Preschool Storytime – Counting

I’m determined to do at least a monthly storytime with preschoolers this year and already have some dates scheduled.  I did my first one yesterday.  I was planning on doing cat books (of course starring this one) but after I had practiced the books with my lower elementary classes (even 3rd grade – I mean, who doesn’t love Millions of Cats?), but after I had read it to all the classes, I let kids check out the books, including the Wanda Gág classic.  Quelle horreur!  Maybe I’ll save the best for last.

Thinking about my preschoolers, though, they are little.  Barely four, I figured having numbers and counting as a topic would be a winner.  And so it was!

I started with our welcome song, “The More We Get Together,” as sung by the Cedarmont Kids.

Image result for cedarmont kids

Then I introduced myself – I don’t do storytime with three-year-olds, so this is the first time most will have met me.  Then I counted the children – twenty-one in the morning group and eleven in the afternoon group.

Then I read the book 1-2-3 Counting that I picked up last weekend at Goodwill.

Image result for 1-2-3 counting book

It’s très adorable!  It opens up to panels of recognizable, high contrast images to aid visual development in the early stages (Google Books).  Since I was holding the book open (it opens to about three feet wide) I had the children read the book and tell me what it showed.  I think I’ll give this as a gift when someone has a baby.

Next was the book, Five Little Ducks illustrated by Ivan Bates, which we obviously sang along to as we read.

Image result for five little ducks ivan bates

Next was the book, Mouse Count by Ellen Stohl Walsh.  The preschoolers looked a bit horrified at the prospect of the snake eating the mice, but – spoiler alert! – there’s a happy ending.

Image result for mouse count book

The final book we also sang/read together, This Old Man, illustrated by Pam Adams.

Image result for this old man book

Then we closed with the Cedarmont Kids again (I need a different goodbye song – any ideas?).  I’ll see them again October 22, so I’ll have to think of a topic.  Maybe costume party?  What is your favorite October storytime?


I haven’t blogged in forever, but I want to talk about one of my great joys in life – preschool storytime!

On a listserv I’m on, there was a discussion about whether preschoolers come in to the library to check out books or not.  I suggested going to them and doing storytime.  I used to work for a public library in the children’s department, and just loved doing it.  I was quite good at it too, if I do say so myself!

So I put my money where my mouth is and started doing it again, after a two-year hiatus.  Yikes!  (I did it at school my first year, but then it pushed aside.)  Honestly, how can I not do this?  It’s not difficult, it’s super fun, and it just makes my day when I see one of the preschoolers out and about and I hear, “There’s my librarian!”

So I’ve already forgotten the books and finger plays I did last week, but here is what’s on tap for today:

Theme:  Puppies

Books:  Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar



Be My Friend, Floppy Puppy by Ann Tobias, illustrations by Dubravka Kolanovic



A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka


(I told the preschoolers about wordless books last week and promised I’d bring one soon.)



“The More We Get Together” – I use the Cedarmont Kids version and play it on my phone



“If I Were a Dog”

After my bath I try, try, try
To rub myself till I’m dry, dry, dry (rub arms)
Just think how much less time it would take
If I were a dog,
And could shake, shake shake! (shake body)



There was a farmer had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o!


“This Old Man”

This old man,he played one, (hold up one finger)
He played knick-knack on my thumb. (tap fists together)
With a knick-knack, paddy whack, (roll hands)
Give a dog a bone (hold hand out front, palm up)
This old man came rolling home. (roll hands)
… he played two, on my shoe. (tap shoe)
… he played three, on my knee. (tap knee)
…he played four, on the floor. (tap on floor)


My first stop when preparing for storytime always is Perry (Ohio) Public Library and their storytime resources.  I hope to visit their library someday and tell them as much.

And to close, here are some great puppy GIFs.  How can I use these in storytime . . . ?





The second project on my summer to-do list is:

One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten!

