Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flannel Friday-Dinosaurs!

With this year's Dig into Reading theme, I am excited to pull out a lot of dinosaur-related activities, programs, and rhymes.  This rhyme and pattern came from Finger Folk by Marilyn Lohnes.  I love any book that includes patterns!  The pieces are made out of fun foam so they are sturdy enough for a glove puppet, but will still work on a flannelboard.

Five little dinosaurs, trying hard to roar,
One went away, and then there were four.
(This continues down to 0.)

My two-year old groups really like counting rhymes.  We will start off by counting all of the dinosaurs on the board.  Then, as we count down, I let them fill in the blanks, such as "One went away, and then there were _______.  Plus, if you are in a state adopting the Common Core Standards, it is always fun to point out that we are doing math!

I recently got these great new dinosaur puppets for the library, which are perfect for this year's summer reading theme.  They would also work for this rhyme, but you would want to use volunteers.  Even though they are finger puppets, they are larger than traditional finger puppets (kind of like the size of your hand).  The puppets are made by The Puppet Company and I bought ours through Book Farm, Inc.  There is a brontosaurus, pteradactyl, stegosaurus, t-rex, triceratops, and velociraptor.

This week's Dig into Summer Reading Extravaganza round-up will be hosted at Libraryland (or here on this blog).

Mark your calendar for these upcoming dates:
On March 8 Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce is hosting "What Flannel Friday Means to Me".  If you don't have your own blog and want to participate, Sharon will hook you up with as a guest poster on someone else's blog.

Have you added your location to the Flannel Friday map?  In honor of our 2nd birthday, we are trying to see how far we reach.  It would be really cool if we could hit all 50 states!  You don't have to be exact, but if you follow us, we would love for you to add your locale.

On March 15 Flannel Friday will be 2 year's old.  Melissa at Mel's Desk will be hosting the Flannel Friday Birthday Extravaganza.  Wouldn't it be great if we got the most posts ever to celebrate?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dig into Summer Reading Extravaganza


Welcome to the 2013 Dig into Summer Reading Extravaganza!  In true extravaganza style, there are a lot of great posts and ideas that have been contributed.  Because there are many ways that you can take this theme, the posts are broken up by subcategories.

Drum roll, please...

Dig into Reading-Animals
Anne at So Tomorrow brings us another edition of Shadow Puppet Theater.  In this week's installment, the Ant and the Grasshopper tell their tale on overhead transparencies.  She also provides a link to her Dig into Reading ideas that she has been collecting.

Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce pulled out a past favorite of hers that will fit this year's theme-10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel.  Plus, if you are planning any Easter, bunny, color, food, or spring story times, you will want to check this out.

Sarah at Read It Again! brings us worms three different ways this week. There are two great props and a craft.  You will love her flannelboard with sliding worms.

I love that Linda at Notes from the Story Room writes her own stories that will work well in story times.  This week she brings us Mole's New Hole, inspired by "The Big Turnip" and Elephant in a Well by Marie Hall Ets.

Dig into Reading-Construction
Jane at Piper Loves the Library brings us an action-paced retelling of Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia.  From colorful flannel pieces to whirling scarves, you will really dig what she has created.

We've acquired a new blogger!  Welcome to Kristine at Dewey or Don't We (another great blog name!) as she brings us her foam parts for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherry Duskey Rinker.

Dig into Reading-Digging
Lucy at In the Children's Room shows us how to dig through the Earth's crust on a flannelboard.  I am always looking for ways to pull nonfiction into story time and this is a great explanation.  Plus, you can keep it for 2014 when the theme is Fizz, Boom, Read.

Dig into Reading-Dinosaurs
In a new take on Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Thrive After Three brings you Anteater! Brachiosaurus!  Both the story and the parts are awesome. 

Kay at Storytime ABC's brings us Little Stegosaurus and the various ways you can retell it (I am a big fan of the puppet version).  In addition, she provides links to her previous posts that will fit the Dig into Reading theme.

I bring you Five Little Dinosaurs at Libraryland, plus show off some nifty new dino finger puppets that I bought for work.

Dig into Reading-Gardening
Andrea at Librarian vs. Storytime shows off Jack's Garden by Henry Cole.  If you have missed this story (like I have), it is cumulative like The House that Jack Built.

Andrea has a 2nd post this week at Librarian vs. Storytime using Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens.  What is really neat is that her felt pieces are double-sided.

