if I had a hammer

Pete Seeger is dead at 94.

My radio was playing “If I had a hammer” this morning when the alarm went off.  What great music to rise to! And I was reminded of a chat with a young person just two weeks ago about that very song.  Justin is a 5th grader at our church and he and I collaborated to present an intergenerational book read on a Wednesday evening.  The book we used was Don’t Laugh At Me inspired by the Steve Seskin  song by the same title. don't laugh at me

I looked at many books when I was preparing to be a part of this project. What clinched it for me  was the fact that Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary was inspired to create Operation Respect, a social awareness program for schools and other communities because of this song.  I ordered the lesson guide and shared it with Justin and we did a few of the activities with an intergenerational group of about 30 people.

One of the suggestions in the guide is to sing If I had a Hammer.  When mentioned this to Justin he said, “I don’t know that song, I’ll have to learn it.” His moms sure know the song; they were belting it out that night.  What a joyous sound we all made thanks to some fine guitar playing by our pastor.

So here’s to Pete Seeger and another generation of kids who need to learn to sing his songs.

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if I was in charge of the world..

I could probably write volumes about the things I would do if I was in charge of the world.  One thing I would pay attention to is how to structure school to provide a better balance of time in and time out.  For some reason, this winter break at Christmas seemed to be better timed this year.  We worked until the 19th – it would have been the 20th but we ended up with a snow day – and then didn’t come back to school until January 6th.  Having more time after the big hoopla of family gatherings was better for me and I noticed my students seemed more relaxed on returning to school. I think it was better for them too.

Like Maureen, I wanted a “soft landing” return to school as well.
We had lots of creative and sensory fun this weekIMG_7217 IMG_7232
and finished it off with all the stuff that was supposed to happen on the last day before break: cocoa in the cafeteria with older classmates and a Barbershop quartet.IMG_7237