Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CLA Today!

Flannel - check!  Books - check   Easels - check!
Flannel display boards - check! check!

Car packed?  check!
Jane dressed?   Jane dressed?    JANE!!!!

I can not resist this adorable picture book to illustrate my final steps in "preparedness."  Maybe it's the life of a children's librarian - often times the "Jill of-all-trades" but I seem to take everything with me.  One never really know what adventure awaits!  Does one?  Author Bethanie Deeney Murguia gets me to a "T" or maybe a "Z" in this case!  I realize I'm not alone in this creative process.  Maybe you'll see yourself, your sister, your co-worker or your child in this book.  It's just precious. 

Zoe Gets Ready by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Ready for everything! 
 Cowgirl boots, mittens, fairy wings, fancy skirt, pocket vest
and a flower crown!
Oh, don't forget the trusty side-kick, a butterfly (or a beautiful Piper dog)

It's time to roll to the Flannel Panel.  Many thanks to:
 you have provided inspiration, organization and so much joy to my flannel life.  

P.S. (Piper Script): If you would like more info on Bethanie Deeney Murguia please visit her website -Aqua Pup!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flannel Friday Popsicle Kid!

Popsicle Kid!  

He's just so darn happy!  Spring, popsicles & CLA 2013!
We're smiling here!

It's time for the Connecticut Library Association 's annual conference and this kid's coming with me.  Yep!  And check this out:  He eats the popsicles!  Yum, lemon!!  Hey, did my tongue turn yellow?  

hmmm, let's try blue, what flavor is that?

oh wait!  I like lime...which color is lime?

I made a bag of extra tongues, (sounds bizarre but it isn't) so all the kiddos can place 
the color they like best onto the flannel board.

This little guy has been waiting to be flannelized for some time now.  I found him here with Storytime Katie although it appears his home is here with Cate at Storytiming and she has a pattern.  Now he's a friend of Piper's and she "called" the pink popsicle.  So, this kid's saving that one for her.  Sharing is good.  There is a lot of sharing on Flannel Friday. If you work with children - getting to know Flannel Friday will place a great big grin on your face!

Flannel Friday is the best source for flannel story inspiration.  The members are supportive, creative, helpful, and caring.  You should follow, or better yet,  join - Start here!

P.S. (Piper Script)  Here are a few libraries I would like to see.  Road trip?  I call a window seat!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I do all my own Library stunts!

Organizing for the Flannel Panel   

Next week I'm headed to the Connecticut Library Association Conference to rock and roll with two of my favorite librarians, Kari Ann St Jean and Heather Baker.
We're presenting The Flannel Panel!

A little history on these two:  Kari Ann has moved on from my library system to be a department head in a neighboring town library, (so happy for her...so sad for me), and the inimitable Heather Baker is just a few towns away.  Heather is a super-brain Head of Children's Dept. librarian.  She is one of the smartest people I know.  Both of these women give generously to their communities, their staff and the collaborative development of librarians in Connecticut and everywhere.  If you come - they will teach, share, assist, provide and make you laugh.  There is a kindness in these women that you don't find just anywhere. And thank heavens they have my back next week!!

(kari ann & jane) 

We've planned to display some of our flannel pieces and this year I made a little heading for our foam core display boards.  Oh how we love Amelia Bedelia (check out last years display boards)                                                                
                                                                                                                              (heather & jane)                                                                                                             

A thirty minute magical, fantastical, all-out-flannel story time will precede the 25 minute Q & A.  We are presenting at the end of the day which will allow us to stay longer if anyone wishes to stay. The panel will provide great tips and how-to's, behind-the-scenes flannel secrets, why magnets help, when to use cardboard, felt-in-a-box, felt-on-a-paint-stirrer, sunshines-on-sticks, the best easel and so much more.  We'll tie-in to the summer reading theme, (Dig into Reading), and present stories in-line with the Common Core SS and Every Child Ready to Read. Our hope is that you will go home with all the words and wisdom to confidently tell your own fantastical flannel stories, songs and rhymes.

There'll be guerrilla flannel tales for your entertainment if: A) you stay long enough and  B) we get Heather going.  This alone is worth the price of admission!
Some of my friends needed to get spiffed up before heading out to CLA.  
needed a stiff felt backing

needed stiff felt backs and some pizzaz

And Pete, 
well...he got new buttons
Pretty Groovy, eh?

