Dedication: Making Any Curriculum Work in Your Classroom

Dedicated teachers should be able to make just about any curriculum work well for their students. It may be challenging, frustrating, and take some extra time, but the rewards are well worth it. Your students will be able to comprehend the material in a more meaningful way, their grades will improve, and you will feel more effective as a teacher.… READ MORE

Top Five Practices for Science Class

When I think back to when I was in school, I think science was my least favorite subject. It didn’t make sense to me, and I thought it was boring. Now that I’m teaching, science is one of my favorite subjects. Doing these five steps made the difference. Do every experiment in the book. You’ve got to plan a little… READ MORE

True Springs

In the early 1900s, the town of Winona Lake, Indiana, was a summertime destination for many Christians. Cultural Chautauqua speakers and events mixed with a three-week Bible conference in a beautiful lakeside setting to provide a summer vacation for Christians from around the world. One of the drawing attractions for the visitors was a series of natural springs gushing from… READ MORE

In-Class Time-Out

As a teacher, I’ve always struggled to find suitable consequences for classroom misbehavior and have usually resorted to time off recess. However, overuse of missed recesses brings its own set of problems. Last summer one of my co-teachers introduced our staff to the Smart Classroom Management website and the books of Michael Linsin. Most of his practical advice was not… READ MORE

The Textbooks We Use: Exposure vs. Mastery

There are many different publishers and textbooks available to schools, but all curricula are not created equal. Some are superior, some are mediocre, and some can cause major problems in the classroom. We should be wise and well-educated on what these different publishers are offering so that we (or whoever is choosing the curricula) can make good decisions for our… READ MORE

The Second Graders Who Come to You

The first day of second grade arrives. The eager students appear at your door with confidence. They know what school is about. They know the routines and procedures. They know where the rest rooms are and where to put their lunch boxes and coats. They can find the kick balls and know how to play the recess games. They can… READ MORE

Prayers for Teachers: A Prayer for the First Day of School

Written prayers are a way to come to God when our own hearts feel reflective, silent, confused, overwhelmed, or exhausted. They allow us to speak true things that help to align our hearts and minds with what God is doing and what He wants to do through us. These “Prayers for Teachers” can be prayed by individual teachers or collectively… READ MORE

Two Simple Ways to Incorporate Poetry in the Classroom

Poetry is a wonderful addition to any classroom. Children are naturally drawn to rhyme and rhythm, and poetry has an inherent sticking power. It fosters enjoyment of language, it builds vocabulary, and it can help children to find a voice for thoughts and feelings that they are otherwise unable to express. For these reasons, I have worked to incorporate more… READ MORE

Expectations and Order

Rules, laws, guidelines, expectations, or even commandments—as stated by the first grader who was handing out papers to a reluctant classmate, “You have to take it! It’s by her commandment.” As we think and plan for a new school year, we consider these rules, guidelines, and expectations. What rules should we have for our classes? What are the expectations for… READ MORE


Crimea – Battle of Balaclava Lord Raglan, British cavalry commander, sat high on a hill and watched the Russian soldiers withdrawing naval guns from the captured redoubts. His plan was that the action of the light brigade, the British light cavalry force, could force the Russians to abandon the cumbersome guns as they fled the swift cavalry riders. He sent… READ MORE