Monday, April 28, 2014

Typing Software Now Available!

Most kids are comfortable using computers, but can they confidently type?  The ability to type with ease and accuracy will be essential as they move forward in school, and it's not a skill kids learn by just using the computer for everyday activities.  Kids need targeted training in where to place their fingers, along with lots of practice before they can type quickly and comfortably.

To help with this, we've installed Type to Learn software on the PCs here in the library!  This program is geared toward children in grades K-5 and has over 100 lessons to teach children typing skills.  Each lesson follows a cycle where they review, view a demonstration, do a practice activity, and then take a quick assessment.  The lessons and practice activities focus on skills like left/right hand coordination, speed, accuracy, and typing cadence.  And the activities are designed to be fun and engaging to keep children interested.  This software is aligned to the National Education Technology Standards for Students, and it's the same program that the Watertown Public Schools use.

If your child has already created an account at school, they can use that same one to track their progress.  If you'd like to create an account, see a librarian and we can help you do so.  Or if you just want to try out the program without keeping track of the activities your child's completed, we've got logins you can use for each grade level.  These are posted on little signs attached to the computer screens here in the Children's Department.

Want to find out more?  You can check out a demo video about Type to Learn and learn all about the program on the company's website.

So come on in and give it a try!  It's a fun way for children to learn a skill that will prove essential for them in their education and throughout the rest of their lives.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Children's Book Day! Celebrate El día de los niños with us!

Every year, libraries and schools across the country celebrate El dia de los niños, or Children's Day.  The event is also known as El dia de los libros, or Book Day.  Officially it's celebrated on April 30, but celebrations span the end of April and much of May.  It's a day to highlight the beauty and excitement of literacy for children and families of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

This year, we're celebrating Dia de los niños during our usual Toddler Story Time hour.  On Tuesday, April 29, at 10:15 a.m. we will have a multicultural story time for one- and two-year-olds.  The program is geared toward the little ones, but kids who are a little bit older (maybe 3 or 4) would enjoy it too and are welcome to come.  We'll sing songs in multiple languages and we'll read stories from cultures all over the world!

Happy Children's Day! ¡Feliz dia de los niños!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Vacation Fun!

April Vacation Week is so close we can taste it! And we've got a packed schedule, full of tons of fun for kids of all ages.  Don't worry about what you'll do while the kids are out of school.  Just come to the library!

Monday - Closed

Happy Patriot's Day!


Nursery Rhyme Time - 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Songs, rhymes, stories, and play for pre-walking babies. No need to register.

Matt Heaton Music - 10:15 a.m.
Classic, folk, and surf-inspired songs for ages 5 and under. No need to register.

Planting Party - 3:30 p.m.
Kids in grades K-5 can celebrate Earth Day by making their own terrariums. Call or stop in to register.


French Story Time - 10:15 a.m.
Stories, songs, and a craft in French, for ages 2-5. Fluency in French is not required, and no need to register.

Artful Adventures - 2:00 p.m.
An artist from the Museum of Fine Arts will show kids in grades 1 to 5 how to make artwork work of their own! Call to register.


Toddler Sing-Along - 3:30 p.m.
One- and two-year-olds will enjoy music and movement activities. No need to register.


Lego Club - 3:30 p.m.
Kids in grades K-5 can create to their heart's content with tons of Legos! No need to register.


Digital Story Time - 10:15 a.m.
Preschoolers will enjoy a story time with traditional and e-books, then get a chance to explore apps on our iPads. No need to register.

Want to know more? Ask any librarian, give us a call at 617-972-6435, or check out our online calendar of events. We'll see you on Spring Break!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Library Snapshot Day!

Help us celebrate Library Snapshot Day by taking your picture in our DIY Photobooth!  It'll be set up all day today, so pop in and pose with some silly props!

Library Snapshot Day is a nation-wide initiative aimed at getting pictures of all the awesome things going on in libraries everywhere.  Here in Massachusetts, libraries are all picking dates throughout this week to get pictures of patrons enjoying the library.

Here at the Watertown Free Public Library, we've decided to do this by letting YOU take the photos!  We've set up a banner where we'd love it if you write something about why you love the library.  Then pose with a silly hat or funny prop and snap your photo.

Also throughout the week, we'll have a display where you can submit even more comments about the library.

Stop by today and check it out!