Tag Archives: outreach

Sensory Storytime Theme: Sheep

8 Oct

Sensory Friendly Storytime Theme- (1)I’ve talked about my outreach storytimes before on my blog and if you’re looking for other lesson plans, hover over get IDEAS and click on Sensory Friendly Storytimes.  This month for outreach I focused on sheep… for no particular reason, except there are some really cute sheep books available!

For this group of kids, I end up seeing eight classrooms that are combined into four storytimes with a range of ages and disabilities.  And the group changes throughout the year and since I only get a chance to see them three times during the school year, it can be an almost new group each time making planning somewhat difficult.  But, over the years I’ve done this I’ve learned a lot about what grabs kids’ attention.  Puppets usually work really well (for most kids) and a lot of kids love sing-along books.  So this time around I took out a little fingerpuppet named Scorch (he’s a dragon!) and the kids did a great job being gentle with him.  We then read a few stories, played Peekaboo (farm) on my iPad (which the kids absolutely love!), sang along to Mary Had a Little Lamb (skipping verses along the way) and did a flannelboard of It Looked Like Spilt Milk.  The kids overall did really well and some of them definitely expressed their interest in certain books.  So overall, I think it was a big success!

Opening: Open, Shut Them

Puppet Meet & Greet: Scorch (dragon)

Book 1: Time to Sleep Sheep the Sheep by Mo Willems / Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton

App: Peekaboo (Farm)

Book 2: Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Song: Mary Had a Little Lamb by Mary Ann Hoberman

Book 3: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw (flannelboard)

Closing: The Wheels on the Bus

Middle School Open House

18 Sep

Last night, I took my cart of materials and set up a table at the middle school with the school librarian for Open House.  We have four elementary school, a middle school and high school and a K-8 Catholic school in our service area and are always looking for ways to partner with the schools.  We especially thought it was important to stop by the middle school this year as there is a new superintendent for the school district as well as a new principal and vice principal at the middle school.  We wanted to show the administration that we value our partnership and are there to help.

Overall, the evening was fairly well attended, but because there is so much the parents need to do that evening – meet with teachers, set up online accounts to view grades, buy gym uniforms, etc.  We rarely had people stop at our table, except to ask for directions or for other information.  We started joking with parents that as librarians it’s our job to provide them with a well-researched and correct answer.  And we could usually do that!  I figure a positive interaction is better than no interaction!

Most of the people who stopped at our table (who didn’t need directions) were families who I see on a regular basis in the library, stopping to say hello – which is great, but my main goal for being there is to get to those families who aren’t familiar with our resources.  The middle school students do receive iPads for class instruction and homework and the librarians encourage all the students to get their library cards to partake in OverDrive to read e-books.  This has definitely helped and having September be library card sign-up month as well is a nice draw.

But even last night I had a dad ask how much it cost for a library card!  This breaks my heart, it means we have people in our community who don’t know how awesome our library is, how many amazing programs we offer for all ages, and how many resources they can use for recreation and education.  I believe this issue is two-fold.  On the one hand, we clearly need to be creating more marketing toward people in our community who are not familiar with our library, which means finding where these people live, work and play and reach out to them in these places.  On the other hand, we have a number of community members who move here from other countries where a public library is not the same thing as it is here.  So again, we need to educate people on what a public library is and what it can do for them.  We’ve got a lot of work to do!

Read Alouds at Camp

7 Aug

11233988 Today I had one of those great experiences as a librarian that makes me love my job and right now, it was definitely needed as we still have a few more weeks of book recording and a handful of programs still to go!  I went to a summer camp that we visit for outreach and got to hang out with both 5 – 6 year olds as well as 7 – 8 year olds.  The 5 – 6 year olds did well, but the 7 – 8 year olds blew me out of the water!

I read six books to them and they asked for more!  It was so fun, the kids were really enjoying the books, talking about what was happening, laughing, interacting… it was so nice to see!  We also created Sticky Note Birds, but the kids by far, had fun listening to these great read alouds!

We read:

  • The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
  • This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenThis-is-Not-My-Hat-cover
  • This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
  • More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt
  • Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Summer Camp Outreach – Week #3

24 Jul

Wearing my rainbow crazy glasses!

This week and next week are my last camp outreach programs for the summer.  I think overall, they’ve gone really well this year.  I’ve picked out some really great read alouds that have gotten some great response from the kids and the kids and counselors have really enjoyed our projects this summer.

This week for the 5 & 6 year olds, I read aloud a few books and they kept begging me to read another, which is great to hear!  So today, we started with Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas followed by The Big Mean Dust Bunny.  As a side note, I had to explain to the kids what dust bunnies were, a few wanted to know if they were alive and others seemed a little confused so I told them to go home and look where dust bunnies like to live the most – under the bed, dresser or sofa.  The kids had so much fun thinking of rhyming words with the dust bunnies.

After these two books, the kids wanted to hear more (and I’d like to point out that it was a small group today made up of 11 boys and 1 girl), so we read Chips and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds which the kids also liked!  And ended with Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds.  We talked about the difference between carnivores and art sculptures2vegetarians and I think the kids understood the story (which I personally love!).

For our activity, the kids made crazy glasses (which took up a lot of my time cutting them all out), but they enjoyed coloring them in and wearing them.  Overall, because it was a smaller group, I was able to sit and color with them as opposed to keeping track of everyone and watching over the project.  The crazy glasses took a lot of prep, I cut them out, and attached the arms before camp, but we had fun wearing them!

For the 7 & 8 year olds, I read the first chapter and a half of Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and the kids seemed intrigued to find out art sculptures1what would happen next.  For their art project, we made art sculptures!  These sculptures were made out of box flaps for the cardboard, pieces of colored printing paper and I tried art paste for the first time.  I didn’t make a model, but did show the kids a picture of what they looked like.  And I was pleased to see a lot of kids were experimenting with different designs, rolling papers together, attaching flat papers to to the top and more.  It was a little more labor-intensive craft for the kids, but it made them work at being patient and working hard which I didn’t mind!

Summer Camp Outreach – Week #2

9 Jul

Book-With-No-PicturesThis week as I traveled back to camp, I brought with me a few favorite books and some really fun activities to try.  For the little ones (ages 5 & 6), I read The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak.  If you haven’t used this book yet, please, please, please use it!  A few of the kids had seen the book before, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying it!  My group of kids were so excited about the book that I had to read it twice in a row!  And still, some wanted me to read it again!

Afterward, we created our own Post-It Note birds that I found on Krokotak.  I used our Ellison die-cut machine to cut out small circles (about 4 inches in diameter) and allowed each child to use up to 7 Post-It Notes for their bird.  I found the Post-It Notes on Amazon (the small, page markers).  We also attached legs (toothpicks) using a piece of tape and a little modeling clay.

For the older kids (ages 7 & 8), I read from the beginning of Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman.  I love this story – it’s so far-fetched and a great laugh out loud type of book.  The kids were completely quiet while I was reading and a few asked if I could keep reading when we finished.  For their activity, we made marble magnets using flat marbles I found at Michael’s as well as scrapbook paper, magnets, and some Modge Podge.  Overall, the kids really enjoyed both programs and had a lot of fun!

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