App smashing instructional component

I would teach lessons to all of the new Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library children’s librarians, a group of approximately 10 people. These librarians are all adults and are relatively inexperienced story time presenters, although they all have the aptitude for effectively leading a story time. These learners will need access to the internet to be able to view and create a blendspace and blog. Ideally, they would have access to an ipad or smartphone to be able to try out the apps on their device. Upon implementing this story time at their library, they will also need a smart board or at least a screen and projector.  Additionally, they will need access to books, puppets, flannels, and other story time materials to make this lesson possible. Children’s librarians need to understand how to effectively engage multi-age audiences with their story presentations, which is often times far more challenging than catering to a particular age group.

By the end of the lesson, learners will be able to:

  • identify and curate appropriate resources, including stories, songs, fingerplays, and digital apps based around a theme
  • utilize blendspace to structure a multi-age story time from beginning to end, including stories, songs, finger plays, and digital apps
  • embed the blendspace into a blog to share with other children’s librarians
  • To assess their proficiency, it’s important that the youth services librarians demonstrate evidence of curating resources in a blendspace and sharing it with other children’s librarians (such as myself)

The ALSC standards being taught include:

  • Designs, promotes, presents, and evaluates a variety of programs for children, with consideration of developmental stages and the needs, interests, and goals of all children, their caregivers, and educators in the community.
  • Acknowledges the importance of physical space to engage and foster learning, and establishes appropriate environments for programs that respond to developmental needs and abilities.
  • Integrates appropriate technology in program design and delivery.
  • Integrates literacy-development techniques in program design and delivery, engaging and empowering caregivers in a culturally competent way.

Teaching timeline

  • This would be a two hour workshop.
  • I would break the workshop into four 30 minute segments. For the first 10 minutes I would teach a skill and for the last 20 minutes I would encourage them to give it a try. For instance, I might talk through why I would or would not choose certain books to use for a multi-age story time about winter. Then during the last 20 minutes, I would encourage them to pick their own theme and search the web (using their I-pads) for books they felt were appropriate for a multi-age story time. For the next half hour, I would use this same structure for discussing possible songs and finger plays and allowing them to find their own. And for the last half hour, I would encourage them to find digital apps and crafts to complement their theme.
  • During each 30 minute session, I would encourage them to curate their initial findings in Pinterest or another digital tool of their choice. I would also connect early literacy tips to the resources I pulled during the first 10 minutes of each session and explain how they could convey these early literacy tips to parents during the story time.
  • During the last 30 minutes, I’d have them select two of the best examples from each of their curated lists (books, songs, apps, etc.) to include in a blendspace lesson that showcases the order and structure of their multi-age story time. I’d them walk them through how to embed their blendspace in a blog to share with other children’s services librarians.
  • I would conclude the workshop by leading the youth services librarians in a half hour multi-age story time I had prepared (they would pretend to be the kids and I am the librarian). They would then critique different aspects of my presentation. I would leave time at the end for them to discuss ideas they are hoping to implement from the resources they curated during the workshop.

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