STEM Book Club: The Fourteenth Goldfish

February 2020

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm is a 4-6th grade juvenile fiction book with some fun STEM elements.

Eleven-year-old Ellie isn’t big on change. She liked fifth grade. She misses fifth grade. Sixth grade just isn’t the same; her best friend has become distant and Ellie doesn’t really know what to do about it. This was her biggest concern until her 76 year-old grandfather shows up on her doorstep, looking like a teenager.

Apparently, her scientist grandfather–obsessed with immortality–experimented on himself and found the fountain of youth. Now this angsty teen with the habits of an old man wants Ellie to help him break into is lab and steal his experiment back.

Things are about to change in a big way and for once, Ellie isn’t sure that is a bad thing. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?

Discussion Questions / Further Reading

  1. What is this book about? What are the main themes?
  2. Senescence is the process of aging. Why would someone like Melvin be interested in this area of study?
  3. Why did Ellie’s Kindergarten teacher give everyone a goldfish?
  4. What would you do if a grandparent showed up on your doorstep as a teenager?
  5. Melvin says, “Scientists never give up. They keep trying because they believe in the possible.” (p. 47) What does he mean when he says this?
  6. What was Melvin trying to teach Ellie with the apple? (pg 52) – Think apple vs. the seeds.
  7. What does Ellie mean when she says, “Science fiction [is] becoming reality”? (p. 59) What are some examples of science fiction becoming reality?
  8. Ellie starts to become more and more interested in science, besides her upbringing in a theater family. What are some examples where you can “see” this happening?
  9. Explain why Ellie thinks that Melvin is the fourteenth goldfish? (Ch 29)
  10. If you could stay young forever, what age would you want to be and why?
  11. Is every scientific discovery good?

Aging Simulation

Supplies: Oversized Gloves; Puzzle with only a few pieces; Magnifying glasses; plastic straws; one-use earplugs.

Background:
As we get older, our bodies break down and we lose some of our sensory motor functions—our eyes get weaker, we lose some of our mobility… every day tasks get hard. This simulation is to create an appreciation of the aging process.

Simulations:
Wearing the oversized gloves, try putting together the puzzle as quickly as possible.

  • Wearing the magnifying glasses, go into the children’s room and locate a picture book that starts with the letter “S”.
  • Put the straw in your mouth and breath only through the straw. Do 20 jumping jacks, which breathing through the straw.
  • Put the earplugs in. Try to repeat exactly what the moderator says.

Reflection:

  • Describe your feelings about the limitations you were given?
  • Did you experience any difficulties completing your task?
  • What changes did you observe? About yourself or those observing you?

Sources:

https://throughtheireyesproject.com/simulation/ 
https://images.randomhouse.com/promo_image/9781524719807_5336.pdf

How’d it go:

What a great group! We had a really great discussion, without me having to yank it out of them. And everyone seemed to have fun with the, somewhat chaotic, aging activity. It went a little faster than I would have liked, so I would tweak a few things but overall, a great STEM club session.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Shine!

Shine! by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein is a juvenile fiction novel for 4-6th graders.

Piper Milly has a talent for blending in. She can’t sing or dance, she doesn’t excel at sports or hangs with the popular crowd. She’s smart, she likes astronomy and she’s happy with her small group of friends. So when her dad get’s a new job at a prestigious prep school, Piper is bummed that she has to transfer.

Chumley Prep is definitely a school for the rich and Piper definitely doesn’t fit in. Shortly after she joins the school, she finds out that a mysterious award will be awarded to the “best” student of winter break. Piper shrugs off the contest because she would never win that sort of thing, or would she?

I love Grabenstein’s books. The children are always so relateable and the books themselves are fun and easy to read. Shine! was no different. This was an inspirational read with the theme of kindness, doing good and being good.

I love when we get a group of misfit friends that band together, each with their own unique character traits. I also thought it was really smart to have Piper’s “who I want to be” diary, throughout the novel. This gave a bit of introspection to Piper’s character.

The only negative thing I can say about this book, was that you knew where it was going from the very beginning. The “tests” were obvious from the readers perspective, even if they weren’t from the characters perspective. That and the book ended so abruptly. I would have liked to have a Piper/Ainsley moment, or at least some type of epilogue.

Other than that, this was a great read and I am going to use it for my 4-6th grade STEM Book Club. While it isn’t overtly STEM, there are a lot of STEM elements and I have two good ideas for activities to go with the story. This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Family Storytime – 2/8/2020: Transportation 

2/8/2020 – Family Storytime – Transportation

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a fun tune and great for waking up and doing a little stretching. It’s called Top of the Morning.
  • Hello Rhyme – PBJ Hello
    • We say hello in a lot of different ways!

