Monday, June 19, 2017

Rock Art BLAST





Rock art was crazy fun on Thursday!  

St. Pete Rocks on Facebook gave us great inspiration -- and publicity when we posted our event.

Materials: day-glo spray fabric paints (leftover from when we made dog bandanas); Jane donated a lovely set of  18 acrylic paints she got on sale at Michael's for $8; a ton of Sharpies; and two big bags of river rocks from Home Depot. I did make up an idea sheet using ideas from Pinterest.

We also provided sealant.  And although Amanda, our teen volunteer, had been soooo helpful beforehand, this is when her weight-in-gold started racking up. Because ten minutes before we had to close the library, kids were still painting, and we had to get them out the door.  I told them it was time to apply the sealant, but everyone was still wet.  So she patiently started blow drying rocks (of course I keep a blow dryer at the library), and we got everybody out the door (fifteen minutes late). That was when each kid got feedback on how cute their rocks were too. Note to self: blow the whistle a little earlier for clean-up! And assign the kids clean-up chores! They know how to screw lids back on!

Our attendance was lower than I expected considering the interest the event seemed to stir up, but a bit above average for my regular summer reading programs. Materials were cheap and of course I paid no presenter. Because we have a very small meeting room and the kids had to move around a lot to access the different paint set ups (not to mention moms wandering), chaos ruled, but that could just have been my style, aka Creative Chaos. My meeting room is carpeted, and I had to work a bit to clean up a couple spots, but no permanent damage was done.

I have a lot of leftover rocks and paints.  I will replace the Perler beads at my Make-It Station with them so that kids stopping in can decorate rocks with Sharpies for the rest of the summer. I MAY even let them get out the paints. 




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today's the day for ROCK ART!!! Thursday, June 15 @ 4:00



Come join us at 4:00 this afternoon for a session with paints, Sharpies, pencils, tape and a WHOLE LOT OF BARE NAKED ROCKS!!!

(And remember, if you want to hide some, ROC Park is right around the corner!)

Plus, have you picked up your summer reading folders? Finished a bingo yet and ready to collect a prize?

Or just looking for your next book?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Summer Reading 2017!!!

School's out for summer!!!


This summer we have not one but TWO reading challenges, and the good thing about them is that the same books count for both!


The Tampa Bay Rays will be giving away baseball tickets and prizes again.










Ms. Travis is issuing a BOOK BINGO challenge.  

Gulf Beaches Summer Reading Program
Book Bingo
Level 1
Read a picture BOOK with a blue label
Look up a map of where your book takes place.
Read a BOOK with a non-human character
Go on an alpha
bet walk in yr house. Find something that starts w/ every letter.
Do  a puppet show.
Find 5 things outside on a nature walk.
Read a funny BOOK.
Act out 5 verbs from a book you read (run, sleep, eat)
Read an Elephant & Piggie book.
(early reader Willems)
Read any BOOK you like.
Read a nonfiction BOOK
Read a Froggy book by J. London
Make a bookmark
Read a picture BOOK
Tell Ms. Travis about a book you read
Tell Ms. Travis about a book you read and why she should read it.
Read a picture BOOK to someone.
Find every letter of the alphabet in signs on the road.
Read a picture BOOK with a CD.
Plan a meal for one of the characters in your book.
Visit the library.
Send selfie of you reading a book in a weird way to gulfbeacheslib
@gmail.com
Read any BOOK you like.
Try out a picture BOOK and listen to the CD

Sing a song or say a poem. Try our poetry section!
Rules: 
1.  “Read” or “Have read to you” are the same.
2.    You can win baseball tickets too by filling in the Reading to the Rays scorecard.
Prizes: Each row, treasure box.

Gulf Beaches Summer Reading Program
Book Bingo
Level 2
Read a picture BOOK with a blue label
Find a map of where your book takes place.
Read a BOOK with a non-human character
Decide what music your characters might like.
Read a BOOK in a series.
Check out a science or cook BOOK and make something.
Read a funny BOOK.
Write a letter to one of the characters in your book.
Do a rock book report (Title, author, or quote.)

