Friday, August 30, 2013

#FlannelFriday: This Little Pig/Five Little Pigs

I know I already have a set of pigs, but I made another to fit on my small flannel board. I used a clipart image from Microsoft Office as a pattern. Details are puff paint. You could use this set with the traditional nursery rhyme "This Little Piggy" or the plethora of 5 little pig rhymes available online.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Teen Hobbit Party

With The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien being turned into three movies and the CSLP theme of "Beneath the Surface" for the 2013 teen summer reading program, I knew I had to have a Hobbit Party this summer. I found a lot great inspiration from my fellow librarians. Most notable are Travis Ann Sherman's Hobbit Party page and Sarah's (GreenBeanTeenQueen) post about her World Hobbit Day Birthday Party.

Upon arriving, party guests were invited to choose a Hobbit name. I used The Hobbit Name Generator to create 20 female Hobbit names and 20 male Hobbit names. I typed these up, printed them on pink and blue paper, cut them, and folded them up. Guests wrote their Hobbit names on name tags.
Then it was time for some refreshments. As you know, Hobbits love to eat so we had quite a spread. The menu was cheese cubes, pretzel sticks, pickles, sausage balls, brownies, jam sandwiches, strawberries, grapes, E.L. Fudge cookies (to represent the Council of Elrond), Life Savers, M&M's, root beer, ginger ale, and green tea. Interestingly, the teens didn't like the sausage balls. What's not to like about bread, cheese, and sausage.


After eating, we all wrote our names in Elvish. Then we had a hula hooping contest.

The next game as a Make a Hobbit Relay. I modified the Gnome Game on page 84 of the CSLP Dig Into Reading Children's manual and used the template on page 101. Basically, the teens had to run to the other end of the room, grab a gnome piece (hat, eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth/moustache, beard, belt, and boots). They then run back to the table where the color the piece and glue it on a piece of construction. Only then can the next member of their team fetch another piece.

After the Make a Hobbit Relay, the teens went on a Hobbit Hunt out in the library. I printed out 12 pictures of Bilbo Baggins, 12 pictures of Frodo Baggins, and 2 pictures of Bag End. A library aide hid these around the library. She hid them a little too well because only 10 Hobbits and 1 Bag End was recovered.

To end the event, they played Ring, Ring, Who's Got the Ring? and I asked them a few riddles.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Summer Reading Program Wrap-Up

In 10 weeks this summer, I held 175 events with a total attendance of 3,565.

Here's a breakdown of my summer:
  • 49 community preschool storytimes
  • 39 community school age events
  • 3 teen events (Mad Hatter Tea Party, Movie Night, Hobbit Party)
  • 4 Peter Rabbit Parties
  • 3 Alice in Wonderland Events
  • 2 shows by a paid performer
  • 15 movies
  • 9 day camp preschool storytimes
  • 51 day camp school age events

It was a very busy summer to be sure. Let's talk statistics. Community event attendance increased by 101% from 2012. Registration for the reading contest increased while completion decreased.  Special children's events had mixed attendance.

I have a few changes in mind for next year. We'll go back to counting books and kids can sign up for the contest throughout the summer. No special events next summer. I think the Alice event this year would have done much better as a weekly theme. Next year the program will be 9 weeks long--8 weeks of programs with the 9th week for certificates, goodie bags, and grand prize drawing.

Friday, August 16, 2013

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Cupcakes

These cupcakes are crocheted with magnets attached to the back. I use them on my small magnet board. I used this pattern to make them. I originally made these for a Valentine story time. You could also use them for a birthday or food themed story time. Perry Public Library's Birthday theme has a counting down cupcake rhyme. Here are a couple of rhymes I wrote for the cupcakes that deal with colors and vocabulary.

This Little Cupcake
This little cupcake is delicious
This little cupcake is scrumptious
This little cupcake is yummy
This little cupcake is tasty
This little cupcake is the BEST!
[Bridget R. Wilson]

This Little Cupcake
This little cupcake tastes like strawberries (pink)
This little cupcake tastes like blueberries (blue)
This little cupcake tastes like blackberries (purple)
This little cupcake tastes like gooseberries (green)
This little cupcake tastes like cherries (red)
[Bridget R. Wilson]

Friday, August 9, 2013

My Story Time Planning Process

Anne Clark over at So Tomorrow recently blogged about her story time planning process. That post inspired me to write my own.

First a little about me. I'm a relatively new youth services librarian. I received my master's degree in 2009 and I've been working in the field almost 3 years. I presented my first story times when I was 13 and 14 although I didn't realize it at the time. I paired a book with a craft for the kindergarten art class at my school. Fast forward a few years and I'm doing story time for the campus at the college where I received my undergraduate degree. A few years later I present my first story time as a real librarian.

Here's a link to one of the story times I planned as an undergraduate. Here's a link to one of the first story times I presented as a librarian. Here's a link to the very first story time I presented in my current position. Finally, here's a link to one of my most recent story times. I don't know if you'll take the time to click through and look at these, but they show the evolution of my story times.

