Connecting you with Fall Creek Public Library news, information, and ideas

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Colors Storytime April 30

We started with our welcome songs, I showed off my colorful socks, and then we ...

read "Where is the Green Sheep?" by Mem Fox.

Next, I passed out beanbags (borrowed from IFLS) and we danced around to Greg and Steve's Beanie Bag Dance. This song is always a hit!

Then we read "Blue Chicken" by Deborah Freedman and "Tap the Magic Tree" by Christie Mathison. I did the first few actions of "Magic Tree" than walked around and let the children take turns with the other actions. Some, like blow a kiss to the tree, I had everyone do. Good fun!

Then, I added a few words to Jim Gill's Sneezing Song:

Please don't feed me black-eyed peas
You know what they will do
For if you feed me black-eyed peas
I'll have to sneeze.
Ahh...ah.....ahhh... CHOO!!!

Then: orange macaroni and cheese.
Then: brown chocolate chip cookies.

Then i got out Patrick George's book, "Magic Colors."

After goodbye songs and bubbles, the kids enjoyed play-doh.

Next week: CATS! May 17 is our final spring storytime. If it is nice out, plan to meet at Keller Park.

Storytime will resume at 9:30am on June 18.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Books Build Better Brains

Here are quick, fairly unedited notes from today's Books Build Better Brains workshop. It was put on by IFLS and given by Dipesh Navsaria.

April 24 Books Build Better Brains:

Early brain and child development –
            Child development is a foundation for community development and economic development. Children become the foundation of a sustainable society. We need to invest in the future.
            Brains are built over time. Don’t invest in just babies and you also can’t just wait until later.  Invest in families, too.  Adults also have learning needs.
            What predicts development – biology, health and development, ecology (where are they, who is around them, what is the world like?) Three legged stool – genetics/biology, socio-economic env, attachment and relationship patterns.
            The interactive influences of genes and experience literally shape the architecture of the developing brain.  And the active ingredient is the serve and return nature of children’s engagement in relationships with their parents and other caregivers. Interaction. People over products. This is becoming forgotten in our society. Humans do not develop in isolation. Often face-to-face interaction isn’t modeled for them. “what is my child going to learn from me? They are better off in front of and “educational” dvd.” Face-to-face interaction is a learned behavior…. It’s not a natural reaction or behavior for many people.
            Scaffolding and simple skills for more advanced skills over time.
            Toxic stress in early childhood is associated with persistent effects on the nervous system. Lifelong effects on learning, behavior, and even physical health. The healthier the society, the higher the IQ. Brain functions and nerve firings are higher in a normal 3 year old brain versus a neglected child.

Stress Response: increases in cortisol and epinephrine. Some stress is normal and helps us respond to the world. The degree and type of stress is what can cause detrimental  versus helpful reactions.
            3 levels: positive response (learn from it),  tolerable (serious and temporary stress responses, buffered by supportive relationships), toxic stress (not a single bad stressor – prolonged activation of the stress response system. It stays for weeks, months, years, entire lifetimes and there are fewer or no buffering relationships).
            Socio-emotional buffering is the primary factor of distinguishing level of stress. Toxic stress can be intergenerational. Child abuse, parental substance abuse, domestic violence, war/violence, poverty, homelessness, neglect. They create effects that reverberate throughout a lifetime. Poverty is neurotoxic. Children with typical cortisol response have higher executive function and were rated as having more self-control in the classroom. Those with a flat, high or very low or blunt response had a lower function and had less self-control. Another study: children engaged with mothers engaged in scaffolding play had lower cortisol levels and were more attentive. Let the child explore while providing a foundation for the play. Child has a chance to try things out and be persistent. Children who were in more authoritarian had higher cortisol levels and were found to be less attentive. This was found at 7 months of age and again at 15 months. They also found that the more impoverished the family, the less likely they were to engage in scaffolding play. Why is this happening? Many critical factors.