This post is one of those story time themes that I never would have thought of, but it works.  Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime created her own rhyme called Digging Potatoes to go with a story time all about potatoes. Plus, if you are looking for some March story time ideas, potatoes are a great idea (St. Patty's Day-Irish-potatoes).

Have you ever noticed how many pizza toppings come from the garden?  Amy at Catch the Possibilities shows us how to build a pizza in her programs.  I can see this working well with books like Pete's a Pizza

Have Book-Will Travel
Storytiming shows us how to make paper cities.  This would be great for decor, a paper city program, or put out on tables for kids to design their own cities.

Other Flannel Fun
Sarah at Read Rabbit Read has two counting nursery rhymes for us that she is planning to use tomorrow in her Family Early Literacy Time.  Nursery rhymes are always great to add to your bag of tricks.

Melissa at Mel's Desk is trying to tie her Waiting for Winter flannelboard game into Dig into Reading.  The best I have is that there is a dinosaur and a bone included in her parts.  Anyone have anything better?

Bridget at What is Bridget Reading? celebrated Tell a Fairy Tale Day by creating felt guessing pieces from a variety of tales.  I can also see this working well as a contest for older kids during Children's Book Week or Summer Reading.

Andrea at Roving Fiddlehead KidLit created a cool new flannelboard from a thrift store find.  It is another of those things that I had never thought of doing, but it turned out great!

Just in time for spring, The Voices Inside My Headphones shows us how to make a nifty kite perfect for your preschool crowds.  For those of us who have tried to make kites in story time before, you will definitely want this pattern.

If you want to know more about Flannel Friday:

-Check out the Flannel Friday blog.  Features include host schedules, how to participate, and links to past round-ups.

-For a visual look at Flannel Friday posts, check out the Flannel Friday Pinterest page.  This is a great "go to" resource when planning story times.

-Join the Flannel Friday Facebook community for great discussions and up-to-date information. 

Mark your calendar for these upcoming dates:
On Wednesday, March 5, Anne Clark will be participating in the Pennsylvania Library Association's webinar on summer reading.  Anyone can register! 

On March 8 Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce is hosting "What Flannel Friday Means to Me". If you don't have your own blog and want to participate, Sharon will hook you up with as a guest poster on someone else's blog.  Plus, she made a cool button (it's like bling, it makes my eyes go all shiny!).

Have you added your location to the Flannel Friday map? In honor of our 2nd birthday, we are trying to see how far we reach. It would be really cool if we could hit all 50 states! You don't have to be exact, but if you follow us, we would love for you to add your locale.

On March 15 Flannel Friday will be 2 year's old. Melissa at Mel's Desk will be hosting the Flannel Friday Birthday Extravaganza. Wouldn't it be great if we got the most posts ever to celebrate?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Make a Valentine

This is one of those programs where I got the idea from someone else when we were trading ideas (I gave her Life-Sized Candy Land and she gave me this).  Then it sat in my head for a couple of years until our schedule allowed me to pull it out.  I liked it because it had a couple of components so you can grow or shrink it to fit your schedule and clientele.

Here's what we did:
1.  I started off by contacting a hospital in our service area in September to see if they would like Valentine's if we collected or made them.  They loved the idea and gave us a couple of guidelines to follow, such as not including messages like "get better" as some patients will not recuperate.  They also gave us a deadline a couple of days before Valentine's Day, which was helpful in planning our programs and collection.

2.  In October we planned how we would collect the Valentine's.  We decided to run our program with 2 components:
  • We wanted to collect Valentine's from the public at each of our locations.  The staff at each location designed a Valentine's mailbox for people to put their Valentine's in.
  • We planned programs where people could make Valentine's that would go to the hospital (there were 2 children's and 1 teen).
3.  In November-January, I searched the Internet for ideas for our program.  If you are not on Pinterest, it is a great resource for programs like this.  I found a lot of great pictures, but not a lot of actual directions and patterns.  I whittled down the selections to 3 Valentine's, created patterns, and had our volunteers cut out the pieces.

4.  For some extra fun, I added glue sticks, crayons, stickers, and colored paper to each location's breakroom to encourage staff to participate too.  While that response wasn't as big as I hoped, the people who participated had a great time.

5.  In February we held our "Make a Valentine" program for 30 kids at our location.  While not everyone showed up for the program, those that did used up all of the precut pieces to create Valentine's.  These were all kids who like to do crafts.  It made me think that next year, we can precut extra parts and have them sorted into piles on tables and the kids will love doing them.

