Search Results for "virtual school"

Virtual Program: Dog Man BINGO

Dog Man BINGO! There is so much Dog Man love in the universe. This program was pulled from my Dog Man to the Rescue! in-person 2019 Dog Man event, with some minor tweaks to work as a virtual event.

This had a bit more interest than Book Character BINGO a few weeks ago, though I don’t think BINGO draws excitement the same way trivia does. We are experimenting with a weekly live after school trivia/BINGO style event in September, and I’ll be interested to see how that works out.

Looking for more Dog Man?

Check out Virtual Dog Man Trivia and Dog Man to the Rescue!

And discover other virtual school age programs:

Content

We played three rounds of BINGO, two where we aimed for five in a row, and a final coverall game, allowing everyone to get a BINGO.

Watch the video here:

All of the BINGO cards have the same 24 characters on them (plus the free space). I include a number beside each character image to help kids and grown-ups quickly find characters or book covers they are unfamiliar with.

Download the BINGO cards here:

I also curated an at-home fun packet, featuring an activity page for each of our book characters. Download here.

And, of course, a Dog Man BINGO printable certificate:

Innovation Academy: Virtual and Augmented Reality

I’ve been part of my library’s virtual storytime team for the last few months (and into the summer). Last week, I had a chance to dive into school age programming again with another virtual Innovation Academy program.

This was my second foray into a virtual Innovation Academy program. I received zero feedback from the first program or from this program, so I have essentially no idea what patrons thought of either event, or if they even opened the documents I sent. So it goes with virtual programming.

Read more about the how, why, and pros and cons for this particular program series in my last post on this topic: Virtual School Age: Coding.

Some details on how this series works:

  • Program materials are designed and curated for ages 6-11.
  • Attendees register via Evanced (our regular event registration software).
  • On the day of the event, the program presenter emails attendees a video introduction as well as a PDF with resources, content, and activities to do at home.

Innovation Academy Content

The challenge with tech programs at home is coming up with tech ideas that only use technology the average family is likely to own–essentially, a computer and a smartphone. Coding was an easy choice, but so many of my regular in-library programs rely on physical technology (3D pens, 3D printer, Bloxels, various robots, etc.).

Augmented Reality just involves a smartphone–something that many people may already own (or at least those people who are signing up virtually for a virtual event).

I wanted to make this program a bit more focused with activities that build based on your knowledge and age–starting with defining the concept, moving on to exploring the concept, and finally creating something on your own.

This was a great plan until I spent way too many hours trying to find a tool that allows kids to create their own Augmented Reality apps or games. This feels like it should exist, and it does in a few forms, but most of those forms involve (1) apps that are outdated/don’t work with the newest Android/Apple updates, (2) software that costs money, or (3) apps that are in development by Princeton and will be SO COOL in three years.

To allow for that “create” portion of the program, I expanded the program topic to “Augmented and Virtual Reality.” While you can’t explore virtual reality without a headset, you can create some cool virtual reality tours with Google that can be made and shared without needing a headset. Is it as cool without a headset? No. Does it still get the point across? Yes.

Just like last time, I provided an instruction video for participants:

Participants can watch the video, or they can move straight to the packet, included below. It covers the concepts reviewed in the video, and also provides a written explanation of the resources and tutorial shown in the video.

Virtual Book Talks

Reader’s Advisory and book talks are a major part of any youth librarian’s job–you need to be familiar with popular titles as well as be ready for those more obscure reader’s advisory questions (“I want books about REAL unicorns. None of that pink glittery nonsense. The REAL ones that eat people.”).

In the library, we provide this service regularly through all kinds of resources–in-person reader’s advisory, displays, booklists, librarian-curated posters and bookmarks of recommended titles and popular genres, and more. My library also sends us into classrooms to talk directly to kids about some great books they might be interested in.

I read a lot. I also love booktalking in classrooms. But I am now working from home, schools in Ohio are not going back this year, and, honestly, I don’t really expect public librarians (or anyone really) to be allowed into classrooms next fall.

So how do we keep reaching those kids? The same ways we have been doing everything lately…virtually.

Learn about how my virtual reader’s advisory evolved into video book talks – plus plenty of examples – in this post.

Video Book Talks

Someday, when we are in a better routine and know what to expect out of life again, I would love to make video book talks. At the moment, I am just getting my feet under me with weekly virtual storytimes and starting monthly virtual school-age programs, and with the constant uncertainty of when and how we will reopen, I don’t want to start something like this at the moment.

Feel free to watch this, uh, interesting creation circa 2017 (that has over 700 views?!?!?!).

