Reading Aloud – To You! Part 4

My reading aloud The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan continues with chapters six and seven.  Chapter six is 4:25 and chapter seven is 3:04.

Ellie can now hear Teddy speak, and Sylvan becomes quite sick.  The snow storm is showing no sign of letting up.


Posted in books, chapter reading, children's books, Dogs, Early Education, Particia MacLachlan, reading aloud, reading aloud | Tagged , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Reading Aloud = Academic Success

I will always champion reading aloud to children because I know, first hand, what a huge difference it makes.  Some people need to hear all the reasons.  I have written plenty of stories about those.  Some people need to read statistics.

Words of wisdom from research:

I read to children in my classroom all the time.  They have full access to books that are front facing and readily available.

Children copy what they see, and if they see reading, they are far more likely to get books from the bookshelf and read.

Whether it is group reading or independent reading does not matter.
As children become comfortable with books, they take it to the next level, incorporating books into their play.
Often, Gloria is the beneficiary.

The most important thing I do for children is read aloud.


Posted in books, Early Education, reading, reading aloud, reading aloud | Tagged , , , , , | 81 Comments

The Crossing Guard Chronicles: New School Year and The ‘Curbside Classroom’

Steve the Crossing Guard is back to his ‘Curbside Classroom’ for another school year. What he brings to children is nothing short of amazing. Yes, Steve, as you said so well, “Directions are important. We need to know where we’re going in life.” Thank you for pointing children in the right direction. Read on!


I stood resolute at my post, the early morning calm about to be broken by the approaching din of young voices and squeaky bicycles, a familiar and welcoming sound. It’s the first day of the new school year in Brighton, New York.

I stood prepared, blue book in hand, to take names and review notes, notes to refresh my memory of ‘old faces’ and add new names for new faces. As a school crossing guard, these are ‘my kids’ for the next ten months, learning their names is important.

And the ‘Curbside Classroom’ is reopened for business.

“Pick a card! Point it in the direction according to its label: North, South, East or West!”


That was the first day of school, a month ago, and I’m getting better with names, and the kids know we cross in an easterly direction.

It’s my job to see the kids make it…

View original post 301 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 68 Comments

Reading Aloud – To You! Part 3

I continue reading aloud The Poet’s Dog, by Patricia MacLachlan, with chapters four and five.  Chapter four is 4:22 and chapter five is 4:32.

In chapters two and three, Teddy took the children to the cabin.  We learned about Sylvan.  The snowstorm is raging.  In the following chapters, we learn more about Sylvan the poet and the teacher, and about Ellie.  And, the snowstorm grows worse.  It is good, so hang on!


Posted in Book Review, books, chapter reading, children's books, Dogs, Inspiration, Particia MacLachlan, Poetry, reading aloud | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

Sad News on WWII Plane

The WWII plane that flew overhead in my backyard last weekend and inspired my Saturday blog post, crashed today.

Here is the photo I was lucky to capture over the weekend.  It was gigantic, low flying, and possibly a B-29.

Hubby called the local air museum the next day to learn if they knew anything about the aircraft that flew over our house.  They did!  It was their B-17.  They said,  “It looked so big to you because they only fly at 1,200 feet.”

Today, hubby woke up to the news that the aircraft crashed.  The plane was carrying ten passengers who had paid for a demonstration ride, an attendant, and two pilots.  It apparently lost an engine on takeoff, declared an emergency, and came back around to land when it crashed into a maintenance area and caught fire.  So far, there at least seven fatalities.  So very sad. More are injured so the toll could go higher.

Here are photos on our evening news:

How tragic to loose so many lives and an historic WWII plane.  It is a sad day.

I can’t help but think how life can change in a flash.  Don’t take anything for granted, pay attention to children, and be kind.


Posted in America, Death and dying, history, military, patriotism | Tagged , , | 53 Comments


Gloria joined the classroom today, and oh what a homecoming it was. It’s doubtful Santa Claus would receive such a welcome. After all these years we are still amazed at the difference Gloria makes and how children are drawn to her. It started many years ago…

You see, Gloria is different. She is very shy and loves to wear black. She’s not pretty on the outside, but she’s beautiful on the inside. In order for children to learn about the world, they needed to learn about the people in the world. And that meant introducing them to diversity… to Gloria.

Children don’t even see that she’s a puppet. The word witch is never spoken. It isn’t even a thought in their heads. They see her ‘insides’; that she needs help singing the ABC’s, that she loves Maine, and likes to be read to. That’s what children really see.

When Gloria arrived today, we introduced her at Morning Meeting. She was shy and did not speak. She looked all around, and we realized she didn’t recognize the classroom, as we have moved. That took some explaining! Then, Gloria looked at the children. She knew her Aqua Room friends from last year. One by one, they came up to hug Gloria. The hugs were more like the jaws of life… it had been a long time since they had seen her. McKinley cried. We did, too. Delaney buried her head into Gloria. On and on.

New children were watching all of this unfold. You could have heard a pin drop. Each child had an opportunity to greet Gloria. Some children waved, others smiled, some came to greet her, and Amelia immediately said, “Gloria, I like you.”

After Morning Meeting, children began their activities. Many children decided to hang out with Gloria. They read books to her, made her a bed on the couch, and just wanted to be with her.

After lunch, Heidi arrived and was all over Gloria like a bee in a flower garden. The crowd of children were there, too.

Heidi decided to make Gloria her own nap mat for rest time. McKinley reminded me to show Gloria any picture from Charlotte’s Web after chapter reading.

I remembered.  Welcome to the new school year, Gloria!


Posted in Uncategorized | 71 Comments

Reading Aloud – To You! Part 2

Dogs speak words

But only poets

And children


~Patricia MacLachlan~

I continue reading aloud The Poet’s Dog, by Patricia MacLachlan, with chapters two and three.  Chapter two is 6:48 and chapter three is 1:44.

In chapter one you met Teddy the dog who found the children, Nickel and Flora, in a snowstorm.  In the following chapters, Teddy takes the children to Sylvan’s cabin.  There is much to learn.


Posted in Book Review, chapter reading, children's books, Early Education, Inspiration, joy, Kindness, Particia MacLachlan, reading, reading aloud, Teaching young children | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments