I want to go back to college!
Not as an adult, but as a teenager again!
After spending time with DJ this weekend, listening to all that is offered and the different opportunities there are, I am actually a bit envious of all that he has to look forward to. There are so many possibilities that weren’t available when I was in school. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time in college, got a fantastic education and met some wonderful people there. I am still friends with many of them but I was so amazed seeing all that is out there for him!
Maybe, it is just because I am older and have a different perspective on life than I did when I was eighteen. I wonder what I would have done differently. I wonder what I would have kept the same. I am excited for him. With the internet and the technology today, there are so many more options out there than there were when I was in school. I wonder if my parent’s generation felt that way when we all went off to school. Technology has changed the world so much. The opportunities are endless.
I know he is thrilled about making his choice and Dave and I are so proud of him and the decision he has made. He is beyond excited and we are so excited for him.
I am not sure when I stopped reading aloud to my boys. Read aloud is my favorite part of the day at school. I read to my class every single day taking pride in the fact that those children are enraptured by my voice, my intonation and inflection when I read. There are times when a day seem to be spiraling out of control. When that happens, I grab a book and start reading. No matter where the kids are in the room, they gather. They listen, they calm, they relax. They are focused on the story, focused on me. I have reeled them back in!
I read to my boys every night when they were little. Each of them had their favorite book that we read over and over again. For DJ, it was Freight Train by Donald Crews. I can still recite it from memory we read it so many times! For Drew it was Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. It is still a favorite of mine to read to my Kindergarteners. Drew says he can still remember me bringing Knuffle Bunny Two to his Kindergarten Class the time I went in to surprise him for his birthday.
As my boys became readers themselves, we had a deal that for every book they read to me, I’d read one to them. It worked for the longest time. I don’t know when it stopped. I guess it just sort of slipped away, out of our nightly routine…we don’t even have a routine anymore.
Over the last few days, Drew and I have brought back the nightly tradition though and I realized just how much I missed it. Drew has always been a struggling reader and when he was given an assignment to read, The Giver, by Lois Lowry, it actually brought him to his breaking point. Last week, he had a complete meltdown while trying to read it. He fell apart calling himself dumb and getting so frustrated that he couldn’t pull himself together. My “teacher diagnosis” is that he can decode and he can comprehend, he just cannot do it at the same time. When I was finally able to calm him down, I asked him if I could try to read him a chapter. He let me, and we wound up reading the few chapters that were assigned for school. I had never read the book so I had no prior knowledge of the beginning of the book and he was at chapter five. He filled me in as we went along and I asked him questions throughout the chapters to see if he was comprehending it and he was. The next night, he asked me if we could read together again. Tonight will be our fourth night reading together and it has brought back his joy of reading again.
I know that I can’t read to him forever and I have already contacted his school and gotten him some audio services to help him follow along as he listens to the assigned books. For now though…I will take advantage of these precious nights that he wants to read with me. They probably won’t last much longer!
If only we wrote down all of the funny things we hear in Kindergarten! We’d have a best seller. Maybe if I get some of them written down here, at least they’ll be enough to make anyone reading it get as big of a laugh as I do from them.
Today, there were two of them.
The first happened in the morning, One of the little boys told me that when he grows up he was moving to the desert. “How exciting!” I told him, “why the desert?” His proud reply was, “because I want to be a meteorologist when I grow up.” Bewildered, I just smiled and played along. “A meteorologist! Wow! What does a meteorologist do in the desert?” He looked at me like I had three heads! “Why, dig up bones of dinosaurs of course!” He shook his head and said, “Wow Mrs. Sinclair, you really didn’t know what a meteorologist does? I can’t believe that!” He shook his head as if disappointed in me and went back to work. I didn’t have the heart to correct him.
Later, in the afternoon, the students were involved in Literacy Centers. One of the games had word wall words written on cards with the letters scrambled up. TWEN for WENT, ERA for ARE, there were ten words all together. Every day for a week, the literacy groups rotate. All week, this group, no one, including myself and parent volunteers, noticed this particular word…until today. One of the girls found the card HTIS which should have read, THIS. She gasped and called out, in a loud voice, “Oh no! Mrs. Sinclair, this one says a bad word! It says shit!” “Shhhh,” I whispered as I grabbed the card. She took her little hand and compassionately tapped me a few times on the shoulder and said, “It’s okay Mrs. Sinclair, my dad says shit all the time”.
Again…I had to walk away. There really is no job as fun as mine!
Yesterday, I wrote my blog about Dr. Seuss. A very simple blog, just listing a few of my favorite quotes in celebration of his birthday. I did the same thing that I do after I write all of my blogs. I shared it. On Facebook, Pinterest, Google and a few other sharing sites including Reddit. On a typical day, I get between 100-200 views. That in itself shocks me. Over 100 people read my blog daily! Why? I don’t know but makes me happy. My biggest day for readers was after Francine died. 1000 people visited my page that day. The months of March and April last year brought a lot of activity to my blog because I wrote a lot about my mom and Francine.
