Posts tagged teacher life
Making Bible Stories Come Alive

When I’m teaching at a Christian school my number one goal each year is to help my students to fall in love with Jesus. Sure, I want them to meet and exceed government standards, and become confident and capable citizens... but top priority is to see my students live and thrive in their relationship with Christ.

I think that one of the most important ways to do this is through a knowledge of the 'stories' in the Bible.  All of the Bible is God's love letter to us, His children, and ultimately paints an amazing picture of grace and redemption.

I can remember my first year teaching.  I casually said something along the lines of...

"Wow! It is really raining outside!  This must be what Noah felt like on the Ark."

Only 2/3 of my class understood what I was talking about.  

Two-thirds of my class of third-graders in a Christian school.

I investigated further.  At least seven of my precious little kiddos were unfamiliar with the story of Noah's Ark.  Or Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.  Or Jonah and the Whale.  Or Daniel in the Lion's Den.   You get the idea.

I learned an important lesson that day - we cannot assume that all of our students in Christian schools (or Sunday School) have basic Biblical background knowledge.  

I got to work right away making Bible plans to help fill in some of these 'gaps' for my precious kiddos. Together, we worked through many of the ‘big’ stories in the Bible.

We created books to go along with each story...

Like this one about the  Garden of Eden!

We learned the important details of each story and started to memorize verses... (Noah's Ark)

We learned new story-specific vocabulary...

We made crafts...

For the first time all of my students knew The Creation Story!

Overall we really deepened our knowledge of God's word. 

Through our Bible Story Small Group it was amazing to watch some of my students learn these stories for the first time, and watch others make deeper connections with stories they already knew and loved.

All of my Bible Story units are designed to be useful for a K-5 classroom in Christian School, homeschool, or Sunday School classroom.  These following units are currently available: 

1.The Creation Story

2.The Garden of Eden - Adam and Eve

3.Noah's Ark

4.Jonah and the Whale

5.The Easter Story (grades 2 and up)

6.The Nativity Story

7. Jesus Feeds the 5,000

How does your class, Sunday School class, or children, like to study the Bible?  What inspires you to learn more about Jesus? Share your best ideas in the comments below!

My Favorite Teacher Planner, Happy Planner!

Teacher planners are all the rage these days.  If you have been anywhere in the blogosphere, or on Instagram, or FaceBook... you have seen teachers raving about their favourite planners.  One of the most popular brands is the Erin Condren teacher planner. It's beautiful... but at over 100$ (including tax and shipping) to Canada, I just haven't been able to justify the purchase.

Enter... Happy Planner.  I got mine at Michaels for 39$, and then used a coupon to get another 40% off the price.  Yay, #MichaelsTeacher!  You can also find them on Amazon for $29. 

I love the idea of keeping my life organized on paper.  Sure, there are some things I like to track electronically, but there is something so cathartic about writing everything down and seeing each day/week/month organized.  It's part journalling, part organizing, all fun.

And who doesn't like stickers?! I thought I would review how the Happy Planner (Life Edition) stacks up as a teaching planner.

Happy Planner - The Pros

1. It's adorable!

Stylistically the planner is an absolute win.  There are quite a few cute covers and styles to choose from, so you won't necessarily have the same planner as every teacher in the building.  

2. Accessories Galore.

Just like other mega-planners, this one has so many things you can add on to make it your own.  Stickers, washi-tape, extra pockets (for those staff-meeting hand outs you don't want to loose), more dividers.  Each pop in easily to the plastic rings.  

3. Customizable

The happy planner is a non-standard 9-hole planner, so every day paper can't be added into it. However, at Michael's they carry the Happy Planner Hole Punch.  How easy would it be to add in extra pages to make the planner exactly what you want it to be.  (Hint, hint.. I will be adding in student class checklists, phone numbers, and a to-do list... but it'll be a breeze to print, punch, and go!)  So many sellers on TpT offer Happy Planner compatable products for teachers so making this your own is a breeze! 

4. Bright, Clean, Design

The Happy Planner isn't cluttered, so it's easy to write lesson plans in each of the three daily boxes.  I know that some teachers prefer the day to be broken up further, or have room for standards checklists... but this is perfect for my style.  Currently, I've used the boxes for Before Recess, Between Recess and Lunch, and After Lunch.  Sure, I still do detailed lesson plans, but this helps me to get a quick grasp of what my week will look like.  (See below!)  Plus, the planner itself isn't too cluttered with doodles and designs, so there's plenty of space to write. 

5. 18 months

The planner comes with 18 months of pages so there's plenty of room to plan in advance.  I love that I'm not left scribbling leftover ideas on the back page.  