I first heard of this type of program last year from this blog post by the librarian blogger over at Bryce Don’t Play.  It’s mostly a thing that public libraries do, and it runs much like summer reading programs.  I did a similar you-read-and-log-your-books-and-maybe-win-a-prize type of program in my first year at MNW (I guess I never blogged about it!  It was called “Read Around the World” and we tracked the number of pages that our students “traveled” – one page equaled one mile).  A reprise of that didn’t interest me much, because how we had it set up, Donna and I were the ones who did all the work (well, except the reading, of course!).  There had to be a better way.

But when I did more research, I found this handout from the Colorado State Library, which included this link to a Massachusetts school and how they did the program.  Eureka!!  So we’re basically doing what they’ve done.  We will have 100-120 bags of ten books each available for checkout to children and families ages 0-5, not yet in kindergarten.  They will check out a bag for up to two weeks, and we will keep track of what bags they’ve checked out.  Parents will get a tracking sheet to keep at home.  When they’ve checked out 10 bags (100 books), there will be a small prize, then at 250, 500, 750, and at 1,000 books, they get a trophy and their picture in the newspaper.  The  benefits of this program are many, but the big one, of course, is that we better prepare students for kindergarten.  The program is open to all the families in our district, including homeschooling families (I homeschooled my kids!), and also families who already open enroll here.  We want to have this ready for the preschool open house in the fall, so, we better get to it!

The steps so far:

*Get artwork made – The intrepid Josh Anderson made this fabulous logo for the initiative.  Isn’t it fantastic??

1kb4k logo

*Send out letters to businesses asking for donations – Feel free to donate, too!  (We’ll send you a receipt for your donation.)

*Order the bags (Graphic Edge in Carroll – isn’t it great on the blue?)


*Figure out the logistics of the program – getting the books (Scholastic Book Fairs is helping provide those), creating the tracking sheets, building the space to keep the bags not checked out

There’s a lot more to be done, but we’re getting there.  I can’t wait to roll it out officially with parents and children in the fall!

World Read Aloud Day (Round-up)

It was a fast but fun morning for World Read Aloud Day.  What a great event, knowing that at hundreds – thousands? – of classrooms, schools, and libraries around the world readers are interacting in the same way.


Since we had four classes, about 100 hundred students, in the library at a time, we used a document camera when reading most of the books.

Mr. Wubben is our elementary PE teacher:


Mr. Wubben read Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile (ironic, no?) to the kindergarten classes:


I read two books but I should have timed it better – I know that those little books go faster than that!  So we had to fit a few in.

Mr. Anderson is the elementary art and TAG teacher (and an outstanding storyteller – I should watch my back!):


then read two books for the first and second graders:

 fox tikki

 Mr. Bleam is the elementary band and music teacher:


Mr. Bleam read a book about music, and even brought some samples of music by “The Piano Prince” like “Take the A Train”:


I did read a few books, too.  (Check out those reading glasses!)


My favorite one is Boing! by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Bruce Ingram:



Mr. Holloway, the principal at the junior-senior high in our district was our guest reader for the 5th-6th grade.  He has served as a basketball coach for some of the girls this year, but I’m glad he came over to read so all the students could see a male role model reading out loud on World Read Aloud Day:


Mr. Holloway read from one of his favorite books about leadership:


He read short pieces about procrastination, “beating the ref,” and finding real role models in life.  (He showed the students a painful – for Cyclone fans – clip from a recent men’s basketball game, but reminded them that this wasn’t the only chance his favorite team had had to win the game.)

I’ve seen a lot of schools and libraries connecting today with people far away, and that is admirable, especially for increasing global awareness.  But I was so glad for this opportunity to share some fun  books with students and for them to see positive role models – female and male – reading aloud.

Happy World Read Aloud Day!  Now, go read something – out loud!

It’s World Read Aloud Day!

It’s World Read Aloud Day!


