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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca: What, Why and How

Here is the presentation along with supplementary handouts for next week's presentation at the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts to share.

Colorín Colorado - A Website You MUST Know!

I just wanted to take a minute to post a link to the Colorín Colorado website (the sister site of Reading Rockets), in case there are any blog visitors out there working with bilingual families who don't yet know about it. This is easily one of the most valuable websites I have ever come across for librarians, parents and educators who are working with or raising bilingual children.  There is a wealth of scientific information related to the early literacy and educational development of bilingual children available on this site, in both English and Spanish.  I dig around here for new information whenever I have a spare minute to browse the web, and always find articles to print off for the families who come to my bilingual storytime.  The greatest part is that all of the articles are available in English and Spanish, so I can make the same information available to all families who attend.  Most useful are the Reading Tip Sheets for Parents, which break down different tips and ideas for how to promote early literacy skills with your child at home based on their age.  These sheets are available in 11 different languages, including Spanish!  It's really a great website, easy to navigate and full of valuable information.  I highly recommend checking it out and sharing it with other families and educators whom you know.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let's Have a Fiesta!

Last night, a group of 25 at Bilingual Family Storytime had a fiesta at the Village Branch library.  This is a guaranteed fun theme that works for babies through school age groups, as well as for a mixed age audience if you also use a family storytime format.  Here's what we did and how you can do it too!

We started with Ginger Foglesong Guy's simple bilingual title ¡Fiesta!  You have to go shopping for supplies before you can have a party, and in reading this title, we take a stroll through the market to buy all the supplies we need.  This book practices counting in both languages 1-10, so as we turn the pages I call out for the children to show me the appropriate number of deditos for the page we are on.  Older siblings do a great job at helping younger brothers and sisters find the right number of fingers!

What else do you need for a great party that we didn't get at the mercado?  A cake!  Kids all know that parties need cake!  So we read about baking a cake in Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya.  This title is in English and introduces Spanish words through rhyming text, which reinforces both vocabulary and phonological awareness.  Don't forget to point this out to parents!  It is important that parents know that while storytime is fun, the important thing is that we are developing early literacy skills and that they can continue this learning at home.

I made a flannel cake that we put on the flannelboard after reading this book.  We once again practiced counting in both languages as we added the candles to the cake.  You could also talk about the colors they see on the cake or imagine what the cake might taste like.

There has to be music at a party, and little ones need to move after sitting still for so long, so we got back on our feet and danced along to "Los ninos cuando bailan" from Jorge Anaya's A bailar / Let's Dance CD.  This song helps us learn body vocabulary as we dance with our deditos, pies, rodillas, cadera, mano and cabeza.

But of course, there is one key thing that any good party in our neighborhood has to have - A PIÑATA!  We learned about the piñata and all the wonderful tesoros contained within by reading Rebecca Emberley's bilingual Piñata.  Then we filled our own piñata - I made one out of flannel and made things to put inside it based on the book, which each of the children were able to add.  When it was filled, I had all the kids close their eyes and count uno, dos, tres...when they opened them, there was a real piñata!  Because it was my only one, we didn't really break it.  Instead we used our imaginations and on the count of three made a loud CLAP and I through out confeti, symbolizing the breaking of the piñata.  Each child was able to pick a tesoro from the basket of goodies.  They loved it!

Here are the handouts that I used to talk with parents at our fiesta about print motivation and other early literacy skills.  There is one in English and also one in Spanish.  Feel free to use (giving credit as appropriate) for ideas on how to communicate early literacy messages in your school or library.

Have you had a fiesta at storytime?  What have you done?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Professional Development Opportunities Children's Librarians Serving Latino Youth

April has two exciting professional development opportunities for those serving multicultural communities, both of which are particularly relevant if you work with Latino children and families.  The first is in northern Ohio at Kent State University on April 8th and 9th.  This is the 26th annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, which is described as "a forum of multicultural themes and issues in literature for children and young adults."  Laurie Halse Anderson, Pam Muñoz Ryan and R. Gregory Christie will all be featured presenters discussing their work.  Breakout sessions include topics such as literature for young adults, literature from West Asia, exploring Latino culture in picture books and more.  I will be presenting a session on bilingual storytime at this conference too.  All of my handouts and my powerpoint from the presentation will be made available on this blog after the conference.  Registration is now open.

Another conference even more relevant to those serving Latino youth is the third annual Latino Children's Literature Conference: Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama.  The dates are April 23rd and 24th.  Registration is also open for this event.  Featured keynote speakers are Dr. Monica Brown, Oralia Garza de Cortés, Rafael López, and Dr. Carmen Tafolla.  I am incredibly excited to be attending this conference for the first time this year!  There will be breakout sessions and poster presentations on Friday and Saturday, as well as a Noche de Cuentos community event Friday night at the Tuscaloosa Public Library.  I am really looking forward to meeting with and learning from authors, illustrators, researchers and other practitioners serving Latino families at this conference.

Planning to be at either event?  I hope to see you there!  Leave a comment to share any other upcoming professional development opportunities you know of that may be relevant to librarians serving multicultural communities.