I think there are ways to make virtual video book talks much more engaging than the above video, even after eliminating the obvious issues like what-color-is-that-wall and better sound (And, um, pronouncing the title and main character’s name correctly. I’m sorry Hena Khan.).

Some of my dream video book talks include a lot more engaging cuts, edits, and images to be more visually exciting, but I think I may have to settle for a notch under that if I am able to start filming these in the next few months, just due to the time required to make those edits. I’m storyboarding our summer reading video at the moment, and while I think it is going to be pretty awesome, I also recognize the time involved.

Audio Book Talks

One of my coworkers started making audio-only book talks uploaded to SoundCloud, which is a new format for me. I really miss the visual element of video, but I will be the first to admit that it is much easier to read a script into a microphone than babble into a camera and worry about lighting and camera placement and my hands endlessly moving.

I have not put in the time on these that my coworker has (listen to Lisa’s great work here), but some of my files are linked below.

For any of you with an ear for audiobooks–I know some of you are reading this blog–please ignore my mouth sounds. And breathing. And spit. And dry mouth. And p-pops. I’ve been trying to edit all of that out, but it is exhausting, and there is only so much time in the work day. I can’t spend three hours or more editing a three-minute audio file, as much as ALL I HEAR is spit when these play.

Note: I watched a webinar yesterday on disability access and virtual programming. One of the key points they mentioned was making audio files accessible with a script to read for folks who are deaf. I hadn’t considered that before but am planning to edit descriptions for the files below and include text for future audio book talks.

2nd-3rd Grade:

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol by Andres Miedoso

Mia Mayhem by Kara West

Zoey & Sassafras by Asia Citro

3rd-4th Grade:

Poop Detectives by Ginger Wadsworth (non-fiction)

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano

4th-5th Grade:

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Do you have plans for new ways to look at reader’s advisory in a world where we may not be encouraging patrons to hang out in our building and may not be going into new locations for in-person outreach?

Virtual Innovation Academy: Coding

I’ve been part of my library’s virtual storytime team over the last month, and today, it is my turn to expand into virtual school age programming, with an online adaptation of my Innovation Academy programs.

About three years ago, I started the Innovation Academy programming series because of a technology grant that gave us about $5000 in tech ideal for ages 8-11. The program series was popular, as anything with technology seems to be, but after a few years I grew close to burnout with tech. I was one of the only staff members interested in tech programming, and I felt obligated to keep creating it since there was a patron interest.

We had a mixed audience at each Innovation Academy program, which made it difficult to plan. I couldn’t move on to advanced content because at least a third of every program’s attendees would have never used any kind of tech before. Another third would have come to every single tech program I had done in the last 2-3 years, and they would quite loudly complain that they had done this activity before. The other third would be some combination of the previous two, while also regularly letting me know that they had more advanced tech at home or at school. Oh, and there were also the kids who were too young to be in the room and couldn’t read (and didn’t have the patience to try to work through any kind of problem solving).

Luckily, last year, our department divided up the Innovation Academy program series, expanding its content to cover more than tech but also expanding the staff who ran the program. This gave me a much-needed technology break, and while I can’t say I am ready to jump back into monthly tech programs, I don’t mind the occasional offering, and I definitely don’t mind trying to translate that content to a new medium–online!

My library decided to approach school age programming so that:

  • Ages are expanded–all programs have materials for ages 6-11.
  • Attendees register via Evanced (our regular event registration software).
  • On the day of the event, the program presenter will email attendees a video introduction as well as a PDF with resources, content, and activities to do at home.

My first Innovation Academy program goes live today, so I don’t know what the patron feedback will be. Four days before the event, we already have 60 sign-ups, which is fantastic! Our first school-age event from last week, virtual Young Engineers, received a great response from virtual attendees, so I’m hoping that pattern continues.

Innovation Academy Content

This session’s intro video is below. It is boring. I’m going to work on ways to make it more engaging–including seeing my face talking–for next time, but I was determined to get this done this week, and double storytimes meant that reading my notes instead of talking was just easier.

Participants can watch the video, or they can move straight to the packet, included below. It covers the vocabulary reviewed in the video, and also provides four pages of coding resources for all levels of coders, from beginning to advanced, including unplugged, block-based, and text-based coding activities.

Pros and Cons

Obviously this format is different than standard library programming, and there isn’t too much we can do about that. Until we have a vaccine for COVID-19, our world is going to look different. Encouraging people to gather for entertainment purposes, while mentally helpful, is simply dangerous at the moment. Speaking personally, my life, my coworker’s lives, and our patron’s lives aren’t worth creating an hour’s worth of entertainment–or learning–right now. When stay at home orders are lifted, some people will run from their homes to any open location–that doesn’t mean we are obligated to amuse them at our own personal risk. Other people will stay home and prioritize their and other people’s safety.

