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Friday, April 4, 2014

March Madness for Books!

Bulletin Board of the K-2 brackets
The folks at the Augusta Library had fun with a March Madness bracket for BOOKS this year.  The library staff chose their favorite books and set them up in brackets against each other, and then let the elementary school kids vote.  The final winners were:

Grades 3-5:  The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (which won against the other finalist I Funny by James Patterson with more than 61 percent of the vote)

Grades K-2:  Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord (which won against the other finalist If You Give a Mouse a Cookie with a whopping 83 percent of the vote!)

What a fun way to drum up interest in books!  If you didn't follow School Library Journal's Battle of the Books (with famous authors judging the rounds), it is worth taking a peek at that, too.

Here's an example of the ballot that kids used to vote

Thursday, April 3, 2014

SLP Idea Swap Ideas!

I need a reminder that summer really is coming some day, so here is another installment in the SLP Idea Swap update.  At the SLP Idea Swap we talked some about the structure of the reading part of things.  Here are some ideas that folks shared:

  • In Fall Creek, they give kids a calendar for each month, which includes special events at the library.  The kids use the calendar to record the number of days they read for more than 10 minutes.  So they are promoting reading every day, and kids are finding ways to squeeze reading in to their schedules.
  • In Phillips, private donations allow them to give away a free book to each participant every single week of the summer!
  • Some libraries are experimenting with incentives.  In Park Falls, an invitation to the end-of-summer teen lock-in will be the ultimate prize.
  • In Cumberland, they are experimenting with getting a matching grant, of sorts, from area businesses.  The library will purchase a gift card for incentives, and then ask the business for a donation of the same value.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SLP Idea Swap Take-Aways

We had a fun gathering last week at the Summer Library Program Idea Swap.  Folks brought questions and ideas and shared some fun stuff!  I'll dole out some of those ideas over the next few weeks.  Here are a few I contributed:

  • For super-cool, library-tested STEAM programs for preschoolers and school age kids, check out the Show Me Librarian's amazing collection of detailed program notes!
  • You can find a bunch of great science resources in our very own BadgerLink!  Check out the Science Reference Center for Science Experiements (there are more than 1000), and look for science videos in the Wisconsin Media Lab.
  • My amazing sister who can do anything showed me how to do Japanese Marbling (also called Suminagashi)--the dye is relatively cheap and you only need a few drops per person.  This was very easy, and everyone from 5-year-olds to adults will enjoy it.  My teenagers loved it!  There are some interesting things to discover about surface tension and viscosity with marbling.
And here are 2 books that I found very useful in thinking about science-y art projects for Preschool through middle grades.  Both are in the MORE system:

Science Arts:  Discovering Science Through Art Experiences by Mary Ann Kohl and Jean Potter.

Art Lab for Little Kids:  52 Playful Projects for Preschoolers by Susan Schwake.