I taught in the upper grades before joining the ranks of Librarian. I have always struggled with how to turn whole-group class structure into more independent work, especially for primary grades and kindergarten in particular.
Pinterest and Blogging have really helped me out (I hope) in this regard. I discovered Flannel Fridays! Thank you, thank you to the children’s librarians who are out there with our wee ones and summer readers leading storytime. An even bigger thank you to the ones who are experts at making storytime interactive and who are blogging about it. I’ve become an avid follower of the Flannel Friday crew.
My plan is to create magnetic and flannel props to go along with literature we read in class. In particular, I want to assemble sets of story parts that students can interact with independently for retelling.
Here’s what I’ve accomplished….
Individual Flannel/Magnet Boards
With 15 cookie sheets from the dollar store and one yard of flannel (I didn’t even use it all) I created dual purpose flannel/magnet boards. Just cut a piece of flannel for the bottom of the cookie sheet and use adhesive spray. The cookie sheets stack and can be easily used by students. I made 15 so that I would have enough for students to work in pairs if needed.
In the Flannel Friday Pins I located Storytime Katie’s description of her flannel kit. Since I’ve been trying to corral craft supplies lately, I thought this would be a good thing to assemble. I put together:
- good fabric scissors in two sizes
- fabric paint in several colors
- variety pack of flannel plus individual pieces of anything you might need right away (tip: if you can get it from a place that cuts fabric and assembles packs based on their remnants it is much cheaper than buying a more commercial set)
- Tacky glue
- cross-stitch floss
My First Project: Mr. Wiggle Flannel Pieces
I can never decide which “back to school” library book to read with students. After just 6 years I intensely dislike most of them. I just cannot read some of them again without intervention. I had a year off from Mr. Wiggle’s Book by Paula Craig and Carol Thompson so I came back to it this year. I thought Mr. Wiggle could be easily turned into a flannel set. My plan is to tell Mr. Wiggle’s story and then during book checkout students can work with a partner to retell the story. I can do small groups at the shelves and students will have something challenging to do at the carpet.
Mr. Wiggle has a book, red crayon, blob of jelly, glue bottle, scissors, and pieces of paper to glue on his book. I made 16 sets, so the pieces are extremely simple. I’m fairly pleased with the result of mass production. I think I’ll try to add a pencil and hat to the set for next year.
Mr. Wiggle has gotten a great reception from my kinders and teachers. One teacher said, “Wiggly-Kid (not his real name) really wanted to check out his book right away, but he was content to wait because he was excited to use the flannel pieces.” Score!