Friday, December 23, 2016

Miss Carol's Favorite Book Finds of 2016 - Non-fiction Children's Books

Every year I spend the last few weeks of the year compiling my favorite book finds of the year.  They are not always new books.  Just books I discovered for the first time and really, really liked.

CHILDREN'S NON-FICTION BOOK DISCOVERIES FOR 2016:

  

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel.

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome
A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Place Value by David A. Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller
The mathematical concept of place value is explained using a place value chart, descriptions of how money is notated, and humorous examples from a recipe that a group of monkeys is using to make a gigantic banana muffin.

Also take a look at:

Miss Carol's Best Book Finds of 2016 -- Picture Books

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Miss Carol's Favorite Book Finds of 2016 -- Middle Grade Books

Every year I spend the last few weeks of the year compiling my favorite book finds of the year.  They are not always new books.  Just books I discovered for the first time and really, really liked.

MIDDLE GRADE CHAPTER BOOK DISCOVERIES FOR 2016:

 

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. book 1) by Jonathan Stroud
Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London.

Also take a look at:

Miss Carol's Best Book Finds of 2016 -- Picture Books

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Miss Carol's Best Book Finds of 2016 -- Picture Books

Every year I spend the last few weeks of the year compiling my favorite book finds of the year.  They are not always new books.  Just books I discovered for the first time and really, really liked.

PICTURE BOOK DISCOVERIES FOR 2016:



 Don’t Touch This Book! by Bill Cotter
A reluctant monster allows the reader to play with his book.

Green Lizards Vs. Red Rectangles by Steve Antony
The green lizards and red rectangles are always at war, until enough of them question why they are fighting.

 

Rudy’s Windy Christmas by Helen Baugh and Ben Mantle
Santa's lead reindeer has a major attack of flatulence on Christmas Eve.


What to Do with a Box by Jane Yolen and Chris Sheban
Jane Yolen poetically reminds young readers that a simple box can be a child's most imaginative plaything as artist Chris Sheban illustrates its myriad and magical uses.

Also take a look at:

Miss Carol's Favorite Book Finds of 2016 -- Middle Grade Books

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Letter of the Day

I love being a mentor.  I have been an ALSC mentor for the past several years.  Last spring I was privileged with the opportunity to mentor two UW interns as they gained children's librarianship experience at my library.  What I love most about being a mentor is learning from my mentees.  Working at a stand alone library means that I get few chances to just talk about professional matters with others in my profession.  The mentoring I do, gives me these chances with people from different backgrounds who are new to the profession.  Sometimes I am stuck in a rut, and I need somebody to show me another way to do things.  Sometimes I become complacent with my experience, and I need somebody outside my organization to ask me why I do things the way I do.  Sometimes I get wonderful ideas.  At some point or another, all of my mentees have made me think and learn something new.  It is wonderful!


It was one of my mentees who got me thinking about a new feature to my weekly storytimes.  The "letter of the day" idea is not new.  I have seen it used at other storytimes, including at storytimes where I took my sons.  But it is new to my storytimes.

After observing one of my storytimes, a mentee asked how I bring alphabetic knowledge and writing concepts to my storytime.  He had not seen any at this particular storytime.  (See Nigel, I was listening!)  After admitting this was a weakness on my part, I got to thinking.  Why don't I have these elements in my storytimes?  I know from research and webinars that these are important.  How can I introduce these concepts into my already full storytime plan in a way that is appropriate for my toddler (ages 1-3 years old) crowd?

I considered these questions for several months.  Finally I tried out the "letter of the day" idea.  (Watching Sesame Street with my youngest son might have been a huge inspiration.)



For each storytime I print out one letter to focus on.  I tape this letter to the table I put my materials on so that my audience can see it throughout the storytime.  At some point in my storytime I stop and grab the letter.  I name the letter.  I say what word from our storytime theme starts with the letter.  I then point out the shapes that make up the letter (straight line, curved line, half circle, circle, etc.).  Next, I show the children how to make the letter in the air and then we all do it together.

In all it takes about 1.5 minutes to do this.  After some experimenting, I found doing it between my flannelboard and second book acts as a nice transition.  I am now talking about different letters of the alphabet in my storytimes while introducing the idea that we all can write these letters.

I am happy with my new storytime addition.  The other morning before storytime started I overheard a mom pointing out the letter of the day to her son.  She quietly talked with her son about other words that start with that particular letter.

I am glad this old dog learned a new trick.  I am also thankful to my mentee for inspiring me to think beyond my comfort place.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Smile for the Camera Storytime

Storytime for 1 to 3 year olds:
  • Opening - Skinnamarink, Sticky Sticky Bubblegum


  • Book #1 – Smile, Maisy! by Lucy Cousins (board book, larger size)


  • Bridge - Open, Shut Them (fingerplay)
Open, shut them
(open and close hands)
Open, shut them
Give a little clap (clap)
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap
(put hands in lap)

Creep them, creep them
Under your chin
(creep fingers up chest)
Open your mouth, but don't put them in
(do as words say)

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open shut them
Open shut them
Put them in your lap 

  • Large Group Activity - Use Ipad to film class singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" then project the video onto the large screen.

