“I thought it was amazing. I had no idea that a dog had that big of a brain,” -Nicholas Belshan, first grader.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: do not underestimate the power of the pooch! First grade teacher Peggy Bennett taught her Shiloh Shepherd, Coulter, how to read; now, Coulter is repaying the favor by inspiring her class to fall in love with the written word.
So, how did smarty-pup Coulter learn to read? Bennett shows Coulter signs with commands such as “paw,” “sit,” and “down” printed on them. She began the process by pairing verbal commands with the printed words; eventually, Bennett was able to remove the verbal commands completely. She thinks that Coulter recognizes the shape of the words.
Maybe it’s not reading as we humans know it, but it’s pretty darn impressive! Plus, Bennett believes that bringing her book-smart pooch into the classroom is a unique way to enforce pawsitive habits in her students. High paws to Peggy Bennett for going above and beyond to make learning fun!
“You can teach the mind, the brain, and kids will learn. But if you get the heart involved in that, if you get that human component and they connect to you through animals or whatever, you can get so much more learning. And so that’s why I do it,” said Bennett.