Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toddler Story Time: Cowboys

Howdy, Ya'll!! It's almost Go Western Day here in Houston! Time to get your cowboy hat and cowboy boots dusted off and ready to RODEO! Yee-Haw!

We read lots of books about Cowpoke today:

Cowboy Small Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski was read to us by Davy Jay Sparrow 

Armadillo rodeo Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett takes place in Texas!

Armadilly chili Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman was dee-licious!

This is my new favorite Josh Turner (*sigh*) song, "Alligator Stroll" from 
the Sandra Boynton book Frog Trouble:
Frog trouble deluxe songbook

All this talk of cowboys gives me a hankering for some Bar-B-Q!! 
Until next time, keep reading!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Toddler Story Time: BUGS!

Disney's "Ugly Bug Ball" was one of my favorite fun songs to belt out when my brother, sister, and I would sit and watch Sing-a-long videos on TV. And with our weather starting to warm up, we are starting to see some more creepy crawlies outside. So today I thought we would shrink ourselves down and play around with some of these smallest of small critters. 
What does the world look like from their point of view? What would it be like to fly or crawl like they do? Let's read and find out!

Our books from today:
Bugtown Boogie Bugtown Boogie by Warren Hanson - performed by Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton on the website "Read to Me" 

Step gently out Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder

Bugs!  Bugs! by David T. Greenberg

Bean thirteen Bean Thirteen by Matthew McEllicott

The icky bug counting book The Icky Bug Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta

The songs we sung today were:
"Shoo fly, don't bother me" 
and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" by Miss Nina

Keep your eyes out for our buggy friends this week as you play outside or help mom and dad in the garden! You never know what creatures you might find, and what fun they might be having!
Until next time, keep reading!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Toddler Story Time: Valentine's Day

I can't believe that I have been doing Toddler Story Time for a year now! This time last year was our very first community session, and it has been something I look forward to every week! Thanks to all my little friends and their moms, dads, grandmas, and caregivers for joining me for stories, music, and fun every week!
This week I found books about LOVE, and all of them have bears, because who doesn't LOVE bears!
The books we read today were:
I love you, Daddy I Love you, Daddy by Jillian Harker

I love you, Mommy I Love you, Mommy by Jillian Harker

Love songs of the little bear : love song of the little bear, green song, song of wind & rain, snow song Love Songs of the Little Bear by Margaret Wise Brown

Love is a handful of honey Love is a handful of honey by Giles Andrea

The songs we watched and sang today were:
Give your heart a Valentine by Fizzy's Lunch on PBS Kids
The More We Get Together by Miss Nina
You have my heart with Miss Nina and Amelia Robinson
The Goodbye Song from Out of the Box

It is also Random Acts of Kindness Week, so be sure to be kind to one another! One great activity to do with your child is to send an electronic Valentine to a patient at Texas Children's Hospital by clicking here. What a wonderful way to share some love!
Send a Valentine to a Patient

Monday, February 10, 2014

Inaugural Bookworm Festival 2014

Guess who I got to drive from the hotel to the Bookworm Festival? That's right!  It's Judith Viorst, the author of Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! And that was just the beginning to a very enjoyable morning with some fantastic authors and illustrators!

Over 300 children and adults attended the first ever Bookworm Festival at Pine Shadows Elementary. First Judith Viorst shared many stories about her writing, her ideas, and how children and adults experience many of the same feelings from day to day.

Then three hilarious men shared their adventures in writing:
Bob Shea (Dinosaur vs. series), and team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri (Dragons love tacos)

Adam and Daniel talked about the inspiration for their book Dragons love tacos - a statue of a dragon holding a taco that Adam's dad had on his desk. Adam also gave advice to anyone who gets stuck when trying to think of an idea, "go take a walk!" Bob Shea showed how to draw Dinosaur, and said that to do your best drawing you have to make sound effects too! He also said he is talking to PBS about creating a show for PBS kids! How fun is that!? These guys were a lot of fun, just like their books!

