Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Christmas Story

One of the projects that I started doing with my Third Grade classes has really been a lot of fun. I ask the boys to tell me any part of the Biblical Christmas story and I record it with a Flip camera. Then using Imovie, I put it all together in order, add some music and titles and post it to our school website for friends and family to see. This year I used the green screen feature for a background. We recorded in front of a green wall, I added a clip art picture of Bethlehem and the star and Viola! Check out the link to see them! Merry Christmas to everyone!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

They Ask Me Why I Teach

Wow! It has been a long time since I have posted. Not sure why...just haven't had anything worth sharing, I guess. A few nights ago, my husband and I watched a rerun of Charlie Rose's interview with legendary Coach, John Wooden, and he recited this poem. It brought tears to my eyes! This is for all of us who love to teach!

They Ask Me Why I Teach
by Glennice L. Harmon

They ask me why I teach,
And I reply,
Where could I find more splendid company?
There sits a statesman,
Strong, unbiased, wise,
Another later Webster,
And there, a doctor
Whose quick, steady hand
Can mend a bone,
Or stem the lifeblood's flow.
A builder sits beside him-
Upward rise
The arches of a church he builds, wherein
That minister will speak the word of God,
And lead a stumbling soul to touch the Christ.
And all about
A lesser gathering
Of farmers, merchants, teachers,
Laborers, men
Who work and vote and build
And plan and pray
Into a great tomorrow
And I say,
"I may not see the church,
Or hear the word,
Or eat the food their hands will grow."
And yet- I may.
And later I may say,
"I knew the lad,
And he was strong,
Or weak, or kind, or proud,
Or bold, or gay.
I knew him once,
But then he was a boy."
They ask me why I teach, and I reply,
"Where could I find more splendid company?"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Installing Love

Saw this on a blog this morning- no author listed. Thought it was good. Enjoy!

Installing Love on the Human Computer:

Tech Support: Yes, how can I help you?

Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to
install Love. Can you guide me through the process?

Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first?

Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

Tech Support: What programs are running ?

Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However,you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ?

Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me

Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been
completely erased.

Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?

Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, “Error – Program not run on external components.” What should I do?

Tech Support: Don’t worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before
you can Love others.

Customer: So, what should I do?

Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.

Customer: Okay, done.

Tech Support: Now, copy them to the “My Heart” directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming.
Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files.Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running.
One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

Customer: Thank you, God.

God/Tech Support: You’re Welcome, Anytime.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Paradoxical Commandments

It has been awhile since I have posted. I am taking this summer vacation thing pretty seriously! I was cleaning out my inbox and found this sent to me by a friend. Good stuff!

The Paradoxical Commandments

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of the year finale

I have had a full week of finales this week. I am a huge LOST fan and watched the series finale on Sunday night with a group of friends from school. The Office was last week and American Idol was last night. (I know 24 had their finale as well, I just don't watch that one). So here is my finale for this school year. I asked my JK boys some questions about God, heaven, the Bible and more. I did this in imovie and added music from my itunes. We had a great "season" this year in my classes. As always, I grew, was challenged and learned as many lessons as I taught.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tim Tebow chapel

Yesterday, we had a surprise speaker at our school. Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow was in Memphis for a few days and agreed to come and share some thoughts with the boys of PDS. Keep in mind that we are a boys' school of over 600 boys, and you can imagine the level of excitement when the speaker was introduced! He was very humble, honest and sincere and said so many things that were great for the boys (and for that matter, the adults) to hear. He spoke for around 30 minutes and I tried to take notes, so here are a few things he said:

As he told stories about his early years and growing up, he said he had a quote in his room that motivated him.
"Somewhere there is someone who has the same dream and he is working and I am not. When we meet, he will win."
On achieving your goals and dreams, he said,

1. "Take action! Lots of people are dreamers -be a doer"
2. "Have the courage to stand alone -I would just be average if I did what everyone else did"
3. "Finish strong and don't quit." "My ultimate goal is to finish life strong"

He said that when Florida won the national championship, Coach Urban Meyer hugged him and said, "I am so proud of how you finished strong." "That was the greatest feeling of my life! But that is just football-a game."

"At the end of my life, I want God to say, You finished strong."

"You must keep Priorities in order." He listed his priorities as follows:

1. Faith must be first. He became a Christian at age 6.
2. Family- Parents, siblings, grandparents
3. Academics
4. Football

"If Jesus is first, the rest fall in line."

He challenged all of us with the following question, "How are you affecting things that last forever?"

"Trophies will rust and people will forget my name, it is the relationships you develop that last. Invest in the lives of others. What means the most is what you do for others."

He answered questions from the boys and one asked what he did when he wasn't playing football. He talked a little about the foundation he has established. You can read more about it here

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fun with Google Earth

My school has been intentionally moving towards being more globally connected and aware. For several years, my Bible classes have been praying for a different country of the world each week. Last year, we began looking at each country on Google Earth. Using my SMARTboard, we "take off" from PDS (our school, which I have marked) and "fly" to the country of the week. The boys have become accustomed to looking for certain indicators as to what the needs might be in the country. For instance, they look to see whether the country looks mostly brown or mostly green, and then ask questions about whether clean water and food are scarce. You can add layers to see specific things. When the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile were in the news, we added the earthquake indicator layer, which shows where earthquakes have occurred. We did the same with volcanoes after the Icelandic volcano. We use the 360 degree pictures to "look around", too. I do recommend checking out the things you plan to show before sharing them in class. One of the YouTube videos I clicked on was Uncle Harry on vacation after a few margarita's! Here are some links to get you started. The possibilities are endless!
If you have used Google Earth in your classroom, share your thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Google Story

You may have seen the Google super bowl ad Parisian love. Now you can make your own Google Search story. Click here to get started. Here is mine- Searching...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Names of Jesus part 2

As promised, here are some of the second grade cinquains on the Trinity. (they are not cinquains in the strictest sense of the word, just 5 lines with a one word, two words, three words, four words, one word structure)
I think they are beautiful! Great job, guys!