Peanut butter jelly,
Marmalade and jam.
Let’s say hello as LOUD as we can!
HELLO
(softly, fast, slow, nicely)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx61o23Vvns)

  • Song – Can’t Sit Still! by Greg & Steve 51npbzngppl._sy491_bo1204203200_
    • A colleague gave me this one and it’s got some great moves!
  • ASL –  CAR / PLANE / BOAT
    • I like to include a few new ASL signs in storytime. I sometimes print my own flash cards from Baby Sign Language.
  • Story –  Melvin Might? By Jon Scieszka
    • This is a little long but new to our library and cute. So I thought it might work for a first book, which I generally do a little longer.
  • Rhyme – I’m an Airplane
    • Here we use our bodies to be airplanes.

I’m an airplane (repeat)
Flying high (repeat)
I can tilt this way (repeat)
In the sky (repeat)
I’m an airplane (repeat)
Flying high (repeat)
I can tilt that way (repeat)
In the sky (repeat)
I’m an airplane (repeat)
Flying high (repeat)
I can make a landing (repeat)
From the sky (repeat)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv76PtdM4BU)

  • Song – Wheels on the Bus 
    • Can’t have a transportation theme without this gem!
  • Story/Prop – Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
    • I made this puppet ages ago and I love a good excuse to break him out!
  • Game –  Traffic Light Freeze Game
    • I created stop lights on Popsicle sticks and we do a version of red light, green light where we drive our cars fast, slow and then stop.
  • Rhyme – Have You Ever Seen a Sailboat
    • This ones great for the lap babies and toddlers.51bqrollbcl._sy417_bo1204203200_

Have you ever seen a sailboat, a sailboat, a sailboat.
Have you ever seen a sailboat, waving it’s sails.
Wave this way and that way,
That way and this way.
Have you ever seen a sailboat, waving it’s sails.

  • Story – Freight Train by Donald Crews
    • This ones great for colors and sounds.
  • Finger Play – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    • And of course we need a rocket ship!

Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!

  • Shakers / Song – Chugga, Lugga Choo Choo by ….20161007_155100
    • I can’t remember who this one is by but it has a great shaker beat.
  • Rhyme – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I’ll include this one if we have time but with my speaker, I want to wrap up a little quicker than normal.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – PBJ Goodbye
    • We end the same way we said hello.

Peanut butter jelly,
Marmalade and jam.
Let’s say goodbye as LOUD as we can!
Goodbye
(softly, fast, slow, nicely)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx61o23Vvns)

  • Song – Clean it up
  • Song – Goodbye, so long, farewell my friends

How’d it go:

This was a fun one. We loved flying in our airplanes and driving our cars!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Reusing Displays

Hi Guys,

I am deeming February a month of bringing back old displays!

I put up three new bulletin board / window displays this week that I haven’t used in a few years.

This is why you should save everything!

Enjoy!

Hooked On Books! — Some fish (made out of hearts), some googly eyes and a cute bookworm.

Very hungry for a good book! — I may jazz this up a little more but for now, it’s like the easiest caterpillar ever!

IMG_4167

Library Lovers Month — We accucut hearts and they kind of look like sweet tarts when the kids all post them up there.

Toddler Storytime – 1/29/20 – MOVEMENT 

Toddler Storytime – 1/29/20 – MOVEMENT

  • HELLO – We clap and sing hello
    • This is a great opener and allows the toddlers to move different parts of their bodies.

We clap and sing hello,
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!
(Wave and sing hello; stomp and sing hello.)

We clap goodbye like this….
We wave goodbye like this….
We stomp goodbye like this…
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhr4GY6A0OA)

  • RHYME – Head, shoulders, knees and toes 
    • With a movement theme, we need to get really warmed up. So we do this one three times, faster and faster each time.
  • SONG – Jump up, Turn Around by Jim Gill 
    • I did this one for a family storytime the other day and it was awesome! Recycling it here.
  • RHYME – Balloon 51aqlo9t3ol._sx385_bo1204203200_
    • I love that this one ends in a clap. Your hands get bigger and bigger as you blow up the balloon until it POPS!

