Transforming Preschool Storytime

12 Sep

Layout 1It’s been a busy week as I was at a 2-day training which means there is a ton of stuff that needs to be addressed now that I’m back in the library.  But, before my Fun Friday program this afternoon and the book display for Banned Books Week gets put up, let me talk about what I learned this week.  I’m on a steering committee for Pennsylvania Libraries focusing on getting young children ready for kindergarten and what that means for programming and resources in the public library.  I’m really excited to be a part of something like this and I think it will be extremely helpful to librarians across the state as well as parents and young children.

Yesterday, we had a day-long training by Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator of Mother Goose on the Loose, based around her new book, Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs.  In this book, Betsy takes a closer look at the brain development of preschool age children and modifies the typical storytime to be more effective for children to learn stories.  In the book, she explains that kids need and want the repetition to better comprehend the stories we use in storytime.  She focuses on using the same book across a six-week session, not always reading it aloud, but allowing the kids to learn in a variety of ways – through flannelboard, song, acting, process art, movement and more.  It was a valuable workshop because it really opened my eyes to see how many ways you can present a book in storytime and allow children to internalize it.  Because I already have my plan for this fall, I’m looking at this as an option for my winter storytime session with my toddlers.  I think they would value this as much as the preschoolers.  And as we pointed out during the training, this is a great way to educate parents about the importance of reading the same book as many times as your child wants.  They’ll grow out of it, but by reading it over and over again, you’re teaching your child many valuable skills they need to be successful in school.  I promise, the kids are not doing it just to annoy you!

And the best part of the training was to learn that this can be done with just about any book you choose.  It doesn’t have to be a classic, fairy or folk tale, it can be done with a modern book as well… now, to find just the right book for my kids!  Something that I won’t get bored with and at a developmentally appropriate level for toddlers.  Let me think…

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