Join us at CLA on April 30th -you know you want to!  
And then you can say....I went to the Flannel Panel because I FELT like it!

p.s. I've discovered that in the process of determining what to do, bring, share and present for the conference I overload myself with creative, inspiring new and sometimes old ideas.  Research is wonderful!  I love learning.  This prep work motivates many new ideas.  It's falling in love with my career all over again - you know...that seductive tug - just one more click, and I link to one more idea or pinterest page, or a Flannel Friday friend's blog post and NOW ...I want to include that in the presentation.   Heather is so in love with this process...she thinks it a good idea to be in "presenter-prep-mode permenantly".  In case I didn't tell you, she's younger and very high energy!  Today I am loading two easels into my car and picking up printed hand-outs, pinning my flannel pieces to my display boards...you know how it goes.  Just remember...I do all my own library stunts!!!  Oh, and what should I wear to the conference?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pete the Cat and the Story Stones!

Pete the Cat 
and the Story Stones! 

We're rockin' with a follow-up to our previous Pete the Cat post
This summer, my library is offering a Pete the Cat Club.  Two children's librarians will be working together!  In tandem!  This never happens!  We're so excited to present together and have fun with the kids and Eric Litwin's books.  A giant shout out to Harper Collins for providing so many creative options on-line ((((((( Harper Collins )))))))

Today's post is all about how we will use story stones with Pete the Cat.

Here are the story stones I created for Pete the Cat
I Love My White Shoes!
Before I get started - think DIG into READING with story stones!
Rockin' that summer reading theme!

There are a variety of ways to use story stones.  Please keep in mind that these are specific to a particular book although we have the freedom to make the story different - sillier, shorter, longer, sad, cranky - anything we want.  (I know you can run with that)  But for this post - I will try my best to go along with the author.  

These story stones extend the story...so be sure to read the book with the kids before you spread out the story stones.  I prefer spreading them out for discussion and creative thinking.  Sort of like...brainstorming for script writing!  Some people prefer to have the kids pull a stone out of a bag and discuss that stone...or begin sorting them. (if you have dinosaur stones - you can sort by meat-eating, plant-eating, flying, etc.)

Here's a way to get things going:
Who is this story about?  Can you find the story stone to show me the main character?

What's the title of this book?  what does that look like in story stones?

Don't, DON'T, don't look at the stones right now....who remembers the last words in the book?
(okay, look if you have to)  Don't say anything yet...!!  
Our group will have readers and non-readers so this will be interesting.  

How do the sneakers change colors?  will you place those stones in a group?
And will you make a group of the sneakers too.
Now, can you make a pattern, red sneaker with the strawberries and blue sneaker with the ???

Will you do that again and place them in order.  Which color did Pete step into first?  And then second? 
(Of course you could make this a cause and effect display if you put the sneakers on the right side)

Oh, if we want to ask a question in our story...what do we use.  What is that called? 

Does Pete cry in the story?  Is there a stone we can use for that?  Maybe two stones? Or three?

Do you think we can re-tell this story with our story stones?  Would you like to do that?  Let me just say...we'll all have parts.  Really!   We'll share.

Before we do our fancy acting ...I will give you a minute to see if you can place those stones in sequence...you know...which part came first, then second, third and all the way to the end.  Please work with each other, be polite...please try to place them in order on the rug.  

Now, we don't rehearse!  We just go for it.  The story is whatever the story is!  As Pete says: "it's all good!" I plan to have at least two children for each sneaker stone.  That's a singing part - so it helps to have singing buddies.  

The kids holding the "stuff" Pete steps into will need to make some sort of "squelch" or "squish" sound as well as narrate/tell their part.  We all know that sound-making will bring giggles!

Because Pete's sneakers have 4 color changes...4 kids can play Pete's part if needed.  I strongly encourage very silly dance/walking for such a cool cat.  

The question mark gets used a lot - it can be passed person to person or a group of kids can ask (shout??),questions. Flexibility is good here.  Expect random questions to pop up...because we all enjoy getting goofy in our stories!