6.  The following Monday I dropped off 2 large boxes of Valentine's at our local hospital.  It was fun seeing what everyone created (1 mom dropped off 60+ Valentine's that she and her children created!).

Our Valentine's:
1.  Alligator-we used the idea from here, but made a new pattern where we flattened out the alligator and made him out of construction paper. Our alligator ended up 7 pieces plus stickers (4 legs, body, top of the head, and inside of the mouth message).

2.  Owl-we used the idea from here, but had to come up with our own teardrop pattern.  The eyes are 1-inch white circles punched with a hole punch.  We added the message as a sticker so everybody's would fit.  We also left off the candy.  The inside of the eyes are glittery heart stickers.

3.  Elephant-we used the idea from here, but had to come up with our own heart patterns.  We used large googly eyes and a sticker message.  The hearts are a 1-inch heart punch.

How it went:
I think that this went great for our first year with this program.  We collected 400 Valentine's across 3 locations, which I think that we can definitely increase for next year.  We made a positive community connection with our local hospital and can continue that relationship in the future.  This is definitely a program that we will do again next year!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Flannel Friday-The Shape of My Heart

This week's flannelboard is another one that has been sitting on my TBM (to be made) pile since the book came out in late 2012.  The Shape of My Heart by Mark Sperring is a great addition to shape story times that uses shapes that toddlers are familiar with other than the traditional square, circle, and triangle.  This is also a great title to share one-on-one because there is a lot to the illustrations, similar to an I Spy book.

All of the pieces for this are made out of felt.  The sun, car, are AccuCut dies.  Everything else is handcut with puffy paint details.

This is the shape of you and me.

The shape of your eye and the sun.
The shape of your mouth, shoes, and feet.
The shape of cars, your hand, your ear, and your house.
All of our shapes, including the birds, your pillow,
the toy, the moon, the star, and your heart.

This week's round-up is hosted by Kay at Storytime ABC's.
Upcoming Flannel Friday dates include:
-3/1 (next Friday!)-Dig Into Summer Reading Extravaganza hosted here.
-3/8 -Flannel Friday Special Edition:What Flannel Friday Means to Me at Rain Makes Applesauce
-3/15-Flannel Friday Birthday Extravaganza hosted at Mel's Desk

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Clifford!

This year for Clifford's 50th birthday, each of our 3 locations held a birthday party especially for him.  While each party was a little different, most was the same.  Here's what we did at our location:

1.  As children came in our meeting room, they picked up their nametag.  Our nametags were made out of a cardstock bone shape and strung with yarn.

2.  We started off by reading Clifford's Birthday Party by Norman Bridwell.  This is a fun book to read aloud to a group, because it has a lot of silliness that you can talk about (Really? A sweater on Clifford's nose???)

3.  After the story, Clifford showed up!  This was a big hit.  Some kids got in line to talk to him right away, while other stood back, worked on the crafts, or played our games.

4.  Our first craft station had precut pieces out for kids to make Clifford ears.  Our pattern came from Kids Domain Crafts and I had originally printed it out in 2004.  The link is no longer active though.  When we make headbands in our programs, I like to use a paperclip to fasten them (instead of staples).  Then the headbands are adjustable and don't rip quite as easily.

5.  We also made Clifford out of heart shapes.  I had originally posted an example and pattern here
6.  Then there was a station where kids could throw beanbags into dog bowls.  For fun, I added "Clifford", "Cleo", and "T-Bone" to the front of one bowl with puffy paint.  To add an extra component to the game, I pulled out beanbags that were the color of each bowl.

7.  We had one more station planned, but didn't end up doing it due to our volunteer for the program calling in.  We have a giant laminated Clifford that we cut out and were going to play Pin the Bone on Clifford.

How it went:
This was an EXTREMELY popular program.  We registered 30 kids, ages 3-6, because that is what our room could hold and the program was filled within 3 hours (which is even kind of fast for us).  The kids had a great time with all of the activities that we had planned and didn't really miss the game that we had to drop.  The costumed Clifford was also a giant hit.  While not every child went up to him, they all watched him and nobody went screaming from the room (always a sign of success).  Due to the weight of the costume, Clifford only stayed for 15 minutes, which was plenty of time for parents to get pictures of their children.  We had quite a few parents of children not registered for the program call the day of and ask if their children could come up and just "meet" Clifford.  While we couldn't accomodate them this time, it is always an idea for the future to have a "meet and greet" session outside of the program.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Flannel Friday-Mice

When Mice by Rose Fyleman came across my desk this past fall, it screamed "flannelboard."  I just wanted to come up with a way to do it so I didn't take away from Lois Ehlert's illustrations (which are awesome!).