Read any BOOK you like.
Nonfiction BOOK
“Cultural Traditions” BOOK
Make a bookmark
Visit the library.
Tell Ms. Travis about a book you read
Tell Ms. Travis about a book you read and why she should read it.
Read a picture BOOK to someone.
Read a spinner BOOK
Read a picture BOOK with a CD.
Plan a meal for one of the characters in your book.
Read a biography BOOK by Mike Venezia or Brad Meltzer
Send selfie of you reading a book in a weird way to gulfbeacheslib
@gmail.com
Read any BOOK you like.
Try a picture BOOK with a CD

Check out a poetry BOOK and read one poem out loud.
Rules: 
3.   You can count a book you’ve read once for a square with BOOK in it and again for any other square that does not have a bold BOOK.  For example, you can READ ANY BOOK you want, mark off a square, and then you could plan a meal for one of the characters in the book and mark off another.  
4.     You can count the same books on Book Bingo on the Reading to the Rays scorecard.
Prizes: 1st row finished, Family Ticket to Mad Science Event, 2nd row finished, notebook, 3 rd row, Treasure Box.


Gulf Beaches Summer Reading Program
Book Bingo
Level 3
Read a BOOK with a non-human character
Read a funny BOOK
Plan a meal for one of the characters in your book.
Picture BOOK
Decide what music your characters might like.
Read a BOOK that was made into a movie.
Find a map of where your book takes place.
Read a graphic novel BOOK.
Write a letter to one of the characters in your book.
Do a rock book report (Title, author, a few words)

Write a 30 word book review about a book you’ve read.
Read a chapter or picture BOOK to someone.
Visit the library.
Nonfiction BOOK
Read any BOOK you want.
Write 1 diary entry, at least 30 words, about an exciting day in your book character’s life.
Make a bookmark
Read a “You Really Wouldn’t Want to” BOOK
Check out a science or cook BOOK and make something.
Write a 30 word book review about a book you’ve read.
Read a
biography BOOK by Mike Venezia or a “Who Was” bio.
Watch a movie based on a book and write a 30 word review—Better than the book? Why?
Send selfie of you reading a book in a weird way to gulfbeacheslib
@gmail.com
Read any BOOK you want.
Read a BOOK set in another country.
Rules: 
1.   You can count a book you’ve read once for a square with BOOK in it and again for any other square that does not have a bold BOOK.  For example, you can READ ANY BOOK you want, mark off a square, and then you could plan a meal for one of the characters in the book and mark off another.  
2.     You can count the same books on Book Bingo on the Reading to the Rays scorecard.

3.    Prizes: 1st row finished, Family Ticket to Mad Science Event, 2nd row finished, notebook, 3 rd row, Treasure Box.


And we have crafts starting June 15.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ready to read? You've come to the right place!


Yes! The ABCs are a done deal, and your child is ready to read!
Now you just need
The Right Book


Next to the board books, we have two shelving units with Early Readers.  On their labels you will see K, 1, 2, or 3 which is a ROUGH guess at grade levels. There is a wide selection. May we suggest for the very beginning reader our beloved

Elephant and Piggy series by Mo Willems. Mo Willems is like a millenial's Dr. Seuss; funny books with a controlled vocabulary, but way more hip. We like them so much that we encourage kids to read all 25. (Actually, they WANT to read all 25 and find the hidden Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus pigeon in every book. We have a hard time keeping these on the shelf so you may want to request them.
The Fly Guy series by crazy Tedd Arnold is the next rung up the ladder. Big hits.

These Blast Off readers are also in the Early Readers. They are books about animals and CARS and MONSTER TRUCKS illustrated with lots of great photos, and appeal to some kids who want the facts, ma'am just the facts.
So much for the Early Readers. Much as I love Elephant and Piggie, don't lose track of Pete the Cat, Pinkalicious, Mo Willems' pigeon books, and all our other great books. They are shelved with colored labels over the author's name.  The colors are a ROUGH GUESS at how long the books are: green is just a few words per page (hey, anyone a beginning reader?), pink is a sentence, blue is a paragraph, and yellow is a longer book, a few paragraphs per page.

Kids are drawn -- happily -- to the spinners. There will be some stuff there leveled for early readers, so let them roam among the skinnier books, like the superhero books, Star Wars, and Scooby Doo. 





