Friday, May 25, 2012

Flannel Friday Song Cards-La Granja

Today I'm posting a Flannel Friday in the spirit with which Flannel Friday was originally conceived--As a way to keep new content on my blog when I don't have time to write any.

I made these song cards to help introduce a new song to my storytime repertoire, "La Granja." As you can see, the song is in Spanish (Thank you Captain Obvious).

Vengan a Ver mi Granja =  Come and See my Farm, and I should warn you, this song is a major earworm. BUT it's also delightful and worth learning. I generally do not use recorded music in storytime, but if you'd like to learn the song, I highly recommend Jos√©-Luis Orozco's version on De Colores

You have to do rooster; in Spanish roosters say "kikirikí"

Many kids, even in my homogeneous community, know the basic names of some animals in Spanish. However, this song relies on the diminutive ito/ita endings. For those of you who don't speak Spanish, adding ito/ita to a word basically means you're describing it as cute, little, or dear.

I wanted to make sure that kids and parents didn't get confused--if they knew that duck was "pato"  then why were we singing "patito?" I used clipart from with Microsoft Word to find the animals, and I tried to use animals that were all the same style of illustration so they would look like they went together. I had a hard time finding a font that used the correct type of lowercase 'a' but I really like this one. Unfortunately I can't remember what it is and on my Mac at home--I'll update later.

With these song cards, we identify the animals in both English and Spanish, then talk about the ito/ita endings.  We practice the words before starting the song (hello print awareness) and everyone is much more engaged than they would be if we just started singing. Once this song is familiar enough to my audience, I will probably start doing it with puppets, most likely using my barn prop.

Here is a great resource for translations of what sounds animals make in Spanish--which is a really fun discussion to have during storytime!

This song translates pretty well to English too, so if you'd like to learn the song both in English and Spanish I'd be happy to share my translation.  Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, May 14, 2012

Teen Success Part 3: Where We're At Now

Part 1
Part 2

So, here we are. Since I started at my library, every year I offered a lock-in during National Library Week, and last summer I decided to do another one at the end of summer. Despite my bad luck with Teen Thursdays, I was super excited about the summer lock-in since I had planned to play Life-Sized Clue with the kids.

This didn't really work for two reasons:

1. it doesn't get dark until at least nine in August, so our Clue time was at the end when the kids were all jacked up on soda and candy, and we were short on time (lock-in ended at 10 or 10:30, don't recall exactly--but we were crunched for time).
2. Dynamics again. I had a few kids who were there to actually do what I had planned and follow directions. And I had a bunch of kids who were there to go crazy.

So, when National Library Week rolled around this year, I decided to do things differently. I realized that my dynamic problems were partly my own fault. I was trying to do too much just to entice kids--any kids!-- to come to my programs.

Lock-In! Computers! Pizza! Soda! Snacks! Crafts! Life-Sized Clue! Games! And MORE!!!!!!!!
(seems a tad desperate, no?)

Essentially I was telling them it was a free-for-all and then being frustrated when they showed up expecting that. I decided that this year, although I would be doing it after-hours and it would essentially still BE a lock-in, I wasn't going to advertise it as a lock-in. I still wanted to play Life-Sized Clue, so that's how I advertised it.

You guys? I set the registration deadline to Thursday, and it was FULL by the end of Thursday! That's so epic for my library I can't even express it. I had 24 spots, and I could have had at least 30. AND THEY ALL SHOWED UP.

We went right into playing Clue. I had two staff helping, so we were able to 'host' three of the games, and the fourth group knew how to play. We played for about an hour and fifteen minutes, then took a snack break in the meeting room. At that point, rather than go back to Clue, we played large group circle games like Fruit Basket Upset and Secret Leader (these types of games are my specialty)

They were awesome. Everyone there wanted to be there, and wanted to do the activities I had planned.

Here's what I've learned:

  • There is little or no interest in weekday teen programming in my community. The need is for weekend/Friday night things to do. I'll admit that I've been avoiding that truth, but for a group like I had for Clue? I'll gladly work on Friday nights (well, some Friday nights). 
  • Don't overdo it. It doesn't have to be everything to everyone. Manage expectations on both ends by being clear in your advertising what will happen at the event.
  • I think I've finally figured out the right way to market to my kids (school announcements, forget the flyers). During the school year anyway--BUT I have contact info for all the kids who came during the school year, so I should be able to contact them directly over the summer.
Going forward:
Friday night events once or twice per month over the summer.
A planned redecorating of the existing YA area of the library--hoping to build ownership of the area with teens. 

Stay tuned to see if I'm on to something here!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Exciting news for Flannel Friday!

Introducing the Flannel Friday website!

It's awesome. Seriously, go look--I'll wait.