Happy Planner - The Cons

1. It's not specifically a teacher-planner

If you are looking for the absolute perfect solution that can allow you to toss out your lesson planning book... this may not be it.  For me, it will suffice.  I am okay with the vague nature of the 3-block days... but this may not be your cup of tea.   Because it is not a teacher planner, it also doesn't have the teacher documents you may be looking for:  quick student checklists, conference forms, or any curriculum planning documents. 

That being said... you could add them in.  With the Paper Punch, your own add-ins are virtually endless.  I'm hoping to add my own personal class list in, so I'm never without a marking sheet or contact information.  

I have now used it for an entire year and I am totally happy. I love that it fits in my purse and can travel from home to school.  I write in my daily lessons and my after-school schedule and I am so much more organized! 

2. Accessories Galore

I know what you're thinking... wasn't this a "pro"?  Well... yes.  Quite a bit of what makes the Happy Planner incredibly useful is available as an "add on".  

Want a pack of pocket dividers? They're available separately. 

Like those cute stickers that show a birthday? They're a separate pack!  

Need some to-do lists or a page for phone numbers? Only an extra $7

How about a shiny gold band to hold the planner together?  Ditto!

The Happy Planner itself is just the base model.  Sure, you can customize it to become the teacher planner of your dreams ... but not without shelling out a lot more money!

My Suggestions:

I love my happy planner.  I bought the base model, plus the Michaels brand stickers.  (Sorry Create 365 brand people!).  They aren't the official stickers... and they work great!  Just as sticky!  I'd love to get the 'official' Happy Planner inserts, but I think I will just make my own.  Maybe the craft of making some extra pages will even be fun!

How about you?  Do you use a teacher planner?  Do you have a favourite?  I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below.  

- Rachel

Happy Planner for Teachers
12 More Cute Things Students Have Said

From the mouths of babes...

This is the second in my series about the funny, adorable things that students say (usually without intending to get a laugh!).  If you haven't, make sure to check out PART ONE.  

Up here in BC we are almost at the finish line for the school year.  It is so close I can feel it!  In looking back on this year, there have been a lot of challenges, but there have also been so many funny moments.  Teaching little people has its own unique set of joys!

In no particular order, here are 12 more cute student sayings to get you through to the end of the year (or started on your summer break if you are so lucky!)

(10 + 2 bonus ones because I just couldn't leave any out!) 

#1 - Science > Donuts

My students were conducting the dye tied experiment and one of my first graders exclaimed, "This is awesome!  It's even better than the chocolate donut I ate on the way down here!" -  Stem to Steam Trio

#2 - Mid-Lesson Pedicure

I was in the middle of a lesson at the carpet and stopped to find one student trimming his toe nails with a pair of scissors.  NOPE! - Rianna, 3rd grade teacher

#3 - Kindergarten Swear Words

I had a kindergartener walk into my room on the day we were learning the short "e" sound and point to the word "elf" on the board.

"Does that say elf?"

"Yes! Good reading!"

"That's a bad word."

"No it's not, who told you that?"

"My mama tells us we're not allowed to say the elf-word."

The Cozy Learning Cottage

#4 - The Facts of Life

Student:  You're having a baby?

Me:  Yes, I am!

Student:  So, you're adopting a baby?

Me:  No, the baby is in my tummy. (pointing to my 7 month pregnant baby belly)

Student:  (look of horror on his face)  You adopted the baby and ate it?!

Wife, Teacher, Mommy

#5 - The Moon Walk

While learning about the moon in First Grade, I mentioned to the students that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon.  One student says, "Wait! No!  That's not Right!!  Michael Jackson was the first person to do the moon walk!"

Then, straight face and all, he proceeds to show the whole class the moon walk, and say that this is how Michael Jackson walked on the moon.  

The Pawsitive Teacher

#6 - Kindergarten Pronunciation

I have a student who has a part in our school assembly.  He is supposed to say, "Be kind and compassionate to others," but he keeps saying, "Be kind and passionate to others."  I'm never sure whether to correct him or not! 

- Lara, kindergarten teacher

#7 - Math Fail

"Am I supposed to subtract or take away?"

(OK, this may be more depressing than cute - especially in April!)

Teacher Down the Hall

#8 - This is Not Part of a Flower

(It was close enough to the word "stamen" that I didn't have the heart to mark it wrong!)

Poet Prints

#9 - Important American History

When discussing a Social Studies unit with a 5th grader, I asked, "What's the name of that document that contains all those laws and amendments?"

My student takes a few minutes to think, before her eyes light up, and she screams... "The CONSTIPATION!!" 

