Arlene Birt

I am so thankful to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job. I feel very blessed to be called to teaching and to love what I do. I am in my 30th year teaching first grade at Ephrata Mennonite School, where I also enjoy being the Curriculum Coordinator, serving on the accreditation planning team, and sometimes being involved with secondary school activities. I teach Sunday School and Bible School and do home-school evaluations. Reading, gardening, sewing, crafting, babysitting, and traveling are other areas of interest. One of my goals is “to know Him and to make Him known” and I aim for that in my teaching and pray that my students may see Jesus in me.

90 Contributions

Hope
Publication Date: 2022-01-14 | File type: Blog Post

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious light!” (Placide Cappeau) It really Read More...

Celebrating Success
Publication Date: | File type: Blog Post

Our team meeting agenda said we would celebrate successes and find areas to improve upon as we discussed testing results. Read More...

"I already told you that!"
Publication Date: 2017-04-14 | File type: Blog Post

As curriculum coordinator, I work with a number of sales people and representatives of various publishers.  Much of the communication Read More...

“I lik you”
Publication Date: 2017-06-21 | File type: Blog Post

“When you said that, it made me feel happy,” a student shyly confided to me after I had spoken with Read More...

Altar Stone Lessons
Publication Date: 2016-10-27 | File type: Teaching Material

This unit for devotions or Bible uses Bible stories where a stone or stones are used to remember and to Read More...

Anabaptist Hymnal Study Guide
Publication Date: 2016-05-27 | File type: Teaching Material

Created for use in an Anabaptist history class, this document follows the development of song among the Anabaptists. The song Read More...

Are You Ready?
Publication Date: 2017-08-25 | File type: Blog Post

Are you ready for school to start? When people asked me that, I didn’t know how to answer!  I was Read More...

Art Scope and Sequence
Publication Date: 2016-10-27 | File type: Curricular

This scope and sequence for art includes a philosophy section and appropriate learning goals and art experiences for K-8. The Read More...

Buzz Into a Good Book!
Publication Date: 2017-08-11 | File type: Blog Post

During Book Week, we had a lot of fun celebrating books and reading.  Mystery Readers visited classrooms to read to Read More...

Collected Online Teaching Resources
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

History/Social Studies The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive: biographical and historical resources; section on famous curves Recordings from the Library Read More...

Crayon Kingdom Lesson
Publication Date: 2016-06-06 | File type: Teaching Material

Based on The Crayon Kingdom by Jennie Bishop, and reflecting the values of Psalm 133:1, this lesson guides children in appreciating Read More...

Devotions Lessons
Publication Date: 2016-07-20 | File type: Teaching Material

These three lessons focus on creation and God’s name in the Psalms; the feast of God’s word; and the power Read More...

Drawing Lessons
Publication Date: 2016-11-03 | File type: Teaching Material

In these lessons, students learn drawing by studying five ways of seeing: seeing line, seeing spaces, seeing proportions, seeing perspective, Read More...

General Teacher/Student Online Resources
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

Discovery School’s Puzzlemaker: Online tools for creating various types of word and number puzzles for students to do EducationOasis.com: tips, graphic organizers Read More...

Little People
Publication Date: 2017-05-25 | File type: Blog Post

We named our teacher team “Little People.”  We chose this name because we teach the little people and because we Read More...

Little Things
Publication Date: 2017-02-07 | File type: Blog Post

Maybe I should phrase this as a question rather than a statement: “Little Things?”  These things may seem little to Read More...

Math Tricks
Publication Date: 2016-05-27 | File type: Teaching Material

Rounding, fractions, percentages, and more: this 2-1/2 page document offers tricks and ditties to make teaching math faster and more Read More...

NEWS
Publication Date: 2017-02-16 | File type: Blog Post

Yesterday we tried the response technique of NEWS.  I wrote NEWS vertically on the whiteboard and some of the children Read More...

Online Help with Standards
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has math standards for pedagogical reform NCTE and IRA standards for English Language Arts Do Read More...

Online Resources for Art
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

Met Museum: click on the Collections tab, then “The Collection Online” to see many of the works of art Google Read More...

Online Resources for ELL Learning Support and Special Needs
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

LDonline: tells of modifications, many articles on ways to help or understand those with learning disabilities or special needs Enchanted Learning Read More...

Online Resources for Lesson Planning
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

Teacher Vision: lesson plans, graphic organizers, section on adaptations and modifications Teachers.net: Lesson plans and ideas from teachers; search by grade level Read More...