I started by making the general shape of the mice- a triangle head, a triangle body, circle eyes, and rope arms & legs.

As you read the story, you build the mice to match the words.

Their tails are long.
Their ears are pink.
Their teeth are white.
And, of course, the cat!
While I made them to go along with the story, you can also build the mice on your own.  Since every part is a basic shape, other than the tails and the cat, this book would also be good for a shape story time.
Katie at Storytime Katie is hosting this week's round-up.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This week we started our Winter Reading Program at our library.  What is Winter Reading, you ask?  It is like Summer Reading, just less intense.  The problem that we run into is getting word out to our customers.  We advertise in our newsletter and in our monthly program calendars.  It appears on our web site.  If you ask the average person if they are doing the Winter Reading Program, most will say that they read in the winter.  They just don't know about this great program that we offer.  How, then, do you get the word out?

1.  We start with a display.  While we don't have free wall space to make one, we do have this giant window that faces the road.  The letters and pictures are cut large enough that you can actually see it from the road!  This year we made our snowmen double-sided, which the little kids really like when they walk in the library.  We made sure to include dates with the slogan so it looks like an actual program, not just a fun display.  It has a purpose.

2.  We have a table near the reference desk with all of the forms on it.  There are multiple forms (we have 3 different age levels for Winter Reading) and each form has a sign below with the ages and/or grades.  Personally, I like having the forms near enough so I can grab one and explain it to whoever comes up to the reference desk, but it is good to have out in the open too.  Many of our customers are self-sufficient and never come up to the desk.  This way they can see what the program is all about too.

3.  Do you promote your program in your story times?  How about in your other programs?  You are a trusted figure when you appear in these programs and if you tell someone why participation is a good thing, chances are really good that they will join.  It also helps if you have the forms readily available, especially in story times, as not all parents can spend large amounts of time in the library following the program.  This way you are making it convenient for them to join.

4.  Never underestimate the personal touch.  If you see someone with a stack of books, chances are good that they will be checking them out.  Why not approach them, hand them your form, and explain your program?  We started doing this with our Summer Reading Program and our participation stats went significantly up.  In fact, they went up so much, that I now spend the first day of summer reading next to the self-checks with a stack of forms for each age level to pass out and I talk to everyone who comes by.

Hopefully some of these ideas will help you promote your next major program!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Flannel Friday-Humpty Dumpty

This week's selection is brought to you from my stash of stuff that I like to use.  The pattern and the rhyme are both included in the book Best of Dr. Jean: Puppets and Storytime by Jean Feldman.

I colored and cut out a copy from the pattern.  Humpty Dumpty is laminated to hold up through multiple uses.  The kids like to see my fingers in the leg holes.  Plus, since he is a puppet, he can act out the rhyme (him falling is always fun).

This week's round-up is hosted at Miss Courtney Meets Bobo.

Upcoming Dates
On March 15 Flannel Friday will be 2 years old!  If you haven't had a chance yet, visit our map and tell us where you are from.  As we get closer to the big day, Rain Makes Applesauce will be hosting the March 8 round-up.  We are asking everyone to share what Flannel Friday means to them.

March 1 is the Dig into Summer Reading Extravaganza.  It will be hosted here and the placeholder will be up the week before.

March 15 is the Flannel Friday Birthday Extravaganza.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Our New Early Literacy Center

Last fall, I read this great post on the ALSC blog about a Post Office Early Literacy Center that the Lexington Park Library put together.  I have been looking for a center like this to add to our library and was quite impressed.  Because it has multiple parts, you can scale it back or enhance it, depending on your clientele or space.

To put our early literacy center together, our biggest obstacle was space.  While I love the idea of individual mailboxes for the characters, we have no where to put them at this time.  Just about every inch of our branch has a purpose and it is difficult to rededicate that space.  Our tables are always filled (in fact, we could honestly use more) so we couldn't take one away to set up the center.  We have no empty wall space where we could add a hook for the mail carrier costume or signage to go with the center.  What we did have, though, was metal endcaps for our shelves.  We split our center in two and put it at the ends of two aisles.

Here's what we did:
1.  We purchased 2 red Kritter tables and 2 yellow Kritter chairs from Ikea.  The tables are really sturdy and will hold up well.  I am not so sure about the chairs, but the two tables are still easily accessible without chairs.

