Sunday, May 31, 2015

STEM Saturday: Marble Runs

For our final STEM Saturday of the spring, we had fun with tubes and tape, cups and cardboard. We made runs for marbles, investigating as we constructed and changing our design until it worked. This was a fun session that we will definitely hold again next fall or winter. In the meantime, STEM Saturday is on hold for the summer months and will likely resume in September when school starts up again. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On The Farm

These are the books we read as we learned about farms and their activities. E-I-E-I-O: How Old Macdonald Got His Farm with a Little Help from a Hen by Judy Sierra is set in a city and tells about MacDonald building his farm right in the middle of apartment buildings. Otis, by Loren Long, is about an old tractor who finds he can do things a bigger, newer tractor cannot do. The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson is a funny story about favorite foods of farm animals, but the cow loves...well, you know!

We colored Old MacDonald's family and farm animals, and glued each member to a cardboad stick to make small puppets! They were stored away in a paper bag turned barn. When a child wants to sing the song, he can have each of the animals stand in the barn door as he sings!
An animal parade was requested - so we had one! There were a lot of moo-moo heres and moo-moo theres. Everywhere a moo-moo!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crazy 8s Club: I Spy

In this week's Crazy 8's Club at New Hampton Community School, we learned about codes and solving puzzles. We solved word puzzles using "pigpen" and alphabet codes. But the most fun was cryptograms, from easy to hard, some with letter boxes so tiny we needed to use our magnifying glasses! Math concepts in these puzzles were pattern recognition and completion, association between sets, and probability.

We had so much fun, we forgot to take pictures! Oops!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Red, White, & Blue

With the holiday weekend coming up, we're seeing a lot more of the reds, whites, and blues that represent our flag and our country. At Storytime, we reads books that featured each color. Red Wagon by Renata Liwska told of Lucy, who makes work into play by using her imagination with her new wagon. Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes was about a bunny who imagined himself it many different forms. And in Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, Duck asks for his friends' help in finding his socks!
Look! First, we creatively decorated red, white and blue stars, both large and small, then glued them around the perimeter of a paper plate to make a beautiful and patriotic decoration for the upcoming holiday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two Bad Ants

When the New Hampton Community School "Primary Patrons" came to the library today, we read one of Mr. McCann's favorite Chris Van Allsberg's books, Two Bad Ants. In it, two ants depart from their colony and decide to live where the food source is - in someone's kitchen! They end up having all sorts of dangerous, scary, and sometimes funny mishaps before they realize that they miss their home and their ant friends.

After a brief discussion of ant characteristics and ant body parts, each student used their "pointer finger print' to make an ant head, thorax, and abdomen. Legs and antennae were added with pencil, then a fitting ant scene was colored in around them. Even though I would like to have kept their work here in the Children's Room, students took their artwork home at the end of our session.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Now is the time that many people think about gardens, so we read a few books about them this week in Storytime. Flower Garden by Eve Bunting told about a little girl making a surprise garden for her mother. The real surprise for us was seeing where she planted it! Grandpa's Garden by Stella Fry was about a boy and his grandfather planting a garden, tending it through the summer, and harvesting from it in the fall. Can you guess what they did with some of the fall seeds they found? Finally, The Giant Vegetable Garden by Nadine Bernard Westcott told the very sad tale of a town of people who were determined to win the prize for the finest vegetables at the fair. 

Then we set about making our own garden of flowers, using green paper for stems and leaves and cupcake liners for the blossoms. Into the liners, we collaged all sorts of materials for the flowers' centers. A few spring stickers made the project complete!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crazy 8s Club: It's About Time

This week in Crazy 8s Club at NHCS, we explored time in different increments. We estimated the passing of time in seconds, then used stopwatches to check accuracy. We lined up in birthday order. We became human clocks!

Using our knuckles, we learned a quick way to remember the number of days in each month. It's easy! Here's a link to a photo showing what we did:

We did a "Ridiculous Challenge" where some kids held a silly pose for what they thought was 20 seconds while others stopped their stopwatches when they thought the twenty seconds had passed. Still others recorded the amount of actual time as it passed. We found that the more kids played the game, the better they became at estimating how long twenty seconds really was. 

We also talked about phrases that use the word one at a time, the time of your life, in the nick of time...can you think of others? Add to the list by clicking in the comment bubble above. Take your time!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day - WOW!

Since Mother's Day is coming, we read these Storytime books that featured moms. My Mother is So Smart by Tomie DePaola told about all the amazing things that mothers can do. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams was about a family who lost their belongings in a fire, and the ways they helped themselves recover. In Alexander's Pretending Day by Bunny Crumpacker, a boy and his mother play a game of imagining. The Mother's Day Mice by Eve Bunting is a favorite, about mice children's plans to surprise their mother on her special day.
For our own mothers, we decorated a plain cut-out of the word WOW. We used crayons and markers, stickers and sparkles. And when we turned the WOW upside down, look what it said!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Primary Patrons

Until school ends, young students from The New Hampton Community School will be visiting the library weekly as part of the Project Promise After School Program. Miss Markey and Mr. McCann from NHCS will accompany the children.

For our first visit, I read Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk, about a mouse who lived in the library and came out at night to write books. After a tour of the library, kids created bookmarks to take back to school with them. Next week, they'll get to take out a book to bring back to school, too! I'm looking forward to this fun after school club!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Crazy 8s Club: Let's Get Loud!

At our second Crazy 8s Club session, we investigated a bit with pitch and volume. First, we blew across the tops of fat straws and noted the sound it made. Then we covered the bottom of the straw and noticed how the sound changed. Then we moved our straws up and down in a glass of water as we blew across the top and we observed how the pitch changed. Finally, we measured accurately and cut eight straws to specific lengths to make a pan flute. If we measured and cut wrong, we knew the pitch would not be correct. We all tried playing "Twinkle, Twinkle" on our new flutes. It worked!