Saturday, October 31, 2015

Storytime Saturday: Halloween!!!

Weren't we lucky that Storytime Saturday this month fell on Halloween?! This morning, kids came to the library in their costumes so we could read some stories and make some crafts - and listen to some Halloween music while we worked.
Everyone went home with a trick-or-treat goodie bag, a DD munchkin or two, and a scary spider ring! Happy Halloween - and as Charlie says - "BOO!"
Beautiful Brandie!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Spooooky Storytime

On a day very close to Halloween, Storytime kids heard four stories about spooky times. In Halloween Day by Anne Rockwell, children dress in costume during their day at school, but where can their teacher be? Very Scary by Tony Johnston, told of the biggest pumpkin in the patch attracting the attention of an owl, a black cat, crickets, and something scary!
In Halloween Mice by Bethany Roberts, mice find a clever way to scare off a cat who is following them in the dark! As for Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, three helpful animals find the witch's missing things, and the only thing they want in return is a ride on her broom. Watch the movie to see what happens to the witch and her friends!
Between stories, we made a spooky paper plate ghost to hang on Halloween night. It had long white arms and big black eyes with glow-in-the-dark stickers in the middle. Long strips of newspaper glued to hang from the plate looked like a wispy ghost body. A string on top made a loop to hang it with - and to make him swoop around the room!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Rains Came....

and we were just not able to have our last session with NHCS's Project Promise students at the I came to them at the school. We read John Pig's Halloween, then made a haunted house from a paper bag! Thanks to Project Promise for letting the Gordon-Nash outreach to their after school program!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Because of Winn Dixie Party

Here I am, a guest at the fourth grade "Winn Dixie" party at the New Hampton Community School! The class recently read Because of Winn Dixie, a wonderful book by Kate DiCamillo, and today teacher Scott McCann and several parents surprised the students by replicating a party in one of the pivotal scenes in the story. I was honored to be asked to represent Miss Franny Block, the librarian in the story and one of the party guests. This outfit is the closest thing I own to a 'fancy green dress', and I'm carrying the Gordon-Nash's copy of Gone With The Wind, a book Miss Franny recommends that main character Opal Buloni read. Thanks to another book character and party guest, "The Preacher" (Rev. Scott Mitchell) for snapping this picture - and thanks to Mr. McCann for inviting me to the party!

As guests munched on egg salad sandwiches and drank Dump Punch, several fourth graders gathered around to study my old book. Turning to the copyright page, we found it had been published in MCMXXXVI! Huh? Out came the math books and the Roman Numeral chart! 1936 - wow!

Pumpkin Time

This time of year, everywhere you look, there are pumpkins! Today we read three funny stories about them. First, we read about our old friends, Duck and Goose in Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills. Then we read Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas, about a duck who scares his friends while carving a pumpkin. Finally, we read The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll, about two mice who each decided to take good care of the same pumpkin and the funny and amazing things that happened when they did! Wow!

On a plain white paper plate, we collaged lots of orange textures - paper, foam, tissue and crepe paper, yarn - and then added eyes and mouths from cut-out shapes. Some of us made eyeballs and teeth on the black shapes using white chalk.
Lastly, we added a corrugated cardboard stem to make the jack-o'-lantern complete!

We also sang "Five Little Pumpkins", like this!

Monday, October 19, 2015

STEM Saturday: Potions & Polymers

What a fun STEM Saturday we had, predicting, measuring and concocting with kitchen and craft materials! First, we donned our safety glasses, Next, we made oobleck that oozed through our fingers, then magically became a solid when we squeezed it! The goopy slime we made stretched from high above our heads all the way down to the table. Ewwww - what slimey fun we had with these polymers!
Next, we made eruptions by pouring vinegar onto a cup of cornstarch. We used pipettes to control the amounts. Kool-aid mixed in made our experiments colorful and good-smelling! More vinegar made more bubbles! What a reaction!
Finally, we got creative by adding all sorts of liquids (and solids!) to our potions - soap, apple cider vinegar, even oil. Glitter made it sparkle, heart candy floated through it. Fun!
Even after you stir and stir and STIR, cornstarch, vinegar, and oil each make their own layer. Isn't it a pretty potion?

Next STEM Saturday - November 7th at 10:45. We'll be experimenting and having fun with marble runs!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bats (At The Library!)

Storytime this week was all about bats! We read four bat books and made a bat to take home. We began with  Bats at the Library by Brian Lies, about a colony of bats that visit a library like ours one night when a window is left ajar. Can you imagine what they did there? We also read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon about a baby bat who finds himself living with and imitating a bird family. Hello Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde, on loan from another library, told true facts about a bat so tiny that his wingspan is only six inches! Finally, Home in the Cave by Janet Halffman was realistic fiction that told how bats who live in caves help support the ecosystem there.
The bats we made had cylindrical bodies with wings decorated with white crayon and brilliant glitter glue. They had pointy ears and eyes made of reinforcements. They dangled from a drinking straw that could be held up and swung around to make the bat fly! Weeeee! Fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


This week, the Crazy 8s kids made catapults from popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a plastic spoon. Kids used a pencil for a fulcrum, then experimented with other size fulcrums, like using a fat marker. They catapulted mini-marshmallows into the air and measured and recorded their distance. Again this week, we had so much fun with math!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fall Fun

Leaves are changing and it's time to read about fall! Our first story was Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson, about a mouse and his friend playing outside in autumn. Then we read Leaves by David Ezra Stein, where a curious bear watches a tree change through the seasons. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert was a beautiful book with pages and pages of animals and scenery all made with leaves! In our last book, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rowlinson, we watched Fletcher trying to fix his favorite tree when the leaves began to fall from it.

With a brown paper trunk and branches and colorful tissue paper "leaves", many of us made beautiful fall trees for our craft.
And some of us simply drew one!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Toilet Paper Athletes!

Today the Crazy 8s kids investigated size and distance using nonstandard and standard units of measurement. We estimated, then confirmed, the size of one toilet paper square, then guessed how many squares tall our partner was. We also tried to guess how many squares were in a roll!
Next we measured out long lengths of toilet paper in the hallway and each of us recorded our long jumps on it. Then we measured the distance of our jumps using a tape measure. We learned how to lock it so it wouldn't snap back on our fingers when it got really long!
Finally, we heaved toilet paper rolls like a shot put and again, we recorded the lengths and then measured them.  We saved the rolls we didn't use so we can do it again. It was so much fun to measure with toilet paper!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Eeek! Spiders!!

It's October, and time to start thinking about Halloween! Today we read about spiders, but none of them were the scary kind! We read Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider who had no time to play or visit with friends because he was so busy. The Roly-Poly Spider by Jill Sardegna was about a spider who tricked his prey into coming into his sticky web. Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk was about poor, misunderstood Miss Spider, who only wanted to have friends to tea! And the Itsy Bitsy Spider was an adaption of the poem we know about the spider going "up the water spout!"

Then we set to work weaving webs on paper plates with yarn, then making unique spiders for each!

What a scary spider!