I’m going to blow up this balloon (make circle with hands)
And never, never stop. ( make circle bigger and bigger)
I’ll blow and blow and blow and blow and (pretend to blow)
POP! (clap loudly!)
https://anneslibrarylife.wordpress.com/tag/balloons/

  • BOOK – Wiggle by Doreen Cronin
    • This is a great, silly book for moving our bodies and getting some “wiggles” out!
  • SONG/SCARVES – 1,2,3 Wee 
    • I did this one for baby storytime on Monday and I think the toddlers will get more out of it. It’s also stuck in my head so….
  • RHYME/SCARVES – Popcorn Kernel 
    • Since we already have the scarves out…61z0mezl1yl._sy497_bo1204203200_

Popcorn Kernels (wave scarves overhead)
In the pot (make their scarves ‘disappear’ by bunching in your fists)
Shake them shake them shake them (shake fists)
’til they POP (Toss scarves up into the air)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myp8OjcE-rg)

  • BOOK/PUPPETS – Farm Yard Beat by Lindsey Craig
    • I will pull out each puppet as I get to their sounds and ask the kids to make the sounds with me. I wanted to use Dancing Feet but we didn’t have a copy in.
  • RHYME – Dance Your Fingers Up 
    • This is a great finger play where you dance your fingers instead of your bodies.

Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance them to the side and dance them all around.
Dance them on our shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed!
(https://kcls.org/content/dance-your-fingers-up/)

  • SONG/SHAKERS – Can’t Stop the Feeling by Trolls
    • I feel like you have to do this song with a movement theme!
  • RHYME – If Your Happy and you Know It 
    • I like to include this one with my older guys to see how happy we are at the end of storytime.
  • GOODBYE – We clap and sing goodbye 
    • We end the same way we started.
  • SONG – Clean it up by The Laurie Berkner Band 
  • SONG – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by Music Together 

How’d it go:

I literally found out about this storytime a few hours before closing the day before. So I threw together a mix of what I had on hand. I think it went pretty well. But goodness, toddlers are exhausting (and I have one!). I don’t do toddler storytime all that often, so it was a nice reminder of what I need to do differently with these guys. Will definitely add some counting and image identification next time.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Baby Storytime: 1/27/20  

Baby Storytime: 1/27/20 

  • Hello Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Hello
    • This is the perfect hello rhyme for babies!

Clap everybody and say hello,51kvtmjybml._sx484_bo1204203200_
Say hello, say hello
Clap everybody and say hello,
Say hello today
Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.
Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.
Opening/Closing Songs

  • ASL – SAD / MAD / SCARED / HAPPY
    • For my babies I teach them three vocabulary words in American Sign Language each week. We do a lot of repeats and stick to the easy movement signs. I generally use Baby Sign Language.com to check my signs.
  • Song – 1,2,3, Wee! 
    • I heard this one while I was at a storytime with my daughter and it was soooo fun!
  • Board Book – Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy by Sandra Boynton
    • It’s great to break out the touch and feel books for the little guys. I pass these out to encourage one-on-one reading.
  • Rhyme – This is big, big, big
    • This one is always a fan favorite.

This is big big big Hold (arms out to side)
This is small small small (cup hands together)
This is short short short (hold hands with palms facing each other)
This is tall tall tall (reach one hand above head)
This is fast fast fast (circle fists quickly)
This is slow slow slow (circle fists slowly)
This is yes yes yes (nod)
This is no no no (shake head)

  • Song –  Animal Sound Fun by Pinkfong
    • This is similar to baby shark but you can make all sorts of animal sounds. If you have all the puppets, you can do that too.
  • Rhyme – Little Clapping Mouse
    • You clap after every line.

Behind the tree * *
And under the house * *
There lived a teeny * *
Tiny mouse * *
She loved to sing * *
She loved to tap * *
But most of all * *
She loved to clap * *
She clapped all night * *
She clapped all day * *
She clapped to frighten * *
The cat away * * * * * * * * (lots of claps)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0cMfHJtJ84)

  • Finger Play – Hickory Dickory Dock51lmcbd5jjl._sx399_bo1204203200_
    • I like to incorporate fingerplays with the babies to encourage that interaction. I like to tap babies nose when we strike one.

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
And down he run,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

  • Book – I See by Joe Cepeda
    • This is technically a beginning reader book but it is very simple and repetitive that I thought it might be good for the babies.
  • Lift – Roly Poly
    • Lifts are our favorite!

