Tuesday, April 17, 2018

M is for Mouse and Monsters

I was so very excited for the letter M. We had a lot to do in our hour!
I met the children at the door with one of my mouse puppets.
A puppet greeting is so much fun I have decided to do it every week if possible.

Today we started with our usual opening song- "If You're Happy & You Know It" and immediately followed that with "Show & Tell". Lots of creative thinking as we had a moose, magnet, milk jug, mug, monkey, McDonald's drink, My Little Pony and a picture of Mom (loved that!).
Each week I bring out a small box full of little items. This week my box held a mitten, monster and little gold mouse.
We did all of our Alphabet Phonics. Zoo Phonics letter M was Missy Mouse.
We talked about the weather.
And then we did our flannel board activity. It was difficult to choose activities as there are so many cool books, flannel board ideas, fingerplays and activities to choose from for this letter.
I finally decided on "The Polka Dot Monster" which I found at Storytime ABC's. I hand drew and cut out my own felt monster.
"Polka Dot Monster"
I'm a little monster friendly and bright.

I won't give anyone a fright.

I love polka dots but I have none.

So step right up and give me red ones.

I'm a little monster friendly and bright.

I won't give anyone a fright.

I love polka dots but I only have some.

So step right up and give me orange ones.

Continue until each color has been added.

then sing the last verse:
I'm a little monster friendly and bright.

I won't give anyone a fright.

I love polka dots and I have lots.

Thank you for my colorful spots.
Today's books were

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly- If you aren't familiar with this book it is fun! The pages are diecut and as you turn the pages the monster's face appears and then disappears as you tell the features to go away. It's short and sweet. The kids love it.
Dining with Monsters was a backup and we didn't get time to read it, but the pages fold out of this counting book as you count how many bugs and things these monsters dine on. It's also short and fun.
Mice by Rose Fyleman is illustrated in Lois Ehlert's unique fashion and was a crowd pleaser. The moms especially loved it.

I Can Teach My Child came up with an adorable alphabet monster made from baby wipes. I found this idea a few years ago and immediately started collecting my milk and other bottle caps. A few weeks ago I started punching circles and cutting letters. I wanted each family to be able to take home a monster. I came up with several games to use with him.
Inside each monster is a set of 52 caps with upper case and lower case letters. I neglected to get a photo. Will have to add that later.
We used the alphabet monster for our first activity. I drew the caps out one by one and the kids colored in the letter to match the cap. I found this printable on ABC's of Literacy. I didn't use it for the intended purpose, but it worked.

Next we made our Alphabet Animal. This week was a mouse. The photo is a little dark. Sorry.

I found these monster stamps on Zulily and the printable on The Measured Mom.
With so much to do I ended up sending home the next printable along with a couple of snack size bags of M&Ms. I can't find the link at the moment...sorry.
Our free book was Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears which is A West African Tale written by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.
That was all for today! M was magnificent!
See you for N!
~~Mrs. Angel

Monday, April 16, 2018

I officially changed the name of my blog to Storytime Angel! This is where I am in life right now. I am doing something I love and enjoy. When you love something you want to share it!
So this will be my place to share all things Storytime related!
Let me know you've been here by leaving a comment.
~Mrs. Angel

Pre-Reading Skills

Pre-Reading Skills are so important to a child in preparing him or her to learn to read. Since I began my storytime adventure 7 years ago I have earned a wealth of information that I wish I had known when my own children were growing up. The most important element of pre-reading skills? READ to your child. Read books, read signs, read everything you can and take every opportunity to read with your child in their early years- birth to school age. AND beyond. Nursery rhymes, finger plays and songs are important as well. There is a lot of great information out there on the web and I would like to share a little with you now so you can explore on your own. Give your child a head start.

Growing Like a Read
Our own library system has their own program called Growing Like a Read or GLAR for short. We hand out book bags with free materials to parents and caregivers to help them with literacy skills at home. It's a great program and the above link will give your a wealth of information.

Stay at Home Educator
SAHE is really on top of her game and has broken down early literacy into 4 components which she goes into great detail in her posts in The "Big Four" Preschool Literacy Instruction series. On her site "you will find fun and engaging preschool literacy activities that span all the components of preschool literacy instruction, from emergent literacy skills to learning how to read and write."

K-12 Reader
This link takes you to an article comparing the terms "phonemic awareness" and "phonological awareness"- a pre-reading skill.

ABC's of Literacy

In easy to understand language this blog breaks down the 5 pre-reading skills your child needs to be a successful reader.

This Reading Mama
In the above link, one of my favorite resource sites, THis Reading Mama, goes into detail on book and print awareness giving you lots of tips. Also check out her series on preparing your child for Kindergarten!

