Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading Week 1 Roundup

Well, it has been an interesting first week of summer reading around here. My parapro and I have both been felled by the same cold. She had it worst last week and then I caught it over the weekend and missed the first half of the week. But I wanted to share our storytime plans for this week.

You may remember that I posted a crowd-sourced overview of the original plan, but with being sick, we had to revise. I really think that being flexible and prepared are the two keys to a really good storytime experience.

This week we were sharing stories about cars, trucks, and other things that go. The original plan was:
"Dinosaurs in Cars" Song
"My Dump Truck" felt board, (from Storytime Magic #397 here) (had to cut this as I ran out of time to make it!)
That's How by Christoph Niemann
I Stink by Kate McMullan (Thought it was too long for my poor voice--see below)
The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler (I wound up liking The Grumpy Dump Truck better)

Well, when I was trying to do storytime while recovering from a cold, I realized that a lot of these books were too long and I worried about losing my voice. So I revamped a little. It actually wound up making for a really interactive storytime, which is my preference anyway. Of course, the more interactive a storytime is, the more its success depends on your crowd's personality and how much they can be coaxed into participating. But I've found that know that I've been here a few years, most of the families coming know what to expect and participate at their own comfort level.
Anyway, here is what my plan morphed into...
 
Opening stuff that I do every week:
-Open, Shut Them (with my group during the school year, I usually use "Jump Up, Turn Around" by Jim Gill, but since we have a much more diverse crowd with new people every week, it is easier to warm up the crowd with the small motions in this song)
-Little Mouse, Little Mouse
-Let's Hear You Roar Like a Lion (love this rhyme)
 
Theme-Specific Stuff:
First (and longest book) The Grumpy Dump Truck by Brie Spangler (lots of opportunities for the kids to make "grumpy" and "mean" faces)
Motion Song: Dinosaurs in Cars (takes a lot of energy but is so worth it. I also did this last summer with my dinosaurs theme).
Middle Book: Who is Driving by Leo Timmers (another good one for easy interactivity as the kids guess which animal is driving--good for the younger kids)
Last book: That's How by Christoph Niemann (I had a co-worker read the girl's dialogue and I supplied the boys. This was a big hit as the kids loved the illustrations of the "secret" ways various vehicles work.)
 
So far, the take-home craft is going over very well. I think a factor working in its favor is that we are starting storytimes a half-hour later, so people are leaving sooner after the end of storytime. Which might not be for everyone, but with our space, time, & logistical issues (remember we are inside some storytimes and outside others) I am pleased so far.
 
As far as the non-storytime part of summer reading goes, I missed so much of this week due to illness, that it has unforunately been a little bit of a scramble. But the first week is hectic even in the best of conditions and luckily things seems to have gone relatively smoothly. I am definitely grateful to my co-workers for covering for me while I was gone.

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