Children's Programs and Services

Continuing the Conversation: Supporting Early Literacy Through Language-Rich Library Environments

Earlier today, we held the ALA Editions Workshop Supporting Early Literacy through Language Rich Library Environments with Saroj Ghoting. We’re following up with a few of the questions asked during the presentation that we felt merited further discussion: Saroj will be part of the discussion as well!

  • What do you think is the role of technology in promoting early literacy?
  • What is the ideal timeline for replacing displays and material in your space?
  • What’s the difference between open and closed-ended toys? Which type is better in promoting early literacy?

Links to Resources that Saroj Mentioned today:
 

The preliminary readings for this workshop were:

  • Welcoming Place,  Chapter 6 in Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places by Sandra Feinberg and James Keller. Chicago: ALA, 2010 HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Feinberg_DesigningSpace_Ch6.pdfU
  • Parent Participation,  Chapter 4 in Learning Environments for Young Children: Rethinking Library Spaces and Services by Sandra Feinberg et al. Chicago: ALA, 1998. HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Feinberg_LearningEnvironments_Ch4.pdfU
  • Meece, Darrell and Anne Soderman. Setting the Stage for Young Children’s Social Development . Young Children. September 2010 p. 81-86. HUhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201009/MeeceOnline0910.pdfU
  • Greenman, Jim. Places for Childhood in the 21st Century: A Conceptual Framework. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web, May 2005. HUhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200505/01Greenman.pdfU
  • Early Literacy Research-Explained, Chapter 1 in Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz. Chicago: ALA: 2006 HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Ghoting_ch1.pdfU
  • The following materials are suggested resources, though they may not be available for free:
  • Copple, Carol and Sue Bredekamp, eds. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 (3rd ed). Washington, DC: NAEYC, 2009.
  • Curtis, Deb and Margie Carter. Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments. St.Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 2003.
  • Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Saroj Ghoting. Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards. Chicago: ALA, 2010. (includes school readiness domains)
  • Feinberg, Sandra and James Keller. Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places: How to Carve Out a Niche That Epitomizes Service. American Libraries. April 2010, pg. 34-37.
  • Gronlund, Gaye. Developmentally Appropriate Play: Guiding Young Children to a Higher Level. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 2010.
  • Harmes, Thelma. Environmental Rating Scales--Revised. New York: Teachers College Press, various dates.
  • Neuman, Susan B. et al. User’s Guide to the Child Home Early Language & Literacy Observation (CHELLO) Tool. Baltimore: Paul Brookes, 2007.
  • Seefeldt, Carol. Creating Rooms of Wonder: Valuing and Displaying Children’s Work to Enhance the Learning Process. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House, 2002.
  • Tough, Paul. Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
  • Zigler, Edward. Children’s Play; The Roots of Reading.  Washington, DC: Zero to Three, 2004.
  • Todd Risley interview: Children of the Code   www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/risley.htm
  • Library Environments for Early Literacy:  www.earlylit.net/libraryenvironment/index.shtml
  • Early Learning Standards  www.nectac.org/topics/quality/earlylearn.asp
  • School Readiness Domains  www.gettingready.org
  • Governors’ Common Core State Standards   www.corestandards.org

Saroj’s Slides:

How Does My Garden Grow? Children’s Programming Monthly v1 #8

You may still be coping with wintery days, but here at Children’s Programming Monthly, we’ve put away the umbrellas. “How Does My Garden Grow?” is ready to download, and it’s blooming with great ideas, books to read aloud, and fun activities:   

  • “Wonderful Worms” by Caroline Feller Bauer
  • “Grow, Grow, Grow!” by Judy Nichols
  • “Gardens” by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz
  • “Growing Books” by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve
  • “In Our Garden” by Diane Briggs.

No subscribed yet? Visit us at http://www.alaeditions.org/cpm to sign up. If you have a program you would like to share,  you’ll find submission guidelines at www.alaeditions.org/cpm/submission/guidelines . Or contact me at szvirin@ala.org.

Design for Early Literacy

How you use space and design in your children’s area  can foster early literacy.  Saroj Ghoting will lead an ALA Editions Workshop on April 21 at 1:00 p.m. EDT that is sure to trigger ideas and support your planning. Below is an overview of the topics

  • Early literacy skills
  • Play
  • What are language-rich environments
  • Examples
  • Strategies
  • Considerations

We’ve collected a  a handful of examples of what language-rich environments in this Flickr set.

Among Saroj’s examples is the Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Library’s Play and Learn Islands™, interactive exhibits that encourage purposeful play. Play projecst like Discovery Dig, Big Build, and IlluminART develop skills in problem solving, sorting, sharing, early literacy, and collaboration. The colorful design, scale and varied activities appeal to a range of ages, encouraging families to play and explore together. Check out the library’s Flickr set.

