Thursday, October 18, 2012

week 4: in which an alligator makes a guest appearance

I am in danger of falling way behind on things, so let's get to it. Last Thursday's storytimes came fast and furious: a library storytime, then my two Head Start storytimes just half an hour later. For economy's sake I used the same general framework for all three, with the appropriate adjustments discussed elsewhere.

First things first: all these extra (and fun) storytimes did leave me in a bit of tizzy, making sure I had the right books, props, etc., when I left my apartment. Of course I goofed on Thursday, forgetting Gareth the Turtle after rearranging everything in my storytime bag. Ugh! We did OK without him for library storytime, but I wanted to make sure our Head Start storytimes did not happen puppet-less so Miss Amy saved the day by loaning me the hastily-named Al the Alligator (pictured below) beforehand. Head Start storytimes would have a puppet! Day = saved!

Library Storytime

Another small(ish) preschool class group that I didn't have any real clue about going into storytime, these kids had a really good time. Not to be belabor a point, but Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy was a big hit, as I worked on laying the thick Texas twang as thick as it would go. Big laffs, as it should be. Everyone loved A Sailor Went to Sea and Chicken Butt! (thanks, Miss Helen!). Go Away, Big Green Monster! was, once again, not the wild success it is at Head Start storytime. Oh well. A subdued level of enjoyment is absolutely fine, I think. We rocked out with our shakers to wind things up, and that was a big hit; I was happy to see a few of the more reserved kids really get into the swing of "Can You Shake Your Egg With Me?"

Head Start Storytimes

First thing: Al the Alligator was a hit, though a lot of kids were a little freaked out by him at first. He lacks the cute approachability of Gareth, for sure. I gave everyone lots of opportunities before and after to come up and see that he was a perfectly friendly alligator. His white plastic teeth were endlessly fascinating, and we ending up concluding both storytimes by having him give all the kids who wanted one (most did) an alligator handshake: that's hand-in-mouth, in case you were wondering. They loved it!

Back to my broken record: Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy worked really well. Class 1 and 2 wanted to hear it again, so we read it twice. Jayden chimed him with his now-standard, "I like this story!" That always makes me so happy! Everyone had lots of fun with doing "If You're Happy and You Know It" a second time through really really fast, and enjoyed Chicken Butt!, though we didn't really hit critical mass until "Chicken underwear!"

And then there was Go Away, Big Green Monster!... oh boy. I saved it for last, thinking it would be nice way to wind things up. Turned out to be proverbial gas on the storytime fire. Class 3 and 4 demanded a second reading, and both classes were so into it and delightedly shrieking along with the disappearing monster that I noticed a handful of their classmates covering their ears. It was hecka loud. That's the point, of course, and I'm not going to discourage children from enjoying a book they like. But... I think I am going to hold off on GABGM! for a while. We have the puppet, which will fun to use. I do want everyone to feel included, and I know we have good momentum, so I think our books and activities can continue to branch out and build on what we are learning. GABGM! will be in my bag, and will definitely make an appearance in the semi-near future, but there are lots of other good books to read.

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