Thursday, October 6, 2011

F is for... FROGS and FIRE!!

     FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!  No, don’t worry; the Mooresville Public Library isn’t on fire.  Next week, October 9-15 is Fire Safety Week!  We take fire safety VERY SERIOUS here at MPL, however, it fit better with my letter-a-week theme to do fire safety this week, since fire begins with an Ff.

The sticker I gave each child. This was donated to MPL by the Mooresville Fire Department.

     I have done fire safety with my story time classes for two years.  Although it is never too early to talk to your child about fire safety, I decided to focus on fire safety just with my four to six year old class.  I was amazed how many children knew the emergency number 9-1-1.  I was proud that almost every child in the room knew what to do if their clothes caught fire; STOP, DROP, and ROLL!  Every child knew that fire can be very dangerous and that only adults should handle fire if it is necessary.
    Though I normally like to begin my posts with the craft I chose, I think in the case of fire safety, I might start with my book choice.  Fire safety books can be difficult read-alouds.  Most of the time, the information is fantastic, however, the story line, not-so-much.  This week, I read Dot the Fire Dog by Lisa Desimni. 

     This book was a great read-aloud because it was short and to the point.  It was more about a firehouse and what goes on there.  I enjoyed this book because we were able to discuss such things as why firemen wear protective gear and what the purpose of each piece is.  We talked about why a dog is useful to have in a firehouse.  And lastly, we discussed what qualities it takes to become a fireman.  So not only did we talk about fire safety, but the importance of having firemen in general.  I am also posting a couple other books that might be good read-alouds to help discuss fire safety.

     My craft for fire safety week was meant to allow the kids creative juices to flow.  The idea came from a craft project I saw here.  I cut out the pieces to create a fire truck out of construction paper.  With these pieces we were able to talk about colors and shapes.  Once they had the fire truck pieces glued down, then I had them draw whatever they wanted.  Some of my kids drew the fire truck going to a burning building, while others just drew a huge fire.  Some didn’t draw fire at all, but opted for rainbows, puppies, and kitties.  Like I said, I didn’t care what they kids drew, as long as they were being creative.  In my video with Sammy the Toucan, you can see the picture I drew.  Like the kids, I got a little carried away with my fire!

The picture I drew as an example.
     As for my two and three year olds, we continued with the alphabet flash cards.  This week, we turned the letter F into a frog.  Now I know what you are thinking, how do we do that?  Well, just like last week, it is not always necessary to have to turn the letter into the object.  This week, all we did was cut out two frog arms, two frog legs, and two black eyes.  The kids colored the letter F, traced the uppercase and lowercase letters on the back, then placed the arms, legs, and eyes on the F.  VOILA!  A jumping frog!  (For those of you who may be interested in how we get the pieces to stick, my library has a fantastic supply of glue dots!  You can get them at any craft supply store in the scrapbooking aisle.  They are great for small children because all they have to do is peel off the back and stick it on!)

Materials:  Letter F drawn on an index card, crayons, two green frog legs, two green frog arms, 2 black dots for the eyes

Back side of card

1) Color the letter F. Place eyes, arms, and legs as if to make it look like a leaping frog. 

2) Trace the capital and lowercase Ff on the back of the card. 

NOTE: Remember, if your child cannot do this, help them trace by guiding their hand. DO NOT do it for them.  Also, pay close attention to your child's grip on the crayon.  Encourage them to hold the crayon as if they were writing.

3) Add the letter F to the other letters.

     The book I read to the two and three year old this week was a FABULOUS pick.  I will definitely be reading this one again in the near future.  Jump! by Steve Lavis is what I refer to as an “action book.”  The book gives action directions to the kids that include, marching, dancing, clapping, and roaring!  Do you know how much fun it is to listen to fifteen, two and three year olds roar as loud as they can!  It is hilarious!  I would highly recommend this book especially if you have a class full of movers and shakers!

     After writing six blog posts, I have decided that I need to improve my music suggestions.  I think that my book and craft suggestions are fairly on point and creative, but my music is a bit lacking.  Music is an integral part of me story times, however, I think I need to make a bigger deal of how important it really is.  My last post mentioned my recent Every Child Ready to Read training and the importance of the new five practices: TALKING, SINGING, READING, talking, singing, reading, writing, playing.  How am I supposed to express how important these practices are if I am not discussing the importance of music and singing in my blog posts?  So, here’s a quick list of my favorite music.
     This week, since we focused on frogs, I used the classic “5 Green and Speckled Frogs.”  There are many different versions to this song, but I chose the one that was most upbeat and fun.  Once again, I used this song to play with the parachute and although I did not have a frog to bounce, we opted for another animal that begins with an Ff, Fish!  I do however, use other songs each week.  Songs I chose to use for the month of October include…

1)     I-P Alphabet Song by Kidzup Educational Music
2)     Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill
3)     Spunky Spider by Jane Murphy
4)     I Love Bugs! by Jane Murphy
5)     Clap Your Hands Just Like Me by Tumble Tots
6)     Numbers Jump by Wonder Choir
7)     Itsy Bitsy Spider by Hap Palmer
8)     The Animal Alphabet by Twin Sisters Production

     My goal throughout the month of October is to post two song videos per each post, thus, by the end of Ocotber, you will have a video for each of the songs I list above.  Now, I am the one making these videos on Windows Movie Maker.  I am a movie maker novice, so bear with me.  Hopefully as the month progresses, my videos will get better and better.  Thus, let me present, my first two music videos EVER!

This is the I-P Alphabet Song by Kidzup Educational Music.
This song is available for purchase on iTunes.

This is the Animal Alphabet song, a Twin Sisters Production. 
This song is available for purchase on iTunes.
     Well, I think that is it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s post about the letter Ff.  Don’t forget that next week is FIRE SAFETY WEEK!  It really is important and everyone should take just a little bit of time to talk about it with their kids.  As usual, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave me a message!  I love getting comments almost as much as I love getting snail mail! 

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