 (this post has been written by Melissa of Mel's Desk, our fabulous Flannel Friday originator, and everyone who has ever hosted FF has been invited to share it)

As you know, Anne at So Tomorrow has been an amazing manager and archiver of Flannel Friday information for the past year. Anne and her husband are expecting their first baby in June (congratulations Anne!) so we wanted to give her a break from Flannel Friday during her maternity leave. So this spring, Anne and Mel from Mel's Desk and a small group of old and new Flannel Friday-ers worked to create a new web home for Flannel Friday.

Here's the link!

The new site will be the home of the Round Up Schedule, the archives, FAQs about Flannel Friday, information about how to get involved with Flannel Friday, and links to help new members get started with social networking and blogging. There will also be a link to the week's Round Up, but the Round Up will continue to be hosted on individual blogs. We'll just point to each Round Up from the site.

Refining the Round Up Procedure

The Flannel Friday community has grown continuously over the year, with new bloggers, new Round Up Hosts, and new members every week on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We are building an amazing community and are grateful to each and every one of you for your participation and enthusiasm. As the group has grown, you've probably noticed that so have the Round Ups! We've seen an inevitable increase in missed links and general confusion as the Round Ups are compiled. We thought that the launch of the new site was a great opportunity to take a page from other round ups in the blogosphere and establish one single method for building the Round Up each week.
This information will be in the FAQs on the new site, but here's our new strategy in a nutshell:
  • Every week the Round Up Host will publish a "placeholder" post for the Round Up on the host blog at 10pm EST on Thursday.
  • Each blogger who wants to participate in the Round Up will make a comment to the Round Up post with the link back to their Flannel Friday post by 10pm EST on Friday.
  • This will be the only place to post links for the Round Up! This way the Host won't have to worry about checking Facebook or Twitter as well.
  • If a blogger can't make the 10pm EST deadline on Friday, we'll ask that the post be held for the next week's Round Up.
  • The Round Up Host will gather links from the Round Up post comments throughout the day, and publish the Round Up at the end of the day.
We hope this will make the Round Ups easier to create and easier to contribute to! We'll look forward to your feedback over the next few weeks. Sharon /@ReadingChick at Rain Makes Applesauce has the Round Up this week, 5/11, so she's going to try out the new procedure with us and see how it goes!
If you have questions or comments, don't hesitate to share them via the new Flannel Friday email: flannelboardfriday [at]

Thanks for all you do to to make Flannel Friday more than a blog event--but a great community too. Here's to the next great year of Flannel Friday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Missing/Search and Find Storytime


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I usually choose 5-6 books, and read 3-4 during any given storytime.
These are in order of most used across all sessions:
Where's Tumpty by Polly Dunbar
I Miss You Mouse by Greg Foley
Babyberry Pie by
Where's Catkin by Lord
What's the Matter Bunny Blue by Nicola Smee
Camouflage Clues

Opening Song: 1,2,3 I Love the Library
Where's Tumpty. I love this series of books by Polly Dunbar. I find the illustrations charming and the stories are simple and sweet. The kids enjoyed the repetition of this one, and thought Tumpty's attempts to hide were very funny.

Next we got some wiggles out with "I Can Jump Jump Jump"
When we sat back down, I asked the kids if they wanted to meet my friend who came to storytime, and brought out my baby bear puppet. Baby Bear is a A-DOR-able little puppet in a sleeping bag. we sing his wake up song because he's so shy:
(Frere Jacques)
"Are you sleeping?
Are you sleeping?
Baby Bear
Baby Bear
Will you please wake up now?
Will you please wake up now?
Come and play
Come and play"

Baby Bear helps us with the letter of the day, "M," and pulls a variety of items out of his sleeping bag, to great effect. I bought this set of "Alphabet Soup" cans from S&S Worldwide, and they're great for this sort of thing. Each soup can includes an upper and lowercase letter and at least five well-known items that begin with that letter. The last item that Baby Bear pulled out was his best friend, a stuffed animal mouse (one of the Mouse Count mice, actually), which led us to, "Oh! We have a book about a Bear and a Mouse! Should we read it to Baby Bear?" Of course the kids say yes to that, and we read, "I Miss You Mouse." After that we said good night to Baby Bear and he went away.

Next I asked the kids to show me a turtle (fist with thumb sticking out) and we sang, "I Had a Little Turtle" a few times.

Depending on which session I was in, and my reading of the group dynamic, I chose the next book on the fly.

Flannel Activity: I used a bunch of different animals from a commercial set that I have, and we talked about the differences/similarities between the different pieces. Then we played a few rounds of "What's Missing" where I would remove one and the kids would try to figure out which animal was gone. If they had trouble, then I started giving clues, "It eats bamboo" or "It has long ears."

After that we did the fingerplay, "My Hands"
If there was still a little time left in the session, we sang "Wheels on the Bus."

Closing Song: "Storytime is Over Now"
Hand Stamp

This week we did my favorite activity: Watercolor painting. I LOVE this activity and the kids do too. I just put out blank paper and have someone wet the paint as storytime is ending. I do have some smocks I put out, but it's just watercolor so most people don't use them.
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