You can register for this event or get more information at the ALA Store by going to: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3280

A Book Recommendation for National Poetry Month

Kick off National Poetry Month in April with Jill Esbaum’s Stanza, a picture book about a versifying dog.

During the day, “Stanza prowled through the streets with his two rotten brothers, annoying and chasing and bullying others.” At night he secretly writes poetry.

When his brothers discover his passion, they ridicule him—until Stanza wins a tasty prize in a poetry contest.

The description of Stanza’s efforts to create a jingle for the contest demonstrates the importance of revising work to make it as good as it can be.

He scribbled and scrawled.
Reconsidered.
Erased.
He wadded up papers.
He pondered.
He paced.
He scoured his thesaurus.
He struggled for rhymes.
He started from scratch at least eighty-two times.

This rhyming story can encourage any kind of creative endeavor, because Stanza persuades his brothers to unleash their own artistic sides. The book ends with one playing the piano and the other painting pictures.

Dee Anderson is the author of Reading Is Funny!: Motivating Kids to Read with Riddles  (ALA Editions, 2009)

Continuing the Conversation: Liven up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

We just wrapped up Kathy MacMillan’s workshop Liven up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language. We’ve gathered questions from the chat window so that Kathy can respond and elaborate.

Please continue the discussion of these, and any other questions you might have in the comments area. Kathy will be chiming in.

  • What do you think about the use of “baby signs”? How does that compare to ASL?
  • Do you find that using these techniques work best in a storytime where registrations is required (same or similar children each week) as opposed to non-registration storytime where you may have many different children/parents every week
  • What general signs would be good to use on a weekly basis?
  • Have you done sensory story times that incorporate sign language, and can you recommend some good resources regarding sensory story times for children with special needs?
  • I am curious about what sign you use for diamond in the Twinkle Little Star song.  I know the common gesture can be an ASL sign.

The Preliminary Readings for this Workshop Were:

Signing with Babies:
http://www.kathymacmillan.com/signingwithbabies.html

Benefit of Teaching Young Kids Sign Language:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/217439-benefit-of-teaching-young-kids-sign-language/

American Sign Language:
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/asl.asp

Six Super Ways to Use Sign Language in Your Programs:
http://www.kathymacmillan.com/storytimemagic/archive/signlanguage.html

Kathy’s Videos on YouTube:

Bounce: Taking Turns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYkJcjlxZuE
Nursery Rhyme Activity: Jack Be Nimble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS_XURvuMQA
Song: I Took a Walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_psFj-5YHQ
Flannelboard Song: Three Jellyfish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t9zAvJ2kp0
Song: Hello/Goodbye Babies/Friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrpBWIkO32U
Flannelboard or Prop Rhyme: Five Snowmen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTX8ucX1sos
Flannelboard Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEvTqgxeCrY
Flannelboard or Prop Rhyme: Five Little Monkeys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5tM5vd7hts
Action Rhyme: Caterpillar, Caterpillar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN71_Q0aMQw
Prop Story: Bear's Bath: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBRGWcWkmLw
Book: Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWNQMAZ3Ggk
Book: Bear Wants More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXC3ll27YX0
Group Management Signs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0qYO8RjglQ

Kathy’s Slides:

Celebrate Dia with ALSC!

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is offering the first-ever Día related webinar, Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The course will take place on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 1 PM CST.

The webinar will be an hour-long analysis of all things Día by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, MLIS Children’s Librarian at the Seattle Public Library. Learners will experience the history, resources and importance of Día.

Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The event is supported by ALSC and REFORMA, the professional organization for Spanish-speaking librarians and information specialists. To learn more about El día de los niños/El día de los libros, please visit the Día homepage.

The cost of the webinar is $45 for ALSC members, $55 for non-members, and $195 for groups. To sign up for this webinar, please visit ALSC’s online education page. For more information on ALSC’s online education programs or for registration information, please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch, jnajduch@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4026.

Puddle Weather

When kids start donning slickers, pulling on rubber boots and grabbing umbrellas, it’s time for rainy-day storytimes. “Puddle Weather,” the latest issue of Children’s Programming Monthly, is chockablock with ideas to help you plan. You’ll find enough rhymes, activities, and recording and book suggestions to keep every member of your audience entertained. This issue includes:

  • “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” by Diane Briggs
  • “Spring Fling” and “Puddlejumpers” by Kathy MacMillan
  • “Parley Garfield and the Frogs,” by Margaret Reed MacDonald
  • “Rain” by Judy Nichols
  • “Craft a Rain Stick” by Caroline Feller Bauer

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language with Kathy MacMillan

When a friend mentioned using sign language with his toddler,  the trend was news to me.  I now know that thousands of hearing parents teaching their hearing children basic signs. Nonetheless, I was skeptical when Kathy MacMillan, an ALA Editions author and storyteller who also happens to be a certified American Sign Language interpreter, proposed an ALA Editions Workshop on signing in storytime. What’s with this? I asked in an email message. Is it a Baby-Mozart thing? Kathy’s reply was impassioned.