2.  The mailbox and the post office sorter were bought from Lakeshore Learning.  When we purchased ours, the post office was on clearance (whoo hoo!), but it looks like it is on their web site again.  You will also need wet erase markers to write the names on the sorter.  We bought the mail carrier costume for our Main Library, but we just don't have space at our branch.

3.  Now we needed supplies.  Since we were purchasing from Lakeshore Learning already, we bought our newsprint there.  We are using the grade 1 newsprint because this is our target audience.  We want to catch those kids who are just learning to write.  Most of our office supplies are bought through Office Depot and we found beginners' pencils.  I chose the ones without the erasers because I would like the pencils to stay with the station and not be taken to do everyone's homework (which would happen).  Then we needed a way to sharpen the pencils.  Office Depot also sold a sharpener with a larger hole for the beginner-sized pencils.  We also needed a reusable way for kids to mail their letters.  The smallest size that we could find was a 5x7 clear envelope.

Next we got everything set up and put the new furniture together.  We chose our characters based on those that we display at our various locations and on our 100 Books to Read Before Kindergarten list.  We added labels to the envelopes and made a cool stamp out of our logo.  Then we tried to fit our envelope into the sorter slot.  Sigh.  It was too big.  I went back online to look for something smaller to no avail.  Then another staff member suggested cutting off the bottom and using booktape to seal the plastic together.  It works and it looks good.

Everything has been totally set up for 3 days now.  I probably have at least 10 letters that I can use for future promotional stuff.  There have been countless others where kids practiced writing their name, the character's name, and drew pictures of elephants (story time topic this week).  I am impressed with how successful it actually is.  Since I have money leftover from the clearance price on the post office sorter, I will be purchasing more paper as we will need it.  If you are looking for something new to do at your library, I would definitely recommend this project!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Nonfiction Displays and Common Core

One of my goals this year is to get all of those great nonfiction materials that we order into the hands of teachers.  With the new Common Core standards being implemented, the emphasis is on more quality nonfiction.

Displays are an easy way to collect books on a theme and put them in the hands of our users.  Plus, displays increase circulation.  One study has displays increasing circulation 90% for books that were on the shelf.  Since I am just happy if they go out, a display seemed like a good first step.  Unfortunately, our building has almost no display space.  What we did have, though, was an empty range of shelves.  By shifting the shelves around, I made it look more like a separate entity, rather than books just standing up on the shelves.

This month's theme is "Nonfiction Award Winners".  With the recent announcements of the Sibert Award and ALSC Children's Notables, this is a great time to highlight some of those titles.  I figure that I will shift it around ever month or so to highlight a new nonfiction area or homework topic.

I created this display late Friday and by Monday morning, almost half of the books were gone.  That is pretty gratifying for little effort.  To refill the empty spaces, I am now adding previous award winners too since I didn't specify a year on the sign.

I think that my first step towards my goal is a success!  Now onto project #2-nonfiction teacher newsletters.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Favorite Authors

As I have been going through the ALA 2013 Notables list, I noticed that there are authors that I always order.  Their books are always good or fit our collection exactly right, that when I see their name, I am searching in our ordering system to find their next books.  I know that I could place them on standing order like I do our series books, but then I miss the fun of seeing what's coming out (honestly, it is like Christmas morning!).

Picture Books
  • Eric Carle
  • Lois Ehlert
  • Candace Fleming
  • Kevin Henkes
  • Eric Rohmann
  • Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • The Steads (both Philip and Erin)
  • Melanie Watt (I am a gigantic Scaredy Squirrel fan.  Almost as big as Pete the Cat)
  • David Wiesner
  • Mo Willems
  • Paul Zelinsky

Chapter Books
  • Christopher Paul Curtis (Quality stuff & Michigan author)
  • Lois Lowry
  • Sarah Pennypacker
  • Laura Amy Schlitz (She has been really hitting the Newberys recently.)
  • Gary Schmidt (Quality stuff & Michigan author)
  • Raina Telgemeier

  • Nic Bishop (Animal books and Michigan photographer.  Really, how can you beat that?!?)
  • Karen Blumenthal
  • Russell Freedman
  • Steve Jenkins (I can't have enough animal books.)
  • Phillip Hoose (Check out his recent record.  Really, they are all award winners.)
  • Deborah Hopkinson
  • Sy Montgomery
  • Jim Murphy
  • Kadir Nelson
  • Jack Prelutsky
  • Doreen Rappaport

The one important note about this list is that it is constantly evolving.  There are always new authors & illustrators appearing on the scene and new awards being presented.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...