Friday, June 13, 2014

Fizz Boom Read! Building Excitement for Summer Reading Club at the Public Library

School Age (K-3) Storytime promoting 2014 Summer Reading Club

Introduced summer reading theme: Fizz, Boom, Read!  then shared books on experiments and inventions (both real & fantastic):

Read: Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold (599.67 ARN) – true book about how elephants can paint.  Fascinating factoids – who knew elephants had 150,000 muscles in their trunks? (humans have only 639 in their entire body). 

Mentioned another fascinating insight into the elephant mind – teachers may want to share with students:
Elephants in the Mirror - YouTube

  1. Many of the elephants quickly recognize that they are seeing themselves .... Interesting video about how elephants are self aware & are very ...
Other great animal research:  Check out the dog’s vocabulary in this video:

Read: “Experiments with Motion” (interactive yodeling)  from 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill  -- introduce/remind word “hypothesis”
Speaking of experiments not quite going as planned…
Read: The Secret Science Project that Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra or The Fungus that Ate My School by Arthur Dorros or Wendel’s Workshop by Chris Riddell. Booktalked: Oh No! (or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett. 

Read: “Will a piece of bologna fly a a Frisbee” from 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill
Creative inventing…

Read: If I Built a Car or If I Built a House or Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit (all by Chris Van Dusen) or Levi Strauss gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants by Tony Johnston (older groups only).

Read: “Can a Washing Machine Wash Dishes?” from 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill

Read: Weslandia  by Paul Fleischman (0lder groups only) – bullied non-conformist invents whole new civilization based on a plant seed that blows into his garden.

Read: “Can a message be sent in a bottle to a faraway land?” from 11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill

…speaking of water experiments, let’s do one.  I need a volunteer – do you feel brave?
Ask for the 4 states of matter – solid, liquid, gas, plasma.  What is a plastic bag? (solid).  So hypothesis – what will happen when I poke a hole in it?  Hold ziploc bag half-filled with water above volunteer’s head, poke with sharpened pencils….ask -- why did s/he not get wet?  (plastic is a polymer, made of molecules in a long stretchy chain so stretched around pencil.)

Poem: “I Tried to Do My Homework” from What a Day it Was at School by Jack Prelutsky
Finished with “There are lots of fun books, reading, and science programs at the library this summer…and cross my heart and promise…your dog (or cat) will be perfectly safe!

Joining a reading club at the library this summer will keep and expand kids’ reading skills.

Also, don’t let your kids’ math skills get rusty this summer…suggest they do a daily Bedtime Math ( problem with their families…they are free, fascinating and fun for all ages!  Here’s a sample:

It always feels good to fold a piece of paper into a triangle, hurl it into the air and watch it sail across the room like a real airplane. So you can imagine the excitement if that paper plane is 45 feet long. A group made a giant paper plane that size from an 800-pound sheet of paper, and used a helicopter to pull it high into the sky. They also strapped a camera to it, so when they cut the cord, the camera took video of the plane's amazing flight through the sky - and its crash. As we see in the film, all good things come to an end, at least for this paper airplane...but hopefully this won't be the last house-sized piece of paper to fly.

Wee ones: If this plane flew at 3,000 feet high and an eagle flew through there at 4,000 feet, which one flew higher?

Little kids: The paper weighed 800 pounds! If the helicopter could lift only 100 pounds more than that, how heavy a plane could it have lifted?  Bonus: If the plane weighed 800 pounds and the camera weighed 10 pounds, how much did they weigh together?

Big kids: To get a sense of this plane's size, a car is about 15 feet long. How many cars long was the plane?  Bonus: At around 1:16 into the video, the camera catches the helicopter whirring high above the paper airplane. If the plane was 2,100 feet off the ground and the chopper was 4 times as high, how high was the chopper flying?

Wee ones: The Eagle flew higher.
Little kids: 900 pounds.  Bonus: 810 pounds.
Big kids: 3 cars long.  Bonus: 8,400 feet.