Sunshine States 2016





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OK, this year Ms. Travis is going to try really hard to read ALL the books on Sunshine State even though it's not going to be easy because she's also reading ALL the books on Sunshine State Grades 6 - 8 plus of course the books for her own grown up book club and then, for dessert, all those yummy new picture books. Here's what she sees it:

Absolutely Almost: Realistic. Lisa Graff gets inside the head of a very ordinary, not very smart ten year old boy and makes him very lovable and interesting. The plot? Meh.  If you don't HAVE to read all the Sunshine States, read her Lost in the Sun instead, about a boy with anger issues.  That's really outside the box.
All Four Stars: Realistic. I loved the idea of a sixth grade master chef. But the arc of this plot was just messy. Starts out great when she sets her kitchen on fire but from there... parents unreasonable, three best friends (guy and girl), evil classroom bully, lots of missteps, and no real cooking at all.  
Circus Mirandus:  Fantasy on the weird side.  I gave it one of the only negative reviews on  Amazon.  Maybe because I don't like circuses.  I didn't quite get it.
***Dinosaur Boy:  HiLARious science fiction.  Even if you don't like sci fi, the matter of fact humor of this situation -- our hero is a semi-dinosaur. Because of a lab mix-up, he has some stegosaurus genes mashed up with his. He's had to convert to eating a lot of salads, and the other kids tease him by playing ring toss on his spikes.  Note:  I've bought the sequel because I loved the first so much.
Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile. Realistic. Sort of. Skip this one if you can. There's just nothing to like. The young hero has a photographic memory and the ability to draw anything he has seen. Sure. I still don't see why the NYPD need him to help them break a case.  They keep telling him not to interfere, he's just a 'camera' for them. So why don't they use a camera? They've been invented.
**Fish in a Tree: This year's Wonder readalike. Ally has a very bad case of dyslexia instead of crippling ugliness. Very likable, nice, interesting friends, an insightful class teacher, and of course, the classroom bully, Mean Girl. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Freaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton. Realistic. Despite the painfully corny title, this book is aces with me.  The plot is simple and hardworking: Frankie's mom has just been jailed for a 'mix-up' and he has to go live with a father and four half brothers he's never met.  There are no villains in this book, even the flaky mom, just a lot of very believable people getting on each other's nerves.  Highly recommended. Looking forward to her next book.
Gabby Duran and the Unsittables: Light hearted sci fi. Author Elise Allen's dialog is spot on, has tons of action in this light quick read. The characters for me were a bit stereotyped and the action just too wild. 
**Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. Realistic.  A welcome relief! Well written w. threads about dementia, LOONS (really?), and photography tying together beautifully. 
*Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures. Fantasy on the realistic side -- Pip's world is just like ours except with magical creatures (sometimes endangered) as well.  Very funny, lots of action, great characters --loved it.
Prairie Evers:  Realistic.  A little too realistic for my tastes.  I like a little adventure in my realism. It's a nice book, like a door opening on a pleasant other world, but not a very exciting other world.
Serafina's Promise: Written in very readable blank verse, this short book takes place in Haiti. Starvation, earthquakes, and sickness are all faced down by a hardworking, cheerful Serafina and her loving family. This is an important book.
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett & Jory John. Humor. What a relief this book was! After so many lightweight OCD books of this type, spawned by Captain Underpants and continued by Wimpy Kid, what a relief to find one so well told.  The threads here are simple:  Miles and Niles are prankster who find each other, make a reluctant bargain, and go on to make prankster history.
Worm Whisperer by Betty Hicks. Realistic. Ellis Coffey is a nature lover with a few problems -- his dad needs back surgery and his mother lost her job, so he has to do A LOT of chores.  He keeps at it though, and the ending is a pleasant, if slightly unexpected, pay off.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Roald Dahl 100 Birthday Party! Sept 13! Prizes!


 
Roald Dahl 100 Birthday Party

Tuesday, Sept. 13

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm


·       ENTER TO WIN A $20 Gift Card! Create a Roald Dahl character with a story that includes at least some of the words from Find Your Roald Dahl Name. Your story should have a villain or at least a very annoying person in it. Please submit this before Sept. 13 so the winner can be announced.
·       ENTER TO WIN a $10 Gift Card for best costume!
·       Party favors: We’re making Dream Jars!
·       Games: Bubblegum blowing lessons.
·       Refreshments. BIRTHDAY CAKE

·       SPECIAL GUESTS:  Rico and Bella!!!







Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Last VPK + of summer: School, August 4

Hey, all you big kids, we're going to play school at storytime this week! We're going to have a circle time and read some books, then we'll break up into centers and have art, science and math activities -- really fun ones!


