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Showing posts from 2011

Flannel Friday Holiday Extravaganza: Rudolph, Rudolph

Super excited for Flannel Friday's Holiday Extravaganza today! My contribution is a fun version of "Rudolph, Rudolph!" wherein Rudolph the Reindeer's nose(s) is the wrong color! If you follow the Flannel Friday Facebook group, you already knew I was going to post this, so sorry I didn't surprise you and come up with something completely different!

A felt play set of "Rudolph, Rudolph" would make a great homemade Christmas gift! This could be fun to do at a Sunday School class as well. I do think it it is appropriate it for library programs, but my personal preference is to advertise in advance if a storytime will include references to Christmas and other religious holidays.

Here's the first verse:
Rudolph, Rudolph!
What will you do? 

You can't guide Santa,
If your nose is blue! 

The idea and the words came from Oopsey-Daisy. My version is milk filter with pom-poms for the noses. They have Velcro (actual brand name Velcro!) strips on the back. Of co…

Flannel Friday: Gregory Groundhog Looks for His Shadow

I know Groundhog Day is months away, but here is a great story for it or even just a shadows theme: Gregory Groundhog Looks for His Shadow. Words and patterns are from Magnet Board Fun by Liz Wilmes, but I would not suggest doing this story on the magnet board. I think it's a lot easier to tell on the flannel board as you can make the pieces reversible instead of having two sets of animals.

It's a simple story. Gregory has lost his shadow and goes into the woods to find it. He sees lots of shadows, but they turn out be for different animals (bear, deer, frog, etc.). This part is fun for the kids because they see the shadowy outline and can try and guess what the animal is.

Spoiler alert! Eventually Gregory finds his shadow and they are reunited.  Can you see his shadow?

This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Katie (@sharingsoda on Twitter) of Storytime Secrets. I hope everyone in the U.S. had a Happy Turkey Day yesterday! Don't forget that next week (December 2…

Kids Today

I stumbled upon a newspaper clipping that I thought some of us would find interesting. It is called "Unruly Students Given Warning at [City] Public Library" and covers the problems (noise, theft, playing radios, smoking) that can be associated with groups of teens in a library setting. Apparently, it was so bad that the mayor himself came over to warn the "unruly students" that "drastic action" up to and including closing the library could be taken if the situation continued. The police had even been visiting regularly in the evenings to keep an eye on the situation, to no avail.

Sound familiar? I found it interesting that the article was published on October 17, 1962, which means that the teenagers in question are now my parents' age (actually older). I had a mental image of a preteen version of my Mom and Dad smoking in the library and frankly that is hilarious. I searched the Google archives of our local paper and didn't see a follow-up. So, ch…

School Age Program Idea: Sewing Camp!

It can be so hard to put together a program for school age kids that they will actually show up for! I was thrilled today when we hosted our first sewing camp. I got the idea from the wonderful book (and blog) Sewing School, which I was introduced to by my friend Anne at Canton Public Library. Side note: has anyone noticed how many librarians are named Anne? It is almost as crazy as all the Katies.

We did registration (capped at 15 & we filled it easily but a couple kids didn't show, so we had 10 total, including 2 boys) and limited it to kids over 7. I decided on 7 because I wanted them to not be so young that they would get bored or frustrated if they struggled. We picked a gender neutral project (felt pincushions). We provided all the supplies: templates, embroidery floss, needles, pins, felt, stuffing, and fabric scissors. We also copied instructions for all the kids so they could bring them home.

We wanted to start with a simple project because we had no idea what kind o…

Flannel Friday: Two of Everything

Today for Flannel Friday, I'm sharing my version of the folktale known as "Two of Everything." I used Diane Briggs's patterns from 52 Programs for Preschoolers, which is also the source of the words. I was able to get this book through ILL and I do not have a copy of the patterns, but Amazon has several used copies starting at $0.01.

Essentially the story goes like this... Husband finds mysterious pot buried in his yard. He digs it out and drags out. He has a little trouble carrying the pot comfortably while also hanging on to his one gold coin, so he puts the coin in the pot. When he goes to retrieve the coin, to his surprise there are now two coins.

