Friday, October 3, 2014

Picture Book Read-Alouds for 2nd Graders

Second graders aren't the fuzzy little first graders you knew last year, but they aren't the cool 3rd graders they will be next. They have a special brand of kookiness all their own, and if you are lucky enough, you just might get to read to their class. Here are some options you can bring:

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Worm/Diary of a Spider/ Diary of a Fly
Daywalt, Drew. The Day the Crayons Quit
Demi. The Empty Pot 
Frazee, Marla. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever
Hollub, Joan. Little Red Writing
Johnson, Doug. Substitute Teacher Plans
Kahl, Virginia. How Many Dragons are Behind the Door?
Katz, Alan. Don't Say That Word!
Mahy, Margaret. Seven Chinese Brothers
Orloff, Karen Kaufman. I Wanna Iguana 
Polacco, Patricia. The Junkyard Wonders
Prelutsky, Jack. There's No Place Like School: classroom poems
Schwartz, Alvin. In A Dark, Dark, Room & Other Scary Stories
Scieszka, Jon & Lane Smith. The Stinky Cheese Man & Other Fairly Stupid Tales
Scillian, Devin. Memoirs of a Goldfish/Memoirs of a Hamster 
Seuss, Dr. & Jack Prelutsky, Lane Smith. Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
Shannon, David. A Bad Case of Stripes
Shulman, Mark. Ann and Nan are Anagrams /  Mon and Dad are Palindromes
Staake, Bob. The Donut Chef
St. George, Judith. So You Want to Be President?
Sturges, Philemon.  The Little Red Hen Makes A Pizza
Teague, Mark. Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf
Van Allsburg, Chris. The Sweetest Fig

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wrapping Up Summer!

It's September!
We have a had a really fun Summer here at RML! 'Science' was truly a great Summer Reading theme that let us explore all kinds of topics. Here's a look at the past few months:

We kicked off the Summer with the fun Yo-Yo Show! I just know there's some physics involved in there!

Next up was Marlborough's own storm chaser, Jason Dunion, with weather science. Hearing all about his job flying into hurricanes for NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) made me enjoy the atmosphere here at RML all the more!

July was the month for our 4 Science Labs, where kids got to enjoy some hands-on fun.
The Science of Pop-up Books, Kitchen Science, Science Outdoors, & Computer Makey-Makey Fun.

The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center also visited in July, presenting the Science of Ooze! The kids learned all about how slugs, salamanders, and toads use slime to help them move about and protect themselves.

Ms. Patty had a great group for her Sensory Play for Little Ones program. This wins for the biggest mess of the Summer.

In August we welcomed Jerry Schneider to help with our 'Science of Batman' program.
 I think we will be seeing a lot of these cool t-shirts around town.
Keith Michael Johnson also visited the Senior Center with his Science Isn't Always Pretty show. It really wasn't. Scatology was just one of the cool things happening. Eewww...

Along with programs for adults (The Science of Food) & teens (Spark A Reaction), we had a really full Summer! Congratulations to all our weekly prize winners who walked away with some great gift certificates this Summer as well. And to our 'Reading Geniuses' who completed their Summer Reading and those who won some great Prize Packs!

As for Ms Patty and myself, we will take a break for a bit before we start planning events for next Summer - here's a hint: it's going to be 'Super'!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

That's What It's All About...

As librarians and library staff, we can only hope that all our efforts put into Summer Reading time make a difference, keep kids reading, inspire, or even just entertain for a bit.
This year, SCIENCE is the name of the game, and it has been so much fun to create a summer reading program that involves different aspects of this topic. So I was totally surprised and delighted when a family stopped in the other day and told us that their daughter had literally taken the theme and ran with it!
We were giving out chocolate-covered sunflower seeds in test tubes as part of the first prize week. Most kids had gobbled them down before they even left the Library. But our friend Leah, had other ideas. She took one of the seeds home and yes, planted it.

Because if there's one thing you learn with science, it's that experimentation often leads to accidental discoveries. Ok, so maybe it won't grow with chocolate-covered seeds inside, but you never know.

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's Library Science!

We always like to have something set up in the Storytime room for the kids to do in the Summer. We've had the ocean floor, a camping tent, and last year, a cave!

So when 2 things collided this year - the 'Science' theme for Summer Reading and getting the new Sierra/Encore computer system and doing away with 'stamping', Ms Patty and I knew what we had to do!

Many of our young patrons enjoy stamping and would often ask if they could stamp their library books. You may even have someone in your house who enjoys 'playing library'! So we decided to set up a "Little Library" in the Storytime room! Complete with date due slips, books they can sticker and process and 'check-out', we tried to supply them with whatever they would need to have their own Library. 

What they may not know, is that when you are officially a Librarian, the degree you complete is called a Master's Degree in LIBRARY SCIENCE, or Library Science and Information Technology!

Here are a few pictures with my girls testing it out:

Here's a flashback to a post from last year.  My friend Ryan shared his video with me of his home 'Library"!

