I have a lot of plans that I did a while ago that I want to post but to start off, here’s what I did yesterday in my Preschool Storytime. (Storytime is one word to me. I’m sorry if that offends anyone.) I’m repeating this tomorrow for outreach and I think the kids are going to love it! I visit the Pre-k class at the elementary school once a month and I always get great reactions. It’s also really fun to hear that some of the kids are coming into the library because they had fun during my school visit! So here’s the meat of my program. I’ll post videos of the songs I use some other time.
Welcoming comments: This includes mention of programs that are coming up at the library and a reminder to grab our newsletter on the way out. We also have this information written on the whiteboard behind where I’m sitting but I find it’s nice to make mention of key information verbally while you have everyone’s attention at the very beginning.
Reminder of behavior expectations: I like to have all the kids sitting criss-cross applesauce with their spoons (hands) in the bowl. (lap) When I need everyone to quiet down, I ask them to “catch a bubble” on their lips and show them how to do it myself. This does not mean puffing out one’s cheeks like a small rodent. It means pursing your lips as if a bubble has landed on them. The idea is that if you talk, the bubble will pop or float away. These are both expressions that I learned when I worked in preschools and I find them to be very effective in this atmosphere as well.
Also I don’t use those sticky cushion-y things. I find them to be more of a distraction than anything else. They can sit on the floor for 30 mins. Haha!
Make obligatory mention of Early literacy skill we are focusing on.
In this week’s case, it is Phonological Awareness. I try not to read it directly from the paper but this is what I wrote in my notes: “Phonological awareness- the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. There are many ways to help your child develop this skill as you sing, talk, read, write, and play throughout the day.”
Opening song: “The more we get together” with ASL. I’ll post a video of this at some point.
Listening activity: I asked them to guess my theme, which was, (and always is) blatantly obvious. Then I asked them what sound a frog makes. After the chorus of ribbits died down, I pulled up this file on Soundcloud and we listened for the frogs. I thought this was a fun way to use technology and make a science connection. I’ll probably do something similar again in the future.
Book: The Frog Who Lost His Underpants by Juliette MacIver
This book is epic in so many ways. First, It’s relatively new so I was excited to dive into something that I hadn’t seen talked/pinned/blogged about before. Second, it’s hilarious especially with the preschool crowd. AND as a bonus, much of the book is written in verse so I sang those parts. Again a video would probably be helpful here. I’ll get around to that in an update…
Flannel song: 5 green and speckled frogs. We all know it and love it. I would have posted a template for the pieces but I didn’t make them. They were a hand-me-down. But you can get the idea of what they look like in the picture I posted of my set up, I think?
Book: Ah ha! by Jeff Mack
I sortof talked through the plot of this book with my audience participating in the reactionary sounds. I didn’t think this book lived up to the hype I heard about it but it certainly accomplished some Early Literacy things so it was easy to talk about with the parents.
Early Literacy Example: There were only TWO LETTERS in “Ah ha” ! but when we changed the way we said them, we were able to tell a story. This is a great example of how you can play with the smaller sounds (phonemes) in words.
Flannel story: “It’s mine” by Lio Lionni
I didn’t read the actual book but I did show the cover to everyone and let them know they could check it out from the library. Instead of reading the story from the book, I typed up the text so that I could highlight the various places I was supposed to do things with the flannel. I also used a rainstick and had the kids guess what the sound was/what was going on in the story when they heard it. They thought that was really cool!
Song/Book: The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
We stood up and danced while I sang the song. It was great. Classic!
“I know a frog” (Tracey Eldridge’s Nevermind the Rain album)
“Froggie went a courtin'” (from 102 Children’s Songs Vol.2 but there are a million versions of this song. You could even read one of the books with the song lyrics in it if you wanted to.)
Final Early Literacy Tip: “Preschoolers love to be silly, and this includes of course being silly with words. You can play with words like we did in “Ah ha” or by making up nonsense words together. Hearing and rearranging those smaller sounds is an important part of sounding out words as your children learn to read!”
Then I mention checking out the books on the displays I made and give any instructions necessary for the craft. (Will update with photo and instructions for this later!)
Closing Song: “Now it’s Time to Say Goodbye to All Our Friends.”
(to the tune of “She’ll be coming Round the Mountain”)
I got the idea for this song somewhere on the internet but I changed the words a little bit, added a second verse and made my own, ASL based motions. Before I added the second verse, it felt a little too final for me. Especially because after the programmed part we just walk to the back of the room and do the craft together. So here it is:
“Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends. “Goodbye!”
Yes it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends. “Goodbye!”
Now it’s time to say goodbye
Wave your hands,
Wink your eye be-cause
It’s time to say goodbye to all our friends. “Goodbye!
But we’ll see you back again right here, real soon!
But we’ll see you back again right here, real soon!
Yes we’ll see you back again right here,
Dry your eye be-cause
We’ll see you back for Storytime next week! “Bye Bye!”
Craft: Frog Puppets from paper plates.
I think this is mostly self explanatory but I’ll add that I recommend Elmers glue rather than a glue stick to adhere the cottonballs to the froggy face.
If you use a glue stick, you will have gunks of cotton stuck all in your glue sticks. Which is gross.