Hello everyone and Happy New Year!
I hope your year is off to a great start. I’m off and running, ok...well, walking briskly, at the very least.
I know a lot of people decided against resolutions for this year but I’m sure we all have thought about at least a few new things we would like to implement in this new year, or maybe something you’re already implementing but you would like to modify a bit.
For me, three very important habits I would like to implement this year are:
Learning how to say “No.”
Being a better listener, you all know how I like to talk, so this is definitely a challenge.
Last but not least, I would like to have a more intentional focus on my business and personal life.
What does being more intentional even consist of? You’re seeing results in the future that, if you achieve them, will help your life become bigger and better in every way. Being intentional will make you sit down and plan your life with more purpose.
Simple ways to be more intentional in your personal life:
Find ways to be kind to others
Be conscious of the media you consume on an everyday basis
Prioritize time for rest and self-care every day
Make time for self-reflection
Realize it’s ok to do something that brings you joy
Ways I’m working to become more intentional in my storytimes:
I recently done a training on Super Charging my storytime. While most of us are already encouraging early literacy learning skills in our classrooms storytimes, are we being intentional with it?
I have been doing story time more than 20 years and just knew I was doing everything right until this training. Was I being intentional with the books I was choosing to read, or was I just reading them because they were cute or fit my theme? Was I choosing the right books but not incorporating enough to reinforce early literacy in the most possible way? Was I choosing a specific skill and then books, songs and activities around that skill? Was I being intentional enough?
I was not. I don’t personally think there is a right or wrong way to go about choosing the books verses the skill first, as long as you’re being thoughtful about how your encouraging those specific skills through the books and activities during storytime.
In the past I picked out themes, then books, then activities and songs to accompany the books. I would discuss the literacy skills but not on purpose. I have learned to pick a literacy skill first, then pick a book that fit the theme I desired and the literacy skill I wanted to encourage. You will find it to be a little easier this way and take less time in your planning. Don’t forget to reflect on your storytime to see what successes, impact you had and challenges you may want to modify for the next time around.
Here in youth services, we have a monthly early literacy skill we focus on. The early literacy skill for this month is Alphabetic Knowledge. Alphabetic Knowledge is knowing the individual letter names, sounds and shapes of letters. Alphabetic Principle is the idea that letters and groups of letters make up the sound of spoken language in words and sentences. This is when children connect letter sounds to read and write. Recognition of letter shapes and sounds is vital with children when learning to read.
Books great for teaching letters and sounds:
• Alpha Oops! The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis
• “A” Was Once an Apple Pie by Suse MacDonald
• Shiver Me Letters A Pirate ABC by June Sobel
• Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
• Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
These are just a few of so many that could be used when teaching alphabetic knowledge. We also have Letter Land books, here at the library, which are really helpful when learning these skills. Many of the elementary schools are also using Letter Land for letter sounds and shapes. We would be more than happy to pull some of these books for you through our Express Books
Of course, the traditional ABC song is great but there are a ton of other songs to keep the kids entertained while learning. Here’s a really cute YouTube
video the kids will enjoy.
February is soon approaching and those of you that know me, know I love doing storytime in the month of LOVE. I may not be there in person but here is a list of some of my favorites to read, that you can also request (you must do that now) but hurry, they’re getting gone.
• There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Colandro
• Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
• Click, Clack, Moo I Love You by Doreen Cronin
• Valensteins by Ethan Long
• Groundhug Day by Anne Marie Pace
• Love Monster by Rachel Bright
• The Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh
• Froggy’s First Kiss by Jonathan London
• LOVE by Matt De La Pena
One of my favorite songs is Skidamarink
, I used to sing it to my kids when they were little. And of course, “If You Love Me and You Know It” sang to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
for some really cute Valentine’s activities and crafts for preschoolers.
Last but certainly not least, as much as we don’t want to face anything other than smiles, hugs and kisses there is the outside world. I know we don’t really want to think about anything else unpleasant happening right now but just in case you have children mentioning what has just happened on January 6th at the Capitol, here
are some helpful tips on speaking to children of all ages. I know they’re only four and five-year olds but they do watch TV and listen to everything!
I hope some or all of this information will be helpful for you and you’re welcomed to pass it on to coworkers if you like. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or ideas.
Thanks for taking time to read what I so passionately pour my heart into,