Coding

Coding. That’s something with computers, right? But what’s this about young children doing coding? It turns out, coding is just a way of thinking that we start doing at an early age. I’ve just let the term “code” freak me out. There are many ways for a child to develop those coding skills without looking at a computer for those parents wishing to limit screen time. Being surrounded by technology, learning how to code becomes more and more necessary in life and just like a foreign language, it is easier to learn at an early age. That’s because creating a code is like a language –  a special language that tells a computer or robot what to do. Turn left, go straight. clap three times. Coding helps children with problem solving and logic. The ability to direct technology instead of just using it, builds confidence and skills that will help children later on in school and in careers where there is more and more demand for technology.

At our November 1st Exploratorium we started with very basic coding concepts using a variety of coding kits that will be available to try out in the Children’s Dept the week of Thanksgiving and then will be available to check out at a later date. This is a great way for your child to get started with the concept of coding before purchasing items that are more complicated. Some of the new items we have available include:

 

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar, Cubetto Educational Coding Robot, Learning Resources Learning Essentials Code and Go Robot Mouse Activity Set and an Ozobot.

A basic game to play with your child that demonstrates coding basics at no cost is a form of Simon Says. Simon says, if I clap my hands, then you stomp your feet. Or, if I nod my head, then you nod your head. Simon is the programmer, everyone else in the group becomes the computer.

Ready for something more complex? Place a black checker somewhere towards the far side of a checkerboard. Place a few red checkers on the board to act as obstacles. Place another black checker in the lower left corner of the board. Now direct the lower left black checker to the other black checker using only these simple directions: Go Forward, Turn Right, Turn Left, Repeat. The checker can move only 1 square at a time. It does not matter if the square is black or red.

An example:

Go Forward

Repeat

Repeat

Turn Right

Go Forward

Turn Left

Go Forward

Repeat

 

Continue until you reach the black checker. Write down the instructions, step by step.

Now place the black checker back to the lower left corner and follow your written instructions. Did it work? If it didn’t, go back and figure out where you went wrong and try again. If it did work, then you just wrote your first piece of successful code!

 

In January we will have another coding program for Exploratorium that will be a bit more advanced than last weeks program. In the meantime stop by the children’s desk to try out the basic coding program kits we have.

Miss Christina

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Holiday Reading Traditions

As we get nearer to Christmas, I’m gearing up for one of my favorite holiday traditions with my kiddos- 25 days of Christmas books! I love making reading an integral part of our family traditions, and this is a truly meaningful way for us to both celebrate the season, expand our love of books, and bond together in shared reading. Every year, come November, I pull out my box of Christmas books, gathered over the years from Goodwill raids, yard sale finds, hand-me downs and library book sales. It’s surprisingly easy to find amazing Christmas books on the cheap, especially in November, before the holiday rush really picks up steam, so start your collection now! I wrap up each one, and starting December first, every evening, my Ruby and Edwin each get a book to unwrap and read before bedtime. As the years have passed, they treat the return of each book like the return of a long- lost friend, so excited to see and read them again. Our lives are so rushed, it’s hard to squeeze in meaningful holiday traditions, and while this is a small one, it means so much to all of us and is such a simple way to celebrate the season together.

So pull out your Christmas books, wrap them up, and start counting down to Christmas!

literary-advent-6

Miss Janna

Jolabokaflod

Jolabokaflod, or the “Yule Book Flood,” is an annual event in Iceland where giving a book for Christmas Eve is the norm and spending the evening reading is tradition.

What a wonderful tradition to bring to your own family.  It doesn’t have to happen on Christmas Eve.  It could be the first Thursday or third Tuesday, just find a date that works for you and start your own family tradition building your family’s library.

Books have always been a tradition in my family.  To celebrate the birth of a child, I give a book.  Child loses a tooth and the tooth fairy delivers a book to replace the lost tooth.  Birthday? A book or two will be given!  In fact, i can’t think of a time when I don’t give a book as a gift.  It is such a wonderful, meaningful way to help a child build their own library.  The book may have another gift with it, but the book, I feel, is the important gift.

For more info on the Yule Book Flood, go visit jolabokaflod.org.

Miss Sarah

Nursery Rhyme Time: Humpty Dumpty

 

 

Humpy Dumpty sat on a wall…

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall….

Can you complete the rhyme?  We find that many adults are not familiar with children’s  nursery rhymes anymore, but there are good reasons that they should be!

Learning nursery rhymes help children develop language and vocabulary – and help them form the foundation for learning to rhyme words on their own.  Many nursery rhymes also contain phrases that start with words that all have the same beginning sounds, so this helps children begin to become aware of the sounds of their language.

As children learn these traditional rhymes, they exercise and stretch their memory skills, which helps them prepare to memorize future materials, such as the alphabet, sight words, or math facts.

So, brush up on your nursery rhymes, and teach them to your children!

To get you started, here’s the full rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the King’s horses,

And all the King’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

To extend the fun of learning the rhyme, here’s a craft you can make with your child. I created the pattern based off this craft my son Adam made over 20 years ago!

  1. Color and cut out the Humpty Dumpty body and legs.
  2. Color a sheet of paper to resemble a wall.
  3. Glue Humpty’s legs to the wall.
  4. Attach Humpty’s body to the legs with a brad.
  5. As you say the rhyme Humpty can swivel as he falls!

Have fun! To learn more, here are links to good web articles on why nursery rhymes are important:

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/nursery-rhymes-not-just-babies

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/reading-language/reading-tips/the-surprising-meaning-and-benefits-of-nursery-rhymes/

https://www.themeasuredmom.com/10-reasons-why-kids-need-to-know-nursery-rhymes/

Miss Teresa

Still Time to Register!!

Miss Marta

LEGO ROBOTICS AT MOLINE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Miss Marta

 

Ice Breaker Books for kids

One of my favorite kids’ books is NAKED! by Michael Ian Black.

 

Naked! is a fun & fast paced story kids really enjoy. I read it with lots of enthusiasm and by the third naked I’m usually not alone saying, “Naked!” The illustrations are wonderful. I find this a good book for breaking the ice with kids that you have just met.  Check below for some other great books for breaking the ice with kids!

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

Max at Night by Ed Vere

That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma

 

What is your favorite book for breaking the ice with new kids?

Miss Sarah