The "Goodness No" stone is very loud... a group chant for sure!    The stone with "It's all good" can be used many times in the story if you want.  Creativity is a bonus!!  Basically the kids hold the stones as a reminder of their part.  They can use their own words or Eric Litwin's.  Stories will take a curve, get silly by mistake or intentionally, and we laugh.  Better yet, the kids own it.  

It's always fun to introduce the kids to the authors and illustrators of the books they love.  We'll do that with a YouTube video.  Check it out.  It's great!  Our kids will be singing each week of Pete the Cat camp...so I decided they need a name...you guessed it "The Story Stones" !

F.Y.I. regarding the process:  With these story stones - I have asked the kids questions that guide them in both usage of story stones and a re-telling of this particular book.  If I were using a random set of story stones with sun, cloud, trees, cat, dog, house,mouse, boy, girl, baby etc. I would approach this differently.  My questions could be completely open-ended because we'd be creating an original story.  The brainstorming process would include "...and what can you do with that little mouse?"  and " why does he want to go there?"  "what would you do to make the story silly?  How would you do that with the stones?"  Get it?  Got it!  Good.  

Thanks for visiting.  We love comments.  ~ Piper and Jane

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pete the Cat Rocks on Flannel Friday!

Pete the Cat
I Love My White Shoes!   Story by Eric Litwin, Art by James Dean  

I am truly digging this cat!  I am diggin' this story!  I am diggin' these story stones.  


This is the first time I've made story stones.  And to be honest about it...this was a collision of ideas.  I completely wanted to do story stones with a dinosaur theme for Dig into Reading - but the ever present Pete the Cat just kept calling "dig my white shoes, dig my white shoes!"  And really...drawing Pete is so much easier than drawing dinosaurs.

I cleaned off some old rocks.  Then drew little pictures of  Pete, some sneakers and stuff on sketch paper, (not too thick), and colored them in with sharpies.  I cut everything out and modge-podged them all to the rocks.  In this photo...each rock only has two coats of Modge Podge.  I think they'll need about four more coats.  

I can't wait to use these story stones.   " Pete the cat goes walking down the street in his brand-new white shoes.  Pete loved his white shoes so much, he sang this song:" Go on, sing it!  You know it - sing it!

vocabulary building, sequencing, patterning, narrating, singing, dancing, pretending
It's all good!

P.S. (Piper Script) READING ROCKS!

If you like this post you may also like this and this too!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pete the Cat is Groovy on Flannel Friday

Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons
Hurray for Eric Litwin and James Dean!

Yes! Pete the Cat showed up on my sofa last night.  I glued him today.  He is sitting right there...in that picture...drying!  Can't you tell by his Cool Cat expression?  Oh, and  I've been singing "my but-ens, my but-ens, my four groovy but-ens!" for far too many hours.  FYI:  I started singing "my but-tons", (because the nuns at the Immaculate Conception School taught me to eNUNciate), but when I checked out Harper Collins - Pete's publisher - to practice my groovy singing...I heard but-ens. I needed to switch things up a bit to get "in the groove." (as if anyone says that any longer!) 

All things Pete ...pattern, songs, videos, coloring pages and games are available at Harper Collins - just click here.  I know I added sneakers - I had to.  I just sort of ran with them last night.  I increased the pattern size to 135%.  I added whiskers.  And I backed it all in black felt.  My buttons are all the same because the rather hip tie-dye shirt is quite busy!!  I placed magnets on the back of the buttons because my flannel board is magnetized...love that. 

I plan to "DO THE MATH" with the kids in story time. I will create something similar to the book with the math pages, maybe a graphic for the flannel board or ??
...haven't quite figured it out yet.  But "it's all good" as Pete says!

If you haven't read this story about our hipster cat, the buttons on his favorite shirt pop off, one at a time.  Bummer? Not for Pete.  He doesn't skip a beat.  He'll always have one button!

Pete's shirt does open and yes, he has his belly button.  Uh-huh!  Check it out!

We're going to have a Pete the Cat Club as a three week summer special at the library, so stay tuned for more flannels and some crafts.  Oh yeah!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  And just so you know, Piper does not love Pete the Cat.  We've tried.  Piper has her own BFF cat...Speedo.  You'll meet him someday.  

In the meantime, think like Pete the Cat, don't sweat the small stuff...
rock on with a song and a smile!