- Welcome to Supercharged Storytimes!
Welcome to Supercharged Storytimes!
This is an early literacy training to help you, as a storytime provider, to enhance the effectiveness of your storytimes so that you can help children boost their early literacy and school-readiness skills and, at the same time, empower caregivers to continue early literacy practices at home with their children. Throughout this training, we will be covering a wide variety of topics including: the early literacy components (oral language, phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and background knowledge), intentionality, assessment, and equity.
These activities are designed to help you get started in your learning community. Please introduce yourself, review the introductory materials and watch the video, Introduction to Storytime and Early Learning, to learn more about the project that influenced Supercharged Storytimes. We hope you enjoy getting Supercharged, together!
Before the first live online session on 9/19:
Post an introduction to the forum.
Watch the 8-minute video Introduction to Supercharged Storytimes
The video provides an overview of the research behind Supercharged Storytimes and the four key elements: interactivity, intentionality, assessment and community of practice Look at the Overview of Supercharged Storytimes Overview, which links the four key elements with early literacy components and practices. The Crosswalk document provides a handy reference between the early literacy components and the VIEWS2 planning tool domains.
- Module 1 - Key Supercharged Elements
Module 1 - Key Supercharged Elements
In this first module, we’ll spend time getting to know each other, both in the live session and in the forums. We’ll also explore the elements of interactivity and intentionality, as well as the most fundamental of early literacy components—Oral Language.
Before you join us on 9/19, please be sure to watch the Introduction to Supercharged Storytimes video and have the Interactive Reading Handout on hand at the live session.
Module One topics include:
- Oral Language
- Intentionality and the Early Learning Planning Tool (ELPT)
Beginning on 9/19 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.
These follow-up activities will help you apply what you learned in the live session, reflect and share with your peers, and prepare for the next live session.
- Watch the Preschool Read Aloud Example Video (6 min) to see an example of interactive reading in action. Notice the kinds of interactions the practitioner is using.
- In your next storytime, practice reading interactively,
using one of the techniques described in the Interactive
- Fill out the Interactivity
Self-Reflection worksheet as best you can.
Discussion Question - Post in Forum
What insights can you share about how you are interactive in your storytimes, and what you might do differently in future storytimes?
Review Additional Resources – Module One if you’d like to take a deeper dive into any of the Module One topics.
- Oral Language
- Module 2 - More Early Literacy Components and Engaging Parents and Caregivers
Module 2 - More Early Literacy Components and Engaging Parents and Caregivers
Module Two introduces more of the early literacy components. Additionally, we’ll focus on how you can engage with parents and caregivers at your storytime. They are in the powerful position of being able to extend a child’s early literacy skill-building throughout the day. Libraries have the unique advantage of connecting with young children in the presence of their parents and caregivers.
In the next live session, we’ll continue to look at the Early Literacy Planning Tool that is the backbone for amplifying library storytimes with intentional incorporation of early literacy components.
Before you join us on 10/3, please view the short introductory video, Early Literacy Planning Tool - Becoming Intentional.
Look at the Early Learning Planning Tool (ELPT) for Phonological Awareness. Place a check mark next to any strategies that you have used in your storytimes in the past.
Please bring these documents, along with your questions and observations about the ELPT, to the Module Two live session:
- Early Literacy Planning Tool (ELPT) for Phonological Awareness
- Early Literacy Planning Tool (ELPT) Worksheet
- Early Literacy Planning Tool - Sample
Module Two topics include:
and Engaging with Parents and Caregivers
Beginning on 10/3 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.
For many practitioners, taking the extra effort to engage with parents and caregivers can be daunting.
Watch seasoned “supercharged” storytime practitioner Mari Nowitz talk about her learning curve to becoming comfortable and confident with engaging parents and caregivers at storytime.
Watch two videos in which Saroj explains more about sharing early literacy tips with parents and caregivers.
Example of An Aside
Using the When/We Format
one of the early literacy components
you’ve been introduced to so far: Oral Language, Phonological Awareness, Print
Awareness/Concepts or Letter Knowledge.
the ELPT for that component, put a checkmark next to any strategies you have
used in the past for any age group. If you are already doing some of these
strategies, you can now be more intentional because you know why they are
important to early literacy development.
the same early literacy component,
select a strategy you have not tried
before. Use the ELPT worksheet (above) to
plan your next storytime to incorporate that strategy. You do not have to fill in the parent/caregiver
tip at this time.
