Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ministry Minute and the Parenting Place-Bible Verse ABCs (Letter J)

As I think I have shared with you previously, my little ones and I are using the alphabet as inspiration as we learn a new memory verse each week in Children's Church.  I am trying to write down what we do each week in order to have a complete teaching resource to share with you when we are done, but since the verse posters and coloring pictures are already available for you at my TpT site, I thought it might be helpful to share some examples of what we are doing in class each week.  This week we are on letter J--"Jesus said, 'I am the way and the truth and the life."  John 14:6. 
Each week we open the lesson with a visit from our friendly and mischievous puppet friend--Clunky Monkey! 

Clunky usually has some type of prop or object lesson to show the kids which relates to the week's lesson.  This week, he had a red farm truck with paper apples inside.  On each apple was a word--WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE.  In the beginning, Clunky asked the children what a farmer might need a truck for.  Answers varied from carrying things like apples to feeding hay to his animals.  Then, one of my little ones said, "Farmers might need trucks to get from one place over to somewhere else." 

Eureka!  That was the answer I was looking for.  I asked 3 kid volunteers to come and take the labeled apples out of the truck bed.  I shared with the children that just as the farmer needs a "vehicle" to get from place to place, we needed a way to get to God.  Our sin separated us from Him.  Jesus, God's Son, is our vehicle--through belief in Him we can have access to God the Father and one day be with Him in Heaven!  Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE!!!

Have a great week!  I am so happy for the life Christ offers us, aren't you?!  :-)

    For more info on these posters and coloring pages if you are interested:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Professional Book Study

Hi!  Just wanted to take a minute a share a great book our leadership team at school is reading.  It is "Leading with the Heart" by Coach K of Duke basketball acclaim.  Today we focused on chapter 8 in which Coach K mentions that on game day, he always takes a nap.  Are you like you find yourself asking, "How could he take a nap on game day?  Doesn't he have too much to do?  Too much to worry about?" 

See, Coach K writes in the book that those questions are precisely the reasons that he forces himself to be relaxed and well-rested on the day of the big game.  Basketball, like the classroom, can be a predictably unpredictable game!  One never knows what will be encountered at a given moment.  In order to lead effectively, we have to be in the best place possible mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually that we can be.  There are lots of people depending on us.  By taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of those around us!

Our conversation about this idea during our book study this morning really resonated with me.  Just a reminder in this new year to take care of yourself.  Go to bed a little earlier, take your vitamins, get some fresh can be a game maker, and in the lives of your children, you can be a real game changer!  Have a great Friday, everyone! :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Happy 100th Day of School!

Hi, everyone!  Friday marked the 100th day of school for us, and it seems impossible to believe that we have already been in school 100 days.  I just love seeing the children dressed as 100-year old grandmas and grandpas around our school--absolutely adorable!  My favorite costume of the day was a little girl decked out in pearls and a cardigan wearing a white wig decorated with pink sponge rollers--precious!

Some of my favorite 100th day activities to enjoy with my students include Super Science Experiments with Pennies and drawing 100-year old self portraits!  If you're looking for more great enrichment activities for the 100th day, I would love for you to preview my 100th Day Resource Pack at the link below!  Happy 100th day to you and your little ones!!!  Shannon :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Parenting Place and Ministry Minute--God's Word ABC's

Hi, everyone!  Just a note to let you know that I have recently added a King James Version of my God's Word ABC Posters and Coloring Pages to my TpT store.  You will find 2 editions there.  The first link will take you to the KJV edition.

The second link is for another edition of the these ABC posters and coloring pictures.  This edition is actually a compilation of verses from NLT, NKJV, NASB, and NIV.

Below are a few pictures from my children's church room.  I introduce a new verse each week and keep verses we have covered on a flip ring for easy reference and review.  I also print a colored copy and mount on scrapbook paper for our hallway.  The black and white pages are reproducible for your own use with children. 
Hope you enjoy!  I am also working to develop a corresponding curriculum, so be watching for this resource in the coming months as well.  Shannon :-) 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gifted Gab and the Classroom Corner--Wrapping up our Gold Rush Unit with a Trip around the World!

