“We must be invisible!” my sister and I said to each other when a truck pulled out right in front of us as we were traveling. We did feel invisible – didn’t the driver see us? I wonder if students sometimes feel invisible. Didn’t she see me? Did she forget about me?  I just want someone to notice me. Some… READ MORE


“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.” Psalm 100:1 Psalms 100 is our current Bible memory selection. It has left me pondering about making a joyful noise. How do we make a joyful noise unto the Lord? Some of my first graders have interpreted it to mean that they should raise the volume of their voices tenfold… READ MORE

Tell Me a Story!

Stories are great for teaching academic lessons, spiritual lessons, and life lessons. Tell the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to teach about telling the truth and what happens when someone is lying. Relate experiences from your life to teach lessons about living wisely. Refer to Bible stories to strengthen a point. Find stories in books or story collections.… READ MORE

Old Fashioned Games for Dreary Days

In our neck of the woods, “November” is our shorthand for “bleak days with unremitting gray skies and lots of rain.” Sometimes we say “No” because that’s even shorter. But it doesn’t change anything. What do you do with energetic children when the weather is too drippy to go out? Here are some old-fashioned games we used to play when… READ MORE

Myth Busting for the New Elementary Teacher

The first day of school approaches. Sharpened pencils, neatly stacked book, organized files, and alphabetically arranged encyclopedias grace your classroom. Everything is clean, shiny, and waiting. I picture you standing at your classroom door on the first day. You are prepared to see your students; you are ready to begin living your dream as a teacher. This is good! I… READ MORE

I Have a Question!

“Mrs. Birt, I have a question!”  Nelson called out.  Nelson has many questions. When is God’s birthday?  What does God look like?  What is your name?  (It is not Mrs. Birt!) I appreciate when children ask questions as they are learning and show that they are curious and wondering about their world.  Children sometimes ask questions when I am reading… READ MORE

Celebrating the Seasons in the Elementary Classroom: Autumn Ideas

It wasn’t until I started teaching first grade that I began to see the seasonal changes in our world through the eyes of a child. Their awe at the trees changing colors, the plentiful bouquets of colorful leaves they delivered with eager hands and sparkling eyes, and their appreciation of the colorful changes made to the classroom environment made each… READ MORE

First-Grade Journals

At the moment the first-grade journal period is filled with stories of train “drivers,” swinging with friends, playing doll, fishing, and kayaking. Today one student was putting out a fire. Another one was playing with his dog while his younger brother sold apples and apple cider at a stand and his sister made apple jam to sell. Many of their… READ MORE

School Has Started!

“How was your second day of school?” I asked a new teacher. “Not so good,” she replied. “I’m finding more things I need to learn and figure out.” She wondered how my day was. I noted that it was going well, but I was very tired. She agreed and wondered how long that lasts. I told her it was usually… READ MORE

Teaching Fluency through Choral Reading

One of my memories as a seven, eight, and nine-year-old involves reading to my little sister for hours at a time. Naomi was five years younger than I and must have been a remarkably patient listener. I remember reading many of the Thornton Burgess and Laura Ingalls Wilder books to her. Apparently, I’ve forgotten all the other books I read… READ MORE