Dan (the Tool Man) Antion Visits the Aqua Room

Fellow blogger Dan Antion at No Facilities visited my classroom.  YES!  Meeting a favorite blogger is a big deal.  We connected like we’ve been friends for years.

Well, yes we have.  Lucky me.

Dan is the guy with tools who loves to work on projects, from his shed to furniture. Woodworking is a skill children need to learn. I asked Dan to come to my class and introduce hand tools.  Toys don’t handle the program.  They need real tools.  Real.

When Dan arrived, he walked into the classroom and saw Gloria.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Children were eager to greet and meet Dan.  He was welcomed with high fives and big smiles.  We sat together on the big rug and Dan brought over his bags of tools.  Wow!  They were big and heavy, children were fascinated.  He started with measuring, from tape measures to a very cool and very long wood folding rule.

Dan is the math guy, and he spent time showing children the numbers on the measuring tools.  They recognized double-digit numbers and counted.  Ah, math needs to be accurate, so we saw tools that measured curves, corners, and triangular spaces.  Dan showed children clamps.  Who knew there were so many kinds of clamps?  Then, we brought in a woodworking table, and let children use the tools.

Hammering, nailing, clamping, measuring…Dan was there every step of the way to help children.

One child was excited and wanted to say ‘Dan the Tool Man’.  She forgot and said, ‘Bob the Builder’.  Everyone thought that was so funny.  Dan the Tool Man thought so, too.  We laughed and joked through lunch.  Then, Dan got to pick the lunchtime Jennie Story.  It was “The Peanut Man.”  What a great story.

It was time for Dan to go.  “Aqua Roomers, say goodbye to Dan.”  I think Dan was surprised when many children rushed to give him a big hug.  Children were hanging off his legs.  It was wonderful.

When Dan left school, he stopped by the post office to see the Aqua Room Art Show.  He signed the guest book.  Priceless!

Thank you, Dan.  You have done a world of good for children.  From hands-on woodworking to tools to measuring, you have given children a lifetime learning experience.  Best of all, they had a blast, and they loved you.  You made a difference.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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149 Responses to Dan (the Tool Man) Antion Visits the Aqua Room

  1. joylennick says:

    “Sowing seeds…is always great!” Be interesting to learn who becomes a carpenter…Although not formally taught, my husband left school at 14 and eventually… became a furniture maker for many years. He would have loved Dan! xx

    • Dan Antion says:

      I had a brief stint owning a cabinet shop, but ultimately, I couldn’t afford the insurance. I think there will at least be a few weekend woodworkers from this group in 20 years or so.

      • joylennick says:

        Good for you, sir! We have three sons and the youngest seems to have taken after his Dad. Give him a piece of wood and up go your shelves, or maybe a small table. But he, in fact, didn’t – contrarily – take carpentry at school and was a chatterbox…One never knows! (He now sells properties, so the ‘chatting’ came in handy too.) Best wishes.

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  3. Dan Antion says:

    Thank you for this post, Jennie. I love those pictures and I had a wonderful day. It was great to meet you and to see you in action. I’ve always said the children in your classroom are lucky. Now I understand why you say that you’re the lucky one. Please tell them I said Hi.

    • Jennie says:

      You are very welcome, Dan. Yes, it was a wonderful day. I’m so glad I finally met you, and I know the children were thrilled to meet you. I will certainly tell them you said Hi. Thank you for your kind words, and for making a difference for children.

  4. beth says:

    How wonderful- what a memorable experience for all and something no one will forget

  5. What an appearance by Bob the Builder! … and great idea by the teacher to bring him in. Cheers to Dan for being a hit … great post, Jennie!

  6. Norah says:

    What a fabulous experience for the children. Dan sounds like a real gem. My hub is a real ‘Bob the builder’. The children sometimes wonder why he’s so good at maths but, as you say, accuracy in maths is important for a builder, even to the millimetres.

