Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have a MOORY Christmas!

Do you think Queenie is on the naughty list now that she has mouthed off to Santa? I hope not!

I'm taking a break from the blog, so I hope everyone has a great holiday! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Season's Readings: Week Three

This week is all about getting through the last week of story times for the year.

I don't dislike story times...don't get me wrong. I love kids. I love my job. I also love breaks where I can take a breather from the grind. It's like vacation at work, if there is such a thing. Yeah!

The general theme of the week: Christmas and dinosaurs. Christmas because it's December. Dinosaurs because, well, dinosaurs are awesome.

Dinosaur wins!

I already told you about How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas in this blog post, so I won't go into it again (other than saying that it's cute, but sort of hard to read in a story time setting.) However, here's a new one for you: Dinosaur Vs. Santa by Bob Shea is a book filled with mischievous holiday cheer. I have read Dinosaur Vs. The Potty before, and figured the kids would like this pick. Other than scaring the bejeezus out of one little girl when I yelled, "ROAR!!! I'M A DINOSAUR!" at the beginning of the book, the kiddos seemed to enjoy it.

Again, we played the Snowman Dance Party game, which they love. I may have to make something with a different theme for next semester when we do fairy tales. A sleeping spell, perhaps?

We did a craft consisting of these sticker sheets and construction paper to design a card or ornament for a loved one. Easy peasy. I had two hour-long holiday craft programs yesterday, so I'm a bit Christmas-crafted-out. More on that tomorrow!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Miss Michelle's Christmas Wish List

In my last post, I mentioned that we read Pete the Cat Saves Christmas in story time this week. When I read the book to the kids, I had to point out that my name is on Santa's nice list this year...see?

No room for doubt! There it is!

With that being said, here's a list of things that I would like for Christmas:

Kringle from Racine, Wisconsin: If you have never had kringle, order some, share it with me, and then we can talk about how obscenely good it is. Raspberry is my favorite, but cherry or apple will do in a pinch.

Snow: C'mon people. I don't even like winter, but this "Midwest weather" thing has gone more awry than it needs to.

Cookies: I have received two packages of cookies from some of my story time kids. Evidently some of the moms take to heart the snarky "Gee, I'd really like some of those cookies that the little mouse has" comments that I make. Thanks folks!

Reese's Peanut Butter Trees: Because they're just that much better than the cups. The pb:chocolate ratio is much higher in the trees. Love them.

These shoes: Size 7 please and thank you.

This tshirt: Size L...because it's The Lion King and so hilarious. Thank you, Internet, for giving me a good laugh.

Happy kids: The gift that keeps on giving!

I don't want much, folks. I'm pretty happy with what I have. If I don't get anything on my list, it's okay. I'll just have to budget differently in January and make my own darn treats...right?

Tomorrow: Pajama Time Excitement!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Season's Readings: Week Two

This week I did what every other children's librarian in the Midwest is doing: continuing Christmas story time. Woo. I'm not a Scrooge, but I just get tired of the same old stuff. Thank goodness for NEW BOOKS!


Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and James Dean is a groovy new holiday book. Santa is sick and calls in his friend Pete to deliver the goods. It's a cute book with a fun character that kids really like. For more awesome Pete stuff, go to this site for songs and games! Rockin'!

The cute (greedy) mouse...

Here's another not-so-new-but-new-to-me book: If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff is a short Christmas book, good for younger kids. I'm not really into the "gimme gimme gimme" that this mouse does in all it's books, but children think it's funny. And honestly, if I were the mouse, I'd just want to eat all the popcorn at the movies (before the movie starts) and say to heck with the popcorn garland.

Do they eat the tree, then flee?

I am a fan of the Yolen/Teague How Do Dinosaurs...? books. I picked How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? because most of my story time kiddos have read at least one of these books. I have to say though...this one is a bit rough as a read aloud. The rhymes seem to be a bit choppy to me; it's just not like the other books in the series. The kiddos like it because it's familiar and because...dinosaurs!

I wussed out on the crafts this week. I had leftovers from Victorian Christmas, so I just gave them to the story time kids. We did scratch art in Christmas tree form, which everyone always enjoys. I think they're quite relaxing to create. The kids like them because colors appear like magic when they scratch off the top layer. This craft works on fine motor skills, as well as preparing kids for the real world activity of scratching off lottery tickets with a nickel. (I'm always thinking, folks...)

