Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekly Learning Theme: Libraries and Books

One of the learning themes I came up with when I first started working on our learning theme notebook was libraries and books.  With the summer reading program starting up I thought it was the perfect time to tackle this theme.  The best part was it incorporated so many activities we were already planning on doing!  We had a playdate or library event going on every day the week I had this one planned so I decided to spread it over 2 weeks.  With how busy our summer will be, we already have something scheduled every day through the beginning of August, I'm thinking we'll stretch all of our summer learning themes into 2 weeks.

Listed below are the objectives I am focusing on for the themed weeks.  I have updated our objectives from the original ones we focused on because Carter mastered those skills.  I plan to continue to implement activities to practice and reinforce our previous objectives while putting more emphasis on our new objectives.  Some of them won't necessarily be targeted with specific activities during our weeks, but I wanted to list them to help me remember to practice them continually.  The highlighted objectives are ones Carter received exposure to during our theme this week:
  1. Take turns in a simple game.
  2. Understand the meaning of mine, his, hers.
  3. Group objects based on a category (sort by defining feature).  
  4. String beads or other objects.
  5. Count to 3 and understand what the numbers mean.  
  • This year for our summer reading program everyone who signs up has to have their own library card.  To get a library card you have to sign up online.  I did that weeks in advance and Carter and Elise's library cards came in the mail.  I saved Carter's back to show him first thing during this week.  I had him open his envelope to find his card.  He wasn't super excited, but then I explained what it was and had him sign the back which he absolutely loved!
    Opening the envelope with his library card in it.

    Signing his library card.
    I wanted to get a picture of his signature, but he didn't want to let go of his card!
  • The library was closed on Monday for Memorial Day so first thing Tuesday we headed to the library to sign up for the summer reading program.  Carter was so excited to pick out his sticker for his first library visit and wanted to carry his bag to the car.  He even asked if he could carry Elise's bag for her and ended up carrying them both!
  • During our multiple trips to the library throughout the week Carter helped me return books in the drop box and check them out at the machine.  He cracked me up by doing something he's never done on a trip before.  As I was handing him books to put in the drop box we got to his favorite one from that stash of books and he said, "No, Carter still read this one!"  So we put the book back in our bag to keep until our next trip to the library.
  • Carter also helped me check out books.  During the first week of our theme we went to the library or a library sponsored event 5 different times!  We ended up going to 3 different libraries during our theme and Carter enjoyed checking books out using the different machines.  One had a machine you stack about 7 books on at a time and it reads them all.  One had a machine you have to slide the books forward on one at a time and the other had one you put books on top of a square one at a time.
  • We read books outside.  One day after walking to our library we stopped at some park benches to read a few books.

  • To receive prizes for the summer reading program you have to go the library 4 times and read 8 books for the first prize and then 12 more books for the 2nd prize.  During the first week of the summer reading program we'd already been to the library 5 times and read way more than 20 books!  Carter will sometimes sit long enough to read 20 books in one sitting.  To make it last longer and take more time to win the prizes, each time we read books I'd lay them out to show Carter which books we read and I'd have him pick his favorite book.  That was the only book I'd write down.  It was fun to see him think about it and then to see which book he picked!
    Carter's reading log.
  • After reading Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed we played dress up with the mole rat.  I used materials from Mo Willem's website, you can find it here.  We took turns picking out what the mole rat would wear.  Then we played pin the clothes on the mole rat taking turns.  When we were finished I added magnets to the back of all the clothes and taped the mole rat to the fridge.  Carter loved going by and putting the sunglasses on the mole rat.  He would occasionally put other clothes on him as well.