There is a wealth of information on the internet. I hope some of the above links are helpful to you!
Thanks for stopping by!
Mrs. Angel

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

L is for Lion

It's a windy day here in Oklahoma. A good day for storytime as our numbers show. We had sixteen children at Storytime today. We are growing. After our opening song and singing our ABC's, we had show and tell with a leaf, lincoln log, lion, legos, Loves a Lot carebear, lotion and more. I sent a Newsletter home today with an overview of our next several months. I shared how much I love show and tell. Getting these kids up on front of the "class" at such an early age has to be good, right? Primary Public Speaking!
We read 2 books today, neither of which were the perfect "L" storytime books in my opinion. I will be looking for other choices for next time. I read "How Does a Dinosaur Say I Love You" by Yolen and "Yoo Hoo Ladybug" by Mem Fox.
I like both books as I love the "How Does a Dinosaur" books and Yoo Hoo Ladybug is adorable, but the kids were itching to look more closely at the pages.
We also went through our Zoo Phonics adding Lizzy Lizard to the lineup.
I had lots of activities for us today including a Letter L Lion for our ABC book.
We used legos for a couple of activities including these Lego Alphabet Pages from Little Bins for Little Hands.

Sorry for the glare but I laminate everything. No sense in making it twice!
I also had some Lego activity cards for the older kids to try.
I love this idea for a portable activity! What a great project for long road trips. Thank you to the folks at Fun At Home with Kids for coming up with a free printable for this activity! They even have some cards you can color yourself to customize. All of the Legos came from our Lego League Junior kits which I was able to borrow from our service center.
Lastly for the younger kids I had some Ladybug clip cards for some great fine motor work.
(I can't seem to find the link at the moment for these printables.)
I gave each family a copy of Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora and a set of "L" worksheets- fun ones!
It was a little chaotic today. Next time I might just put some Legos out for the kids to enjoy. Sometimes I way overthink things!
Have a blessed week. See you for "M"!
Mrs. Angel

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

K is for Koala

Storytime today was lots of fun with lots of kids! We had a total of 15 little ones in attendance. I greeted each one at the door with our cool Folkmanis Koala puppet.

Then to the rug....we started out with our opening song "If You're Happy & You Know It". Next we talked about the weather which was Rainy, Cloudy AND Windy here in Oklahoma!

Show and Tell brought 2 Katana swords, a kangaroo, a Lego knight and Lego king as well as a koala. I think Show and Tell is one of my favorite things about our alphabet storytime series. Anyone who brings a S&T item comes up and they tell the group what they brought. The rest of the kids repeat the name of the item and then we thank the Show and Teller and clap for them. It's great to see a shy kid get up and share. I think it helps them come out of their shell a little.
We read 2 books today. Pouch by David Ezra Stein is a sweet book about a baby joey who explores the frightening world outside of his momma's pouch and My Kitten by Margaret O'Hair written in rhyme which is all about the daily like of a kitten.

I brought in lots of other books for them to choose from for checkouts- books about kings, kites, kids, kittens, kangaroos, knights and kisses.

My magnet board activity was 5 Little Kites from Storytime Katie.

Five Little Kites
One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.
Two little kites flying high above me;
Along came another, then there were three.
Three little kites, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.
Four little kites, so high and alive
Along came another, then there were five.
Five little kites dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!

I printed a pattern and paperpieced my kites together then laminated them for durability. They are one of my favorite sets I have made so far.

Off to the tables for some fine motor skills activities.
Our Letter K activity today was a Koala.
We also did a matching key activity similiar to this one from Desert Crafter. I had a ton of keys in my craft cabinet. I traced the ones I had several of and made a template dividing a sheet of paper into fourths and putting a different traced key shape in each section and laminated them of course. Then I gave them a variety of keys which they had to put in the right section.
I found some foam King's Crowns in our bog box of "All Things Foam" so I pulled those out for the kids to decorate. Here is one my crafty little granddaughter made.
Our last activity was a set of kites that I cut out, laminated and punched a hole in the end. The kids then added a chain of colored paperclips for the tail. Of these activities I would say the keys were the hit. One child asked if he could take a key home and so I ended up letting a bunch of my keys go. We may not repeat that activity. :-)
Each family took a copy of Koala Lou by Mem Fox home along with a set of "K" worksheets and puzzles.
We have an inventory of books left over from a literacy grant that I have been giving away. Koala Lou is one of those. These are some great books and have been well received by the parents.
That's all for K. I will be back next week for the Letter L!
Mrs. Angel

