From Last Minute to Legendary

I had a great time last Thursday presenting my brand-new workshop, “Last Minute Lessons”  at the 52nd Annual Early Childhood Education Conference.  Participants were challenged to come up with creative lesson plans in response to emergency situations – all with limited materials.  Check out some of the wildly creative things they did with waterlogged books, paper goods, and the contents of their pockets and purses.  One thing’s for certain: if I am ever stranded on a deserted island, I hope it’s with a group of these resourceful early childhood educators!

Lacing card made with an index card, hole punch, and the string from a conference badge.

Lacing card made with an index card, hole punch, and the string from a conference badge.

Found objects for each letter of the alphabet.

Found objects for each letter of the alphabet.

Sheep and fence made from clothespins, index cards, and cotton balls.

Sheep and fence made from clothespins, index cards, and cotton balls.

 

Farm animals made from a file folder, paper cups, clothespins, cotton balls, and pictures cut from a magazine.

Farm animals made from a file folder, paper cups, clothespins, cotton balls, and pictures cut from a magazine.

Caterpillar made from soda bottle and crepe streamers, Chrysalis made from plastic cups, Butterfly made from napkins and a plastic fork.

Caterpillar made from soda bottle and crepe streamers, Chrysalis made from plastic cups, Butterfly made from napkins and a plastic fork.

 

Numeracy activities: Number line using cardstock and sticky notes, Number box using a cardboard box and pennies.

Numeracy activities: Number line using cardstock and sticky notes, Number box using a cardboard box and pennies.

A simple activity for a lesson on sickness and health: place a piece of painter's tape on a card, then ask the children to color the card with a crayon.  Remove the tape to show how bandages protect wounds from germs.

A simple activity for a lesson on sickness and health: place a piece of painter’s tape on a card, then ask the children to color the card with a crayon. Remove the tape to show how bandages protect wounds from germs.

 

 

 

Sign This: “The Owl”

Did you know that August 4 is International Owl Awareness Day?  Celebrate with this fingerplay perfect for owl or nocturnal animal programs!

The owl is a creature of the night,

His great big eyes give him keen sight.

He looks to the left and to the right.

And hoots so softly through the night.

Watch this video to learn how to share this rhyme using American Sign Language:

Baby Storytime Rhyme: Tickly Octopus

Octopus, octopus, bobbing up and down,

reaching your long arms all around.  (wave arms)

 

Baby tries to crawl far away

but octopus arms don’t let you stray (hug baby)

 

Here comes the octopus tentacle by tentacle (walk fingers up baby’s arms)

He’ll wrap you in a hug and give you a tickle! (hug and tickle baby)

Wonderful Watermelon

Celebrate this summery sweet treat in storytime with this action rhyme and a watermelon science project!

Watermelon, watermelon, turn around.

Watermelon, watermelon, touch the ground.

Watermelon, watermelon, stamp your feet.

Watermelon, watermelon, good to eat! (rub tummy)

 

pink frothy liquid erupts from a watermelonTry this vinegar-free watermelon eruption project from Learn ~ Play ~ Imagine to demonstrate chemical reactions and promote fine motor skills.

It’s Not Too Late! Register for Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff eCourse Today!

macmillan-course-blue-300Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning June 2, 2014 and continuing for 6 weeks

$195.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Comments from previous students of this course:

“Thank you for teaching me much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful experience that I will certainly share with everyone who will listen!”

“This course has been invaluable to me…I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and truly appreciate someone’s genius in offering it.  The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“I absolutely loved the class and would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE — librarian or not!”

“This class was interesting, informative and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

Register now!