Science - I won't do this again -- kids really just want an opportunity to play with shaving cream and food color.  The 'science' wasn't so convincing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

This LAST WEEK OF SUMMER events




The LAST WEEK (sob!)

So sad I'll only get to have one more art session and one more cooking class with you! This summer was great, and I so enjoyed seeing so many of you!  You have all my best wishes for a wonderful school year.

I have a special morning planned Thursday @ 10:30 for our VPK + dudes and dudettes. We're going to play school, with circle time and math, art and science centers afterward!

At 2:30, we'll break out our HOLIDAY BINGO BOARDS!!!



And then our 3:30 art project  AFTER CANDY BINGO will be:


A R T
  
                         

No, you won't be making an art project of Mrs. Morojin's (???) name! You'll be doing your OWN name, duh! This project sums up everything we've done:  We doodled in the first session, and you will bring that doodling expertise here. And we'll be using Matisse colors too!


Our Friday Cooking Class will be 

Healthy Snacks with our own Chef Debbie Laramie.  No, I have no idea what Debbie has in store for us. Artichoke leaves dipped in butter? Toasted peanut butter sandwiches? Watermelon rind pickle? These things are all healthy, so who can say? 

Also did I mention that the winner of last week's Publix Challenge will receive a second gift card to Publix? So make sure you bring in your culinary tales of tastiness!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 28 & 29, Art and Cooking

YES, we're still doing programs this week:

Thursday, July 28, 2:30: Candy Bingo
 3:30: Art. This week's challenge: Mixed Media.  Make either a landscape (think city scape) or an under the sea scape using mixed media, which means, bits and pieces of everything, like dictionary pages, map pages, colored paper, etc.  Add what's most important to you, whether it's cats or cars or whatever. Paint over it, glob on the glue, and crumple the corners for texture.  

Then see what you come up with.








Friday, July 29, 2:30:  Build with our Legos and take your turn reading to our wonderful visiting Pet Therapy dogs, Bella and Rico.
Cooking class, 3:30.  This week: Bring a pot with you! We'll be souping up our ramen recipes by experimenting with adding eggs, condiments, veggies and what have you to the broth.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mice, Thursday, July 21 @ 10:30


Plays
Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh. I had an enormous snake puppet from PPLC, 10 little mice, a jar, and a stone I quickly harvested from the library landscaping. Remembering all I had learned from magicians visiting this summer, I palmed the mice and pulled them out from behind folks' ears. Wonderful story!

Books

You and Your Pet Mouse. j 639.6 Mice. Mice live 1 - 2 years, what they eat, they like to play, etc. They weren't that into it, but I heard all about the rat that got into their car's air conditioning.
Mouse, Look Out!  by Judy Waite. The children loved joining in on the chorus, "MOUSE, LOOK OUT! THERE'S A CAT ABOUT." Choral reads are always fun.
Mouse Counts by Walsh. Check out the adorable set of flannel mice in the small props box. Along with a snake and a rock and the autumn leaves, this was a great show.
Mouse Shapes by Walsh. Maybe
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Numeroff.  (PPLC flannelboard) This would be a fun one to do with a xylophone. Start by playing a simple  note, and as the requests pile up, change to chords.
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. This very simply told tale is relative high concept, so I warned the children ahead of time that there was a trick in the story. Luckily this did intrigue the four-year-olds and they really enjoyed this beautifully illustrated tale.
Mice by Fyleman. Love Lois Ehlert's pictures. Love the mice. Love the cat. 

Songs:
Three Nice Mice: 
3 nice mice, 3 nice mice
See how nice they are, see how nice they are. 

They're always polite when they nibble their cheese. 

They never forget to say "thank you" and "please" 

They cover their noses whenever they sneeze.
AHH CHOO AHH CHOO AHH CHOO!
They're 3 nice mice, 3 nice mice.
(Ended up skipping this one for these bigger kids.)


&
The Old Gray Cat (only I had  young white cat)
The old gray cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping, 

The old gray cat is sleeping in the house. 

The little mice are dancing, dancing, dancing (children dance) 

The little mice are dancing in the house. 

The little mice are nibbling, nibbling, nibbling (children nibble) 

The little mice are nibbling in the house. 

The little mice are resting, resting, resting, 

The little mice are resting in the house. 

