Colors Signs for Storytime!

Brighten up any storytime by teaching the American Sign Language colors!

Learn the color signs from Shaylee, Ivy, Manny and Sheena in this adorable video from ASL Nook! It’s perfect for learning the signs yourself, and also short and engaging enough to share with students or in storytime!

Then incorporate the ASL signs for colors in your favorite songs and rhymes!  Here’s a fun one to get you started. This song is terrific for online storytimes and lessons too, because it keeps kids engaged even through a video screen! For more signing fun, click on the links to learn the signs for the movements too.

Where are Colors? Song
by Kathy MacMillan
(to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Where is RED? Where is RED?
Look around. Look around.
Point to something RED, Point to something RED
JUMP up and down, JUMP up and down.

WHERE is BLUE?…DANCE around.
WHERE is YELLOW?…TURN-AROUND.
WHERE is GREEN?…STOMP around.
WHERE is PURPLE?…then SIT down.

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 2!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2: Seasons

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific seasonal vocabulary:

  • Tuesday, July 7, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Summer Signs
  • Tuesday, July14, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Autumn Signs
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Winter Signs
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Spring Signs
  • Tuesday, August 4, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Celebration Signs

Because each webinar is theme-based, it is NOT necessary to have taken Series 1 in order to get the most out of Series 2!

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A.  Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30.  A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase. 
  • Individualized video feedback: $20. Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

Projects for Eco, Global, and Art Explorers Bundle

Save up to $15 and get 75 ready-to-use projects!

 

 

Includes handy PDFs of 25 Projects for Eco Explorers25 Projects for Global Explorers, and 25 Projects for Art Explorers. These projects from best-selling author Christine M. Kirker can be integrated into K-5 educational lesson plans and library programming for children aged 4-10. Engaging activities for teaching children what makes each topic special, materials lists, programming tips, and additional resources are all included.

Register now for Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar!

In response to popular demand, we are offering an encore session of this ALA Editions webinar!

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pm Central/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!

 

Live Storytimes, Giveaway, and a Rhyme to Sign

Happy book birthday to Nita’s Day: More Signs for Babies and Parents by Kathy MacMillan! The second book in the Little Hands Signing series features Nita and her family using American Sign Language all day long! With adorable, bold illustrations by Sara Brezzi and a unique slide-open format, this board book makes a great baby shower or new baby gift!

Order Nita’s Day now! Autographed copies from the Deaf Camps, Inc. Online BookstoreIndiebound.org | Bookshop.org Workman.com (use code BOOKS for 20% off!)  |  Amazon.com  |  BarnesAndNoble.com

Nita’s Day Teacher/Librarian Guide  |  Nita’s Day Signs Demonstration Video

 

Join Kathy MacMillan for the Nita’s Day Online Launch Celebration!

Facebook Live Nita’s Day Launch Day Celebration Storytimes:

 

Enter the Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of the set! This makes a great gift and may be personalized. Must by 18 or older to enter. US Only. Giveaway closes May 22, 2020. Find 3 ways to enter here!

 

Sign with Nita All Day Long!

Here’s a rhyme to practice the signs in the book:

All Day Long: A Rhyme to Sign

This is the latest entry in the Little Hands Signing video series. See the whole series here and look for more videos to come!

 

Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pm Central/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/liven-baby-and-toddler-storytimes-sign-language-workshop

Complete list of upcoming webinars from Kathy MacMillan

Register now for the Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytime series!

Perfect for the librarian or teacher stuck at home trying to juggle professional development with childcare! It’s continuing education you can share with your child!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities. Each session will focus on specific vocabulary:

  • April 29, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: First Signs
  • May 6, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Feelings Signs
  • May 13, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Colors Signs
  • May 20, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Animal Signs
  • May 27, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Family Signs

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A. Presenter Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, as well as Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other resources books for librarians and educators. Certificate of completion for each webinar available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

$50 per person per webinar. $200 for 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30. A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14 days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now!

Individual webinars:

Register now for Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar!

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:00am Eastern/9:00 Central/8:00 Mountain/7:00 Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!

 

Learn from Home with the Explorers Series!

If you’re looking for structured extension activities to do with your children while you are all home together, Christine Kirker’s Explorer series will provide you with some fresh ideas!

25 Projects for Art Explorers 

Designed for kids aged 5 – 10 with projects that can be adapted to the age of the child.  The projects:

-introduce children to a variety of art techniques, from gouache and watercolor to collage and papermaking, using a curated selection of quality picture books;

-provide detailed directions for guiding children to experiment with these techniques to create their own projects; and

-include materials lists adaptable for any budget, capsule biographies of the picture books’ illustrators, programming tips, and links to additional resources.