Online Resources for Math
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

Math League: math contests, grades 4-12 MathFax:  math contests, grades 3-12 Math.com:  the math world online Metric Conversion Tools: online calculators Read More...

Online Resources for Pennsylvania History
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

ExplorePAHistory.com: This site is packed with dozens of stories about Pennsylvania (arranged by topic), lesson plans for teachers (organized by Read More...

Online Resources for Speech
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

American Rhetoric: text, audio, video speeches of historical figures and on current events History.com/speeches: collection of audio and video speeches, by Read More...

Peace Unit
Publication Date: 2016-06-01 | File type: Teaching Material

I developed the original unit for school and used when we took a day for Peace studies.  I adapted it Read More...

Prayer Unit
Publication Date: 2016-06-01 | File type: Teaching Material

An outline of a unit Arlene Birt developed on prayer. Download this document now or read it below. Pass it Read More...

Reading/Language Online Resources
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

MySpellIt: “Words You Should Know,” commonly misspelled words, word lists, and exercises to go with words WordCentral: an online student thesaurus, Read More...

Senses Lessons
Publication Date: 2016-06-01 | File type: Teaching Material

From the author: I had developed this originally for a VBS week.  I used it then for VBS and then Read More...

Study Questions for Aarons Civil War
Publication Date: 2016-05-12 | File type: Teaching Material

This teacher-created resource helps students offers eight questions or tasks to guide students reading Aaron's Civil War (CLP, 2011). Tasks Read More...

Taking Care of Teacher
Publication Date: 2017-03-18 | File type: Blog Post

“We need a break.  I am hoping for snow days.  I need to recharge.  It is a long time from Read More...

Taking off! Going up! On your Own!
Publication Date: 2016-06-01 | File type: Teaching Material

Taking Off! Going Up! On Your Own! is a lesson Arlene Birt developed for kindergarten and 1st grade combination class. The document contains Read More...

Virtual Field Trips
Publication Date: 2016-05-31 | File type: Curricular

Ball State University’s field trips program: Archived virtual field trips, such as visiting the Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons, Read More...

What is the Ideal Teacher?
Publication Date: 2017-07-21 | File type: Blog Post

First graders have interesting answers to this question:  What is an ideal teacher? I had to first explain what ideal Read More...

It was a Hard Day
Publication Date: 2017-09-20 | File type: Blog Post

Tuesday was a very difficult day.  I was exhausted by the end of the day and felt as if I Read More...

Good Medicine
Publication Date: 2017-10-02 | File type: Blog Post

It seems all teachers are very busy right now, going to meetings and workshops, working on lesson plans and objectives, Read More...

Parent-Teacher Conference Form
Publication Date: 2017-10-18 | File type: Document

Courtesy of Ephrata Mennonite School, this is a form used at Parent-Teacher Conferences. The form has prompts for teacher feedback Read More...

Parent-Teacher Conferences, Part One
Publication Date: 2017-10-25 | File type: Blog Post

“I must say I don’t really care for parent/teacher conferences.  I showed the paper to Seth and said, ‘Let’s just Read More...

Parent-Teacher Conferences, Part Two
Publication Date: 2017-10-27 | File type: Blog Post

Parent/teacher conferences are vital to good communications between the home and school.  The conferences give us a point of contact Read More...

And What Do You Say?
Publication Date: 2017-11-22 | File type: Blog Post

One day after a chapel speaker reflected on being thankful, my students said “thank you” for everything.  “Thank you” when Read More...

For You!
Publication Date: 2017-12-19 | File type: Blog Post

“This is for you,” Andrea said in a shy voice as she presented to me a grocery bag full of Read More...

Walk Beside Me
Publication Date: 2018-01-17 | File type: Blog Post

“Maybe God is giving you challenges this year, so you don’t get bored after all your years of teaching!”  Maybe Read More...

Teacher Induction Plan
Publication Date: 2018-02-15 | File type: Curricular

How do you prepare new teachers to do well? This document from Ephrata Mennonite School provides checklists and categories of Read More...

This Big Thing!
Publication Date: 2018-02-20 | File type: Blog Post

“I told my class if they weren’t quiet at lunchtime, there would be consequences.  Now I can’t think of a Read More...

