Monday, June 30, 2014

Mad Science Show: Spin, Pop, BOOM!

Don't forget Tuesday night's science performance by Mad Science! Jet-Stream Jocelyn will be wowing us with amazing science experiments and fantastic science facts! She'll even be taking volunteers from the audience to help out! The show begins at 6:30pm downstairs in the Gordon-Nash Library. Come one, come all!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Robots at Storytime

Today we had two Story Times that continued our Summer Reading Programming. Thursday sessions this summer will feature several stories and a science-related craft or activity. Our first one was about - robots!

We read Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, about a small boy and a robot who meet and have fun, but then don't know how to help each other when each 'malfunctions'. The next story was about a robot boy named Doug who unplugs from his downloading to go out and have fun in the city. The name of the book? Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino. Clink by Kelly DiPucchio was about an old and rusty robot that lived in a small shop and tried so hard to be noticed (and he was). Rabbit and Robot, The Sleep Over is a chapter book, so we only read one chapter. It's a funny story about Rabbit and Robot planning a sleepover together. In the first chapter, Rabbit put lettuce, carrots, and snow peas on his pizza while Robot added nuts, bolts, and screws to his! We think the author, Cece Bell, should write more Rabbit and Robot books!
Our craft was a stand-up robot with a silver-painted, toilet-paper roll base. There were all sorts of stick-on embellishments, like colored dots, felt pads, cardboard, stars, and labels and lots of silver and colored foil paper. Kids built their robot to their liking, and added pipe cleaners for either antennae or handles! Each robot was so unique! Have a look!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SRP Kick-off: Robots and Friends

Last night's kick-off for the Summer Reading Program was great fun! Kids had a chance sign up for the program or to check in with Mrs. Simard to record the books they've already read. Then everyone went downstairs to create a paper robot while catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

A clear CD envelope was the robot's base. Kids chose a piece of clear plastic or an index card to decorate as the mechanism inside the robot. There was so many materials to choose from to make the robot's insides: buttons, wires, sticky dots, colored foil, washers, reinforcements, pipe cleaners, cardboard - and lots more! Each robot's mechanism was very different!
Can you see the robot's heart?

Finally, kids gave their robot faces, arms, legs, even feet! Some were jointed with brads for elbows and knees! They were all so different and creative!
Before the evening finished, we read two robot books and picked up the weekly prize - a science-themed poster to color and fill in with information about favorite books, activities, movies, and more. These can be hung on walls at home - or brought back to hang at the library! We had such a creative and fun first week! Come join us next Tuesday at 6:30 for the Mad Science Show!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ready for Robots!

Materials are ready for the Robot StoryHour and craft! All we need now is KIDS!
The Summer Reading Program starts tonight! Come on down to the GNL!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Reading Program Starts This Week!

Our Summer Reading Program will be starting in just a few days! Are you ready? 

This Tuesday night from 6:30-7:30, kids will have time to sign up with Mrs. Simard if you have not already, and you'll receive a log sheet to record all the books and chapters you read this summer. There will be time to borrow books to take home in your new Fizz Boom Read book bag. After that, join us downstairs for a robot story or two and a robot craft. Don't forget to take your poster prize before you go home!

Thursday we will have our regularly scheduled Storytime from 10:45-11:45, and the session will be repeated from 2-3pm. The theme for this session is also robots, but the activity will be different, with not as many tiny pieces and parts.

Mark your calendars for the Mad Science Show on Tuesday, July 1st at 6:30pm! It's going to be spectacular!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beach Day!

Today was a beautiful day for the beach - at Storytime! We read about the beach, made an ocean craft, and even played with sand!

Sunglasses are important at the beach, so the first book we read was Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by James Dean. Our old friend Pete thought it was his sunglasses that made him feel fine, but we knew better than that! Then we read Miranda's Beach Day by Holly Keller and talked about the things we see at the ocean that we can't find at the lake. I Saw the Sea and the Sea Saw Me by Megan Montague Cash told of all the sights and sounds a young child experiences at the ocean. And some of us listened to and looked at Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Mélanie Watt, a richly illustrated story about a squirrel's first time at the beach!

