Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 2 Starts July 7!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2: Seasons

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific seasonal vocabulary:

  • Tuesday, July 7, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Summer Signs
  • Tuesday, July14, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Autumn Signs
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Winter Signs
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Spring Signs
  • Tuesday, August 4, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Celebration Signs

Because each webinar is theme-based, it is not necessary to have taken Series 1 in order to get the most out of Series 2!

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A.  Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30.  A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase. 
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

THIS WEDNESDAY! Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar

In response to popular demand, we are offering an encore session of this ALA Editions webinar!

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pm Central/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!

 

Book Riot’s Best Baby Sign Language Books for Parents

Summer Loomis has posted a roundup of 6 of the best baby sign language books for parents over at Book Riot – and Nita’s First Signs and Nita’s Day are both featured!  Check out the complete list here.

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2!

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Storytimes Series 2: Seasons

Join us for weekly interactive “annotated storytimes” that teaches basic American Sign Language vocabulary and demonstrate how to use the signs in storytime activities and the early childhood classroom. Each session will focus on specific seasonal vocabulary:

  • Tuesday, July 7, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Summer Signs
  • Tuesday, July14, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Autumn Signs
  • Tuesday, July 21, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Winter Signs
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Spring Signs
  • Tuesday, August 4, 11 AM-12 PM Eastern: Celebration Signs

Because each webinar is theme-based, it is not necessary to have taken Series 1 in order to get the most out of Series 2!

Children of participants are welcome to join for the first 40 minutes. The final 20 minutes will consist of lecture and Q&A.  Webinars are presented in spoken English. To request accommodations, contact info@storiesbyhand.com.

Individual registration: $200 for the 5-webinar series. Group rate: $1500 for 10 people for the 5-webinar series.

Add-ons available:

  • 30-minute one-on-one coaching session: $30.  A one-on-one Zoom session with Kathy MacMillan to receive individualized feedback on your planned signing materials for storytime or the classroom – planned around your schedule! Includes recording access. Must be used within 6 months of purchase. 
  • Individualized video feedback: $20.Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register now! Get 40% off when you register using code EARLYLITERACY (valid on group tickets too!)

Register now for Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar

In response to popular demand, we are offering an encore session of this ALA Editions webinar!

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pm Central/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!

 

25 Recommended Picture Books for Online Storytimes

When presenting storytime online, it’s best to choose picture books that have large, clear illustrations. Here are 25 of my favorites. Many of the authors and illustrators below have multiple books that would work well for online storytimes, but I only included one on the list as an exemplar. Look for other books by these authors and illustrators to round out your online storytime collection.

   

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison

    

Peek-a-Moo by Maria Torres Cimarusti and Stephanie Peterson

Maisy Makes Lemonade by Lucy Cousins

Lunch by Denise Fleming

   

Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching by Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

Sleepyheads by Sandra J. Howatt and Joyce Wan

   

I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

   

Baby Faces by Margaret Miller

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

Blankie by Leslie Patricelli

 

    

How to Potty Train a Dinosaur by Alycia Pace

Whose Hands Are These?: A Community Helper Guessing Book by Miranda Paul and Luciana Navarro Powell

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

     

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch by June Smalls and Yumi Shimokawara

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

 

Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thompson and Buket Erdogan

Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin

 

Little You by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

 

Register now for Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Webinar

Creating Outstanding Online Storytimes Workshop

A 90-minute workshop, Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:00am Eastern/9:00 Central/8:00 Mountain/7:00 Pacific

$60 per person; discounts available for ALA Members and groups

With many libraries currently closed to the public, library staff are turning to online storytimes as a way to provide quality programming for young patrons.

Join veteran storyteller Kathy MacMillan to explore the fundamental differences between online and in-person storytimes and best practices to bring early literacy programming into an online environment. Learn how to plan video-friendly programs, how to keep your programming interactive even when you don’t have live feedback from storytime attendees, and how to manage external stresses such as technological glitches and internal stresses such as camera fright.

After participating in this event, you will:

  • Understand the fundamental differences in approach to online and in-person storytimes
  • Have at least three concrete strategies for making online storytimes interactive
  • Be able to implement strategies for dealing with external and internal stresses

Register now!

 

Keeping Online Storytimes Engaging

With so many libraries closed to the public, it seems like everyone is offering online storytimes!  I was asked to share my tips for keeping online storytimes interactive, so here you go!
When presenting virtually where you can’t see your audience, it’s really hard to adjust your approach and pace when you are not getting any response, so it’s really important to remember the following. (And pro tip: sticky notes on the side of your monitor with reminders work really well!)
  1. Slow down. Even if it feels like you are already speaking slowly, slow it down. Most kids can’t listen as fast as we grownups like to talk.
  2. Make eye contact with the camera. Yes, this feels weird. It might help to put a stuffed animal or a picture of a favorite kiddo right above or next to the camera, so you can make eye contact with that.
  3. Allow time for responses. No, more time than that. More. In person, adults generally only give kids one second of silence before they fill it in for them. When you don’t have the kid in front of you, it’s tempting to just plow ahead. But seriously, give the kids time to answer, participate, copy the movement, whatever. Yes, you will feel like Dora the Explorer blinking at the camera in silence. That’s okay!  There’s a reason that developmentally appropriate kids’ shows use this tactic. It encourages a response and it allows kids of all different learning styles to take the information in.
  4. Use repetition to create more space for understanding. While repetition on its own is useful, because it reinforces information, it’s also useful because it allows kids (and parents) more time with the material. For example, when introducing an ASL sign, I always break it down and explain what I am doing as I show it multiple times. Kids may or may not be actually listening to what I am saying in that explanation, based on their learning style, but the time it takes to explain it keeps visual and auditory focus on the sign and allows everyone the time to learn it.
  5. Be explicit about how you want children (and grownups) to participate. Some kids will already be clapping their hands or hooting like owls or whatever, but some will need the storyteller to say it explicitly in the absence of the peer modeling of seeing others do it. And many grownups will need the extra push even more!
  6. Give grownups clear suggestions for how to tie storytime activities to everyday life with their children. This is something we do anyway, but now that many parents are their children’s exclusive language and literacy models, and many of them are overwhelmed, it’s important that we give them solid suggestions that show how easy it is to incorporate literacy into their daily routines.
  7. Learn from the pros!  Children’s TV shows have been incorporating these strategies for a long time. Mr. Rogers is of course the gold standard, but a modern one that I love is the Baltimore-based Danny Joe’s Treehouse, which incorporates a deep knowledge of child development with online engagement techniques.
  8. American Sign Language lends itself well to online storytimes, because it lends a visual and kinetic aspect to storytimes that can still be contained within the camera frame. For lots of resources on incorporating ASL into your storytimes, see my resource page for signing in storytime or the classroom.

(This post has been cross-posted to StorytimeStuff.net)

Register now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, April 8, 2019 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials.)

$250.00 (ALA Members $225.00)

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Feedback from past participants:

“One of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken.”

“Kathy is an amazing instructor. She made learning online very easy and comfortable. She replied quickly when students had questions and she responded with feedback with videos to help sign better.”

“I am amazed. It couldn’t have gone better. I came away learning many signs I can use and gained some helpful information for my storytimes.”

“The instructor was phenomenal, and I am already incorporating course work into everyday interactions in the library. Everything in the course is relevant and beneficial.”

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. She is also the author of the young adult fantasy novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperTeen).

Register now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 7, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

$250.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.