Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Archive for September, 2014

Storytime: Green

green-grass-grewIt’s week 2 of our color storytimes, and we figured we’d better do green while there’s still some green to be found.  Our leaves are just starting to change.  Many of the kids did mention trees, grass, and leaves at the beginning when we talked about what green things they know.  They also suggested several animals – frogs, lizards, turtles – and foods – broccoli, snap peas, green beans.  There were 18 kids and we had every age from 1 to 5 represented, so it was a pretty broad age spread, but we all had a good time.  There are so many good green books and songs, I think I could go green for another whole week.

Want to know more?  Read on!

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Storytime: Yellow

yellowStorytime is back!  Our storytime team chooses themes together and then each of us puts materials in a shared location and chooses what to present on a given week.  It’s a good way to keep autonomy over the content of the individual storytimes (what’s worse than presenting a book you just hate?) while still giving us a chance to take advantage of each other’s expertise.

This fall, we decided to try color-themed storytimes.  I have done this once before, and it can be a nice way to shake things up.  There is lots of flexibility.  Do you love frog storytime, but your colleague hates it?  Well, your green can be frogs, and hers can be gardens.  Or you can both do frogs and gardens and snakes and vegetables and …

To get started, I looked through all my notes and copied my favorite stories into color-themed files.  I am a little bit afraid that the open-ended themes will make it harder to search for and discover great new books – I’ll have to be a little careful with my planning and make sure to add some new books to my original lists.  We’ll see how it goes as the fall progresses.  I did try one new book this week, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!, and it was great fun, as were old favorites Peepsqueak and Roadwork.

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Hands-On Science: Magnets

Magnet Man!This was my first Elementary Hands-On Science program of the year, and I had a blast!  We do the same topic two months running, first with the older kids (grades 3-5) and then with the younger kids (grades K-2) and I can’t wait for next month to do it again.  We ended up with 12 kids, and though 5 of the first 6 kids to register were boys, we ended up with 5 boys and 7 girls total.  The kids rotated around the tables in groups of 2 to 4 kids, explored magnetism, and just generally had a good time.

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Boys and Books: The 13-Story Treehouse

13-story-treehouseIt was nice to take a long break in August, but it’s definitely program time again! This week I had Boys & Books, with Hands-On Science and some kindergarten outreach to follow. Next week, storytime returns.

It’s good to be back. We had a small group, but everyone loved the book. I couldn’t come up with a ton of discussion questions. Most of the material I found from outside sources was very school-oriented, so I had to – gasp! – come up with all of my own questions. We spent a lot of the time on the activity, using legos to create new rooms for the treehouse. Everyone had a good time (and the biggest marshmallows I’ve ever seen!)

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