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Lead from the Start: Read Across America Celebrates Seuss

Monday, March 01, 2010

Read Across America Celebrates Seuss

If there is one holiday pre-k teachers really enjoy it is Read Across America day. The holiday, has always been a fun way for teachers to highlight he importance of story book reading. Each year the National Education Association sponsors the national event that celebrates the life and work of Ted Geisel, Dr. Seuss. The author has become synonymous with reading and with that scruffy trouble making Cat in the Hat. All over the country on March 2nd in schools, pre-k centers, and child care centers kids will eat green scrambled eggs and Canadian ham, make red and white stove-pipe hats, and hear their teachers' favorite Dr. Seuss books. Teachers will walk around making horrible rhymes and funny hats.

I always took the entire week to celebrate Dr. Seuss and to read my favorites. Some of my favorites were the ones I knew my kids might not hear later in their school careers. I figured they would hear the Cat in the Hat, a Wocket in My Pocket, and Horton Hears a Hoo! But, they might not read, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (one of his first books), Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? (a great phonological awareness book), and Daisy-Head Mayzie (a story about accepting differences and not selling out your gifts). These are long books. I never read a whole Dr. Seuss book in one sitting, at least not after my first year. So take your time and enjoy the stories. Some strategies are to read 2 pages a day, or half in the morning and half after lunch. The Dr. Seuss website also has activities and online games to support your day of reading fun.

Often in our school, volunteers would come to read a Dr. Seuss book to our students. This presents a particularly challenging but fun situation because sometimes volunteers aren't sure how to read to your students in an appropriate way. My suggestion is help your volunteer understand what your children's normal attention span is, and proactively help your students enjoy the reading. If your children get antsy suggest to your volunteer a stretch break, or moving like a Wocket for a minute before continuing a story.

However you decide to celebrate reading on Tuesday make sure it is fun. Maybe even Cat in the Hat fun, just don't forget to clean up before mom comes back to school.

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At 1:02 PM, Blogger Kevin Hart, NEA said...

Thanks for the mention of NEA’s Read Across America and for your appreciation of the importance of reading to children. NEA’s Vice President Lily Eskelsen recently wrote a very inspirational blog post that really drives home the point.

I hope you get the chance to check it out:

Thanks again,
Kevin Hart, NEA


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