I love it when I find topics and ways to mix my teaching with my love of dogs. I have even been picking up items here and there to slowly transform my classroom into a dog themed classroom. I teach 5th grade, so that age of kids just eat it all up. I also hope I am influencing a class of kids to find a level of love and respect for animals that they will carry through their lives. We are using dog dishes to hold things like pencils and crayons, and I have finally found a good use for all my old dog calendar photos. Hello lamination machine! :) ...but one of the best ways I have learned to mix dogs and students is with reading. Now I only WISH I could bring Murray into school all day with me, but that's not going to happen anytime soon, but families with kids and dogs at home can certainly utilize this tip. Too often kids are called on to read in class and while reading, they might feel nervous and they often get interrupted by a well meaning teacher (or another student) to offer help with pronunciation of words. There just are not enough opportunities for students to read aloud without corrections and possible anxiety. Your dog is the perfect solution. A child can snuggle up with their dog and a favorite book (or reading assignment) at home, and read aloud to the dog, and this gives kids the safety and comfort to practice and strengthen their reading skills without annoying and nerve racking interruptions. All kids need to practice reading, and this provides that chance, and your dog gets some petting time too! I think dogs often make better listeners! Many people don't realize how in tune dogs can be to people and how they are there and always helping us . This video should be convincing.