25 Projects for Global Explorers

Designed for kids aged 5-10, and flexible enough to use in either storytimes or classroom settings, the projects here:

-use representative picture books as tools for learning about different places and people;

-take kids’ imaginations on journeys to a variety of U.S. landmarks, such as Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Lei Day Festival in Hawaii;

-introduce more than a dozen fascinating places, traditions, and cultures from across the world, including the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the Ziggurat of Ancient Mesopotamia in Iraq, and the San People, formerly known as the Bushmen of South Africa; and

-include hands-on activities for teaching children what makes each topic special, materials lists, programming tips, and additional resources.

Purchase now.


Coming May 2020: 25 Projects for Eco Explorers 

Though the daily news is filled with reports of climate change, severe weather, environmental distress, and endangered species, children’s librarians and educators might be uncertain how to incorporate these topics into their current curriculum. This handy resource offers an ideal solution, presenting more than two dozen ready-to-use projects on environmental topics that can be integrated into K-5 educational lesson plans and library programming for children aged 4-10. Starting with a representative picture book as a foundation, children are guided through each topic using a hands-on project that reinforces learning. Whether they’re in the classroom or library, kids will feel excited and engaged as they explore such topics as

-honeybees, loggerhead turtles, mountain gorillas, polar bears, and other animals;

-environments like coral reefs, estuaries, and the Galápagos Islands;

-wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes;

-composting, gardens, seeds, and the farm to table movement; and

-garbage, recycling, renewable energy, water conservation, and Earth Day.

Preorder now.


About the Author

Christine Kirker is a Library Associate with the Carroll County Public Library (MD). She is the author of 25 Projects for Art Explorers and 25 Projects for Global Explorers and the coauthor (with Kathy MacMillan) of five books in the Storytime Magic storytime resource series, all from ALA Editions.  Since joining the library staff in 2005, Christine has developed and presented many programs for children of all ages. In addition, she has applied for and received many grants benefitting the library including a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, wherein Christine worked with the community to create a native garden at the library and offered many educational outreach programs. Previously, Christine spent ten years employed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Research Analyst for the Office of Institutional Research.

Keeping Online Storytimes Engaging

With so many libraries closed to the public, it seems like everyone is offering online storytimes!  I was asked to share my tips for keeping online storytimes interactive, so here you go!
When presenting virtually where you can’t see your audience, it’s really hard to adjust your approach and pace when you are not getting any response, so it’s really important to remember the following. (And pro tip: sticky notes on the side of your monitor with reminders work really well!)
  1. Slow down. Even if it feels like you are already speaking slowly, slow it down. Most kids can’t listen as fast as we grownups like to talk.
  2. Make eye contact with the camera. Yes, this feels weird. It might help to put a stuffed animal or a picture of a favorite kiddo right above or next to the camera, so you can make eye contact with that.
  3. Allow time for responses. No, more time than that. More. In person, adults generally only give kids one second of silence before they fill it in for them. When you don’t have the kid in front of you, it’s tempting to just plow ahead. But seriously, give the kids time to answer, participate, copy the movement, whatever. Yes, you will feel like Dora the Explorer blinking at the camera in silence. That’s okay!  There’s a reason that developmentally appropriate kids’ shows use this tactic. It encourages a response and it allows kids of all different learning styles to take the information in.
  4. Use repetition to create more space for understanding. While repetition on its own is useful, because it reinforces information, it’s also useful because it allows kids (and parents) more time with the material. For example, when introducing an ASL sign, I always break it down and explain what I am doing as I show it multiple times. Kids may or may not be actually listening to what I am saying in that explanation, based on their learning style, but the time it takes to explain it keeps visual and auditory focus on the sign and allows everyone the time to learn it.
  5. Be explicit about how you want children (and grownups) to participate. Some kids will already be clapping their hands or hooting like owls or whatever, but some will need the storyteller to say it explicitly in the absence of the peer modeling of seeing others do it. And many grownups will need the extra push even more!
  6. Give grownups clear suggestions for how to tie storytime activities to everyday life with their children. This is something we do anyway, but now that many parents are their children’s exclusive language and literacy models, and many of them are overwhelmed, it’s important that we give them solid suggestions that show how easy it is to incorporate literacy into their daily routines.
  7. Learn from the pros!  Children’s TV shows have been incorporating these strategies for a long time. Mr. Rogers is of course the gold standard, but a modern one that I love is the Baltimore-based Danny Joe’s Treehouse, which incorporates a deep knowledge of child development with online engagement techniques.
  8. American Sign Language lends itself well to online storytimes, because it lends a visual and kinetic aspect to storytimes that can still be contained within the camera frame. For lots of resources on incorporating ASL into your storytimes, see my resource page for signing in storytime or the classroom.

(This post has been cross-posted to StoriesByHand.com)