Storytime in the Schoolhouse

Story: The Mitten
Author: Unknown
Source: Old Russian Fairy Tale

This is a traditional tale from Russia. Jan Brett writes a lovely version but there
are many versions online. Make up your own!



In today’s Storytime video we will sing songs, practice deep breathing, and hear a story.
You’ll meet two of Ms. Becca’s pets–Bonsai the cat and Mable the three-legged doggie. Ms. Becca’s pets regularly join us for Storytime. She has three dogs, three cats, and two rats!

Each Storytime begins with seasonal songs and poems. Each month we have a new circle time. We learn the poems and songs slowly, building week by week. This week we learn the next part to our Jack Frost song.

Look out! Look out! Jack Frost is about.
He’s after your fingers and toes.
And all through the night, the sly little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.


On Mondays we practice a breathing exercise. This month we are learning “Candle Breathing.” These exercises are intended to introduce children to mindfulness and deep breathing in an age-appropriate manner.

Ms. Becca spends the second half of Storytime telling us the story of The Mitten. (Bonsai the cat tries to cause some mischief inside the schoolhouse during the story.)
“They squeezed a little bit this way and a little bit that way and made just enough room for all the animals inside The Mitten.”



We are back in the schoolhouse on a cold winter Tuesday. Ms. Becca’s woodstove keeps the schoolhouse warm as she lead us in circle time and shares the story.
Today we talk about the sign language we are learning together. We learn the signs for one poem each circle time.
Winter’s cold, there snow in the sky
The squirrels gather nuts and the wild geese fly
The fuzzy red fox has his fur to keep warm
And the bear’s in the cave sleeping all through the storm.

After circle time we hear the story of The Mitten again. We hear one story each week, repeating the story Monday through Friday. Repetition is beneficial for young children and repeating stories is one way to help lay the foundation for later reading and writing. Because we repeat our stories for a full week, we choose them with care and attention. Your children will get to know the particular animals in our story by the end of the week: Squeak the Mouse, Froggy Boggy, Nimble the Dear, Fleet Foot the Rabbit, and Rumble Bumble the Bear.


We begin Storytime this morning outside on Ms. Becca’s porch where we get to watch the sunrise over the mountains as we have Storytime together. It’s quite cold! The thermometer says 22* F and Ms. Becca can see her breath!
Winter’s coming! Winter’s coming! How will the creatures get ready?
Winter’s coming! Winter’s coming! Time to get ready for snow!

Today and every Wednesday we are outside for Storytime and go on a field trip. Our field trips take us to visit community members as well as places in nature. On today’s field trip, we will travel to visit Nancy, a woman who has been knitting for 61 years and now has a knitting machine. She shows us the various yarns she can use and then demonstrates the machine. Her grandson, Oliver, even gives it a try!


The last part of Storytime today is back on Ms. Becca’s porch for our story of The Mitten. I wonder if the mittens the old man in the story had were made by someone he knew?



Thursdays we are back in the schoolhouse for Storytime and…a puppet show! Every Thursday and Friday we have a puppet show during our storytelling time.

Storytime has a predictable and consistent rhythm (flow) each day and week. We start and end each day the same way and each day follows the same rhythm. Children thrive with a predictable and consistent rhythm. We hope Storytime can be the foundation of your mornings together.

Today and tomorrow we will see a puppet show of The Mitten story. Our team makes 90% of our puppet show materials and aim to use only natural materials. Our simple puppet shows are intentional. Don’t be surprised if your child starts putting on puppet shows for you!


This is our last day to hear The Mitten story. Each new week of Storytime brings a new story and field trip as well as new verses to our songs and poems. We have one last day to practice these verses before adding additional ones next week.

Are you learning the words to the songs and poems? With repetition and practice, even the youngest children will begin copying the words and motions. It will be far from perfect but that’s okay! Let your child join Ms. Becca when they are able. You can encourage them to model the motions. Sit and watch with your child–and sing and move with us!

Storytime also follows a monthly rhythm. The first week of Storytime we hear a Grandpa Ivy tale, the second week a pedagogical or teaching tale, and the third and fourth week a nature tale or folk tale. If you have enjoyed this week of Storytime, please check out the other seasons we have available.


Storytime in the Schoolhouse

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