What We Did in Storytime

Littles was a lot of fun today!  It was loosely themed on colors but when I say loosely, I mean very loosely.

Opening Song

Well Hello Everybody! Can You Touch Your Nose?

Source: jbrary.com


One Little Blueberry

by Tammi Salzano


This book was an accidental find that was a delight!  Counting, bright colors, bugs, and a surprise ending.  Our groups were very engaged from page one.  One on one, this books would be fun to talk about different insects and to practice pointing and counting.


Flannel Board

The Artist’s Palette

This fun flannel game is one I forgot we had created!  It was nice because it is a flexible game, easily adapted up or down depending on the age of the Littles in storytime that day.  For example, when I ask “What color is missing from our play?” I can hold the color I’m taking away out so they can see it and see who can identify the color.  For older Littles who have mastered their colors, I may hold the piece I remove behind my back to challenge their memory skills.  Either way. the kids really seemed to have fun with this interactive board.


Recorded Music

Have You Seen the Trampoline?

by Jim Gill

This song is a storytime favorite for me.  It is simple and has us jumping around.  I add in other actions as well, like looking through binoculars and giving drum rolls.  For Littles that aren’t mobile yet, I encourage parents to gentle bounce or rock them to the rhythm of the song.



by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


I really love this story, but was a bit worried about sharing it in Littles since it deals with the loss of a pet.  I try to be sensitive to the fact that many of our friends haven’t experienced these things yet and don’t want to introduce it before families are ready.  Luckily, there is a good stopping point before the dog in the story passes away, so I just paper clipped that page and that became the end of our story for today.  Parents all seemed pleased with that and everyone enjoyed the story.  Especially the beautiful illustrations!


Flannel Board

Five Elephants in the Bathtub

I love how when I unveil flannel boards, I have friends who come right up to be my helpers!  This fun story has 5 elephants who make their way into the bathtub which meant all of my helpers had a chance to put an elephant on the flannel board.  If you have an interactive group, I recommend this one.  Not only does it accommodate helping hands, but it also has actions for more timid littles.


Check back next week to see what Miss Jessica does in Storytime for Littles!

Miss Marta




Tips for Growing a Reader


Excited for your child to start reading on their own?  Most parents are!  It is a major milestone to celebrate!  It is no small feat to get kids to that independent reading stage.

During the school day, there are a lot of people and resources in place to help your young reader build phonemic awareness, make sense of the words on the page, and learn the rules of our complex language.  Part of becoming an independent reader is practice so when that first book comes home and your child opens it, you become the teacher.  It can be overwhelming as you try your best to help them as they stumble over the letters and words.  For some, it can be frustrating.  Let us take some of the stress out of it with these 5 tips for you and your emerging reader.

  •  Look over the book on your own before your child reads it to you.

Just taking a quick glance through the pages of a book before your child begins reading aloud will help you both in the long run.  You will quickly see if there are words that break rules, words with digraphs (sh, th, ch, wh) and blends that your child may need help with, or character names or words relevant to the story that will be beyond their reading skills that could cause frustration.

  • Introduce names and important words in the story that are beyond your child’s reading skills before you get started.

Even though teachers will send home books that are completely appropriate for your child’s reading and comprehension abilities, there will occasionally be a word in them that just can’t be sounded out by an emerging reader without struggle. Words like this will require some introduction from you.  It is 100% okay to point out that word ahead of time, pronounce it for your child, and have them repeat it back to you. You are not doing the work for them, I promise.  This is actually a strategy used in classrooms.  It helps build a child’s vocabulary as well as their understanding of how letter sounds come together to form words.  It also will build their confidence which is an important part of independent reading.  Rather than stumbling over the one word in the story that is the hardest and giving up, they will be able to focus on other things like the story’s content and other words that are adequately challenging and successfully read.

  • Take a picture walk.

