Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top Discovery of the Week

Brought to you by Picture Book Month, a wonderful organization. Check it out!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Preschool Storytime: Ants

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
This week we did an ant storytime and it was so much fun! With warm weather on the rise, it was exciting to talk about picnics in the park and snacks by the swimming pool.

When I was first brainstorming books for this theme, I was sure the selection would be small. Oh, no! It was quite the opposite. There are a ton of great ant books and many of them have a math tie-in, which I love. Any excuse to sneak in some STEM is a big success in my book.

We started by reading/singing the Jeffrey Scherer version of The Ants Go Marching, I was surprised to find that a lot of the kiddos weren't familiar. Once they figured out the repetition, they were all on board. This was my favorite book of the week, I would definitely recommend it!
 The second book we read was the Berenstains' A Book, so much fun! We had a blast brainstorming where those angry ants might be going. It is a perfect book to demonstrate alliteration; a after a after a.
Last but not least, the flannel project that inspired this week's entire storytime... Five Hungry Ants. I first discovered this rhyme through Anne Hicks over at AnnesLibraryLife and it was too cute to pass up:

Five hungry ants, marching in a line,
Came across a picnic and thought they could dine.
They marched into the salad,
They marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper...
Uh, oh! That was a mistake! Ahhh-ahhhh-ahhhhh-choo!

*Throw one of the ants over your shoulder, the kids squeal with glee*
Continue counting down until all the ants are gone.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Preschool Storytime: I Broke My Trunk

The time of year has come when I have to officially decide what storytime themes will make the cut and which ones will have to remain a Pinterest dream until the next school year rolls around. Well, the year just couldn't come to an end until the brilliance that is Mo Willems made an appearance.

As soon as I found Lisa's I Broke My Trunk project at Thrive After Three, I knew I had to try it. I printed Lisa's template for Elephant on white cardstock and then filled him in with colored pencils, laminated him and used tongue depressors to make him into a puppet. For the other puppets, I just printed them on letter-size pink and blue paper. Easy peasy.
I was sure to make a "before" Piggie and an "after" Piggie, if you look closely, you can see a bandaid on the left Piggie's little snout. That was a big hit! If you want to try it, I just took a normal bandaid and cut it down to size, it was perfect and so easy.
Super-Library Assistant-Extrodanaire, Stella sat next to me and while I read the story, she "acted it out" with the puppets. The kids were rolling laughing when they saw Gerald's truck wrapped in gauze. It was so much fun!
When we reached the end of the story, I unveiled his "trunk" and they squealed with delight when I blew on the party favor. I even snuck a little science in as we talked about how the air was inflating the party favor.
I used white cardstock for the kids' Elephants, as well. They colored them, cut them out and then the adults punched a hole for the trunk. I didn't print the Piggies or the animals Gerald balances on his trunk, they wouldn't have had them time to cut all of them out. Maybe next time...
Per Lisa's advice, I purchased the blowout party favors from Oriental Trading because they are essentially noiseless, hurray! (The teachers loved me!) They worked perfect, but did take a bit of time to be shipped, so if you're planning to do this, give yourself a couple weeks.

Just in case you missed it above, here is the template.

This was so much fun, I can't wait to do Mo Willems again. Next time... Don't Let the Pigeon. Oh, the possibilities!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts

This week some of my older kiddos made Mother's Day gifts during library and they are enough to just melt your heart!! I discovered the idea through Pinterest (where else?) where Sandy and her second graders made beautiful "I Love You Because..." cards with their iPads. By the way, if you haven't discovered Soaring Through Second Grade, it's a must, must, must!

