The Thundering Herd

4-5th grade oil pastel buffalo celebrating the animal that so many Native American tribes hunted not for sport but survival.

We spent a few days discovering the various ways they would use EVERY part of the animal.

Next week a guest speaker who is part Navajo!

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Devotion: That First Week of School Feeling

Many of us have returned to the back to school routine these past few weeks while some of us are about to embark on that journey very soon.  The beginning of the school year is often met with smiling students, happy teachers and parents, and a sense of excitement for what is ahead.

I hope that atmosphere will extend throughout the entire school year.  However, as many of us have experienced, that isn’t always the case.  The smiles turn into frustration over a difficult assignment.  Those happy parents and teachers turn into metaphorical gobs of goo as the pressures of the school year and all or our kid’s demands tug and pull at us in so many different directions.  

For some of us that time comes around October, when it seems like the year is plodding along at a snails pace.  For others it happens around December when the pressures of school and life collide in a monumental race until Christmas.  Finally, for some it happens around March when we reach spring break, and we quickly realize how much we need to “fit in” before the end of the school year.

Whenever that moment comes for you this school year, it will be important to remember back to that first week of school feeling that we are all experiencing right now.  

That feeling, that excitement, and those happy faces are one of the big reasons why we do what we do.  The other reason is timeless. The other reason doesn’t have ups and downs.  The other reason is there on the best of our days, like the first day of school, but more importantly is there for our very worst day.  The day when our sinful nature convinces us there is no hope.

That is when the true joy of Romans 15:4 is carried out with an exclamation point.  “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

The school year is a race of endurance.  God’s Word is what carries us through.  

The school year is full of moments that steal our joy.  Scripture gives us hope.

The school year is full of teachable moments for us to learn.  God gives us teachable moments throughout His Word as an opportunity for us to grow.

Stay steadfast in His Word, and that first week of school feeling will truly last you the entire school year.

A Growth Mindset Continuum

Education, like any other field, is big business.  Companies involved with education love to come up with focal points every year so they can sell more stuff.  It’s kind of ugly to think of profiting off education, but it’s reality.  The big buzzword this school year seems to be Socia-Economic influences on learning.    Another big focal point the last few years has been promoting a growth mindset.

While we see scholarly articles at nauseum on this topic, I came across this applicable continuum the other day and thought it worth sharing.  Teaching our students to overcome, have grit, and have a positive mindset is worthwhile and important.  Take a look at the continuum, and let me know your thoughts!

 

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Ancient History Plans – A Storyteller’s Dream

My major lessons for this school year for Junior High Ancient History.  These are lessons that are hopefully so good that you could sell a ticket for them!  The theory behind planning a major lesson each month is that you are always building to something, just like an episodic television series.  The end product is more engagement and enthusiasm for the material and what lies ahead.  All great things in theory, now I’ve just got to pull it off!

Drop a comment if you have any questions on the material or would like ideas on how to make them special.FullSizeRender.jpg