Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My New Year's Resolutions

While 2013 was a pretty good year for me professionally, I always feel like I can strive to be better. Whether that means learning a new skill or trying a new program, this coming year I resolve to do the following:

1. Learn the ukulele for storytimes: At ALA Annual in Chicago this year on a whim, I decided to stop in to the Guerrilla Storytime session in the Uncommons. Boy, was that one of the best decisions I made at the conference! Structured as a highly informal, participatory program attendees spent the hour sharing their favorite rhymes, songs, ways to deal with talkative parents, etc. I could barely keep up with my note-taking! If you ever find yourself at a conference that is offering Guerrilla Storytime, I highly recommend stopping in to see what all the fuss is about.

During the session, Amy from The Show Me Librarian was kind enough to bring her ukulele and show off her skills. She mentioned that with just a few chords you would be able to play a plethora of storytime songs.

If you are also interested in learning the ukulele here are some helpful links:

Miss Mary Liberry
Music and Libraries: ALSC Blog
Simply Storytimes
Storytime Songs: Chords

2. Make a sensory blanket for Lapsit Storytime: I currently lead a lapsit storytime for ages birth to 10 months. I like to set out a comforter-type blanket for the babies to crawl around on. While surfing storytime blogs, I stumbled across this post about sensory blankets.

From: theshowmelibrarian.blogspot.com

It sounds incredibly easy: just take a fleece blanket and sew on some patches of different textured fabric. It creates both visual and tactile interest for babies! 

3. Create some more technology-based programs: When I started my current job a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to do some techie-based programs for older kids/teens and I thought I would be on the cutting edge of it all. Now, I can hardly keep up! I started out with smaller programs such as Smash Brothers/Mario Kart Tournaments and worked my way up to a Minecraft Build-Off. Now, I'm finding that teens and tweens have moved on to more advanced things such as coding, robotics, and app building. Here are some places I've found extremely helpful for emerging technologies:

4. Make more flannels: Flannel Friday always makes me feel like a slacker when it comes to using/making felt stories. This year, I resolve to make some of my own and use them in my storytimes.

5. Use more props in storytime: Katie Salo has a great post on the ALSC Blog about storytime props. So far, I've made and used a song cube with varying degrees of success. I also have a listening dust box that I use when I do preschool storytime. I'd like to try different types of props this year to make my storytimes more interesting.

6. Blog more regularly: This has been a busy year for me professionally, so I haven't been able to be as up-to-date with my blog posts as I like.

7. Relax!: I am a perfectionist by fault and it often shows in both my work and life. I worry too much about the future and what could happen. This year, I will try to focus on the present and take things one step at a time.

What are your new year's resolutions?

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