Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A game of Candy Land.


Little Mom

Perfection Queen
There are some things I'm very particular about in my classroom. I expect and want my students to respond with a "Yes" rather than a "Whaat?" or "Yeah" and definitely more than a shrug/nod. So, if I call one of my students and they say, "Whaat?" I respond with "Excuse me?". They quickly change to a meek "Yes?". Except, of course, one of my sweet preshcool girls. Instead of saying "Yes", she says, in a most cute voice, "Excuse me". The first time she did it, I thought she was being obstinate; but, then I realized she thought she was saying what I wanted to hear. She's getting better, but still slips back--"Excuse me".

"Excuse me"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There have been times when I'm teaching that I find myself doing quite a fascinating in-depth study of whatever question asked of me. The child, on the other hand, has lost me a long time ago and wonders how a simple question needed 10 minutes of explanation! Today was such a day.

I began my phonics class by going over the double consonant rule: When a word ends in ck or a double consonant, you say the sound only once. I used the words "duck" and "tell"--I wasn't too concerned with the ck part of the rule, but focused more on the double consonants. I told them that double just meant 2 of something; like twins (we have a set of fraternal twins).This is basically the conversation I had with my students:

One my students piped up, "I'm a twin!"

"No, you're not." I said, "Twins are born at the same time."

Another one claimed to be a twin to his sister. Oh, my, now what?

"You and your sister are not twins. Twins are babies who were in their mother's tummy at the same time. You are older than your sister." I then talked about the twins in the first grade and how they are both the same age.

The same student than looks behind him and says, "He's my twin! We're both 4!" OH, MY.

"He is not your twin because he isn't even your brother." I was stressing again that twins were born at the same time from the same mom, when I just stopped mid-explanation. Do they really need to have double consonants compared to twins???

"Class, when you have two of the same letters, you say the sound only once."

We went back to our examples on the board and on our seatwork--they did fine, and I probably could have used my breath for some other problem :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Father's Love

After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor slowly stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and before giving his sermon for the evening, he briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service for that evening.

In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service. With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.

"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast", he began, "When a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."

The old minister hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.

The aged minister continued with his story. "Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy would he throw the other end of the life line? He only had seconds to make the decision." The father knew that his son was a Christian and also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched to the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out 'I love you, Son!', he threw out the life line to his son's friend. By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had already disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered."

By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's mouth. "The father", he continued, "Knew that his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend. How great is the love of God that He should do the same for us. Our Heavenly Father sacrificed His only Begotten Son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept His offer to rescue you and take a hold of the lifeline He is throwing out to you in the service."

With that, the old minister turned and sat down in his chair as silence filled the room.

The Pastor walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers hurried to the old minister's side.

"That was a nice story", politely stated one of the boys, "But I don't think it was very realistic for a Father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."

"Well, you've got a point there," the old minister replied, glancing down at his worn Bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face and he once again looked up at the boys. "It sure isn't very realistic, is it? but, I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up His Son for me. You see...I was that father and your Pastor is my son's friend."

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

I finally was able to go to Big Falls. Almost a month after my birthday! Here are just some pictures--I took over 80. It was so amazing.