Pictures are in children’s books for a reason.  That is important to remember!  Before you read, take a minute or two to look at the pictures in the story with your child.  Ask your reader questions like what they think the story is about, who the main character is, or how characters may feel about things happening on certain pages.  Ask your child to make predictions about what will happen based on what they see.  Pictures are used to give important literacy clues and context for subjects that may be totally new. For example, if your child sees the word “balloon” in a book, that may be tricky to sound out.  They may have the phonemic awareness to get part of the word and then struggle to complete it.  However if they take a quick glance at the picture and see a character holding a balloon, they can draw the conclusion for what the word should be and go on.  While I’ve heard some parents discourage this, it actually shows how resourceful your young reader is because they understand all the tools they have been given to make them successful.  Don’t be afraid or think your child is cheating just because they are using the pictures as they should!

  • Chunk up words.  

At the early stages of reading, kids are likely to remember sight words (the words they have to memorize, sometimes called rainbow words).  They are also likely to feel confident with words they can sound out.  Play on this confidence when they are stuck or stumbling on a word by chunking the word.  Chunking is when you take a word and cover parts of it so your reader only sees a small chunk of a larger word at a time. As your child successfully reads the part you show them, uncover another chunk of the word you have covered so they slowly put the whole word together chunk by chunk.

For example, the word “together” is very long and overwhelming!  Use your fingers to cover up all the letters except for “to,” a word they recognize from their sight word list.  Next, uncover the “ge” which should be easily sounded out.  Next, uncover “the.”  If this throws them off, cover up all the letters except those three because “the” is also a rainbow word they should know.  Once they have strung those first three chunks together, they just need to add the “r” sound at the end.  Have them read all the chunks and they will recognize the word “together.”

The great thing about chunking is that it works just as well for words without built-in sight words.  You can cover up all but the first few letters, then keep moving down the word, uncovering a couple more letters at a time.  Once they have sounded out the chunks, ask your child to put the sounds all together.  They should recognize the word and be able to move on.

  • Let them make mistakes. 

This one is tough as a parent.  When we hear our child make a mistake while reading, like reading the word “out” instead of the printed word “our” in a sentence, we want to stop them right away.  We know it is the wrong word and want to stop them and have it corrected right away to help them.

The problem is that in the classroom, we won’t be by their side to point this out!  Your child will need to be able to do this for his or her self so the best thing you can do is let them make the mistake.  At least for a little bit.  Let your child complete the sentence they are reading to give them a chance to catch the error on their own.  Your reader will likely realize the word they read aloud doesn’t make sense without you saying anything. You waiting gives them the chance to correct this on their own.  This is very important since reading is not only about sounding out the words but comprehending what’s happening in the story.  It shows that even though your reader made an error, their comprehension skills are strong enough to know that something in their story isn’t making sense and want to go back and investigate.

Don’t be surprised if occasionally your young reader gets to the end of a sentence with an error and is ready to keep going without fixing the error.  If it is a book with more than a sentence on a page, let them finish out the page to see if they catch the error.

If they are still ready to turn the page without recognizing the error, ask questions that can steer them towards seeing the error themselves.  For example, if the sentence printed was “Our cat is orange,” but your child read it aloud as “Out cat is orange,” ask them to reread the sentence.  Hopefully they correct the error from the first go through, but if not, ask your reader if it makes sense.   If they are still unsure of the error, give them the choice of which makes more sense and read the sentence as printed and then as they read it.  See if they can figure out what word makes more sense, then point out the “r” in the word they are misreading.

Giving them the chance to see the error without having to be told directly still builds your reader’s confidence.  You will also be walking them through some different ways they can problem solve once they are reading independently.

  • Bonus Tip: Be patient. 

This is as much for how you interact with your child as it is for how you treat yourself in the process.  Learning to read is not an effortless process for most of us.  There will be times your child will have read the same word beautifully 5 times in a row but for some reason the next time that same word pops up it is a mystery to them.  You will get frustrated.  Your child will get frustrated. Neither of you is doing anything wrong.  It is part of the process for most kids.  Just breathe and remember it’s normal.  It is also temporary.  Those bumps in the road, with your support and encouragement, will become less and less and before you know it, you will have a confident, independent reader.

