Author Archive: Storytime Stuff

Recommended Resource: Including Families of Children with Special Needs

banks300Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Revised by Carrie Scott Banks from the original by Sandra Feinberg, Barbara Jordan, Kathleen Deerr, and Michelle Langa.  Chicago, IL: Neal-Schuman, 2014.

The original 1999 edition of this book was a powerful resource for creating inclusive public library services; with the explosion of technologies and the intense changes in our society’s discussion of disability since that time, purchasing the updated edition is a no-brainer for any public librarian.  For those new to the idea of creating truly inclusive spaces, or those already doing it who want more resources, this is a comprehensive handbook that addresses the basics and beyond.

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Start to Finish Story Time Lesson Plans from Dawn Babb Prochovnic

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the "Story Time with Signs and Rhymes" series.

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” series.

Last week, Kathy’s “Stories By Hand” blog featured an interview with Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” series.  Click here for the interview.

We were so excited to learn that Dawn has a great series of “Start to Finish Story Time” posts on her blog.  Each of these lesson plans centers around one of her books, and includes suggested songs, rhymes, signing games, and reading activities to use with kids, all in a modular format that allows educators and librarians to select the materials that work best for their groups.

As Dawn says, “Each lesson plan incorporates ideas that are suitable for infant/toddler, preschool and/or school age audiences, and each program incorporates activities that promote literacy/early literacy and one or more of the six keys skills recommended by the National Research Council for preparing children to become readers when they enter school. Programs can last from 20 – 45 minutes, depending on what you include and who your audience is.”

There are 4 available so far, with the promise of more to come:
A to Z, Sign with Me

Opposites

See the Colors

Wear a Silly Hat (clothing)

You may also want to bookmark this Summary Post, where Dawn will link to future installments.

op hat colors a to

Bookmark This Site: Storytime Underground

If we may quote a little Labyrinth-era David Bowie:

“Down in the underground (oh oh oh oh oh)
You’ll find someone true (down underground)
Down in the underground (oh oh oh oh oh)
A land serene (oh oh oh oh)
A crystal moon, ah, ah…”

OK, so maybe it wasn’t quite that transcendent an experience when we discovered the Storytime Underground website, but it sure made us run to the keyboard and type up this post to tell our readers about it!  The group’s passion comes across in its “Meet the Corps” page, which is less “about us” and more manifesto:

“This work is often underappreciated or disparaged by our fellow library professionals, but we at Storytime Underground know the truth: if you are out in the storytime trenches you are changing–and sometimes saving–lives with every fingerplay and feltboard. This is not an exaggeration. Literacy is not a luxury. To survive and thrive, a democracy needs a literate populace and we, the army of Children’s Librarians, are the front lines in the battle to deliver literacy to everyone…At the Storytime Underground our mission is threefold: We support each other, We promote each other, and We train each other.” Click here to read more.

A short list of things you’ll want to check out on the site:

  • Storytime University, where you can enroll for participatory, collaborative professional development.  (If you’d rather be referred to as a “badass ninja” than a “workshop participant”, this is professional development made for you.)
  • A great list of links, blogs, and other online resources, about programming for various age groups.
  • “Ask a Storytime Ninja”, a regular advice column where you can get real answers to your questions about literacy, storytime best practices, group management, and more.
  • Guerilla Storytime, the radical, participant-focused in-person trainings conducted by the ninjas (with ideas shared on their blog).
  • Advocacy Resources including links to research, sound bites, and stories from real library users.

But don’t take our word for it!  Go check out the site and soak up all the great ideas!

Getting Started with Baby Storytimes

We love this round-up of great resources for Baby Storytimes over at jbrary.com – and not just because our latest book, Baby Storytime Magic, is first on their recommended booklist.  (Though that does prove their impeccable taste!) Whether you are new to storytimes for babies or looking for ideas to expand you repertoire, you’ll want to bookmark this great post:
http://jbrary.com/babytime-beginners-guide/

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.

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.

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