Tag Archives: elementary school age

AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Math Madness

14 Apr

fibonacci-1601158_1280.pngProgram Name: Math Madness

What: This is a hands-on learning program about math for kids in elementary school. We have found that the kids continue to try and show off they math knowledge, but have very few skills that we would consider math basics. They can name a tetrahedron, but don’t know how to read a ruler. We’re trying to bring math skills you learn in the classroom and make them fun and accessible in the real world.

Where: This program can be offered in whatever space you have available – we’ve used our storytime room with it’s stadium style bleacher seats to a small meeting room and have even used a larger space as needed.

When: We offer this program every other month – opposite our Passport Pals program. You could offer this as a weekly series, a monthly series or quarterly – whatever fits into your schedule.

Who: We gear this program to 3-5 grades students, but again you could easily adapt this to a younger audience or an older audience and just change the activities to fit the developmental levels of those audience.

How: Our children’s librarian uses library blogs and Pinterest to come up with great ideas for simple, easy activities that don’t cost a lot of money surrounding a specific topic. With STEM being a huge buzzword right now, these types of activities are easy to come by!

Alternatives:

  • If you’re low on time, check out the possibility of using Crazy 8s Math Club, created by Bedtime Math. We started out using the program, but the parameters didn’t work well for our schedule, so we started creating our own “lessons”.
  • If you’re short on staff, see if you have a high school student willing to volunteer some time to offer a few programs for you – it looks good on college applications and helps you out in theprocess!

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During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I’ll be offering you a library program plan with everything you to need to re-create it at your own library. Most of these programs we’ve offered in the past, others are programs I’d like to try in the future. I’m always looking for new inspiration and I thought you might be too!

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#blogbookaday: This Is Not a Valentine

10 Mar

26090165.jpgSummary:  “This book is not a valentine. It doesn’t have lacey edges or sugary hearts. But it is full of lucky rocks, secret hiding spots, and gumball machine treasures. This is a book about waiting in line and wishing for cinnamon buns. About recognizing that if you care so much about someone not thinking you care, maybe you really do. But wait—isn’t that exactly what love is about? Maybe this book is sort of a valentine after all. A testament to handmade, wacky, bashful, honest love—sure to win over the hearts of all readers—this offering from debut picture book author Carter Higgins and children’s book veteran Lucy Ruth Cummins is the perfect gift to celebrate every relationship, from parent to child, sibling to sibling, partner to partner, crush to crush.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: A young boy in elementary school shares gifts and secrets with a classmate, although he’s very clear to state “they are not a valentine.” I loved this story because it picks apart all the things that make Valentine’s Day such a huge holiday – hearts, lace, pink, glitter and more and shows that love comes in many ways, shapes and forms.

Personal Reaction: I loved how simple and raw the love in this book is – sharing the important things like secret hiding spots, gumball prizes, lucky rocks and so much more. I loved the illustrations showing a typical day in elementary school and I think this would be a great story to share around Valentine’s Day to talk about how important relationships of all kinds can be!

Title: This Is Not a Valentine
Author: Carter Higgins
Illustrator: Lucy Ruth Cummins
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: December 26, 2017


#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship

1 Mar

34007179.jpgSynopsis: How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don’t know each other . . . and they’re not sure they want to.

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners. Accompanied by artwork from acclaimed illustrators Sean Qualls and Selina Alko (of The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage), this remarkable collaboration invites readers of all ages to join the dialogue by putting their own words to their experiences.” (Taken from Goodreads)

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Play With Stickers & Learn Cool Facts with Sticky Facts (What Will You Find?)

11 Jan

sticky factsIf you’re looking for something really interactive and interesting to give to your favorite 6-10 year old, look no further that Workman Publishing’s new series – Sticky Facts: What Will You Find? With three titles already available and more on the way, these are great nonfiction titles that really get kids involved in their reading!

Workman Publishing sent me the first three titles to review and I must say, I was having an awesome time learning really cool facts and could totally see some of the kids I know really gravitating towards these activity books.

The basic concept is pretty easy:

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Read a question, then peel the sticker to reveal the answer.

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Sticker and draw on the activity pages to make them your own!

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Once all the stickers have been peeled, remove the backing to uncover even more fun facts!

What I really liked about these books was that it was both a way for kids to learn new facts about the world around, but it also reinforced the ideas they already had by allowing kids to draw and add stickers to pages that had basic prompts to interact with. Placing stickers onto the same sticker-shaped-space on a page is great for really little kids, but these titles allow kids to interact more with the variety of stickers, the facts that go allow with them and by allowing them to create their own narrative for each prompt.

I loved the activity book about animals – no matter how many animal facts I learn, I always like learning more! The construction book would be great for a rough and tumble kid who might not be the biggest fan of reading – with lots of great tools and trades and bright construction-orange pages you can’t go wrong. As for the book about New York City – the perfect way to introduce a city before visiting – with landmarks, museums, food and more, this would make a perfect sightseeing guide for kids!

These are awesome titles published by Workman Publishing and would make great gifts for kids from age 6-10, but I really think the 6-8 year old crowd would be absolutely perfect! If you’re looking to buy these titles check out Indiebound which will connect you with local independent bookstores in your area. Otherwise, you can find it at other major book retailers.

 

20 Titles for National Foster Care Month

5 May

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I’m always looking for ways to create book lists that I think are needed by people around the world, so when I saw that May is National Foster Care Month, I knew it would be a great time to gather some titles that show kids in foster care. I tried to provide some picture books, early chapter books, middle grade novels and teen novels – mainly focused on a story where foster care is part of a character’s life rather than focusing on too many “issue” type books where the book was written specifically to address the issue. I did include a few, that I found multiple times on other reading lists and didn’t think I should ignore. Now a quick caveat, there are as many different types of foster care situations as there are people, so even though I tried to provide a diverse list, the number of books about foster care are slim. I also tried very hard to focus on foster care, rather than adoption because (although some stories end with adoption) not all stories end that way and I wanted to be able to offer some kids mirrors for what their own lives look like right now. So, if I missed something that you think should be on the list, please share it, so that others will get your recommendations as well!

  1. Murphy’s Three Homes: A Story for Children in Foster Care by Jan Levinson Gilman, illustrated by Kathy O’Malley
  2. Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon
  3. Maybe Days: A Book for Children in Foster Care by Jennifer Wilgocki and Marcia Kahn Wright, illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis
  4. A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
  5. The Family Book by Todd Parr
  6. Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
  7. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  8. Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can’t Live with Their Parents by Janice Levy, illustrated by Whitney Martin
  9. Summer of the Gypsy Months by Sara Pennypacker
  10. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  11. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  12. Pictures of Hollis Woods Patricia Reilly Giff
  13. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
  14. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
  15. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
  16. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  17. Waiting to Forget by Sheila Kelly Welch
  18. Free Verse by Sarah Dooley
  19. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  20. Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth edited by Diane René Christian and Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman
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