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Sunday, May 15, 2016


Sometimes I feel like we are beating books to death. I used to enjoy reading a good children’s book as much as the children enjoyed hearing it. However, it’s difficult to enjoy a story when you are worrying about the beginning, middle and end… vocabulary words… the main idea…the author’s point of view… how it relates to the book you read last week…and…and…and!!!!

Wouldn’t you hate to answer questions about every book you read or every movie you watched?

Don’t take me wrong. I agree that literature is one of the most effective and powerful ways to develop reading skills. However, I think we need to balance it with pleasure. Squeeze in at least one story a day that you and your students can ENJOY together. Read it, savor it, feel it, and then let it be!

Children have always wanted to do what they see adults doing. When I was a little girl I watched my parents read, and I wanted to do that, too! How many children actually see their parents reading these days? That’s why we have to be “sales people” and model the JOY from reading! Motivate (brainwash) children by saying, “Isn’t it fun to learn how to read?” “Oh, we just love to read good books.” “My heart is happy when I see you enjoying books like I do!”

As the school year closes I hope you’ll get a stack of your favorite books –books that you haven’t had time to read this year because you’ve been so driven by standards and skills – and read, read, read!!! Think of it as “dessert” for the instructional year!

I was cleaning out my suitcase and look what I found stuck in a pocket! We had done an activity with paper plates that day and a teacher handed this to me as I was walking out the door.
Don’t Take away My Childhood
By Yolanda Richey, 2016

Don’t take away my childhood,
Let me run and play.
Don’t take away my childhood,
Let me learn in my own way.
Give me songs to sing
Give me time to dance.
Don’t take away my childhood,
I only get one chance - 
To be a little child
Who loves to learn each day.
So don’t take away my childhood
Because my work is PLAY!