It’s fine to approach this planning cycle one step at a time, selecting just one early literacy component and one activity to try out. This is about building a habit of planning, applying and reflecting, so that over time the practice will become second nature.
Discussion Questions - Post In Forum
on your experience of filling in the ELPT worksheet and delivering the planned
storytime. How did it go? What was challenging about it and what might you
change for next time?
do you feel might get in the way of including an early literacy tip for parents
and caregivers in your storytime? Share your ideas about how you might address
any concerns you have.
Additional Resources - Module 2
- Early Literacy Planning Tool (ELPT) for Phonological Awareness
- Module 3 - Vocabulary and Background Knowledge
Module 3 - Vocabulary and Background Knowledge
Module Three will cover the last of the early literacy components –Vocabulary and Background Knowledge, which includes conceptual thinking, content knowledge and book/story knowledge.
- Look at the ELPT for Vocabulary or Background
Knowledge, which has three sub-sections.
- Place a check
mark next to any strategies that you have used in your storytimes in the past.
Please bring these documents, along with your questions and observations about the ELPT, to the Module Three live session on 10/17:
- Early Literacy Planning Tool (ELPT) for Vocabulary and Background Knowledge
- Early Literacy Planning Tool (ELPT) Worksheet
Module Three Topics include:
- Conceptual Thinking
- Content Knowledge
- Book/Story Knowledge
Beginning on 10/17 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.RECORDING
- Read How to Get
Your Mind to Read, a New York Times article on the importance of comprehension for
- Watch Mari Nowitz deliver some parent/caregiver tips in these short videos. You’ll be putting this into practice in this module and Mari will demonstrate how it can fit with the flow of your storytime.
Video 1: Point to Words in Board Books
Video 2: Rich VocabularyVideo 3: Involving Adults in StorytimeVideo 4: Impulse ControlVideo 5: Blocks and Letter Knowledge
Video 6: Using a Tip Jar
Using the ELPT for any of the early literacy components, put a checkmark next to any strategies you have used in the past for any age group. If you are already doing some of these strategies, you can now be more intentional because you know why they are important to early literacy development.
For the same early literacy component, select a strategy you have not tried before. Use the ELPT Worksheet (above) to plan your next storytime to incorporate that strategy. This time fill in the parent/caregiver tip that you want to try out at your storytime.
Discussion Question - Post In ForumReflect on your experience of filling in the ELPT worksheet and delivering the planned storytime. Did you include a parent/caregiver tip? How did it go? What was challenging about it and what might you change for next time?
Additional Resources - Module 3
- Look at the ELPT for Vocabulary or Background Knowledge, which has three sub-sections.
- Module 4 - Storytime Assessment
Module 4 - Storytime Assessment
In this module, we will discuss a variety of ways to assess the effectiveness and impact of library storytimes, beginning with self-reflection and peer observation as forms of storytime assessment. We will then learn about using PLA’s Project Outcome tools as a more outward-facing method to help libraries evaluate the impact of their storytime programs.
Please bring these documents to the live session on 10/31 as reference:
Module Four topics include:
and Peer Observation
- Using Project
Outcome for Assessment:
- Why Measure Outcomes and What You Can Do with Outcome Data
- How to use Project Outcome for Supercharged Storytime
Beginning on 10/31 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.
Practice – Peer Observation
Now that you’ve been introduced to the early learning components and the planning-delivery-reflection cycle, test your new awareness by watching a storytime provider in action.
- Watch the video of a Storytime at New York Public Library. As you watch, fill out the Supercharged Storytimes Peer Observation worksheet
- Watch the Storytime Peer Coaching video for a
demonstration of a constructive interaction between storytime providers.
Discussion Question - Post In Forum
Based on what you observed and wrote down in the observation worksheet about the storytime at New York Public Library, how would you approach a conversation with Kristy to share your feedback?
Learn – Project Outcome
PLA provides this free toolkit to libraries to help them collect and analyze information about the impact of their programs and to better meet the needs of their communities. As powerful as the tool is, it is also simple to use.
