Thursday, July 14, 2011

Subwoofers and Storytime

So this summer, baby's on a budget. Well, let's be frank, for the last three years we've been on a tight budget. I've been employed here for almost two years and for two years in a row I was biting my nails and twisting my fingers because it was likely that I would be getting a pink slip if the Mayor had his way. But alas this June, I was saved again by the outcrys of the people and the City Council voting "no" on the Mayor's budget cut proposals. I still don't undertstand where the "found $$" comes from...is it credit? imaginary? hidden treasure? But that is neither here nor there at this point.

The point of that tirade was to explain what the tight budget means for summer reading at my library (sorry got a little caught up).  Every Thursday from June-August for the last few years two groups of preschoolers walk over to the library. In the past they were treated to amazing performers and had a great time, but we just don't have the funds for performers every week. I'm doing my best to be a great "performer" at storytime, and am counting down the weeks until the real performers come. It's not that I don't like doing storytime, girrrlll you know I love it.... it's just I feel bad for these 50 kiddies (plus about 7-10 regulars) who want some clowns 'cause they know it's summer!

So I'm trolling through storytime blogs to see what new and exciting things I can come up with to add some flare. I was on Mel's Desk in preparation for my Messy/Clean storytime this week and saw her great plan and a link to Susan Dailey's page and I was saved! Mel used the book Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and when I pulled our copy I saw that it came with a free download from Harper Collins.

The download turned out to be Mr. Litwin reading the book and singing the song that the cat sings. I plugged one of our laptops into a speaker with a subwoofer because the head of IT  said it would "blow these little kid's chests open." He was so right! I'm really glad that I decided to use the mp3 file instead of reading it myself, because the story was so much cooler coming from the author. The kids were singing and dancing with the song, their teachers were clapping along to it, and even the staff here in the Children's Room was singing after the storytime finished. Here is my plan, without the parent patter and theme talk I include:

Greeting Songs: I have five different "Hello" songs on my playlist because this allows the kids to get settled in, and helps those already seated to have something to do while we wait for our other friends
Opening Song: "Warm-Up Time" by Georgiana Stewart
Book: Max Cleans Up by Rosemary Wells (this was great because a few kids yelled out Max & Ruby!)
Fingerplay: "Cleaning my Room" by Susan Dailey
Activity: Cleaning Up sorting activity (details on Susan and Mel's pages, great sorting game)
Book: Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up her Wash by Sarah Weeks
Fingerplay: "Washing Clothes" by Susan Dailey
Song Book: Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin (performed during this session by author)
--I planned to do another flannel story, "5 Clean and Squeaky Pigs" from Mel but the kids were getting restless so I transitioned to movement
Prop Song: "Splish Splash" with bean bags
Transition Songs: I played two songs about cleaning up, one from Barney ("Clean Up") and one from Laurie Berkner ("Clean it Up"), while I collected the bean bags and it was great because the kids knew we were almost finished
Closing Rhyme: a modified version of "Teddy Bear Teddy Bear" that I made up to close my storytimes

I've got another round of preschool storytime at the homeless shelter preschool tomorrow, so I hope it goes as well as today's did! And for the record I will be using a subwoofer from now on during storytime.

1 Comment:

Niamh O'Donovan said...

Lovely post, very inspiring. I'll be stealing a few ideas for our own story time.