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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.

 

For Educators

We will offer STEM in the Early Years at the Early Childhood Institute at Castleton University, July 23-26. Register today for this three-credit (undergrad or graduate) course! In addition to three credits, students will receive training, picture books and hands-on materials to use with children in their care. This is an interactive, hands-on course.

We’re also conducting four two-day STEM in the Early Years trainings in the Middlebury, Bradford, Manchester/Arlington and Milton areas in the Summer/Fall of 2018.

If you have questions about any of these trainings, please email Wendy or call 802-875-2751 ext. 107.
Parents_Kids_Shapes

Mother Goose Cares About Math and Science

Do you work as an educator with groups of young children? Are you a child-care provider, homeschooler, librarian or science museum educator? If so, Mother Goose Cares About Math and Science will help you to:

  • Use math, science and literacy in your interactions with children.
  • Use picture books and investigations to promote conversations, language skills and higher order thinking.
  • Engage children in hands-on investigations that help them explore math, science and literacy skills and concepts.
  • Find diverse ways to use picture books for all kinds of learning.
  • Learn how to use math, science and language and literacy standards.

Course participants receive a full set of picture books, curriculum manual and hands-on learning materials for use with children ages 3-7.

More Than Feelings: Social-Emotional Development in Young Children

Everyone knows how important reading and talking to infants and toddlers is. It not only helps develop early language and literacy skills, but it can also be a powerful way to support the early development of the social-emotional skills all children need to be successful.

In this training educators practice hands-on activities and strategies for using books not only to build language and literacy skills, but to directly support relationships, emotional vocabulary, belonging and self-regulation in infants and toddlers. They will also learn to make explicit connections to help families support children’s development. In addition to receiving sets of books and hands-on materials to use in their practice, providers will also receive sets of books and informational materials for parents so that the learning may continue at home.

1-2-3 Read to Me: Math and Literacy in the Early Years

The goal of this program is to bring early mathematics and literacy learning experiences, knowledge and concepts to children ages 0-3 through the use of picture books, conversations and age-appropriate hands-on learning materials.

Educators will:

  • use picture books and hands-on learning materials with children from ages 0-3.
  • to interact with children—read, have conversations during daily routines—using the books and materials.
  •  transfer information, books and a hands-on learning materials to the parents of the children in their care.

MothMother Goose Cares About the Early Years

Mother Goose Cares About the Early Years uses books and early learning materials to provide a framework to better understand all the developmental areas of children from birth to 36 months. The program provides early childhood educators, and other adults who work with infants and toddlers, with the concepts and skills needed to introduce language and literacy to infants and toddlers.

Do you work as an educator with groups of infants and toddlers? Are you a child-care provider, homeschooler or librarian? If so, Mother Goose Cares About the Early Years will help you to:

  •  Use picture books in all areas of your work with infants and toddlers.
  • Use many developmentally appropriate and stimulating activities for infants and toddlers
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  • Review, refresh or discover basic concepts of infant and toddler development
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  • Engage children in complex conversations.


Course participants receive a full set of picture books, curriculum manual and hands-on learning materials for use with children ages 3-7.

Mother Goose Cares About Social Studies

Do you work as an educator with groups of young children? Are you a child-care provider, homeschooler, librarian or science museum educator? If so, Mother Goose Cares About Math and Science will help you to:

  •  Identify and expand social studies themes and concepts in your interactions with children.
  • Use picture books and related explorations to promote conversations, language skills and vocabulary development.
  • Engage children in hands-on activities that help them understand social studies and literacy skills
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  • Learn ways to communicate with families.
    Course participants receive a full set of picture books, curriculum manual and hands-on learning materials for use with children ages 3-7.

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)