And here are 2 pics from July 2009 with my nephew, Daniel. His mom would have to drive him from Milford to Marlborough each summer when they visited, just so he could play Library with me! 

So let the kids stop in this Summer and 'play' Library! But be aware, it may inspire some "little libraries" in your own house!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Get Ready for Summer Science!

If you haven't heard, the words for Summer are:

We are busy planning a great Summer Reading Program here at RML, with all things SCIENCE! Here's the link to the CSLP (Collaborative Summer Library Program) preview video:

Our Summer Reading Kick-Off Night will be Wed, June 25
with the Yo-Yo Show!
Summer Reading registration begins at 6pm and the show starts at 6:30pm
Be sure to stop by for the festivities - children, teens, and adults all get
a special registration prize!

We are also working on other exciting programs like:
Storm Chasers
Science Lab
The Science of Batman
Science Isn't Always Pretty

And our Summer Reading Program for Teens (students ages 12 & up or entering 
Grade 7 in the fall...)
And don't forget the Adults too!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Another Terrific Way to Enjoy Books!

If you are reading this blog, you are probably tech-savvy enough to know and possibly use the Library Connection OverDrive service for audio and e-books. So I just wanted to make sure you knew about their newest way for your kids to enjoy books - through streaming video!
You can 'check out' streamed video books the same way you borrow an e-book. Just set up an account with OverDrive, and browse all the great picture books that come to life by streaming them the same way you would a Netflix video, etc. (But these are video adaptations of great children's literature so it's better for them, I swear ;)
How to:
From our website at, choose Online Resources from the drop-down menu, and select OverDrive.
Right now, they are featuring the Streaming Video on the homepage, but in the future, just search for Streaming Video. You can find just what you want by doing an Advanced Search and choosing just the grade level you are interested in, but that will limit the titles you see. What is helpful is selecting "show only titles with copies available" if you are looking for something to show your child right at the moment. Otherwise, you can still put holds on other streaming videos that are checked out.
Many of the titles are adapted by Weston Woods for Scholastic - long a favorite of mine and a Connecticut classic. They take favorite picture books and turn them into videos, without loosing the elements that made them great books in the first place. I got a chance to visit Weston Woods as a graduate student, and they are a class act.

Some of my favorite titles available include:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
Harry, the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Musical Max by Robert Kraus
Pete's A Pizza by William Steig
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
The Library by Sarah Stewart

There are also a few Richard Scarry BusyTown titles, Madeline, Inspector Gadget, and Max & Ruby, among others.
So be sure to check this great service out when your kids are asking for computer time!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Backpacks!

We've changed around most of our Backpack book sets again to give you some new subjects! So here's the latest ones for Spring! They get checked out just like a book for 3 weeks.
Awesome Books for Boys
Great Books for Girls
Potty Time!
Preschool Picks
More Kindergarten Favorites
Picture Books as Early Readers
I Like Me!
Growing Up
My Family
In My Neighborhood
Muzzy Spanish Language
Muzzy Spanish II

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Evolution of a Storytime Craft

What Ms Patty and I decide on for Storytime crafts comes about in a variety of ways. Sometimes, we have certain books we are dying to include, so the craft comes after and has to fit in with the theme. Sometimes, the craft dictates the storytime - i.e. We did alot of painting crafts already so maybe we should do playdough or collage, etc.
Sometimes, we find something wonderful on Pinterest or on a storytime blog.

Then there are the times when we want to do what we want to do, and just aren't finding the right craft, so we make it up. Then you better watch out and not disturb us because the wheels are in motion! This happened last week when we were set on doing books about puffins, and couldn't find a craft we liked.

Ms Eileen came across a photo in Google images of an actual puffin costume made out of fabric, etc. But it had a cute head, so of course, we thought: let's make hats!!! Our kids LOVE to make hats as crafts. It took an hour while we were working on the desk to get it just right (don't tell our Director!). The eyes had to be in the right place, the top couldn't be too pointy or look like a pilgrim. Here's the prototype:

 Next comes the setup - how are we going to do this craft so the kids can take it home dry, and we can fit in all the great books we want to do? (Plus we wanted the kids to be able to watch a puffin cam we found online that showed a baby change from an egg to a fluffy ball of fur, to a youngster!)

Puffins of Seal Island, Maine

We decided to have the kids paint their puffin beaks before doing stories so it would have time to dry. They practiced making the correct stripes on scrap paper first. The key was to not let them have a lot of paint (too gloppy!). We were amazed at the differences in ability depending on the children's ages. Eileen's 4s & 5s were clearly better at painting stripes, but even within that group, some 4s couldn't make full stripes across the beak, while a few of the youngest ones still wanted to 'color' the beak instead of making the stripes. Or some made stripes that didn't reach from end to end. We just love seeing the different stages of development in things as simple as stripes. Kids are amazing!

We pre-made the hats so we would have time to fit them on after stories. A stapler is a must! Here are some of the books we read:

And finally, our cutie-pie kids playing puffin. They had a ball, some had puffin parades, and some just enjoyed talking to each other in 'puffin'. Cuter than muffins! ;)