today we’re going to move our bodies, because movement and learning go together! Children learn with all their senses, and moving helps them recall what they’ve learned, hear the rhythm and rhyme in language, and much more!

Rhyme: Wake Up Toes

Wake Up Toes, wake up toes, wake up toes and wiggle, wiggle wiggle.

Wake up toes, wake up toes, wake up and wiggle in the morning!

We also wake up our hands, and then I ask the kids for suggestions of a couple more body parts to wake up. We’ve woken up our ears, nose, armpits, elbows, and most frequently, heads!

Song: Roly Poly (to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Roly poly, roly poly, (roll hands together)

Out out out! Out out out! (move hands out from each other)

Roly roly poly, roly roly poly (roll hands together)

In in in! In in in! (move hands towards each other)

Continue with up, down and fast, slow

Early Literacy Reminder: Doing the motions with the words up, down, out, in, fast and slow helps to reinforce the meaning of the words.rhythm

Book: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Song: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” – regular speed, then faster, then slower, then fastest!

Settling rhyme: One Little Fish

One little fish is swimming in the water (put palms together and zig zag like a fish swimming)

Swimming in the water,

Swimming in the water,

One little fish is swimming in the water,

Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, POP! (raise hands and clap together on POP!)

funBook: Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas (we all get up and participate)

Movement song/Early Literacy Reminder: Sleeping Bunnies

This is a great song to help young people try self-regulation – which means controlling their actions – because they have to pretend to sleep until told it’s time to hop. It’s a tough skill to learn but important for when they start school!

Goodbye Rhyme: Our Hands Say Thank You

Our hand say thank you with a clap clap clap (clap hands)

Our feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap (tap feet_

Clap clap clap

Tap tap tap

Turn around (turn around)

And take a bow! (take a bow)

Early Literacy Play Activities:

Gross motor: I got a set of these mats from Lakeshore. I put them on the floor and child and caregiver did the motions on each of the mats. If you’re unable to purchase the mats, put squares of different colored paper covered with clear tape. Write an action on each mat (print awareness!): Jump, squat, stand on one foot, run, crawl, etc.

Fine motor: Pompom sort. I taped colored construction paper to the bottoms of clear dip containers. I also taped paper around some old Crystal Lite containers a colleague had. I printed off and laminated some sorting mats like these. I offered a variety of tools to pick up the pompoms to go along with varying developmental levels: spoons, tweezers, “gator grabbers” (easier to open and close than the tweezers) and clothespins. The kids had a BLAST moving the pompoms around. Make sure you get BIGGER pompoms though, and remind parents to keep an eye on the littlest ones as these can be a choking hazard

Gross and fine motor for babies: Since my program reaches children 0 – 5 I didn’t want to leave the babies out! I taped bubble wrap to the wall for the little ones to lie on the floor and kick (gross motor!). I also put scarves in old kleenex boxes for the babies to grip and pull out (fine motor!). I had several parents comment that the would be recreating the kleenex box activity at home!

Take-homes: 

Books: Babies got a board book copy of Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes by Kubler. Toddlers took home the same title, but Mike Wohnoutka’s paperback version. The preschoolers got Thomas’s Is Everyone Ready for Fun? We purchased the board books from All About Books, and the other two through Scholastic’s Literacy Partners.

Activities: Babies and Toddlers got one of these sensory balls to use with movement. Preschoolers got the ingredients to make “animal action dice”: two wooden blocks and six farm animal stickers. I instructed parents to help their children put the stickers on one of the blocks and then write action words like “jump”, “skip”, etc. on the other. They were to roll the dice and do the action like the animal.

Here is the handout I included for parents which includes more information on each of these.

I hope some of this is useful! I will be posting additional months’ plans asap!

Flannel Friday: Hooray For Hat!

4 Nov

Wow, it’s been a super long time since my last FF post. Happy to be back, even temporarily!

I assume most, if not all, of you are familiar with the excellent book Hooray for Hat by Brian Won. It’s a perfect toddler book – fun story, colorful pictures, repeated refrain the kids can join in on reading, positive ending. Due to its simplicity and repetition, it makes for a great flannel board, too! But I must give credit where due – I got the idea from Laura at Library Lalaland (who’s post I found on the Flannel Friday Pinterest)

While Laura made her animals reversible (genius!) to show their grumpy and happy faces, I did not. I just kept their faces neutral. I also added a tiny piece of velcro to the back of each of the hats to help them stick together as one so it would be easier for me to handle.

