Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Global Fun in Story Time

Last month, this great site from the Burnaby Public Library was posted to the PUBYAC listserv: Embracing Diversity: Songs and Rhymes in 15 Languages

It gives two songs or rhymes in other languages, along with a pronunciation guide, translation, and a video of the song being performed with actions (if there are any) to make them really easy to learn. Not only is it a GREAT resource for those of us doing the One World: Many Stories Summer Reading Theme* but also year round as we welcome people from all different backgrounds into our libraries and programs, and show our customers new ways of looking at the world around them.

Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)Some other books to check out to learn rhymes include Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages which pairs two rhymes, one in English, on in Mandarin with similar themes or characters on a page spread. It also (very helpfully) comes with a CD to learn pronunciations and melodies. Another fun one is Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America for rhymes in English and Spanish.

World PlaygroundOther great global resources include the label Putumayo of music. I LOVE anything and everything by Putumayo-- not just for story time, but in general. Biblio Baby has almost all of their kids line. While I mainly play her their Dreamland CDs, I find their Playground line to especially excellent for use in story time. "Fatou Yo" from their World Playground CD is my "welcome" song for all my story times. It's a Senaglese song with a great beat that's fun to dance to (which all the kids do as they wait for the room to fill up!-- it gets them in a great mood to have some fun at story time). But even better was the day when a mother pulled me aside, very excited because she was from Senegal and she was so happy to hear a song from home in an unexpected place. She and her family were avid story time goers until her kids went to school.

Global BabiesAnd, a plug for one of my favorite board books to share with babies-- Global Babies. Put out by the Global Fund for Children, the text is pretty basic (babies all over the world are similar and loved), but it features lots of pictures of baby faces (and there is NOTHING that babies like more than other babies) from all over the world. Babies LOVE it. (I also like their other title, American Babies which is similar in content, but limited to different babies around the US.)

*Just a pout here-- this is the best theme I've seen in a while and I'm really, really excited about it. But I'm on maternity leave all summer and missing it! Not that I would have done things differently, BUT!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to planning story times, spread sheets are my best friend.

For babies, I have a list of all the books I use and the date of the last time I used them. This ensures that I don't do Dear Zoo and Moo Baa La La La every single week. I also like it because I can sort by date (which books haven't I done in a while?) or by author or title (when was the last time I did X?)

Also, after story time is done, I have another spread sheet where I write down who came every week. Now, we don't register for our programs so it's not an attendance record, BUT with the babies, I need to know their names. (If nothing else, because the welcome song gets individualized.) Every week before story time, I look to see who's been coming the last few weeks, so names are fresh in my mind. This makes me look like I have a super-memory for names.

Even better is my spread sheet of rhymes! This one is shared with our whole department. It's an Excel workbook and different pages are for different age groups and languages (we have a French-English story time, too.) So we have the rhymes and then another column categorizes them (Mother Goose, knee bounce, action, clap, song, etc) so if I'm putting my rhymes together and think "Hmmmm.... I need another tickle here" I can sort by type and scan through the tickle rhymes and then copy-and-paste them into my handout. It's also great because it's a shared file, so it's easy to share rhymes with coworkers. It's always so frustrating when you're planning a program and think "wait! What was that cool Jellyfish counting song that Lauren always does?! How does that go?!" Now it's in the sheet so if Lauren's not there, I can still find it and use it.

I realize that planning story time via spreadsheet might seem a bit anal (but, like Millicent Min, I don't think that's a bad thing) but I find it really useful.

Do you use spread sheets or do you have something else that works really well to keep your story time planning organized?