I’m always looking for new ways to learn within my profession and expand on that knowledge. And since the family finances are like, “Nuh-uh” when it comes to getting another grad degree, I’ve turned to books. There is some great stuff out there! Since I’m always in search of strengthening my storytimes, especially to babies and toddlers, I started with Time for a Story. Saroj Ghoting spoke at an in-service at my library one time, and I really liked the way she talked about storytelling and how to apply learning to storytime, so I jumped at the chance to read a book she had a hand in.
Time for a Story is a good start to digging into storytime and how to incorporate singing, play, talking, reading, and writing into any and every book you pick up. Amy Brooks Read and Saroj Ghoting have tips and reading lists ready for babies and toddlers, concentrating on the early childhood literacy and the best ways to introduce a lifelong love of reading in kids. Reading, you say? Yes, reading! Kids start making connections early – print awareness is wonderful, we all know that. Keep books all over the place for kids to develop that print awareness. Let them chew on those board books (not library books, though, PLEASE), let them hold books and turn pages. I hand out books for kids to hold onto and explore during my storytimes, so it was gratifying to read that here. I was also relieved to discover that it is okay for my kiddos to wander during storytime, and for me to keep reading – they’re still paying attention while they explore. Family Literacy Tips are great to post around your libraries and classrooms, and talk through with parents during storytime.
There are book lists and samples of ways to read different books. I appreciated the advice on reading wordless or sparsely worded books, like Peggy Rathmann’s Good Night Gorilla, because I feel like it’s an untapped resource for my storytimes.
This was a nice start to my professional development reading, with information that I will come back to. Saroj Ghoting has a very useful website where you can find resources in a multitude of languages, including Spanish and Chinese. Gryphon House has a video of Amy Brooks Read discussing storytime strategies on their website.