Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thanks! giving

Since this week's was the last storytime before Thanksgiving, today we read about being thankful and, of course, about turkeys! We read Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, about Bear and his bare cupboard and his friends who, one by one, contributed to his fall feast. We read Eve Bunting's A Turkey For Thanksgiving and listened and responded as Mr. Moose and his friends found a turkey for Mrs. Moose's Thanksgiving dinner. We finished with This is the Turkey by Abby Levine about a boy and his family getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Then we made a turkey from a plate, colored paper feathers, and a toilet paper roll for the head and body. We chose our own colors for feathers and some of us notched them or snipped them with scissors to make them look real.
The turkey had googly eyes and an orange paper beak. We also added red crepe paper for the turkey's snood and wattle! See?
Gobble-gobble! Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Crazy 8s: Sound's Pitch and Volume

In Math Club this week, we investigated pitch and volume in sounds. We began by experimenting with the sounds made when we blew across the top of a fat milkshake straw. After we practiced blowing across the top to produce a sound, we placed the bottom of the straw in a cup of water and noted how the pitch of the sound changed.
Then we taped milkshake straw of various heights together to make a "pan flute"! It really worked, with the longest straws making a lower pitched tone and the shorter straws making a higher pitched one.
Before we left Math Club, we played our flutes as loudly as we could from different distances. We measure the volume of the sound in waves using a sound meter on an iPhone. Before we left, we packed up our pan flutes so we could make music at home!

Monday, November 13, 2017

STEM Storytime: Balloons Over Broadway

Have you ever watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? It happens in New York City every year, it's full of floats, marching bands, and giant balloons, and it's always on television Thanksgiving morning. At this month's STEM Storytime, we read Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet, and learned all about Tony Sarg, the person who invented and engineered the parade's giant balloons. We learned his balloons were inspired by his puppet collection! So we engineered a rod puppet a bit like the one that Tony had.
We fastened together shapes using tape for immobile parts and brads for the arm part that moved. We gave our puppet a face, hair, and clothes from crayon or paper. We attached a milkshake straw rod to the puppet's hand so it could move its arm and a cardboard handle so we could hold it.
Each puppet looked different - but they all could wave! We took our puppets home to embellish them more and to make our own puppet shows!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Food, Glorious Food!

In anticipation of this month's holiday, today we read about food. We began with In November by Cynthia Rylant, one of my favorite picture books. It shows some familiar autumn events and activities, and ends with adults and children coming together for a family meal. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper told about three friends who made soup together, each with their own specific contribution, and what happened one day when one friend tried another's job. Today is Monday by Eric Carle showed a different food (and animal) for every day of the week. Piggie asked Elephant to try a taste of his food in I Really Like Slop by Mo Willems. Elephant's reaction was very funny! And in How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen, we read about how impolite dinosaurs can be at mealtimes! But not us!

Then we decorated the rims of paper plates to make them look fancy! After that, we began to place on them representations of our favorite foods, like paper bag meats or fish, cotton ball potatoes, yarn spaghetti, green pom-pom peas...there were so many different foods depicted!
YUM! What a delicious-looking plate!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Crazy 8s: Glow-in-the-Dark Shapes

What an exciting day this was for me! Today we kicked off Gordon-Nash's yearly outreach to the New Hampton Community School's Afterschool Program. Each Tuesday for eight weeks, I'll be presenting a "Crazy 8s" Math Club to some of the kindergarten, first, and second graders, assisted by Miss Markey, who will help link the content to the school's math programs. Math Club will be full of fun number and concept activities with interesting materials provided by the Bedtime Math Foundation. This is the fourth year that the library has offered this exciting outreach program to NHCS, and the Gordon-Nash is grateful for this collaboration with our community school.

Today club members investigated some plane (2D) geometry. We reviewed the attributes of shapes, like their sides, their angles, the perimeter. Using glow sticks, kids made regular polygons like triangles, squares, and hexagons, then experimented with repeating patterns of shapes. Most of this, we did in a darkened room, so we could watch our work glow!

Saturday, November 4, 2017


We read this week about families and their members, then represented our own families with a craft. We read about babies and the grown-ups who love them in More More More Said the Baby by Vera Williams. In Taking Care of Mama by Mitra Modarressi we read about a Raccoon family trying to do all the household chores and take care of the baby while Mama Raccoon was sick in bed! The child in I Lost My Bear by Jules Feiffer appealed to family members for help when she couldn't find her missing toy. Our last book, The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins featured a mother who made wonderful cookies and her kind children who has lots of friends! For some people, friends are family!

Using foam shapes, we made our families on a square paper plate shaped like a house. There were lots of different types of families, including a family of birds!