After sharing it yesterday, I did school work and some things around the house. I went back later to see if it had been read and thought something was wrong with my stats page. It looked different because the bar graph that lists the weekly views seemed to have changed. Then I noticed that the number of views was at 4,500. That could not be right. I refreshed the page and it jumped up to 4,700. Something was wrong…it had to be. I closed out WordPress and reopened it. Now it was over 5000. I looked to see where all the activity was coming from and it turns out it was from Reddit. I have shared on there before, so what made this post different? It truly was not one of my better blogs, was it because it was Dr. Seuss’ birthday? I still don’t know what it was but the final count for the day was…..
Will that EVER happen again? My guess is no. Will it bring more activity to my blog? Probably not, but it was pretty amazing to watch. I kept getting alerts on my phone telling me about the “activity” on the site. It went on for a few hours and then suddenly slowed down towards evening. In the grand scheme of things, is 11,399 a lot? As I sat and watched Ellen DeGeneres hysterically host the Oscars last night and claim to “break Twitter,” with her group selfie, perhaps not. Yet once again, it’s all relative!
Thank you Dr. Seuss – I have always had a special place in my heart for your stories and now you have given me even more of a reason for loving them!!
March 2 is the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to most of us as , “Dr. Seuss.” His birthday is the inspiration for “Read Across America Day.’ Many schools, mine included, adopt this week as Dr. Seuss Week. He is the author of forty-six children’s books also using the pen name, Theo LeSieg – which is Geisel spelled backwards. There are so many of his books that bring back memories of childhood. My all time favorite one is The Lorax, because of the lesson or moral it taught, but actually, many of his books were written with a moral in mind. Some more obvious than others. He also used his books to express his opinion on social and political issues. I found this on Wikipedia:
Many of Geisel’s books express his views on a remarkable variety of social and political issues: The Lorax (1971), about environmentalism and anti-consumerism; “The Sneetches” (1961), about racial equality; The Butter Battle Book (1984), about the arms race; Yertle the Turtle (1958), about Hitler and anti-authoritarianism; How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), criticizing the materialism and consumerism of the Christmas season; and Horton Hears a Who! (1954), about anti-isolationism and internationalism.
In honor of his birthday, I decided to share some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes….there are so many it was hard to choose!
Today is one of those days where I am finding a hard time finding something to write about.
So instead I decided to write about something that makes me laugh every time I see one of them– and the best part is, is that Dave and my boys all laugh too! Something all of us actually have in common, (and lately that does not seem to happen very often). It is just a series of commercials – those AT & T’s, “It’s Complicated”, ones with the little kids.
I love how the kids just go on and on totally unscripted and Bruce Beck, the actor, sits there with a straight face. We laugh every time, no matter how often we see one of them!
I am lucky; I get to see this side of kids everyday in my job. Their honesty, their innocence their openness…they are funny without even trying to be. The commercials remind me a bit of that old show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, with Bill Cosby which I remember loving when I was younger.
If you haven’t seen one of the commercials, try Googling it. I guarantee it will make you smile.
One of my favorite things to do with my students on Earth Day is to read them The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. This children’s book deals with loving, respecting and taking care of the world that we live in. It is a simple yet powerful expression about how we need to take care of The Earth.
When I told my students that we would read it, most of them told me that they had already seen the movie. I let them know that the book was made long before the movie and that it was a little different than the movie verison. I had an audio version narrated by Kelsey Grammer so they could listen along. They sat and just listened. The affect was mesmerizing! When it was over, we talked about how we could take care of the Earth. The book includes the quote, “Speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues”. They found the image of that funny, yet all knew that it meant that they have a responsibility for their environment and need to take care of it.
Their ideas of how to keep The Earth clean and safe are simple, and a great reminder for people of all ages. Here are a few of them:
- · Don’t litter
- · Recycle your trash
- · Plant a tree if you cut one down
- · Don’t smoke
- · Walk or ride a bike instead of driving
We should all take their advice – these simple ideas and keep our Earth clean because as Dr. Seuss tells us, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot; nothing’s going to get better its not”.
March is National Reading Month!
To celebrate this, why not perform an act of kindness this month that supports reading!
Here are some ideas of how you can support reading in your community and none of them need to cost any money.
- Donate gently used books to a library. Many children do not have access to books because of financial reasons. Libraries are a great resource. Anyone can sign up for a library card and enjoy thousands of books for free.
- Check out Bookbgone. a free-of-charge, media-removal service that is dedicated to recycling, reusing and donating unwanted books. We pick up books, CDs, and DVDS in any condition curbside from New Jersey homes. We are a book-loving, environmentally-responsible limited liability corporation. You can get more information on this fantastic organization at http://www.bookbgone.com/
- Leave paperback books in public places like train stations and public book sharing shelves.
- Visit http://www.bookcrossing.com/ to learn about BookCrossing, a fun way to recycle your books and trace where they travel to! “It’s the World’s Library. It’s a smart social networking site. It’s a celebration of literature and a place where books get new life. BookCrossing is the act of giving a book a unique identity so, as the book is passed from reader to reader, it can be tracked and thus connecting its readers. There are currently 1,698,386 BookCrossers and 9,562,895 books traveling throughout 132 countries. Our community is changing the world and touching lives one book at a time”.
- Offer a new teacher some of your children’s books that they no longer read, to add to their classroom libraries.
- Volunteer to read with children during D.E.A.R. time, (Drop Everything And Read) at your child’s school.
There is a Chinese Proverb that reads, “a book is like a garden, carried in the pocket”. Continue to cultivate that garden by spreading books for others to enjoy.