Before storytime even starts I cram in a few pre-literacy, math and science activities.
1. Name Tag Name Recognition:
As the children come into the room, I greet them and then they look for their name tag on a table full of them. Some of the older children march right up to the table, do a quick scan, grab and go. Some of the younger kids are completely overwhelmed, but it's okay! We talk about the shape of their beginning letter and some of the other letters in their names. My favorite part of this exercise is that I get to see the process from when they recognize the first letter of their name to the time when they eventually walk up to the table and grab their name tag in seconds.
2. Graphing with names:
After they find their name tags they sit on the storytime carpet. Here they are asked our question of the day. This week we are doing a snowman type storytime so the question of the day will be: How many balls did you use to make your snowman at home? This is a multiple choice question, and they will choose from 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4+. By the time all of the children have wandered in, we have learned that writing represents words, and we have been asking and answering math and science questions. How many snowballs do you think will have the most names? Do you think everyone will have made a snowman? Do you still have your snowman? What happened to it (it rained so it melted)? We also practice adding (by ones) to get the total for each column. I write the totals down (writing represents information). We discuss concepts such as less and more, the most and least, and next week with snow we get the bonus of liquid and solid since most of their snowmen have probably melted from recent rain.