Here are the animals, wearing their hats, sans Giraffe, who was still hiding in his tree feeling sad. Note I skipped turtle as I wanted to shorten the story a smidge because I do storytime for ages 0 – 5 and I get a lot of the younger crowd:

hooray-for-hat

And here’s Giraffe with all the hats. . HOORAY FOR FRIENDS!

hooray-for-hat3

Finally, I made a felt “Hooray for Hat” sign that I could put up the first time we say it and then point to each time. This helps with print recognition and children beginning to think of themselves as readers. I cut the letters out with my library’s die cut so I think they look super cute.

hooray-for-hat2

Hooray!

Today’s FF roundup will be hosted by Mollie Kay! Check out all this week’s awesome posts there!

Beyond the 5 Practices: How Storytime Helps Kids Get Ready for Success in School and Life

19 Oct

Hi all! Today I had the pleasure of presenting on executive (“soft”) skills development in storytime at the Nevada Library Association Conference. It was a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful to everyone who attended and SHARED their storytime best practices that help children become better human beings! At any rate, here’s the presentation. I try very hard to NOT include a lot of text on my slides, so some of these may be hard to figure out, but as soon as I’m able I’ll post a summary of the presentation to give you more information. In the meantime, though, here’s an idea of WHAT executive function is, why it’s important for children to develop these skills (SPOILER: they’re a better predictor of success in school than IQ) and how our storytimes are helping children develop these skills. (SPOILER NUMBER 2: LOTS of what we do helps develop executive function!)

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-12-26-pm

 

Soft Skills and Storytime Part 2: Perspective-Taking

29 Mar

[If you need a refresher on what “soft skills” are and why they’re important for early child development visit my first post in the series. Thanks!]

I’ve lived abroad three times; four, if you count Canada (go, T.O.!). I lived in Ottobrunn, West Germany (it was still delineated at the time) when I was very young, spent a summer living with a family in Algorta, Spain in right after I graduated High School, and spent four months with a wonderful family in San José, Costa Rica, in my junior year of college. Each experience was unique and interesting, and very different from my “normal” life in the U.S. One thing I definitely learned was perspective: seeing things from another’s point of view.

The second “soft skill” I’d like to talk about helping young kids develop in storytime is perspective-taking. Everyone, kids and adults alike, can benefit from the ability to see things from another’s point of view, and understanding that just because something is different, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. “Flexible thinking” is the ability to make connections between our known world and the unknown; seeing similarities between the two.

We encourage this skill in a number of ways:

  • Choosing a variety of books in storytime that are not only mirrors (reflect our audience’s experience) but also windows (allow them to see something outside their experience). I saw the impact of having books that are mirrors once when giving away books to a group of preschoolers; one young girl, when choosing her book, saw Anna Quinn’s Lola at the Library and, eyes wide, said “I want THAT one.” Lola in the book looked EXACTLY like this little girl. She was the only African-American child in that class and I’m sure wasn’t used to seeing herself represented in stories. But at that moment, she was, and her awe and happiness were clear. She matters. She’s worth having her story told in a book. This is why the “We Need Diverse Books” movement is so important. They say that the benefits of reading diverse books include:
  • They reflect the world and people of the world
  • They teach respect for all cultural groups
  • They serve as a window and a mirror and as an example of how to interact in the world
  • They show that despite differences, all people share common feelings and aspirations
  • They can create a wider curiosity for the world
  • They prepare children for the real world
  • They enrich educational experiences
  • Allowing children to assist in storytelling – pretending to be a character (“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”), moving like an animal, figuring out how a character would react, making predictions – all of these help children grow their imaginations and try out new roles in a safe place.
  • We can ask lots of questions while reading a story that help a child think more deeply about the perspectives of others. For example, ask: “how is Bobby the same as you?” “Why do you think he feels sad?” “Have you ever felt sad? What made you feel sad?” My friend Melissa suggested asking “What would happen if you changed one thing in the story?” Preschools often talk about having children make connections when hearing stories. Text to text (connecting one book to another), text to self (connecting the book to one’s own experience), and text to world (connecting the book to the wider world they know). In storytime we can do the same, and encourage through questions.

How else might you encourage perspective-taking in storytime? How would you talk to parents about this skill? Please share your comments!

 

%d bloggers like this: