Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Matheny School–Program Plans

Asian American History Month

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Read: Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say.  Caldecott-medal winning story of Allen Say’s grandfather who immigrated to the US, then returned to Japan and Say’s own conflicted feelings about home in both countries. Gorgeous illustrations, many of places in the US – great lead-in to singing “This Land is Your Land” – used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y49N-N11AxE



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Read: The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang. Let each student choose several puppets so we could act out the story.

 

Followed with “He’s Got the Whole World in Our Hands” with sign language video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-xK8ArLEP0  then with the puppets we’d used.  Also did Q&A with puppets asking two-choice questions.


image(second group only) Shared selections from A is for Asia  by Cynthia Chin-Lee (915 CHI).  We found pictures and more info. on the Internet for some of the concepts mentioned.
No time for these but left these books for the class:

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Gypsy’s a.m. classes 5/11/18, More ideas here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Chinese%20New%20Year

Thursday, April 26, 2018

School Age Storytime & Craft: Earth Day

 

Earth Day Heroes: A non-fiction “un-common core”  K-2nd grade storytime featuring inspiring stories of diverse people who have made a difference to our planet. Introduces American and global environmental history and issues, non-violent change agents, along with a book about photosynthesis and the interdependence of all life on earth. Also includes songs, sign language and gorgeous images (visual and literary) of our planet. Not all items used with all groups.


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Spring finally arriving – flowers outside – opened with poem  “Spring Is” by Bobbi Katz from Sunflakes: Poems for Children.


Book: The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock (The true story of how a camping trip in California with John Muir inspired Teddy Roosevelt to preserve America’s natural wilderness – long but the kids enjoyed.)  Could also booktalk John Muir: America’s Naturalist by Thomas Locker (gorgeous illustrations)  Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers by Kathi Appelt (President’s wife’s advocacy led to the beautification of America’s highways.)  and  Redwoods by Jason Chin (A boy is transported through the pages of a book into a forest of these magnificent trees.)  (Mentioned they can see a sequoia/redwood tree in nearby Buck Gardens.)


Book/Song: This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
or Song: “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands” (traditional – optional props/puppets: world globe ball, brothers/sisters, bird, fish – lyrics http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/04/sing-springhappy-earthday.html.)

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Book: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm (572.46 BANG) -- this creative and memorable explanation of photosynthesis will stick with kids for a long time.

And the Green Grass Grew all Around (flannel) – lyrics here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/04/sing-springhappy-earthday.html Song on Rachel Buchman’s “Sing a Song of Seasons” (Children echo words in italics)

 

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Take a Walk Outside (from Pick Me Up, Fun Songs for Learning Signs – played the song from the album as we “danced with our hands”)



Book: Wangari’s Tree’s of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter (The inspiring story of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner who spear-headed the reforestation of Kenya despite threats and jail time.)  (Mentioned “biography” – non-fiction about a person)


Action Book: Earth Dance by Joanne Ryder (Kids stood up and acted out this poetic tribute to our earth. Touches on the ideas of earth science, gravity, seasons, and planetary rotation)

Finished with:



(Younger classes) Book: I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson (Dan Lipow’s photographs are “eye candy” – a splendid look at the earth’s gorgeous diversity.)

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(Older classes) Book: Mother Earth by Nancy Luenn ( personification of the earth “The ground is her skin, Mountains her bones, Trees and plants her living hair, Birds are her songs, And the listening stones her ears…”  remind listeners that we must use her gifts well, and return them with respect and love. Gentle watercolor illustrations by Neil Waldman)
Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children” from Tom Chapin’s Album Some Assembly Required. Find signs here: http://www.signingsavvy.com/ – skipped at Bedminster 2018 because didn’t get album in time.  Used at Milltown.

 

Milltown afterschool program:

Book: The Camping Trip that Changed America

Book/Song: This Land is Your Land

Book: Wangari’s Tree’s of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Sign Language Song: “Walk the World Now Children”

Booktalked and read selections from other titles.

Craft – torn construction paper collage – earth, environmental, spring scenes (some kids asked, could they use “random”? – I responded “Sure” and introduced the concept “abstract art”)

(Played music from Tom Chapin’s album This Pretty Planet playing as kids made crafts.)  Didn’t remember to use Earth Ball with song “We’ve got the whole world in our hands. Could use next time.)

More Earth Day programs here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Earth%20Day%20%26%20Environment

Bedminster K-2, Milltown Afterschool 4/2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Day!–Celebrating Books and Reading

Ages 3-6 and 7-12 in two groups: Children (and some adults) wore costumes celebrating characters from their favorite books

Opened by asking kids to tell what character/book they came from. Then said we were going to read a book about a superhero Librarian --

 

Read: Library Lil – Suzanne Williams (a librarian with superhero strength revitalizes the towns library even convincing the head of the town’s motorcycle gang to become an avid reader)

 

Sing: R.E.A.D. (lyrics here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/04/celebrating-libraries-books-and.html) (did the letters in sign language alphabet – could also do with full bodies – similar to Y.M.C.A.)


The Book with No Pictures(Age 7-12 only): The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak – read by the author here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cREyQJO9EPs (kids love this silly silly book!)

imageMiss Smith's Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland  When the teacher is late for school one day, all the storybook characters escape from their book!

Booktalked the sequel: Miss Smith Reads Again image

(3-6 only) Flannel: Just Use Imagination (lyrics here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/04/celebrating-libraries-books-and.html)

or Throw it Out the Window -- an action riff on nursery rhymes (lyrics here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2017/07/hands-across-world.html)

followed with:
Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall eating black bananas
Where do you think he put the skins? – Down the king’s pajamas!


Pirate Treasure Hunt by Jan Peck -- pajama-wearing pirates follow their captain in this rollicking action book

Action Song: I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor (or Big Alligator) <– I had a green scarf so did the former

 

 

(Ages 7-12 only) Asked whether the first book we read was true or fiction – then showed the following title and asked the same question – kids astonished, this one is true!

Read: Librarian on the Roof: a TRUE story – M. G. King (librarian spends a week on the roof of the library to raise funds for a children’s room - now that is my kind of hero!)

 

 


Sing
: Joe Scrugg’s “Read a Book” (lyrics here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/04/celebrating-libraries-books-and.html)

 

 

(Ages 3-6 only) Read: Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

(Ages 7-12 only) Book: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore -- William Joyce (story that inspired this Academy Award-winning short film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJvSXQwBBQg, also any iPad Ap)

Then taught silly Humpty Dumpty variant:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Eating black bananas.
Where do you think he put the skins? Down the king’s pajamas!

(refreshments inspired by books were served afterwards)

Muslim Homeschooling Co-op 3/29/2018

More ideas here: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Books%20%26%20Reading

 

Bedm SRC 2018 – K-2, selections differed. Found giving them two selections for each book & having them vote worked well!  Librarian on the Roof, Flying Books, Throw it Out the Window (action + Humpty Dumpty black bananas) and Book with No Pictures did well. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

School Age Storytime: Women’s History Month

 

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Girls Can! Determination Succeeds.

A storytime for grades K-3 encouraging girls and boys to go beyond their comfort zones,
to take risks and make history!
Featuring women who overcame gender, racial, and religious prejudice and even powered through disability to do things that they were told they couldn’t.

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Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman 
(Grace loves acting out stories. Told by her classmates that she can’t play the part of Peter Pan because she’s a girl & black, she learns that she can do anything she puts her mind to.)

“Grace is a fictional character (book in Picture Book/Easy Fiction section) but many real women overcame prejudice…(the next books all in the Biography section – non-fiction (true))”

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Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone

(Elizabeth Blackwell gets 28 rejection letters but perseveres and when a medical school accepts her,  overcomes the teasing of her classmates and hostility of the townspeople, studies hard and graduates first in her class -- becoming the first female physician in America!)

Asked how many have a woman doctor? (about 1/2)
“next book is about a girl who would have to have many encounters with doctors…”


Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

(Splendidly written inspiring story of a tiny, sickly black girl stricken by polio who overcame her disability and ended up winning 3 gold medals in track at the 1960 Olympics!) 

“Wlima made her mark on the race course. Ruth has made it in the court house…”

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I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy

(Debbie Levy’s wonderfully-written new biography of America’s first Jewish woman Supreme Court Justice vividly shows young readers how Ruth’s early exposure to racial, religious, ethnic and gender prejudice made her decide to become a lawyer and become a lifelong trailblazer and leader in the courts to fight for those rights. It also notably includes Ruth’s lifelong friendship with Antonio Scalia and how their deep disagreements over legal issues did not keep them from talking about these issues and traveling together around the world. It is a message of talking tolerance deeply needed in these divided times.)


imageMy Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?
– Jennifer Fosberry

(Over the course of a day, a little girl pretends to be Sally Ride, Annie Oakley, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Elizabeth Blackwell, and her own Mommy – concluding “It’s me Isabella, the kindest, smartest, bravest, fastest, toughest, greatest girl that ever was”…dreaming about who she would be…tomorrow.)  
Great book to use to see which of these women the kids recognize – and as a lead in to a show and tell of other biographies for them to read themselves.

More ideas for Women’s History Month: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Women%27s%20History%20Month

3.2018 Bedm.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mock Caldecott 2018 Results

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I conducted 7 Mock Caldecott elections this year with a total of about 300 K-4th graders.  I used the basic procedure outlined here (using Snowflake Bentley illustrated by Mary Azarian  and Snow by Uri Shulevitz as samples of previous winners and mentioning how the Caldecott Committee is meeting in secret and no one knows which books they are considering – we are all guessing!). I read aloud the 6-7 books that had received the most preliminary votes in each class, and had the kids give me feedback on the illustrations between each.  I also made a change with a couple of the later groups: after the “gold” was chosen, I had the kids who had chosen it disperse to their second choice, and then to their third. This got us past The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors and Claymates to have the kids consider some of the other titles.

And the winners are… 
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex (4 Gold, 2 Honors)
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge (2 Gold, 3 Honors)
Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (1 Gold, 2 Honors)

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (4 Honors)
After the Fall by Dan Santat (3 Honors)
La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim (3 Honors)
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers (2 Honors)
A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins,  illustrated by Chris Appelhans (2 Honors)
The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein (1 Honor)
Egg by Kevin Henkes (1 Honor)
Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin (1 Honor)
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken (1 Honor)
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper (1 Honor)

Mentioned during some of the programs:

 

Specific results:

Bradley Gardens Afterschool:

Gold: Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Honors:
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim

Bedminster School:

Isello/Rosnell/Wysocki:
Gold:
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
Honors: 
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers
A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins,  illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Lewis/Deegan/Oliveri/Resotka:
Gold:
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Honors:
Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins,  illustrated by Chris Appelhans
After the Fall by Dan Santat

Roth/Tarulli:
Gold: Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
Honors: 
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim
Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
close behind:
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
After the Fall by Dan Santat

Valentine/McFarland/Hogan (2nd Grade):
Gold:
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Honors: (very close second) Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge

Lovejoy/Spero/Skiba/Hofman:
Gold:
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Honors:
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein
La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim
After the Fall by Dan Santat
Egg by Kevin Henkes

 

Milltown Afterschool:
Gold: The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Honors:
Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

Books included and preliminary ballot results (Note, I kept the bookmark ballots from 5 classes but some went missing. *indicates one of the ballots was missing in the final count so I extrapolated preliminary votes):
After the Fall by Dan Santat -- 61
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper -- 48
Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson – 99* (79/4)
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken – 37
The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein – 86*  (70/4)
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge – 89* (72/4)
A Different Pond by Bao Phi – 40* (32/4)
Egg by Kevin Henkes --  85* (69/4)
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin – 97* (77/4)
A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins,  illustrated by Chris Appelhans – 60
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers -- 37
La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim – 74* (59/4)
Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin –  62* (50/4)
Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex – 119* (95/4)
Muddy by Michael James Mahin –  39* (23/3)
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith  -- 66* (51/4)
Robinson by Peter Sis --  44
This House Once by Deborah Freedman –  71* (43/3)