When I was in graduate school, I took a classes on children's literature, young adult literature, and a programming class that combined both ages. While I gained useful knowledge from these classes, they didn't teach me everything I needed to know especially about story time. So I took myself to story time school mainly using Crash Course in Storytime Fundamentals by Penny Peck. From reading that book, I developed a planning sheet and decided on a definitive opening and closing for my story times.

I am a solo librarian. I'm the whole of the youth services department in our system. I present story times at our four branch libraries. I do story time for most of the year with very few breaks. In the summer, I select the themes for the fall story times (end of August-mid December) and I select the spring story time themes (January-May) in December. I pick my summer reading story time themes anytime between January and March. I give out schedules to parents and caregivers that list the season's themes.

After I select the themes, I search the online catalog to see what books we have. I might look at 10-15 and pick 3-5 of those for any given story time. Once I have selected the books, I add in flannel boards, fingerplays, movement rhymes, and the like. It's at this time I look back at what I've used before for a theme, search Melissa Depper's Storytime Resources, search the web, look at the tagged posts in my feedly account, and look at my GoodReads account. I've recently started putting all the picture books I've read and used for story time into my GoodReads account on thematic shelves.

I normally present the same story time 6-7 times. By the last presentation, I have usually changed several things. I type up my story time plans and print out a copy. I make the changes in long hand on that sheet.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Reading Week 10

This week I had 9 community events with a total attendance of 137. I presented the kids who completed the reading contest with certificates and goodie bags. We also had the grand prize drawing.

I'm still getting my office sorted out and trying to make sense of the statistics. The only thing I have left is the teen Hobbit Party next week. And I'm already thinking ahead to next year and what I'll change and what I'll leave alone. I'll probably post one more time about this year's summer reading program and discuss stats and what I'm thinking for next year.

Thanks for keeping up with me this summer.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alice in Wonderland Event

I planned this event for ages 7-12 as part of our Dig Into Reading Summer Reading Program. I thought Wonderland fit the theme as it's "down the rabbit hole."

I found inspiration from many places for this event. They include  Abby the Librarian’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Amy’s Mad Hatter Tea Party Plan, Post from PUBYAC, my own Mad Hatter Tea Party from last year, "March Hare" chapter from Lithgow Party Paloozas!, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland party plan from Storybook Parties by Penny Warner & Liya Lev Oertel.

The event lasted about one and a half hours.

The tea party was first. I served cookies, cheese crackers, lemonade, and green tea. As they were eating, I read some poetry from the original Alice books.

After eating we moved on to the craft portion. We made two crafts: Mad Hatter Hats and Mome Raths. The idea for the Mad Hatter hats came from a post on the now defunct Imaginary Librarian blog. The Mome Raths came from here and I used the adaptations that Amy suggested.

After the crafts, it was time for some games. First, we had a Caucus Race. I played the song from the Disney Animated film and the kids raced around the room. Then we had a dormouse hunt. I had a stuffed mouse hidden under one of twenty four cups. After that we did a card toss. The kids tried to toss playing cards into a straw hat. We also played ninepins or lawn bowling which was as close to croquet as I could come.

I held three of these events during July with a total attendance of 19. Of that number, 11 were children. After the low attendance, I wish I had just used the event as one of my weekly themes.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Reading Week 9

This week I had 18 events with a total attendance of 286.  This is the last week of story times and school age events. It's also the last week the day camps come to the library.

Here's a breakdown of the week:
  • 5 community story times
  • 4 community school age events
  • 6 day camp school age events
  • 2 movies
  • 1 special event (Alice in Wonderland Event)
This week the story time theme was Digging in the Flower Garden.  The school age event theme was In the Garden. I got sick at the end of last week so I had to modify my plans for this week. I tweaked a game from the CSLP manual and the kids had a make a gnome relay. They seemed to enjoy it.  The last Alice in Wonderland Event had a low attendance. I probably won't do any special events next summer. I'll be blogging about the Alice event within the next week or so. Reading logs were due this week. I'm still working the numbers, but it looks like sign-ups increased dramatically while completions decreased. It's a conundrum.

Next week is the 10th and final week of my summer reading program. I only have the community events (9) where I'll be presenting certificates and goodie bags as well as the grand prize drawing.

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Frogs

I crocheted these frog magnets to use with various 5 little frog rhymes. In fact, here are a couple that I wrote:

Five Little Frogs
5 little frogs hopping in the pond
1 went swimming & then there were 4
4 little frogs hopping in the pond
1 went for a ride with a turtle & then there were 3
3 little frogs hopping in the pond
1 met a girl frog & then there were 2
2 little frogs hopping in the pond
1 chased after a fly & then there was 1
1 little frog hopping in the pond
He hopped home & then there were NONE!
[Bridget R. Wilson]

This Little Frog
This little frog says rabbit, ribbit
This little frog likes bugs…yum, yum
This little frog jumps in the pond SPLASH
This little frog sits on a lily pad
This little frog is green
[Bridget R. Wilson]