He and his wife get a little greedy duplicating their belongings and things are going swimmingly... until the wife trips and falls into the pot! Not wanting two wives of his own, the husband panics... and then trips and falls into the pot himself.
 The new couple builds a house next door and they all live happily ever …

A Plea for Sharing

I've been participating in Flannel Friday for over 6 months now, and it has reinvigorated my love of storytelling to children. I love being able to share my ideas and get to see others' too. You may have noticed, dear readers, that often my flannels are made (or at the least inspired by) from patterns in professional resource books like Storytime Magic. I would never have discovered most of these wonderful planning books without being able to borrow them through our statewide ILL system, MeLCat. 

I am so grateful to my colleagues around the state who allow these resources to be loaned to librarians like myself. I hope that by writing this I can encourage some libraries whose collections are In Library Use or Staff Only to rethink this position. Yes, these books are expensive and it is handy for them to always be at our fingertips, instead of being lost or damaged out in the wild.  But they are invaluable to working professionals in libraries, child care facilities, schools, an…

Flannel Friday: Snowball Friends

Here is a very simple flannelboard called "Snowball Friends," (by Liz and Dick Wilmes, in their 2's Experience: Feltboard Fun book)  which I have used for a winter toddler storytime. Very simply, a few snowballs are friends and they decide to roll down a hill one at a time. At the bottom, they climb onto each other's shoulders and make a snowman. The best part is rolling the snowballs down the hill on the board. At the same time, you can have the kids "roll" their fists and chant "roll, roll, roll, roll!"

This week's Flannel Friday is being hosted by Sharon (@ReadingChick). Don't forget that I recently made an announcement about Flannel Friday and the holidays, read that here.

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Flannel Friday Roundup for November 4, 2011

**In case you missed yesterday's announcement about Flannel Friday's plans for a holiday extravaganza and a holiday break, please make sure you read that post, as well. 

Also, I don't think anyone has ever mentioned this before, but we tend to use blogger's first names when compiling the roundup, so it is super helpful if you have your first name (or a pseudonym like Loons and Quines) that we can refer to you by. Otherwise, by default, if you make cute flannelboards, I'm probably going to think that your name is Katie. I am just speaking for myself here, but if your name isn't Katie (lovely name that it is), maybe you don't want to get credit as a Katie. I would also suggest having an About page with contact info (Twitter account and/or email address, etc.), in case the host has any questions or needs to get in touch.  **

On to the roundup!

Alison shares How Grandmother Spider Stole the Sun, originally a story necklace (such a neat presentation idea). 

Angela d…

Flannel Friday: Turkey Feathers!

It's almost Thanksgiving time here in the U.S. and it has always been one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because it is all about delicious food and family. I love any holiday that has mashed potatoes AND stuffing. Yummy carbs!

For today's Flannel Friday, I'm sharing a fun group activity called "Turkey Feathers." Each child gets a feather and then as you sing about the different colors of feathers, the kids who have that color will come up and put their feather on the board.

Turkey Feathers
(Sing to the tune of "Frere Jacques"/"Are You Sleeping") 
Turkey feathers, turkey feathers.
Brightly colored, brightly colored.
If you have a blue feather,
Add it now! 

I originally found a turkey with a bunch of feathers in the files here when I started and there was no activity to go with them, so I was happy when I stumbled upon this one. That said, I have no idea where this turkey's pattern came from. I would use a coloring page as a template if I wanted…

Flannel Friday: I Have a Little...

Today's Flannel Friday is based on a rhyme that I found searching the PUBYAC archives. If you are a youth librarian (or aspire to be), you need to subscribe to this listserv. The rhyme is called "I Have a Little" and to make it you will need to cut out 4 pockets and glue them on to a foam core board. I used a pair of shorts I found at Goodwill and an old pair of my jeans. 
You hide a key, crayon, flashlight, and clock each behind one pocket. They can be real pieces or you can use clipart. Here's the rhyme:

I Have a Little I have a little pocket where something can hide.
It opens doors and starts the car. 
Do you know what's inside? (key)

I have a little pocket where something can hide. 
It's used to draw in a coloring book. 
Do you know what's inside? (crayon)

I have a little pocket where something can hide.
It shows you when it's time for bed. 
Do youknowwhat's inside? (clock)
I have a little pocket where something can hide. 
It lights up a dark room. 
Do you…

Flannel Friday: Jack-O-Happy

For today's Flannel Friday, I'm sharing a flannelboard version of the fingerplay "Jack -O-Happy," a fun one for silly faces.  Here are the words:
This is Jack-O-Happy.
This is Jack-O-Sad. 

