Thursday, April 24, 2014

Flannel Friday--Up, Down, and Around!

Confession: I get a LOT of my storytime ideas from other people buy this one ks all mine! As a librarian just a few months into my second year on the job, these are the things that excite me. That and when baked goods appear on the break room table.

Cupcakes aside, here's the down-low on my awesome story extension:

As part of my garden storytime, I decided to read Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers. This seems to be a pretty popular choice, and for good reason. The book is informational, repetitive, and rhythmic, so awesome for storytime. In order to extend the fun, I made a flannel board activity so we could "act out" the story. 

First, I created cards to show the directions: up, down and around. I thought about creating them in Publisher, but decided to be all retro and just use a marker on notecards. 

Next, I used clipart and Google images to find photos of all the veggies in the book. I figured real photos would be better than any cartoony felt veggies I could create. Also, there were 12 veggies and that's a lot of pieces to make in felt. 
3 of 12 veggies
Then, I wrote the direction the veggie grows on the back of the card so I wouldn't have to think critically in the middle of the game. And, I laminated each card and stuck velcro on the back.

With the kids, I showed them the directional cards first. Then I pulled out one veggie at a time and we did the correlating action: jumping for up, crouching for down, and twirling for around. We took our time on each veggie so that everyone could catch up, which, I've found is important for 2-year-olds. 

So that's it! Check out this week's Flannel Friday Roundup at Thrive After Three:

Garden Storytime--Toddlers

A few weeks ago, when a "warm" day consisted of a high of 45 degrees, I decided that it was spring, dangit, and we were going to have a garden storytime. Ignoring the fact that the weather guy was calling for snow later that week, I trolled the blogosphere and Pinterest and found some awesome books about growing and gardens. What follows is the resulting storytime plan.

Welcome everyone to storytime and share guidelines

Shake Your Sillies Out (Johnny Only version)

Calm Down Rhyme: Wiggle My Fingers 
I wiggle my fingers,
I wiggle my toes,
I wiggle my shoulders,
I wiggle my nose.
Now no more wiggles
Are left in me
And I will be
As still as can be.

Book: Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers

Game: Act out Up, Down and Around
Put up a photo of a veggie on the flannel board. We jump up, bend down or spin around based on how it grows!
Green beans-AROUND

First I introduced the cards, making
sure to point to each word as I said it.

I had a stash of 12 veggies
and pulled them out one at a time
and placed them under the
correlating word before we
did the associated movement.

Song: Sleeping Bunnies (with ukulele, a la Miss Mary Liberry)

Calm Down Rhyme: Wiggle My Fingers

Felt Story: The Carrot (my version is based on this version from My Storytime Life)

Felt Rhyme: Little Seed in the Ground (I couldn't find the original, but it's all over the internet)
Little seed in the ground (crouch down on the floor)
Sitting so still (stay crouching)
Little seed, will you sprout?
Yes, I will! (jump up!)
(I think we did this a few times.)

Song: Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

This was a really fun storytime! I felt like our movement activities were really great extensions of the stories, especially the Up, Down and Around activity. The kids were really paying attention, trying to figure out what to do next. I didn't use all 12 veggies, but I probably could have, they were so engaged. I was expecting them to get bored after 5 or 6 so that's about how many I did. But, I should have given these little guys more credit : ) The Carrot is always an awesome time because we all pull and puuulll and puuuullllll every time we add a new animal until we finally pull the carrot out. Little Seed was a simple/slow enough rhyme that pretty much everybody was with me (this usually doesn't happen with this group). Overall, it was a pretty awesome morning!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I'm Here!

Hello everyone : )
After about a year of trying to decide if I should actually start a blog, I'm finally doing it! I've been so inspired by the contributors over at Flannel Friday who use their blogs to save and share storytiming ideas.  I REALLY appreciate that if I need some inspiration, I can just pop over to the Pinterest boards and browse. But, what finally gave me enough confidence to get this thing running, was meeting with some youth librarian bloggers at PLA. I went to a Storytime Underground lunch meetup and happened to sit between Lisa of Libraryland and Miss Sue of Library Village. I mentioned that I'd thought about blogging, but felt like I wouldn't be adding much to the youth librarian blogosphere, since it's so full of awesome people already. But, Lisa and Miss Sue were super encouraging and told me to go for it. So, a few weeks later, here I am! I'm hoping this blog will be a way for me to grow my PLN, and will also allow me to think more intentionally about planning and evaluating my programs. I'll be focusing mostly on storytimes, but I'll probably post about other special family programs that I plan, as well.

I'll give you a little bit of background if you're interested:
I'm almost a year and a half into my first full-time librarian job at a regional branch of a large library system in Indiana. I work with two other children's librarians to provide library services to kids 0-11 and their families. One of my favorite parts of the job is storytime! Right now I facilitate storytimes for toddlers (walking-3) and preschoolers (3-5). But, sometimes I might have a random baby storytime, so you might hear about that every once in a while. Our programs for kids under 5 are pretty popular, so we usually have between 25 and 30 for toddler storytime and 10-20 for preschool storytime. They are drop-in programs, so we never really know how many will show up, but this set up works well for our patrons. 

Where else to find me:
Twitter: @loventhelibrary
Pinterest: hlwheeler

Note on the blog name:
It evolved from my Twitter handle, which was inspired by my maiden name (Love) and this awesome Jimmy Buffet song...

Oh, and obviously, everything I say here is my opinion (not my library's) and my intellectual property unless otherwise stated. Thanks!