Instead of using the iPads, the kids finished their sentences on paper and added a little decorative flare. After taking their pictures and printing them out, I added the photos to the back of their paper for a special little Mother's Day gift.
I did this with kindergarten, first, second and fifth. While they were all great, fifth grade was a bit tough. Some of the work was beautiful and heartfelt, while others begrudgingly wrote things like, "I love you because you didn't put me up for adoption." They're getting to the I'm-almost-in-middle-school-and-I'm-far-too-cool-for-this stage of the year...
These are a few of my favorites...
 You are the highlight of my day. You are so caring. You help me when I'm sick. You are the best. I love you, Mommy.
 You make my day better, thank you for the football. 
 You are so loving to me, you help me when I have a problem, when I cry you cheer me up, you help me with my homework.
You are the most special person to me. You pick me up from school. I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

P.S. - I love that I work in a school where things like this are not only possible during library time, but encouraged and supported. Sigh.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Preschool Storytime: Go Away, Big Green Monster

Who doesn't love adorably cute but supposedly scary monsters? This girl sure does! And the classic Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley does not disappoint. If you're not familiar, well... You should be. You might remember me talking about Ed Emberley in my Choo! Choo! storytime post, he is the guru of fingerprint art and he inspired our thumbprint trains. Check out some of his other (incredibly cool) books.

 I read the original version of the story while using a felt manipulative I created. All of the pieces are removable so as the monster is appearing and disappearing, the little felt monster can follow along.
Next, we read Nighty Night, Little Green Monster, how cute is he!!! The kids love the contrast between the scary monster and the cute baby monster.
For our project, I was so in love with Ms. Jessi's "squash painting" monsters, that I knew I had to try and re-create them. We used white card stock and then squeezed a small amount of each color on one side, "squashed" it closed, "smooshed" it around and when we opened it back up, we had monsters! I ended up adding the eyes, nose, mouth and teeth with construction paper after they dried. I would have loved to have the kids do this, but there just simply wasn't enough time.
These are a few of my favorites... check out the chins on those guys!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Time for a Book Fair Fiesta!

It's that time of year again! Time for our semi-annual Scholastic Book Fair! I'm embarking on my first online book fair adventure, where families can order items online and then have the books shipped directly to the school for no charge. How convenient! I can still remember going to book fairs as a kid and they bring back such fond memories, it's great to be in the position to create those memories for other young readers. Let the literary (and assorted chotchkie) fun begin!

Check our weekly email newsletter for specific details on dates, time and place


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pizza! Pizza! Storytime!

Don't ask me why, but I have been craving doing a pizza storytime for soooo long! Almost as much as I've been craving a hot, cheesy, garlicy pizza. Sigh. Maybe I was hoping to vicariously fulfill my longing for a delicious treat through storytime. Ahh, nonetheless... Pizza storytime was a yummy success!

 I started by reading William Steig's classic, Pete's a Pizza. The kids love, love, loved it! And we had fun talking about what other things you could find around the house to use for pretend toppings. From there, we moved straight into Curious George and the Pizza Party, George is always a bit hit and they loved all of his crazy shenanigans. Last, we read Pizza At Sally's by Monica Wellington. With all the farmer's markets opening for the season, it was fun to read about where the ingredients for pizza might actually come from.

And now, on to the main event... I fell in love with Ms. Tara's Pizza the Size of the Sun activity and I was inspired to make my own gigantic, interactive pizza.
 I went on a thrift store scavenger hunt to find all of my ingredients, so this is one of the cheapest pizzas I'll ever make:
Crust: Old curtain ($2.00)
Sauce: Leftover fabric (Free)
Mozzarella Cheese: Knit blanket with tassels ($1.00)
Pineapple: Felt (33¢)
Green Peppers: Felt (33¢)
Black Olives: Felt (33¢)
Cherry Tomatoes: Felt (33¢)
Onions: Felt (33¢)
Mushrooms: Felt (33¢)
Grand Total: $5.00
*Being a school that observes Kosher, I was careful not to use any pepperoni and cut my cherry tomatoes in half, so as not to run into any confusion.
We even got Papo Jack and Morah Stella to join in the fun!
Mmm! It smelled delicious!

We ended by singing P-I-Z-Z-A (to the tune of B-I-N-G-O), I found this specific version through Lisa at Storytime Source Page:

I know a food that starts with P
And pizza is its name-o
P-I-Z-Z-A, P-I-Z-Z-A, P-I-Z-Z-A
And pizza is its name-o

Simply Yours Designs: Cute Blog Designs