Thursday, February 28, 2019

"You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book." Dr. Seuss

This is READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK! I am fortunate that through my books, I have the opportunity to still be involved in teaching, even though I am retired. Teaching is the one skill that I do best, and the one activity that I enjoy most. 

With READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK, I have the opportunity to speak at several elementary schools with a program I wrote based on my book, GRADY GETS GLASSES. The program is called BE AN AUTHOR! I cover steps to write and publish a book, as well as explaining near and farsighted, and how glasses help people. 

The children are funny and bright, with good questions, appropriate responses, and a real spark for wanting to learn.  

What happens to that "spark" in kids that makes learning fun and something they want to do?  When I taught high school for 37 years, it was the rare student who had that fervid interest that was so apparent in elementary school.

I have five ideas on how to keep students interested and motivated.

1. Parents - Read to your children when they are young, and continue to read aloud as they are growing.  I don't mean entire texts - just a paragraph or tidbit of something you are reading that you want to share.  Set the example that reading and learning make life more interesting.

2. Teachers - K-12 - Read to your students! Use animation and expression! Even in high school, students long for that familiar comfort of hearing the printed word spoken aloud. When I was in the classroom, I had 2 classes of underachieving readers.  I found that reading aloud to them, with directed reading and comprehension activities as we read, improved their overall reading comprehension and performance.  Sometimes, even older student needs to be taught how to read.  

3. Parents and teachers - Talk with students about the importance of reading. I liked to give the example of Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught man, who rose to be the President!  Emphasize that reading can take a person to success!

4. Parents and teachers - Explain how reading can be so entertaining - even better than looking at Instagram!  Use examples of Aladdin and Harry Potter - tell students that their imaginations will soar while reading a book.  So many kids are so stressed from social media, and reading provides a wonderful escape.

5. Model reading for your children and your students.  Mention the excitement and drama of the book you are reading,  provide a little teaser about the intricate plot line; make a verbal prediction about a whodunnit. Show your delight in reading to the students!

Let's keep reading and encouraging our kids to read, too! 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

Twitter       @dederittman
Periscope   @dederittman
Facebook   Dede Faltot Rittman or Rittman Rules
LinkedIn   Dede Rittman
Google +   Dede Rittman
Tumblr      The Bunny Teacher
Instagram   dede_rittman  and Gradygetsglasses
Pinterest   Rittman Publishing, LLC ® 

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