I am teaching a story time lesson one day each week again this year at the Elementary school. I enjoy it immensely! I am teaching two second grade classes one after the other. The second of the two classes is the one my boy N. is in. It is my 5th year doing this. I have taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade students. I have to say 2nd and 3rd are my favorite. Probably 2nd grade more so because they still have a lot of innocence still at that age. They are so happy to see me and are anxious to learn. I bring a book and a lesson with a fun activity for them. I tell the kids I like to sneak in some learning while we're having lots of fun. We learn new words, geography, math and sometimes some science too. It gives the teacher a chance to grade some papers or such while I am in charge for awhile for each class.
This year I told the two classes that I love books a lot and have a big library of my own at home. I love picture books and have some of the books I read from the time that I was their age. I told them I collect old dictionaries. They thought that was super silly. When I told them that some of the books in my library were over 100 years old, their eyes got really big!! I said that some of the books I have are stories they have heard before-- but not the way I read them. I like to change the words and names in well known stories when I read them, to make them unpredictable and personalized. One of the best loved things I do is to read a rhyming story (like Dr. Seuss) at a normal rhythm first time through and then as fast as I possibly can the second time. I take a big breath and off I go reading so quickly they just giggle until their sides hurt.
Sometimes I run into students that were in my story time classrooms 5 years ago and now they are in 8th grade. They always say "Hello!" and often tell me their favorite story that I read to them or tell me that they always think of me when they use a word they learned through me or hear about a place on the globe that I took them to- in our imagination. I smile. That makes it all worth more than I can say!!
This is a page from the book I've shown you today. It is appropriate for our Ohio weather. Yesterday our temps were in the teens and the wind chill was below zero. We had to add more straw to the rabbit hutches so the bunnies could generate more body heat and be protected from the wind. They have thick warm coats. Gone are the days of putting frozen water bottles in their hutches to keep them from overheating in the almost 100 degree and high humidity Ohio summer.