 

2/18

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” ~ Helen Keller

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Photographic Permissions and Farewell Party

As many of you are aware, I am no longer working for the Somerset County Library System Bridgewater Library.

imageThis week I was sent a “cease and desist” letter from the library attorney informing me that all pictures that were taken by library personnel and downloaded on library computers were copyright the library and ordering me to remove them immediately. Accordingly, I am in the process of taking down many of my older pictures that were taken with library cameras -- so if you want access, you will need to make copies quickly. The photos that will remain were taken with my cell phone camera or the cell phones belonging to some of you. If there are any pictures of your children that you do not want me to continue to display on this site, please email me at cslevin59 (at) gmail.com with photo details & the date of the post(s) and I will remove them forthwith.

I also want to invite all of you to my retirement party at the Bridgewater Library on Sunday February 11th. You and your children are welcome to drop into the program rooms anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. to say goodbye.

All the best,  Carol Simon Levin

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

School Age Storytime: Snow Day!

 

Read: Snow by Uri Shulewitz (discussed Caldecott Medal – what it means, my plan to return in early February to run a Mock Caldecott with them)

Younger classes: Do the motions to “When It’s Cold Outside” an Elvis-inspired song from Pick Me Up! Fun Songs for Learning Signs

Acted Out: The Mitten by Jan Brett (did with a large tablecloth mitten & sign/masks from janbrett.com details: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/12/winter-storytimetheatercraft-jan-bretts.html)

  • Talked about folktale (story retold over generations/centuries (define), then read Jan Brett’s  book with kids holding tablecloth and masks from www.janbrett.com at the “aachoo”, I grabbed the tablecloth and the kids scattered. Another possibility is to have two kids (or grown ups) hold hands and become each side of the mitten, then let the kids crowd in between. (from http://lalalalibrary.blogspot.com/2014/12/flannel-friday-mitten.html)

Frosty the Snowman

Singable Book: Frosty
Booktalked: Snowmen at Night – Caralyn Buehner (mentioned hidden pictures), Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman (wonderful video available on Youtube)

 

Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian (talked about Caldecott Gold woodcut illustrations, true book – would find in the Biography (bio=life, graphy =writing,stories section)
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Activity: Snowball fight using plastic bag snowballs, to the music “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson (on album Season’s Greetings)
Making snowballs:
1) Gather a white plastic grocery bag into a long, skinny tube-like length with the handles on one end.
2) Fold the length in half, then in half again.
3) Wind a rubber band around the middle until it is tight.
4) Cut open both ends to remove any folded areas.
5) Then fluff out pieces
Idea courtesy of:  Susan Dailey, librarian, speaker and author of "A Storytime Year"

Singable/flannel:In the Freezer” by Joe Scruggs – lyrics here.

Action Song: “I’m a Little Snowman”

I’m a Little Snowman Tune: “I’m a Little Teapot”
I’m a little snowman, short and fat
Here is my broomstick, here is my hat
When the sun comes out, I’ll melt away
Drip, drip, drip, I’m a puddle today!

Craft (for afterschool sites): Cut out paper snowflakes http://thechocolatemuffintree.blogspot.com/2012/12/making-giant-snowflakes.html (could use large tissue paper) (booktalked Snowflake Bentley – another Caldecott)
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Other possibilities: If Picasso Painted a Snowman by Amy & Greg Newbold (would be fun to create artist-inspired snow people)

Snow creatures (inspired by Ehlert’s book) – Materials: White & colored construction paper, markers, scissors, glue, pompoms, buttons, feathers, etc.

JFK --Did puppet version of Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett (a bit hard to do all the pieces - slow to take off parts), didn't have time for The Mitten.

More ideas: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/01/let-it-snow-winter-storytimecraft-ages.html, http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/01/pre-school-storytime-button-up-for.html

1/18 Bedm, Afterschools: VH, JFK, Whiton,  BG

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