Thursday, August 21, 2014

Flannel Friday: Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins

The first flannel story I ever made was Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins. I found the pattern on Making Learning Fun's website. It took me some time to make all of the pieces, but let me just say that I've gotten so much mileage out of it! This is a flannel I highly recommend making because you can use it in so many ways. I've used the pieces for different animal storytime rhymes/songs. I've used the apples for the rhyme "Five Little Apples". And the farmer and animals are also perfect for "Old MacDonald"!

Storytime with Miss Tara is hosting this week's Flannel Friday. You can find the round-up over on her blog. For more information on Flannel Friday, check out their websiteFacebook group, or Pinterest page.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Teen Nail Art

This past week I hosted a super fun, no-fuss teen nail art program at the library. All I really had to do was purchase some basic supplies, set out some books/photos of nail designs, and let the teens have at it!

Here's what I provided:
  • Nail Art books and pictures of nail designs from my Pinterest board
  • Nail polish - I purchased super cheap nail polish from our local drug store in a variety of colors
  • Cotton balls/Q-tips/Nail polish remover - To fix any polish mistakes
  • Cheap emery boards
  • Nail art pens
  • Nail stickers - These were pretty cheap at my local drug store so I purchased a couple of packs
  • Nail brushes - For intricate painting/designs
  • Dotting tools - For polka dots
  • Aluminum foil - Teens poured a small amount of polish onto foil to use for dotting/drawing/etc.
  • Nail tape - For decoration
  • Newspaper/Rubbing alcohol/Small plastic cups - For newsprint nails
  • Scissors - For cutting up the newspaper and nail tape

After the teens arrived, I briefly went over what each of the supplies was used for and then let them go! I also periodically walked around to check in and answer any questions. I actually ended up painting a lot of left-hand nails for the teens!

How It Went:

I would definitely call it a success. However, there are a few things I would do differently:

1. I would make sure to tell the teens to paint thin coats of nail polish. A lot of them really glopped it on and then their nails wouldn't dry.

2. I only really allotted an hour for the program when really we could have used an hour and a half between nail drying time, design time, and extra time for those teens who had to start their manicures over.

3. I briefly thought about providing cosmetic wedge sponges so that the teens could do ombre'd nails and then decided against it. Well, guess what some of the teens wanted to do? guessed it! So I would definitely have a pack of those on hand.

Here are some of the finished manicures:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pizza and Pages: Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jorden Sonnenblick

Type of Book: Realistic

Plot Summary:

When San Lee starts eighth grade at a new school, he makes the decision to become someone completely different. As luck would have it, he accidentally answers too many questions about zen in his World History and thus becomes known as the school's resident zen master.Now San has to decide whether to come clean to everyone, including a cute girl named Woody, or keep playing the part.

Average Teen Rating: 5.03

My teens, for the most part, did not care for this book. They felt like it was too slow, though to be fair, most of them are hard-core fantasy/sci-fi fans. I did have a couple of teens that gave it high marks, though the bulk of the ratings were between 3 and 6.

Discussion Questions:

1. What do you think about San creating a different past/identity for himself as a Zen master being the new kid? Would you ever do something similar if you could start over at a new school?

2. Have you ever lied about yourself to impress others? Were there any consequences? Would you do it again?

3. San knows that he should tell Woody the truth about himself, but doesn’t. When do you think he should have?

4. Did you guess who ELL was before it was revealed?

5. Do you think San ended up being a Zen master in the end or was he still just faking it?

6. Do you think San was right in his feelings for his dad? Would you forgive him if you were San?

7. Do you agree or disagree with the way San’s mom felt about his father? Was San or his mom more justified in their feelings?

8. Woody also has some family issues, which was the reason for changing her name. Do you think that helped her deal with her situation?

9. Have you ever studied the art of zen and/or meditated? Did it help you?

(You can also find questions on the Multnomah County Library's site.)