Presentation on theme: "Children’s Spaces, Family Places: Early Literacy Environments"— Presentation transcript:
1Children’s Spaces, Family Places: Early Literacy Environments in Your LibraryDana Bjerke, Joanna Redman, Kelly WussowHennepin County Librarywelcomingish
2Hello!Welcome. My name Dana Bjerke. I work in an area library in suburban Hennepin County.My name is Joanna Redman, and I split my time between a small community library and a larger library in suburban HC.I am Kelly Wussow, the early literacy coordinator for the city libraries in Minneapolis.
3So what’s the big picture? We were introduced to early literacy research within the past 4 or 5 years. That is when we began changing how we did our storytimes, with the added piece of sharing early literacy tips with parents in an intentional way.So, spring boarding from what we had been learning about early literacy in storytime, and also learning from libraries like West Bloomfield about early literacy, we knew the environment could foster great early literacy interactions in the library.Our big question was, “ How can we apply the six early literacy skills in our library, which was built 15 years ago?” We wanted to look at our existing spaces and see how we could make our library a literacy rich environment. We wanted to bring the 6 early literacy skills into play, with the added intent of sharing early literacy with parents and caregivers.
4Early literacy: connecting kids with parents, helping parents prepare kids for school print awarenessprint knowledgephonological awarenessletter knowledgevocabularynarrative skillsAlways at the forefront were the 6 essential early literacy skills, and that early literacy is about connecting kids with their parents, and helping parents prepare their kids for school.As a library, we can play an active role in preparing children for learning success. We’re more than a space that has books. We’re looking at early literacy in a new way, bringing it to life in meaningful interactions between parent and child in the library.
5Early literacy Play, play, play! Physical part of the early literacy skillsWhy exactly do children benefit from play?
6Parent Child Interactions Come, Stay and ReturnParent Child InteractionsInteraction is a core part of children’s learning, whether through play or even better, with adults. The library can easily strengthen a commitment to become a full and active partner pursuing early literacy with families in our communities. Our goal is to engage the children’s minds and bodies with directed play as well as becoming a resource for the parents and caregivers who bring them. We want their time in the library to be productive. We want them to stay longer. We want to stimulate their senses, and encourage them to learn. And, of course, we want them to return to discover new things we have to offer. And hopefully we can find a way to do this in ways that naturally reflect their inborn curiosity.
7What are the logistics? Curiosity Interaction Age appropriate Scale How do you make this happen? What are the logistics?Curiosity is the come, the stay and return factors for caregivers, it’s also what motivates the child to explore. And, when you have repeat customers, this also requires the capacity for change and flexibility, so that things will be fresh and new. Why explore something you’ve seen every week for the last 5 years?Interaction: We are looking for interactions on multiple levels. We want kis to interact with the environment within the library. We want them engaged and searching for what we have that is new and fun. We also want to create interactions within their family, be it mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, nanny or friendly neighbor. When an adult is part of the interaction, the child focuses on it for a longer time than when they are exploring on their own. When an adult is part of the interaction, when they are talking to the child during this interaction, more vocabulary is being used, and the benefits of that interaction are bumped to a whole new level.Age appropriate :we pay close attention to what we are putting out and where we are putting it out. We are aware of how many pieces something has. Of the size of the pieces. WHERE THINGS END UP BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY ARE. This is an ongoing learning process. We learn so much by watching kids use the library.Scale: Low tables, but also big chairs for the grownups. Movable items. Early literacy play does not have to be large. Indeed, it thrives in “small” and “movable” A table-top puppet stage gets a different interaction than a standing puppet stage.. You can easily put a piece of sheet metal on a desk to make a large magnet board, but cookie sheets make small, easily moved and manipulated magnet boards that kids can interact with on a more intimate level. [PROBABLY NEED MORE HERE, TOO]
8Once Upon a Time …or, how we began… So the challenge was how do we make it work in our space?The object was to create early literacy spots around the library. The things shown in these slides are flexible (can be added and taken away easily), low cost, and fairly easy to implement. They could work in big or small spaces.At each “spot,” [we have an early literacy marker indicating that there is something special going on. We also have a sign which describes what you can do at that spot and a note for the parents indicating why this is important and beneficial to their child. These were created with intention for the parents to let them know how the play thing is beneficial in relation to early literacy.
