Flannel Friday: B-U-N-N-Y

7 Feb

Like most of the country, it’s been really freakin’ cold here in Colorado this week. What that means for me, the preschool outreach librarian, is that the kids I see in storytime have not been able to play outside. THIS IS A BAD THING. Kids need recess. They need to run around. Young children, especially, get super squirrelly when they have to be inside too long.

So, when I was planning my rabbit-themed storytime (centered primarily around Bob Shea’s Don’t Play With Your Food, because he sent me a copy!), I knew I had to include some movement. Now, I know, I’m a big fan of the Sleeping Bunnies song that involves some wild and crazy hopping. But we did that last month. So.

This is a very long way of saying I stole Mollie Kay’s B-U-N-N-Y song and added hopping.

bunny

We talk about each letter and its sound, and then we sound out the word. BUNNY!

(Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O)

There was a rabbit I once knew

And Bunny was his name-o

B-U-N-N-Y

B-U-N-N-Y

B-U-N-N-Y

And bunny was his name-o

Next, we turn over the first letter. What’s on the back? A bunny! And the word HOP.

bunny4

So, we sing again, this time substituting a hop for the letter B.

Continue turning each letter and singing, until you’re left with nothing but hops. HOP! HOP! HOPHOPHOP!

bunny3This was a great movement activity that incorporated letter knowledge, letter sounds, phonological awareness, and just plain FUN.  It’s also very similar to the version of B-I-N-G-O that I use!

Thanks, Mollie, for the idea!

The Roundup today will be hosted by Christine. Go check out all the awesomeness later! To see all past flannels, click the “flannel friday” icon to the right.

Happy flanneling!

Flannel Friday: Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You In The Blue Hat?

17 Jan

One of my most popular flannels has been Baby Duck, Baby Duck. I’ve also used the traditional Little Mouse version (that actually RHYMES)  to great success. So, here’s another. Because, WHY NOT?

The game goes like this: I put the hats up on the board, and we talk about their colors. We might even talk about who uses some of the hats (cowboy, builder, baseball player, etc). Then the kids close their eyes while I hide a kitty cat behind one of the hats (if he hasn’t already been hidden). We take turns choosing colors and then saying:

“Kitty cat, kitty cat, are you in the [color] hat?”

Holy over-exposure, batman! Oh well. You get the idea.

Holy over-exposure, batman! Oh well. You get the idea.

I whip the hat off the board and…*gasp!*…he’s there! Or he isn’t. 

Hi, little kitty!

Hi, little kitty!

The kids LOVE this game. They feel great when they find him but don’t suffer any great hard feelings when they don’t. Make sure you either have enough pieces for everyone to have a turn, or are willing to re-hide the cat if he’s found so that everyone has a turn. And EXPLAIN that you’re going to do this at the beginning. EVERYONE must get a turn or there will be ugly crying. And who wants that?

I’m not the best artist, but if you want to use my hats, here’s a photocopy of them: KittyCatHat

Today’s flannel roundup (floundup?) will be hosted by Kathryn. For all past flannels, click the pinterest link to the right.

Happy flanneling!

Flannel Friday: Going on a Picnic

22 Nov

I have to credit Melissa for this one as she was super generous in sharing her library system’s storytime training plans with me when my library was revising ours recently. This flannel is a part of that plan. So I’ve only used it as a training tool, but can certainly work in storytime! You’d probably need a few more pieces of food, though…

This is intended to be used with Raffi’s song “Going on a Picnic”, although he mentions different food. But it’s a great call-and-response song that can be easily learned by the whole group.

Put the picnic basket up on the board. Hand out flannel food pieces to the audience (only do this if you have enough for EVERY CHILD). Tell the group, we’re going on a picnic so we need to fill our picnic basket with yummy food!

Going on a picnic, leaving right away.

If it doesn’t rain we’ll stay all day.

Call: Did you bring the …. [strawberries]

Response: Yes, I brought the … [strawberries] (child brings strawberry up and puts it on the picnic basket)

etc….

picnic2

Continue until all the felt foods are in the picnic basket.  Next is your opportunity to really grow those early literacy skills. Talk about how two of the foods have words on them – Juice and Jam – and run your finger under the words. Notice how “juice” and “jam” both start with the letter J, that makes a “juh” sound. Ask the kids what color the strawberry is.  What else on the board is red? What color is the cheese? Why does the cheese have holes? It’s SWISS cheese. Ask the kids about their favorite picnic foods.

picnic

We used this in our storytime training to demonstrate how we extend early literacy skills learning – talking about letter knowledge, background knowledge (colors, cheese words, picnic words), etc. I’m hoping to find the time to make more foods and really use this in my food storytime! What fun! I love picnics!

The roundup today will be hosted by Bridget. To see all past flannels organized for your easy access on pinterest, click the icon on the right side of the screen.

Happy Flanneling!

Go! Bananas! Go! Go! Bananas!