Snapshots from My Classroom
Publication Date: 2018-03-23 | File type: Blog Post

Capturing a specific moment in time, painting a picture with words, a descriptive word picture—these are some ideas of a Read More...

Bored? Visit 1st Grade!
Publication Date: 2018-04-23 | File type: Blog Post

Recently, one of my students asked how many days are left in first grade.  I replied that we weren’t going Read More...

The Impact of a Teacher
Publication Date: 2018-05-08 | File type: Blog Post

Share about a teacher who impacted your life. This was the topic assigned to discuss around our tables at the Read More...

Economic Standards and Concepts
Publication Date: 2016-05-11 | File type: Teaching Material

This document has ideas for teaching the economics standards, then “kid definitions” that Michelle Weaver developed. Download this document now Read More...

Nonfiction Text Features (Graphic Organizer)
Publication Date: 2016-05-11 | File type: Teaching Material

This is a printable organizer for use in helping students analyze texts. Download this document now or read it below. Read More...

Are You Ready for School To Be Out?
Publication Date: 2018-06-01 | File type: Blog Post

 “Are you ready for school to start?”  180 school days ago, I began a post with this question.  I was Read More...

Reading Café Notes
Publication Date: 2018-05-26 | File type: Teaching Material

This simple printable page provides space for students to note their book choices for Reading Café, as well as someone Read More...

Reading Café
Publication Date: 2018-06-27 | File type: Blog Post

My first-graders enjoyed hosting a Reading Café where, instead of serving food, we served stories!  This was a fun culmination Read More...

Grace for the EGR People
Publication Date: 2018-07-06 | File type: Blog Post

Education has many acronyms such as ELL, ADHD, ESSA, and CCSS (English Language Learner, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Every Student Read More...

Refreshments Will Be Served
Publication Date: 2018-07-20 | File type: Blog Post

 “Refreshments will be served.”  Sometimes we hear this announced in regards to a meeting or event.  Refreshments are not something Read More...

Just a Bug
Publication Date: 2018-07-25 | File type: Blog Post

I just read a devotional titled “Feeling Underappreciated?” There are times I feel like I don’t matter, or what I Read More...

Happy New Year!
Publication Date: 2018-08-20 | File type: Blog Post

“Thank you for entrusting your children to me this year.  It is a responsibility I take very seriously.  Please pray Read More...

Consistency
Publication Date: 2018-09-21 | File type: Blog Post

Being consistent makes me tired!  And I am tired of trying to be consistent!  I know consistency is important, but Read More...

Tools For Your Toolbox
Publication Date: 2018-10-26 | File type: Blog Post

In this long stretch from beginning of the school year to Thanksgiving, the “honeymoon” is over. Here are some tools Read More...

What Do I See?
Publication Date: 2018-12-07 | File type: Blog Post

“It seems like no one cares about me!  No one wants to play with me.”  This was the perception Brenda Read More...

Lessons from Little People
Publication Date: 2018-12-20 | File type: Blog Post

Caleb handed me a tiny scrap as he walked past. I wondered why he was giving me this trash. He Read More...

Blessed With ADHD
Publication Date: 2019-02-01 | File type: Blog Post

After I read an article in which a teacher discussed relating to different groups of students, I commented to a Read More...

Blessed With ADHD, Part II
Publication Date: 2019-03-15 | File type: Blog Post

Riley was lying across his desk today, on top of his teddy bear, with his head and feet completely off Read More...

The Well is Dry
Publication Date: 2019-04-18 | File type: Blog Post

This is the first time I can remember that I’ve felt like maybe I can’t go on, maybe I won’t Read More...

Remember
Publication Date: 2019-06-19 | File type: Blog Post

Remember.  Memory.  Memorial.  We have a memorial service to remember someone, and come away from it thinking of that person Read More...

Top 10 Lessons for the Teacher
Publication Date: 2019-07-05 | File type: Blog Post

I was returning workbooks to my students, and to save a few steps, I gently tossed some books onto desks.  Read More...

Taking Stock: A Classroom Shopping List
Publication Date: 2019-08-02 | File type: Blog Post

“Do you have paper bags?” “Can I have a plate?” Yes, to both questions—I have all kinds of things in Read More...

Another Year!
Publication Date: 2019-08-30 | File type: Blog Post

“How do you wash these crayons?” asked a student.  I was puzzled—why does she want to wash her crayons?  Kayla Read More...

Teacher!
Publication Date: 2019-10-11 | File type: Blog Post

“Teachers have a big impact and people remember their teachers years later.  I had lots of great teachers and they Read More...

