A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Strobel’

Books, Reading, Libraries–Still Awesome! by Pat Strobel, a National Board Certified School Librarian

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 9, 2013

“Books, Reading, Libraries–Still Awesome! by Pat Strobel, a National Board Certified School Librarian”–guest blogger for Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

April is School Library Month.  I am very honored to have Pat Strobel, a National Board Certified School Librarian, here to visit with us.  Hold up your favorite book to greet Pat.  Now, place it gently on the table and give a big round of applause!

Welcome, Pat.  Please share thoughts on libraries today.


Books, Reading, Libraries – Still Awesome!

A second grade boy recently exclaimed “Wow! That was awesome!”   Had he won a game?  A prize?  No – he had found his first book all by himself after searching at an electronic computer catalog in our school library.   I see the thrill in children every day when they find a book they want to read.    New research shows that even if we have electronic book readers, the majority of us do most of our pleasure reading with print books!   The Scholastic/Harrison Group Study found that “eighty percent of kids who read ebooks still read books for fun primarily in print.”   http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/press-release/new-study-kids-reading-digital-age-number-kids-reading-ebooks-has-nearly-doubled-2010

April is School Library Month.  The American Library Association sponsored the first School Library celebration in 1985 with the theme “Where Learning Never Ends: The School Library Media Center.”  This year’s theme is “Communities Matter @ Your Library.”   Libraries have changed, but the teaching and learning that goes on there is still vital to every child.    School librarians collaborate with classroom teachers to teach needed literacy and technology skills.   They do a variety of lessons and activities to encourage independent use of libraries and to instill a lifelong love of reading.   Chris Mercogliano, author of In Defense of Childhood and Teaching the Restless,  has stated that getting kids to read is a problem with a simple solution –  read compelling literature aloud to young children—and don’t stop until they’re teenagers.  “Reading for pleasure becomes an old friend they never want to part with.”

Reading stories online has become a favorite as well.    One of my favorite sites is   http://www.storylineonline.net/  with stories read by celebrities.   Tumblebooks has hundreds of animated books to watch and if you’re lucky, your local public library may carry the subscription.    And of course, download ebooks to your electronic devices and enjoy those.   Talk about what is read – children are often amazed that some of their favorites were your favorites too!    Perhaps some of their favorites will become your new favorites.  

If you’re wondering what to read next, try one of these sites:

http://www.readitlovedit.com/home.html  –  search by gender, then age, then genre

http://www.marylaine.com/bookbyte/index.html  –  “Book Bytes” – lots of recommendations!

http://www.bookspot.com/  – many ways to search and most of the links work

And for the artistic side in you, look at the really cool book murals painted on buildings around the world!  http://flavorwire.com/372562/books-on-buildings-20-bookish-murals-from-around-the-world/view-all

Enjoy reading, talking about books, and exploring libraries and their activities! 

Pat Strobel

School Librarian, NBCT in Library Media

Pat, your insights and research are so “spot-on.”  As always, trust a librarian to be a great source of information.

Readers, how will Pat’s information make a difference for you?  Write us a comment.  Share your thoughts and responses.  Don’t forget to visit your community or local school library regularly and frequently.  Thank you!

As always, I look forward to your return visit to  “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon and bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Don’t Let April Showers Rain on Your Parade

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 31, 2013

“Don’t Let April Showers Rain on Your Parade” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  What does the word “April” bring to mind? Expressions like:  “April showers bring May flowers,” or “Don’t rain on my parade?”  What does this mean? 

Other things we remember in April include:  April Fool’s jokes. Rain showers.  Puddles.  Umbrellas.  Galoshes.  Check the list below for far more things to celebrate in April.

Special Days in April:

Oh my, have you heard? 

  • April 3 is Pony Express Day and on that day the Pony Express replaces postal delivery. 
  • April 29 is Save the Frogs Day.  Sign up now to adopt a frog and save it from the frying pan.

APRIL FOOL!  These two events are true celebrations, but the way I stated that it would be celebrated is all a big fat fib.  Did I fool you?  Probably not.  Who have you fooled today?  Tell how.  As you may have guessed, April Fool’s Day is a favorite.  Create an original joke of your own.  What common ones have you heard? 

  • International Children’s Book Day:  2  Read a book about another country, a child from another country, a dog breed that contains a town or country such as:  Boston Pug, Chinese Pug, German Shepherd, etc. 
  • Metric System Day:  7  Work some math problems and answer using metric measurements.  Did you know that hospital patients are weighed in bed?  Can you convert measurements to metric?
  • National Sibling Day:  10  If you have a sibling, make a card for this person and  tell how he/she is special to you.
  • Safety Pin Day:  10  Where do you see them?  Who gives them away?  How have you used one?  What craft projects have you made using safety pins?
  • Scrabble Day:  13  Have you ever played?  Will you play today?
  • Blah! Blah! Blah! Day:  17  When was this first said?  Why?  What does it mean to you?  It always reminds me of the intercom on the Peanuts cartoon programs. 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day:  17.  Does your family have anyone who entered America through Ellis Island?  Ask to hear stories.
  •  National Haiku Poetry Day:  17  Research how to write a haiku.  Write one about spring, April, or something celebrated this month.
  • Poem in Your Pocket Day:  18  Do you have a favorite poem?  Copy it and carry it in your pocket.  Ask your friends to do the same.  Share poems when you see each other. 
  • Movie Theatre Day:  23  What’s a favorite movie memory? 
  • Richter Scale Day:  26.  Research this scale.  What does it measure.  Tell of a famous disaster measured by the Richter Scale.
  • Babe Ruth:  27.  Do you know this name?  Why is he famous?
  • Zipper Day:  29  When were zippers invented?  Who is Jughead and what does he wear zipped?  What do you own that zips?  Read My Last Best Friend by Julie Bowe and learn how zippers can become a story character. 

Special Weeks in April:

  • Golden Rule Week:  1-7  What is the Golden Rule?  What does it mean?  What books talk about this theme?
  • International Whistlers Week:  17-21  I hope you’ll take time to read an earlier blog post about Phyllis Heil at  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/a-writers-playground-welcomes-phyllis-heil-the-whistling-woman-and-offers-a-cd-giveaway/  The giveaway is no longer available, but Phyllis plans to be at this year’s festival.
  • National Volunteer Week:  21-27.  Name a volunteer you know.  What type volunteer work would you like to do?  Walk dogs at the kennel, pick up roadside trash, help in the food bank, etc.  Ask your parents if you can try it.  Perhaps a parent would volunteer with you.
  • National Playground Safety Week:  21-27  Is the playground equipment inspected regularly in your area?  How do you know?  Do you know anyone who has been hurt on the playground?  Was it a safety issue?
  • National Dance Week:  26–5/4  Are you a dancer?  Survey your friends to learn who has taken dance class. 

April is…

  • National Child Abuse Prevention Month  What can be done to help prevent child abuse?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month  Do you have a favorite jazz musician?  Do you listen to jazz?  Research to learn more about the history of jazz.  Fine a picture book about jazz.
  • Keep America Beautiful  An old promotion poster read:  Give a hoot, don’t pollute.  What message would you like to promote about this topic?
  • National Kite Month  What is your favorite kite design?  Fly one this month if you can.
  • School Library Media Month  Give a cheer for school librarians!

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for April celebration information.  For more April observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Coming soon:  Pat Strobel, a School Librarian, shares about School Library Media Month.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

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