Welcome to this latest attempt to connect librarians from west-central Wisconsin with each other! Please send in content (booklists, ideas, photos, etc.), and comment on posts so we can help each other. If you were using feedmyinbox to get new posts sent to you before, you'll need to switch to another service (blogtrottr works like feedmyinbox, googlereader is a good blog-reader to try).

Search This Blog

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tech Take-Apart Program

Thanks so much to Alisha from the public library in Eau Claire for this terrific guest post!  This would be a fun STEAM program for the summer.

The kids absolutely loved the Tech Take-Apart program, and it was pretty simple to put on.  I  called First Choice Computer Recycling and they loaded me up with safe-for-kids-to-take-apart materials that had been dropped off at their site for recycling.  They also agreed to take it all back after the program, albeit now in a million pieces!  I then rounded up a variety of screwdrivers and I was set for my program.  
Before the program started

Among the materials to take apart were printers, keyboards, computers (no monitors), DVD players, VCRs, and old office phones.  I also took some VHS and cassette tapes that were damaged and withdrawn from our collection for the kids to take apart since they were going to the garbage anyway (though some kids didn’t know what these were).  The kids then got busy exploring the innards of tech-y stuff.  
A wide age range enjoys tearing apart

Many kids said this program was fulfilling their dream to take things apart without getting in trouble!  So, I’m adding dream fulfiller to my resume.

The remaining debris

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Does "Early Literacy" Mean to You?

I've been thinking a lot about child development lately, and how libraries can step in to support young children as they grow.  The Growing Wisconsin Readers project, with its website and blog and other great resources, has helped nudge me to think about this even more, and this year IFLS received an LSTA grant to help strengthen our early literacy muscles and partnerships.  All great things!

Sometimes I worry that when people hear the words "early literacy," they think of preschoolers learning to read.  
For most preschoolers, learning to read is not developmentally appropriate or possible.  Children need interaction with caring adults and with each other, they need to be exposed to lots of rich language through books, play and song.  They need to explore their world through experimenting with art and science.  They need experiences that allow them to develop fine motor control, but they need all of these things in ways that recognize their developmental stages.

Parents sometimes come into the library looking for ways to help their young toddlers or preschoolers learn to read, and it is a great opportunity to share with them all the ways that they can support their young child's development that will allow them to become readers, thinkers, cooperators, creators their whole life long.  I  love the five early literacy practices encouraged by  Every Child Ready to Read 2:  Read, Play, Talk, Sing, Write.  Giving parents concrete examples of the ways that these practices will help their children in life and in school is a great response.  In a recent ALSC listserv discussion, someone pointed to this great blog post that compared our patience with toddlers when they are learning to go downstairs with our impatience for them to develop other skills before they are ready.