Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shark Week: I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916!

When my dad got his BA back in the 70s,
he was probably imagining that one day
he'd have a daughter who'd have to
free-hand a large shark.
This Spring, Sara at YA Librarian Tales and me both had the same idea for a summer program: playing into the wild success of the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis at our libraries! We had a discussion on Twitter about it that many librarians joined, including the kid-culture-programming maven Angie at Fat Girl Reading. The conundrum: Which book could I feature that meets this criteria: 1) is exciting, and  2) will not bum out everyone attending, especially the adults.

The three that were definitely out for me right away were The Attacks on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, 2005, and The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863. After a pretty rousing discussion on Twitter, Sarah and I came to the same decision: to tackle The Shark Attacks of 1916. If anything, my decision was dependent on 2 factors here: 1) sharks are cool, and it is super-interesting that they were once thought to be as docile as a bunny rabbit; and 2) the death count was relatively low, so the chances that someone in attendance would say that a family member died in these incidents was slim, nationally.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

P.U.F.F.IN Library Lab: Light Painting!

The first PUFFIN Library Lab in July was the brainchild of my LPL colleague Lindsay. It was a cross-department program, and she rocked it!

You know what? I'll just let her tell it. I'll even let her call me by my legal name because what type of jerk changes their first name when they get married for Internet purposes and doesn't tell anyone IRL about it. I mean, honestly. I'm the worst. --Bryce

Hi, everybody! Lindsay the Technology Librarian, here. Last month, Sara and I ran a super fun light painting program for elementary school aged kids. I first learned about light painting at an ILEAD conference last year, where I saw a couple of librarians testing it out. The idea percolated in the back of my head until Sara invited me to join the Fizz Boom Read fun this summer. As a kid, what could be more fun than standing around in a dark room waving flashlights around while your picture is taken? Sara agreed, and the fun began.

This might be a good time to point out that I've really mostly worked with adults over the past 7 years. I teach adult computer classes and do adult Reference. Suffice it to say, I was pretty nervous about this program. Does anybody else out there get the jitters when challenged to work with an age group outside of your comfort zone? Here’s what worked for me: rehearsing the general flow of what I wanted to say, being prepared for different levels of learning, and just owning what makes me, me. (A potential fourth: making sure any tech equipment works!) The first two can take some time and thought. The 3rd one has taken me years and is still a work in progress. So what if I stumble over words sometimes or crack lame jokes about cats during classes? That’s me. I’m human. Adults seem to take it in stride, so I told myself kids would too. And if all else fails? I pretend I’m super-outgoing Lindsay and not binge-watch-Star-Trek-on-Friday-nights Lindsay. What do you all do to ease your nerves?

I shouldn’t have worried so much; the program was a blast! 

Monday, August 04, 2014

PUFFIN Library Lab: Sasquatch Escape!

Basically one of my favorite movies of all time.
This summer, we decided to work WITH at least one of the many groups that visit our library each week to help make the experience more positive and delay/prevent teacher burn-out. One local group was known for coming into the library for one hour, then bringing in a second group for another hour, sometimes with the same teachers. Needless to say, eventually during the summer the kids would run out of favorite books to read, and teachers would get sick of helping their students make good choices.

To fill a pretty big need the size of everyone's sanity, P.U.F.F.IN Library Lab (Pop Up Free Fun IN the Library) was born. One program done twice every Tuesday (one for each group that visited), the topic of which announced to the public day-of over Facebook. And damn, did it work out well!

Marge held two PUFFIN labs in June, while I took July. My first program was inspired by Ariel's Monster Party. My rendition of a monster party was based on the book Imaginary Veterinary #1: The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors.

As you might remember, I'm kinda into cryptozoology, so I'll basically talk about it whenever I get a chance.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thrive Thursday July Round Up!

I'm happy to say that I'm hosting the Thrive Thursday School Age Round-up for July. Want to know more about Thrive Thursday created by Lisa Shaia? Check out past round ups at Thrive After Three. Make sure you don't miss a thing by following the Pinterest Board and Facebook group!

There are so many great things to share this week, so let's get started.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrive Thursday School Age Blog Hop Placeholder for 7/3/14

I'm happy to say that I'm hosting the Thrive Thursday School Age Round-up for July. Want to know more about Thrive Thursday created by Lisa Shaia? Check out past round ups at Thrive After Three. Make sure you don't miss a thing by following the Pinterest Board and Facebook group!

Thrive Thursday is all about school age programming! I know you all are doing great stuff for summer time. Link to programs in the comments and I'll round them up!

Interested in doing a guest post? My blog is always open. Email me at brycedontplay at gmail dot com and I'll set you up!

The deadline for entries is July 3rd.  That gives you 2 whole weeks to come up with something--anything!-- you're doing. Remember, link to programs in the comments here and I'll make a round up.

(Also, since it's my round up, I'm also looking for your favorite GIFs to help us through Summer Reading.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SLP Stories in Action Table

Late last year we lost our fish tables (tables that looked like fish; not made of fish or specifically for fish), which meant that my space for the Story Action Pods went away. As I was brainstorming a new place for it, I thought about covering one of the tables we already had with butcher paper so kids could draw directly on it,  like some family restaurants do (I don't know which ones those are now, but there was one in Tallahassee Mall that did that. a Ryan's?). Exactly two days later, Rebecca at Hafuboti posted her Table Top Time inspired by Mo Willems, which gave me the courage to try it out... eventually.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

PJ Puzzles PK-2 Storytime (with Bedtime Math)

oversized tangrams
Hey everybody: I did a program where the oldest kid participant was 8 years old. AND it was not pop-culture-based. AND the attendees LIKED it!

I feel like I have to start this off by saying: I wasn't the biggest fan of Bedtime Math when I first heard about it. This is because:
When they rhetorically ask, "We read bedtime stories right before bed! Why not do math?"
This is supposed to elicit the following response in the reader:
"Hmm, yes, why not?"
BUT: I really feel like the CLEAR ANSWER to this question is:
"...because listening to stories for fun employs cognitive skills that are far less demanding than math, even when done 'for fun' (you know, Webb's Depth of Knowledge and all that)."

Here's where that gets us into a pickle:
a. Children need a good night's rest to perform well in school.
b. Higher-demand cognitive processing delays sleep, not even starting with the fact that math anxiety is a real thing.
Check out these tips for a good night's sleep. Not one involved doing a word problem. Kids need wind-down time, too.

This is not at all to say that we shouldn't make a point to include mathematical themes in play and throughout the day as much as possible. I have strong opinions on this and how we're doing math all the time and we need to be deliberate about it so our kids realize that. This is why I really, really like Bedtime Math's new offering, Crazy 8's. Everything they do comes with scripts and everything! And I do appreciate that they emphasize on their website that it's about adding math to a daily routine whenever that happens!