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

J is for Jellyfish

Time for letter "J"! We started out as we always do singing "If You're Happy & You Know It". The kids were a little wound up so I used my magic transition poem/fingerplay- "Open Them/Shut Them". Open them. shut them, Give a little clap Open them, shut them Put them in your lap. I start out in a normal tone and slowly lower my voice so I am practically whispering by the end. It's magic, I am telling you. Most groups are quietly sitting waiting for storytime by the time we finish. With some groups I will use this poem a few times. We talked about the weather and then did 2 jumping nursery rhymes- "Jack Be Nimble" and "Jack in the Box". We read 2 books today- "Jar of Happiness by Ailsa Burrows and "Jump" by Scott Fischer.
Jar of Happiness has an "Oma" in it which is German for Grandma. This is what my own grands call me and I enjoyed reading it- a cute book with a great message. Jump is a classic and whenever we got to the word JUMP I had the children shout it. They really enjoyed that one. For Show & Tell today some of the kids were very creative jumping and jumping jacks were a couple of their offerings. We also had Jello, 2 jumpropes, Jacket, Jack in the box, a jet, and juice. I cut out some jellyfish with my Cricut and laminated them for the magnet board activity- "Five Little Jellyfish". 5 little jellyfish swimming by the shore, the first one got lost and that left 4. 4 little jellyfish swimming in the sea, the second one swam far, far away and that left 3. 3 little jellyfish in the ocean so blue, the third one took a seahorse ride and that left 2. 2 little jellyfish swimming in the sun, the fourth one took a dive and that left 1. 1 little jellyfish swimming all alone, called it a day and that left none! I did not use them, but 2 other books I would recommend for this letter are "Rumble in the Jungle" by Andreae and "Peanut Butter Jellyfishes" by Cleary- both are super fun.
Next we moved to the tables and started out with a game- "Bugs in a Jar" with printables from Measured Mom. I brought in a foam die and the kids took turns rolling it with everyone adding that amount of bugs to their laminated jar.
After bugs we moved on to jewels. I gave each child a strip of adhesive backed jewels to put in their letter J however they wished. The kids were so creative.
We finished with our alphabet book addition- J is for jellyfish. All of the pieces were given to the kids and they had to put them together. I used double sided paper which had a floral print on one side. Some of the kids chose this side for the jellyfish. There were some pretty jellyfish for sure! Next time I will try to get pictures of those little masterpieces instead of just my own sample.
Each week I have also been giving away a book for them to take home. Following the J theme they received "Journey Home" by McKay.
They also received a small packet of "homework" to practice their Js. And that was all for this week. Looking forward to letter K! Have a blessed week. Mrs. Angel

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I is for Iguana

Hello there! Today it’s icy and cold in Oklahoma. A good day to start something new. I had a great Storytime this week and I have really been wanting to share my experiences with others who may be looking for ideas. So here we go.... This week at Preschool Storytime we had our Valentine Party or our “I Love You” party as I called it since we had reached the letter I in our alphabet quest. We started as we usually do on the rug. My opening song is always “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. It’s routine and it also gives stragglers a chance to make their way in and not miss out on anything. We talked about the weather. Today was Windy, Cloudy AND Rainy. We have been doing “Show and Tell” where the kids can bring in something that starts with the letter we are working on to show the other kids. Today 2 kids brought in something to share- one an iceberg (toy) and the other some instructions for an incubator! How fun! I have a little Box with small miniatures in it such as shaped erasers and small toys which I am hoping to use later for an activity of some sort. For the letter ”I” all I could find was a couple of ice cream cone erasers. We sang our ABC’s and then added to the Zoo Phonics we are learning. This week was “Innie” InchWorm. I grabbed a Mom and together we read “Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse” by Lindsay Barrett George. This is such a fun book and with 2 people reading it you can really distinguish between the two mice. I also read my favorite insect book- “I Love Bugs”.
We did a finger play today. Kids LOVE fingerplays- more than I thought they would when I first started doing storytimes. So I add one whenever I can. Today was an old favorite- “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” After Rug Time we went to the tables for my planned activities. I have a passion for fine motor skills activities so that’s what we normally do- usually 2 or 3 things. Since we started working on the Alphabet, we have been making a page for an ABC Animal Book out of each letter. I cut out the letter and all of the pieces with my Cricut and the kids put them together. Today was an iguana made from the letter I.
I also made an I-Spy wall putting the lower case letters we have learned on a piece of butcher paper. I gave each kid about 6 stickers with the matching upper case letters for them to cover the lower case ones. I was happy that I found heart stickers for this activity that I borrowed from The Measured Mom.
Then we played 4 in a row (or Bingo) from the printables I bought from Preschool Mom. We used Very Berry Cheerios for this activity- healthy and yummy. After Bingo we proceeded to have our party. Each kid brought in valentines to put in their friends’ boxes. I asked the moms to have their kids sign their names but leave them blank for “To” as our attendees vary from week to week or we may have visitors or new children- which we did! Cookies and real juice boxes made it a party. I send home “homework” (super fun printables that I scour the internet to find) for the kids to continue their learning through the week. I also bring in lots of fun books they can check out to read to their kiddos. Imogene’s Antlers was one of those.
I read this last week at an outreach Storytime. I think it’s adorable, but I am not sure the kids caught everything so I skipped it today. I also found ”The Itsy Bitsy Spider“ by Iza Trapani.
Who knew there were other verses? This one was my backup in case I needed another title. But since we had our party I didn’t need another book. Another thing we are doing with our Alphabet Storytimes is my version of a Word Wall. Letter Recognition is such an important pre-reading skill. So, I have asked the moms to have their children look for letters in their everyday and cut out words (from labels or magazines) that start with the letters we've learned so far. Here is a picture of our Word Wall to date. Notice that "I" is a little sparse.
This was a much longer post than I intended. I will try to streamline them in future. THanks for visiting! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Especially for Alphabet Storytimes J-Z! Blessings~ Angel