At-Home Activities for Families with Preschoolers

Now that I’ve got two sets of activities ready to go, I’m ready to tell you about them! I’ve been working with a preschool teacher to come up with fun, age-appropriate activities to accompany her weekly newsletters. She wanted something that was only one page so it could be copied onto the back of her one-page newsletter. The first set includes 14 activities and the second includes 12 activities. This means that downloading both will give you a total of 26 activities to send home with your students (if you’re in a school), patrons (if you’re in a library), or children if you’ll be using these at home yourself. The activities provide a platform to count, talk, write, draw, color, name, give, and story-tell together. My organizational advice… print them all and keep them in a binder (inside those clear sheet protectors). Stick a post-it onto the front of the protector to write the date it was used. This will not only help you in deciding what activity to use next but well also assist in reprinting for a caregiver.As a thank you for following Circulating Knowledge and reading this post, all activities are available to be downloaded for free […]

When you realize classic books are racist

PBS recently aired a clip of Grace Lin talking about: What to do when you realize classic books from your childhood are racist  There are SO many books that fall into this category and many times people don’t even think about it because the book is so familiar and beloved to them. Next time you’re reading books from your childhood, or even earlier in time, take a critical eye and evaluate the words AND illustrations contained within the story. You have the freedom to read what you choose. Please, please, take the time to discuss the topics within these classic stories with the people in your life. If you’re interested in more resources of how to talk about these issues please email me, happy reading! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: American Indians in Children’s Literature

American Indians in Children’s Literature is a blog that is maintained by the amazing Debbie Reese. Her site is full of highly useful information regarding children’s literature that is by or about American Indians. She started the blog in 2006 and since then has become a go-to source for many librarians and educators when it comes to the evaluation of books including American Indians (or representations of sovereign nations and peoples). Some highlights of the resources you will find while visiting AICL include: Best Books Native Writers, Illustrators, Scholars, Activists…on Twitter Revisions to Racism in Books Books that Reference Racist Classics Plus, I even made her blog back in 2013 thanks to Debbie video-chatting with our Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) class at the Information School @ the University of Wisconsin – Madison with the post, Indigenous Knowledge and Children’s Literature. Have a wonderful day and happy reading! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: International Children’s Digital Library

Are you looking for a new source for online children’s literature that includes books from many languages? The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge. Read their mission statement to learn more about why they do what they do and check out their “Using the Library” page to learn how to find just what you’re looking for! Clicking “Read Books” will bring you right into their simple search feature and using the links below will bring you to a few of my favorites, great for projecting for an entire classroom or library 🙂 When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry I SPY: A book of picture riddles Harlem  Remember, use your best judgement to assess the authenticity of the titles included, time period the book was published, and the audience they are intended for. Happy reading! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: Kevin Henkes Website

I’ve been a fan of Kevin Henkes’ books for quite some time yet somehow had no idea there were such great resources to accompany them. From memory games to coloring to recipes and even teaching guides (Common Core aligned Author Study as well), there’s sure to be something you’re interested in. Check them out at: Keven Henkes for Teachers and Librarians Happy reading! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

Quality Resource: First 5 California

Talk. Read. Sing. It changes everything. Many states have initiatives geared towards early literacy however few are as interactive and easy-to-use as First 5 California. Plus, they link to the national site of zerotothree.org when their resources fit into the three categories of babies, toddlers, or preschoolers. First 5 uses three birds to encourage families to talk (Franco the talking parrot), read (Orson the reading owl), and sing (Melody the singing songbird) with their children. However, literacy is not their only focus as you’ll see by the menu options listed on the home page of learning center, activity center, health center, services + support, and free resources. Some of the resources I found most useful in a library or educational setting include: Downloadable books a First 5 CA playlist on Pandora Songs, rhymes, and fingerplays in English and Spanish If you’re looking for a specific activity for babies, toddlers, or preschoolers, be sure to choose the group you’re interested in listed under “activities.” Comment below with any other state or national sites you enjoy using for early literacy activities! Happy learning! Your librarian, Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez

The Power of Play

As an alumni of the College of Education and Human Development, within the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, I receive every new issue of CEHD Connect (their magazine). This is one magazine I’m always happy to receive and look through eagerly. For April 2017, it was even more exciting because it was all about the power of play! Therefore, I wanted to share with all of you! Whether you are a caregiver, teacher, librarian, or any other figure within the life of a child, you’re sure to get something out of at least one of the articles. Use the link above if you’re interested in browsing the entire issue or the links below to arrive at specific articles. The Power of Play Play Lab Setting the Stage for Learning A Breath of Fresh Air If you’re a librarian interested in ways to make your library more engaging to babies and their families…I highly recommend checking out Engaging Babies in the Library: Putting Theory into Practice by Debra J. Knoll. She does a great job explaining the ins and out of catering to babies, families, and your library environment. Lastly, I’ve made bookmarks to celebrate the power of play and […]