Do octopi live in the lake? NO! But each child made an octopus from a paper plate, pipe cleaners, and colored ziti*! After they made a face on their octopus plate, kids added eight pipe cleaner legs, then strung each with multicolored noodles! It was a lot of work - but it was great fun!

After the stories were read and the crafts were completed, we played with sand - kinetic sand, that is! This sand molds just like real sand but structures dissolve away when you touch them! It's made for indoor play! We had so much fun making spheres and cubes, snowmen and pancakes! If you ever want to come to the library to play with this fun sand, just ask for it at the desk!
*Here's how to make colored pasta: 
Mix up a few teaspoons of rubbing alcohol with a few drops of food coloring. Pour it over uncooked pasta in a paper bag. Support the bottom of the bag as you shake it a few times. Check the color. When all the pasta is colored, spread it out on newspaper to dry. If you're a kid, check with an adult before you do this! You might be coloring tomorrow night's dinner!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Something Fishy!

Boats are back on the lakes and fishing season has begun! So today we read quite a few books about fish. We began with The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, a rhythmic, rhyming book about a fish who tries to spread "dreary-wearies" with his pouting face, and what happens to turn his attitude around. Children had fun joining in with parts of this repetitive book. We read The Rainbow Fish, an old favorite by Marc Pfister that tells the story of a beautiful fish with silver scales and how she brought happiness to her fishy friends. In Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni, a fish longs to see the world that his tadpole-turned-frog tells him about. Fish Had a Wish by Michael Garland is a quick read about a fish who imagines himself to be lots of other animals. And Gone Fishing by Earlene R. Long told about a day of fishing with a boy and his dad.
Kids cut a triangle mouth from a paper plate, then turned the cut piece around and glued it to the back to make a fin for their fish! Bodies were collaged with scraps of blue, green, and yellow tissue - and everyone got a "sparkle", like Rainbow Fish had, and a googly eye so their fish could see where to swim!
After Story Time was over, some young patrons lingered around the craft table, coloring, sharing crayons, and making friends.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chemical Reactions

What happens when you mix up a little hydrogen peroxide, yeast, and dish soap? NHCS Story Scientists investigated this chemical reaction after hearing sections of the 2013 Newbery Award winning book The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Ivan is a silverback gorilla in captivity and is the main character in this story. Ivan has a good friend named Stella, who is an old but wise elephant. Both animals are on display in the Exit 8 Big Top Mall, a sad place for an animal to live. We read four short chapters about Stella, which told us a lot about her character and also showed us the author's style of writing. This book tells a quite compelling story about caged animals. It's a very quick read with short paragraphs and chapters. It's an excellent book for anyone who's interested in animals!

Then, for the experiment! Materials were distributed and safety glasses were donned.
Students placed a recycled bottle in the middle of the cake pan, then poured in hydrogen peroxide. Nothing happened. They added food coloring and the hydrogen peroxide took on the color. They added a squirt of dish soap. Nothing happened. 
Next they mixed yeast and water together in a small cup until the yeast dissolved. They carefully poured the yeast mixture into the container with the hydrogen peroxide. The yeast was the catalyst!
And here's what happened. 
See why it's called "elephant toothpaste"?
Students noted that the mixture and the bottle both felt warm due to the reaction between the hydrogen peroxide and the yeast. In a second trial, we added a lot more dish soap, and the mixture took on a sudsy quality rather than the smooth one you see here. This was our last attempt - a show for some of the onlookers who were in other groups. We mixed red and blue food coloring, hoping for purple elephant toothpaste! It was more like lavender!
Here's the link to the experiment
Don't forget your safety glasses!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Presenting the SRP at NHCS

I am here today at the New Hampton Community School to tell classes about the GNL's Summer Reading Program, Fizz Boom Read! I have spoken with most classes for a few minutes while they were in ICT in the Library Media Center (thanks, Mrs. Marcotte!), telling them about the structure of the program, and outlining some of the fun science programming and presentations we are planning. With a few classes, we did a fast experiment with some kitchen chemistry. In one class, I even read a story, parts of Rabbit and Robot, a funny story by Cece Bell about two friends planning a sleepover.
I made a bookmark for each of the children with the dates and descriptions of all the library's summer events. They were in the robot bag, above - the curly pipe cleaners look a little like the robot's hair, don't you think? 