13upstairs and downstairs? Stupendous StairsWhat’s going onupstairs and downstairs?Holding hands, being together, and moving up the stairs together.Kids are naturally together with your parent/caregiver when they are going upstairs.One day, I heard Colby counting the steps. He said, “Hey, Dana, did you know there are 30 steps up to the library?” and I said, “I didn’t know that.” And that was the inspiration to label the stairs.From the moment we began labeling the steps, everyone started counting out loud.It was one of those natural early literacy moments. It has became something that everyone from toddler to senior has loved and become obsessed about.Cost: $ [UNLESS YOU COUNT INTIAL CHUNK OF MONEY ON LAMMY MCLAMERTON. HOW DO WE WANT TO DEAL WITH THAT ASPECT?]Time: **
14Words, Words, Words …Stuck on the floor and so much more From time to time, we would put a poem or some sort of decorative element on an end cap…and suddenly a light bulb went off over our heads. Suddenly there were surfaces in the library that we had never thought of using before. Book shelf edging. Doors. Floors. Arches. Anything that had a surface that wasn’t being used was fair game.Cost: $Time: varies
15What is your Actual Size? We decided to add a height chart to our libraries. We began by having the height chart be for kids only. Inspiration struck from the book Actual Size. We increased the height chart to accommodate all ages and heights. Expanding the height chart to fit adults made a more complete early literacy interaction.We also included information about how tall the animals were next to the height chart using pictures and info on the animals.This evolved over time….Cost: $Time: *
16Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree …and fun with magnets After labeling the ABC’s on the stairs, and seeing the reaction we got, we were looking for more wayt to have interactive alphabet moments in the library. We were playing around with stuff we already had—we had alphabet magnets, but we wanted to make it fun and intentional for the kids and parents.Cost: $Time: * (in general, can be longer depending on the size and scope)
17Gnomes, dogs, toast and more! We know kids physically move their little bodies at a crazy velocity, and that it isn’t natural for all kids to fly in the library and sit down with a book. So, taking the idea that they move…we deliberately added early literacy to what they were naturally doing….So, we created a Gnome find.Cost: $Time: *
18Evolution of a tableLibraries have tables, even small libraries, even if it is a side table. A table is a perfect opportunity for an EL moment.Cost: $Time: varies
19The natural hangout ...the kitchen At home, people hang out in the kitchen. At a party, everyone goes to the kitchen. At IKEA, everyone is in the kitchen. It is a natural place to hang out and talk. Food, real or fake, is a comfortable way to share stories, relax, and spend time together.Our kitchen is one table and one long bench.Cost: (initial) ** (*** if you can’t find discount) but lasts for a long timeTime: *
20Perfect puppet stageTalk about a place that lends itself naturally to early literacy. We have storytelling here, of course. We have singing here (especially with the mermaids). Amazing for building narrative skills, creativity.We have incredible vocabulary as parents name exotic animals…and those animals go on wild adventures.The addition of a puppet stage turns a pile of puppets (which are fun to run and be crazy with) into important characters in a story that must be told…right here. It’s “noise,” yes. But a focused, directed play/noise)Cost: $/$$ (it’s worth investing a bit more in the sturdier wooden puppet stage)Time: n/a
21The Bathroom? Yes, Indeed! Another essential place in every library is the bathroom. Often, you gotta go together. We thought it would be a great place for early literacy. Like the stairs, the bathroom is used by everyone, but having these early literacy additions is welcomed by grownups, too.This one is a little more work intensive, but the results are amazing and can be kept up for months. We’ve had parents come in and ask where we got the pictures and how we’ve done this. Their children enjoy it so much they want it at home, too. This is another spot that started out very simple and loose and grew to be much more focused and purposeful as we learned and changed.Cost: $Time: ***
22The cold laminate that we use at our library - Vistafoil 24” x 400” 4 mil. Glossy – can be found at these places:- product number L- product number PPrices vary according to order size. Alternate sizes are available.
23Dana BjerkeYouth Services LibrarianHennepin County LibraryRidgedale Area Library12601 Ridgedale DriveMinnetonka, MN 55305Kelly WussowEarly Literacy Specialist300 Nicollet MallMinneapolis, Minnesota 55401Joanna RedmanPlymouth Community Librarytth Ave NPlymouth, MN