  7. All smiles here! How wonderful for the children and for Dan!!!

  8. K.L. Hale says:

    Oh, Dan the Tool Man, you did it! Congratulations you two on such an inspiring collaboration. This touches my heart and soul! Kids need the “real” and you two are just the ones to teach it! Both of my sons love working with tools and I know the importance of carrying on these “hands on” skills that we must have in our daily lives! Leave it to you two to pave the way! Yay yay yay! “Bob the Builder” made me giggle. Thank you for sharing! 💕🥰

  9. beetleypete says:

    Not only a joy to meet a fellow blogger, but also one who could engage the kids with his knowledge of tools. Tools are fascinating for children, and it was great that he was able to show them how to use them.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  10. CarolCooks2 says:

    A fantastic post, Jennie and how lovely that Dan joined the children for a day it must have been a day of joy and learning for you all…Well done… Bob the Builder 🙂

  11. Talk about a ‘win-win’ all around. The kids will always remember Dan, and if they could only see and appreciate the projects he completes, they would be amazed. Great day and thanks for sharing in this post because as one of his blogging friends, I know I am always in awe of his tool skills.

    • Jennie says:

      I feel the same way, Judy. When I wanted children to do some ‘real’ woodworking with hand tools, I knew just who to ask- Dan the Tool Man. He was thrilled. I have been in awe of his tool skills, too. Children notice and pick up more than we realize, and they learned a great deal from Dan (plus had fun!)

  12. Mae Clair says:

    What a fantastic post. This had me smiling from beginning to end. I love how excited the kids were to learn and experiment with tools.
    Way to go, Dan!

  13. Darlene says:

    How wonderful that the children got to meet Dan and that he got to meet the students. They will always remember this. Kids love guests, don’t they? And Dan the Tool Man looks like he’s having fun too. Fun for everyone. xo

  14. Well done, Dan and Jennie! A “show and tell” that obviously both engaged and entertained the audience. Skills and demonstrations they can understand, and each add to their own personal “tool kits” of learning.

  15. Wow, what a cool guest! He has the neatest tools, and I bet the children loved getting a chance to actually hold and use them.

  16. Don Ostertag says:

    Wow! He certainly does a great show and tell…plus he likes children and Gloria.

    • Dan Antion says:

      The children were so welcoming. I felt at home in that classroom, and they guided the show with the way they reacted. It was great fun.

    • Jennie says:

      He does, Don. Best of all, he likes children (which made his visit terrific), and of course he has read so many posts about Gloria- it was quite a ‘moment’ when he finally got to meet her.

  17. Jennie and Dan — beyond wonderful. I can’t stop smiling. I especially liked the photo of Dan with Gloria. Also the description of the children hanging off Dan when he left. This was such a great idea, you two. I can just imagine how amazed the kids were. Hugs all around.

    • Dan Antion says:

      I replied, but I guess I clicked the wrong link. It’s down below.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much, Teagan! Dan and I even talked about you. 🙂 You are so intuitive, as my favorite photo is also Dan with Gloria (it was a ‘moment’) and my favorite moment was the children hanging off of him. I told Dan that you can’t make children like someone or hug someone; the fact that they rushed over spoke volumes. Hugs to you! 💕

  18. Ritu says:

    This is just so amazing 😊😊

  19. A wonderful time. A blogger in your classroom how lovely Jennie for you and the children.

  20. Dan Antion says:

    I was thrilled to get to meet Gloria, Teagan. I had so much fun. The children were great. I was nervous at first, but the kids were all smiles, and Jennie is just the best.

  21. quiall says:

    What a wonderful experience! And not just for the children…

  22. Super post, Jeanne. Great to see Dan here.

  23. frenchc1955 says:

    Hi Jennie, thank you for another wonderful post!

  24. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    Please enjoy this wonderful post from the extraordinary teacher, Jennie!

