Blogger Kary Henry

Homeschool Book Club Activities

I offer two homeschool book clubs, both based on the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards. The younger students read books from the Bluestem list, and the older students read from the Caudill list. Recently, I was struggling to create engaging and fun book-based activites that would work in a virtual setting. My niece, Amanda, came to the rescue! Amanda is a brand-new (and, proud aunt brag, fantastic!) elementary school teacher and had created a cool activity for her students. She graciously shared the idea with me. I’ve now adapted it into multiple versions. Each time my homeschool students have said things like, “This is the coolest thing ever!” and “Can we do this again next week?”

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Passive Programming in December

A printed booklet with activities titled "The Very Merry Manual"

Like many other libraries, during the pandemic, our in-person programming was replaced with grab-and go style bagged activities. After several months and hundreds of bags, we decided December was a good time for a bag break! This month, we are celebrating the holiday season with simple passive programs that still feel special and fun. You can adapt many of these programs for any season. We hope some of these ideas will help ease your holiday stress!

Guest Blogger

Creativity without Rules

Crafts and children’s librarianship go hand in hand. The library system in which I work hosts several annual programs that are quite popular. Our Children’s Services department always provides some type of make-and-take craft for these types of events. Part of me loves the process of creating several hundred craft stick stars for kids to decorate with sequins and pom poms but other than a fun craft, I do not think kids get much out of these types of programs. I think that creativity is an important skill children need and we, as children’s librarians, can help foster that creativity. This is why I regularly offer process art programming at my library.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Fostering the Growth of Executive Functioning Skills in Children

The term executive functioning refers to an important set of skills that allow people to successfully navigate life. These skills include the ability to plan, self-evaluate, self-control, retain information, manage time, and organize thoughts and information. According to a useful infographic published by Harvard, these abilities are not innate to anyone, but may be learned by nearly everyone. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old tend to develop these skills rather rapidly, and this development is significantly bolstered by early childhood education and care (ECEC).  An exploratory report was published in May of this year, examining the effect of ECEC on children’s executive functioning skills at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to these important skills, the study also examined the effect of this care on language, and the difference socioeconomic status may make on the development of vocabulary and executive functioning. The study looked…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Using Yoga in Storytime

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. As libraries reopen, some have in-person storytimes, while other libraries are still exclusively online. Others have created a hybrid using both. No matter which way storytime is presented, we are all looking for fresh and inventive ways to help children learn and have a positive time during storytimes. One simple and fun way to welcome children back is to include yoga. Incorporating yoga in storytime is very easy to plan, given some simple dos and don’ts. Here are a few resources to help guide you.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

2022 We Look Forward To You

black background with caucasian hand marking chalk lines in countdown to the year 2022

Whether you’re holding on with frostbitten fingers to 2021 or planning for the summer of 2022, this newsletter has something for you! And either way, you made it through 2021. There are reasons to be optimistic heading into the new year. Read on, comrades! – This dreidel-making project is sure to give students’ summarizing skills a whirl! [READ MORE]– This reading passage teaches students about traditions associated with Hanukkah. [READ MORE]– Discovery Education’s Social-Emotional Learning Center is a collection of SEL resources that support you and your students. [LEARN MORE]– Want more activities for Hanukkah? [READ MORE] All Things Comics Disney+ confirms the WandaVision spinoff, Agatha: House of Harkness. Orange Marmalade and 9 other must-read school romance manhwa. Great YA comics from 2021 you don’t want to miss. Book Club Bonuses FREE DOWNLOAD: A Guide to Using All Because You Matter at Home and in the Classroom Written for Scholastic by educator Vera Ahiyya Click here to find the latest teachers guides, including…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Programs for Gratitude

Gratitude feels a little hard to come by this year. Maybe it’s just me. Normally at this time, I’d be prepping for programs to put on during Thanksgiving break. But programs around the holiday can be tricky. COVID restrictions might have changed how your library is able to program (it has for my system), and you might be short-staffed (from vacations, illness, or disaster service work). And that’s not even to mention the racism and colonialism involved in the holiday’s history. For these reasons, here are some programs (passive, with low staff involvement, and the ability to socially-distance) that you can do to celebrate thankfulness and gratitude.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Holiday Programming Planning

Holiday Programming Planning Now that you’ve eaten most of your Halloween candy, it’s time to seriously solidify your end of year programming. Here to help you with planning are tons of ideas, news, and much more! Read on, enjoy and, as always, best of luck! And just in case you are wondering — 22 Things to Do with Pumpkins After Halloween But first…*sniff* I’m Talkin’ Full Stream Here! New (& Cool) Kids’ Shows Coming to Netflix in November Billy Porter will direct and produce a feature adaptation of Camp, the young adult novel by Lev Rosen. Joey King and Chase Stokes Cast in Netflix Movie Based on Uglies Series Joey King and Chase Stokes have been cast to star in the Netflix movie adaptation of Uglies, based on Scott Westerfield’s young adult science-fiction series. Also cast in the upcoming film are Brianne Tju and Keith Powers. Netflix has yet to confirm who each of the actors…