Sometimes your class just doesn’t cooperate. You can ask and ask, try and try, but no matter what you say or do, some days, they just don’t listen. Today, during a working time, after multiple reminders from both Mrs. D. and myself about staying focused and keeping the chatting to a minimum, I brought out the big guns. I brought out… Clifford.

Clifford is a red stuffed dog, much like the character in the books. I bought him at a Scholastic warehouse sale for one dollar. He’s priceless. As I explained to the class when I first introduced him, Clifford, like many dogs, doesn’t like loud noises. He loves to visit children’s tables, but only if they’re using a working whisper.

We’ll like magic, a hush came over the room. The only sound heard was children whispering, “Shhhh! We want Clifford at our table…” When an entire table of sprouts was relatively quiet, Clifford would come rest in the middle of their table. Each child would offer a pet or two and then continue working. If they got too loud, Clifford would flee and find a quieter table.

Clifford doesn’t come visit everyday, only on those days where a little extra ‘something’ is required. He never fails to charm and dazzle the class. Oh, how I love that big red dog.