Category: Thrive Thursday

Geronimo Stilton

The Geronimo Stilton series circulates like crazy with my independent readers. To celebrate the series, I ran a four-week program and gave the children a taste of each spinoff series. I don’t normally do food in my programs but the kids were begging for a treat, so I had a cheese tasting (cheese balls, cheese-its, and cheese curls):

Cheese Tasting Geronimo

Week One:

The first week we focused on the one and only Geronimo series. I read a couple of chapters and then we got to our activity. We discussed the Geronimo series in great detail (font, blend of pictures and text, humor). Some kids had never read the series, so they got some recommendations on which ones to read first. Then I handed out our cheese tasting treats and we voted on which was the best. I think they all won first place. Haha.

Geronimo Cheese Tasting VotesWe also learned about the parts of the newspaper, since Geronimo is a reporter. I used old copies kicking around the library for our project. We had a Newspaper Bingo Search. The kids worked in pairs/teams to be the first ones to get a blackout bingo (where each square is filled). They ripped and glued the pieces of the paper out to fill in the bingo squares. I had extra notebooks to use as prizes (Geronimo’s reporter notebook).

Week Two:

The following week we talked about the Thea series and I read the first few chapters of her first story. She gets a special wax sealed envelope and I had to let the kids explore with this! We did an invisible ink session. And I sealed each secret message with a colored hot glue stick seal.

Geronimo Ink and Seal Tools

The supplies are pretty basic: any acidic juice (lemon, apple, orange), cotton swabs, small cups for a little bit of juice.

Geronimo Invisible Ink Writing

I was in charge of the hot glue and had the kids line up when they were ready for it. They just needed to take their secret message (or drawing, which was more popular) home and decode with a crayon:

Geronimo Revealed Geronimo Wax Seal

Week Three:

A lot of the kids are reading the Kingdom Fantasy series right now. So I read an excerpt, we talked about it, and then we did a craft that I purchased from Oriental Trading. They colored and built and enjoyed this calming activity for one dollar each:

Geronimo Castle Building Boys Geronimo Castle on Floor

 

Week Four:

I read the beginning of Cavemice and we did a fossil activity. I’ve done this before with great success. Kids get to be messy and explore. I mixed the dough ahead of time and measured each cup with the dry ingredients, and had an additional small cup for water. The children mixed their own dough, so I divided the mix into 24.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • craft sticks for mixing (and to use as a knife)
  • measuring cup
  • mixing bowl
  • stuff to make fossils (bones, shells, dried pasta, plastic dinos, etc.)

Fossils Geronimo

The four-week program was fun for everyone. My circulation went up for this series, and I had kids asking what our next series program was going to be!

What’s your favorite?

For more school age programming, check out Thrive Thursday: the school age programming blog hop. It posts the first Thursday of the month and this month’s host is Marge over at Tiny Tips for Library Fun.

If you need a blog host, or have questions feel free to email me (lisamshaia (at) gmail (dot com). We also have a Pinterest board and a Facebook Group, so join in on the fun!

Thrive Thursday April 2014 Placeholder

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Check out April’s placeholder for the school age blog hop over at Anne’s So Tomorrow!

To check out past roundups, click here. For more information check out the schedule and Pinterest board.

If you need me to host you or have any questions, email me at lisamshaia@gmail.com.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Happy Thriving!

Bus Stop for Programs

Bus Stop for Programs

School Bus

One way to make your after school programs really successful is to work with the school district to setup a bus stop on program days. You will need support from some key people including your director, media specialist, principal and superintendent.

Once you’re in agreement, there are a few steps to setup to make the collaboration seamless:

  1. Make registration required. Like anything in its beginning stages, you will need some time for this to work. It took a full year before all of my families to start using Eventbrite. (I blogged about my tricks and the pros of this free service here. I always ask for the following information: Parent Name, Child Name, Phone, Email, Bus Transportation Needed. I also always include a waiver with the unattended children’s policy.)
  2. Email the school a list of students who require bus transportation so they know how many to expect. (In Eventbrite you can setup custom questions to ask participants.)
  3. The school will send you an email each program day with a list of students getting off the bus for that particular day. Just because children signed up for the program, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be getting off the bus. They maybe sick, they may have a doctor’s appointment, a sports meeting may have come up. There are lots of variables.
  4. Wait at the bus stop and use the newly emailed Bus List as an attendance sheet. Do a roll call as the children get off the bus. If there are any discrepancies, notify the school immediately.
  5. Take the children inside and call everyone into your program space.
  6. Take attendance for all children before you begin your program for children. (There will be children who come with their parents or friends.) Again, I download the list of registrants into Excel from Eventbrite. I add columns of each date and take attendance at the beginning of each program. This took a little time to iron out since the children were not used to it. But they caught on quickly, especially since they do this in school on a regular basis.
  7. Now you have a list of children who are with you. This will come in handy if there happens to be an emergency in the building. If you have to evacuate the building for any reason, you now have a list of children and their emergency contact numbers!

This system has worked for the past few years and is amazing! I now have a list of families who regularly come to the library. I can notify the lists of program cancellations due to weather or illness. I can remind families of library closings for holidays. I always have contact information for children if needed. (You never know when a child will get sick!) Best of all, the families in our community see the public library and school district working together for the benefit of their children. It’s a win-win!

What tips do you have for streamlining after school programs?

Thrive Thursday Roundup 3/6/14

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Hey everyone,

Check out this month’s school age blog hop. It’s now officially a blog hop!

http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/2014/03/thrive-thursday-school-age-program.html

Make sure you participate next month (http://www.sotomorrowblog.com/)

For more information on how to get involved, check out http://thrivethursday.wordpress.com/ Complete with links to upcoming hosts, the Pinterest board and Facebook Group!