Something to Celebrate Every Day

cover of World Rat DayWorld Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of

by J. Patrick Lewis; illustrated by Anna Raff  (Candlewick, 2013)

Ever heard of “Dragon Appreciation Day” (January 16)?  How about “International  Cephalopod Awareness Day” ( October 8)?  Or our personal favorite, “Chocolate-Covered Anything Day” (December 16)?  Well, J. Patrick Lewis and Anna Raff have, and they’ve assembled a funny, surprising collection of poems and illustrations that pay tribute to lesser-known celebrations.  From advice from a worm in “What the Worm Knows” (for Worm Day on March 15) to the susurrating, lyrical word-pictures of “Bats” (for Bat Appreciation Day on April 17), these poems introduce a variety of poetic forms along with the silly holidays they celebrate.  These kid-friendly poems beg for classroom and programming extensions with stories, songs, and crafts, and this book would be a terrific holiday or end-of-year gift for the teacher on your list.

Basic American Sign Language for Library Staff eCourse

macmillan-course-blue-300Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning June 2, 2014 and continuing for 6 weeks

$195.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.

Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.

Comments from previous students of this course:

“Thank you for teaching me much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful experience that I will certainly share with everyone who will listen!”

“This course has been invaluable to me…I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and truly appreciate someone’s genius in offering it.  The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”

“I absolutely loved the class and would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE — librarian or not!”

“This class was interesting, informative and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”

Register now!

Celebrate the Month of the Young Child with Baby Storytime Magic!

April is The Month of the Young Child!  This annual celebration raises awareness about the needs of young children and their families and  the early childhood programs and services that serve them.

Baby Storytime Magic coverBring some magic to your programming for the youngest learners with Baby Storytime Magic: Active Early Literacy through Bounces, Rhymes, Tickles, and More  by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker.  (ALA Editions, 2014.  $50.00)

Click here for a preview!

Baby Storytime Magic is a treasure trove of new and exciting ideas for programs, all of which revolve around themes from a baby’s world. Inside this resource you’ll find

  • Fingerplays, bounces, flannelboards, activities with props, songs, American Sign Language activities, and more, with items arranged by type of material
  • Tips for planning storytimes, with advice on logistical issues such as age grouping, scheduling, formats, and physical setup
  • Guidance on involving caregivers in baby storytimes, including suggested scripts for explaining the benefits of each activity and how to use it at home
  • Age-appropriate book recommendations
  • Information on the stages of early childhood development, plus an appendix of recommended additional resources
  • A thematic index to find the right storytime quickly
  • Links to full-sized, downloadable flannelboard patterns, craft patterns, and worksheets

 

Share This Book: And Then It’s Spring

51hFMsVLF0L._AA160_And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2012.

After a long winter, a boy and his dog decide to do something about the brown that is all around, they plant a garden! Simple text and illustrations tell this delightful story of a boy waiting for spring to arrive. The boy looks all around at the brown, plants seeds, worries about his seeds, wishes for rain, and waits. As time goes by, the illustrations show that the weather is warming, the brown is changing, until one day it’s spring!

After the winter we’ve had, we can all sympathize with the boy’s watchful waiting!

Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month with These Silly Rhymes

20140317_123111April is National Grilled Cheese Month!  Why not invite a few of your favorite nursery rhyme characters to storytime to celebrate?  Kids will love these silly variations on classic Mother Goose rhymes.  Encourage creativity and writing skills by working with children to come up with their own crazy grilled cheese sandwich rhymes!

 

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet,

eating a yummy grilled cheese.

Along came a spider

And sat down beside her

And said, “Could I have some, please?”

 

Old Mother Hubbard

went to the cupboard

to fetch her poor dog a grilled cheese.

He gobbled it up,

that hungry pup,

and shared the crumbs with the fleas!

 

Old King Cole

Was a hungry old soul,

And a hungry old soul was he.

He called for his bread,

And he called for his cheese,

And he called for his cooks three.

Each cook, he had a fine pan,

And a very fine pan had he;

Hiss-hiss, went the grilled cheese,

Hiss, went the grilled cheese,

Hiss, went the sandwiches three.

Oh, there’s none so rare,

As can compare

With old King Cole and his grilled cheeses three!

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