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).

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Word Group Game in Pepin

Thanks to Christy in Pepin for this blog post!

What do you do with those flimsy DVD cases that we are not to circulate?  Do they just pile up in a store room or cabinet?  What about the discs from movies or books that are not salvageable or no longer needed?  Looking to re-use both of these items?  Here's one idea that Pepin is putting together to make available for the beginning readers. 

Take a word group, such as words that end in "ap".  Create a label or two with those letters on and place inside the DVD case.  Then place letters onto a label for the disc.  The disc can then be turned to create words from the letters on the disc and the case.  
CD with letters word game
Have available some paper that the reader can then write the words they create.  Place a pencil inside the case and a spiffy cover for the outside and viola!  A quick tool for readers to see and make words.  This activity will help readers to rhyme, spell, write and enrich their literacy skills.  We are putting together several of these cases with word groups and will make them available for use in the library.
place for writing words created

We are also thinking of creating "Scrabble" like tiles from these cases also. Younger readers can create their own words or just place the tiles in order. Older readers can make their own cross-stick puzzles and challenge each other to keep adding words.  The tiles can have capital letters on one side and lower case letters on the other side.  Just some paper and printer toner and a little time should give those old DVD cases new life.
snazzy cover

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Developing Self-Regulation in Children

toddler watching television
Photo credit:  Lou Bueno flickr
My public health colleague Karen sent me a link to this article about a recent study about significant media use and self-regulation issues for young children.  Being able to self-regulate is a crucial life skill that allows kids to be more resilient in the face of challenges and is a strong predictor of school success.  One thing the researchers were trying to determine was whether infants and toddlers who watch a lot of television and videos were doing so as a result of being fussy or more challenging (because watching a screen calmed them down and possibly gave stressed parents a break from crying), or whether the media consumption led to the self-regulation issues.  They found that media use of more than 2 hours per day did result in a small, but statistically significant, increase in self-regulation problems.

One of the recommendations of the study was helping parents come up with more developmentally supportive strategies for helping an infant or toddler who is irritable, fussy, or extremely demanding. The study, being from a medical establishment, recommends pediatricians communicate this information, but it seems like there is a role for librarians here, too.  How can we intentionally model and share scaffolding strategies for helping the youngest children learn to self-regulate?

What do you do?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Get the Mayor Involved in Summer Reading!

Thanks to Kim Hennings at New Richmond for this guest blog post about a great addition to their Summer Library Program:

This year, in addition to weekly reading goals for SLP participants, we added "Mayor Fred's Summer Reading Challenge."

We had a high school student draw a cartoon of the Mayor and we used that as artwork in our Summer Reading Program booklet.  The instructions stated:

"This year we are very excited that one of New Richmond's own heroes, Mayor Fred Horne, has a reading challenge for the children of New Richmond.  

Dear Reader,

I want to give you an extra challenge this summer.  Using the list below read the eight different types of books throughout the summer reading program.  If you complete all eight, you will be presented a special award at the city council meeting on August 10th.

I can't wait to see how many New Richmond kids are reading this summer!  All summer readers are superheroes in my book! - Mayor Fred"

The categories were
-A book where at least one character is an animal
-A funny or humorous book
-A non-fiction book (true story)
-A book that won a national award (caldecott or newberry)
-Re-read a favorite book
-A fairy or folktake
-Listen to a book, eaudio, book on CD or book & CD
-A graphic novel, comic, or wordless picture book

All the children who completed the challenge got a special invitation to the council meeting via email.  50 kids completed the challenge and 30 kids plus parents/siblings came to the meeting.  The council had to bring in extra seating to accommodate everyone.  During the meeting, I called the kids up one at a time and the Mayor shook their hand and presented them with a certificate. (certificates were filled out ahead of time and we checked kids in before the meeting. We also had blank certificates to fill out for last minute additions)  Afterwards we took a group photo and the kids were invited to the basement for cake and punch.  Although it certainly wasn't our highest attended program, several council members as well as parents expressed their enthusiasm and appreciation.  It's a great introduction to local politics and what the city council does. 

It's one thing for me to tell the council how many kids participated in summer reading (which I do), and it is another for them to see how proud those children were as they were accepting their awards.  I also made sure to tell all the children the City Council meetings are televised, which they were very excited about.

We're already brainstorming ways we can tweak the program to make it more successful next year.   The program took virtually no additional work besides filling out the certificates and ordering a cake and helped us build a better relationship with our Mayor and City Council.