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For Educators and Librarians

Reading Pictures: Visual Literacy and Young Children
In August 2017 we convened librarians from 50 Vermont libraries for a one-day training conference. The goal of the conference was to increase librarians’ knowledge and skills to help build children’s visual learning skills. VCB provided books and hands-on materials (including art materials) and information to librarians.

Children’s literature expert Grace Greene and art educator M.C. Baker presented visual literacy and hands-on art activities to librarians, respectively. Some of the topics discussed in the first section of the day included questions to consider when examining picture books with an eye to preschool children’s learning experiences: How does the illustrator use perspective? How would a particular book change if different colors were used? How do illustrators show movement? What techniques do illustrators use to convey a narrative in wordless picture books?

Baker led small-group art activities so that librarians could experience them first-hand. These activities included:

  • “Something Out of Nothing”: one person at the table draws a doodle and everyone takes turns adding something to the drawing until it becomes something else.
  • Transforming an ordinary ballpoint pen into a special writing and drawing instrument (using clay and other materials). This showed librarians how children can look closely at everyday objects and notice design.
  • Origami activities: using one square piece of paper and transforming it into something else.

Librarians were given a set of 11 picture books plus one professional book (Reading Picture Books With Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See by Megan Dowd Lambert and Laura Vaccaro Seeger; Penguin, 2015). The rest of the titles were published in 2016-17 and were selected for diversity in characters, genre, illustration, story and design. Librarians were each given an “art kit” so that they could replicate with children and families the activities they had experienced at the training conference.

Librarians received additional picture books in summer 2018, plus additional resources about wordless picture books and a wordless picture books bibliography.

The program was funded by the A.D. Henderson Foundation and the Vermont Department of Libraries.

What’s the BIG Idea? Math and Science in the Library

What’s the BIG Idea was developed with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. All of the content (activities, family programs, Discovery Centers) was first tested by 57 librarians from Houston Public Library, the state of Delaware, and the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System in upstate New York and new Vermont locations (Springfield and Bennington). These four systems provided a mix of libraries from large, small, urban and rural areas.

During the pilot phase these librarians engaged in four conferences focusing on ideas critical to children’s acquisition of basic math and science skills and concepts: Patterns and Relationships, Numbers and Operations, Change Over Time and Geometry and Spatial Sense. A National Advisory Panel informed the development of the program.

The participating librarians converted what they learned into hundreds of programs in local libraries using project-created informational resources, books, and hands-on materials. In addition, they enriched their circulating collections and outreach with kits for families.

 Available for purchase: What’s the BIG Idea? Librarian Starter Kit, Librarian Manual and family circulating kits.

Red Clover Award: Vermont’s Children’s Choice Picture Book Award

For Parents

Mother GooseBeginning With Mother Goose
You may already know how important it is to read to your baby, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. Beginning With Mother Goose provides you with everything you need to get started.

The Beginning With Mother Goose family activity guide, picture books and Mother Goose’s Never-Ending Tea Party CD provide you with:

  • Information on language and literacy development and how children learn.
  • Ideas on how to choose good books.
  • Suggestions for when and where to read to your child.
  • Activity, song and conversation ideas.

Growing With Mother Goose
Do you ever wonder what fun and educational things you can do with your three, four- or five-year-old? Growing With Mother Goose is full of ways to encourage children’s love of books and reading.

The Growing With Mother Goose family activity guide and picture books provide you with:
Information on language and literacy development and how children learn

  • Ideas on how to choose good books.
  • Suggestions for when and where to read to your child.
  • Ideas for activities and conversations.

Mother Goose Asks “Why?”
Mother Goose Asks “Why?” links children’s literature to science by using picture books and a family activity guide filled with projects that make learning about science fun.

Like stories, scientific investigations usually start with a question or a problem. Reading provides opportunities to identify and explore problems using the imagination, process skills of science, and tools to find solutions. And reading together encourages the sharing of ideas.

The Mother Goose Asks “Why?” family activity guide provides:

• Information about science for young children.
• Standards-based explorations for you and your child to do together.
• Ideas for making science part of your everyday lives together.


Dad ReadingYou Can Count on Mother Goose
Children learn through exploration. Exploring mathematics will help your child make sense of and find meaning in the world. You Can Count on Mother Goose provides the books and explorations for you and your child to reason, make connections, learn about numbers and shapes and solve problems.

You Can Count on Mother Goose uses picture books and explorations tied to the 10 major education standards for pre-kindergarten to grade 2 that were released in 2000 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. You Can Count on Mother Goose encourages children to explore, ask questions and to develop mathematical thinking.

The You Can Count on Mother Goose family activity guide provides you with:

  • Information about mathematics for young children.
  • Standards-based explorations for you and your child to do together.
  • Ideas for making math part of your everyday lives together.

Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature encourages this curiosity by using books and activities to enrich and extend children’s experiences with the world.

The Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature family activity guide provides you with:

• Information about environmental learning for young children.
• Hands-on explorations for you and your child to do together.
• Ideas for making learning about the environment part of your everyday lives together.


Especially for Dads
Men play an important role in young children’s lives. Whether you’re a dad, an uncle, a brother, or any other male who cares for and about a young child, you are a vital partner in the development of that child.

You may already know how important it is for there to be lots of conversations between and among adults and young children—but not know where to start. Especially for Dads provides you with everything you need to get started reading and talking together.
The Especially For Dads family activity guide will provide you with:

  • Information on language and literacy development and how children learn.
  • Ideas on how to choose good books.
  • Suggestions for when and where to read to your child.
  • Ideas for activities and conversations.

 

Red Clover Award

red-clover-image

The Vermont Department of Libraries administrates this children’s choice picture book award, so if you are a library, school, homeschooler or publisher, please contact VTLIB for educational resources and voting information.

What’s the Red Clover Award? Here’s a brief history of the award.

The Red Clover Award promotes the reading and discussion of the best of contemporary picture books in nearly all of Vermont’s elementary schools. Each year over 20,000 K-4 students read, or have read to them, the ten nominated books.

Programs/Products

Mother Goose - Family KitAll Mother Goose Programs include picture books, training, activity guides and educator resource manuals that transform the act of reading to children into multidimensional and powerful learning experiences. These include learning in math, science, social studies, environmental awareness and language and reading skills. All programs and products are standards-based and have been rigorously evaluated.

For more information, contact us by email or call 802-875-2751, ext. 107.

Mother Goose Programs kits and products (download list)