Storytime and Standards for 0-3: Plans

For review: I wrote about my challenge to myself, mapping my state's early childhood indicators of progress to my storytime program year, in this post.

One of the things that changes when you're coming at storytime from a standards-based approach was that I needed an extra step: background reading. Before I starting thinking about books and songs and rhymes would work, I needed to be familiar with what exactly the component was talking about. I see hackles raising--"wait a minute-- you said you were a fun librarian!" And yes, it is always the goal to present the library and books as a fun, enjoyable part of life. However, I'm going one step further and imagining what sort of knowledge I hope caregivers and kids take home from the library. I'm intentionally putting the storytime together around a learning objective, which feels really meaningful and fulfilling.

So for instance, the first domain in the birth to three guidelines is social and emotional development. Our state provides a purpose statement, a list of components, and case studies for young infants, older infants, and toddlers to help demonstrate how this domain might be exhibited. Then each component is described in greater detail with examples given as well as caregiver strategies for each age range.

I read through this information and pull something from there that sparks my memory to start calling up titles or rhymes that reinforce a particular topic or element.

The first component of the first domain is trust and emotional security. Indicators provided in the documentation suggest that if a child is engaging in behaviors that build relationships with familiar adults and showing preference for them, they are developing trust and emotional security. As I read that, for instance, I started thinking of books like I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak (library), and Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton (library). I recalled the action rhyme "Up Up Up" (Mel's Desk) and how that includes a place where caregivers can substitute a nickname they might have for their child.

As with many people who program for this age group, I also have several storytime components that stay the same from week to week. I decided to switch to a new opening rhyme this year and was met with audible gasps from the regular-attendee caregivers-- it was great!

With those elements book-ending the program, I was already well on my way to a storytime about "Adults Who Love You," emphasizing the component of trust and emotional security.

Then I decided that as a way to tie things together even further, I wanted to choose an element (song, rhyme, flannel, bounce, etc.) that could be repeated each week while we were in that domain. So the first domain (social and emotional development) has four components. For the four weeks we're doing storytimes about social and emotional development, we're also learning the song "Love Grows" (KCLS).

In this sense, even though I'm not just pulling out a tried-and-true plan from past years, I'm remixing elements I'm already familiar with and putting them together in a really different way. I'm enjoying seeing new connections among "old" material and finding ways to work in things I have loved but never seemed to fit.

I'll be posting individual plans, but I wanted to write a "how to" type post to help narrate my thinking in case any of you out there are ready to try something similar with your state standards. :)



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