May 14, 2018

End of the Year Awards!

It’s already May, which means this is when many teachers are beginning to plan and prep their end of the year festivities - including their student awards. The end of the year is an exciting time, for both teachers and students alike. It’s a time where the school year starts to wind down, testing is either close to finishing or just getting started, and students begin their month of review material. In the middle of all of this are the coveted student awards.

Every school does something a little different, but for my old school we always had our grade level awards held inside our classrooms and invited our student’s families to be a part of this special day. Although prepping these awards (and the subsequent class party afterwards) can be tiresome, it’s nonetheless exciting to recognize each of my kiddos and the hard work they’ve put into the school year. It’s also a great time to gather parents and have them acknowledge their child’s hard work as well.

You’re Invited!

For any party one needs good invitations! This download comes complete with editable invitation templates that are easily copied and sent off with your students in advance. It’s a simple invite that outlines the ceremony date, time, and location. You can also hand sign it yourself before copying! This allows parents to easily tack onto their fridges and keep an easy reminder at home or to share with family members.

Close to every award under the sun!

There are a lot of reasons for a child to be recognized on awards day - and it goes beyond just ‘class clown’ or ‘best dressed.’ I’m sure those are acceptable things to acknowledge, Lord knows we have those students in our classrooms, but I think it’s really important for our kiddos to know they have contributed to the class and themselves in meaningful ways - not just because they’re funny.

In my awards resource you will find a variety of superlatives that can relate to your students. From the ‘Lover of Learning’ to that child with an ‘Inquisitive Mind,’ you’ll be able to easily find the right award for each little learner.

Also, most of the awards are complete with a boy and girl template! I wanted to make sure that each award is customized for the needs of most classrooms. However, you may use these printables in any way you want - boy, girl, or both!

These awards also come in a .zip format which includes a PDF for those wanting to just print and write in their own names - or if you’d like to edit them, to include your own fonts by using a text box over the PowerPoint version. 

Either way, these awards are virtually the easiest thing for you to prep!

Preparation hasn’t been easier!

We all know that with the end of the year comes a lot of busy work to keep our kids’ minds engaged all the way up to the last day. This also means teachers are looking for resources that take minimal effort in preparing - I mean, we’re just as ready for the summer as our students!

So this resource couldn’t be more easily prepped! 

That’s it!

With the prep work out of the way for your class awards you can spend your cherished time on other more important things! So hopefully this resource will make your days easier!

May 11, 2018

How to Pray | A Bible Lesson

Moving to California four years ago was a life changing choice. I was a newlywed and had our life, and my teaching career, already established. However, my husband received a job offer that relocated us from one coast to the other. Four days on the road and finally we had reached our new home with a fresh outlook and a hopefulness for our future.

It took me some time to find work right away, but eventually I was lead to a private Christian school where I would end up spending the next few years as an assistant teacher. First, I began in the preschool then worked my way to first and eventually back to second grade. During those years I learned a lot, had a baby in between, and due to my husband's new job we were once again relocated but this time to San Diego.

Looking back on my time at my school, I cherish those memories because I was able to work in an environment that was faith based and I could share in that with my students. One of the biggest skills that my second graders didn't quite have a firm grasp on was prayer. Prayer was sprinkled in throughout our day from morning meeting to honoring special occasions and events within our classroom as well as school-wide, so I found it to be important to break it down for my kids in a way that made sense and gave them plenty of opportunities to practice.

Which leads me to...

Teaching Prayer

Five-Finger Prayer Method

I should first point out I am not Catholic, but I have to say just how much I adore Pope Francis and his teachings. Pope Francis has been, in my opinion, more active across the world and in a lot of ways very forward thinking when it comes to doctrine and acceptance amongst Christians and Catholics alike.

One concept that he shared for children back before he was Pope was the Five-Finger Method for praying. It's a super simple to-the-point approach that allows for children to remember how to pray to God - expressing more than just the wants or needs of themselves. By using each finger, it reminds us of the people we should think about when praying.

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1: Your thumb is closest to you, so remember to begin by praying for someone close to your heart. These people are the easiest to remember.

2: Your pointer finger represents the people who guides, teaches, or heals you. Your prayers should be for guidance, discernment, knowledge, or courage to better be helpful towards others.

3: Your middle finger is your tallest finger, which represents the leaders within our schools, communities, and country. This includes prayers for those who make important decisions that could have a direct affect on others and ourselves.

4: Your ring finger is your weakest finger, so it is important to pray for those who are weak due to illness, homelessness, or have challenges or struggles.

5: Lastly, our pinkies are last and represents prayers for ourselves. By praying for others first, by the time we get to praying for ourselves and our needs our perspectives may change. The more we realize what others are going through, it can ultimately alter what we pray for.

Letters to God

One way, aside from praying, to communicate with God is by writing our prayers down. A lot of kiddos don't realize that God hears us just the same and these worksheets are a great resource in the classroom - or could even be put in a writing center during language arts!

This download comes with differentiated writing pages with and without guides. Choose which best fits the needs of your classrooms and print! Another handout I've included are prayer requests! It's another guided handout that directs students to fill in the blanks with people or circumstances they'd like to pray about (or even have others pray for them).

Scripture Journals & Reflections

One of the big ways we reflect on the month's scripture lessons are with consistent reflections and shares. After teaching a piece of Scripture, students copy the verse, record the verse chapter, and reflect on what they've learned or how they could carry on the lesson in their lives. At the end, they can draw a simple picture representing their reflections.

I look forward to using this not just in my own classroom, but also to have as a home resource with Greyson when he's older!

You can pick this resource up over at my shop today!