Blogger Amanda Roberson

Dig Into Reading Centers for Summer Reading

Why not set up temporary Summer Reading themed learning centers in your branches this summer?  It is ok to take down some of your current centers and give them a rest for the summer and put out some new fresh centers.  This will give you a chance to clean up and revamp some of your current centers and give your customers something new and exciting! Here are some great ways to incorporate “Dig Into Reading” into your language rich library environments. 1.  Ant/ Worm Farms Simply place an ant and/or worm farm on a table with some magnifying glasses and let the amazement begin. You can also put out observation sheets for kids to record what they see, provide a space to drawn and write about the ants and worms. This simple center invites kids and caregivers to talk about what they see and to write about it. Of course…

Blogger Amanda Roberson

Magnetic Paint!

Turn any surface into a fun place to play with Magnets! There are several brands of Magnetic Paint on the market today. Pick the one you like and a space in your library and let the fun begin. At our Library we have several columns around the Children’s room. I was looking for a way to turn these columns into a useable space for learning when I found Magnetic Paint.  After 4 cans of paint, three coats on each column, I now had an inexpensive Active Learning Center. At first I purchased alphabet refrigerator magnets but found that the magnets used where too small and not strong enough to work with the paint for long. Then I found Melissa and Doug alphabet, number and animal magnets:, the whole back of these are magnetic and they work perfectly! Children spell their name, match the first letter of an animal’s name…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Why Common Core State Standards Matter #alamw13

Sunday at Midwinter, the Young Adult Reference Services Committee (YARS) of RUSA’s Reference Services Section (RSS) hosted a Discussion Group on The Common Core. Academic, School and Public Librarians filled the room to learn more about The Common Core and discuss its impact on the profession. I was privileged to lead the discussion with Rose Luna and Margaux DelGuidice. The discussion began with a three-minute video explaining the Common Core State Standards  followed by myself, Rose Luna and Margaux DelGuidice sharing an overview of the Common Core, how Librarians can support teachers as they implement the Common Core and a wealth of resources. The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education. These standards will require students to exhibit three essential practices across the all content areas. Demonstrate independence and perseverance. Construct arguments, comprehend, critique…

Blogger Amanda Roberson

What do you call cheese that isn’t yours?

NACHO cheese! 🙂 Cheesy jokes like this one make a great Language Rich Library environment for older kids. All you need for this center is a wall, end cap or flat surface, some construction paper, a printer and a list of your favorite G rated jokes! Simply print the jokes and some cute clip art and glue them to a folded piece of construction paper. The joke on the front and then the answer/ punch line on the inside. Laminate them if you can so that they are more durable.                 This is also a great way to post trivia, memorable quotes, words and definitions or just about anything that has a question and an answer!

Blogger Amanda Roberson

Community Helper Dress Up

Jump start your smallest customers imaginations with Dress Up!  Place a few costumes in a section of your library and the kids will do the rest. You can purchase costumes from a supplier like Lakeshore Learning, have a volunteer make them, hunt for leftover Halloween costumes or through thrift stores.  At my branch, we have a Firefighter, Pilot, Mail Carrier, Police Officer and a Doctor–complete with hats and all.       I think I just heard a collective groan when I mentioned that we put hats out for kids to wear! They are plastic hats and we have bleach spay nearby for germ conscientious caregivers. We also spray the costumes and  hats each night at closing with bleach spray (1 gallon water to 1 tablespoon bleach- will kill anything yucky and will not bleach the material).  The costumes get laundered monthly as well. I have seen these costumes used…

Blogger Amanda Roberson

Shhh! Whisper Tube!

This Active Learning Center is inexpensive, easy to install, space efficient and sure to be a hit! All you need is 1 ½ inch PVC Pipe and 90 and 45 degree joints to fit your space, PVC Glue,  plastic mounting brackets and a handy volunteer! All of the materials can be found at your local hardware store for a very reasonable price. Whisper Tubes use the same science of a doctor’s stethoscope–sound waves. The sound waves from your voice are trapped inside and vibrate through the tube and then are reflected on the other side to another person’s ear! In the library, a whisper tube can carry the conversation from a caregiver to child, from a brother to a sister, from tiny customer and a librarian and even between new friends. The conversations are often rich and hilarious or sometimes as simple as the words “I Love You.”  It is…

Blogger Amanda Roberson

You’ve Got Mail @ Your Library!

Lexington Park Library’s newest active learning center is a Post Office complete with envelopes, paper, pencils (yes, pencils!), Mail Carrier costume, and mail boxes.   We selected eight book characters to have mail boxes at our library and made up addresses for them.  For example, Next, we made three plastic envelopes for each character with their address and picture on it. Then, we bought mailboxes from Lowes and labeled them each with a book characters address and picture. A volunteer mounted them on small stands that he made. They are placed around the Children’s section for kids to find as they deliver the mail. We set up a table in the corner of the Children’s section of the library to be our Post Office. It has the Mail Carrier Costume, a place to sort mail, a big blue mail box, a letter chart and is stocked with lined paper and…

Blogger Amanda Roberson

STEM @ Your Library!

The Maryland state board of education just approved the following seven Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Standards of Practice for use in schools and many other states are working to create similar standards of practice for their school systems. These practices give guidance to the need to educate our youngest learners to live in a world where the job they will have as adults doesn’t even exist yet. 1. Learn and Apply Rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics content 2. Integrate Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Content 3. Interpret and Communicate Information from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 4. Engage in Inquiry 5. Engage in Logical Reasoning 6. Collaborate as a STEM team 7. Apply Technology Strategically My colleagues and I recently attended a great conference on STEM and Early Childhood. We learned more about the need for STEM in young children’s education and strategies for childcare providers and early…