“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” -Dr. Seuss
Friday, March 2 marked the 21st anniversary of the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America Day. How and why did Read Across America begin? According to the NEA’s website, Read Across America was born out of the idea of a small reading task force. They decided to hold the occasion on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Thus, the first Read Across America day was held on March 2, 1998. Today, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers across the country participate by celebrating the joy of reading with community members and students.
Since Head Start had a professional learning day on Friday, March 2, the teachers celebrated with the children on Thursday, March 1. Veronica Sanchez, a 25-year veteran teacher aide and substitute teacher, shared how her classroom celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday by creating a birthday party for the famous author.
Thank you, Veronica Sanchez, for sharing your 2018 Read Across America event at your preschool site and remembering to “do the math” with your preschool children in your class.
Learning Through Play-Dr. Seuss Style
by Veronica Sanchez, Head Start teacher assistant
The class has been reading books written by Dr. Seuss for the week leading up to the party. We had fun rhyming with the children and looking at the silly pictures of a “fox in a box wearing socks” or where “green eggs and ham” were not to be eaten. More importantly, our staff has become aware of the importance of incorporating math throughout the day and not to just “do math” during a specific time.
During the birthday party, we had the children note that there was a place setting for each child for 1:1 correspondence and we counted the number of children present and gave them each a party favor. The party favor, of course, was a Dr. Seuss gift bag donated by a generous parent volunteer.
Literacy, math, and art skills were further developed in several fun activities. The children created their own green eggs and ham plate and incorporated positional words when completing the sentence:
“I would not eat green eggs and ham on, in, under, next to, etc. a ____________________.”
These positional words were used for the past few weeks with the research associates from AIMS when they worked with our children on spatial reasoning through the use of patterns and pattern blocks.
We also had the children make Dr. Seuss hats. We provided them with white paper hats then had them paint and count the number of red stripes they painted on their hats.
Next, we had them play One Fish, Two Fish using felt shapes, counting the items, and noting the various shapes in the story. We know that children learn through play so the staff now intentionally looks for opportunities to “mathematize” activities by using math vocabulary words and asking math related questions.
Fun Fact: Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904-September 24, 1991) would have celebrated his 114th birthday this year. He published more than 60 books including: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss’s ABC, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who!, Are You My Mother, Fox in Socks, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Oh the Places You’ll Go.