Latest Event Updates
Miss Julie and I did a dual craft today for After School Art. The first was to celebrate the spring equinox which is coming up on March 20th. The children learned that an equinox is an event, that happens twice a year, where day and night are exactly the same length. To celebrate this we made equinox cards. To construct these cards take two pieces of paper and fold them in half. Then glue one half of one piece to one half of the other piece.
What you end up with, as can be seen from this example above, is a tri-fold card. Miss Julie provided a plethora of not only color images, but also a coloring page, all showing day and night, that the children could pick from, to decorate their cards.
In addition, Miss Julie also brought two other sheets, which can be seen above, that the children could add to their cards. The first sheet in the middle of this card, had information describing what an Equinox is. The second, on the right of this card, was a poem by Joan Bransfield Graham entitled “Days and Years”
Days and Years
Earth is spinning
Toward the light,
First it’s day,
And then it’s night.
-Joan Bransfield Graham
This poem can be found in Bransfield’s collection Flicker Flash. Below are some examples of our Equinox cards.
Our second craft was a 3D shamrock to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. To make this shamrock begin by cutting a piece of green paper into four strips. Take your first strip and fold it in half. Then, using double sided tape or glue, tape one edge to the other. You can then fold this into a triangle so your shamrock has a base to stand on. Below is an example of the base.
To create the leaves on the shamrock take each of your other strips and, one by one, fold them into a heart like shape, again securing the edges where the heart meets in the middle with tape or glue.
Once you have made all three leaves tape one to the left side of the base, one to the right side of the base, and one at the very top. Below is an example of a finished shamrock.
Some of our children chose to add smaller shamrock leaves, in a lighter green paper, in the middle of the larger dark green leaves. These gave the shamrocks added flair. Others stuck with a single leaf. Below are examples of our shamrocks.
We had such fun learning about the spring equinox and making our shamrocks today!
This March children in grades 3-5 can show off their talent in both poetry and art by submitting an entry in our Artful Haiku contest. Haiku use just a few words to capture a feeling or image in the moment, very similar to a camera capturing time in a photograph.
A Haiku may be drawn from nature such as this one.
Snowflakes are our friends,
They descend when winter comes,
Making white blankets.
Or it can capture a emotion. This Haiku is from Jack Prelutsky’s “If Not For the Cat”.
If not for the cat,
and the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.
It can even be funny and witty such as this one from Guyko: a Year of Haiku for Boys.
begging to be broken off
for a short sword fight.
Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry consisting of 17 syllables. The general format is five syllables in the first and last lines and seven in the middle.
The “artful” part of the contest is the original drawing complimenting the haiku poem. Art mediums allowed are pen, pencil, ink, charcoal, chalk or any combination. Photographs and computer-generated artwork will not be accepted.
The winner will receive a $40 gift card, the runner-up, a $20 gift card and all entries will be displayed in the youth art gallery of the Main library for the month of April.
Contest forms are available in the library and are available online here.
As usual, we opened with our “music house” lesson. You can see I used the chalk board this week as opposed to my usual supercolorful and tactile felt, but I needed more space. LOL
In review, we learned how eighth notes have one flag on the note and move twice as fast as a quarter note with no flags. We also learned you could attach the two flags together.
Once our minds were warmed up, we got up and danced to warm up our bodies. It’s always important to remember with the younger kids, especially toddlers, to bookend more cerebral activities with movement. This actually helps them to stay focussed for longer periods. So, if you read a book or you teach by showing, keep it brief and then dance or play a more active game before starting your next lesson or story.
The song we danced to was Movin’ Groovin by Mr. Jon.
It’s from his CD Mr. Jon and Friends which we have here at the library.
TO RESERVE CLICK HERE
If you click HERE you can hear him perfom it live and you can relive storytime all over again.
The picture above shows us using our sticks to “Rap-A-Tap-Tap” along with Mr. Bojangles, the famous dancer from the 1930s.
I read a simple version of his story which includes a repeating refrain. We all tapped along to the refrain with repeating rhythm. There was a surprise rhythm change in the middle which was very using in teaching about rhythm itself.
The following is taken from the back of the book we shared,
Rap-A-Tap-Tap: Here’s Bojangles Think about That
by Leo and Diane Dillon:
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was born in1878 and lived until 1949.He is known as the greatest tap dancer of all time. His fame reached mythic proportions. He had charm and charisma and, it was said, “He talked with his feet.” His rhythms were so intricate and fast it was impossible for other dancers to repeat them.
During the Great Depression, Bill Robinson was the highest paid black entertainer. He shared his wealth with less fortunate friends and neighbors through thiose hard times.
Bill performed shows on Broadway as well as in the famous clubs around the country. He formed revues that appeared in vaudeville, and he danced in several films, including four with the child star Shirley Temple [like the Little Colonel].
