Children's Programs and Services

Back-to-School with Coteaching: Reading Comprehension Strategies and Instructional Partnerships

For this guest post we welcome Judi Moreillon, author of several books including the recent ALA Editions title Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact.

 

All across the country the new school year is getting underway. As school librarians consider their unique contributions to learning and teaching in their schools this year, they can make time to review and recommit to their role in reading.

The American Association of School Librarian’s published a position statement on the School Librarian’s Role in Reading that notes: “Guiding learners to become engaged and effective users of ideas and information and to appreciate literature requires that they develop as strategic readers who can comprehend, analyze, and evaluate text in both print and digital formats” (AASL 2007) More recently, AASL published an infographic based on the findings of a National Center for Literacy Education research study that opens with the charge for school librarians to strengthen their commitment to building collaborative cultures in their school learning communities.

So how can school librarians maximize their impact on student learning outcomes this school year?

In school districts and states where the Common Core State Standards are being rolled out with a strong emphasis on English Language Arts (ELA) or where other literacy initiatives are being promoted (see TEKS ELA-Reading Figure #19), improving students’ reading comprehension proficiency is a top priority.

Research in the field of school librarianship has consistently shown that when school librarians collaborate with classroom teachers the results are evidenced in reading scores on standardized tests. Library Research Service has recently posted an infographic that illuminates the strong correlation between students’ reading scores and the work of school librarians.

In my professional books for school librarians and classroom teachers, I provide background information on seven reading comprehension strategies that can be applied across content areas, with multiple text formats, and with different genres. These strategies are aligned with the AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (see my alignment charts here and here). Each of my books, one written for educators serving at the elementary level and the other for those at the secondary level, provides twenty-one sample lesson plans that specify how educators can coteach in order to motivate, model, guide students’ practice, and coassess the students’ progress in applying these strategies. The ALA Editions Web Extras for these books include downloadable graphic organizers, sample student work, rubrics, and other assessment tools—in short, everything school librarians and classroom teachers need to implement these lessons on Monday morning (see below).

If you are a school librarian who is committed to helping students become effective users of ideas and information and producers of knowledge, then aligning reading comprehension strategies with information literacy is a win-win-win situation.

A win for students who can learn to independently analyze texts in all formats and content areas; a win for classroom teachers who have a partner with whom to teach these essential strategies; and a win for school librarians who can use their role in teaching reading comprehension to demonstrate their value as leaders on their school’s literacy teams…

Check out these essential resources:

Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact (ALA Editions, 2013) and the Web Extras

Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Secondary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact (ALA Editions, 2012) and the Web Extras

Meet the Authors at ALA Annual

 

Attending the 2013 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition? Make sure to carve out some time in your schedule and stop by the ALA Store to meet our authors and get an autographed copy of their books!

All the events below will take place in the Exhibit Hall at the ALA Store, booth #1224, an ideal location for easy access and convenient browsing:

 

Friday, June 28             

  • Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Linda Ernst, Saroj Ghoting, and Dorothy Stoltz: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

early literacy experts and authors of such books as Mother Goose on the Loose, Baby Rhyming Time, Every Child Ready for School, and Storytimes For Everyone!

 

Saturday, June 29            

  • Catherine Hakala-Ausperk: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

author of the new book Build a Great Team: One Year to Success and the bestseller Be a Great Boss: One Year to Success

  • Tina Coleman and Peggie Llanes: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

authors of the new book The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects 2

 

Sunday, June 30              

  • Julia Sweeney and Rob Christopher: 11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

contributors to Queue Tips: Discovering Your Next Great Movie

  • Kenning Arlitsch: 3:00-4:00 p.m.

co-author of the new book Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide

  • Aaron D. Purcell: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

author of Academic Archives: Managing the Next Generation of College and University Archives, Records, and Special Collections
 

All books by these authors will be 20% off the list price (an additional 10% off the ALA Member price). Use the Conference Scheduler to plan your time!

Children’s Programming Monthly Subscribers: November Issue Ready for Download

Children’s Programming Monthly subscribers can access the November issue and our 12-month archive at http://alaeditions.org/cpm.

The November issue, Me, Me, Me, focuses on one of a child's favorite subjects: ME. From exploring how the body moves and putting names to feelings to becoming more independent, the programs, listed below are spot on.

  • The Name Game
  • Feelings
  • Me Baby
  • Where is Your Belly Button / Donde esta tu ombligo?
  • All About Me
  • Name Necklaces

Not a subscriber? Learn more and subscribe today.

Get the Picture: A Great Hands-On Activity to Celebrate Back-to-school

Whether you work in a school or public library, celebrate the beginning of school year with kids with this great hands-on activity to pair with Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw by Bruce McMillan (New York: Holiday House, 1994)!

magicA classroom mouse escapes and takes a tour of the school in this guessing game story.  Close-up, full-color photos show a common classroom item from the mouse’s point of view, and readers must guess what it is.  A turn of the page shows the item in a more conventional view. 

Follow the story with a discussion of the importance of using your eyes and paying attention, then show the kids “mouse-eye” views of items in the library and have them guess what the items are.  In preparation for this activity, take ultra-close-up photos of the items using a digital camera, then either print the pictures or connect the camera to a TV screen to share them with the group.  Then let the children take turns taking close-up pictures of items (with help) and having the others guess what the items are.  This is a wildly popular activity with kids of all ages, and the hands-on component enhances confidence for kids of every ability level.  To extend the activity even further, print the pictures and place them on a bulletin board with the close-ups hanging over the regular views, so that others in the school or library can guess and then lift the top sheet to check their guesses.

Find more great activities for school and public library programming in Kindergarten Magic: Theme Based Lessons for Building Literacy and Library Skills by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker, available now!

Visit Kathy and Christine online at www.storytimestuff.net.

Carpet Squares: Not Just for Sitting on Anymore

Those good old standbys, carpet squares, can be so much more than just a seat!  Check out these cool new ideas for using carpet squares in your programs.

1) Surfboards: Spice up a summertime or ocean-themed program by inviting the kids to climb aboard their carpet squares and surf along with your favorite Beach Boys tune!

2) Color Action Game: If you have carpet squares of different colors, use them to play a color recognition action game.  (If all your carpet squares are the same color, put processing dots of different colors in the corners.)  Then sing the song below and invite the kids to perform the actions (to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”):         

If your carpet square is red, pat your head.
If your carpet square is red, pat your head.
If your carper square is red, then go ahead and show it.
If your carpet square is red, pat your head.
Blue…touch your shoe…
Yellow…wave to a fellow…
Brown…jump up and down…
White…curl up tight…
Green…do a forward lean…
Black…scratch your friend’s back…
Grey…shout “hooray!”
Any color…give a holler!...

3) Play a life-sized board game: Set up a path of carpet squares around the room, randomly mixing up colors.  (Again, if your carpet squares are all one color, mark the corners with different colored processing dots.)  Designate a starting and ending square.  Create cards of each color by cutting up pieces of construction paper (or put dots on index cards if you are using the dot method.  If desired, mark some squares with pictures relating to your theme and make cards to match.  (For example, a Fall storytime might include a pumpkin, apple, leaf, and tree.)  Have the children line up at the starting square and then take turns drawing a card from the pile.  If a child draws a red card, he or she goes to the first red square.  If a child draws a picture card, he or she must go to that square, even if that means going backwards.  Keep playing (reshuffling cards as needed) until everyone gets to the end.

Literacy variations:

Alphabet matching: Mark the squares with letters of the alphabet and make cards to match.  (Or use a set of magnetic alphabet letters and have each child draw one out of a bag on his or her turn.)  Be sure to ask the child to identify the letter and match it to the correct square.

What’s that sound?: Mark the squares with letters of the alphabet as above, but make cards with simple words that begin with different letters of the alphabet.  On each child’s turn, read a word aloud without showing it to the child, and see if the children can guess the first letter by sound.  If they have trouble, show them the card and help them identify the first letter and its sound before moving to the correct square.  (Make sure that the letters on your cards and squares are consistently uppercase or consistently lowercase to avoid confusion.)  

Big and Little Matching: Mark the squares with uppercase letters of the alphabet, and make cards showing the lowercase letters.  The children must match the letters to find the correct square.

4) Make Your Own Flannelboard: Give each child a carpet square and a set of simple felt shapes, and invite them to tell the story along with you as you use the large flannelboard.  This is a great activity for baby storytimes, as it encourages one-on-one interaction between parent and child, and gives parents a useful model for storytelling with their little ones at home.  A simple flannelboard story such “Dog’s Colorful Day”, based on the book by Emma Dodd, is ideal for this activity. (Download a free flannelboard pattern by artist Melanie Fitz here.)

