Book Selection: Early Childhood

  • Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program
    by Jonathan Dolce on May 29, 2022 at 4:01 am

    So, we’re making waves this summer and indeed the possibilities are endless. I mentioned last week that I raised an old favorite from the depths. This week, I want to show you how to stretch out just one picture book into an epic summer reading program: Buccaneer Bunnies, to be precise! Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, by Carolyn Crimi tells the story of Henry, who is the “embarrassing” nerdy son of Blackear, the fiercest bunny to sail the seven seas. In a nutshell, Henry proves that books hold the answers to all manner of situations, outcomes and perils — all without being didactic! But how do you turn a quick read into a 60 minute program?! Well, me old sods, I’ll explain forthwith. It all starts with the book — no, really So, last week, I introduced you to Foghorn Follies, thus, we already have a puppet stage shaped like... The post Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Summer Programming with the Library of Congress
    by School-Age Programs and Services Committee on May 28, 2022 at 4:01 am

    Along with my colleagues at the University of South Carolina iSchool, I am part of the TPS (Teaching with Primary Sources) Consortium. TPS Consortium is a “professional network of universities, cultural institutions, library systems, school districts, and other educational organizations. Members work together to share information, devise new approaches, and offer collaborative programming focused on Library of Congress primary sources.” ( We host professional development for K – 12 educators, sharing ways to use primary sources and The Library of Congress website in their teaching and work with students. I have become very familiar with the LOC website and have discovered some “hidden treasure” that you can use this summer in your library, especially if you are working with the “Oceans of Possibilities” theme. Ready? Use Free to Use and Reuse as inspiration for event flyers, decorating, social media posts and more. I created this image of my daughter using one of... The post Summer Programming with the Library of Congress appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • What to say to kids about school shootings to ease their stress
    by Reading Rockets on May 27, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    If you have school-age children, chances are they've already talked to their classmates about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. So what's the best way to know how they're feeling and what they're thinking? Ask them. "Children's questions may be very different from adults'," says David Schonfeld, a pediatrician who directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. And the best way to determine how much information they need is to listen to them, he says.

  • 5 Ways Covid Has Affected Summer Programming
    by Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee on May 26, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Library summer programs have changed a lot in the last few years. Maybe that’s a good thing? More Take and Makes When programming shut down, many libraries began offering take-and-make bags for patrons. This proved to be so popular that even when programming started back, libraries continued to offer take-and-makes to patrons of all ages.  Outdoor Programming For libraries with the space, outdoor programming became a welcome, more safe alternative to indoor programming. Even in the heat of the summer, library staff brought programs outside to a more covid-safe environment.  Less Programming When libraries began opening back up and offering programming, many library staff took a look at their regular pre-pandemic programming with a critical eye. Were we prioritizing quantity over quality? Maybe higher quality, less frequent programming is the answer.  Tracking Apps  While many libraries were already using online tracking programs for their summer reading, some used their library’s... The post 5 Ways Covid Has Affected Summer Programming appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • How Much Time Should Schools Spend on Social-Emotional Learning?
    by Reading Rockets on May 25, 2022 at 4:48 pm

    In interviews with Education Week, social-emotional learning experts said that spending some classroom time explicitly teaching social-emotional skills is important, but what matters even more is effectively integrating the skills—such as time management, collaboration skills, and responsible decisionmaking—into everything that students are learning in school and in after-school programs.

  • States That Want To Boost Literacy Should Keep An Eye On Texas
    by Reading Rockets on May 25, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    Texas, one of several states working to bring reading instruction in line with cognitive science, has made a knowledge-building elementary literacy curriculum freely available to districts, individual teachers, and parents. The state contracted with a company called Amplify to create a Texas-specific version of its literacy curriculum, including Spanish-language versions of all materials. The effort is part of the state’s response to the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic: the materials are designed to be used for remote and hybrid as well as face-to-face instruction.

  • Curriculum Case Study: How Grade-Level Literacy Doubled in Just 2 Months in a Rural Tennessee District
    by Reading Rockets on May 25, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    “I can actually read this!” kindergartner Easton Malone exclaimed while reading a book during a book celebration week this spring. Every teacher in primary grades longs to hear those words from their students. If you step foot in any of the classrooms from pre-K through second grade in Elizabethton City Schools, you are met with a palpable buzz of excitement and purpose as our youngest readers embrace a new reading approach. This enthusiasm has not always been present: getting to this point has been a journey.

