My Sister-in-Law gave me quite the treat today: she had me read to her 3rd grade students for Read Across America. Her classroom follows a nautical theme, and is appropriately marked as the SS Simon:
The children endured my reading of some of my favorite kids material: Me Jane, On Beyond Bugs and a few poems, including The Dentist and the Crocodile and About the Teeth of Sharks. We had time for one more, so she had me read one of the classroom favorites: Chester. The kids were kind enough to explain it to me.
I walked away from the experience quite impressed with the tight ship my she runs. It's not just that the kids are brilliant and well behaved, it's little things like allowing me to pick from a list of 'claps' the kids can perform to show their appreciation for my visit, or the fact that the tables are known by their NATO phonetic alphabet name (to go with the nautical theme). All in all, very impressive.
At the end of reading session she asked the kids which book character they most identified with. I struggled to think of an answer, and finally decided to embrace the kids theme. I chose the Blue Engine from the Little Engine That Could. Push forward and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Also, I love trains.