It is OKAY to YELL in the LIBRARY

Friday, October 06, 2006

Families that Read Together Succeed Together

Welcome! Thank you for checking out this site. Click here to view the power point presentation given at Upper Saint Clair High School on October 10, 2005. Please visit in the links to the right for more information about family literacy and libraries. Please bookmark this site to check for frequent updates. We will post pictures from this session and your ideas.

If you would like to become a member of this blog, able to post ideas and questions of your own, please email ing at

Monday, October 10, 2005

Check out Pam Berger is one of the most brilliant women in the field. Check out her info on blogging.

Here's the information we talked about in the morning session regarding the grants available from Dollar General regarding adult and family literacy programs!

Check out this article from the ERIC database on working with ESL parents of special needs children.

Here are the notes from the brainstorming sessions during which yinz came up with some really creative ideas! Steal away! I know we will!

Program Ideas from Morning Session
October 10, 2005

Group One
Colonial America

Week Long School-Wide Unit
Every child and adult in costume
Parents, PTA involved in last day wrap-up
Storytellers, historical fiction displayed
Fieldtrips to Meadowcroft
At each grade level, classroom activities

Group Two
Tall Tales

Johnny Appleseed
Apple prints
Cut apple pieces
Plant apple tree
Map of Johnny Appleseed’s journey
Field trip to farms
Make apple sauce
To measure outcomes: test, before and after

Group Three
Teen Reading

Middle school or high schoolers come back to read in elementary school
Activity will be from 6-8 after hours
Firefighter, police reader
Craft related to reading
Cake walk with book covers!
Have the library open for family reading
Have children come in sports clothing
Resources: book and craft materials, celebrity

Wildthings and Riverhounds good speakers for programs.

Group Four
Merry Meterologists

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
Have a daily weather man
It looked like spilt milk, make their own clouds
Create your own weather map.
Fieldtrip sci center
Have however you spell it ologists come to visit.
Weather balloons
Blow bubbles, watch the wind directions

Group Five
Pittsburgh Unit

Take a survey to find out family’s experience with the city.
Who was raised in pgh, how has moved in.
Field trip to Heinz history center
Cross-curriculum approach
Ethnic studies
Invite grand parents
Set up neighborhoods, then and now
Food and folklore
Duquesne Tammies
Local celebs
Visit wqed
Walking tour of Pittsburgh

Group Six
Constitution Day

Kids sign the consitution
Rules for our country
Guests in period costume
Have kids wear red, white and blue
Relate to National Treasure
Tie in music

Group Seven
Growing and Changing

Insects and butterflies
Hungry Caterpillar
Grow butterflies in the classroom
Science journaling
Art projects
Ven diagrams
Reader’s theater
Real vs fiction info
Phipps visits
Visit butterfly garden!

Program Ideas Afternoon Session

Group One

Across the Curriculum
Art, Food, Music, History

Group Two

Come Explore with Me
Dress up, make own maps
Talk show interview
Show and tell artifacts
Languages, foods, obstacles in their time period
Treasure hunts

Group Three
Elementary Rain Forest Project

Geography, mapping
Create three levels of rain forest
Each grade level chooses an animal
Medicinal value of plants
Rain-stick math, measurement and/or music, what kind of sound does each stick make
Collection for the rain forest—Read for the Rain
Rainforest songs
Conservation books--- Climb a WaterfallThe Kapok TreeThe Lorax

Group Four

Covered wagons
Quilt squares
Food, fried mush or corn cakes, apple pancakes, etc.
Field trips to meadowcroft, log house in USC
Keep a journal write about different things they have studied and read
Study clothing and occupations
Bring in community speakers
What was school like?
Pioneer days different centers, parent volunteers
Tall tale center, Johnny appleseed craft and story
Square, pioneer dancing
Tinsmith, punch a tin can, etc.
Librarian does storytelling
Pioneer games, cup in the ball, jumping jack doll
Need art supplies, books, community resources, cds, buses, etc.

Group Five
Frogs and Toads

Stories by Arnold Lobel
Fieldtrip to catch tadpoles
Compare frogs and toads
Paper plate frogs, cookies, invite parents to read frog stories

Group Six

History overview
Role playing famous Olympians, read bios, play the games and events in stations, talk about geographic locations of the games, measurement and stats. Broadcasting for non-athletic kids, opening and closing, training, cultural backgrounds of countries, flags.

Group Seven

Cup and a caterpillar, watch it grow
Book centers with different kinds of butterflies
Pictorial journal as the caterpillar grows.
Butterfly sandwiches, parent events
Variety of crafts (coffee filter)
Caterpillar sock---inside a butterfly comes out….
Songs about butterflies, trip to butterfly room
Materials: resources and reference, journal books, craft materials, set up field trip, different books of all levels.
Make wings for the kids to wear and antenea.

Thank you for all of your participation and great suggestions at today's workshops. We hope you took at least one good idea home with you.

Here is a list of some of the great suggestions that you shared during the general discussions:

- Last year one school district provided busing so that parents without transportation were able to attend Open House activities. This year funding has been cut, but carpools are being developed to assist caregivers without a car.

- A suggestion to help kids acquire more words for their vocabulary: encourage them to create lists. Play a game inwhich a topic is chosen (ie Heinz Field). Students are to write down the names of 10 things they might see at Heinz Field. One point is award for a common word, such as football. Two points for a more unusual word, and the coveted three points for a really, really cool, unique word.

- Partner with Pizza Hut, encourage children to read 20 - 30 minutes a night, have parents validate the reading time, a reward is supplied by Pizza Hut for those who complete the program.

- Reader's Theater idea: Have teachers take roles in a play based on a book and present this play to the students.

- PJ parties held in the evening for Read Across America.

- Guest readers don't have to be just mom or dad, any special adult will do! This way children with parents who cannot read do not feel left out. Also, for moms and dads who work and cannot come to school as a guest reader: suggest that they video or audio tape themselves reading a favorite book, play the book during class.

- Middle School cheerleaders visited elementary school, wrote and performed a READ cheer. All students got READ t-shirts. Older students or Title One students can be guest readers all day long.

- Parents who use English as a second language can be encouraged to participate in their child's school life by bringing in something from their native culture to share. Have a Korean Day, for example, ask this parent to come in and present.

- Have students learn two poems a month. Keep a poetry book. Share poems with older grades in the school, write a poem with a "poem buddy" from an older grade. Each child will have a poem collection book by the end of the year.

- Families read books at home and are asked to bring them to school when they are finished. One night during the year there is a "book swap", families swap books that other families have read and give away their own books that they have finished.

- Decorate a cake for Dr. Seuss' birthday.

- 8th graders write and illustrate their own books and then read them to the younger children.

- 20 minutes for 20 days plan, reading at home with the family.

- Nights with Dad, children bring their fathers to school in the evening. School rooms are decorated according to themes: a dog room, police room, dad and child find a room and read for the evening.

- Fourth grade students take turns reading on the morning announcements.

- Children's Choice Awards with the local public library. Public librarian picks 4 books, students vote on the best one, a celebration is held at the school or public library to celebrate. Different winners at different reading levels.

- From the perspective of Speech Pathology: parents can be reminded that they are their children's first speaking role model. Older kids act out books for the younger kids.

- Book of the Month Club--- entire school reads one book. Activities are made up for each grade level. Music, art, etc. all incorporated. Ex- a book about Roberto Clemente, activities for all grades, culminating in the spring with a trip to PNC Park. Even field trips center around these book themes.