Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cuddle Your Kid!

Oftentimes my husband sends me links to articles he reads that he thinks I would like.
Cuddle Your Kid!

I loved this article. It made me feel less guilty about laying with my son every night before he goes to sleep. Last year, when I was just coming back to work after my maternity leave, I shared with some teachers that I just couldn't let Patrick "cry it out" anymore. My teacher friend looked at me and said, "Don't you see? He misses you during the day, and this is his way of asking you to spend time with him." Hug him, snuggle until both your hearts are content. I think about this wise woman's response to me often, and now pass along the same advice to mothers heading back to work. There is nothing wrong with cuddling our children - especially when we spend so many hours out of the house.

I passed along this article to my mother, who wrote a poem in response. Thanks, Mom for your beautiful words!

Why can’t we do it…cuddle our kids?
Why won’t we consider that this could rid
    us of problems like anger, violence and drugs.
We could raise loving people instead of mean thugs.
The research is telling…
The message is clear.
If we cuddle our kids, we can banish crime and fear.
A little attention can go a long way…
Have you even thought about reading to your child today?
Sit close together and open that book
Ponder questions as you take your first look.
Enjoy the story, talk about the end, spend  time
With your child and he’ll become your friend.
Love is the answer and literacy is the key.
Cuddle your children and a new world we will see!
                                                                --Rita Kenefic

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Adventures of the Poodle Posse

Chrysa Smith, author of The Adventures of the Poodle Posse Series recently visited my school. This was such an exciting day for the students and teachers.

I love hearing how ideas can transform into stories, and this author had a wonderful message for our students - Stories lie right under our noses! Chrysa Smith combines her love of dogs with her love of writing to create doggie adventures based on her poodles.

She showed pictures of her real poodle posse, and the students could instantly relate to her. The photographs helped the students to see that many fictional characters are based on real people (or pets!) Then, she shared large stick puppet versions of her poodle posse. Our students loved these, and instantly felt connected to Woody, Archie, Daisy, and Bobby! Chrysa Smith explained to students how she took real stories and TWISTED them to make an adventure. Our students understood her simplistic language, and actively participated with Ms. Smith as she told her stories. Many students offered Ms. Smith ideas for future stories for the Poodle Posse, which she willingly accepted. 
Our third and fourth grade students had the opportunity to write with Chrysa Smith. Ms. Smith expertly coached them through many different, fun writing experiences. I have never seen our students so excited to put the pen on the page and write. Creative thoughts, laughter, and encouragement filled our gym as Chrysa invited students to share their ideas with their peers.

Thank you, Chrysa Smith, for sharing your books, personal stories, and creativity with us! Check out her website to purchase her books, or schedule a visit for your school!
Chrysa Smith's Website