Latest Event Updates

What Not to Say to Emerging Readers

Posted on

PBS Parents had a great article advising parents on the things not to say to their children who are starting to read. We want so much to help them succeed that often it is difficult to watch them struggle to sound out a word or get through a sentence. The article below demonstrates that providing a safe and loving environment with less criticism can make a sometimes painful process more comfortable.

What Not to Say to Emerging Readers

Mother and daughter reading together

Through the whole, sometimes long and painful process, it‘s easy for parents to become impatient with emerging readers. We want our children to feel comfortable and successful when they read, and to love reading. So when kids struggle to sound out every word on a page, insist on reading books that aren’t the “right fit” or read a whole page fluently but are unable to recall what they’ve just read, it’s frustrating.

Don’t get discouraged! We’ve listed common mistakes that some parents make, along with better ways to support your early reader. Here’s hoping it leads to relaxing read-alouds and stronger readers:

  • Do not say, “Stop. Reread this line correctly.” If the mistake didn’t interfere with the meaning of the text (for example, if it was “a” for “the”or “fine” for “fun”), let it go.
  • Do not interrupt your child reading. Ever. You want your child to be comfortable reading. If necessary, make the correction when you read it the next time.
  • Do not say, “C’mon, speed up. You have to read a little faster!” Or “Slow down, you’re zipping through this!” Instead, model appropriate pacing and fluency. Fluency or reading with appropriate speed, pacing and intonation is something that is best taught through parent or teacher modeling and tons of practice. Fluent reading sounds like conversation or natural speaking, and it’s something that has to be learned.To help your child gain fluency, grab a level-appropriate book to read over and over again. Begin by having your child read the entire book from cover to cover. On the second day, have your child read the entire book again. Then echo read—read a paragraph or a page, then have your child repeat what you’ve just read. You may also want your child to track what you’re reading with her finger. On the third day, read the book the first time, and then read together in unison—this helps your child to learn pacing. On the fourth day, read the book first and then have your child read it by herself. Day five is all about showing off your child’s skills! Have her read the book again by herself to practice. Then it’s time to videotape or Skype faraway friends and relatives.
  • Do not laugh. Think about something serious and ugly and breathe deeply until you regain composure. If you can laugh together, that’s okay—most likely if your kid reads aloud “butt,” she’ll break out into hysterics and you will too. But if she’s working hard and trying her best while making a mistake that tickles your funny bone, then just move on.
  • Do not say, “You know this.” Help break it down for her by asking her if she recognizes parts of the word. Most likely she will recognize the “b” or “at” part of “bat” or the “th” or “ick” part of “thick.” If she can pick up either part, help her put the parts together: “You got it! That does say ‘ick.’ Now let’s put the first part, ‘th,’ together with ‘ick’: th-ick. Thick!” Then put that word into the sentence and give her a high-five for getting through it.
  • Do not say, “You’re wrong. That says, (insert correct word).” Instead, say nothing. As hard as that may be, remain silent. Unless it’s a mistake that interferes with the meaning of the text, let it go. If every time your child gets stuck, she looks to you for the word, she’ll never get to practice decoding skills.If, however, she made a mistake that alters the meaning, at the end of the page, ask your child to reread the passage carefully. If she reads it incorrectly again, ask her to look at the pictures to help her decode the word or ask her if what she read makes sense. If she still misses the error, ask her to point out the tricky section. If she doesn’t know where it is, point it out.

    Once you resume reading, ask her on a page she reads correctly if she was correct. This isn’t to annoy your child; it’s to help her become a better self-monitor. As self-monitors, we’re constantly checking and rechecking to make sure that what we read made sense.

As parents, it’s important to make our children feel comfortable reading with us—and to want to read with us—at home. They need the practice, and they need to know that reading with Mom and Dad is safe, natural and enjoyable.

Artful Haiku Winners

Posted on Updated on

To celebrate Poetry Month this year we held an Artful Haiku contest for all public, private and homeschooled 3rd to 5th graders in Pinellas County. Each submission included an original haiku with an illustration. Congratulations to our winners!

1st Place: Sophia- 5th Grade - “Teardrop”

EasterBunny 095

2nd Place: Dylin-Grade 3- “Grasshopper”

EasterBunny 102

All submissions are on display for the entire month in the Art Gallery of the Main Library 2nd floor. Come and check them out!

Happy Easter-Family Storytime

Posted on Updated on

Easter time is here again, and we celebrated during our Storytime today. Our opening song was “Easter Eggs” taken from the Perry Public Library.

