Connecting God’s Word to Novel Reading

In my current Literature I and Literature II classes. we are reading the novels, Summer of Riley and The Last Book in the Universe.  Both of these novels focus on the sacrifice of the main character.

To introduce the climax of both novels, we examined the sacrifice in a classic biblical story.  We focused on the brith of Moses and the sacrifice of his mother.

One of the biggest advantages to teaching in a WELS school is the ability to connect God’s Word with the entire curriculum.  It is so much more meaningful when that connection can happen in a relevant way.

Big History: The Christmas Truce of 1914

We are one month into our study of World War I in American History.  We culminated our first month of study with our lesson on the famous Christmas Truce of 1914.

This lesson was so much fun!  The video is of the brief, 6-minute lecture to go with the lesson.  At the beginning of the lesson, you will hear a group of students using bells to go with the music.  Following the lecture, we enjoyed a “No Man’s Land Soccer Match” outside.  We set up “land mines” and “barbed wire” for the students to perform around.  Our obstacles were trash cans, buckets, etc.  The students loved it!  When we finished, we came in and enjoyed some homemade hot chocolate and finished the lesson with an unbelievable and moving mini-movie (3 minutes) put together by Sainsbury’s.  This video can be found on YouTube.

Enjoy and as always have a passion for what you teach!

 

When Student Enthusiasm Fades, Teacher Enthusiasm Must Soar

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Remember all of those first day smiles filled with the anticipation of the first day of school that you witnessed in the faces of your students?  Remember their excitement as they met new friends?  Recall the joy of seeing their new classroom, new books, and so much more?

If only that excitement of the first day of school could last the duration of the entire school year.  

However, very quick the realization of the work ahead sets in for many students.  Daily work, quizzes, tests, projects, and essays soon appear and the joy turns to thoughts of being overwhelmed.  

For students, parents, and teachers alike the excitement soon turns to the grind.

Continue reading “When Student Enthusiasm Fades, Teacher Enthusiasm Must Soar”

American History Plans

I am so excited for the upcoming school year, and the content I will be teaching for American History II.  Our complete focus will be on the time period from World War I through World War II.  It is going to be incredible!

A couple highlights from the picture.

History Theme:  Our theme for this year’s history study will be, Rise

Year at a Glance:  Our course of study is all laid out on the Rise Word Chart.  The larger the word, the more emphasis that lesson will receive throughout the year.

Our Monthly Lessons to Buy a Ticket For:  I like to lead to a major lesson every month.  It gives us purpose, and it keeps our minds on track.  I dub these lessons, “A lesson you would buy a ticket for!”  This concept is from the incredible education book, Teach Like a Pirate.  

If you are interested in a closer up shot of the monthly lessons or the year plan, just drop a comment in the comment section!

As always, be passionate and keep growing!

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Is History Dead in Your Classroom?

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“History is philosophy teaching by examples.”

That quote is attributed to the great Athenian general and historian, Thucydides.  We all know the old saying, “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.”  While true, the quote from Thucydides gives that saying true gravity.  History not only teaches us about the past, it teaches us about ourselves.  It teaches us the principle that everything throughout history has a grand purpose and plan laid out by our Creator.

So this bears the question, do you find yourself in a history teaching rut?  Do you find yourself repeating endless lessons without flavor and life?  Do you spend too many days assigning text without context or meaning?

Don’t feel ashamed, we’ve all been there.

I’ve got good news, you can bring history to life immediately.  Allow me to share just a few ideas and a little background on myself.

Continue reading “Is History Dead in Your Classroom?”

Ben Franklin Said it Best

How many hands-on learning activities have you engaged your students in this week?  This is a great visual for all you history teachers out there!

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10 Questions to Increase Engagement with Your Students

Student Engagement

Having a tough time grabbing your students attention for a particular class?  Try reflecting on these questions as your prep for your lesson.

  1. What is the big idea for my lesson?
  2. How can I incorporate movement into this lesson?
  3. Can I incorporate a dramatic, cinematic score into the climax of my lesson?
  4. How can I get my students outside my classroom walls for this lesson?
  5. Could my students demonstrate the main idea of this lesson with play-dough?
  6. How can I incorporate technology into this lesson?
  7. Could my students video a summary of the lesson with their tablet for this lesson?
  8. How does this lesson relate to the lives of my students?
  9. How can I arrange the desks to maximize the experience for this lesson?  Could I eliminate desks for this lesson?
  10. Why am I teaching this lesson?

This is the first part of an ongoing series on student engagement in the classroom.