2016 Bell Awards Announced Today!

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DEFINITELY had to drag the blog out of hibernation for the Bell Awards!

This is the third year for the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy, and the first that I was not chairing the Selection Committee. It has been an absolute thrill to watch Sarah Johnson and Stella Fowler, this year’s co-chairs, take over the leadership with aplomb and wisdom and discernment and grace and a full complement of organizational kung fu.

This year’s Selection Committee did a fabulous job reading and considering and talking and thinking and making extremely difficult decisions! I couldn’t be happier with their choices, so head on over to the CLEL website to see the final five titles AND grab their early literacy activity sheets! (PS: The CLEL site is best in Explorer or Chrome)

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Invitation to Join the Bell Awards Goodreads Discussion Group!

I am catching up on my Bell Awards posts! Last week I wrote about suggesting titles for the 2016 Awards, and today I’m reminding you that you can join the Bell Awards Goodreads Discussion group!

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The Bell Awards were created to celebrate books that support the development of early literacy skills in children. One of our goals for the awards is to be able to use picture books as a way to create some space for professional conversation around early literacy skills and practices.

The Selection Committee periodically posts current nominated titles to the Goodreads group, and they’d love to hear what you think about the titles. What early literacy connections do you see in the books? How do they work in storytime? Your professional opinion matters–to the committee, but also to your colleagues and peers. Head on over!

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Flannel Friday Round Up October 16

I am so happy to be sitting on the couch in front of the hockey game putting links together for Flannel Friday. What a great way to start the weekend!

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Nikki at Hey There Library has a SUPER version of Fall Is Not Easy. True Confession: I have read this dozens of times and it still makes me laugh out loud. If you haven’t added this flannelboard to your repertoire yet, WHAT are you waiting for?!

Today Miss Jaime’s Library Journeys includes a trip to another Flannel Friday post for inspiration! Jaime created her own version of Dotty the Dinosaur and includes a description of her narrated version as well as a full rhyme if you like to recite instead. Lots of great opportunities for predicting and discussing with this set!

Lisa’s contribution at Thrive After Three is another great addition to her Felt Board Table sets: this time it’s a Fairy Tale table! We have vertical felt boards at some of our libraries but I love how the horizontal table surface helps kids keep the felt pieces where they want them!

Didn’t get enough princesses and knights with Lisa’s post? Check out Shawn’s Royal Flannel Board Stories at Read Rhyme Sing! She shares both a Five Little Knights rhyme (and how they encounter a dragon puppet) and a short story called The King’s Cookie.

There was something in the air this week–since Kathryn ALSO had a royalty theme at Fun with Friends at Storytime! She added to her stash of “crown and jewel” posts with one inspired by LibrErin. Folks, if you need a Fairy Tale storytime you are practically all set with these three!

Thank you Lisa for hosting a guest Flannel Friday poster at Libraryland! Just look at how Nancy transformed a clock on the children’s room wall to a Hickory Dickory Dock tribute! Now I am want to think how we can celebrate other nursery rhymes like this. Thank you, Nancy, for joining us this week!

Anne at So Tomorrow uses bear puppets to adapt a flannelboard idea for the rhyme All Types of Bears. I love how she changed the rhyme, the media, AND the tune and made this her own!

Do you still need a monsters idea for Halloween? Carol shares an entire monsters storytime with a flannel song It’s Monsters Day AND a glove puppet version of Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed. Lots of stuff here, make sure you see the whole post at Program Palooza!

Storytime Katie is totally on a roll with her finger puppets, and this week is no exception. She has both fruit and veggie sets up, with links to possible song & rhyme ideas. brb going to squee over their adorableness some more.

And I got a start with a new set, Under the Sea (Part One)!

Thanks for visiting Flannel Friday!

Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday at our website. Questions? Send them to the current Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother (me!) at flannelboardfriday @ gmail.

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Flannel Friday: Under the Sea Set (Part One!)

I had so much fun making and using my Outer Space Set that I wanted to see if I could create an under the sea version. Here’s what I have so far!

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There are 4 starfish, all different shapes, 3 scallop shells, 7 fish, 5 little kelp forests, and 1 yellow submarine (of course).

I’d like to add some rays or skates, a couple of octopuses, and an enormous whale…maybe a crab? We’ll see what arrives next week!

I will probably use this set in similar ways to the Outer Space Set–hide and seek, counting, open-ended discussions–so check out that post if you’re curious for more info.

I have the round up this week!

Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday at our website. Questions? Send them to the current Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother (me!) at flannelboardfriday @ gmail.

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One More Month to Suggest CLEL Bell Titles!

I haven’t posted as much about the CLEL Bell Awards this year but they are still going strong! In fact you still have one more month to suggest a title for the 2016 awards!

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Here’s what I had to say at this time last year:

The Bell Picture Book Awards are a project of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy and are an annual, national recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children. In particular, we’re looking for those picture books that support and/or model the early literacy practices of read, write, sing, talk, and play.

What does that mean?

Well, think about a couple of our Silver Bell honor books: Press Here, by Herve Tullet, is pretty impossible to read without actually engaging in play–families find themselves playfully pushing the buttons and making discoveries almost whether they mean to or not. That’s great support for play: the book itself helps make playing happen. Another Play Silver Bell title, Pete’s a Pizza, by William Steig, is a great example of a book that models play. While reading the story together, families get a sneak peek at another family in the middle of an imaginative, open-ended play time.

Two more examples, from the 2014 Talk Shortlist: The book Which Is Round? Which Is Bigger? by Mineko Mamada, supports caregiver-child conversations by incorporating dialogic reading questions (with intriguing answers!) right into the text. The 2014 Bell Award title for Talk, Moo! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka, models all sorts of reasons for talking, (with just one word!) including asking questions, expressing emotions, and making arguments.

Suggested titles will first be reviewed by the Selection Committee, and if they are determined to meet the selection criteria, they will be added to this year’s nominated title lists.

Shortlists for each category will be selected in December, then the final winners announced on February 5, 2016.

So what books have you seen this year that help families and caregivers engage with their children around early literacy practices? What titles have reading, writing, singing, talking, or playing as part of the story?

Share your suggestions using the Bell Awards Suggestion Form! The last day is November 15, 2015!

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Research Link: Print Awareness

Research Link: Print Awareness

A few years ago a study was released that looked at teachers in ECE classrooms and their strategies for reading books to their students during circle time. The teachers were trained on print awareness concepts and asked to incorporate very brief comments about the print on the page into their daily reading. These actions were designed to gradually draw their students’ attention to print by pointing to letters in the title on the book cover, by underlining with their finger certain words on the page as they read, or by pointing out any text within illustrations.

The study found that when teachers did these very brief activities as they read, their students became much more attuned to print concepts, and two years later, “[c]ontrolling for fall of preschool emergent literacy skills, children in the high-dose STAR condition had higher word reading, spelling, and comprehension outcomes than children in the comparison condition.” (see highlighted quote; scroll down)

These print concepts are critical pre-reading skills because a child can’t begin to sound out a word on a page unless they understand that those squiggles are there for a reason, that they are separate from the illustrations, that they are organized in certain ways, and that they represent the words and the sounds we say when we talk. Children who spend hours and hours reading books with their parents and caregivers have lots of time to absorb these ideas, but children with less reading experience have less exposure and less knowledge about print when they enter the classroom. This study is encouraging because it shows that deliberate and regular–and simple and quick–practice can help children build their awareness of print and how it works.

Many storytime providers naturally engage in these types of behaviors! Even though this deliberate attention to print is something we already see often in storytime, I used this research as the basis of one of our recommended early literacy activities and messages that are shared with our staff. The face that helping preschoolers pay attention to print does have an impact on their pre-reading skills might seem like a given. However the more informed and intentional we can be about modeling great early literacy practices during storytime, the more we can serve as conduits of hands-on early literacy information to our families–either in storytime, during readers’ advisory, or in casual conversation.

Links:
Increasing Young Children’s Contact With Print During Shared Reading: Longitudinal Effects on Literacy Achievement [full article online]

WWC Review of the Report “Increasing Young Children’s Contact with Print During Shared Reading: Longitudinal Effects on Literacy Achievement” [A 1-page pdf overview from the What Works Clearinghouse of the Institute of Education Sciences]

Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up [NPR article 5/29/12]

And thanks to the ALSC Blog who tweeted a link to this Psychology Today article last week the day after I drafted this post! It doesn’t refer to the study, but it does talk about learning to recognize print separately from illustrations: How Do Children Learn to Recognize Print? [Psychology Today article 10/6/15]

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Flannel Friday: Meeow’s Friends

OK, last Meeow post! I did two sets of items from the Meeow books by Sebastian Braun and now I am adding in all his friends so they can play hide and seek too!