The Adverse Childhood Experience Study -
17,000 patients that looked at childhood abuse and toxic stressors. Most were middle-class white people average age of 57 split even between men and women. This was NOT a study looking just at poverty families. High responses and unexpectedly common with adverse stressors in their childhood. 75-100 percent risk of development delay with exposure to 5+ risk factors. 3x the risk of heart disease if you had 7-8 stressors compared to somebody with 0. Smoking risk, adult alcoholism drug use, suicide/attempts, etc all at higher risk for adults who had early adversity.

Epigenetics – what happens over your lifetime will somehow be passed on to your children and future generations through genetics. Twins have same genome but have different epigenomes. Fetal exposure can be passed on to future generations – later come out in future generations not necessarily the current one.
Where may we have science-policy gaps? Child welfare – mandated maternal employment and public assistance. May be causing problems for the child AND the child’s child by not encouraging family functions and requiring them to be gone from the home.

Creating the right conditions for early childhood development is easier and more effective than trying to fix problems later on. We need good protective interventions to keep healthy child on the right path. Can also do stuff for children who are at risk. Model good discipline, reading, setting limitations, language stimulation from people not from products, high quality early childhood education, a society that recognizes good, quality education not just somebody who is around all day and is accessible for everyone, specialized services, home visits, etc. We need to reduce the barriers to positive socio-emotional behaviors. Is a parent working three jobs to earn a living wage? What do you think that is doing to their kids and family life?
            700 new neural connection per second for infants
            at 18 months, we can measure disparities in early vocabulary based on an economic scale. Achievement gap starts at this age.
For every dollar we put in early childhood programs, we get 4-9 back.           
“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men” – Frederick douglass.

Table Talk: What can we do about it?
Give credit to pregnant and teen parents for participating in family classes and personal environment and parent programs. Help to eliminate the stressors of teen mothers.
Head start-like programs that encourage the whole family to participate in activities. Reach out to all families but make a special effort to reach at-risk office.
WIC offices
Modeling interactions during storytime
Decrease the stigma of assistance
Parent play programs to encourage scaffolding and face-to-face play
Quality Time is a big issue for many families, particularly those who are “at-risk” – single parents, poverty, working lots and school, substance abuse, little or no help from other family members
Broaden support for parents in community settings
School-based health centers
Home visiting programs
Resilience training (7Cs)
Emotional coaching
Positive parenting
Intentional skill building
Investing in early intervention programs
Big brother/big sister
Mentoring activities
Investment in new strategies
Little league/gymnastics/etc
Address political and sociological problems

Reading Reality

“Meaningful Differences in the every day experiences of young children” study
Wisconsin ranks 49th out of 50 states on daily reading practices for families in poverty.

4 Rs of early childhood – routines, reading, rhyming, rewards, relationships

2013 senate joint resolution 59 – remind legislators about it and encourage funding to support the language in the resolution. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Water Storytime April 23

Today, we focused on water as the theme of storytime. After our good morning songs, I asked them about animals who live in water - jellyfish, fish, hippos, crocodiles, sharks, whales.... Lots of good suggestions! Then I asked them how water comes down from the sky - clouds, rain, snow. 

Song: 1 little 2 little 3 little raindrops. 4 little 5 little 6 little raindrops. 7 little 8 little 9 little raindrops. 10 raindrops in the sky.

Book: A Cool Drink of Water

Song: I passed out these cute little fish puppets for the kids to dance with during the song. I demonstrated a few different movements they could do and then we listened and danced to 5 Fish Swimming in the Sea by Dr. Jean.

Book: Watch Over Our Water by Lisa Bullard

Song: 5 Little Monkeys and the Alligator

Book: How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson, which generated quite a bit of laughter.

I wasn't sure if we would have time or not - we didn't - for Graeme Base's The Water Hole

After our goodbye songs, I had wet and dry spongeblocks available to play with. What a hit (as I expected they would be) and after they are all dry, I will be adding them to our shelf of toys and puzzles to play with.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fruit Storytime

We had 14 kiddos today! What fun! Today we focused on fruit.