My hope is that kids bring these bookmarks home to keep and that families refer to them as they plan their summer fun. I also hope these bookmarks mark the pages in lots and lots of books that kids read over the summer months!
Finally, I hope I see lots and lots of my NHCS friends at the library this summer! 
Happy Reading!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Melanie's Mantle: Summer

For months now, Melanie, our craftiest librarian at the Gordon-Nash, has been decorating the fireplace mantle in the Children's Room with amazing paper creations like these. Adults often detour through the Children's Room just to marvel at her work. And, of course, the children love them. So, starting with this month, we're going to feature Melanie's Mantle here on the blog so you can see the photos.

With our Fizz Boom Read! Summer Program coming up, Melanie has created this amazing robot display. The photos don't do these works-of-art justice! Next time you're in the library, come in and see them up close!

I just love the sassy blue robot with the gears! Post a comment in the speech bubble to tell us which is your favorite!

Fizz! Boom!...SOON!

In just a few short weeks, this year's Summer Reading Program will begin! The theme is Fizz! Boom! Read! - and it's all about SCIENCE! Throughout the summer, there will be several chances each week for kids to come to the library, show your reading log, and have a FUN hour of science-related stories and activities!

Our Tuesday evening sessions will run from 6:30-7:30 and be geared to elementary age kids. We will also continue our weekly Story Times on Thursday mornings from 10:45-11:45 and again from 2-3 in the afternoon, with the focus being science-based stories and a related craft which would be appropriate for elementary age or younger children. That said, any age child may attend any of the sessions.

Here's a peek at the line-up for this year's Summer Reading Program!

Tuesday evenings: 6:30-7:30
  • June 24: Robot Story hour & craft (and sign up, if you haven't already!)
  • July 1: Presentation by Mad Science!
  • July 8: That's Gross! Goop, Slime, and Oobleck
  • July 15: Animal Camouflage & Mimicry with Barry Draper
  • July 22: LegoYourMind workshop (sign-up required, limit 25 participants)
  • July 29: It's a Blast! Rockets & Geysers
  • August 5: Lindsay & Her Puppet Pals and Ice Cream Party!  
Thursdays: 10:45-11:45 AM and 2-3 PM* - Story Hour & Science craft or activity
  • June 26: Robots
  • July 3: Water
  • July 10: Colors
  • July 17: Beetles & Bugs
  • July 24: Construction
  • July 31: Rockets
  • August 7: Weather
Are you getting excited? I sure am!! Feel free to leave your comment in the speech bubble above! And keep an eye on this space for more details and updates! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Farm

Building on our tractor theme of last week, today we finished up reading about farms and gardens. Finally, we read Otis by Loren Long, a favorite book about a sweet little tractor who finds himself replaced by a bigger and better machine. In the end, though, Otis saves the day! We also read another version of Old Macdonald Had a Farm, this one by Jane Cabrera. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming tells the story of Mr. McGreely's and the steps he took to keep animals from snacking on the vegetables in his garden! Finally, another favorite, The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend, was about Jack the cat who plots to get fresh eggs for omelets! i Carumba! It's such a funny story!

Because we were still reading about farms, children were given the option of doing last week's tractor craft or our new one about Old MacDonald and his animals. Some did both! A paper bag was the base of the barn and pieces for the barn, roof, and door were glued to it. People and animals in the story were colored (or not!) and inserted in the bag so they could be brought out and hidden behind the barn door as children sang the song. Old MacDonald even had a wife - and a baby!