Sadly, my 3rd graders are coming to the end of their Gold Rush unit. This point of the year is always a little bittersweet for me because I realize we have reached the halfway point.  In spite of my teacher sadness, we had a great day, so let me tell you more about our exciting classroom learning experiences!  We concluded our unit today with a trip around the world. This may seem a little strange, but let me explain...
See, miners flocked to California from countries all over the world...Mexico, Greece, China...just to name a few. In class today students received a special passport, as shown, to travel to the homelands of many of these foreign miners.  Through these culminating activities/learning stations, students gained insight into the kaleidoscope of cultures that converged on the California gold fields.  Students also had a great time learning about the cultural traditions of these miners and made some awesome "souvenirs" along the way. Hope you enjoy these pictures and for more detailed instructions on this and much more, just follow the link below:

In Turkey, students made magic carpets using a batik technique...
and in Mexico, students made flags using tissue paper and paste!

While in Ireland, students made 3D rainbows.  Did you know Irish rainbows symbolize bridges? 
In China, students completed online research and made these awesome dragon puppets...
Just look at all of our hard work!!! :-)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gifted Gab and Classroom Corner--Gold Rush Learning Logs

Today my students concluded their gold mine books, which they have been working on as a part of our gold rush study. The books are made up of the learning log pages I created (as mentioned in a previous post), as well as photos of classwork and our miner celebration day. I cannot wait for students to take home their books next week. I think parents will be thrilled to see how much their children have learned! I have included a few snapshots here for you as well.
Learning logs are a great way to create a published work for students and parents to treasure.  These learning logs can be a great learning tool, as well as a fun way for students to "show-off" all that they have learned in a unit of study.  Of course, we do not have time to complete learning logs for every study, however my 3rd graders will make two learning logs over the course of this school year--one for gold rush and one for an economics unit we will do in the spring.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gifted Gab and Classroom Corner--Thar's Gold in Them There Hills!

I always love when my 3rd graders are ready to conclude our gold rush unit!  Towards the end of our study, the students and I treat ourselves to a special miner-themed celebration.  Our activities include a playground gold hunt (lima beans painted with gold spray paint), a gold exchange at the classroom assay office (gold is traded for its value in candy), and yummy miner snacks (beef jerky, apple juice, cheese cubes, etc).  I use bulletin board paper to create a special miner-themed back drop to hang outside the room.  This also makes a great place to snap pictures of my little miners who come to school dressed in their mining attire.  We will use these pictures at a later time to make covers for our gold rush learning logs.  

Here I am working at the assay office. 
That's right--step right up and trade your gold for candy!
Each student selected a travel ticket, based on 1 of 3 routes to California--overland across America, through Panama, or around the tip of South America!
Here is a snapshot of the backdrop I drew and posted in the hall.  We used this for our miner photos.
 And own little miner!
If any of these ideas spark your curiosity or if your students study rocks, minerals, gold, mining, or westward expansion, you might also be interested in checking out my complete gold rush resource at my TpT store.  It is available at the link below:

My miner BINGO game is available there as well for just $1!

You might also be interested in some of my gold rush power point resources like these listed below, also available for just $1!

All gold rush resources are currently on sale, so head on over and check them out!  Hope these inspire you to try a mining adventure in your own classroom!  This unit is easily adaptable for students of all ages with various tiers of scaffolding!  Happy gold hunting!  Shannon :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Classroom Corner--A Little New Year's Redo!

Happy New Year!  Today was a teacher's work day for us, and as I took the Christmas decorations down in my room, I expected to feel a tinge of sadness.  Instead, I felt a tiny, excited tingle.  You know, it was that familiar New Year's itch that indicates it's time for a fresh start...a little cleaning, a little rearranging, a little redecorating...a little New Year's redo! 
Tomorrow, my sweet little ones will arrive back in my classroom, and I can't wait to see their excitement as they greet new table partners, explore a new room rearrangement, reach for freshly sharpened pencils, and wish a good morning  to their well-rested teacher.  I hope that you also had a restful break and that you enjoy the first day of school...the first day of school in 2012, that is!

Maybe you too will be inspired for a New Year's redo.  Feel free to share your own ideas of organization, redecoration, or teacher tips that you feel will be helpful in the comment section below!  Shannon :-)