Roly poly, roly poly
Up, up, up
up, up, up
Roly roly poly
roly roly poly
down, down, down
down, down, down
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oexBMxMKNFU)

  • Bounce – Tiny Little Babies

Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, yeah
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so
Bounce to the left, bounce to the right
Now hug that baby nice and tight!
https://klmpeace.wordpress.com/

  • Song/Shakers – I’m a Believer by Shrek Soundtrack
    • Why have I not used this one for shakers before!
  • Song/Bubbles – Bubble Bath by Joanie Bartels
    • Bubbles are great because when we track the bubbles with our eyes, we are actually strengthening the eye muscles we later use when we learn to read.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Goodbye

Clap everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Clap everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Wave everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Wave everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Bounce everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Bounce everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Opening/Closing Songs

  • Song – Clean It Up by Laurie Berkner
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by K. Guilmartin

How’d it go:

My second book wasn’t the greatest read aloud but it works if you talk through it. Other than that, we had a great storytime. We love the clapping mouse rhyme!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Baby Storytime: 1/13/20  

Baby Storytime: 1/13/20 

  • Hello Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Hello
    • This is the perfect hello rhyme for babies!

Clap everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello
Clap everybody and say hello,
Say hello today
Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.
Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.
Opening/Closing Songs

  • ASL – THANK YOU / PLEASE / ALL DONE 41ku2mr7wsl._sx493_bo1204203200_
    • For my babies I teach them three vocabulary words in American Sign Language each week. We do a lot of repeats and stick to the easy movement signs. I generally use Baby Sign Language.com to check my signs.
  • Song – Hands are for clapping by Jim Gill
    • A nice slow song, with simple movements.
  • Board Book – Bathtime for Little Rabbit by Jorg Muhle 
    • I found this one the other day and it’s super cute and interactive. I pass these out to encourage one-on-one reading between caregivers and the little ones.
  • Rhyme – Rolling, Rolling Little Hands

Rolling, rolling little hands
Rolling down the street
Rolling slowly
Rolling faster
Rolling, rolling little hands.
Tapping, tapping little toes
Clapping, clapping little hands
Hugging, hugging little arms…hugging tight, hugging tighter
(https://www.pawlingfreelibrary.org/children/wigglerhymes/)

  • Song –  The Wheels on the Bus by Toddlers on Parade
    • Always a fan favorite so I figured I needed to break it out again.
  • Finger Play – High Five Friends
    • This was a finger play I made up for a sharing storytime a while back.

One little friend has so much to do.
Add another little friend and then we get two.
Three little friends will get the job done.
But four little friends are much more fun!
Now with five little friends, what can we do?
A high five for me and a high five for you!
High five those around you.

  • Rhyme – Well Hello Everybody
    • This is a cute one to interact with your baby.

Well hello everybody can you touch your nose, touch your nose, touch your nose?
Well hello everybody can you touch your nose, touch your nose?
Well hello everybody can you touch your toes, touch your toes, touch your toes?
Well hello everybody can you touch your toes, touch your toes?
(Pat your head, rub your tummy…)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utQDMQ2JVWs)

  • Book/Flannel – It Looked Like Spilt Milk20170111_144223
    • I have a flannel board for this one I made a while back.
  • Lift – Up, Up, Up
    • Time to work on those arm muscles!

Up, up, up (lift baby up)
Down, down, down (bring baby back down)
Up, down, up, down (up and down motion)
And tickles all around (tickle baby)

  • Bounce – This is the way the lady rides

This is the way the lady rides,
Lady rides, lady rides,
This is the way the lady rides.
On her way to town.
This is the way the gentleman rides,
Gentleman rides, gentleman rides,
This is the way the gentleman rides.
On his way to town.
This is the way the doctor rides,
Doctor rides, doctor rides,
This is the way the doctor rides.
On his way to town.
This is the way the cowboy rides,
Cowboy rides, cowboy rides,
This is the way the cowboy rides.
On his way to town.

  • Song/Shakers – Wiggle Wobble by Greg & Steve
    • I thought this was such a fun song, with a great beat to shake to.
  • Song/Bubbles – Took a bath in a washing machine by Jim Gill
    • Bubbles are great because when we track the bubbles with our eyes, we are actually strengthening the eye muscles we later use when we learn to read.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Goodbye

Clap everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Clap everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Wave everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Wave everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Bounce everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye, say goodbye.
Bounce everybody and say goodbye,
Say goodbye today.
Opening/Closing Songs

  • Song – Clean It Up by Laurie Berkner
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by K. Guilmartin

How’d it go:

Another big group with some new faces. We had a ton of fun and lots of giggles!

That’s all for now!

-M-