Feb 19, 2013

Over and Under

Today's vote was: Are you hot or are you cold? Not one of the kids picked hot, (we had a below zero wind chill today) but we had a nice conversation about summer .

The theme for today was opposites. I read Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Vaccaro Seeger then we danced to We Can Do Opposites from Dr. Jean's album Keep on Singing and Dancing with Dr. Jean! This song is great because the last opposite is stand and sit and the song ends on sit- HA! you are all sitting for the next book. We did it twice so that we could really nail the LOUD and soft part.

Our second book was Dot by Patricia Intriago. They were really starting to get the opposites thing and were ready with ideas for the opposite of the first dot. Then I read Up! Tall! and High by Ethan Long because Dot was really short. I think that I thought it was funnier than the kids did. We danced up and down with scarves to My Ups and Downs from Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi on his Toe Leg Knee. 

The last book was Big is Big (and little, little) A Book of Contrasts by J. Patrick Lewis. They really had the concept of opposites by now so the craft transition went wonderfully. The kids all turned around to this:

All I had to say was: "The markers are ON the table, where do you think the paper is?" and some of the kids ran to the table and looked UNDER it... AWESOME!! I love it when their little brains make connections.

The kids thought it was "weird" to be coloring upside down UNDER the table, but they all did it! I even crawled under there with them to write their names on the papers.

Feb 15, 2013


In lieu of Valentine's stories, I pick a theme that is related to, but not Valentine's. This year I chose cooperation. I read Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough and we sang Five Little Ducks with flannel pieces. I read Paul Galdone's version of The Little Red Hen, I handed out egg shakers and we danced and shook our eggs to Laurie Berkner Band's I Know a Chicken. Then I finished up with One Duck Stuck by Phillis Root. They each had a tiny square to water paint that I used to make one big group effort picture. I had printed out a coloring page on poster size paper and chopped it up. When they were done painting their little square they got a plain letter sized card stock to paint their own picture on. I taped the gorilla to one piece of paper so they could see how their cooperative effort worked and they were not very impressed (the grandma was though). The group was super small due to bad roads so I let them paint two or three squares and two of their own originals.

Feb 11, 2013

Love is in the Air

I used our bulletin board to make a gi-normous calendar with this month's programs on it. A few people have remarked how nice it is to have the events laid out, and the after school crew knows what's coming up each Wednesday.  Also, it is nice to have a LARGE handy reference when people ask what day it is!
I love this giant snake, a tribute to the Year of the Snake, with a wide variety of books on display. Fiction and non-fiction books about snakes, China and Chinese New Year. I included them all: picture books, easy readers and chapter books. I used an online coloring page blown up on yellow paper and painted it bright red and orange. My daughter is claiming her for her wall - if I can give her up. Summer Reading Program is rapidly approaching...

Feb 8, 2013

Newbery Marathon Update

  • 1958 Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
    • Civil War story about the battles in the war that took place further west. Acting accidentally as a spy, Jeff befriends people on both sides of the war. I was not aware that the Cherokee were involved in fighting the Civil War. The details of their involvement seemed a little unclear, but I might have been reading too fast.
  • 1999 Holes by Louis Sachar
    • The book followed pretty closely to the movie, but had an even better, more circular ending than the movie. Fast paced and an easy read. The flashbacks might have been confusing, but I'm not sure because I have seen the movie several times and knew where they were headed.
  • 1996 Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
    • Boy was I surprised when I looked up the date for the medal, I was thinking decades earlier. My book has a really crappy, dated looking cover and the story was good, but it did not WOW me like other Newberys did. 
 That's 3 more down for a total of 13.

Feb 5, 2013

I Love Hats!

First we voted: I wore a hat vs. I did not wear a hat (to Storytime) 

First Book: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. This book went over really well. I was sad and surprised that I didn't know what the gray animal with the striped stomach was- armadillo??. The kids had fun guessing what it was anyway along with identifying all of the other woodland creatures (doesn't an armadillo live in the desert?). This was such a great read aloud, next time I will have to use my Big Bear Voice - I didn't start out very theatrical today.

Song & Dance: Pig on Her Head by the Laurie Berkner Band. I have used this before and each kid gets a little printed out, laminated animal. When their animal is "on" they get to stand and put it on their head (if they are not too shy).

Book Two: The Hat by Jan Brett. Using the foreshadowing side of the page, the kids were super interested in what was coming next and could barely contain themselves from shouting out while I was still reading what was on the current page! I ended up covering it up with my hand so I could read the text, and I got the added bonus of a build up to the big reveal for the next page. I also pointed out that something was happening at the top of the page on the clothesline and used that for "what do you think" questions.

Song & Dance: Going along with the hen in The Hat, each kid got an egg shaker and we danced and shook  our eggs to I Know a Chicken by the Laurie Berkner band. This got them nice and ready to sit for our next story.

Book Three: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. I have loved this book since I was a kid. A lot of opportunities for read a loud crowd participation. The hats' colors don't really match the colors listed in the text, but the red matched and they helped me finish with "THE RED CAPS" every time! They also had fun mimicking right along with the monkeys, and they called the monkeys copycats! I have a smart group :)

I had planned on doing Five Little Monkeys in the Tree on flannel board and reading Go Dog, Go!, but we were running out of time and had to jump straight to the craft. Yep, you guessed it we made hats! One and a half paper plates for each kid with some old letter and winter themed foam shapes and a cotton ball and we had our hats.
Why didn't I use the Newbery winner you ask? I did struggle with this one, but thought that I Want My Hat Back offered up more opportunity for crowd participation. And because I liked the red hat :) 
Especially when the bear realizes he has already seen it!

Feb 4, 2013

January Displays (a little late)

I used the books themselves to title this display.
 I wanted something a little playful for the Battle of the Books books and since I didn't have real boxing gloves, I printed boxing glove coloring pages on red paper.
I found a Super Bowl voting bulletin board on Pinterest and thought what a great way to get some stealth numbers. So I put up a Super Bowl vote. It sparked a lot of conversations with the kiddos!

Feb 1, 2013

Newbery Marathon

I have read a lot of picture books in my day, but cannot say the same about children's novels. The other day I was poking around on Goodreads and noticed that there was a group called Newbery Marathon.  I am a bit of a list junkie and was intrigued. Oddly enough I do not enjoy making lists, but I love crossing things off of lists. I have not officially joined the group, but reading all of the Newbery winners is something I can definitely do on my own.

Since the Summer of 2011, when I was taking a children's lit class for my MLIS, I have read (so I'm counting these):
I started this marathon last Monday and have checked three more off the list:
  • 2009 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    • I did not love this book, or even like it. I have read The Monstrumologist and Rotters which to me had a similar feel, but the characters in Graveyard didn't seem very real and the plot seemed random (to me).
  • 2011 Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
    • This book was slow moving, but somehow grabbed me from the beginning. Something about Abeline and her character really struck a chord with me. I loved how all of the elements of the plot came together at the end.
  • 2000 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
    • I liked this book, but still have a melancholy feeling from it. I don't enjoy books where adults are unreasonably mean to kids (even if it is only for one chapter). Happily after the initial abuse he suffers from, Bud experiences kindness from many other people.
I am already almost ten percent of the way finished!