Thrive Thursday Placeholder 3/6/14

Thrive Thursday Placeholder 3/6/14

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Hey friends,

Head over to Jean Little Library for this month’s school age blog hop placeholder! You have time to write up a school age program to share with us!

For more information check out the Pinterest page, schedule, and Facebook Group!

If you need a host or have any questions, email me lisamshaia@gmail.com.

Using Eventbrite for After School Programs

Using Eventbrite for After School Programs

Eventbrite

My library has been using Eventbrite for years, but recently just learned about all of its potential. I have a template setup for children’s programs and ask parents for the following information: parent’s name, child’s name, phone number, email, and a custom question that they have to agree to the Library’s Unattended Children’s Policy. (For more details on setting up custom questions, check out their site. Their tutorial covers everything you need to know.) I started this about one year ago and it’s a great improvement! Now parents understand that the Library does not act in loco parentis.

You can ask custom questions in the form of multiple choice, a waiver, or paragraph form.

In addition to adding a maximum number of participants, you can setup a one-time only program, or an event that repeats daily/weekly/monthly.

Emails to attendees

This free service is great because you can also keep in touch with parents. You can setup reminders to let the parents know when the program is beginning, or you can email parents if the Library cancels due to snow/power outage/illness. And, you can promote your next round of programs or the summer reading theme.

I setup two different templates for you to test:

Unattended Childrens Policy Waiver Eventbrite

One Shot Program: including a custom waiver with the Unattended Children’s Policy

Weekly Ongoing Eventbrite

Bus question eventbrite

Weekly Program: including series of dates and a transportation question

What service do you use? What are your favorite things about it? What questions do you ask families registering?

Thrive Thursday Roundup 2/6/14

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We have lots of different school age programming choices this month!

Butterfly mask

In Short, I am Busy shares an idea from her ongoing Messy Art Club involving butterflies. With a few simple supplies (die cuts, construction paper, and school supplies) you can recreate her third annual Butterfly Fest. She also found some cool wings to purchase online for about $1 each if you have the money in your budget!

Lego Movie

Bryce Don’t Play is celebrating the Lego Movie premiere at her library. This no-stress-planning event is easy to steal, which is what I’ll be doing next week at my Lego Club!

Chinese New Year

Carol Simon Levin is sharing a Chinese Calligraphy program for K-5th. With a few supplies (white paper, black paint, brushes) and a few books from your collection you can do a successful Chinese Calligraphy and Horoscope program with your kids!

Passive Winter Olympics

Tammy shares a passive program to correlate with the winter Olympics. If you have the room to do this, you should! From crafts and scavenger hunts to card games and word searches, Storytimes and More’s Go For the Gold has it all.

winter reading

Another passive winter program is from Lisa’s Libraryland. Read her tips to make the stats count, too!

What Floats Your Boat

I’m saving this activity to go along with the summer reading theme this year: What Floats Your Boat? In Short, I Am Busy did all the hard work of organizing and hauling water, and then the kids did the rest.

Battle of the Books

If you’re thinking about March programming, check out my Battle of the Books program. You just have to order multiple copies of the books and the program runs itself!

And, if you’re looking for more school aged programs enter the Book Giveaway Contest here.

If you have a program for the after school age crowd that you would like to share, leave a link to your blog in the comments section and a compilation will be posted on the first Thursday of the month. To check out past roundups, click here. For more information check out the Pinterest board and the Facebook Group.

If you need me to host you or have any questions, email me at lisamshaia@gmail.com.

Here’s the upcoming schedule of hosts:

February 6: http://thriveafterthree.com/

March 6: http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/

April 3: http://www.sotomorrowblog.com/

May 1: http://tinytipsforlibraryfun.blogspot.com/

June 5: http://librarystorytimeabcs.blogspot.com/

July 3: http://brycedontplay.blogspot.com/

March Madness: Battle of the Books!

March Madness: Battle of the Books!

Battle of the Books

Mondays in March will be madness at my library! I am planning my first Battle of the Books program. It will run for five Mondays for K-6th graders. I have chosen my favorite picture books of the year and paired them up against each other by similarity of story/illustration/technique. We will brainstorm on what makes a great book and come up with our own criteria.

Here’s the program outline for the first four weeks:

  • I will read both books aloud.
  • I will have multiple copies of each book and have the children work in teams to review each story on their own.
  • At the end of the program I will ask for a show of hands to vote for the best one. We will discuss the reasons why one book was chosen over another.

On the fifth week:

  • I will read all four books aloud.
  • I will have multiple copies of each book and have the children work in teams to review each story on their own.
  • At the end of the program I will ask for a show of hands to vote for the best book of the year.

For more school aged programs, check out Thrive Thursday. Watch for the new roundup the first Thursday of each month!

Thrive Thursday Placeholder 2/6/14

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If you have a program for the after school age crowd that you would like to share, leave a link to your blog in the comments section and I’ll post a compilation on the first Thursday of the month. (I changed the roundup to publish monthly so we wouldn’t get worn out with typing up our programs. And, so we still have a chance to participate in Flannel Friday and Saturday Share without getting burnt out!)

To check out past roundups, click here. For more information check out the Pinterest board and newly formed Facebook Group.

If you need me to host you or have any questions, email me at lisamshaia@gmail.com.

Here’s the upcoming schedule of hosts:

February 6: http://thriveafterthree.com/

March 6: http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/

April 3: http://www.sotomorrowblog.com/

May 1: http://tinytipsforlibraryfun.blogspot.com/

June 5: http://librarystorytimeabcs.blogspot.com/

July 3: http://brycedontplay.blogspot.com/

I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Happy Thriving!

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