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Thursday, September 19, 2019


Here's an idea for active learning that will involve families and encourage children to read, read, read. You can buy these or just start simple by creating two book bags. You could rotate these through your class for a month so each child would have two turns with different books and animals. Children will anticipate "their turn" and taking the bag home.

Directions: Place a book and coordinating toy in each bag. Add blank paper, crayons, and a pencil. Rotate allowing children to take home “book buddy” bags. Remind them to do each of the activities below before returning the book bag to school.

     1. Read the book to yourself.

     2. Read the book to your book buddy (stuffed animal).

     3. Read the book in the mirror.

     4. Read the book to someone in your family.

     5. Read the book one more time to your pet, a toy, or something else.

     6. Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story.

When children return the book bag to school, invite them to sit in the “teacher’s chair” or "reader's chair" and read a few pages to their classmates.


Put a stuffed bear (or other animal), spiral notebook, and pencil in a backpack. Choose a different child to take home the backpack each evening. The child writes or dictates a story to their parents about the bear.
*Just for fun add a toothbrush, pajamas, and other items for the bear.

Here is a letter for parents that you can adapt to reinforce the important role that they play in helping their children learn to read.

Dear Parents,

You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again.  You are your child’s first and most important teacher!  The best way to help your child learn to read is to read, read, read!

  1. Model reading in front of your child.  Read directions on recipes, the newspaper, labels on clothing, and street signs.  Show your child the importance of reading, and also the pleasure we can get from reading.
  2. Set aside a special time each day to read with your child.  It might be right before bed, or you could wake your child up each morning with a story.
  3. Point your finger under the words as you read them.
  4. Talk about the title of the book, the author, illustrator, etc.  What is the setting?  Who are the characters?  Could this really happen or is it just pretend? 
  5. Take your child to the library.  Help your child get her own library card and take responsibility for books.
  6. Create a special basket or shelf in your home where you keep books and magazines for your child to read.  You might also want to keep a backpack filled with books in your car.
Happy reading!


Several years ago I met Dave and his friend Biddy.  What a special way to help children and their parents enjoy a bedtime story and spend quality time together.  They've just launched a new podcast so check it out.

Parents and educators, does a day go by where you don’t need a break? Well, ‘Biddy the Duck’ and her friends would like say “hello”. Our story-time podcast “Biddy Stories” is filled with fun characters, exciting laughs, and a sense of humor that is perfect for those who are young and young at heart.  It’s certainly the most unique children’s podcast on iTunes! 

Look for "Biddy Stories" on iTunes today! You'll be so glad you did. 

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Instagram: Biddy Stories
Twitter: @Biddytheduck