Then three ladies talked to the creative teams of the future, our Bookworm kids!
Judith Viorst, Gwendolyn Zepeda, and Harper Paris

Children were asked to submit questions for the authors, and they asked some good ones! We found out that all these authors have new books coming out soon, all of them like to find quiet time by themselves to write, and that giving themselves an attainable goal for each writing session was important. Gwendolyn is the Poet Laureate of Houston, and is asked to write poems during her two year term for strangers she encounters in Houston. Harper Paris is writing a series of books for young readers about two children to travel to various places around the world and have to solve a mystery connected to that location. It sounds like a perfect series for students who loved the Magic Treehouse series!

Then they were whisked away to the library where boys and girls could have their books autographed by each of the authors and illustrators! I got the copies of the books I purchased for Meadow Wood autographed as well, and had a chance to share our students' enthusiasm and excitement over their books.

 Adam and Daniel signed Secret Pizza Party
 Harper Paris signed Greetings from Somewhere: The Mystery of the Gold Coin

Bob Shea signed Unicorn thinks he's pretty great, Dinosaur vs. the Library, and Don't eat your food!

And Judith Viorst signed 2 books from her new Lulu series.

It was a fantastic day for young readers, and I look forward to next year's event!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Toddler Storytime Bookworm Part 3

Bookworm Festival is this Saturday, February 8th... I can hardly wait! Authors of books for young children are so special and create a unique bond with their audience through their quirky, fun storytelling styles. Seeing the interaction between the authors and children will be so much fun.

Today I am highlighting books by author/illustrator duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri:
 Dragons love tacos - who knew?! But NOT spicy salsa!

 Secret Pizza Party - will raccoon ever get his pizza?

We sang these songs and watched these videos:
Miss Nina: "The Bear Went over the Mountain"
"How do you make a pizza?"
Sesame Street: "Humongous"

I hope to see lots of little friends at the Bookworm Festival at Pine Shadows on Saturday, February 8th from 9:30-11:30 AM. Until then, keep reading!

Wrapped books make library abuzz!

Recently I saw a pin on Pinterest for a "Blind date with a book" and I loved the idea of kids picking a book and being surprised by their choice. The only thing is that I teach at an elementary school, so I didn't think dating would go over well with my little guys. I thought about it and thought about it until I had a brilliant idea! I would pull book-alike books from my shelf that were similar to books I get asked about all the time, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, Wonder, Magic Treehouse, Dork Diaries, and Junie B. Jones. Then I would put a heart-shaped tag on each of them that says "If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then you'll LOVE this book!"; it was brilliant! Next I had to figure out a system to check the books out to the students, but the catch was I wanted them to have to leave the library with their book wrapped. This would eliminate them unwrapping the book and immediately changing their mind, as well as stir up interest from the other students in their class. So, I created a spreadsheet that assigned each book a number that I put on the book's tag as well as recorded the barcode of the book (thank God for scanners!) for check-out purposes. The students tell the circulation desk attendant the number of their book and their lunch number so it can be checked out to them after they leave the library. Today I discovered that I needed more book-alike types and added fairy tales, Rainbow Fairy series, sports, animals, and teacher faves.
Photo: I have a little something fun in store for my book loving students! Can't wait to share with you later this week! (Thanks to all my helpers for making this happen!)

This morning I announced the surprise book project on our morning announcements, and the response was overwhelming! Before I could get a picture of my cute wrapped books on my library shelves, students were grabbing them up and taking them away! I even convinced a group of fifth grade boys to walk away from the technology and choose a wrapped book to take to class.

I loved hearing students saying to each other: "I can't wait to unwrap it!" "I wonder what book I got!" "I think mine and yours are the same. They are exactly the same size!" "That's our timer! Let's go back to class and unwrap our books!"

There was some confusion, as I had to repeatedly answer the questions "Which one of these wrapped books is the green Wimpy Kid book?" (answer: none, they are all similar, but none were the actual book.) and "Do I get to keep this book?" (answer: I will check it out to you, but you have to return it just like a regular library book.). But mostly the excitement over the mystery of a wrapped book was contagious and brought a smile to my face and the faces of my teachers and students all day! I just hope I can keep up with the demand for the rest of the week!

Book Lovers Rule the school!!