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-

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-

Baby Storytime: 2/3/20 

Baby Storytime: 2/3/20 

  • Hello Rhyme – We Clap and Sing Hello
    • This is a simple rhyme with easy movements to do with baby.

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)

  • ASL – PLAY / TIRED / FUN 61u4ahoj1pl._sy498_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 – One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs
    • My daughter came home singing this one the other day and I couldn’t figure out what she was saying. Finally, I realized it was this song, which is actually pretty good for the younger guys.
  • Board Book – Tickle by Leslie Patricelli
    • Patricelli’s books are great and I love when we can tickle our babies. I pass the board books out to encourage one-on-one reading.
  • Rhyme – Tommy Thumbs Up
    • A classic simple rhyme to practice our finger movements.

Tommy Thumbs Up
Tommy thumbs up, Tommy thumbs down
Tommy thumbs dancing all over town.
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head,
Dance them on your knees,
And tuck them into bed.

  • Prop – It’s So Much Fun To Share
    • This is one I have a magnet board for. It’s good for rhyming and visuals for the babies.

It’s so much fun to share
It’s so much fun to share
I have a hat
I’ll share with a cat
It’s so much fun to share.
Sharing – Toddler Storytime

  • Song –  If Your Happy and You Know It by It’s Toddler Time
    • This is a slow version of the song. Better for caregivers to help the babies do the movements or identify body parts.
  • Rhyme – Slowly Slowly Very Slowly
    • This is a great one for interacting with baby. 21shzp7bvyl._bo1204203200_

Slowly, slowly, very slowly up the garden rail
Slowly, slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail
Quickly, quickly, very quickly all around the house.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly runs the garden mouse.
(https://www.pawlingfreelibrary.org/children/wigglerhymes/)

  • Book – Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr & John Archambault
    • I must have done this one before but I just can’t remember. It’s multicultural and easy.
  • Lift – Going Up and Down in an Elevator
    • Probably my favorite part of storytime because I can see all the happy faces as the caregivers lift them up.

Going up and down in an elevator.
Up and down in an elevator.
Up and down in an elevator.
1st floor. 2nd floor. 3rd floor. DOWN!

  • Bounce –  Bouncing Bouncing
    • We love a good bounce.

Bouncing, Bouncing Baby on my Knee (bounce)
Bouncing, bouncing baby 1 2 3! (lift or big bounce)
Clapping, clapping baby on my knee (clap)
Clapping, clapping baby 1 2 3! (big clap)
Hugging, hugging baby on my knee (hug)
Hugging, hugging baby 1 2 3! (hug or tilt)
https://klmpeace.wordpress.com/

  • Song/Shakers – Move Your Feet from Trolls
    • Another one my daughter loves, so why not mash it into my brain more!
  • 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 – We Clap and Sing Goodbye
    • We end the same way we started.
  • Song – Clean It Up by Laurie Berkner
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by K. Guilmartin

How’d it go:

Phew, I was not into doing storytime this morning but by the end all the smiling babies made it worth it!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Scavenge the Stars

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim is the first book in a new teen series about pirates and countesses, gambling and more.

When Amaya rescues a stranger from drowning, she has no idea that the consequences would be so severe. Now she has two choices, extend her time on the debtor ship she’s been forced to serve for the past ten years or follow this stranger into the unknown on a quest for revenge.

Thirsting for vengence, Amaya chooses the latter, but the more she gets entwined in this game of revenge, the more she isn’t sure she should be playing at all. When she uncovers the truth about her past, everything changes.

Amaya thought she was fighting for herself but she may have to fight for something more.

This was an interesting book. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations going into it. Pirates cool, deception cool, and a girl kicking but and looking for revenge, cool. And overall, this was an enjoyable read but I think it might get even better moving forward. A lot was built up in the last few chapters that could lead to somewhere really neat and develop the characters further, especially Amaya and Kayo.

That was actually my biggest issue with the book. Amaya and Kayo didn’t wow me as protagonists. Amaya had more depth than Kayo but still, I liked the overall story over the characters themselves. Like I said, this may change now that we are heading into book two, where the plot is leading to bigger, far reaching problems, but we will have to see.

Ultimately, this was an entertaining read and I am glad I picked it up. This one gets 3.5 stars from me. And I’ll definitely get the next one when it comes out.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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-

1/25/2020 – Family Storytime – RHYMES 

1/25/2020 – Family Storytime – RHYMES

  • 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 – Everybody Count One!

Everybody count one, ONE!
Storytime has just begun,
Everybody count two, TWO!
Shake your shoulders, show your shoes,
Everybody count three, THREE!
Listen very carefully,
Everybody count four, FOUR!
And put your bottoms on the floor.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ_Pd2Yss1k)

  • Stretch – Two Little Feet Go…
    • I though this one might make for a good stretch.
      61fopjn7bfl._sx429_bo1204203200_

Two little hands go clap, clap, clap. (clap hands)
A quick little leap up from my chair, (stand up quickly)
Two little arms reach high in the air. (stretch arms high)
Two little feet go jump, jump, jump, (jump)
Two little fists go thump, thump, thump. (pound fists)
One little body goes round and round, (twirl around)
And one little child sits quietly down. (sit down)
https://www.mrcpl.org/blog/2017/03/23/story-time-starter-rhyming

  • ASL –  SING/DANCE/PLAY/FUN
  • Book –  Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? By Eve Bunting
    • Sometimes, I come across a book and I have to revolve my whole theme around it. This is an oldie but a goodie.
  • Rhyme – Dance Your Fingers

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 – Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill
    • A little movement song break for the wigglers.
  • Flannel – Oh Me, Oh My!
    • I found this one online and I thought it would be silly to do with a flannel.

Oh me, oh my, what will I do?
I can’t find a kangaroo to put on my shoe.
But I know quite well, and so do you,
I don’t need a kangaroo to put on my shoe!

Repeat, with: fox/socks; cat/hat; bear/hair; crocodile/smile and anything else you can think of!
https://missmaryliberry.com/2010/01/06/what-rhymes-with-fun/

  • Book – Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan ThomasYou can’t have a rhyming storytime without this gem!
  • Prop – Dust Bunny Rhymes
  • Rhyme – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
    • Simple. Classic. You all know it.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are?

  • Shakers / Song – Down by the Bay by Raffi
    • We break out those shakers and dance to the music!
  • 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 – See You Later Alligator
    • This is to the tune of Clementine.

See you later, alligator (Wave goodbye)
In a while, crocodile
Give a hug, ladybug (Hug yourself)
Blow a kiss, jellyfish (Blow a kiss)
See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur (March)
Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly (Wave goodbye)
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKUpFtJiyKQ)

  • Song – Clean It Up! by The Laurie Berkner Band
    • Everyone helps put our shakers away.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go:

This one went really well. I had a nice range of ages, so there was really a little bit for everyone. A tip – at the end of the Dust Bunny book, everyone like gasped that the vacuum got the dust bunnies. So I told everyone we could save the dust bunnies by helping them rhyme with the props from the authors website I printed out. This seemed to make everyone happy. If you don’t do something like that to save the dust bunnies… I might skip the vacuum page.

That’s all for now!

-M-