Another leftover craft are the fabulous "All About Me" Christmas posters. I can't find them on Oriental Trading now, but here are some similar items. I made one about myself and had the 4 and 5 year olds color their own. I had a good time doing my own...I think I'll continue to purchase them for the elementary school kids instead of for the younger set.

I would totally post pictures...but my camera battery is dead. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Pajama Time on Thursday kicks off our week of WINTER HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR programs. I saw a Grinch shirt yesterday while shopping...I'm sad that I forgot to pick it up before I left the store. Kidding! (A little...)

Coming soon: My favorite Christmas things! Yes, they do exist!

Monday, December 10, 2012

December K6 Roundup

My K6 kids have been busy! Let's start from the beginning of the month, shall we?

December 3rd: Homeschool Group had a "Fun with Technology" themed program. I have recently taken over these programs and did not pick the I'm struggling a bit with the published-themes-I-didn't-pick! I was going to nix the whole thing and do crafts, because that's what I do...but I got creative and pulled a technology based program from you-know-where. We did INVENTIONS. Yes, like Aggie said last week: I'm made of awesome!

So we discussed what exactly inventions are, and what inventors do: solve everyday (or not so everyday) problems using their know-how. I came up with this idea the day of, so I grabbed some invention books off the shelf, and gave them this activity:
  • Think about something that you absolutely, positively HATE to do.
  • Invent something to do this chore for you.
  • Write about it (for the older kids) and draw it (for all the kids).
Okay...they sort of loved this program! I was pretty amazed that they were so excited about it. There were a lot of "homework robots" and "room cleaning machines." The best of the bunch: Pooper-Scooper 3000...complete with an umbrella, "because it's not waterproof." What a great thinker!!!

December 3rd: History Diggers did a local history/flag program. I know that sounds a bit strange, but the man that designed the Indiana state flag is from it all ties in! Mr. Bill helped me out with this program, as he is the All-Knowing-Indiana-Room-Historian-Guy here at MPL. He took half the group to the Indiana Room, while I kept half to explain general information about flags.

Flags are rad. I have loved looking at pictures of flags since I was young; I used to look at the flag entry in the encyclopedia that my parents have because it was one of the big colored spreads. (Sweet.) I gathered a bunch of flag books for the kids to peruse and asked them to make their own personal flag. I was a bit overwhelmed that day (4 programs on that day...I'm breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it!) so I forgot to take pictures...but the flags were pretty neat.

December 10: Today in Science Seekers, we're doing paper airplanes...which is fun and exciting, but I really don't understand any of it. I get that you have to have all the forces in balance to make something fly, blah blah blah...but I still don't get the details. I'm excited to color my own plane though. We'll see if I make a fool out of myself. Some physics teacher is going to hunt me down for giving out misinformation, I'm sure. We're going to throw boomerangs too; I can't even get mine to fly. Oh well. This is what happens when I don't get to pick my theme! Next year will be better (I'm just going to keep telling myself that!)

December 17: All groups are doing winter art. I don't know what they're going to do yet, but I'm in my comfort zone with this one, so it will be awesome and wonderful, I just know it. I'll post more about this later!

Tomorrow: Holiday Story Time: Round 2

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Season's Readings!

I like the Christmas season...but I feel like I'm going to be Christmased out before the day actually gets here. For everyone's sake, I'm going to try to stick it out. Promise!

My serious face. Seriously.

I was hoping that the kids wouldn't riot this week: I didn't bust out the parachute. Next to "toy time," the parachute is the most beloved part of story time for some of the kids. Thankfully I inserted a game that I came across in The Mailbox magazine...and no riot gear had to come out.

Hot and Cold

I call this game "Snowman Dance Party." I told the kids that they were snow(wo)men, and that they could dance when I held up the snowflake. However, when the sun came out, the kids had to stop dancing and "melt" to the floor. They thought the game was fabulous! I used the song The Twelve Days of Christmas by Reliant K for the dance party...and I have to tell you, I'm hoping that it will make my kids want to listen to more punk music. I always have ulterior motives...

I read the book Mouse's First Christmas by Lauren Thompson to the 2's and 3's class. I asked them before we got started what they thought the mouse would find in the house. "Cheese" was the most popular answer...unfortunately he didn't find any queso. We made cute candy cane ornaments using white foam sheets, Elmer's glue, and buttons, to go along with mouse's find of candy.

Looks almost good enough to eat!