Talk with your supervisor or other library administration about using Project Outcome for your storytime programs. Your library may already have an account and may understand the value of collecting data on patron responses to programming. If not, communicate the value to them to get support for your use of the toolkit for Supercharged Storytimes.
Practice – Project Outcome
How to use the Project Outcome site
1) Watch Creating a Project Outcome Account (3.5 minute video)
2) Create an account: create an account on ProjectOutcome.org. Login and explore the resources in the toolkit.
3) Once you have set up your account, watch Getting Started with Project Outcome Online Tools
Review more information around outcome-based evaluation.
- If this topic is newer to you, or if you would like a deeper dive,
to Outcome-Based Evaluation.
- Read these brief Project
Outcome Library Stories from
libraries using the toolkits.
- Self-Assessment and Peer Observation
- Module 5 - Supercharging Storytimes Through an Equity Lens
Module 5 - Supercharging Storytimes Through an Equity Lens
In this module, we initiate discussion and reflection around equity in library storytimes, gaining insight and understanding of the breadth of this important topic.
"We cannot assume to know anything about anyone; even if that person presents in a way that seems familiar, we all have an individualized life experience. This is a beautiful thing! It is an opportunity for the practitioner to grow in cultural knowledge."
This module explores strategies for empowering communities through Supercharged Storytimes. Ralph Smith, Senior Vice-President of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, speaks passionately and eloquently to the imperative of supporting all children to reach reading proficiency by third grade.
Watch the 10-minute clip of a speech by Ralph Smith
Because you work in the library regularly, it probably feels familiar, comfortable and easy to get around in. However, it’s important to imagine how someone who is not at all familiar with the library might feel when they enter your space.
Using the Library Walk-through Observation Checklist, try to experience your library through a different lens. As you walk up to and enter your library (or another library less familiar to you), notice the items on the checklist and make note of your observations about them.
Please bring this document to the live session on 11/7 for reference:
Module Five Topics include:
Space and Collections
Beginning on 11/7 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.
Putting it into practice
- Looking at your completed Library
Walk-through Observation Checklist again, note if any of your observations
might change based on a broader understanding of equitable space and
- Use the framework of the Pathway
to Equitable Programming in your community, starting with identifying local
priorities. Note things that your library is already doing and places where you
would like to improve your pathway process.
- Refer to the Community Engagement Best Practices as you move along the pathway.
Discussion Question - Post In Forum
As you reflect on Ralph Smith’s call to action and the other information in this module, what equity gaps are you aware of in your service area? What “aha!” insights did you have about connecting with communities, building relationships, overcoming biases and barriers or any other aspect of equity related to storytimes? Please reflect and share.
Review the Additional Resources - Early Literacy and Equity, which includes links to research and articles on early literacy related to inequalities of opportunity and social class.There are many facets to pursuing equity in connecting with and supporting the needs of a variety of communities. Review Facets of Equity Engagement for resources that may be helpful for particular equity efforts, such as addressing barriers to access or offering storytimes to different language communities.
- Community Discovery
- Module 6 - Growing Your Supercharged Practice
Module 6 - Growing Your Supercharged Practice
Supercharged Storytimes has introduced you to the storytime cycle of planning, delivery and assessment and has given you tools for all phases of the cycle. This is just the beginning of supercharging you practice. As you build the habit of using the ELPT to be intentional around children’s early literacy development, you are building confidence that you are truly making a difference in their lives and in the community you serve.
Let’s keep growing and supercharging!
Module Six topics include:
for the Value of Storytimes and Libraries
- Growing Your
Beginning on 11/21 at 12:30pm Alaska time, you can join the live session by clicking the BigBlueButton link below. Recordings will be available after the session.
Learn – Early Learning Standards
Locate the early learning standards or guidelines in your state or region. How can you connect those with the ELPT components to advocate for the value of storytimes?
Learn – Peer Community
- Using the Peer
Community Resources, identify some people or organizations you’d like to
Enroll in and watch Storytime
Underground: A Peer-Created Community to learn more about this dynamic community. (1-hour WebJunction
Identify a target audience and try composing a 30-second elevator pitch that will turn them into enthusiastic supporters. Consult the ECRR Elevator Speech samples.Keep using the ELPT to plan, deliver and reflect on your storytime intentionality. It’s like exercise –the more you continue to practice, the more successful and confident you will become.
- Advocating for the Value of Storytimes and Libraries