Welcome Songs

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Music Activity: I changed up "Apples and Bananas." Instead of changing vowel sounds, we did actions with scarves. We pretended the scarves were different kinds of fruit "mine is a blueberry! mine's kiwi!" and sang the song. The actions were:

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas....
I like to shake shake shake apples and bananas....
I like to twist twist twist apples and bananas...
I like to wave wave wave apples and bananas...
I like to throw throw throw apples and bananas... (doesn't that just sound hilarious!!)
I like to sit with apples and bananas.

Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne

Hungry Little Monkey by Andy Blackford

Using a cut up pool noodle, we told the story Ten Apples Up on Top together. I had two stacks of "apples" going at the same time. Each kid had an "apple" and when it was their turn, they came up and added their apple to the stack. One stack kept falling down after about 7 apples, which caused a RIOT of laughter :) We kept the other stack going (I had a bin of apples next to me so I could finish the story) and ALMOST made it to the end of the book. The apples and book are now available on our playtable for families to play with.
We ran out of time for Go Go Grapes! by April Pulley Sayre but many kids chose to look at it after storytime.

Goodbye Songs and Bubbles

Next week we will do water books and a water activity!

Robot Storytime April 9

We had 13 kiddos at storytime last Wednesday. Here is what we did:

Welcome songs

Fingerplay: 1 little 2 little 3 little robots 4 little 5 little 6 little robots 7 little 8 little 9 little robots 10 robots going up the stairs (move like a robot going up stairs). 10 little 9 little 8 little robots 7 little 6 little 5 little robots 4 little 3 little 2 little robots 1 robot going down the stairs (move like a robot going down stairs then sit down).

Short book: Bad Birthday Idea by Madeline Valentine

Be Kind to Your Robot Friends song - Words can be found here on Rob Reid's Heart of a Child blog.

Baby Brains and Robomom by Simon James

Movement circles - I made a few more than can be found on the website. They were cut out and then the kids took turn drawing one circle. Everyone did the movement. Other ones i added include dance like a robot, jump like a robot, make robot sounds... It was fun!

Then I passed out robot printable masks. We did a poem I made up and each time I said "robot," they held up their robots and wiggled and jiggled them.

My robot likes to wiggle.
My robot likes to jiggle.
Boy it makes me giggle
When that robot starts to wiggle and jiggle!

Next, I got out our tape, popsicle sticks, scissors, markers, and crayons and they could cut out and decorate their masks to take home.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Afterschool Library Camp: Final Day of Marshmallows

Our last day started with the book, Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. Really, no tie-in to the marshmallows. I just knew the kids would enjoy it :) We had 6 kids who were able to attend on Thursday. It was a beautiful day out and boy were they squirel-ly! I'm glad I underplanned the afternoon so we could spend 30 minutes outside. It was too windy to attempt the solar cooked smores, but I have it planned for the summer!

For snack, we made edible sculptures out of marshmallows, PEEPs, frosting, peanut butter, and graham crackers.

Then we finished our Dissolving PEEPs experiment. We took each one out and used our senses (minus tasting!!) to see what exactly had happened to our 2 year old hardened PEEPs. They were amazed and really disgusted by what the tea and soda did to our little birds.

Then we attempted marshmallow shooters. In the future, only paper cups work. Plastic equals uber-fails!! They were cool with it, though, and were excited by the challenge to see if they could make one at home.

Then we went outside and played with chalk, frisbees, hula hoops, and the LEGOs.

We came back inside for a library scavenger hunt. Once all items were found, the child could pick out a book to keep.

We finished by reading another book and talking about all the things we did over the week.

After School Library Camp: Day 3 of Marshmallows

On Wednesday, we had 8 kids in attendance. First, we started off with the book, "Everyone is a Scientist." I let them know how we were going to be scientists the rest of the day by gathering facts and using our senses and tools.