It’s a half day today for students – professional development in the afternoon – so we’re doing a whirlwind of read alouds in the morning.  The “specials” teachers have graciously let me have all the students today, so we’ll have four classes of kindergarten at once, four classes of 1st and 2nd graders, etc.  We moved the tables:


Put down some rugs:


Picked out books (for kindergarteners):


And first and second graders:


And third and fourth graders:


And fifth and sixth graders:


And that’s just what I’m reading.  Special guest readers for each group.

T minus 35 minutes!  (More pics to come . . . )

(Sorry about the ad below . . . I guess I should pay to get rid of those if it bothers me that much . . . )

Colorful storytime

It’s been awhile since I did story time, but we’re back!  I’m going to do it once a month (which is really 3 times in a week as there are three different preschool classes).  Since it’s gray out, the theme was COLORS!

Of course we started with the welcome/goodbye song, “The More We Get Together” by the Cedarmont Kids:


Then Color Farm by Lois Ehlert.  I love this book because it gives preschoolers the chance to show off – colors, shapes, farm animals, and animal sounds all in one book.  (Although I forgot to switch the titles for 1st grade on Monday and read this, to which one student said, “Why are we reading baby books?”  Fair enough!)


Then we voted on the color of their parents’ cars, and we sang a couple of verses:

1 little, 2 little, 3 little (red) cars, 
4 little, 5 little, 6 little (red) cars,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little (red) cars,
Going down the street.

Then Freight Train by Donald Crews:


Then a song I learned from teaching children at church:

Choo-choo, the big train is coming down the tracks.
Choo-choo the big train is coming down the tracks.
Stop, look, and listen,
Stop, look, and listen,
Choo-choo the big train is coming down the tracks.

Then Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  This one is great as kids can show off their color mixing prowess.  The 4-year olds knew those, but 3-year olds didn’t yet.  They’ll learn!


I thought of doing the Hokey Pokey here (like how the mice put their feet into the paint), but I thought that would get too wild and crazy.

The last book I did doesn’t exactly have anything to do with color, other than it being colorful.  I read Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe:


Then we closed with “The More We Get Together.”



Libraries and books storytime

Preschool storytime started again at MNW today.  What a great way to start the week!

We started with “The More We Get Together” by Cedarmont Kids.  I think I should try to find a new song, but it’s so easy for the kids to learn it and if I forget my iPhone, it’s easy enough for me to sing a capella. 

I introduced myself and explained that later in the year, they’ll come down and visit the library.  I’m going to do storytime every Monday for the four-year-olds (a morning and an afternoon class) and the Friday three-year-olds. 

I first read Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk:

I ended up winging it halfway through – it’s pretty long in parts for new preschoolers – but what a fun book!  I see there’s others with this character; I’ll have to check them out.  I wish I had brought little blank paper booklets like Sam the Mouse used to create his books.  I don’t think I’m ready for crafts in storytime, though . . .

Next I read Baby Bear’s Books by Jane Yolen:

Then we did a fingerplay from this RIF site, “Open Shut Them” (I reworked it a bit so it was about books). 

Then I read Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss.  I love this book – and it’s fun to show the students the first word in the title, and then have them read the title themselves. 

Then we sang a song, also from the RIF site, “Ten Little Children” (reading a book).  I think I worried the preschool teacher that I was going to sing the original song that has this tune . . .

Then I showed the book, Librarians by Dee Ready and talked about what librarians do:

Then I read The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore.  The kids did a great job remembering what it was that the rabbit, bear, mice, fox, and worm thought the book was (a house, a hat, a table, a bed, and a snack, respectively).  What good listeners!

Then we sang “The More We Get Together.”  I did this rundown again for the TK class and will use it again during the week.  I also have Biblioburro by Jeanette Winters, A Book by Mordicai Gerstein, That Book Woman by Heather Henson, and Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne Naden to share with older students.

I’m looking into a program for preschoolers, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, that I read about when I got caught up on my RSS this weekend.  If you’re like me and have innumerable posts to read, just keep at it – don’t delete!  You might miss something great like I would have, had I deleted them.  Of course, they are piling up again, and I found some new blogs to follow, too . . .