Photo Prompt Story: Kevins Karsull

You may want to have a tissue ready when you read Pete’s wonderful photo prompt story of a castle, a teacher and a student. A teacher can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child.

The real toy castle in this photo holds a similar story, yet the roles were reversed. Wesley was captivated playing with this castle in my classroom. When it was put away in order to play with other toys, he was upset and asked for the castle. One day he had a temper tantrum in front of his mother, asking her to buy him the castle. Of course she did not.

Many years later the castle was stored in the attic at school, torn and somewhat broken. When we did a major attic clean-out a few years ago, the castle was ready for the dump. I confiscated it, with many fond memories of Wesley. I had just been invited to his Eagle Scout induction ceremony – the castle would be a perfect gift.

And, it was! Wesley said, “I remember that castle! You saved it for me?” Yes, I did. We both cried.


This is a short story in, 1025 words.
It was prompted by the above photo, the third one sent to me by Jennie Fitzkee.

Mister Dolman was a good teacher, everyone agreed on that. He could make his lessons come to life by pretending to be a brave knight in armour, or a hedgehog snuffling for food. He would bring things in to show the kids, anything from a funny-shaped rock he had found, to the medals his Dad had been given during the war. Not for him just the dry text of the curriculum books, oh no. In Mister Dolman’s class, the kids actually turned up excited to be there, wondering what would happen next.

And he included everyone. No kid was allowed to sit things out because they were shy, or if they had doubts about their own abilities or skills. Inclusion was his creed, and that…

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Photo Prompt Story: Oscar Learns A Lesson

Thank you for using my photo in your post, Pete. The photo prompt story is excellent. Here is the real backstory behind the photo:

Our daughter is the artist in the family. She did this drawing using soft pastels, years ago. The bird was actually hers when she was a child. What adventures that bird had! I have written a picture book about the bird, although the child in the story is a boy, not her. She was excited to do a few illustrations. This is one.


This is a short story, in 748 words.
It was prompted by the above photo of an image, sent to me by Jennie Fitzkee.

Oscar wasn’t a bad boy. Not one of those ‘deep down’ bad boys who nobody likes. But he was a boy, and everything that came with that. Boisterous, getting dirty, ripping his clothes, scuffing his shoes. Most of the time he did as he was told, but like most youngsters, he sometimes had his bad days.

Paula soon discovered that it was best not to tell him not to do something. “Don’t walk along the edge of that wall, you will fall” would guarantee that he would continue to walk along the edge of the wall. When Richard warned him not to climb the old Oak tree in the garden, it took them over an hour to get him back down from the branches.


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Miracle On Ice

Today is the 40th anniversary of ‘Miracle on Ice’, when Team USA beat the Soviet Union in the medal round in ice hockey at the 1980 Olympics.

This is not a sports story.  This is a story of what can happen when kids try hard and give it all their heart.

I was there, glued to the TV, watching the game.

This was a college team, many from New England.  Kids playing pros.

And they won.

I teach children to try hard and do their best.

I teach  children to believe in themselves and follow their heart.

Miracles do happen.


Posted in America, behavior, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, history, Inspiration, patriotism, preschool, self esteem, Teaching young children | 40 Comments

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PreSchool – From Little House on the Prairie, to Geography, to Maps, to Mount Rushmore, to History… And More by Jennie Fitzkee

Thank you for sharing one of my favorite blog posts, Sally. Reading aloud one of the best classic children’s books is exciting. When a book makes children question, and takes them to other journeys of learning, it is in a class my itself. “Little House on the Prairie” is that book. Read what happens. It was a retelling that took us across rivers and states, and even to Mount Rushmore. It is exciting!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post:New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

Pre-school teacher of over 30 years, Jennie Fitzkee, has been a welcome guest here many times and this is her first post in 2020. Jennie shares how the simple act of reading a story can lead to questions that take you in many directions, all of them a learning opportunity.

From Little House on the Prairie, to Geography, to Maps, to Mount Rushmore, to History… And More

When good reading happens in my classroom, it opens the door to so many other things. Children have questions and ideas. Interrupting in the middle of chapter reading means children are listening and interested. I can answer those…

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“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen-


Listening to music is known to be one of the most uplifting things we can to, if you want to change your mood in seconds Music is your answer,who does not have some kind of artefact to produce music where ever you are, if you listen to your old favourites it can even make you feel younger,the image of days gone may  bring back beautiful memories, the energy you felt at that time,will make you feel like you did then, how great is that,if you are out walking with music you will find that you walk differently,there will be a little extra spring in your step,your head will be better positioned and if you add a swing to your arms and really get into the music you are listening to you will feel really relaxed and happy,working out is also great with music you get that extra bounce and much…

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Jackson’s Letter, and a Great Book

When a child takes the time to write a letter to his former teacher,
that in itself is a wonderful thing.

Dear, Jennie
I read the book the Chocolate Touch.
It was a really fun book even though I
Do Not Like Chocolate!!
Thank you for telling about the book.
From, Jackson Pugh

Thank you, Jackson, for reading the book.  Thank you for writing to tell me about it.  Do you remember chapter reading in the Aqua Room, and how much you loved Little House on the Prairie?  I do.  We laughed and cried together.

And now you are so grown up.  I’m glad you are reading.  I’m glad you wrote

me a letter.  Thank you!

The Chocolate Touch is a children’s book by Patrick Skene Catling, first published in the US in 1952. John Midas is delighted when, through a magical gift, everything his lips touch turns into chocolate. The story is patterned after the myth of King Midas, whose magic turned everything he touched into gold. Wikipedia


Posted in Book Review, books, chapter reading, children's books, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Teaching young children | Tagged , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

More Valentines For Gloria

The Valentine cards for Gloria kept coming.

The plan was to make and decorate cards for our families,

Yet children made cards for Gloria – first.

All on their own.

We watched the magic of giving happen.

”No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  -Aesop-


Posted in Diversity, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Gloria, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, Quotes, Teaching young children | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments