What I’m Reading: On the Blogs #1

So it’s been a really slow six months for posts here at Mel’s Desk, as I’ve juggled a lot of work for the new Bell Awards and consciously tried to ramp down from a super busy couple of years–at home and at work and online. But I’ve missed being more engaged here (Abby’s August post really resonated with me) and am looking forward to getting back in a regular groove this fall. Thanks for your patience and for having so much to contribute when I did manage to post!

I’m always inspired by a good blog link round up–from Abby or Katie or more currently the Coolest Thing on the Internet posts from Storytime Underground.

At the risk of overlapping with other link roundups, I’m going to start offering my own from time to time. Most of the links will have to do with storytime, because that’s just what I think about the most. It will help keep me working through my reader, give me a chance to point to some of the great blogs I read, pay forward some of the help I’ve received from other bloggers, and hopefully share a few links that are new and useful to you.

Here’s a few links from August. (Yes, *all* of August. I had a LOT of catching up to do!)

Baby Storytime Books

Abby shared her fourth list of great books for baby storytime–and links to her other three lists at the bottom of the post, so don’t miss those either. I love that she doesn’t just give us the titles, but shares out why those books have been working for her storytimes.

DIY Digital Storytime Elements

My library is just starting to dip our toes into trying out digital elements in our storytimes–I know, like, years behind some of you–and I love posts that describe what storytime providers have tried and how it goes. Little eLit is a leader for gathering this type of information, but of course others are writing and thinking about this too. Here’s a post from Cinjoella about her most recent experiences, including an app she downloaded to share AND an “app” experience she made herself in Prezi. Don’t miss how she projects her images without having to put a projector in the middle of the room and distracting her kids.

Infographics for Early Literacy

At the beginning of the month, Miss Meg shared how she made an infographic for some of her Summer Reading stats. Now the wheels in my head are turning about making small infographs to display in different places in the library–maybe one each for Reading, Writing, Singing, Talking, or Playing, with stats and quotes about each practice? You could put one up in your storytime area or play area for a week, take it down, put up another one…just another way to try to catch some eyes and pass along a little early literacy information.

Process Activities for Storytime “Crafts”

If you’re not familiar with Lisa’s writeups of her “Play to Learn” programs over at Libraryland, go right now and check out her most recent post, full of activities to go along with Mem Fox’s book Where Is the Green Sheep? Lisa’s “Play to Learn” programs are drop-in, hands-on, book-focused, literacy-based preschool programs and she outlines everything she does for each one. If there’s not something you can drag and drop into your own library, I will fall over. Even if you can’t do a whole program like this, she made me think about how easy it would be to replace a more traditional storytime craft with one of her open-ended activities, like the match-the-pompom-to-the-sheep game she describes. If you’re getting tired of the same old crafts, read through her posts and see what you can borrow!

Get Ready for Kindergarten Storytime

Anne at So Tomorrow shares about a neat annual program at her new library–a special storytime just for kids about to enter Kindergarten. It gives the librarians a chance to talk about kindergarten-readiness skills and marks a big milestone for the storytime kids! This seems like it could tuck into a schedule after summer reading and before fall storytime sessions.

An Awesome New Book Resource

Sometimes you just need to mix up your program planning a bit…which is exactly what Michelle did when she discovered Starting with Stories, and revolutionized the way she thought about books and themes. There’s lots of ways to approach storytime and preschool programs, so I love gathering ideas like this. This book was new to me, but now I’ve got it on hold!

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6 Responses to What I’m Reading: On the Blogs #1

  1. Great idea! Everyone brings such a unique perspective to their round-ups. And now I will find even more folks to get on my feed! Thanks.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thanks, Marge! I am about to go on a blog crawl and ADD EVEN MORE to my list!

  3. Cassie says:

    When you decide to do those Early Literacy infographics, I’d be interested in seeing a blog post! I’m trying hard to come up with new ways to engage my Storytime parents, and I think infographics are one way to do so!

  4. Melissa says:

    Thanks, Cassie! I know it’s going to be awhile before I could take this on, which is one reason I wanted to get that idea out there in the world so someone else could mess with it too. But I think any time we can change up the way we deliver information, it helps to keep it fresh. I’m definitely putting this on the to-do list, even if it’s in the “someday” column right now!

  5. Thanks for the shout out, Mel! You and all the other early lit bloggers have been such a great resource for me as a newish EL programmer. It’s a privilege to be noticed! 🙂

  6. Melissa says:

    You are doing a super job! Thanks for adding your expertise to the conversation.

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