On May 25, 1989, Congress declared that day, his birthday, as National Tap Dance Day in Bill Robinson’s honor.
I am kind of combining both my Main Library and Countryside entries this time. So some things were not exactly the same at both locations. I like to mix it up so that if folks want to attend both, they’ll get a little review and some new stuff.
So at Main, we went off on a doggy tangent.
We did the fingerplay Little Puppies where we counted the ten darlings.
And we sang one of my favorites “Danny Bought a D-O-G”.
At the end of this segment we read
Hello, Puppy by Cowen-Fletcher.
Main’s big finale was an incredible marching band where we played and marched along with a funky version of Old Macdonald by Rufus Thomas. I put the link on the title if you want to hear it again.
We also did some penguin dancing at Countryside.
Then, there’s Pete the Cat! We did the one where Pete is feeling blue and needed his Magic Sunglasses to cheer him up.
We shared this one at Main a few weeks ago, I made a whole entry about this series. You can read it HERE.
At both locations we got to experience the transformation of Chubbo the Hippo from a selfish meanie to a grateful friend.
Chubbo’s Pool by Betsy Lewin.
This instrument is also known as a Kalimba.
HERE is a wonderful musician playing a more
sophisticated version of the instrument.
And that brings us to the end where we learned a bit about how Orchestras work. I played conductor and I divided the group into multiple sections. The children learned to wait for the conductor’s signal for beginning and “resting”. They also had to watch to see which section was supposed to play at what time. For this excercise we played with some exerpts of different Symphonies playing classical music. Although they didn’t know it, they also learned about “Crescendos” and “Decrescendos” (Louder and Softer).
Then we sang our goodye song.
GREAT GREAT FUN!
Sarah Jordan, of Hooping by Sarah, brought her Hooping with Kids program to both the North Greenwood and Main Libraries. Sarah began her program at Main with a series of warmup exercises. These helped the kids loosen up.
The first skill Sarah taught was neck hooping, or spinning the hula hoop using only your neck.
Here are the children trying it out.
After neck hooping, Sarah moved on to waist hooping. This is the way we all played with hula hoops as children, and the kids had a blast spinning and twirling. Sarah taught some useful tips to keep control of the hula hoop. For example, she said if you feel the hoop falling try walking in the direction the hoop is spinning, that will help it remain around your waist longer.
The children were quick learners, and good listeners. They experimented with all of Sarah’s tips.
After waist hooping came leg hooping, or spinning the hula hoop using only the area around your knees.
This took a little more practice, but by the end of the program everyone was doing it easily!
After Sarah taught these basic skills, she played some games with the children. The first she called Freeze Hooping. Sarah would play music and ask the children to practice their new hooping skills, but when the music stopped you had to freeze in place. This was a really fun activity, and the children never missed a beat, always stopping and freezing when Sarah paused the music.
The next game she set up was Hopscotch, using hula hoops.
Sarah set out a pattern of hoops on the floor that resembled a Hopscotch board. She then had the children test their newly learned skills by hoping through the course while using a hula hoop!
Even our youngest attendee took part in the fun.
The final part of the program was a solo performance by Sarah herself. She demonstrated a remarkable array of skills including hooping with one hand, waist hooping and even working with two hoops at the same time.
The children really enjoyed her performance, and the program as a whole. It was fun, interactive and very entertaining. Thank you Miss Sarah!
I just wanted to highlight some of the fun we had last week and Toddler Music and Stories!
This is some of the gang listening to Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses.
You can always click on a highlighted title and it will take you to our catalog so you can reserve a book.
Pete the Cat is a pretty big franchise these days.
There are six Pete the Cat picture books out as of this posting. And as your kids learn to read themselves, you can lead them to the Pete the Cat Easy Readers. Here is the list of books below:
Pete the Cat has always been a musical cat which makes him a perfect fit for Little Ones Music and Stories. He is also quite wise and gives everyone advice for living a happy and content life. Originally Eric Litwin, a musician, wrote the stories and songs for Pete but now James Dean, the illustrator and creator of Pete has taken on these duties with his wife. But as you learn each storytime with Mr. David, you all have songs within you, and you can use the words given to you by James and make up your own melodies!
I have an example of a lovely teacher, Ms Kathy, who did just that. She is awesome. Enjoy!
Now moving on to one of our greatest acheivements at Toddler Music and Stories,
play in the Mr. David’s Library Orchestra
For this activity, we prepared by looking at some pictures of an actual orchestra in action.
We compared the pictures so that we could see how different types of instruments were grouped together. And we were able to see how the conductor signalled to each section with his baton.
We then set out to organize our orchestra.
We had three sections: Cymbals, Bells and Tambourines, and Shakers.
Above you can see me working with the Cymbal section.
It was fantastic fun!
Once we were concert ready, we put on some classical symphony music and I directed them to play quiet, loud, or to stop playing which they all know now is called “A rest”.
See you next time.
- Mr. David