A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mora Award Winner

Check out this great video from the Topeka and Shawnee County library, this year's winner of the Mora award!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Virginia Hamilton Conference 2010

I am thrilled and honored to share that I have been invited to present a workshop on bilingual programming at the 2010 Virginia Hamilton Conference in Kent, Ohio! The Virginia Hamilton Conference is focused entirely on multiculturalism in literature for children and young adults, and is the longest running event of this kind. Though this conference may not be as widely known as larger events for librarians and educators, this conference attracts hundreds of public and school librarians and teachers. It also brings together some extremely important authors. This year, Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Becoming Naomi Leon and Esperanza Rising among many others, will be the recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award. Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Chains and Speak will also be at this event.

I will be one of several presenters offering workshops at this conference, and mine will be on the topic of Bilingual Preschool Storytime. This is truly exciting for me, as I have now been part of creating a successful bilingual storytime program from scratch for two very different library systems. This experience means there are many angles from which I could approach this workshop - advocacy, marketing, early literacy, outreach, the practical elements of designing bilingual storytimes, how to find and select books, etc. As I am working on this project, I find myself thinking back to when I was first approaching bilingual programming. What did I want to know? What would have been the most useful information when I was first preparing to offer bilingual programs? I remember feeling very nervous, overwhelmed, isolated and intimidated at the prospect of launching this new program. What could have calmed my nerves? What resources did I need that I struggled to find?

My biggest goal with this workshop is that participants will leave with something practical and tangible that they can take back to their libraries or schools. I want them to feel more prepared to offer bilingual storytimes, as well as more connected to a community of bilingual programming practicioners than when they entered the room. So I'm wondering if anyone out there has ideas or suggestions for important elements to cover during the course of the workshop. What were your burning questions when you first began bilingual programming? What were your challenges? Have you trained others in presenting bilingual programs before? If so, what information did they find most beneficial?

I'll update the blog with the info I plan to share as the conference gets closer, and I will make everything available online afterward.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Early Numeracy in Bilingual Storytime

Recently, a colleague shared a great article regarding the importance of exposure to early numeracy concepts, in addition to early literacy concepts, and how this can be done through storytime. I got inspired, and this week in bilingual storytime at Village, numbers and counting abounded.

We started off with a fingerplay song, counting our manitas and deditos in English and Spanish. To the tune of "Ten Little Indians," we sang:

Dos manitas, diez deditos,
Dos manitas, diz deditos,
Dos manitas, diez deditos,
Cuentenlos conmigo.

Two little hands and ten little fingers,
Two little hands and ten little fingers,
Two little hands and ten little fingers,
Count them with me now.

Uno, dos, tres deditos
Cuatro, cinco, seis deditos,
Siete, ocho, nueve deditos
Diez deditos son.

One, two, three little fingers,
Four, five, six little fingers,
Seven, eight, nine little fingers,
One more and there's ten.

Then we were ready to move on to the stories, beginning with Nico y los lobos feroces by Valeri Gorbechav. In addition to being a super cute story about getting back to sleep after a bad dream, this book introduces more numbers than the standard 1-10. Nico believes he is being chased by 100 wolves...well maybe it was just 50...OK, maybe 15...or 5. As we read the story we pointed out the numbers on the flannelboard. Following the story, we talked about which numbers were bigger and smaller. Enhancing this, I filled four bags with corresponding numbers of buttons and had the kids pick out which bag had 100, 50, 15 or 5 buttons. They did a great job at this! It was also a nice opportunity to emphasize the "n" and the end of "fifteen" as I have noticed that many of the kids here have trouble hearing the difference between this number and "fifty."

From this we moved on to the story that introduces one of my all time favorite children's characters, Señor Calavera, in Yuyi Morales' instant classic, Just a Minute. We counted our fingers a different, more musical way, singing "Los deditos" from Jorge Anaya's A bailar = Let's Dance. Then we rhymed our way numerically across the globe (you know I have to work it that phonological awareness) with Abuelita fue al mercado. A trick I like to use with rhyming books that maintain the rhyme in both languages is to type out the English and tape it to the back of the Spanish book. This way we can read both as they are written and get that great rhyme, instead of trying to translate from either language on the fly.

This was a very fun program and parents responded enthusiastically, checking out more than half of the number-related books on display. Others I recommend on this theme are Fiesta by Ginger Foglesong Guy, Cuenta ratones by Ellen Stoll Walsh and Uno, dos, tres = One, Two, Three by Pat Mora. Tie the concepts in by printing out these great take home articles for parents on early numeracy at home from Reading Rockets, also available in Spanish.

How are you practicing numeracy in your storytimes, with your children, or with your students?