Easter Eggs

Sung to the tune of Jingle Bells

Easter eggs, Easter eggs,

Eggs of orange and blue,

Here are lots of colored eggs,

All for me and you,

Chocolate eggs colored brown,

Jelly beans bright green,

Aren’t these the most beautiful eggs,

That you have ever seen?

Happy Easter by Liesbet Slegers was our first book. Slegers story depicted not only such Easter traditions as the Easter Bunny delivering eggs to children, but also other events that happened in the spring time like trees and flowers blooming.

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett was our second book. Hoppi the bunny was finally old enough to decorate an Easter egg for the Easter bunny. If Hoppi designed the winning egg he could join the Easter Bunny on his deliveries Easter morning. As Hoppi saw everyone else’s creative eggs, he wondered how his would ever measure up. His plans took an unexpected, and heartwarming, turn and in the end the children learned that winning does not always mean having to be the flashiest.

A surprise, and our major activity for this Storytime, was an Easter egg hunt! Before the start of Storytime I hid eggs in the program area and the children got to search for them. Each child was able to choose a small prize after all the eggs were found, so no one walked away empty handed. Activities such as this encourage the development of social, thinking and motor skills in children. Hunting for the eggs was an individual activity, but doing it in a group helped reinforce the ideas of fair play and letting everyone have an opportunity to find an egg. Thinking and motor skills worked hand in hand in an activity such as this. The children had to think about the most likely places where an egg would be hidden, and, of course, the entire activity involved movement from the physical act of searching to grabbing the eggs and putting them in a basket. This article from highlights why developing motor skills in children is so important, and how motor skills tie into the development of other essential attributes. Overall though, the children really had such fun

Egg Hunt

We found some, but there were still more locate!

After our Easter egg hunt, the children settled down for our last two books. Queen of Easter by Mary Engelbreit was our next book. This was the story of Ann Estelle who wanted a very special hat to wear to the Easter Parade. When her mother gave her a new, but plain, boring, straw hat, Ann Estelle was not pleased and she left it out on the front porch. This meant that she had to wear last years old hat to the parade. Well that would not do, so Anne Estelle let her imagination soar as she worked to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. However, unexpected visitors turned Ann Estelle’s straw hat into more than even she could have imagined, and proved that the simple things are sometimes the best of all.

Our final book was The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Brown Tegen. This was the delightful story of the origin of the Easter Bunny. We learned about the little bunnies early life, how he learned to make Easter eggs and, finally, how he became the bunny children everywhere know and love. As we read through this story, the children were eager to locate, and point out, where the Easter Bunny was in all of the illustrations.

Our craft today was a giant egg made out of construction paper. The children cut the egg down the middle in a zigzag pattern, and then glued a chick to the bottom half of the egg. I attached the bottom and top halves together with brass fasteners so they would open and close in a hinged motion. The children then decorated their eggs with markers and sequins.


Here are the children cutting out their eggs, and preparing to glue on the little chicks.


Now comes the fun part, the sequins and markers!


This was a wonderfully enjoyable Storytime. Happy Easter everyone!

-Miss Jessica


Ducks, Musical Chords and How They Both Can Be Harmonious

Posted on Updated on


We sang our “Let’s See Who’s Here Today” song, and
then we got right to the dancing with “Wake Up” (click for song) from the television show “Lazy Town”.
“Lazy Town” is a European Import from Iceland. We have some in the library catalog.


It’s pretty interesting and full of energy.
To read more about it click HERE.
Below you will find our dance movements and lyrics:

Wake up, Wake up. (Stretch)
It’s a great big beautiful day. (Stretch)
Wake up, wake up. (Yawn)
It’s a day to go out and play, (Yawn)
And smile at the world. (Draw smile on face)
Open your eyes and jump out the bed. (Point to eyes and blink)
You just wake up, wake up. (Jump up and out of bed)

After we finished warming up with the “Wake Up” song, we did our music lesson.


You can see the “Music House” on the board above.
You always see the treble clef Imageupstairs and the bass clef Imagein the basement.

Our lesson this time was about CHORDS. On the board you see three notes next to each other in a line. That is more like a melody, because each note is played or sang in a row. If you stack all three notes on top of one another, they become a chord. If they are stacked, then you sing or play them all at the same time which creates “harmony”. I was actually going for a C CHORD which would have been a C (directly between the floors on the music house), E (on the first line), and G (on the second line).
You’re all super smart, so you will have noticed that we have a C and an E and a B (which is the third line). HA HA HA
So, what we actually have is a more complicated CHORD, the open Cmaj7 (C major 7th with no third) YIKES! Too much for toddlers, but I try to teach you parents and guardians as well. Smiles! I never told the kiddies this in class. We just called it C and moved on to a new song/dance I wrote that used a C and F CHORD!!!
HERE is a fun webtool that will help you figure out what notes are in what chords.


