CHICAGO—According to recent research, the best way to make new connections in a child’s brain is by building on something already known. A child who loves a book will listen to it repeatedly, maintaining interest. Using a selected book in a number of consecutive preschool storytimes, but presenting it differently each time, can help children learn new skill sets. “Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, presents a new approach to storytime, one that employs repetition with variety to create an experience which helps children connect and engage with the story on a higher level. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, recently awarded the 2013 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, and Melanie A. Hetrick offer a year’s worth of activities specifically designed to address multiple intelligences through a repetition-based process. Incorporating recent theories on developmental learning, this book:
- Includes scripts for 8 different books, with enough activities to repeat each one for six weeks, along with lists of optional alternative books;
- Planning aids such as outlines of storytime sessions, a fill-in-the-blanks planning sheet, questions for evaluation, and tips for enhanced storytimes using props and crafts;
- Detailed but straightforward explanations of theory and research that will help readers communicate effectively with parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders.
Diamant-Cohen is the Early Childhood Specialist at Port Discovery children's museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She developed the award-winning Mother Goose on the Loose® early literacy program, which won the Godfrey Award for excellence in public library programming, and in 2004 was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal. She earned her doctorate in communications design from the University of Baltimore and her master’s degree in library science from Rutgers. She enjoys traveling around the country to give training workshops. She was awarded the 2013 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award.
Hetrick is the children’s librarian in Tillamook County, Ore. Her focus is on early literacy, reading difficulties, and learning differences in children. She also enjoys working with teachers, tackling summer reading, and finding books for kids who swear they have read everything or don’t want to read anything.
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