1st Grade Storytime – Valentine’s Day

One of the measurements I use to judge how successful my Valentine’s Day storytime is with an elementary school group is how many “ewwww”s it evokes. ‘Cause there is nothing early elementary kids like better than romance.  Judging on that criteria, this storytime seemed like a hit.

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles

Froggys First Kiss by London
Froggy’s First Kiss by Jonathan London

Vincent’s Valentine Animals
Patterns and Story from  A Storytime Year,  by Susan M. Dailey.
For the story, see this blog post.

MOVEMENT: We Work With One Hammer*

Yuckiest Stinkiest Best Valentine Ever vy Ferber
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda A. Ferber

Little Bear's Band DVD
“Valentine’s Day” from Little Bear: Little Bear’s Band

Valentines Collection DVD
“One Zillion Valentine’s” from The Valentine’s Collection DVD

This was a pretty fun storytime.  It’s always great to hear the reaction of the kids when you read Froggy’s First Kiss and get to the kissing scene.  Since The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever is a new book, this was my first time trying it out with a group, and I really thought it worked great.  I think I can use it as a second grade pick as well.  I need more Valentine’s stories for the older groups – a lot of what I’m familiar with is for the young ones.  In hindsight I think I should have shown One Zillion Valentines as the movie, because Little Bear was a little too young for this group.

ATTENDANCE: 20 people

Librarian Organizing – Books

I don’t know about the rest of the Children’s Librarians out there, but I seem to accumulate a lot of stuff.  Books, flannelboards I’ve created, flannelboard ideas I want to create, DVDs for programs, fingerplays, puppets, realia, the list goes on…  All of it is important to my programming, but all of it has to GO somewhere.  And more importantly, I’ve got to be able to find it when I need it!  With this in mind, I thought I would share a little bit about how I organize my materials.

It probably goes without saying, but I love children’s books.  I enjoy purchasing some of my favorites to have them on hand at all times for storytimes or other programs.  I do this for a few reasons:

  • I like knowing I have something there at all times to use (in case of a last-minute program!)
  • I don’t have to check-out a library book and keep others from it.
  • I like that the book I have on hand will be clean, with all of its pages intact.
  • Books go out of print so quickly that if I really love a book I want to know I can have it for all time.

However, when I had purchased a book I already had –  on at least two separate occasions –  I realized I might need a better method of keeping track of what I already owned.

I already kept a spreadsheet of my titles at work, but I wanted something portable I could take with me and check when I was at the bookstore.  I tried Goodreads for a while, because I used that anyway to keep track of what I’ve been reading, but it wasn’t a perfect fit.  So, I decided to explore the world of apps.  And I found one that I’m pretty happy with:

My Library
My Library App 1
I like that this not only helps me keep track of my books, but my DVDs as well.  (It also works with music albums, but I haven’t used that part yet).  The app allows you to add books to your library either manually or by scanning the barcode.
My Library App 5
Using the barcode scanning option, you can even scan multiple titles.  (Sometimes the scanning isn’t always 100% accurate, and you’ll have to go back and correct some of the data).  The app gives you a few different options of how to display your books including by author, title, series, genre and more.  I usually default to author:
My Library App 2
I like that this app shows cover photos as well, a feature that wasn’t always available on the couple apps I tried.

It also has the option for sorting your items into different collections. This allows the user to filter your items into different collections, or look at everything at once.  I have a few different ones as you can see here.
My Library App 3

I haven’t had this app very long, but so far I’m very pleased with it.  And hopefully, I won’t ever buy duplicate books by accident again!

Have you ever had problems keeping straight the books in your collection?  How do you organize your professional book collection?

Flannel Friday: I Saw a Giraffe Drive By

When I was in library school, we had an assginment to make a booklist centered around a theme — any theme we wanted.  My theme was “Animals and Their Vehicles”.  Ever since that booklist, I’ve had a soft spot for animals taking a spin, and I’ve used it as a storytime theme a few times.  Here’s a great flannelboard that goes with it.

I Saw a Giraffe Drive By
May be sung to the tune of “Down by the Bay”
I Saw A Giraffe Drive By Flannelboard
Poem and Patterns from Toddler Storytime Programs by Diane Briggs

One sunny day I saw a giraffe drive by,
In a shiny car and a big bow tie.
Then I saw a sheep,
Riding in a jeep.
Then I saw a duck,
Driving a truck.
One sunny day.

One sunny day I saw a platypus,
He was going for a ride on a little orange school bus.
Then I saw a goat,
She was rowing a boat.
Then I saw a bear,
Flying through the air,
One sunny day.

Oh, me, oh, my,
What a lot of funny animals went by!

I’ve mentioned before that I got a lot of flannelboards from my mom when she retired.  This is another one of those, and I think it’s among my favorite.  My mom somehow cajoled my dad into making her flannelboards for her, so when I use them it’s like using a small piece of family history as well. 

Today’s Flannel Friday roundup is hosted by Anne at so tomorrow.  For more information on Flannel Friday, visit the Flannel Friday blog or Pinterest page.