7 Nov

On Monday I read Miss Amy’s wonderful post about rhymes to use when your storytime group gets the wiggles. I especially liked how she divided them by wiggle-level – low, medium, and high – and the great rhymes she shared. It was especially timely as that afternoon I was co-teaching a
Bananastorytime training, and part of our curriculum was on dealing with disruptions – like the wiggles. I printed copies of the post and shared them with all attendees. Thanks, Amy!

One of the songs she mentions is the one that begins “form a banana…” and it reminded me of one I heard from a friend at Denver Public Library. I went looking online for that one, and instead found this gem. I’ve since used it with several classes and it’s been a hit with both kids and teachers. Love that it includes the word “shuck” – yay for new vocabulary! Plus, it’s just darn fun (and this woman gets an A+ for enthusiasm!) – the mashed potato part is my fave!:

What’s in a Name?

2 Nov

When I was born, my parents named me Katie. Well, okay, technically  they named me Mary (that’s what’s on my birth certificate) but always intended to call me Katie. That was back in the days when lots of girls were named Mary Chris, Mary Pat, Mary This, Mary That… but weren’t actually called Mary. So, until I was 5, everyone called me Katie.

Then Kindergarten happened. And my 5-year-old self informed the teacher that my name was Mary and I was to be called that. I then proceeded to make everyone else I knew begin calling me Mary instead of Katie. Why did I decide to change my name? I have no idea what was going on in my young brain, but as an adult I’ve speculated that it’s because we’d recently moved to Denver and lived almost next door to a family with two twin girls – one of whom was named Katie. Strangely enough, her real name was also Mary Something.

I’ve been Mary ever since. Kudos to my family for going along with my self-inflicted name change.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it kind of relates to why one of my katyfavorite books growing up was Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. Oh, how I loved the story of Katy, the bulldozer/snow plow who did her work in the City of Geopolis and saved the day one particularly snowy winter. I adored the detailed illustrations with maps of the town so that I could follow Katy’s route as she made it safe for the mail carrier to continue his route and the doctor to get his patient to the hospital. But most of all, I loved that Katy and I shared the same name (albeit a slightly different spelling).

lolaFinding yourself (or even just your name) in a children’s book is a powerful thing.  Each year, I am fortunate enough to be able to gift each child whom I visit in my preschool outreach a brand new book. As the kids in one class were making their selections, one young lady saw Anna Quinn’s Lola at the Library. The book features an adorable, smiling African-American child as she makes her regular visit to the library. The young lady pointed at the book, eyes wide, and said “I want THAT one.” What made this encounter so powerful? The girl who chose the book looked EXACTLY like Lola in the story. Right down to the pigtails.

Children need to feel like they are important and have worth, and seeing yourself and your story reflected in a book provides some measure of that. Just as I was proud to share a name with hero snowplow Katy, my young book selector probably was proud to see that she, or a child that looked like her, could be the star of her own story.

What story are YOU the star of? Are there any books that made you think “hey, that’s me!”?

Flannel Friday: Monsters the Easy-Peasy Mac-N-Cheesy Way

11 Oct IMG_5598

Several years (years? YEARS.) ago I posted about a 10 little monsters game we do in storytime. Each monster is a different color and after we’ve counted them and identified their colors, I turn the flannelboard around and take a monster away. The kids get to guess which color is missing. It’s fun! The monsters I was using, however, were looking pretty shabby. Plus, a few of them mysteriously disappeared. So, it was time for replacements.

In a fit of laziness, I decided to freehand my own monsters rather than cutting patterns out of paper and then using them to make the felt ones. After a couple of false starts, I came across the magic formula for creating an easy monster:

SHAPE + APPENDAGES + GOOGLY EYES + PAINT = MONSTER

IMG_5597

Seriously. Cut out a shape – circle, square, cloud, blobule, etc. Add some legs, arms, horns, antennae. Glue on some eyes. Paint on a mouth and maybe some eyebrows. Instant monster – no pattern needed!

Shh....don't tell the others, but these three are my favorites.

Shh….don’t tell the others, but these three are my favorites.

 RAAAARRRRRRRR!

This week’s roundup will be hosted by Lisa. To see all the previous posts, visit our Pinterest page via the icon to the right.

Happy flanneling!

What’s Your “Storytime Face?”

10 Oct

Our library foundation is planning a big year-end fundraising appeal and my outreach program is one of the things they fund. They wanted to feature the program, so our graphics department wanted to get some new photos of me. I agonized (not really) over what to wear (solid, bright colors are best) and which books would show up best in the picture, and went to pretend to read to our graphics manager while the photographer snapped away.

One thing I’ve known for a while is that I make a “storytime face.” I’ve seen it in pictures before and know it involves raising my eyebrows and looking slightly manic. However, the two pictures the graphics manager sent me really highlight the difference between my actual, non-crazy, non-performing face and my “storytime face.”:

Normal person you might not run from if you met her on the street:

SONY DSC

Totally caffeinated, crazy-eyebrowed storytime clown:

SONY DSCOh yeah. That’s my storytime face. WHEEEEE! By the way – the book I’m reading is Ed Vere’s Bedtime For Monsters, a current favorite.  With bonus Pete the Cat photobomb.

What’s YOUR “storytime face?” C’mon, I know you’ve got one.

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