-SLPsimplicity

#10 - Latin Roots

When asked to find a word that uses the Latin root "quint, I had a student write: "Quintuplets are five twins born from a mothers womb".  

Another student, referring to the root psych, wrote: "Robin was Batman's psychic."  

So close, yet so far!  

-Mentoring in the Middle

#11 - Where Does Our Food Come From...

I overheard two of my kindergarten students talking: "So, if hamburgers come from cows, does that mean cheese is from cat pee?" 

Home Run Teaching

#12 - Vowel Movement

From a 7th grader:  We were talking about vowels, and how they impact the pronunciation and spelling of words.

 This young man became perplexed and thoughtful, and then said: "Well, I don't understand where a vowel movement fits in."  He was confusing vowels with bowels.

There was NO WAY I couldn't crack a smile.    

It's a Teacher Thing

Finally: When I Grow Up...

Jim Hansen

*Entries may have been edited for length and clarity

See you again for the next instalment.  

In the meantime, don't forget to send in your cute student stories! 

poetprintsTPT (at) gmail (dot) com 

- Rachel

12 Funny Things Students have said
10 Cutest Things Students Have Said

OH DEER... WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?

If you've been around children for any period of time at all, you know that they have little (or no) filter.  For better or for worse, the things that they are thinking just come bubbling out.  As teachers, we get to be privy to some of the most hilarious spoken and written comments.  

For this weeks' post, I asked around the blogosphere for stories, photos, and quotes of teachers' favorite things students have said or written that made them laugh out loud.  I got so many great responses!  

In no particular order, here are the first 10 in my new series...

Oh Deer... What did you Just Say?? 

#1 - Underwear Issue

"Can I go to the bathroom real quick? I have a really bad wedgie and mom told me not to pick it around everyone."
-Chloe Campbell

#2 - A Lesser Known Miracle

One of Lindsey Paulson's students writes about how "Jesus Rows Again."  
Lindsey Paulsen

#3 - Dinner Table Conversations

I remember asking a kindergarten student whether he'd told his parents what I'd said to him the day before. 

His response: "It's not like we sit around the dinner table talking about you." 

Um ok, I didn't realize five-year-olds had more important things going on than their day at school!
Primary Teaching

#4 - Math Logic

Me: Your answer is right, but directions say to explain your work.

Student:  Explain my work?! The answer just flew into my head.  I can't explain the flight.

Me:  Well...try.  Tell me each step of how you solved it.

Student:  Well, first I thought about it.  And then there it was!

-Grade 5 Greatness

#5 - Oversharing

I had a student walk up and announce to me one morning: 

"Mrs. P. , my dad slept on the couch last night." 

Well, thanks for sharing, buddy.

-Poet Prints

#6 - Life is Over

I had misplaced something, as usual, and I said the words: "My life is over," and a student said to me:

"Your life isn't over until you have kids...oh, wait we are your kids." 

So true.   

-  Little Human Resources

#7 - Teachers at AA

Student: (eyes wide) I just heard some teachers talking about going to an AEA meeting!

Me:  Uhhh yeah.  Lots of teachers go to those meetings I guess.

Student: (eyes even wider)  WHAT?!?!

Me:  What do you think the Alabama Education Association is?

Long pause.

Student: Oh!!! I am thinking about AA!

Grade 5 Greatness

#8 - Thoughtful Thanksgiving Reflections

Poet Prints

#9 - More Review Necessary

I work for a public school service, but I'm in a Christian school (confusing, I know). 

The kids quickly learn to answer "God" or "Jesus" for many questions when they don't know the answer. 

I was working with a group of kindergarteners and one little cutie responded, when I asked who that was on the penny, "That's easy! That's Jesus!" I had to laugh. 

-Ashley's Brainy Centers

#10 - Kindergarten-isms

This final section comes from the lovely Daisy Designs , who sent in a hilarious collection of things that she has said while teaching kindergarten.  I dare you to not laugh out loud while reading them.  

"Get your shoe out of the water fountain."

"We don't hit our friends with apples."

"Get the graham cracker out of your pants... NO, don't eat it!!!"

"Do not use the foil to make a bra..."

"Why did you put the Q-tip in her boot?"

"Eating shoelaces is bad for you."

"I hope nobody pulls their pants down tomorrow."

"I think that it really is dog poop in your shirt."

Do you have any cute funny quotes or pieces of writing from your students? Do you want to be featured in my next "Oh Deer" blog post?  Write a comment below, or send me an e-mail to poetprintsTPT (at) gmail (dot) com .  I would love to see you in an upcoming post!

- Rachel

10 Cute Things Students Really Said