After our story, we did another guessing jar. This time, I had 68 mini marshmallows in a measuring cup. We took turns writing our guesses in secret and then talked about the differences between the previous guessing jar and the mini marshmallow guessing jar.

For snack, we worked together to make Rice Crispie Treats, using measuring tools, flavored marshmallows, butter, rice crispies, and some leftover marshmallow cereal from a previous snack. Each child could pick their own cookie cutter and mold their mixture into the cookie cutter. Some opted to just eat the mixture before forming it, which was just fine.

Then we checked out our dissolving PEEPs. I let them touch a few of them.

We discussed how they changed from the previous day and predicted what would happen by Thursday, the last day of Library Camp.

Then, I divided the group into 2. One group worked on designing their own PEEP while the other group microwaved PEEPs. Then we switched. 

Then we watched a funny YouTube video where somebody microwaved a whole bunch of PEEPs at the same time for a long time. "Don't try it at home, kids!" Beforehand, we predicted what might happen, knowing what we know from our microwaving adventure. Most kids were pretty right on! You can see all photos at the bottom of today's post.

Then we taste tested PEEPs and marshmallows... cake, sour watermelon, pink lemonade, and regular flavors. I didn't tell them what they were getting, but I did give them options as to what flavors we had. Most kids guessed each flavor correctly! While I did NOT like the cake PEEP, almost all the kids loved each flavor and couldn't pick a favorite :)

Then we had free time: Battleship, Play-Doh, reading, etc.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Afterschool Library Camp: Marshmallows Day 2

On Tuesday, we continued our exploration of the world through marshmallows. We had 11 kids today and had tons of fun!

First, the kids made their own trail mix. The kids could pick up to 4 scoops from pretzels, marshmallows, marshmallow cereal, Annie's Bunnies, and Annie's cheese crackers. While they ate their snack, I read "Glue." After the story, I held up a vase filled with PEEPs. The kids came up and wrote how many PEEPs they thought were in the jar. Each guess was very close and two kids guessed correctly! 25 PEEPs!

Then, we checked on our Dissolving PEEPs experiment. I even let them touch a few of them. We swished the jars around to get a good look at the bottoms of the PEEPs. We talked about what the soda and tea were doing to the chicks and what that might mean for our teeth. I reminded them how solid the PEEPs were to begin with and if any physical changes were taking place. We looked at color, size, and movement, too.

Then, I gave each child a glue bottle, a piece of black paper, and a cup 3/4 full of small marshmallows. I set crayons and toothpicks on the table and we made 3D marshmallow sculptures. Very creative kids!

Then we had 40 minutes of free time. They could choose from Pentominoes, checkers, drawing, quiet reading, puppets, dollhouse, trains, and LEGOs.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

After-School Library Camp: Marshmallows Day 1

On Monday, we had 5 children attend After-School Library Camp. We are focusing on marshmallows this week!

First, we introduced ourselves and shared our favorite marshmallow treat. Then, I read aloud "Little White Rabbit" by Kevin Henkes. Following the book, we had a snack of peanut butter cookies and marshmallow hot chocolate.

Next, we started our Dissolving Peeps Experiment. Using a variety of liquids, we are hoping to find out which one will dissolve a Peep the quickest (if at all!) and what happens to the Peeps over time. We placed 6 Peeps in 6 canning jars, then poured water, salt water, apple cider vinegar, soda, tea, and liquid hand soap in the jars. We made our guesses and will periodically check and note what is happening! Stay tuned!

Then, we used popsicles sticks and bunny peeps to paint: Painting with my Peeps. Look at the great art!

After most friends were finished with their art, I read Mary Jane Auch's book, "Eggs Mark the Spot."

Following the second story, the children had 35 minutes of free time. They could paint more, read quietly, build with LEGOs, or use the dollhouse, trainset, and puppets. I also gave them the option to do homework ;)

It was a great afterschool program and I am excited for the rest of the week's activities and snacks!