When it comes to teaching youngsters to love to read, Julie Bachman knows there’s a simple key.
Dr. Seuss knew it too.
“It needs to be fun,” said the Lone Rock kindergarten teacher.
On Tuesday, that key was used to unlock the magical world of “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Sam I Am” in the school’s two kindergarten classes to celebrate the famous author’s birthday later this week.
With red and white hats pulled down tight just above their ears, the kindergarten classes gathered together to hear the school’s principal, Carrie Kouba, read the Dr. Seuss’ classic “Green Eggs and Ham.”
“Dr. Seuss was a genius in creating books that not only rhymed and used alliteration, but he took the imagination to a place where you were going to be amazed, thrilled and excited, making his books fun to read,” Bachman said. “Dr. Seuss was a doctor in making words work well, enhancing our imagination and giving us lots of fun and laughter.”
And knowing that there may only be one thing that kindergartners care more about than having fun, Bachman and her fellow Lone Rock kindergarten teacher, Cheri Hollist, decided to offer a feast of green eggs and ham to their students to quell an appetite roused by all that reading.
A number of parents joined in on the fun to read to their children and help prepare the unique breakfast. Some brought along the student’s siblings to join in with the celebration.
“Reading is a family affair,” Bachman said. “When we have the siblings and their parents come in, it just makes for a wonderful day. It’s all about family, reading and enjoying each other.”
Both teachers are proud of the fact that their students are already learning to read.
“Some of my students have trouble sitting still, but when I start reading a book, they have no problem listening,” Hollist said. “They are engaged in the story, waiting to see what happens on the next page.”
Hollist sees them following along as she points out the words and feels their excitement when they recognize a word.
“It’s more exciting for me to hear them read, to see them use the skills they have learned to decode words and read a book,” Hollist said. “They’ve mentioned a few times their favorite part of reading groups is reading to me. I hope my student learn to love to read.”
Bachman knows that practice makes perfect when it comes to reading.
“In kindergarten, children are just beginning to read,” she said. “It is what we call emergent readers. Practicing each day help children strengthen their reading skills through letter/sound recognition and blending.”
For a child to learn to love to read, they need those fundamental skills.
“The more children practice, the better their understanding will be,” Bachman said. “When children love to read, it not only helps them to understand the world around them, but more importantly, it gives them a feeling of accomplishment and heightens their self-esteem.”
And, of course, there are other perks too.
After all, there are not too many people who can say that they’ve actually eaten green eggs and ham.
“There weren’t any green eggs left for the parents,” Bachman said. “They loved them.”