More Ways to Get Bedtime Math!
Crazy 8s Club, our new after-school math club! It's a free kit that any elementary school or library can order to host 8 weeks of math and mischief. Math club will never be the same. Click here to learn more.
Check out the second Bedtime Math book Bedtime Math 2: This Time It's Personal at the library for more fun, offbeat daily math.

The app: Our whole archive of math problems, with colorful animations and cool sound effects.  Check it out here at the App Store for iPhone and iPad, Google Play for Android!

The website: Find all your favorite bedtime math problems (BMPs) at And check out our new Add It Up parent blog on how we can make math fun for kids.
Facebook: One more way to get your daily BMP fix. If you're on Facebook, please like us and help spread the word about Bedtime Math!  
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© 2014 Bedtime Math Foundation. All rights reserved.

Want to find book-related Apps – check out this article:

Whether you are just after something to keep the kids occupied for a while or if you want them to continue learning to keep their brains sharp here are some wonderful apps to help.   MORE

Fossils in NJ: Millions of years of life found in South Jersey sand pits…read MORE.  The fossilized bones of a 65 million-year-old giant crocodile were in several cardboard boxes on the counter of the new natural history lab at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
"New Jersey is one of the greatest places on earth if you’re a paleontologist, Of the 11 (geologic) periods in which we identify fossils, nine of them are in New Jersey."
Who knew?



Free and Almost Free Places For Family Fun
in New Jersey And The Surrounding States  2014

Here are some of the amazing places in New Jersey area that the family can go for free, or at a very small cost.  NJ and the surrounding states are abound with some wonderful places for families to have a break from the everyday routine.  Each place is amazing and fun, definitely worth a visit!   MORE.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fancy Nancy Tea Party

Ages 4-9: Fancy Nancy Tea Party: Oh-la-la! Dress in your fancy clothes and join us for a tea party starring the exquisite Mademoiselle “Fancy Nancy.” 
Note, we will be making and serving refreshments
so please alert us to any food allergy issues.

As kids were arriving, asked them for “fancy” words – wrote them on white board

Read:  Fancy Nancy: Bonjour Butterfly – added and define more fancy words on the white board.

· Make fancy placemats 11x14 paper (kids cut out butterfly shape, then decorate with sequins & markers – encouraged them to make their name “fancy” and write some of the fancy words from the white board)*

· Make napkin rings – Stack 5 4x4 inch tissue papers.  Fan-fold tissue paper pile, fasten with pipe cleaner, pull up each petal to make flowers (tissue paper, pipe cleaners), then loop the pipe cleaner to make the napkin ring. To fold the napkin: Fan fold a guest quality paper napkin (it is fancier if you start from a point rather than a flat side), then slip the folded napkin inside the napkin ring and fan it out. (Napkin rings can become wrist corsages for the parade.)

· Decorate die cut crowns or hats with feathers and sequins.

· Optional: make wands/wings - Crepe paper streamers wands – omitted, no time

· Make tea sandwiches – Materials: hand wipes, white bread, cream cheese, jam (squeeze containers easiest), wax paper, rolling pins, plastic knives, paper plates – had kids clean hands, then cut crusts off bread, put slice between two pieces of waxed paper & flatten with rolling pin, spread with cream cheese & jam, roll up then cut into pinwheels and put on paper plate*   Optional, could have also made triangle sandwiches with bread, cream cheese & thinly-sliced cucumbers.

· Optional: Make fruit kabobs --   fancy toothpicks, grapes, blue berries pink lemonade for refreshments*

Music: Anything classical or something like Bibbidi Bobbidi Bach: More Favorite Disney Tunes in the Style of Classical Composers.

· When crafts were done, each child had a placemat, crown, napkin ring, napkin and pinwheel sandwiches.
 We removed the craft supplies and served pink lemonade with strawberries & blueberries for garnish (“fancy”) and tea cookies.

· After our “tea,” gave away “Fancy Nancy” paper fans as party favors (had these left over from another program, don’t know the original source.) -- would have made wands if I didn't have these.

· Finished with a Fancy Nancy follow the leader parade* around the library.

“Au Revoir” – till we meet again!
*Ideas from Fancy Nancy Tea Parties by Jane O’Connor
6/2014 BWL

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