Math at bedtime? Sure! Why not!?
For many parents, reading a book at bedtime with their child is a no brainer. There are so many good reasons to do this. It builds vocabulary, strengthens critical thinking skills, sparks imagination, and gives your kiddos a little one-on-one time. So of course, this means the same could be said of doing a little math at bedtime, right? The good people at Bedtime Math agree with me. They have a whole webpage devoted to making kids “love math like playtime or dessert.” I downloaded their app onto my iphone. My son and I use it whenever we have to wait (doctor’s office, restaurant, get to soccer practice a little early, etc.). We learn a little something on the topic of the day and then solve a few math problems around it. The math problems are divided into three different levels. At age 8, he can easily work through the first two levels. We are now working on the third and hardest level.
I encourage all the parents out there to think about incorporating a little more mathematics into your everyday life, bedtime or otherwise. Need some ideas? Then take a look at the Bedtime Math website or check out one of their books. Happy calculating!
Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck (j 513.2 OVERDEC)
Bedtime Math 2: This Time It’s Personal by Laura Overdeck (j 513.2 OVERDEC)
We are so proud of all the kids who have been reading, reading, reading, as part of the Fizz, Boom, Read program this summer! The drawings are all done, but if you haven't picked up your prizes, you still have a little bit of time left. Be sure to claimthem before school starts! Summer Reading prizes
Tween Recommended Reads
It might be the end of August, summer reading is over and school has not yet started, but we still need to keep our kids reading! Sometimes it can be hard to keep tweens interested in a good book. Lucky for us the good folks at the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) created an eclectic list of great books perfect for the tween reader. If you are in need of some book recommendations for your 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, then go to http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/Tween13_RecReadsList.pdf for a pdf version of this list.
If you enjoy stories, join us at South Hill Mall for Family Storytime at 11am each Thursday through August 28. We'll be by the fireplace in the Food Court. You can listen to an old favorite, or discover a new one. See you there! Stories at South Hill Mall
Where Kids and Grown-up Have Fun with Science and Technology
Learning more about the science and study of celestial objects, space, and the physical universe is even easier to do at the Puyallup Public Library. The children’s librarians are now members of NASA’s Space Place community. As members, the librarians receive a small display about various space topics once every three to four months. This display is put up in the children’s non-fiction area at the end of a shelf (only a few steps from J 520, the Dewey Decimal Number for astronomy!).
A new display about infrared radiation and the Herschel Space Observatory just went up. This display is packed full of information and pictures. The display that just went down was about the art and beauty of space photography. I invite you to come take a look at this new display in the children’s area of the library.
To learn more about space and astronomy I encourage you to take a look at the Space Place website at SpacePlace.NASA.gov. This website is full of activities and information for children as well as parents. Explore fun facts, games, puzzles, coloring sheets, videos, photos, and so much more. Then, don’t forget to check out some books or videos on the topic. Your library has plenty for you to look at about our solar system and beyond. You will be seeing stars in your eyes!
Animal Sounds -- Miss Carol's Theme of the Week!
What does the fox say? Or the pig? Or the owl? Or even the cricket? Animal noises are all around us. Take a seat in the park or even your own backyard, I bet you can hear the sounds of animals. What does a bee in a flower sound like? Is that the call of a bird? Just like us people, animals use sounds to communicate. Sometimes we don’t know what the animals are telling us… but sometimes we do!
When young children listen to and then make different animal sounds, they are actually learning phonological awareness. These young people are learning to play with the sounds of our language. Our spoken language is full of sounds that children need to learn about and to identify. Introducing children to the noises that animals make is a fun way to discover the rich variety of sounds in our everyday world.
Explore animal noises with these fun books:
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming (jj FLEMING)
Good Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins (jj HUTCHIN)
Hello, Day! by Anita Lobel (jj LOBEL)
Hush!: A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, illustrated by Holly Meade (jj HO)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (jj MARTIN)
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle (jj CARLE)
Get your reluctant reader reading!
