Read: Cows Going Past by Bruce Balan. This is a fun book for preschoolers, but I wouldn't use it with an older audience.
Preschool Experiment: Mathematics: Cow Counting.This one blends some math with technology because we counted using the Felt Board on the iPad. You can download the flannel board pictures I used here. If I had older kids in my group we would have counted back down, but the little ones were just having too much fun "mooing."
Read: Oh No! or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett is one of my favorite read alouds. With only a spattering of words, I let the pictures tell the story for an elementary audience. But for a preschool audience I like to point things out and have the kiddos help me tell the story that is just in the pictures.
Preschool Experiment: Engineering Play
Supplies: Bag of Blocks
Tasks: I started out by making some "terrible" towers that toppled quickly - like the walls in Oh No! I asked the kids what I was doing wrong, after they stopped laughing from how awful I was at building with the blocks, they suggested I have something bigger on the bottom. Then we talked about a foundation. What is a foundation, why does it help? After story time I let the kids play with the blocks. We reviewed how to make a sturdy sculpture by using a foundation.
First, I have to say that the best blog title goes to "Falling Flannelboards and other things I didn't learn in grad school." That is pretty much what I feel about nearly everything I do at the library, what was library school for? I know that it changed the way I think about things which makes me so much better at my job, but seriously, no one even explained how to plan a story time. You just go in and try it out. Sink or Swim.
Anyway, Erin at Falling Flannelboards has posted two great tutorials/explanations about starting to incorporate STEM into Story Times and has some GREAT ideas! Check out her whole blog for lots of easy, doable ideas.
While you are starting to make your STEM Story Time plans, you should also check out the STEM Story Time Extenders slide presentation by Amy Koester presented at the Preschool Services Discussion Group meeting at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Although I didn't get to go, super sad day, I do get to enjoy catching up with these presentations and slides when I can.
Just this morning we counted in story time as we sang about the Six little honeybees sitting in a hive ... not only did we count, but we practiced subtraction as well.
This is one of the things I love about being a librarian, as new trends come out and our focus shifts, we can step up and say, hey look, we are already doing some of this! Go us!!
How else do you incorporate counting into story time? How about using your engineering blocks to count as you put them away. Count the colors, what are there MORE of? What are there LESS of? I know you don't need me to hold your hand here - you're brilliant all on your own.
At first I think, how do you do engineering with preschoolers? It isn't like they are learning cad systems or building intricate lego structures ... however, then it came to me,
isn't playing with blocks engineering?
I don't know about you, but I like being silly in story time. I'm always asking if we can take a nap or read out of the dictionary. The kids laugh and decline the offer to just sit and be perfectly quiet for a half and hour. So I can't wait to test out this little engineering gem in story time this week.
I'm planning a STEM themed story time because I'm excited about all of these new ideas. One of my projects? Some wooden blocks. We are going to talk about why I can't stack my triangle on top of a round block and why if I have a foundation of two blocks, I can't have a next layer of five.
Looking for some other engineering ideas for kids? Check out this Pinterest board, Engineering Ideas for Kids, by Gretchen Brinza. There are 190+ pins of great ideas for at the library or at home engineering.