Friday, January 23, 2015

January Highlight Reel

tl;dr: This is how things are going and what I have been doing for the last three weeks. Stay Awesome!


It was slow going here the first two weeks of programming. My 2015 programs began Tuesday, January 6 in the middle of a long string of it's-colder-than-Canada two-hour delays. When our schools have delays, they don't start until ten minutes before my second program of the day normally starts. Needless to say, I didn't have many participants.

This week, I definitely had more friends here, but still not a full house. I don't expect to reach capacity until it's above freezing on a regular basis, but you know...dreams! Here are the highlights from the last three weeks:

Mother Goose on the Loose: Since I changed the format of this class, baby storytime has been my highest attended program (about 15 kids on a good day). I really enjoy the template and ideas behind MGOL. And it's super easy once you do it a few times. I encourage you to take the workshop with the brains behind the program, Dr. Diamant-Cohen, if you ever have a chance. Here's her website.

I also scooted the age groups a bit for the spring. MGOL is now for 0-2s. Stories and More is for 3-6 year olds.

The favorite part of MGOL: Zoom Zoom Zoom!

Stories and More: Now for 3-6 year olds. I would say the average age of my participants is 4. This program is a work in progress. Last year, I felt my baby time was lacking. Now that I do MGOL, I feel like this program needs a kick in the pants, but I'm working on it. There are 15-20 kids attending on a good day.

Favorite storytime books so far this year: Winter Woes by Marty Kelley, Mortimer by Robert Munsch, and A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis. I am currently breaking my vow to read less this year. Buuuut I'm finding some really good books AND not reading the books I find that don't appeal to me AND doing other hobbies as well. Win, win, win.

Aspiring Artists: Formerly known as Pre-K Picassos. I re-branded so that young homeschoolers wouldn't balk at coming to a program that is fit for them as well. Thus far we have discussed Piet Mondrian and Helen Frankenthaler. Here's a photo of our Frankenthaler-inspired coffee filter + marker art:

This program is fun, however I have exactly two participants on a regular basis. I'm not sure if it's because of the time of the program (2:00 PM), or if it's because of the age group (4-7). I'm planning on morphing the program into a morning STEAM class in the fall. Heavy on the art, of course!

K-6 Programs: So our children's assistant took a full time gig elsewhere...right after all of our marketing flyers went out. Her first scheduled program? SNOW GLOBES. There were already 15 kids signed up for the program, so against my better judgement I said that I would go ahead and prep for snow globes. This program was yesterday and I'm going to be in therapy for serious glitter-induced PTSD for awhile. The craft was a mess. We'll be doing process art from now on.

The next K-6 program is in a couple of weeks. We'll be doing rubber stamp Valentines. I'll be showing them how handmade rubber stamps are made, and then we'll make cards using stamps. My ex-colleague's program idea was WATERCOLOR Valentines. There was no registration set up for the program, so I felt I could take the liberty of vetoing a wet mess.

1,000 Books: I have 198 kids signed up for 1KB4K! A handful are on 800+ books, so I'm excited to give them their prize books soon.


Summer Reading: We had our first SRP meeting of the year this week. Since we overhauled everything last year, it's going to be fairly easygoing this year. We tweaked the reading log sheets so people don't have to write down the titles of their books; they simply check off if they read each day for a week. Logs are turned in each week for a chance to win a gift card, just like last year, but we will be giving out one gift card per age group, per week, instead of just one gift card each week.

Pleasure Reading and Otherwise: I'm currently reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher. I carved my own rubber stamp the other night, and it's AMAZEBALLS. I have found a new obsession. If you are interested, check out Carve, Stamp, Play by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. My oldest kid got straight-A's on his report card. My youngest lets me know every time he farts. My husband is amazing and has been washing dishes on his days off. Life is pretty good and I'm glad I finally made myself write a blog post about it.

How has January been treating you?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Too Much Input


Hi y'all. I'm still here.

Since I started at MPL, I have learned much about libraries, librarians, programming, early literacy, and all sorts of work-related stuff. More importantly, I have learned much about myself as a person. I think since I'm getting older, I'm taking learning opportunities and even simple, everyday occurrences into consideration much more often than I did in my previous years.

That being said, I feel I'm in book-and-Internet-induced sensory overload. I think this is why I have neglected the blog for the past few months; this is why I have unsubscribed to several blogs; this is why I haven't been participating in early literacy online fellowship; this is why I don't have a holds list 20 books deep.

I am the #19 U.S. reader on Goodreads this year. My name is Michelle, and I'm a readaholic.

It occurs to me that I have an innate desire to learn ALL OF THE THINGS. This is what drives me as a human being. I want to know everything. All there is to know, people. Sometimes I get so tangled in my learning that I stop doing.

Doing is what really matters. Knowledge is awesome, but knowledge in action is the key to amazeballs awesomeness. Too much input, not enough output. I know that I have done stuff. I mean, one of the goals my supervisor gave to me during my yearly review was: don't burn yourself out.

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking, "I just need to take time to reflect on the input." That's some Zen shit right there, folks.

Another goal for the next year is to limit my reading. That sounds crazypants, I know, but I think I overdid it this year (ya think?). It's time to turn knowledge into action.

Third goal: blog. Hold me accountable, dear reader. :)

Have you worked yourself into a manic, knowledge-filled, overload? How do you stop the ride and get off?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

100 Days of 1000 Books!

Only NPH and Elmo can embody the yayness!

This weekend marks the 100th day of my 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program! Yay!

178 kiddos have signed up so far, and I already have one who is finished! My goal for the program was to have 100 signed up by the end of the year, so huzzah for goal achievement.

My next step is to take a reading program to preschools and daycares in the area. I'm working on a pilot project with one daycare at the moment and will be sorting through what works and what doesn't over the next month or so. I'll post about it once I get feedback from the test group.

How is your 1KB4K program going? Any tips to keep it rolling after it's started?