  • Bringing Back Play
    by Maria Trivisonno on May 25, 2022 at 4:01 am

    This past month, my library system has allowed certain toys (plastic, easily washed) to come back on the floor and to be used in programming, with daily (or more) cleaning. Parents and children alike are delighted, and library staff rejoiced that our baby playtimes can return.  Several branches are designated Family Place Libraries, and we had been holding socially distanced “play” programs that aimed to give parents tools to guide their children in play, but which were certainly not as robust and developmentally appropriate as a full playtime. As I watched toddlers play together, some for the first time in a social environment, it always surprises me how the children’s play “evolves” from one week to the next in the five-week session.  Researcher Mildred Parten developed a Stages of Play theory that helpfully describes the changes I see throughout the program.  Most little ones, especially if they have never experienced... The post Bringing Back Play appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • A kids' story unfolds without words in 'A Day For Sandcastles'
    by Reading Rockets on May 24, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    About 10 years ago, JonArno Lawson was at a beach in Virginia watching his kids build sandcastles right next to the waves. "I kept trying to get them to come back because I thought it was a terrible idea," he says. He wanted them to build their sandcastles closer to the dunes. But they found it more exciting to build right where the waves hit, seeing their sandcastles get destroyed, and then re-building them with whatever debris washed up from the ocean. "It seemed so symbolic, somehow, of... how life works more than just building your perfect sandcastle," says Lawson.

  • We’re looking for Conference Bloggers for the Annual ALA Conference
    by Mary Voors on May 24, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    It’s getting close to #alaac22! One month from today, the 2022 ALA Annual Conference will be in full swing, live and in-person, in Washington, DC! Are you attending? We’d love to have you participate as a Conference Blogger for the ALSC Blog! Some of the activities which will take place – which you could write about for those unable to attend – include: The Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet ALSC educational programs including Beyond Booklists: Family Engagement through Race & Culture Education at the Library Don’t Talk at Them – Learn with Them! Facilitation Strategies and Resources to Help Your Library Engage Young Patrons in STEAM Learning Experiences Inspiring the Next Generation to Champion Social Justice through Speech and Debate The 2022 Charlemae Hill Rollins President’s Program featuring featuring David Bowles, Dr. Cora Dunkley, and Michaela Goade Newbery 100 Celebration (more information coming soon!) So much more! Check out the complete day-to-day schedule... The post We’re looking for Conference Bloggers for the Annual ALA Conference appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Make the School Day Longer?
    by Reading Rockets on May 24, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Will extra time in school help children make up for instruction lost because of the pandemic? The research is not encouraging: studies show that extending school time has no effect or a very small effect on learning. Another study noted that one elementary school in Atlanta had positive effects from adding 30 minutes to the school day, but the school made extraordinary efforts, e.g., two adults in every classroom, tracking, and ongoing analysis of test scores. Increasing instruction time by increasing homework is clearly not the answer.

  • School Librarians Are Disappearing: Here's Why They Shouldn't
    by Reading Rockets on May 24, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    The value of public libraries has been well proven. They offer free educational materials, help underserved communities, boost local economies, connect people, and make communities healthier. It seems that while schools continue to have the physical libraries, they are missing the integral part that public libraries have — librarians. Let’s get real, the public libraries aren’t integral parts of their communities because they have shelves of books. They are community mainstays because of the people who work in them and visit them. Librarians are what make these spaces so special and safe.

  • A comprehensive reading plan is the only way to address our early literacy crisis
    by Reading Rockets on May 23, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    To succeed, a California statewide initiative needs to focus the attention and change the practices across almost 6,000 elementary schools and 75,000 K-3 classrooms. The plan needs to address teacher PD, curriculum, and screening and assessment. This mammoth effort requires visible and ongoing commitment from all our leaders: Governor Newsom, State Board of Education President Darling-Hammond, State Superintendent Thurmond, and our leading legislators. If they don’t make reading a top state priority, neither will schools.

  • Kids Are Far, Far Behind in School
    by Reading Rockets on May 23, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Educators need a plan ambitious enough to remedy enormous learning losses. Starting in the spring of 2020, school boards and superintendents across the country faced a dreadful choice: Keep classrooms open and risk more COVID-19 deaths, or close schools and sacrifice children’s learning. In the name of safety, many districts shut down for long periods. But researchers are now learning that the closures came at a stiff price—a large decline in children’s achievement overall and a historic widening in achievement gaps by race and economic status.

  • In the Fight Over How to Teach Reading, This Guru Makes a Major Retreat
    by Reading Rockets on May 23, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Lucy Calkins, a leading literacy expert, has rewritten her curriculum to include a fuller embrace of phonics and the science of reading. Critics may not be appeased. Parents and educators who champion the “science of reading” have fiercely criticized Professor Calkins and other supporters of balanced literacy. They cite a half-century of research that shows phonics — sound it out exercises that are purposefully sequenced — is the most effective way to teach reading, along with books that build vocabulary and depth.