The old gray cat comes creeping, creeping, creeping, 

The old gray cat comes creeping in the the house. 

The little mice go scampering, scampering, scampering (children run in place) 

The little mice go scampering in the house. 

The old gray gray cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping, 

The old gray cat is sleeping in the house. 

(They loved running around the room to this one.)

Craft: 
This year I am going to do half/circle potato printing:  stamp the half circle and add the whiskers, ears and eyeballs to make a little mouse.

They worked on this for a full half hour, stamping the mice, working them over a little, and then drawing in every detail in their repertoire: airplanes, flowers, cats, rainbows, etc.  So fun.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cooking Lessons for Kids at Gulf Beaches Public Library: Fried Rice, Friday, July 15

Peggy in the hat mixing things up -- she certainly looks self assured, but that's Peggy. Milo ready to start on Batch # 2. Me trying to finish up my first delicious plate.


This is why I've loved my cooking classes: that's Milo standing at the end of the table in the blue and white striped shirt, and he's never in his young life agreed to eat anything but plain white rice. He ate two platesful of fried rice he made himself. He's five.  
The two other boys were just plain super nice kids.

My director predicted that about half way through the summer, I would get the hang of Cooking Class, and SHE WAS RIGHT!  Fried Rice went really well. Crystal brought in the oyster sauce, Daniel reminded me it was Fried Rice not Refried Rice, that's something completely different, two people brought in frying pans when I forgot mine (!!!), Jacob appeared for duty, and most wonderfully of all, Kelly volunteered to wash dishes.

Here's how my layout works: three long tables laid out in a U with room between, and a small one at either corner of the room for nibblers.  The two opposite each other are for cooking (because we can only have two appliances on at a time in this room) and the third table opposite is for set up, chopping, and mixing.  

For the fried rice, I had large bowls of rice (jasmine, already cooked) at either table, along with oil and soy sauce and big spoons.  The kids picked out their veggies, scallions, carrots, shrimp, and green peas at the long table, and in teams of two cooked their dishes.

The teams of two thing worked out very well, although it was a concept born of desperation since I couldn't give each child a cook station.  But by working in twos, they a) met each other; b) watched over each other; and c) gave each other advise so that we didn't have to interfere as much and could stand back a bit.  They still felt as if they were doing it all, but they helped each other to that goal.

I'd kind of run out of great ideas for next week and Jacob suggested his signature dish, a ham and cheese sandwich made with pesto on ciabatta rolls and grilled on a waffle iron.  The pesto will be esp. fun. Easy Pesto


Monday, July 11, 2016

Sun, Moon, Stars Storytime, Thursday, July 14 @ 10:30



Play: Disco light on when they came into the room, and we practiced "Star Light, Star Bright.
Books: 

The Way Home by Oliver Jeffers.

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty. 629.4 This is just such an excellent book.  Skipping bits, we got all the way through it. Afterwards, we sang Motor Boat, then Zoom Zoom Zoom, then we got up and floated through space, walked on the moon with our bouncy walks for a while, gathered moon rocks (invisible) and put them in a bag (invisible), got back in our rocket ships, buckled up, and flew back to Earth, landing with a bump.  

The Mouse Who Ate the Moon by Petr Horacek.  Adorable. 

Another Day in the Milky Way by David Milgrim. Read with your most huh? voice. A very different treatment!








How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers.  So nice that I just happened to have a starfish (rubber) on hand for the ending. I know they liked this simple but appealing tale of a boy trying to catch a star. I heard one child say, "That was a good story."

This is a Moose by Richard Morris.


Star Wars Colors. We read this as an intro to the craft, which was light sabers and balloons.  I had them leftover, it was a rainy day, so we did them.  It was something different, and the kids loved playing with them.


Songs: 

  • Moon, Moon, Moon by Laurie Berkner.  Great tutorial on her DVD.
  • Zoom, zoom, zoom. 
  • Motor Boat, Motor Boat -- there's a rocket ship in "How to Catch a Star," even if it's just a paper one.
  • I told them about the magic in seeing a star, and taught them the words to "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight." You get a wish, just like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. (Good calmer too.)
  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Of course.

Craft: 

         Does it get better than tissue paper scraps and glitter glue?  "Go ahead and make it all bumpy" I said. "Because the moon has craters."