How Do I Make Them Feel?
Publication Date: 2019-11-08 | File type: Blog Post

“Forty-one students?  How do you expect me to teach 41?”  complained the first-grade teacher in her students’ hearing. How did Read More...

I Know My Verses!
Publication Date: 2019-12-06 | File type: Blog Post

I loved hearing one of the first-graders asking, “Can I say the verses by myself?  I know them.”  This child Read More...

The Treasure Challenge
Publication Date: 2020-01-03 | File type: Blog Post

Find the treasures in each day! I thought of this from a book I read to my class—the boy was Read More...

Sweet Potato Pie: A Book Study
Publication Date: 2019-12-24 | File type: Teaching Material

This study is geared for students in Grades 1 and 2 reading Sweet Potato Pie by Anne Rockwell, and includes Read More...

Character Evaluation for Students
Publication Date: 2020-02-14 | File type: Blog Post

In this post, Arlene responds to a question from a reader: “I am curious if you all or anyone in Read More...

Bursts of Teaching Ideas
Publication Date: 2020-03-06 | File type: Blog Post

Sympathy Ice A sobbing child shows the teacher a bump on his arm. Another little person extends her hand, “See Read More...

Intro to Teaching Master Document
Publication Date: 2020-04-06 | File type: Article

This file contains information, lesson plans, assignments, and activities for an Intro to Teaching/Student Teaching/Teacher Apprentice class. There are lesson Read More...

Tools for Classroom Management
Publication Date: 2020-05-21 | File type: Blog Post

Motivation My sixth-grade teacher pulled me into the hall for a conversation. “I know you can do better than this. Read More...

Effective Instruction in the Classroom
Publication Date: 2020-06-09 | File type: Blog Post

“Effective instruction practices are an integral part of effective behavior management practices” (Sprick, 2006). Effective instruction influences student behavior and Read More...

To the Experienced Teacher
Publication Date: 2020-07-23 | File type: Blog Post

  One of my first-grade art projects involved sprinkling dry tempera paint on wet paper. The children enjoyed the project, Read More...

Attitude Adjustment
Publication Date: 2020-08-28 | File type: Blog Post

Bop! “I need an attitude adjustment,” Loren announced, as he hit himself on the head to give the adjustment. “I Read More...

School Has Started!
Publication Date: 2020-09-24 | File type: Blog Post

“How was your second day of school?” I asked a new teacher. “Not so good,” she replied. “I’m finding more Read More...

I Have a Question!
Publication Date: 2020-10-22 | File type: Blog Post

“Mrs. Birt, I have a question!”  Nelson called out.  Nelson has many questions. When is God’s birthday?  What does God Read More...

Tell Me a Story!
Publication Date: 2020-11-12 | File type: Blog Post

Stories are great for teaching academic lessons, spiritual lessons, and life lessons. Tell the story of “The Boy Who Cried Read More...

Invisible?
Publication Date: 2021-01-11 | File type: Blog Post

“We must be invisible!” my sister and I said to each other when a truck pulled out right in front Read More...

Getting Along
Publication Date: 2021-03-11 | File type: Blog Post

“These girls are just not getting along. I think at one point each one has felt left-out or bullied. I Read More...

Lord Willing
Publication Date: 2021-04-29 | File type: Blog Post

“Tomorrow we don’t have school, because the teachers come to work. Monday when we come back, we have music and Read More...

Let’s Pray
Publication Date: 2021-07-02

“Don’t forget to pray for Monster!” This request was called out just as I was preparing to pray at the Read More...

Prepare
Publication Date: 2021-08-05 | File type: Blog Post

Back-to-school supplies are stocked in stores, teacher meetings are beginning, and school cleaning is happening. We are preparing for another Read More...

Cultivate Gratitude in the Classroom
Publication Date: 2021-10-07 | File type: Blog Post

“I’m thankful for vultures!” We were making a list of things we were thankful for and “vultures” was one item Read More...

Teaching About Persecution
Publication Date: 2021-12-02 | File type: Blog Post

Persecution and martyrs may not seem like topics for children, but at the time of this writing, it is a Read More...

In a Rut?
Publication Date: 2022-03-31 | File type: Blog Post

“Time for Heggerty!” I say cheerfully even though I am tired of Heggerty*. Moans and groans come from the first Read More...

Pass it on:

Leave a Reply