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We use the Letterland phonics program in our county, and each letter of the alphabet has a character. Z is "Zig-Zag Zebra". She is a very shy little zebra, and she doesn't like noise. I bought a little zebra at Dollar Tree a few years ago, and I happened to notice it today as we were doing the Writer's Workshop lesson. I waited until I caught one group working quietly, and I put the zebra on their table.I told them that she didn't like noise, and she would not stay if anyone talked. It worked like a charm!! Suddenly the whole room was quiet! Zig-Zag Zebra got to visit every table before the writing time was over == it was amazing!