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FREE Webinar! Growing Executive Function Skills in Storytime

10 May

Guess what! I’m presenting! A webinar! And it’s FREE! It’s not only for library staff who present storytimes but also ECE providers. It’s provided via the excellent Early Childhood Investigations, who, if you’re not familiar with them already, you should GET familiar with because not only do they provide outstanding webinars, they’re always FREE. Getcha some professional development, y’all!

What you’ll get out of it: you will learn:

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My totes profesh picture. Do we still say “totes”?

  • What executive function is
  • Why executive function is important to success in learning and life
  • Specific activities and books they can share in order to help the children in their care develop executive function

Studies are showing that “soft”, or executive function, skills, are better predictors of success in life than cognitive skills – the “hard” knowledge we have. Soft skills include being able to put information together creatively, self-regulate, and take on other perspectives. We grow these skills regularly in storytime and our webinar will tell you how and give you more ideas about how to help your children develop.

I hope you’ll join us!

 

 

Stories and More: We <3 Reading!

2 May

I’m a million years behind (slight exaggeration) in posting but here’s what we did for Stories and More in November!

FOCUS: PRINT MOTIVATION – LOVING BOOKS AND READING!

Children who have positive experiences with books – like being read to by someone who loves and cares for them – are motivated to become readers. So this month I tried to focus on loving books and reading! We shared stories and rhymes I love, and we made our own books!

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 ReminderChildren who love books and reading want to become readers! The best way to do that is to make reading FUN.  Today we’re going to share some of my FAVORITE stories. They don’t have to be your favorites, too, but I hope that you like 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: This is one of my favorite books and it demonstrates so well the power books can have to grow a child’s imagination. Listen to the story and considerlola what you and your child might play after reading a story.

Book: Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn

 

Active song: Hurry, Hurry Drive the Firetruck

Hurry, hurry, drive the firetruck (pretend to steer)

Hurry, hurry, drive the firetruck

Hurry, hurry, drive the firetruck

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! (pretend to ring bell)

Continue with: Hurry, hurry turn the corner (lean to the side), climb the ladder (pretend to climb), squirt the water (pretend to hold hose and spray water), back to the station (pretend to steer)

 

FingerplayHere Are My Glasses

Here are my glasses (hold up hands with index fingers and thumbs in a circle like glasses),

Here is my book (hold hands together like a book),

I put on my glasses (hold finger circles up to eyes)

And I open up my book (open hands)

I read, read, read (move hands)

And I look, look, look (move head with finger circles over eyes)

I take off my glasses (move finger circles)

And I [clap] close up my book!

Flannelboard: Hooray for Hat!

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!)moo

Book: Moo! by David LaRochelle

Song: Skinnamarink

Here’s the Sharon, Lois and Bram original. I found the ukulele chords here – although there are other versions; this one worked best for my voice. I also taught everyone the ASL signs for “I love you” before we sang.

Goodbye Rhyme: Our Hands Say Thank You

Our hands say thank you with a clap, clap, clap

And our feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap.

Clap clap clap,

Tap, tap, tap,

Turn around and take a bow.

Early Literacy Play Activities:

One of our activities was to make our own books! What better way to love books than to make one of your own that you’re sure to love because YOU made it? I found blank board books at Bare Books for the babies and we got these paper books from Office Depot. Kids had markers, stickers, and stamps of various kinds to use to create their own stories. I encouraged parents to ask their kids about what they were creating and to write words for them if desired.

Our second activity was pretend play – and making up stories – using plastic dinosasurs, animals, and bugs. The kids loved talking about the animals and what they were doing.

 

Take-homes:

grumpyBooks: Everyone took home a book I love. I hope they love them too – but it’s alright if they don’t. Babies took home a copy of Sandra Boynton’s Going to Bed Book (who DOESN’T love Sandra Boynton?). Toddlers got Lola Loves Stories and Preschoolers got a copy of Grumpy Bird, a book I love so much I have a Grumpy Bird tattoo.

Activities: Everyone took home their own handmade book. Several parents asked about where I got the blank books as they wanted to make more at home. I told them they could also simply staple several pages of paper together if they wanted.

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.

The Alphabet For Us: New Alphabet Song for Storytime!

23 Apr

Hey guys, I wrote a thing! This melody magically formed itself in my head one morning, and soon alphabet lyrics started joining it. I had the good sense to record it on a voice recorder, and later I fleshed out the lyrics. I tried to use words that don’t appear in lots of alphabet songs but might be somewhat familiar (except for the Xantus, of course. I had to google that one).

Here’s the tune and ukulele chords! The lyrics are written below. As I say in the video, the fun part is that you can substitute any words you want for each of the letters – except maybe for the last two verses, as those are the ones that rhyme. Put in silly words, vocabulary words, new words, whatever! (Thanks Julie for the suggestion!)

Alphabet For Us from Mary K on Vimeo.

A is for Airplane, and B is for Bug,

C is for Cupcake, and D is for Dog,

E is for Eggplant, and F is for Fun,

And that’s the way the alphabet’s done.

G is for Gumdrop, and H is for House,

I is for Ice Cube, and J is for Jump,

K is for Kitchen, and L is for Land,

And that’s what makes the alphabet grand.

M is for Mushroom, and N is for Nose,

O is for Octopus, and P is for Pants,

Q is for Quiet, and R is for Run,

And that’s the way the alphabet’s done.

S is for Sandbox, and T is for Toes,

U is for Underwear, and V is for Vine,

W is for Walrus, and X is for Xantus (a kind of hummingbird),

And Y and Z end the alphabet for us.

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:

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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!

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!

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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!)

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