  • Letter of the Day - "C" is for camera



  • Activity – Can You Growl Like a Tiger? (action rhyme I found many years ago)
Can growl like a tiger?
Can  you hop like a frog?
Can you climb like a monkey?
Can you bark like a dog?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you fly like a bat?
Can you howl like a wolf?
Can you stretch like a cat?
Can you sit like a kid at storytime?

      
  • Art Experience – Use bingo-paint dabbers to decorate card stock picture frames

Monday, November 21, 2016

Apples Storytime

Storytime for 1 to 3 year olds:
  • Opening - Skinnamarink, Sticky Sticky Bubblegum



  • Stand-up Activity – "I'm a Little Teapot" from This Little Piggy by Adam Stemple, Jane Yolen, et al. 

  • Bridge - Open, Shut Them (fingerplay)
Open, shut them
(open and close hands)
Open, shut them
Give a little clap (clap)
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap
(put hands in lap)

Creep them, creep them
Under your chin
(creep fingers up chest)
Open your mouth, but don't put them in
(do as words say)

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open shut them
Open shut them
Put them in your lap 



  • Letter of the Day - "A" is for apple



  • Activity – Great Big Apple Tree (action song to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?" written by Carol Hopkins)
Great big apple tree
Great big apple tree
Standing tall
Standing tall
Moving your branches
When the wind blows
Then the apples fall
Down to the ground

     
 

  • Art Experience – Paint apple drawings

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bridges Are for Crossing Storytime

Storytime for 1 to 3 year olds:
  • Opening - Skinnamarink, Sticky Sticky Bubblegum


  • Book #1 – Cross a Bridge by Ryan Ann Hunter, illustrated by Edward Miller

  • Stand-up Activity – "London Bridge Is Falling Down" from Playtime Favorites by Music for Little People

  • Bridge - Open, Shut Them (fingerplay)
Open, shut them
(open and close hands)
Open, shut them
Give a little clap (clap)
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap
(put hands in lap)

Creep them, creep them
Under your chin
(creep fingers up chest)
Open your mouth, but don't put them in
(do as words say)

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open shut them
Open shut them
Put them in your lap 


  • Group Activity - Count the Cars on the Bridge Before It Falls (counting activity)
Directions: Make a simple bridge with a long strip of cardboard over two plastic cups. Be sure to name the parts of the bridge. Add small toy cars one at the time to the deck of the bridge, counting as you place the cars on the bridge. (I had to place the cars upside down so they would not roll off the bridge.) When the bridge falls down due to weight, add another cup under the deck of the bridge and start again.

  • Letter of the Day - "B" is for bridge



  • Activity – Chugging Down the Track (action chant written by Carol Hopkins)
Here is the choo-chootrainchugging down the track.
See it going forward,
See it going back.
Now it's going fast,
Faster, faster, faster!
Chugging over hills.
Chugging through tunnels.
Chugging over trestle bridges.
Speeding past people.
Now the bell is ringing.
Hear the whistle blow, "Toot! Toot!"
As it slows down perfectly to a stop in the station below. 

    
 

  • Art Experience – Glue craft sticks to a paper bowl and paper plate bridge to make a wooden bridge (I found the directions for this idea at eHow)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Chickens Storytime

Storytime for 1 to 3 year olds:
  • Opening - Skinnamarink, Sticky Sticky Bubblegum



  • Stand-up Activity – Little Chick, Little Chick (action rhyme adapted by Carol Hopkins from the "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around" jump rope rhyme)
(Suite actions to words.)
Little chick, little chick turn around.
Little chick, little chick scratch the ground.
Little chick, little chick strut on your toes.
Little chick, little chick touch your nose.
Little chick, little chick reach up high.
Little chick, little chick flap to the sky.
Little chick, little chick wiggle your feet.
Little chick, little chick find your nest seat.

  • Bridge - Open, Shut Them (fingerplay)
Open, shut them
(open and close hands)
Open, shut them
Give a little clap (clap)
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap
(put hands in lap)

Creep them, creep them
Under your chin
(creep fingers up chest)
Open your mouth, but don't put them in
(do as words say)

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open shut them
Open shut them
Put them in your lap 


  • Flannelboard - Hens of a Different Color (color rhyme I picked up somewhere many years ago)

  • Letter of the Day - "C" is for chickens


  • Book #2 – Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield and Ant Parker (pop-up)

  • Activity – Two Little Chickens Sitting on a Fence (fingerplay adapted from the rhyme "Two Little Blackbirds")
Two little chickens sitting on a fence.
One named Jack, the other named Jill.
Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill.
Come back Jack. Come back Jill.
Two little chickens sitting on a fence.

    
 

  • Art Experience – Coloring sheet with crayons