The King
Lord of All
Light of the World
- Will M.

Powerful, wise
The Holy light
King of the World
-Edwin R.

The teacher
Came at Pentecost
It is the gift
-Jay C.

The Alpha
He's the Omega
The Son of God
- Will D.

The king
He is everywhere
The Lord, my healer
- Charlie S.

The dove
Breath of God
Lives in our Hearts
- Jack F.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Names of Jesus

My Second grade classes have been studying the Trinity in our Bible class. As part of our study, we looked up names and descriptions for Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. I put out on Twitter a request for favorite names for Jesus found in the Bible. The boys in my classes were thrilled when results came in from all over the country (although we were hoping for some from other countries as well!) We used Wallwisher to post those names. You can see that wall here.
Then I created a wall for each of my four classes where the boys could add their own names/descriptions. They were so engaged and excited! Their posts were visible on the SMARTboard in my classroom. (I moderated and each post had to be approved) Here are their Wallwisher boards. 2A 2B 2C 2D
We are using these to help us write Cinquains about each of the three persons of the Trinity. I will post some of those next week when we finish the assignment.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Undercover boss

I don't watch much TV, but I have started watching a show called Undercover Boss. The premise is that the "boss" of a company goes undercover (thus the title) in his/her company to see how things really work and to learn more about the lives of the employees. Invariably, the boss is enlightened to the life struggles of the workers. You witness them gaining insight into the frustrations, fears, hurts and also the successes . They see workers who are passionate about their careers, even though they may be pretty low on the company ladder. Occasionally, there is a worker who is not performing at a high level or showing integrity. Of course, those workers are not so delighted when the revelation is made that their coworker was really the head of the company. At the end, the experience enables the boss to empathize with the employees and intervene on their behalf in better meeting their needs and honoring those who pursued excellence.
Two life lessons I see here:
1. If my "boss" were to walk around with me all day, disguised, would he/she see a pursuit of excellence in everything I do? Would I be upholding the values and integrity of my school in all of my dealings with students, parents, other teachers, custodial staff, etc? Would my passion for teaching and learning be obvious? contagious? My school is nationally recognized as a leader in boys' education. Am I giving 100%, all of the time?
2. I teach Bible and am a committed Christian, so ultimately my boss is Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate "Undercover Boss". John 1:14... "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." He left His throne so that He might work alongside us, experiencing our human struggles, frustrations, heartaches, and fears. He disguises Himself daily in the form of the needy I encounter (or maybe avoid-which is a bigger problem). He is working undercover as the coworker that gets on my nerves, the high maintenance friend, the ungrateful child, the inefficient clerk at the grocery store... the list goes on. Mother Teresa said, "The dying, the cripple, the mental, the unwanted, the unloved- they are Jesus in disguise." What does He think about my performance on the job He has given me? Is my love and passion for Him and His purpose in my life obvious? contagious?
I fall miserably short on so many things. But Praise God that I serve a God of new beginnings and second chances! And today..and tomorrow... and for all the tomorrows to come, I will work to please my "Boss" out of gratitude for His endless grace in my life.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. Col. 3:23."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am Second

I said that I would share stories and things that have encouraged and/or challenged me. This website is one of my favorites, It is a great source for videos for chapel, Sunday school and youth groups, too.
This is what it says,

Inspiring the Revolution of Second.

I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

Go on the site and check out some of the videos. Amazing, inspirational, and transforming.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inside the Belly of the whale

My Kindergarten classes have been learning about Jonah and obedience. I was trying to help the boys (my school is all boys) imagine what that must have been like and why God chose to do that. This picture shows my creation! The boys loved it! We all crawled in the whale's mouth, sat in the dark and I told the story. One little boy said, "I think I know why God sent the whale. It was kind of like a time-out so Jonah could think about what he had done and pray to God." It made me think of those times in my life that I seem to be in a holding pattern or things seem to have totally fallen apart, maybe God has put me in a "time-out" so that I will think, pray and seek. Only the amazing word of God teaches us a different lesson each time it is read.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Using Wordle in the Bible classroom

One of the fun things I have done with my Second grade classes this year is using Wordle. It is so much fun to play with! You copy and paste text from anything- web page, Bible verse, word document, etc. It makes it into a word picture that makes the most frequently used words bigger. Play around with it!
This Christmas, I got everyone in my family to write 20 words to describe our family. We printed and framed it and gave to my husband as a gift.
Go to and make one!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Planting seeds

Here I am...standing on the edge of the blogosphere...ready to jump!
I have decided to start a blog.
Not because I have any vast wisdom or knowledge, but rather to be a place to share with others the things I am learning along my journey- seeds, if you will. I also hope that others will share seeds that they have acquired. I will share things my classes are doing and learning because, invariably, I learn something new with each lesson taught. I will share resources and links that I have found to be helpful, exciting, fun or just cool! Jesus taught through stories, and I believe stories have the power to teach, transform, challenge and change us, so I will share stories that I find to be particularly good.
Spring reminds me that every seed has potential and possibility- potential to grow into something much greater than we can imagine. As a teacher, sometimes I plant the seeds, sometimes I water them, but God alone knows the potential and makes it grow.