Rounding ’em up!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday weekend! It is often difficult to focus after an extended break; parents are still in relaxation mode and sometimes sleep schedules are interrupted. Everyone has trouble getting back into the swing of things. They say that getting our children back on track as quickly as possible is best, although not the easiest of feats most of the time!

I found that when  I was teaching, the most effective way to round-up my students after a long weekend or vacation was to read to them. The only instruction was to listen and enjoy the book; pure, simple, carefree listening. That is not to say that every time we read, we weren’t learning something. However, when the pressure is off of having to answer questions, sometimes it is more enjoyable for everyone. It allowed them to think without “thinking”, laugh and smile.  Keep in mind, parents, you can do this at home as well.   Story time before bed is a great time to get lost in a book.

One of the books I enjoyed reading was appropriately titled, The Listening Walk, by Paul Showers. It is a light-hearted book about a girl, noticing various sounds around her, while on a walk with her father and her dog.  Any child can relate to parts of this book; whether they are walking in the city or in a quiet neighborhood.

The best part of this book, in my opinion, are the connections that children can make to the environment. If you ask most children what sound a dog makes, they will tell you. If you ask most children what sound a bee makes, they will tell you. The best part is that they love to show you how to make the sounds! These are elements of their everyday world that are easily relatable. You can follow-up by taking your own listening walk or as the book says, just listen for sounds in your home. Either way, it is a good tactic to get your children refocused after a busy few days.

For those with very young children, simply making the sounds in the book is a great way to have them respond. If your children are slightly older, you can start to make connections with them. Many children may do this in school, but if this is new, it is an easy concept to learn. There are three main types of connections: text to text, text to world and text to self. Here is what they mean:

Text to Text – connecting concepts in a book with another book they read. For example, Book A had a dog that talked and Book B had a dog that talked.

Text to World – connecting concepts between a book and a world event. For example, Book A had a tornado in it and there was recently a tornado in Joplin, Missouri.

Text to Self – connecting concepts between a book and something that happened to them in their life. For example, Book A reminded me of my life since the character had a brown dog  and I have a brown dog.

These are easy connections to make and ones that they may already do without knowing. This will just bring it to their attention!

The last thing I want to mention is that anytime you receive a book recommendation, from myself or anyone else, I would highly suggest using your public library. As a collector of books,  I understand why you want to purchase new books or even buy used copies online. However, these days, about the only thing that is free in life is a library membership. I was at a BBQ this weekend and someone mentioned that libraries are obsolete and books can be replaced with Ipads and the like.  I believe that I touched on the use of technology in Chapter 2 but I wanted to respond to this statement. Libraries are not obsolete. In addition to the free membership that allows you to use thousands of perfectly good books, it teaches our children that nothing is as wonderful as turning the pages of a book, finding out what is lurking around the corner and what your favorite character is up to next.   Technology certainly has a place in today’s world but good old-fashioned books certainly do as well, especially in my house.


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  1. * Jenn says:

    I agree, libraries are wonderful and important for children. My son Mason and I frequently attend the library. I know that I do not need to pay an admission and he has a blast. He can explore, read books, play with puzzles, and interact with peers. What a wonderful resource the library is! We love it know that technology could never replace such a fantastic place!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
  2. * Jenn says:

    I meant…. We love it and know that technology could never replace such a fantastic place. ( Summer brain…sorry!)

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago

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