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I freehand cut the shapes while looking at the illustrations, but another technique that would work is to photocopy a page and cut it up for a pattern.

Here’s all the shapes together:

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Lisa has the round up today at Libraryland! It’s Halloween/Fall Fest week…so hmmm…maybe you could read Meeow and the Blue Table and talk about dressing up in costumes??? OK it’s a stretch! But check out the round up for more great ideas for storytime.

Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Flannel Friday: More Meeow

A few weeks ago I shared a hide-and-seek set I made to go along with Meeow and the Blue Table, by Sebastian Braun. It worked really well and since I use all the Meeow books in baby storytime, I decided to make more squares for Meeow to hide behind. This way, no matter what book I read, I can use this set!

To the original set:

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*Cardboard box (from Big Box)
*Red blanket (from Blue Table)
*Yellow chair (from Little Chairs)
*Blue blocks (from Blue Table)

I added:

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*Meeow’s yellow backpack (from The Little Chairs)
*Cupboard (from Pots and Pans)
*Blue table (from Blue Table)
*Green pot (from Pots and Pans)

Next is to add Meeow’s friends–come back next week to see them!

This week’s round up is at Mollie’s place: What Happens in Storytime, which is funny, because she was hosting when I shared the last Meeow set too!

Check out the post for more great ideas for storytime. Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday and upcoming hosts at our website.

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Flannel Friday: Ehlert Mice

I am too late for the round up this week but sneaking in a post, racing against the clock to go up before midnight MST and before my 4% laptop battery drops to 0!

A year ago September I made some Lionni-inspired mice for Flannel Friday, and today I have an Ehlert-inspired one!

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This mouse goes with the book Mice which is the poem by Rose Fyleman and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

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We are using the book and flannel with a preschool art program that focuses on texture. We’ll read the book, then go back and look at the illustrations and talk about collage, and try to identify what some of the materials are, then we’ll read the book again, placing pieces of the mouse body as the poem describes them.

The body of the mouse is made of torn mulberry paper, backed with white felt; the eyes are construction paper glued on to the face; the ears are pink felt; the teeth are white felt, on a separate layer so they can be added after the face; the tail is accordion folded construction paper; and the arms and legs are thick yarn knotted and frayed. The cat face is all felt!

Kathryn had the round up this week–go check it out at Fun with Friends at Storytime!

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Flannel Friday: Five Books & Five Readers

I’m doing a “Books and Reading” storytime theme tomorrow, and while it’s lots of fun choosing books, sometimes I get a little lost trying to think of action rhymes and activities. I saw several versions of a “Five Little Books” rhyme though that inspired me to create a matching game.

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This game will extend from The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore and Maybe a Bear Ate It by Robie Harris. Both these stories feature animals and books, so we are going to look at some books and see if we can decide who would like to read them.

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I have five books of different sizes and colors, and I made a small felt image to go on the cover of each one. You can see the carrot is a little off-center–that’s because I didn’t glue down the images! This way if I want to connect this activity to a different story, I can choose different “covers” for the books to match the characters in the new story.

I’ll put up the five books without their images, then talk about how the covers of books sometimes give us hints as to what the story is about. I’ll put the images on the covers then and we’ll name each picture. Then I have five puppets to show: a bunny, a bear, a dog, an owl, and a mouse. As I get out each puppet, we’ll decide which book that animal might be most interested in reading. Will the bunny want to read a book about a carrot? Will the bear want the cherry book or the tree book?

I’ve got the round up today! Thanks for reading!

Investigate the Flannel Friday Pinterest for hundreds of flannelboards, songs, games, and rhymes arranged by theme. Ask questions and brainstorm ideas in our Facebook group. Learn more about Flannel Friday at our website. Questions? Send them to the current Flannel Friday Fairy Godmother (me!) at flannelboardfriday @ gmail.

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