Archive for September, 2008

storytime and early literacy: extensions

During almost every storytime, we sing the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”   One reason we sing this song is that it provides an opportunity for us to stand, stretch and move about during storytime.  We all need action breaks!   But we also sing this song because it can be directly connected to the development of early literacy skills.  First,  we are helping to build both your child’s vocabulary and sense of self.  Also, by naming something specific (shoulders) and pairing that with a word, we are showing your child that the sounds that we make are not just random, but that those sounds refer to something in particular.  For example, when we sing the word shoulders, we point to our shoulders, showing the relationship between the word and the body part.

This is a great song to sing at home, as it is a favorite for many kids, and doing so provides a chance for directed movement.  You can also point out the nose, eyes, or ears on your child, and/or try it with a favorite doll or stuffed animal.  A related activity would be to touch objects around the room and say their names,along with some simple descriptives.  For example, “Molly is touching the big table,” “Molly is touching the soft pillow.”

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storytime 9/11/08: phonological awareness

One of the six skills of early literacy is phonological awareness, the ability to identify the different sounds that make words and to associate these sounds with written words. Activities involving dividing words into syllables, rhyming words, and blending sounds to make words can be key for your child during the process of learning to read.

Today in storytime, I shared some ideas and activites designed to help your child continue to develop phonological awareness skills. I read books (Dog’s Noisy Day, Cock a Doodle Quack Quack, and Cows in the Kitchen) featuring animal sounds, and we made lots of animal sounds ourselves, an activity that allows children to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. We also sang some songs, which is a great activity to help children hear the smaller parts of words, since songs have different notes for different syllables.

Here are a few more activities you can do with your child at home to help develop phonological awareness.

  • read a familiar story or sing a familiar song, but replace the occasional word with a nonsense word (for example, sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” but replace the word ‘farm’ with the nonsense word ‘barm’)
  • look around the room or out the window and name what you see, then clap out the syllables

See you next week at storytime!

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welcome to Storytime Kids

I hope everyone had a great summer! The fall season is almost here, and storytime season is here right now! This fall, Lane Library storytimes have a new focus. We still plan on having fun with books, songs, rhymes, and more, but we will also be including elements of the American Library Association’s early literacy initiative. This initiative is based on current research on early literacy and brain development which indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers, and as such that parents are their child’s first teachers. We hope to use storytime to help equip you as parents with tools you can use to further build your child’s early literacy skills.

For more information about early literacy, see previous entries on this blog.

Hamilton storytimes for fall are:

  • 4-6 year olds: Tuesdays at 11
  • 2-3 year olds: Thursdays at 11
  • birth to 24 months: Mondays at 11

See you at storytime!

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