For older children, consider using this activity with a tangram story.  Tangrams, a traditional Chinese puzzle and storytelling form, are easy to make and can yield thousands of different shapes.  Check out one of the books below for stories and instructions on how to make a tangram set:

Grandfather Tang’s Story: A Tale Told With Tangrams by Ann Tompert.  New York: Crown, 1990.
Grandfather’s Shape Story by Brian Sargent.  New York: Scholastic, 2007.

5) Lilypads: Liven up a froggy storytime with this rhyme, performed on carpet square lilypads.

“Lilypad Rhyme”      
I am a frog, lovely and green
I sit on my lilypad, calm and serene
Until a fly comes whizzing by
Then I LEAP in the air so high!
I stick out my tongue and SLURP.
Down goes the fly and out comes a burp.
I like being a frog, so I don’t think I’ll stop
Because it’s so much fun to hop!
There goes another fly, I really must dash.
I hop into the water with a great big SPLASH!

Follow up by inviting the kids to hop from lilypad to lilypad around the room while you play a frog song such as “Jumping Frog” from Pretend by Hap Palmer (Freeport, NY: Educational Activities, Inc., 1998).

6) Tuffets: Invite the kids to imagine that they are Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet and act out the silly rhyme below.

“Miss Muffet’s Tuffet”.  
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
But she came back around and sat back down
And continued then to eat.
Her toes got cold, so she was told
To put the tuffet on her feet!
Miss Muffet was done, she’d eaten a ton
But she didn’t care.
The spider came back and jumped on her back
So she waved her tuffet in the air!
It started to rain, she said, “What a pain!
I don’t want my hair to get wet!”
So she lifted her hands like that, and made up a hat
She put the tuffet on her head!
The rain started to slow, and the spider had to go
So she said, “I’ll see you around!”
She put the tuffet on the floor, and then once more
She sat herself back down!

Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker are the authors of Storytime Magic: 400 Fingerplays, Flannelboards, and Other Activities
and Kindergarten Magic: Theme-Based Lessons for Building Literacy and Library Skills (forthcoming).  Find more great storytime suggestions from Kathy and Christine Kirker at www.storytimestuff.net.

New Issue of Children's Programming Monthly Now Available!

It’s up! The latest Children’s Programming Monthly is waiting for you. Download the new issue or subscribe to the full year by visiting the ALA Store.

Bugs, bugs, bugs (and an occasional spider and worm). You’ll find plenty of all of them in “Going Buggy,” this month’s roundup of books and activities.  Look for ready-to use programs from Rose Trevino, Diane Briggs, Rob Reid, and others. This fingerplay from Diane Briggs is just one of the great ideas you’ll find to get your program underway.

Here Is the Beehive (Folk Rhyme)

Here is the beehive. Where are the bees? (Hold up your fist)

Hidden away where nobody sees. (Move your other hand around your fist)

Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive (Bend your head close to your fist)

One, two, three four, five (Hold your fingers up one at a time)

Bzzzzzz……..(Wave your fingers)

ALSC Offers Five Spring Course Options

Whether you’re looking for lively discussion about children’s librarianship, new programming ideas, or just want to brush up before summer, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has something for everyone.

With five excellent choices for your professional development needs, our spring online courses are sure to please. In addition to ALSC’s short webinars, these five-to-six week long courses give students more opportunities to interact with their peers in a convenient online atmosphere. The five courses include:

The Caldecott Medal (May 2 – June 10)                                            Instructor: Kathleen T. Hornung

Children with Disabilities in the Library (May 2 – June 10) Instructor: Katharine (Kate) Todd

Introduction to Graphic Novels for Children (May 2 – June 10)
Instructor: Janet Weber

Out of This World Youth Programming (May 2 – June 10)
Instructor: Angela Young

Reading Instruction and Children’s Books (May 2 – June 3)
Instructor: Katharine (Kate) Todd

For more information on these courses and special rates for ALSC members, please visit the ALSC online education site. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer, Jenny Najduch, jnajduch@ala.org, or 800-545-2433 ext. 4026.

Continuing the Conversation: Supporting Early Literacy Through Language-Rich Library Environments

Earlier today, we held the ALA Editions Workshop Supporting Early Literacy through Language Rich Library Environments with Saroj Ghoting. We’re following up with a few of the questions asked during the presentation that we felt merited further discussion: Saroj will be part of the discussion as well!

  • What do you think is the role of technology in promoting early literacy?
  • What is the ideal timeline for replacing displays and material in your space?
  • What’s the difference between open and closed-ended toys? Which type is better in promoting early literacy?

Links to Resources that Saroj Mentioned today:
 

The preliminary readings for this workshop were:

  • Welcoming Place,  Chapter 6 in Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places by Sandra Feinberg and James Keller. Chicago: ALA, 2010 HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Feinberg_DesigningSpace_Ch6.pdfU
  • Parent Participation,  Chapter 4 in Learning Environments for Young Children: Rethinking Library Spaces and Services by Sandra Feinberg et al. Chicago: ALA, 1998. HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Feinberg_LearningEnvironments_Ch4.pdfU
  • Meece, Darrell and Anne Soderman. Setting the Stage for Young Children’s Social Development . Young Children. September 2010 p. 81-86. HUhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201009/MeeceOnline0910.pdfU
  • Greenman, Jim. Places for Childhood in the 21st Century: A Conceptual Framework. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web, May 2005. HUhttp://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200505/01Greenman.pdfU
  • Early Literacy Research-Explained, Chapter 1 in Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz. Chicago: ALA: 2006 HUhttp://www.alaeditions.org/files/Ghoting_ch1.pdfU
  • The following materials are suggested resources, though they may not be available for free:
  • Copple, Carol and Sue Bredekamp, eds. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 (3rd ed). Washington, DC: NAEYC, 2009.
  • Curtis, Deb and Margie Carter. Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments. St.Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 2003.
  • Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Saroj Ghoting. Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards. Chicago: ALA, 2010. (includes school readiness domains)
  • Feinberg, Sandra and James Keller. Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places: How to Carve Out a Niche That Epitomizes Service. American Libraries. April 2010, pg. 34-37.
  • Gronlund, Gaye. Developmentally Appropriate Play: Guiding Young Children to a Higher Level. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press, 2010.
  • Harmes, Thelma. Environmental Rating Scales--Revised. New York: Teachers College Press, various dates.
  • Neuman, Susan B. et al. User’s Guide to the Child Home Early Language & Literacy Observation (CHELLO) Tool. Baltimore: Paul Brookes, 2007.
  • Seefeldt, Carol. Creating Rooms of Wonder: Valuing and Displaying Children’s Work to Enhance the Learning Process. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House, 2002.
  • Tough, Paul. Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
  • Zigler, Edward. Children’s Play; The Roots of Reading.  Washington, DC: Zero to Three, 2004.
  • Todd Risley interview: Children of the Code   www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/risley.htm
  • Library Environments for Early Literacy:  www.earlylit.net/libraryenvironment/index.shtml
  • Early Learning Standards  www.nectac.org/topics/quality/earlylearn.asp
  • School Readiness Domains  www.gettingready.org
  • Governors’ Common Core State Standards   www.corestandards.org

Saroj’s Slides:

How Does My Garden Grow? Children’s Programming Monthly v1 #8

You may still be coping with wintery days, but here at Children’s Programming Monthly, we’ve put away the umbrellas. “How Does My Garden Grow?” is ready to download, and it’s blooming with great ideas, books to read aloud, and fun activities:   

  • “Wonderful Worms” by Caroline Feller Bauer
  • “Grow, Grow, Grow!” by Judy Nichols
  • “Gardens” by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz
  • “Growing Books” by Sue McCleaf Nespeca and Joan B. Reeve
  • “In Our Garden” by Diane Briggs.

No subscribed yet? Visit us at http://www.alaeditions.org/cpm to sign up. If you have a program you would like to share,  you’ll find submission guidelines at www.alaeditions.org/cpm/submission/guidelines . Or contact me at szvirin@ala.org.

Design for Early Literacy

How you use space and design in your children’s area  can foster early literacy.  Saroj Ghoting will lead an ALA Editions Workshop on April 21 at 1:00 p.m. EDT that is sure to trigger ideas and support your planning. Below is an overview of the topics

  • Early literacy skills
  • Play
  • What are language-rich environments
  • Examples
  • Strategies
  • Considerations

We’ve collected a  a handful of examples of what language-rich environments in this Flickr set.

Among Saroj’s examples is the Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Library’s Play and Learn Islands™, interactive exhibits that encourage purposeful play. Play projecst like Discovery Dig, Big Build, and IlluminART develop skills in problem solving, sorting, sharing, early literacy, and collaboration. The colorful design, scale and varied activities appeal to a range of ages, encouraging families to play and explore together. Check out the library’s Flickr set.

You can register for this event or get more information at the ALA Store by going to: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3280

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