Saturday, April 30, 2011

Toddlers: Splish, Splash (Phonological Awareness)

If the embedded programming handout does not display below, visit the upper right hand corner of this blog: Under "Youth Services Programs and Resources," choose "Toddler, ages 2 and 3." Then choose "(2011 4) Splish, Splash (Phonological Awareness).pdf"

Again this time, I put an art/craft activity on the back of the handout (not pictured below).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Soul of Leadership by Deepak Chopra

Seven Notes from Chapter Ten "A Template for Awareness":

1) "Leaders and Followers co-create each other.  Followers express a need, and the leader supplies a response.  Both arise together."
2) "The group's needs must be met wherever they are ... Needs fuel change."
3) "The outcome of any situation is defined in advance by the vision that goes into solving it."
4)  "Needs are designed to evolve, and a leader must be aware of this in order to foresee the future of the group and anticipate its needs."
5)  "For every need, the leader must play the right role."
6)  "The leader who understands the hierarchy of needs and responses will succeed."
7) "Leading ... means ... you spend time investing in relationships with those who turn to you for answers ... Unafraid of forming emotional bonds ..."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Preschoolers: Water, Water Everywhere

An Earth Day influenced storytime ... If the embedded programming handout does not display below, visit the upper right hand corner of this blog: Under "Youth Services Programs and Resources," choose "Preschool, ages 4 and 5."  Then choose (2011 4) Water, Water Everywhere (Narrative).pdf

A colleague suggested putting a coloring sheet on the other side of the programming handout to encourage the caregivers to take it home.  I thought it was a great idea!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina

Exercise EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.
Evolution SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
wiring WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
attention ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don't pay attention to boring things.
shortterm SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
longterm LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
sleep SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
stress STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don't learn the same way.
multisensory SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
vision VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
gender GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
exploration EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.


Here are some others (pulled from the "Brain Rules" list after the book's contents page) that are ECRR related.  They will fit nicely on a programming handout:

Face Time, Not Screen Time (print motivation -- bonding)
Praise Effort, not IQ (print motivation -- positive experiences)
Guided Play, Every Day ECRR 2 Anyone?  (narrative and vocabulary skills -- talk about what you are doing)
The Brain Craves Community (narrative, vocabulary, print motivation -- talking to and being around others)
Labeling Emotions Calms Big Feelings (narrative and vocabulary skills -- talking about issues and labeling things)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leaders as Servants to Ideas and People

"Institutions function better when the idea, the dream, is to the fore, and the person, the leader is seen as servant of the idea ... It is the idea that unites people in the common effort, not the charisma of the leader ... Far too many of our contemporary institutions do not have an adequate dream, an imaginative concept that will raise people's sights close to where they have the potential to be ...(78)"
From The Power of Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf

I do believe that we should always reach for our potential; There is always something to learn.  However, sociology major undergrad that I am, I realize the importance of dynamics with people.  So I also recommend reading 151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills by Robert E. Dittmer and Stephanie McFarland.

And while we are on the topic of institutional/personal potential and communication skills VERSUS the mentality that the person with the most power (e.g. loudest voice, strongest kick) K.O.s ... OK's the role of leader ... try The Gentle Art of Communicating with Kids: From Toddlers to Teens by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D.

I'm liking that I can now rightfully post 
images of book covers
that I find fascinating 
and appropriate to the topics of this blog.
Enjoy ... and please feel free to make a comment!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mem Fox on Reading to Babies (Quote)

"The best time to start reading aloud to a baby is the day it is born.  The lilting rhythm of a simple bedtime book on that first thrilling, exhausting day is soothing for the tremulous parents and the new child and adds to the bonding between them.  It gives them something to "talk about" together."

From Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children 
Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Family Fun: I Spy

This program was inspired by my article "Using Picturebooks to Expand Perception."  I will be doing another during Summer Reading called "Family Fun: I Spy Near and Far."

Story: It Looked Like Spilt Milk with props. Children bring up prop and stick to flannel board as each object is named.

Group Activity: What Did You See? PowerPoint (Click on hyperlink to access downloadable version.)  Download also available by going to "PowerPoint Presentations" under "Youth Services Programs and Resources." 

Booktalk: Duck! Rabbit! and Round Trip by Ann Jonas

If large group, 10-15 minutes at each station, or if small group, let them proceed at own pace.

1) I Spy Books and Media to explore and check out.

2) I Spy Jars
Two plastic orange juice containers. One filled with grits. The other filled with birdseed. Miniature toys buried in each jar.  Answers available in closed file folder.

3) I Spy, My Spy from
(Picture Riddle #1) Use old book covers for images/collage, if desired.

4) I Spy laminated mats
Rip out individual sheets from Fun for All Pads series from Barnes and Nobles, glue to cardstock, and laminate. Use dry erase markers to circle found objects.

Take Home – Hidden picture from and camouflaged Canadian goose sticker. (Photo taken by Hayley McEwing and made into a sticker on

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Babies: Share Music

As one can see, I'm including more "performance" pieces for this baby program. 

For example, I played "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a toy keyboard to further emphasize how music helps children hear the smaller sounds that create words BECAUSE these syllables/sounds/phonemes usually occur on different musical notes.  I hope to eventually make a musical staff poster with this tune, so parents can understand the concept visually.

I also did the unfolding portion of a simple cut and tell nursery rhyme while the audience clapped the syllables.  I hope to soon post a video demonstration of this -- my version of Jean Stangl's in Paper Stories.

Click here if embedded document does not display.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Emotional - Social Learning

"The goal for parenting should not be achieving a brittle "positive" psychology -- clinging to a state of perpetual joy in one's children -- but rather teaching a child how to return on her own to a state of contentment, whatever may happen."
-- from Daniel Goleman's Social Intelligence (183)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gotta Move: Eggs-travaganza

Again, I'm making a change ... to only market one early literacy tip per program and on the handout.  Note that I am not referencing Easter eggs, but rather focusing on kinds of eggs -- what can hatch from them and what they can look like (naturally) or their properties (e.g. fragile).

Click here if embedded images don't work.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Toddlers: I Spy Eggs (Print Awareness)

I'm again changing the look of my programming handout.  I'm not associating an early literacy tip with each activity.  Instead I'm including only one to three tips so as not to overwhelm the caregiver.

Note that I am not referencing Easter eggs, but rather focusing on kinds of eggs -- what can hatch from them and what they can look like (naturally).

Click here if embedded documents don't load.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

International Children's Book Day OR One World, Many Stories

Happy International Children's Book Day!

I was reminded of the following resources.  They are also good resources for those following the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme "One World, Many Stories."

Outstanding International Books from the United States Board on Books for Young People:

International Children's Book Day Activities

International Children's Digital Library