Monday, January 7, 2013


Who knows why I remembered this in the middle of the night, but it’s worth passing on.  I had a little chant that I would say before I read a story that went like this:
If You Want to Hear a Story
If you want to hear a story,  (Begin snapping your fingers to the beat.)
This is what you do                          
You’ve got to sit down on the floor
Like good students do.
You’ve got to listen to your teacher.
Raise your hand.
You’ve got to let her know
That you understand.
That’s right!   (Snap and then point to children who are sitting quietly.)
That’s right!   
That’s right!
That’s right!

Here’s another trick I would use to focus children for story time.   They loved “turn the page, turn the page.”
Open Your Book
Take out your book.                     (Both palms together.)
Open it up.                                    (Open up palms.)
I have a story to read you-
Turn the page, turn the page.           (Pretend to turn a page in the book.)
I know you’ll like it, I do-
Turn the page, turn the page.         (Pretend to turn the page.)
We’ll fly to storybook land-
Turn the page, turn the page.         (Pretend to turn the page.)
I’ll share the magic with you.
Close up your book and put it away.  (Pretend to close the book and
                                             put your hands in your lap.

One more idea to quiet children in 2013:
Everybody Do This
(Tune:  “Shortnin’ Bread”)
Everybody do this, do this, do this.  (Clap or snap to the beat.)
Everybody do this just like me.

Touch your shoulders, touch your shoulders,  (Touch shoulders.)
Touch your shoulders just like me.

Tap your fingers…
Nod your head…                  (Continue calling other movements for                                                       children to imitate until everyone settles down.)

Put your hands in your lap.         (Lower your voice as you model putting
You’re ready for a story just like me.    your hands in your lap.)

READ MORE BOOKS would be one of the best resolutions a teacher could make for the New Year.  If I were in charge of the world I’d have a list of children’s classics (GOOD NIGHT MOON, CAPS FOR SALE, FERDINAND, PING, etc.) that were required reading.  If we don’t read these to children when they are young, they’ll probably never hear these wonderful stories.  Isn’t that sad?
When I taught college students I started each class by reading them a book.  I’ll never forget a note an adult student wrote me:  “Thank you for reading to us.  Some of us has never been read to before.”  There are a lot of things in this world that are not nice, but reading a book is a BEAUTIFUL thing!  Anytime, anywhere, any place!