In fact, research shows that signing with young children stimulates both spoken AND signed language development, decreases frustration, enhances bonding, and promotes early literacy.  (The books Sign with Your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia and Dancing With Words by Marilyn Daniels summarize the research.)  I attribute the widespread interest in signing with babies and young children to the fact that it works!  When a child can tell you what he or she wants by signing instead of screaming, amazing things happen.  

Giving a young child the power to communicate can even save a life: a colleague of mine who teaches baby sign language classes in Arizona had an 18 month old girl in one of her classes who was bitten by a baby rattlesnake while playing in the garden with her mother.  Her mother didn't see the snake, and because the bite was so small she assumed it was just a bug bite.  Only when the little girl kept signing "snake" did the mother realize what had happened.  The girl survived, and if that story doesn't illustrate the benefits, I don't know what does.

But you don’t have to be fluent in American Sign Language to bring its benefits to your storytimes.  Kathy MacMillan sees sign language as another tool in the children’s librarian’s toolkit, much like using music, props, manipulatives, or a bit of Spanish. Perhaps the best reason? “Parents get really into it,” Kathy says. “Programmers sometimes complain when parents don’t interact with their kids. I can tell you emphatically that it’s not a problem when I’m using sign language in a program. Parents are excited to learn it because it makes their parenting lives easier.”

The goal of ALA Editions Workshops is to offer practical, actionable knowledge while promoting discussion, learning, and information sharing. The relatively small audience supports focused, discussion through the chat window. We assign homework too! For ideas on how sign language can enliven your programs, see Six Super Ways to Use Sign Language in Your Programs, which is one of the preliminary readings for Kathy's Workshop.

In the online Workshop,  Kathy will present the basics you need to know to effectively incorporate signs into stories, songs, and more, including videos to get you started. We will provide attendees with handouts for reference after the event. Here’s a video for the action rhyme. Caterpillar, Caterpillar
 



You can register for Kathy's Workshop at the ALA Store by going to http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3277
 

New Children's Programming Monthly and New Bonus Issue

It’s bonus time! In addition to the regular issue of Children’s Programming Monthly, subscribers can download a free issue, put together especially for those of you getting ready for summer reading programs. Here’s a peek at what you get:

Issue number 6, “My Clothes,” is chockablock with storytime ideas. Share a song or choose a read-aloud from more than thirty book suggestions. Plan a program around making goofy hats or ties. Or have kids help you dress a flannelboard baby. Patterns and instructions are right in the issue.   

In  the “World Wise” bonus you’ll find seven ready-made programs that take children across the world.

  • Chinese Stories”  (activities and books galore)
  • The Foolish Merchant and the Greedy Camel (an easy, one-person puppet play)
  • African Tales: Action (rhymes, fingerplays, and book suggestions)
  • All around the World (songs, books and fun facts to share)
  • The Magic Fox (a folktale to tell aloud)
  • Festivals and Fiestas/Los festivales y las fiestas: (games, rhymes, and songs in Spanish and English)
  • Sing the World (songs and activities that celebrate one world)  

Both issues are ready to download now.

If you don't already subscribe, you can purchase your subscription at the ALA Store.

Learn how to Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language in new ALA Editions Workshop

Using sign language during library storytimes is both a way to communicate with babies and toddlers and to broaden the appeal of storytimes by making them accessible to deaf children and parents. This interactive workshop will alow participants to learn from American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller Kathy MacMillan. MacMillan will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into storytime ideas. Librarians will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help parents communicate with their children at home.

Registration for this workshop is available on the ALA Store. The workshop will last 90 minutes, and takes place at 1pm EST/Noon CST/11amMST/10amPST on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Register Today! Go tohttp://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3280

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She has contributed articles to Public Libraries, American Libraries, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates, and LibrarySparks, and is the author of Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs (Scarecrow Press, 2006), A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources through Story Boxes (ALA Editions, 2008), and Storytime Magic (with Christine Kirker, ALA Editions, 2009). She was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005, and prior to that was a children’s librarian at Carroll County Public Library and Howard County Library, where she developed and presented hundreds of programs for all ages. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been reviewing for School Library Journal since 1999. Kathy presents storytelling programs introducing sign language for thousands of children and families each year through Stories By Hand (www.storiesbyhand.com).

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