Friday, July 12, 2013


Well, I just had to send you a little love and wish for happy summer days.  When I travel I prepare my blogs ahead of time because I never know what’s going to happen on the road.  For example, this week I got caught by thunderstorms and sat for hours and hours and hours in airports.  No fun!   But the wonderful teachers I meet always make it worth the pains of traveling.

My heart is heavy when I hear some of the teachers’ stories about their strict schedules and “academic rigor.”  The Common Core State Standards are a good thing, but the way some districts are implementing them disturbs me.  We have to remember these are little children.  You may win the battle of a higher test score, but I fear you are going to lose the war.  If children don’t enjoy reading and learning, what’s the point?  If they don’t like themselves or know how to get along with others, what’s the point? 

Enough with the negativity!  All I can do is try to lighten your load and give children a smile.  I received the sweetest email from Janice Vinci this week:
     Thank you for doing all that you do for children all over the world.
     Childhood has been robbed of so much and with your materials
     some can be given back to children!

This week my special friends Vanessa Levin ( and Sam Williams joined me at the Early Childhood Summit in Charleston.  They are both committed to children, teachers, and trying to figure out how to fuse the Common Core with developmentally appropriate practices.  It’s a challenge, but we’ve got to hold hands and keep on singing and dancing!

Here's a quote from Kay Thompson (author of ELOISE) that I think would be good for teachers this coming year:
            I’ve discovered the secret of life.  A lot of hard work, a lot 
            of sense of humor, a lot of joy and a whole lot of tra la la. 

My daughter and her children are coming to visit tomorrow and I can’t wait!  While she’s here we are going to do some new videos for you.  In one I will demonstrate “state changes” or different ways to do rereads, practice counting, and make repetitions more engaging.  I’ve got some new “back to school” ideas to share, and someone asked if I would make a video demonstrating “planting a garden” and “putting your baby to bed.”  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll find out soon.)  So, if you have any other suggestions, let me know in the next day or two and we’ll put them on our “to do” list.