Tag Archives: children

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/31/16

31 Oct

I got a lot of reading down  over the past 24 hours (not so much throughout the week)… I finally finished Start With Why – not a book that was easy for me to get through, it seemed a little all over the place and wasn’t as well organized as I would have liked.  But, I’m done!  I also read the heart-wrenching book,  Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur about the effects of war, especially on children and how quickly it forces them to grow up.  It is a middle grade book and one that I think would spark a lot of discussion among kids; I’d be curious to hear what they have to say.  I also read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yesterday and as I said last week, I was really happy with the way the series closed and I haven’t read anything else J.K. Rowling has published over the past few years.  I was hesitant to read the script being that it’s a different format than the series and in all reality written by other writers, but my curiosity was piqued so I gave it a shot. And I should have just left well enough alone.  It was sadly not the world of Harry Potter that I lived in for so many years growing up and unfortunately the script gave me nothing else I really needed in my Harry Potter world.  My real question is now, did the actual theatrical show do anything for the series as a whole?  I’m not sure that I see anyone else but the movie franchise actors as these characters anymore.  Again, my curiosity is piqued.

My reading over the course of the next week is as follows: Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff, because Patricia Reilly Giff, need I say more.  And I’m going to attempt Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress and Lead By Example by Steve McClatchy (hopefully this doesn’t take as long as Start With Why. I’ve got a busy work week, so we’ll see how much reading I can get done!


imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Screen Time – When, What, How Much?

21 Oct

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released a new report on screen time for young children.  And although it definitely is a change from what was originally suggested, there are a lot of similiarities, but with the ability to adjust your screen time as a family for what makes sense for you.

The basic results included:

  • screen time is now defined as “time spent using digital media for entertainment”-CNN
  • For children from birth – 18 months old screen time is still discouraged expect for video-chatting with family and friends
  • Limit screen time to one hour for children from ages  2 – 5 and focus on educational programming where parents and caregivers interact with the child throughout the program
  • And do to results from using media during certain times during the day – create a media-free meal time and no screens at least one hour before bedtime

For more information, check out the AAP’s online publication. And if you’re looking for more information about screen time and the effects on your family or how to create a media plan for you family, check out the Media and Children Communication Toolkit.

How Can We Teach Children Empathy?

5 Oct

empathy.pngEmpathy, in my humble opinion, is one of those things that is vital to a caring, respectful and well-balanced individual.  Empathy, or “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” is severely lacking in a world where shooting unarmed individuals, massive terrorist attacks and outright violence is astoundingly common. (Google) Maybe it’s partly because of the world we live in – where social media means world news is at your finger tips and media outlets are reporting news on a 24/7 basis. That being said, we need to teach children now to celebrate differences, to share their feelings and to be empathetic.

So how can we teach children to be empathetic to family and friends, to the people in their community and to the people in the world around them?  A lot of teaching can be done at home with adults, siblings, relatives, and pets, while teachers and schools can create communities of caring to encourage children to be empathetic to their classmates, teachers, and school staff.  And a lot of teaching, discussing and understanding can come from reading stories.  Books teach children about themselves, but also gives children the opportunity to look at the world from another perspective.

Take a look at what Melissa from Imagination Soup guest posted at All the Wonders about empathy.  And if you want an author’s perspective, check out what Sara Pennypacker has to say about her book, Pax on Brightly.  And your resources don’t have to stop there – the Washington Post provides a list of 24 books from Preschool through High School that show kindness an empathy.  Although I haven’t gotten a chance to put together my list of books about empathy, I have created a great list of 25 books with characters set outside the United States to give a more global perspective to kids, so you can definitely check that out as well.

Best Practices… What Makes It the Best?

7 May

9502733952_85c9b0f7b1_kI’m currently working on filling out the application for our Best Practices for our state association.  Best practices are always difficult for me to think about.  What do we consider our best practices?  Did we borrow the idea from another library?  What programs should other libraries be aware of and be able to replicate?

My biggest concern is that I feel as though many of my ideas come from ideas I find through my Personal Learning Network (PLN), through blogs I follow, librarians I talk to and library visits I make.  And this isn’t a bad thing, using the resources at your disposal makes your job just a little bit easier and I am so thankful for having such amazing library friends who are so creative, interesting and inspiring.

I’m always thinking, “Well, I’m sure other libraries are doing something similar.  What makes our program any different?”  And herein lies the library’s best practice.  What makes your program different?  Did you borrow and idea and adapt it?  Did you do something that other libraries might already be doing, but give it a little spin?  Librarians love ideas.  That’s what makes us so cool.  Take those ideas and run with them.  Don’t be so concerned with having a program that everyone else is doing, but focus on what makes yours unique!  And sometimes, those programs that are so simple – those are the best to share!  We all want to make our lives easier!  Writing up these applications is always a little difficult for me, but I have found that if you’re passionate about the program, then your passion will shine through when you write about it.

We’ve submitted ideas every year and although we’re not always selected, I really enjoy hearing what other libraries across the state are up to.  That’s how we came across our Enchanted Library idea – from a best practice that we adapted to fit our library and it’s one of our most successful events all year!  I had planned on posting what we decided to submit as our best practices this year, but being as that our applications have not been submitted and reviewed yet, I’ll have to keep my lips sealed.

Anyone have any programs that have had rave reviews from patrons that you just have to share?  I’m always looking for new idea!

How to Get Kids to Love Books

18 Mar



I think one of the most common questions I receive at the reference desk is, “What should my <insert grade here> be reading?” or “My kid doesn’t like to read, do you have any suggestions?” Parents/caregivers are wanting to raise children who enjoy reading for pleasure, but are often unsure of how to go about it.

NPR posted a Q & A with Daniel Willingham, focusing on his new book Raising Kids Who Read, although not an extensive interview, Willingham brings up a number of valid suggestions about teaching children to love reading.  He hits the nail on the head with his suggestion of becoming a model for your children.  You want to see your kids learn to love reading – it’ll come easier to them if they see the people around them putting value on reading, spending time not only reading to them, but for themselves as well.

He also suggests playing with words and sounds with your child from a young age, directly related to Every Child Ready to Read‘s five practices for supporting early literacy.  Children wh learn abouth rhythm, rhyme, songs, animal sounds have a greater chance for success when they begin reading because they are familiar with how our language works.

Willingham also mentions the importance of access to books, especially where kids might find others elves being bored – car trips, the bathroom, and in places they can easily access – low shelves, baskets on the floor.  All of these suggestions are great way to instill a love of readin in your children.

Other suggestions that I can think of off the top of my head include visiting your local library and bookstore, going to storytime where many librarians not only read to kids, but share valuable information with adults, and to read, read, read.  Reading can happen all around the house, in the car, waiting at a doctor’s office at the park, etc.  teach your kids it hat books can go anywhere they go.  Do you have trouble keeping your very active toddler sitting still to read a book? Try at lunch time while they’re strapped into their high chair or in the bathtub.  Who says you have to read a whole book in one sitting?  Read two pages and try again later.  Don’t force books on kids, just keep the available and continue trying.  As for older kids, “reluctant readers” are just picky – they need to find the right book for them and when they do – watch out, they won’t be able to put it down!

Check out the interview on NPR and Willingham’s new book, Raising Kids Who Read.

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