Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Reading Outreach Book Lists

I've really struggled with what, exactly, to do for summer reading previews at the schools. Usually, I do a spiel and then booktalk. The kids like it, the librarians and teachers like it, but I wonder if any kids actually remember anything? Sometimes I get kids coming in asking for the books, which is awesome, but I've been doing this for almost 9 years now and I'm kind of...bored with it. This year I didn't do the usual thing - we sponsored an author visit and I didn't have the usual set up, so I guess now is the time to see if it makes a difference. I'm planning more outreach during the summer and would like to transition to doing individual classes if possible. Or something.

All of these - and more - I've put onto small cards which I'll hand out at outreach programs. They each have a suggested grade level, cover pic, and quick description. We'll see how that goes.


Picture Books (*nonfiction)
  • Be quiet! by Ryan Higgins
  • Great now we've got barbarians
  • Prince Ribbit
  • *Give bees a chance
  • *Anything but ordinary Addie
Easy Readers (*nonfiction)
  • Duck and porcupine
  • Good for nothing button
  • *Ham-Ham-Hamsters
  • *You should meet...
Beginning Chapters (*nonfiction)
  • Ella and Owen
  • Inspector Flytrap
  • Tales of Sasha
  • *Blast Back!
Middle Grade Fiction
  • Amina's voice
  • Cody and the fountain of happiness
  • Mary Bowser and the civil war spy ring
  • Forever or a long long time by Carter
  • Ghost by Reynolds
  • Hamstersaurus Rex
  • Army brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab
  • How to outrun a crocodile when your shoes are untied
Middle Grade Fantasy
  • Fairy wings by E. D. Baker
  • Girl who could not dream
  • Journey across the hidden islands
Middle Grade Graphics (*nonfiction)
  • Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
  • Cici a fairy's tale
  • Real friends by Shannon Hale
  • Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson
  • Amazing Crafty Cat
  • Time museum by Matthew Loux
  • *Science Comics: Bats
Middle Grade Nonfiction (Narrative)
  • Sea otter heroes
  • Beastly brains
  • Lesser spotted animals
  • Behind the Legend: Loch Ness Monster by Erin Peabody
Maker Books
  • Modeling clay with 3 basic shapes
  • Let's Sew
  • Creative kids complete photo guide to crochet

Summer Reading 2017

poster in progress
This year's program continues the theme of simple, easy, and flexible. Thanks to my associate, Jess, who tweaks and creates most of our graphic design and layouts! (If it looks good it's her, if it doesn't it's mine).

Registration
  • Summer reading registration for ages 0-18 begins May 30. They can register in person at the library or online (online registration is just a google form that links to the calendar to print). I record name, age, and school. Grades 6 and up I am tracking library card numbers, just to make sure they all have valid library cards.
  • All ages up to 16 receive a fine amnesty coupon. All ages, 0-18, can get a registration prize (provided by a local artist) if desired. They're mostly bookmarks, pins, buttons, so not suitable for babies.
Reading Logs
  • Ages 0-3 have an activity/reading calendar for June. They get a prize at the end of June (rubber ducky and fizzy bath tablets) and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
  • Grades kindergarten through fifth grade have an activity reading calendar for June. They get a pack of passes, provided by the consortium, at the end of June and a July activity/reading calendar. At the end of July they get a free book.
    • K-5th June calendar
    • K-5th July calendar
    • Passes (while supplies last)
      • Chipotle free kid's meal
      • Pizza Hut (coming)
      • MKE WAVE
      • Milwaukee Public Museum (issues with printing)
      • Country Springs Water Park bogo
      • Old World Wisconsin bogo
      • Milwaukee Bucks bogo (coming)
Weekly Incentives and Program Ethos
Our "prizes" are tied to visiting the library, not reading or other activities. Kids are not required to "complete" their calendars, read every single day, or do every activity. I've evolved this program over the years and it meets all of my summer reading goals which I've created to fit our individual library and community's needs.
  • Program that challenges voracious readers but does not discourage or penalize reluctant or struggling readers
    • The calendar system allows kids and families to set their own reading goals
  • Program that is simple and easy to use for busy families and does not involve a lot of paperwork and library-policing.
    • Some people sign off on their kids' calendars. If they want to do that it's fine, but I do not want to have to question kids like guilty suspects as to whether they read or not.
  • Program that emphasizes reading, not prizes or "stuff" you get
  • Program that encourages library visits, not just racking up reading minutes (or hours) or, again, "stuff".
Each week that the kids visit the library they can get an activity bag. One bag per week. If they miss a week they don't get two bags the next week. I updated and reformatted all the activity bag inserts, which you can see here. Of course, I'd already printed most of them, but now they're ready for next year. I purchased most of the materials for these either from Amazon or Discount School Supply.
  • Week 1: Floating ball
  • Week 2: Balloon rockets
  • Week 3: Texture book
  • Week 4: Beading bag
  • Week 5: Exploding sticks
  • Week 6: Scratch art
  • Week 7: Magnet fishing
  • Week 8: Marshmallow builders
The kids can get stickers for every day - or week - that they read. I'm pretty casual about how many they pick. I've gotten really tired of constantly policing the kids. I have stickers from the dollar store, Walmart, etc. but I also got some great foam stickers from Amazon.
Teens (6th grade and up)
  • Teens register and can pick a sign up prize if desired. Every week they turn in a check out receipt, they get to pick a colored marble which denotes a prize. Prizes are a box of small misc. things, mini candy bars, big candy bars, and books. They can get one prize per week. At the end of summer we'll go through all the collected receipts and choose three grand prize winners for gift cards.
Resources

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lego Club

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity, problem-solving, and math skills
    • Encourage collaboration and a friendly space for kids and parents to interact
    • Offer a program that fits a variety of ages, needs, and abilities
    • Attendance: 35
Challenges
  • Build a creation with 25 pieces
  • Build a creation from one color
  • Build a vehicle
  • Build a robot
  • Build a city
  • Build a winter vehicle
  • Build a (Star Wars) space ship
Lego Club is my longest-running after school club. It's a drop-in program - people can come any time between 3:30 and 5:30 and stay as long as they want. There is a display of Lego and related books that can be checked out, as well as flyers for upcoming programs.

I tell kids that it's an "all you can create buffet". They use the plastic bowls to go down the "buffet" and make choices, and then build on the tables. Everyone knows that if it's on the buffet it's fair game, if it's on a table in the rest of the room you have to ask (some of us are still practicing this though)

Legos were provided through donations and supplemented with Pig Money.

During Lego Club I take pictures, admire creations, talk to parents about upcoming programs and whatever is on their minds, settle fights, keep an eye on kids who don't have adult supervision, and sort the Legos. When they are finished building, which can be anywhere from 10 minutes to the full 2 hours, they get their picture taken for the bulletin board and Facebook and put their creation on the "play" table. We don't break them down until they are gone. (I used to put them on display but we had to keep cleaning them up and we ran out of space).

Attendance ranges from 20 to 50. If I'm busy, I will often have my experienced teen aides run Lego Club, just checking in occasionally to see how things are going.