Handwriting: What Is Normal?

Dear Readers,

I found this great article on Reading Rockets about handwriting, and how to know whether or not your child’s is normal. I thought  it was wonderful as it gave handwriting milestones from Pre-K–3rd grade. Also, it’s a little known fact that poor handwriting and learning disabilities sometimes go hand in hand.

I highly recommend this article. If you’d like to read, here it is: http://www.readingrockets.org

Six Flags’ Read to Succeed Program

Dear Readers,

Every year, for the past couple of years, I’ve signed my students up for Six Flags’ Read to Succeed program. It’s a win-win program. Your students and you receive a ticket to Six Flags for reading. It’s easy. All you have to do is register for an account and choose and password. After that, you input the hours and at the end of the year, tickets are sent to you to distribute to the students.

If you’d like to register, here’s the link:


A Center in a Bag!

Dear Readers,

I have a story I just have to tell. It’s about my older sister (even though she tells everyone I’m older), who I’ll call Brown Girl. She is so giving. She is always giving me & the rest of our family gifts.

Even though this gift she gave me today is not even the biggest gift she’s given me, it was really what I needed. You see she gave me 25 books with the accompanying audio tapes. This is significant because I was just reading another teaching blog about the teacher having a listening center. Since I had older students I didn’t think to have a listening center. Add to the fact that my school had no resources. Well, now, thanks to my sister, I have the following titles:

  1. This Is The Way We Go to School by Edith Baer
  2. Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
  3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  4. Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
  5. Geraldine’s Big Snow by Holly Keller
  6. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble
  7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by (Adapted by) Freya Littledale
  8. The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston
  9. My Favorite Time of Year by Susan Pearson
  10. Clifford’s Halloween Fun by Norman Bridwell
  11. Jamberry by Bruce Degen
  12. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  13. Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
  14. Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch (duplicate)
  15. The Brave Little Tailor by (Retold by) Freya Littledale
  16. Sally’s Room by M.K. Brown
  17. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
  18. The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy
  19. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy While Carlstrom
  20. Grandma and the Pirates by Phoebe Gilman
  21. Clifford, We Love You by Norman Bridwell
  22. It’s Valentine’s Day by Jack Prelutsky
  23. Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak
  24. Curious George Rides a Bike by H.A. Rey
  25. The Popcorn Dragon by Jane Thayer

Even though some of these title are for young children, I will use these to make up my listening center. I’m going to plop them into some bags, label them, and create some other sort of activities to go with them. So there you have it- A center in a bag!

By the way, if you know of any activities I can use to make this center more interesting, feel free to drop me a comment!


Miss Hunnicutt’s Hat by Jeff Brumbeau

HunnicutMiss Hunnicutt’s Hat, written by Jeff Brumbeau & illustrated by Gail de Mercken, was a wonderful book. I reviewed another one of the author’s book, The Quiltmaker’s Gift. I like this author/illustrator team. I am going to find more of their books. I like their style. N-e way, on to the review.

(From the book jacket) The prim little town of Littleton is in a tizzy preparing for a visit from the Queen. So when Miss Hunnicutt steps out in her fancifully fowl-ish hat, the stuffy townsfolk are scandalized. The chicken has to go!

But plucky Miss Hunnicutt stands up for her right to wear what she likes. And when the Queen’s arrival prompts a surprising turn of events, the townspeople learn to celebrate the silly eccentricities that make life interesting.

That was the summary from the book’s author. Now, this is my summary of the book.

I really liked this book. I asked my students what they thought this book was really about and they said, “being yourself, being individual, & unique, not being afraid to be yourself, etc.”. I was quite impressed. I guess I taught them well.

Miss Hunnicutt is very proper. She never does anything wrong or out of the ordinary. The only thing she likes out of the ordinary are her hats. A lady has to have something that makes her stand out, right?

Standing out is what Miss Hunnicut does! During the course of the book, you will see the transformation of Miss Hunnicutt. Although some of the jokes may go over kids’ heads, the book is full of laugh out loud moments. (It was for me anyway!)

This books makes for a great discussion about individualism, quirkiness, standing up for yourself, and loving yourself. I recommend it as a mother and a teacher. It would make a great personal gift for anyone who is different and embraces it. As always, you can pick it up at your local library or bookstore.