Last week marked one year since Melissa started Flannel Friday. She shared the amazing accomplishments of this collaborative effort and asked that we take time to reflect and share. That is very fitting since sharing is one of the things I love best about Flannel Friday. After being inspired by the creativity shown by Melissa, Mary, Anne, and others for a few months I decided to jump in. It has been such a fun and enriching experience!
In addition to sharing flannelboards and storytime props I’ve made and trying out the flannels others have made, I’ve been introduced to new concepts like folder stories that I have found kids really enjoy. Participants share so many tips for early literacy, crowd control, crafting and books in their Flannel Friday posts and comments that I feel like I’m attending a weekly continuing education seminar – on my own time, at my own pace, while developing relationships with librarians around the country (and Scotland).
For me, the timing was perfect. Not too long before Flannel Friday began I decided it was time to stop playing anonymous. I started actively using social media accounts such as Twitter and GoodReads bearing my real name. I started interacting rather than merely lurking on Twitter. I actually comment on people’s web pages now. The website I started last January has been sidetracked by this offshoot blog that is predominantly populated with Flannel Friday and Kids Tech Club posts. I have no regrets about this highjacking! Flannel Friday has been the friendliest possible way to connect with fellow librarians. It encourages me to keep sharing with the recognition that everything I post usually helps somebody (and sometimes, amazingly, many people).
Storytimes are a pretty small part of my job so why do I keep making flannelboards? The ideas help a lot with televised storytimes, but mostly it’s because you guys keep coming up with such great creative ideas that I just have to try! This week I even tricked myself into thinking I’d already made my own version of Melissa’s paper towel tube 5 Green & Speckled Frogs! (Wasted quite a bit of time trying to find it Wednesday morning!)
Special thanks to Melissa for kicking off Flannel Friday, but also sincere thanks to everyone who has every posted, viewed, or commented on any Flannel Friday post or pin. It’s a wonderful community of children’s librarians, teachers, mothers, crafters and friends!