This is Jack-O-Sleepy. 
This is Jack-O-Mad.
This is Jack-O-Broken
Into pieces small

Baked in a pumpkin pie
That's the best of all.

Source: Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes
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Flannel Friday: Inside a House that Is Haunted

No actual flannel was harmed in the making of today's Flannel Friday, a "clothes line" story version of Inside a House That is Haunted, one of my favorite Halloween books. It's a little long to read at preschool storytime, but I had great success with reading it to school age kids. You could literally string up a clothesline and pin the pictures on, but what I do is have volunteers hold up the pictures. I drew these myself based on Tedd Arnold's illustrations.

If you're not familiar with this story, it is a cumulative tale about a haunted house. It goes like this:

who woke up the monster who stomped on huge feet,  threw open the door and heard "TRICK OR TREAT"  inside a house that is haunted. 

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Woodland Creatures Storytime

This week at storytime, we're talking about woodland creatures, wolves, and bears, and skunks, oh my!
I start all my storytimes with the following rhymes and activities (see storytime plans page for words):

Open, Shut Them"Little Mouse, Little Mouse" Flannelboard GameLet's Hear Your Roar Like a Lion
The Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza (Met Ms. Kasza at a conference this year. Super sweet and so talented!)
Wolves by Emily Gravett (and while searching Amazon for the link, I discovered she has another book coming out in March. YAY! I love me some Emily Gravett)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin, Jr.

On the Flannelboard
Moose in Love story (fun fact: this is the 2nd most visited post on my blog of all time) 
In the Woods guessing game (like this one from Falling Flannelboards)

Wolf paper bag puppet

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Texting Bulletin Board

Time for another bulletin board! This one was again inspired by something I found trolling the Internet. The board that inspired me had a black background, but we only had one 1 piece of black poster board left and this size requires 6. The only color that we had 6 left of was magenta. But I think it was a lucky coincidence, because I really like the way the magenta looks with our lime green wall.

If there happen to be any bulletin board manufacturers out there, it would be genius if you would install hooks on all 4 sides for the absent-minded people like myself who occasionally put a whole board together the wrong way. And it would super awesome to be able to hang some vertically and some horizontally.

By the way, if you're looking for way more bulletin board ideas for your library than I could possibly ever make for mine, I keep a Pinterest board for just such daydreaming.

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Flannel Friday with Milk Filters

My favorite tip from all these months of Flannel Friday has been Andrea's suggestion to try using milk filters. For about $15, I was able to buy a pizza box size of 15 inch milk filters. I can't believe I'd never heard of this technique before, and I live across the street from a dairy farm!

First I traced patterns out of books onto them, but I was also able to trim the filters down to 8.5 by 11 and run them through our printer at the library. Ladies and gentlemen, my mind has been blown by the amazing potential here. Rather than post these individually, I thought I'd share the ones I have made so far all at once. I still need to finish trimming them up, so ignore that, please.  Here we go!

My fellow Midwestern girl Anna will be rounding up the Flannel Friday posts this week, so be sure to check her blog later for all the goodness!

Also join us on Facebook or Pinterest. We have archives too.

Down on the Farm Storytime

I have decided to pop in every now and again and share some storytime plans, since it has been a long time since I did so regularly. You can see an alphabetical list by clicking on Storytime Plans. I tend to only read 2-3 books at each storytime and spend the rest of the time doing repeating activities.

I start all my storytimes with the following rhymes and activities (see storytime plans page for words) :
Open, Shut Them
"Little Mouse, Little Mouse" Flannelboard Game
Let's Hear Your Roar Like a Lion

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox (OK, not strictly a farm book, but who doesn't love Mem Fox?)
Old MacDonald had a Farm by Jane Cabrera

Baa Baa Black Sheep
"B-I-N-G-O" Flannelboard song
Farmer in the Dell
5 Clean and Dirty Pigs (Flannel Friday contribution!)