Everyone will make their own choices, and virtual programming allows us to reach people in a way that is safe for everyone. Unfortunately, it means we will be missing people, especially those that need our services the most. I don’t have an answer for that, but I will say that in almost all cases, in my particular library, the people who are coming into our library to attend our physical programs are not the people who don’t have Internet at home. They may make choices about screen time limits that may make it hard to attend our virtual programs–and honestly, if you are able to stick to those limits in these crazy times, good for you–but they still have access if they choose to use it.

I don’t think temporarily moving our programs virtual is preventing our regular users from accessing the library. Figuring out how to reach those folks who could never make it into the library in the first place is a bigger question, and virtual programming may actually be opening doors instead of closing them. According to Pew Research, 68% of low income families use social media (with Facebook being by far the most popular tool). While I don’t have the statistics, I will bet that 68% of our low income families don’t visit our library regularly.

Obviously, no matter how I try to spin it, there are still cons to online programs. They feel impersonal. I can’t adjust a program based on a participant’s response. I can’t lead them through a problem the same way I could in person. I can’t give them physical items to work with and explore, from robots and 3D printing pens to even simple craft materials. I don’t even know how many participants opened the files I sent or actually did any activity. People could really struggle with what I provide, or simply not like the format, and I may never know.

To end on a positive note, however, there are small good things to focus on too. So many of those reasons that I was burnt out on tech disappear here. I can provide activities and resources for all ages and abilities–from those preschoolers sneaking their way into school-age programs to the attendees that have been coding for years. I’ve got you all covered.

Online programs can promote family engagement in a way that in-library programs can promote peer-to-peer learning. Adults learn about fun ways they can connect with their kids without having to spend money on robots and 3D printing pens and craft supplies. Programs can be completed whenever is convenient for a family–as soon as an email is distributed, after work is done, over the weekend, a year from now. If the baby is super grumpy, a family doesn’t have to worry about leaving the house and arriving 30 minutes late. If a kid is really, really, really bored with Scratch, they don’t have to yell that at the top of their lungs in a room of their peers–they can just try Code Combat instead.

I want to get these kids back in our programming space–I miss them. I miss watching them grow up over the last few months, and possibly over the next year. Virtual programming provides us a bit of everything–while we don’t always get to see the kids, we still get to connect with families, share some cool learning opportunities, and connect our patrons to the ideas, interests, and passions that matter to them. Just with a little more distance between us and them.

Little People Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald

As part of our virtual programming, I began a monthly school age storytime, designed for ages 6-8. This program highlights a different diverse individual from the Little People Big Dreams book series.

Like all of our virtual live storytimes, this program took place on Facebook. I didn’t expect an audience here, and, as I expected, I was very much presenting a storytime to no one, but we are leaving these programs up a little longer than regular storytimes due to the content. We have had a slight increase in views over time, and I’m thinking about ways to make this more accessible (such as uploading storytimes to YouTube).

Watch the full storytime here:

In the event description, I included links to:

Storytime Outline

Intro: Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

First Book: Ella Fitzgerald by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (Little People Big Dreams)

Ella Fitzgerald: 11 (Little People, Big Dreams): Amazon.co.uk: Sanchez  Vegara, Isabel, Alca, Bàrbara: Books

Music Break: A Tisket, A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald (with shakers)

Second Book: Making Their Voices Heard : The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and  Marilyn Monroe: Kirkfield, Vivian, Harris, Alleanna: 9781499809152:  Amazon.com: Books

Closing Rhyme: See You Later, Alligator

See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly!

Next Time

In October, I’m planning to focus on athlete Pele. I think the storytime outline is going to stay the same, though not all famous people are going to lend themselves to a specific song like Ella Fitzgerald does. I’d like to continue to always use diverse musicians for my music though, no matter who that month’s famous individual is. I’m hoping interest in this series grows over time.

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 11

And we are back! I haven’t presented a baby storytime in over two months, which feels a little odd, but makes it more refreshing to come back to this age range. Trying out some new bounce rhymes, a new action rhyme, and a new puppet activity. I’m also super excited about my Shaker Song this week–Baby Loves Beignets by Jazzy Ash.

I also really wanted to use this perfect new baby storytime book, but alas, my August counterpart claimed it for storytime two weeks ago. But you should use it!

Welcome to the Party: Union, Gabrielle, Evans, Ashley: 9780062978615:  Amazon.com: Books

Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Amazon.com: The Wheels on the Bus (Jane Cabrera's Story Time)  (9780823444793): Cabrera, Jane: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Sing all the time with your little one—make it a part of your routine. Tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is great for singing about daily activities.