  25. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! What a lovely lesson you give those children a great time Dan or should I call you Bob!
    What a lovely idea Jennie 💜

  26. Lucky, lucky kiddos to get the real deal tool-guy! Lucky, lucky Dan to get to be a part of the Aqua Room. I admit, I’m a tad envious of your quality time spent with Gloria, Dan!

    • Dan Antion says:

      Meeting Jennie, meeting Gloria and spending time with those children – it really doesn’t get any better.

    • Jennie says:

      Awww, Laura you always have the best words to say. Lucky? Yes! Children need real, hands-on learning. To get this from a pro tool-guy who just happens to connect with children… what a lucky day. And Gloria… that moment was priceless.

  27. Wow, the children had the treat of meeting you, Dan! I loved how Dan and Jennie dressed up for the occasion. The children had an unforgettable hands-on experience! That’s wonderful! Thank you for this beautiful post, Jennie!

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Miriam. It was so much fun. It was great to meet Jennie, and Gloria, and Jennie’s helpers in the classroom and those children. They are all such nice and welcoming people. I was thrilled.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, the children had the treat of meeting Dan. We had a blast! Nothing beats hands-on. Thank you so much, Miriam!

  28. petespringerauthor says:

    Perfect! I imagine the kids loved the opportunity of learning to use tools. I remember bringing a drill to class one day; many had never used one before. You would have thought I gave them a pass to Disneyland. Dan is a good guy, and I’m glad you met him. Everyone wants to come to Jennie’s class.😊

    • Dan Antion says:

      It’s true, Pete. Being in Jennie’s class was a wonderful experience. The kids were great, and more interested than I thought they might be. Seeing Jennie in action helped me to understand her stories better. I knew she was the best. Now I have proof.

    • Jennie says:

      Hi, Pete! I think I’m the luckiest teacher in the world to have had both you and Dan visit my class. Children feel the same way (which you know.) Real tools? Definitely a pass to Disneyland. Dan’s wood folding ruler, Yankee screwdriver, and clamps were the big hits. Yes, Dan is a good guy. I’m so glad I met him. Thank you for your kind words, Pete.

  29. This is awesome, Dan and Jennie!

  30. Such a wonderful post Jennie and children adored Dan. Nice to keep children involved in all these activities and so much fun you all had. Thanks a lot 😊🙏🏻😊🙏🏻

  31. Hi Jennie, how truly wonderful that Dan came to your classroom and showed the children his tools. Greg loved tools as a little boy and used to help my had with things around the house.

  32. Carla says:

    What a great way to introduce children to the world of tools and how they integrate into math! Way to go Dan and Jennie.

  33. MMC 2.0 says:

    The write-up proves once again that teaching is a calling, and not just a profession. 👍🙏

  34. helenblunden says:

    Wonderful! I think I could have learned a thing or two about woodworking tools. 🤣

  35. Wow. That is so cool that Dan visited your classroom with his “real” tools. I’ll bet they were heavy. What amazing fun for him, for the kids, and for you, Jennie. A perfect way to discuss Math too. Kudos to Bob, er, Dan, for making the trip. What fun. 🙂

  36. Thanks to Dan for this great event. Now i think Gloria’s broomstick will have much more power. :-)) xx Michael

    • Jennie says:

      This was a wonderful event with Dan. Of course Gloria is not a witch, so she doesn’t have a broomstick. She just looks that way, which is why she is the perfect person for diversity. At the beginning of every school year, when we introduce Gloria, she tells the children how everyone called her a witch, but she’s not, she just likes black, and she has wrinkly skin, gray hair, and a pointy hat. Then children can ‘look beyond’ the surface and see what is inside the person. Gloria does just that.

  37. dgkaye says:

    How amazing was that for the kids? That was so nice of Dan to visit your Aqua room. ❤

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  40. dweezer19 says:

    What a precious time for everyone, Jennie! Dan is great and thechildren must have been enthralled. ❤️

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  42. olganm says:

    Wonderful! It sounds as if a great time was had by all. Thanks for sharing it Jennie and thanks to Dan for joining the class!

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