I know this isn't exactly an earthshakingly amazing plan, but a coworker covered this for me and I needed to keep it simple. It was also the first storytime of a new session and I find it is bes…

The Rat's Daughter

Today's Flannel Friday is the Japanese story "The Rat's Daughter" (patterns from the Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra)  about a proud man who wants his daughter to only marry "the strongest in the world" and not the rat next door. So Mr. Rat asks the sun who the strongest is and the sun replies the cloud is stronger than he. Then the cloud says the same of the wind, the wind says the same of a wall, and the wall says the same of... the very same rat who had asked Papa Rat for permission to marry his daughter in the first place and who is chipping away at the wall right this second.

Finally Daddio Rat agrees to let Neighbor Rat marry Princess Rat. And they all lived happily ever after.

Don't miss any of this week's submissions-- Sharon's in charge of the roundup this week. Previous roundups are here. Don't forget to check out Flannel Friday on pinterest!

Practically Free Picture Book Collection Marketing

I know a lot of libraries do this already, but a wonderful way to ensure picture book series circulate is to call special attention to them by placing a sign over them. I have made coordinating signs to go over our top row of picture books.

I have found this to be popular with parents, kids, and staff members. It also alleviated some shelving space issues to use the top, although unfortunately the tops of our shelves are rather high off the ground due to space issues on the floor.

If you are interested in printing them off for your use, you can download my file here. I'd love comments and photos from anyone who uses these.

For a slightly more expensive option, you could also check out what I did with the series books at my library.

Incidentally, if you are wondering what is up with the cracks in the wall behind the shelves, the top half of that wall is actually sheets of corkboard, not drywall. The signs are laminated (hence the shininess) and then stapled to the cork.

Collection Development 101: Weeding (part 2 of series)

Last week I talked about how I add books to our collection. I'd like to thank the people who left comments because I really enjoyed the conversation that developed there. I'd also like to thank Elizabeth Bird for linking to that post on Fuse #8 and Melissa for pointing it out to me! And you should definitely read Erin's follow-up to my post, which is full of great details and absolutely no spreadsheets! :)

After all this, I hope I don't get a big bigger head! Although I discovered when shopping for a horseback riding helmet one summer before camp that I had what the sales clerk termed a "deceptively large head." Cue middle school self-esteem crisis!

Today I want to talk about what happens when a book has overstayed its welcome in your collection. Maybe it was once a great book, but has been ignored recently. Or the topic has changed so much that it is now out of date.  Another common scenario is that you once had to have 200 books on robins, because the ele…

Collection Development 101: Selection (part 1 of series)

Today I'm starting a new series on collection development! I hope that this will be of use to library students as well as new professionals. I'd love if veteran selectors would chime in with their collection development process. For this post, I am going to talk about my selection process. I think it is always worthwhile to examine these processes closely and inspect for inefficiencies and redundancies.

But first, a little about my particular library. My youth department serves babies through high schoolers. We break our collection down into the following categories: picture books, easy readers, board books, J kits (circulating book and CD sets--these come out of my audiobook budget), chapter books, nonfiction, and young adult books. We have further cataloging distinctions when books get to that stage, mainly for the Caldecott and parent/teacher collections.

Also, since the population of this branch's service area is only about 20,000 people, it is pretty rare for my depa…

My Dump Truck Fred

"My Dump Truck Fred" is from the awesome storytime planning resource book Storytime Magic. If you don't own this one at your library, go buy it now. I will wait.

OK, now that you've ordered this book (it is my very favorite, so you better have ordered it). "My Dump Truck Fred" is a first person story about what I would do if I had a dump truck named Fred. That is a big "IF" if you ask me. But anyway, here are some things to do: 

Patterns for this story are on the ALA Website (My Dump Truck Fred is #397) Words are from the Storytime Magic book, but if you haven't bought it yet (you really should), really all you have to do is say "I'd give Fred a hat! I'd make sure he wore his scarf!" etc.
I highly recommend making this book as a magnetboard story as I did. I printed out the pictures, colored them with markers, and then laminated them and cut them out. If you use thin magnet coins (I used these and paid $3.99 for 100), then yo…