Miss Marta

What We Did in Storytime: Ocean

Today we went under the sea for storytime!

Copy of SET LIST.png


little white fish


A really cute book about a little fish looking for his mommy! I love the brightly colored illustrations on the black background and the discussions of the different colors of the sea animals.


The fish in the sea swim back and forth,
Back and forth, back and forth
The fish in the sea swim back and forth,
All day long.

The waves on the sea go up and down,
Up and down, up and down
The waves on the sea go up and down,
All day long.

The sand in the sea drifts down, down, down
Down, down, down, down, down, down
The sand in the sea drifts down, down, down
All day long.



A sweet story about the life of a baby whale. It’s important to remember to stop and just take a breath sometimes, even – perhaps especially – as an adult! I especially like the illustrations; this would be nice to share one-on-one so you could spend more time going over the beautiful pictures.


1 little red fish swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, 
Swimming in the water.
1 little red fish swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, pop! 

2 little blue fish swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, 
Swimming in the water.
2 little blue fish swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, pop! 

3 little yellow fish swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, 
Swimming in the water.
3 little yellow fish swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, pop! 

This is one of my favorite storytime songs, and I decided to try something new with it by adding felt pieces to go along with it.


What I Didn’t Use: In My Ocean by Sara Gillingham

Our craft today was fish Do-A-Dot pages. I also put out the water table so we could stick some fish and sea horses foam pieces onto a pretend ocean. And that’s what we did in storytime today! If you’d like to see what we did in past weeks, click on the “What We Did in Storytime” tag. And be sure to come back next Monday to check out what Miss Marta did!

Miss Jessica

What We Did in Storytime – Ducks and Trucks



Storytime for Littles is back!  We had a fun time today talking about Ducks and Trucks!

Open Song: The Arms Go Up and Down

I found this gem over at Jbrary and couldn’t wait to share it with our Littles!  It worked best with toddlers but wasn’t at all difficult to adapt for infants.  I had parents touch, tap, or move the body part we sang out in time with the rhythm of the song.  The set list only says arms but we also did feet, moving our head side to side, and our bodies round and round.


Shaker Eggs:  Shaker Egg Song by Mister Q

If you haven’t heard this tune before, I highly recommend it.  Kids get to do a variety of actions with their shaker eggs and then have to stop before they move on to the next thing.  This one make practicing a little self control really fun!


Firefighter Duckies

by Frank Dormer


This book was one that was new to me.  So glad I found it because kids and parents alike loved it.  The humor is geared toddler/prek, but younger Littles liked the nice big pictures and the silly voices I used when reading.


Put Your Hands Up High

The Littles really loved this song.  Who doesn’t like to pretend to be a duck?!  It was the perfect way to get some wiggles out before more great books!  Credit to Jbrary for sharing this one!


My Friend Duck

I really wanted to start back after summer break with a Flannel Board that was new and fun.  We have many Duck and even Truck themed ones, but none were exciting so I wandered over to Storytime in the Stacks site and found this fun flannel game.  The kids loved that we would count to three then yank the trucks off the board to see if Duck was underneath.  There was a lot of giggling with this one and it was super easy to create.  I just grabbed a free truck template online, cut 5 different colored trucks, grabbed a duck that was already made from a different flannel story and was ready for storytime!


Tip Tip Dig Dig

by Emma Garcia


This book is always a win with its fun sounds and big bright colorful trucks.


I had One Bright Scarf on my list of songs for today since it segued nicely after seeing so many colors in our last story, but the Littles were ready to play and explore so I will use it another time.


Check back next week to see what fun Miss Jessica has with Storytime for Littles!

Miss Marta

This Week at Moline Public Library

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