My song is called “Fancy Dancer” and is based on a poem of the same name by Nina Payne.
I found the poem in the book, Shimmy Shake Earthquake. The Melody is all mine. I think I will do this song again at Countryside Library on 17 April. So come on out if you missed it the first time around.


Then, I got out my handy autoharp and we sang a plucky French folk song
from The Golden Songbook called, “Les Petites Marionettes”, which means the little marionettes.
This also has simple hand movements where your fingers are up with palms forward dancing like the marionettes.
At the end there are three little turns and away they go. Click on the title above for the song.


Our first story that morning was also one of harmony, just like musical CHORDS!


Kali’s Song by Jeanette Winter

Kali’s song is the story of a prehistoric boy who decides to play music on his bow instead of use it to shoot arrows. What can I say? The boy had music in his heart! And people have probably had played music since the stone age. HERE is an ABC news article about it, if you’re interested.


Now, for the part you have all been waiting for…


We enjoyed an entire block of things regarding ducks.
Below is a list of what we shared.

      “The Ducky Dance” which is actually the “Chicken Dance” (Made popular at wedding recptions. You know the one.)
      Draw and Tell Story, “Danny’s Winter Vacation”, from More Tell and Draw Stories by Oldfield (Danny is a Duck.)
     Hey Duck by Carin Bramson
      The famous Sesame Street Song, “Rubber Ducky” 
      Peep and Ducky by David Martin
(Peep and Ducky have learn the ins and outs of playing together in HARMONY)


And when we got back from ducky world, it was time to learn some rhythm.
Everyone got some sticks or bells, and we played the “Copy my Rhythm” game.
Everyone listened to the rhythm I played and repeated it.
We started simple and gradually got more complicated.
We used songs that we had sang or played earlier and looked at the notes on the sheet music,
so we could see how more flags on a note makes it move faster.


Look, you can even see Danny Duck from our draw and tell story on the chalk board!

The final act included:

      Who Bop by Jonathan London
The Nursery Rhyme, “Banbury Cross” with movements

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, (Riding horse, holding reigns)
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, (Wiggle fingers, wiggle toes)
And she shall have music wherever she goes. (Ride horse again)

See you next time. And don’t forget to have fun with music and stories at home.

-Mr. David

Let’s Grow Baby-Oh! – All About Me and Bubbles

Posted on Updated on

Opening Song: We always start with the song Baby Hop. This is from Diaper Gym: Fun Activities for Babies on the Move,  a CD you can find in our circulating collection.  We then welcome all our babies by name in a song.

Story: Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn.  Leo loves coming to Baby Time where he meets his friends, does the “stretchy” song and the “rolly” song and “zoom to the moon”.  All the things we do each week.

Active Nursery Rhyme:  Baa Baa Black Sheep. First we do the words and movements without music at a slow pace.
Baa Baa Black Sheep. Have you any wool? (Shrug and lift shoulders)
Yes sir, yes sir, (Nod head)
Three bags full (Hold up three fingers)
One for the master (Clap)
One for the Dame (Clap)
One for the little boy (Clap)
Who lives down the lane (Look out and shade eyes)
Then we repeat it again to music. I used the version from Songs For Wiggleworms which adds the ABC song at the conclusion.

Second Active Nursery Rhyme: London Bridge is Falling Down. Placing baby on the ground on their back we gently grabbed their feet and rolled their legs to the right and to the left. You can see an example of this in action here at point 1:06 minutes:

Book: Hop a Little, Jump a Little by Annie Kubler.

Knee Bounce: One, Two Three
One, two, three, baby’s on my knee (Bounce on each count)

Rooster crows, cock-a-doodle-doo (Continue bouncing)

And away she goes! (Lift child in the air.)

Bouncing activities not only help children sound out the syllables in words but the bouncing is beneficial to the development of the balance centers in the brain.

Second Knee Bounce: The Grand Old Duke of York, found on Oh Baby! 

Finger/Hand Rhyme: This is My Right Hand
This is my right hand, I raise it up high. (Raise right hand.)
This is my left hand, I touch the sky. (Raise left hand.)
Right hand (Show right palm)
Left hand (Show left palm)
Roll them around. (Roll hands around.)
Left hand (Show left palm)
Right hand (Show right palm)
Pound, pound, pound. (Pound first together.)
While bouncing rhymes helps with large motor development, finger/hand rhymes help children develop fine (small) motor skills which will be needed someday for writing.

Let's Go 010

Movement Song: Circle Song from Diaper Gym followed by Ring Around the Rosie.

Closing Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

AND THEN BUBBLES Let's Go 012        Ms. Mercedes