  • We looked at a book and talked about the parts of a book together, just sticking with the cover, pages, and spine.  We practiced turning the pages and then talked about where the spine of the book needed to be.  I had cut a piece of paper into 4 smaller pieces and I had Carter help me stack them up and decide where our spine needed to be.  Then he helped me put 3 staples along the side for the spine.  Once we had the book ready I created a book and showed him how I put words and pictures on each page.  I then asked him if he wanted to make a book of his own.  He did so we stapled pages together again.  Then he wrote on each page, telling me what it said so I wrote the words to show what he had written on each page.  He was very proud and even told me the letters he was writing. 
    Adding "letters" to his book.
    The covers of our books.
    The first page of Carter's book.
    The second page of his book.
The last page of his book.
  • I showed Carter hardback, paperback, and board books.  We talked about how they were different and I had him feel the cover and pages of each of the books.  I placed one of each kind out on the floor and told him what it was called.  Then I handed him one book at a time and asked him to put it with the kind of book it was.  Board books were the easiest for him.  When he was finished we counted how many books were in each pile.
  • We also sorted books based off the main character in the books.  I pulled some books and he sorted them into piles for Skippyjon Jones, Curious George, Pete the Cat, and the Pigeon.  We again counted how many books were in each pile when we were finished.
  • We did lots of sorting and matching during this theme!  I printed out pictures of some of Carter's favorite book characters.  Then I mixed them all up and had him sort them into piles.  Once he was done sorting I had him count how many pictures of each character we had.  Then he matched the picture of the character to the book they were in.  He has lots of stuffed animals that are characters from books so I let him play with them during the week and then during our sorting and matching time I had him also match the stuffed animal to the book. 
  • I printed a coloring page of the Pigeon from and Carter colored it.  I also printed finger puppets of the duckling and the Pigeon, but Carter didn't want to make them.
Special Snack:
  • We read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  Then Carter helped Ty make chocolate chip cookies.  While he was eating his cookie I asked him what he'd like to go with it and he responded with milk, just like in the book.  So cute!
Mixing the dough.
Enjoying his cookie with milk.

Make Believe:
  • My favorite activity all week was when we pretended Carter's bedroom was a library.  I pulled his cash register into the middle of the room to use as the librarian's desk.  Then I pulled some books off his book shelves and placed them in other places around the room so there were books everywhere.  We used his library card and I'd pick out books and bring them to him so he could check them out to me.  Then we started taking turns being the librarian.  He wanted to give me stickers like he's been getting for the summer reading program so I made a pretend book list with circles to put stickers in for each library visit.  He loved it!  It was so cute because when I got up to his desk he'd say, "Card please."  Then as he handed me each item back he'd say, "Here ya go."
  • I planned to read a Pigeon book and then act out one of his temper tantrums pretending to be the Pigeon.  We ended up not doing it because Carter came up with something better.  One morning as I was getting ready to head out for a play date Carter walked up to me wearing Ty's shoes and asked me to sing the kitty song.  When I asked him which one he said Pete the Cat!  So he walked down the hall wearing Ty's shoes pretending to be Pete the Cat while I sang the song.  At the end of the song I'd make up something he stepped in and Carter would tell me what color it turned his shoes.  It was so much fun!
  • We read and sang lots of Raffi songbooks during our 2 weeks.  We also listened to Tom Chapin's Library Song.  Carter loves the song and always dances to it.

Field Trip/Interactive Experience:
  • We went to so many different libraries and storytimes throughout the week.  We even enjoyed storytime in the park.  I'd say Carter's favorite library sponsored event we went to was a magic show.  It was 45 minutes long and he sat totally focused for the entire show.  I was shocked!  Going into it I figured we'd end up having to leave early.  Elise ended up being awake for most of the show so I got her out of her car seat to enjoy it.
Carter enjoying the magic show.
Elise watching the magic show.
Posing as a super hero at one of the libraries.  The summer reading program theme is "Every hero has a story".

Kicked his shoes off to read in the children's section.

  • Our Library by Eve Bunting
  • When the Library Lights Go Out by Megan McDonald
  • The Little Red Fish by Taeeun Yoo
  • Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
  • Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
  • Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen 
  • Baby Bear's Book by Jane Yolen
  • Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
  • Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk
  • Baby Beluga by Raffi
  • Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
  • D.W.'s Library Card by Marc Brown
  • My Librarian Is A Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margaret Ruurs
  • That Book Woman by Heather Henson
  • Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
  • The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy
  • Maisy Goes to the Library by Lucy Cousins 
  • Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr
  • Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn
  • Book!  Book!  Book! by Deborah Bruss
  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • No Bears by Megan McKinlay
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
  • If You're Happy and You Know It by Raffi
  • This Little Light Of Mine by Raffi
  • Wheels on the Bus by Raffi
  • The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians by Carla Morris
  • But Excuse Me That Is My Book by Lauren Child 
  • Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
  • Miss Brooks Loves Book (And I Don't) by Barbara Bottner
  • Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bob Shea
  • How a Book Is Made by Aliki
  • Beatrice Doesn't Want To by Laura Numeroff
  • Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates


  1. He looks full of business carrying both their bags from the library. And he made a cute Pete the Cat. Elise looks like she's really watching the magic show.