For the older kids, I read The Mitten adapted by Jan Brett. This Ukrainian folktale is new to me, but I'm sure many of you know all about it. Nicki wants his grandmother to knit him white mittens. Grandma tells him that white mittens aren't a good idea, but he really wants them, so she knits them anyway. Nicki then loses a mitten practically ten seconds after he leaves the house. Animals invade. Bear sneezes. Mitten flies. Nicki almost runs away to Mongolia because he realizes his mitten is gone, but he sees it flying and grabs it before returning home. Butt-whoopin' averted. Moral: Listen to Grandma.

Animal invasion!

I found this awesome craft on Jan Brett's website via Pinterest. I made the mitten portion into a lacing craft because, well, why the heck not? I asked the kids to lace the mittens, color and cut the animals before the story so we could use it as a prop while telling the story. I challenged them to take their crafts home and retell the story to people in their families. I'm pretty proud of myself! *High five!*

Season's Readings!

Another thing I'm proud of: Holiday book bundles! If you work in a library, you know that all the "popular" stories get picked out first, and then you're left with good stories that don't circulate because they're not so popular. The solution: bundle great books together and allow patrons to check them out as a unit! My hope for this project was for people to become acquainted with different stories that may become favorites. I have had great reviews from patrons and coworkers. I haven't had any negative comments, but I have found bundles unbundled without the "popular" title in the bunch. At least people are checking stuff out...right?

Tomorrow: K6 Weekly Update!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Tiiiime is Here...

Do you have that song stuck in your head now? Sorry. (Not really.)'s December. Yup. And it's 65 degrees outside. (Midwest weather! Who needs it?!) This past weekend was the "Victorian Christmas" celebration here in Mooresville. There were plenty of things to do in town, including lots of things happening here at the library. I had a room full of craft stations and had at least 150 (!) people in and out all day long. I did story times as well. But the money shot: Silly Safaris animal show with a REAL LIVE REINDEER! *Insert wild screaming children here*

Queenie and Misfit the Reindeer
Misfit the Reindeer was the big finale of the animal show. Queenie got the lowdown on Misfit and shared with me some tidbits:

  • Misfit is a lady reindeer.
  • She got her name because she spilled hot chocolate. Whoops.
  • Misfit is a vegan. She eats hay and loves green grass.
  • Her favorite book is The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett.
  • She is four years old.
  • She has a baby named Noel.
  • Misfit's antlers fall off every year.
  • She only flies when Santa feeds her magical corn.
  • She is friends with Rudolph. Seriously!
Rachel, our fabulous teen librarian, set up a photo booth in the young adult section. Needless to say, Queenie and I had a bit of fun...

Moo-ry Christmas!
 What a great way to kick off December! Tomorrow: Holiday Story Time, Part One!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hibernation Celebration!

This week, a young lady excitedly told me: "I'm so ready to hear Christmas stories this week!!!!"

I had to burst her bubble because I wasn't quite ready for holiday overload just yet. I talked about hibernation this week, with a large focus on bears. The kids seemed to like the topic, and I switched up the format a bit to spice things up.

But Mooooom...

We started with motions to the song "The Bear Climbed over the Mountain." The music that I had for it sucked a bit more than I would normally like it to, but we made do. We then used stick puppets for "5 Little Monkeys." You know, the jumping on the bed song? The kids really liked this activity, and I'll be sure to use it again.

We read Old Bear by Kevin Henkes in the 2's and 3's class. It is just the right length and depth for most of the kids, so it went over well. I then asked the kids what they would dream about if they were a hibernating bear, and told them to draw it on their paper as the craft for the day. Evidently this kind of thing is a bit open ended for youngins...but the bears had several "abstract" dreams of scribbles.

Miss Michelle Bear dreams of donuts.

In the 4's and 5's class, I read Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming. This book demonstrates how animals know when it's time to sleep for the winter. There are several animals, and I used a flannel board activity from The Mailbox magazine which shows the different animals in order of when they appear in the book.

After talking about sleep for a week, this is how I felt. ZzZzZzZz...

I found a craft for this book on Totally Tots a couple of months ago, and have been SUPER EXCITED to do it ever since. It's a bear puppet with a cave. I know it's not much, but the kids really liked it, and were playing with them even before they left the program room. I cut brown paper bags in half and cut an opening for the cave. We glued cotton balls on top and made bear puppets from clip art and a craft stick.

Time to sleep, Bear!

Next week: Season's Readings!