Category Archives: Uncategorized

This Saturday at ALA Midwinter

MacMillan_cover_1p.inddAttending the American Library Association Midwinter Conference this weekend?  Stop by the ALA Store on Saturday, January 9 at 1:30 PM, where Kathy MacMillan will be signing her storytime resource books.  Make sure to pick up a copy of Kathy and Christine’s newest entry in the Storytime Magic series, More Storytime Magic!

 

Saturday evening from 5-7 PM, come help celebrate the upcoming release of Kathy’s debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse (HarperTeen, January 19, 2016)!  Join Kathy and 25 other debut young adult and middle grade novelists for an evening of treats, book talk, and Sword And Verse_cover revealprizes at the Midwinter Debut Author Party!  (Registration required; click on the link for details.)

 

 

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A Signing Beanbag Rhyme for National Hamburger Month

It’s National Hamburger Month!  Here’s a fun storytime rhyme using beanbags to help you celebrate!  As a bonus, when you are moving the hamburger from hand to hand in the first part of the rhyme, you are also signing HAMBURGER in American Sign Language.  Click here to see a video of the sign.

(Hold bean bag in right hand.  Hold left hand facing up.  Turn right hand over to deposit bean bag into left palm.  Then turn both hands and repeat it the other way, as if you are shaping a hamburger patty.  Repeat this rhythmically through the first verse.)

I’m making a hamburger for the grill.

Will I eat it?  Yes I will!

(Place bean bag on flat left palm.  Use your right hand as a spatula to lift the beanbag and flip it over.  Then switch hands.  Repeat this motion throughout verse 2.)

I’m flipping my hamburger on the grill.

Will I eat it?  Yes I will!

(Hold bean bag in left palm.  Pretend to squirt on ketchup, mustard, etc. with other hand.)

Now I’m fixing my hamburger from the grill.

Will I eat it?  Yes I will!

(Place bean bag in left hand.  Raise hand toward mouth, then down to right hand.  Switch the bean bag to the right hand and repeat.)

Now I’m eating my hamburger.  This is fun!

Did I eat it?  Yes, all done!

(If desired, sign ALL DONE at the end.  Click here for a video of the sign.)

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

 

Thanksgiving Fun

Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and to express our thanks to our followers!

In order to celebrate the season, we suggest reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Alison Jackson.  New York, Dutton Children’s Books, 1997.  This wonderful circle story with rhyming text describes how the old lady devours the Thanksgiving feast and grows larger and larger until the unexpected happens!  After reading the story, try some of the following activities with your group.

Reinforce math skills with a Pie Chart.

1.  On a piece of large paper or poster board, create a simple chart with three pies listed across the top; apple, pumpkin, and chocolate.

2.  Give each child in the group a sticker and have them place the sticker in the column with their favorite pie.

3.  Touch and count the number of stickers in each column aloud with the group.  Write the total at the bottom of the column.

4.  After all the columns are counted, ask the group which was the favorite pie.  Review the number of stickers in each column with the children.

Reinforce early literacy skills by retelling the story.  Cut food pictures out of magazines or find clip art online and distribute the food pictures to the children.  As you retell the story have each child bring up their food item.

Reinforce early literacy skills by creating extensions.  Ask the children what they will have for dinner at their Thanksgiving feast.  Do they have a favorite item that they would want to keep eating?

i-know-an-old-lady-who-swallowed-a-pie

Betsy Diamant-Cohen reviews Little Hands & Big Hands

Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator of Mother Goose on the Loose, recipient of the 2013 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, and author of many terrific resource books for librarians and early childhood educators, recently shared her review of Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together:

Little Hands and Big Hands cover“This is an extraordinary book that has just been published by Huron Street Press, administered through ALA Editions. Author and ASL educator, Kathy MacMillan, has brilliantly combined the world of ASL with early literacy activities and presented them in a format that is easy for librarians to use. Written in understandable language, this book explains why ASL should be used over made-up signs, gives verbal and pictorial demonstrations of rhymes and letters, and describes why signing is beneficial for all children and not just those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Simple songs (many coined by MacMillan) accompanied by photographs of her son signing, describe children’s everyday activities with a sense of humor, such as “The Stinky Diaper Song.” Creative activities that foster parent/child bonding through ASL include “ASL Kisses” and inventive “Elephant Kisses.” An appendix at the end contains craft templates although many activities are replicable at home and can be created with everyday materials.

The words to be signed in each rhyme or activity are written in ALL CAPS. A photo of either MacMillan or her son visually explains how to create the sign. The black and white photos are not cluttered, they’re pleasant to look at, and direction markings have been added when needed. Though some ASL resources are difficult to interpret, this one includes self-explanatory photographs that are easy to mimic.

MacMillan’s descriptions of everyday life with baby are sometimes supplemented with vignettes about her own son.  It is clear that MacMillan knows what she is talking about! ASL solutions are available for the child who takes a long time getting dressed, who doesn’t want to go to sleep, and who is not thrilled about taking a bath. Explanations and research support is seamlessly woven into each activity; their wording can be directly used as developmental tips in any library program with parents.

I am always looking for new rhymes and activities to add to my Mother Goose on the Loose program, and this book has provided me with many!  I highly recommend this resource to anyone working with children from birth to age five.”

 

Making Multicultural Storytime Magic

Multicultural Storytime Magic coverJust came across two new reviews of our latest book, Multicultural Storytime Magic:

Carolyn Bourke of Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services says:  “Multicultural Storytime Magic does provide a very good range of themes with an excellent selection of age appropriate stories, songs and crafts with a multicultural flavour. The book really does offer 44 storytime themes which weave diversity into every topic. It would be a useful addition to the storytelling toolkits of school and public librarians.”  Read the full review.

Blair Christolon of School Library Journal says: “Both beginning storytellers and seasoned librarians can benefit from these fresh ideas.” Read the full review.

Have you been making multicultural magic in your storytimes using this book?  Share how you have used ideas from the book in your storytime or classroom, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of one of our books.  (Winner’s choice!)  Send a picture of how you used materials from the book and we’ll enter you twice!  To enter, send your comments and pictures to storytimestuff@gmail.com.

Purchase Multicultural Storytime Magic.

Upcoming Webinar: Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library

EditionsWorkshop200x3002-part online workshop through ALA Editions

Presented by Kathy MacMillan

Price: $75 (group rates available)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 2:30pm – 4:00pm Eastern: Session 1

Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 2:30pm – 4:00pm Eastern: Session 2

Sign up now!

 

MacMillan, librarian and certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, will guide you in making your library a welcoming place for deaf people. You will gain an understanding of Deaf culture, learn several useful library-related signs, and be ready to work confidently with interpreters for your programs. An experienced and sought-after trainer, MacMillan’s programs are praised for their practical focus on common library interactions. Links to video demonstrations and handouts for library-related signs will be made accessible to participants to encourage practice and implementation after the workshop.

Topics covered in this two-part workshop:

  • An overview of the different ways deaf people communicate
  • Understanding and meeting your library’s legal obligation to serve the deaf
  • Strategies for communicating with a deaf or hard-of-hearing person in the library
  • Tips for finding, hiring, and working with interpreters

To learn more or to register, click here.