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Put the Beat On

Bounce Rhyme: Ride that Horsey

Bounce: Bounce and Stop

Song: One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs

Puppets: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Manipulative: Shaker Rhyme & Song

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 9

While we look at moving back into the library (I’m back in the library two days a week now–starting today!), virtual programs continue. We are discussing how to transition to filming in the library, especially since our building will most likely be opening to the public soon, any regular programming spaces are being used for quarantine of deliveries or returns, and an open-office staff space with no area for private filming. Returning to the library gives others staff members who don’t have the at-home tech an opportunity to film storytimes…but that also means restarting a learning curve about the technology and the differences between an in-person and virtual storytime, at a time when the patron expectation in program quality is higher (after all we’ve been doing this a while).

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Leo Loves Baby Time: McQuinn, Anna, Hearson, Ruth: 9781580896658 ...

Early Literacy Tip: Babies understand more than they can say. Using gestures, including sign-language is a great way to communicate with your little one. More, Stop, and No are great words to practice.

Song: She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Head and Shoulders

Bounce Rhyme: Old Grey Mare

Bounce: Two Little Boats

Song: The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Jump!

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 7

I am bouncing with ages quite a bit in June, and while I will be presenting two more virtual preschool storytimes this month, I am also back to Baby Storytimes the whole month. I’m excited to be back with babies, though not so much to have to live up to my coworker’s adorable baby who made appearances throughout May.

As I expected, I am recycling some of my content here that I used in the first six weeks. Repetition is good for this age, and I also keep to a more strict routine with this age range week to week (though I am reordering my middle slightly). I have had more time than I may have had in the library, so I was able to do more research than usual, and I am planning to scatter a few new content pieces throughout, especially new body rhymes and puppet activities, which will mean a couple new videos a week.

General baby storytime links I share with the public:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Peek-a-Baby by Karen Katz

Amazon.com: Peek-a-Baby: A Lift-the-Flap Book (9781416936220 ...

Early Literacy Tip: Talk to your baby as you go about your day, even if they can’t respond with words yet. Encourage, listen, and respond to your baby’s babbling.

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Make Your Arms Go Up

Bounce Rhyme: Humpty Dumpty

Bounce: Here We Go Bumpy Boo

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Puppets: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Manipulative: Scarves

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 13

What is the best way to label baby storytime outlines? I don’t use themes, but does the current weekly title make sense? Should I change the titles to the title of the book I used? Now that I’ve been at this for a while, I’m starting to doubt my blog organization skills. It’s starting to remind me of my closet that I reorganize once a year.

I didn’t actually present this storytime (I was sick!), but I still thought I would share the outline and videos with all of you.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Look! Babies Head to Toe by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Early Literacy Tip: Look in the mirror and name body parts. Ask questions like “Where is baby’s nose?” Then point to your child’s nose (and your nose!).

Song: Wheels on the Bus by Laurie Berkner

Action Rhyme: One, Two, Peek-A-Boo!

Bounce Rhyme: Jelly on a Plate

Bounce: A Hippopotamus Got on a City Bus

Song: Baby 1, 2, 3 by Peter & Ellen Allard

Puppets: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals (Little Red Wagon by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 4

Week 4 of virtual baby storytime! I am finally at a 30 minute storytime, woot!

Views dropped this week, with about 35 watching live and about 60 one-minute-views before the livestream was taken down. However, we did have more comments from regulars than we did on previous recent recordings. I’m also not sure if people just didn’t want to see my face twice in one week.

Folks on one of the state library web meetings also mentioned dropping viewers, and they had some interesting feedback regarding Facebook Live algorithms starting to stop notifying people when they go live due to the frequency–they could tell based on the decrease in impressions on their posts.

I’ve seen some libraries live streaming to multiple sources at once via two different devices, which is interesting. We have such a large built-in audience on Facebook, though we are also getting quite a response from our registered school age events. I can’t quite picture Zoom or a similar software working well though, just based on the number of meetings I’ve sat in on where people won’t turn their mute on–one person has rustling papers or pets in the background, and suddenly their face is the only one anyone participating can see, even if they aren’t the person talking or hosting. Any solutions out there?

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Introduction Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation

We talked about writing this week, including fine motor activities and shape recognition.

No tip and book video because the book I used–one of my favorites–is unfortunately not available as an ebook through our library.

Up!: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones: Susan ...

Action & Body Rhymes

Fingerplay

Songs

Movement & Bounce Rhymes

Puppet Time

Manipulative Time – Stuffed Animals

Closing Song

DIY Play

:)