Summer reading time is in full swing here at the library. Some children have no problem finding a book and sitting down to the business of reading. Other children need to be persuaded to read something, anything. If you are the parent or caregiver of one of these reluctant readers (I know I am), then here are some helpful hints to get reading:
- Set up a special time just for reading with them. Time to read can be found in any busy schedule. Carve it out. Schedule it if you need to. Just before bedtime is always popular. How about while dinner is cooking? Or right after eating a meal? Let your child read aloud in the car while you drive. It doesn’t need to be overly long. Most importantly, when the time is set up, don’t skip out on it.
- Have them read out loud to you. Some kiddos will avoid reading because they think they are no good at it. Find out by listening!
- Make them feel safe and not judged. Set ground rules if you need to. (For example, the words “It’s too hard,” should not be allowed during reading time.) Let your struggling readers know that you didn’t know all the words when you were young. Confide that there are still words that you don’t know.
- Use books that are fun, this is summer after all! Pick books your child wants to read, not what you want. Something that you once loved as a young person may have no appeal to a child in today’s world. Explore a topic that interests your child. Think about non-fiction books. Learn something new together.
- Encourage your child to pick one book at a time to read in your reading session. Make it special for the two of you to share together. Use cliffhangers to get them excited for the next session. Let them choose other books to read outside of your reading session if they are catching the reading bug.
Your library is full of many exciting and interesting books. If you need help finding a book, do not hesitate to ask for help. We are always happy to talk about books!
Now that it feels like summer is on the way, we've been getting questions about our Summer Reading Program. Never fear, it's almost here! This year, we have something new: you'll be able to sign up online, and keep track of your reading online, too! And remember, we have Summer Reading Programs for all ages. The kids program goes up to about 6th grade, or around 12 years old, and it even includes those too young to read by themselves, as long as someone reads to them. There's a teen program and an adult program, too. The program begins June 16th, and we have lots of fun activities planned. Signup starts June 2nd, so you can get a head start on your reading. See you at the library! Summer Reading 2014 is Coming Soon!
Happy Dr. Seuss! Dr. Seuss has given joy to so many children -- including those of us who are no longer kids! I smile when I think of Dr. Seuss, don't you? Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Socks, Yertle the Turtle... how many Dr. Seuss books do you remember? He had such an incredible ability to write books that incorporated language that would just roll off the tongue. He proved that books could be fun, even with a limited vocabulary. Learning to read became fun! Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for your gift that keeps on giving. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss
It's Flannel Friday!
It’s Friday! Know what that means? It is also Flannel Friday!
Flannel Friday is an online event in which participating bloggers post a description of a flannel board, puppet, or prop storytime activity on their blogs every Friday. All participating posts are shared together by gathering links into one blog location in a link round-up.
Flannel boards, also known as felt boards, are frequently used by librarians and teachers to extend the story experience. Even Miss Bonnie and Miss Carol are known to use flannel board activities in their storytimes. They provide a visual backdrop for children to practice and learn about the storytelling and sequencing concepts. Flannel boards incorporate several learning styles:
Oral – The children listen to you tell a story, or the children use the pieces to tell you a story.
Visual – The children see the pictures that go along with a story or song.
Kinesthetic – The children use their hands to put the pieces of a story onto the board.
At this point you are probably wondering what exactly a flannel board is. In its simplest form, a flannel board is a board covered with flannel fabric. The flannel contains soft fibers that cling to other soft materials creating a surface where small pieces can be added but not fall off when propped up. The small pieces are usually decorated to represent people, places or things in a story or song. The small pieces can be decorated felt, embellished soft fabrics, or even printed paper with sandpaper glued to the back (something I do when I am in a hurry). Any and all of the ideas used by teachers and librarians can be used at home. It is a perfect home activity that integrates storytelling and crafting.
I invite you to check out some of the wonderful flannel board ideas posted this week at the blog Stories with Ms. Jenna (http://librarianjenna.wordpress.com). Many of these ideas can easily be used at home. I found a great description on how to make a homemade flannel board at the blog Teach Preschool (http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/08/diy-flannel-board-for-preschool). For the Pinterest fans out there, there is also a Flannel Friday Pinterest page (http://www.pinterest.com/flannelfriday). Oh my, this is a treasure trove of great and sometimes crazy flannel board uses. For more information about the online Flannel Friday event, go to the Flannel Friday blog (http://flannelfridaystorytime.blogspot.com).
Now make your Friday a Flannel Friday kind of day!