24 December 2010

O Holy Night

It is Christmas Eve. Isaac is in bed, the presents are under the tree, Santa's cookies have been baked (and eaten), and Mom and Dad are settling in for what will probably be a short winter's nap.

The Christmas books came out of the boxes with the Christmas decorations a few weeks ago. We have read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night before Christmas, and Bear Stays Up for Christmas, among others over the past few days.

This evening after attending a beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church, going out for dinner, discovering that all of the grocery stores closed at 8:00 (including Walmart, if you can believe it), and preparing Santa's treats, Isaac finally went to bed after threats of "Santa will fly right over our house if you are still awake." But not, of course, without stories.

Instead of a repeat of one of the myriad Christmas books we own, I was compelled to stay with the real message of the evening during story time. I pulled Isaac's Bible off of the shelf and opened to the Christmas story. We read about Gabriel appearing to Mary, Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, the heavenly host of angels bringing the news to the shepherds, and the Wise Men traveling to find the new King.

Isaac will wake up thinking about what Santa left for him, but he went to sleep with the story of the first Christmas echoing in his head.

Merry Christmas and sweet dreams.

16 December 2010

The Culmination of an Idea

A few months ago I wrote about the book Why? by Lila Prap. I mentioned a project idea that I had and I actually implemented it this year with my 4th grade students. Since this blog was where the thought first sprouted I thought I would share the results.

The students I worked with loved the book. Reading it out loud to the classes was one of my favorite experiences so far this school year. Shared laughter between teachers and students can be a rare experience and when it happens I savor it.

The classes I worked with created projects in different formats using some new online tools that I began playing with this year. Their products are fun and creative. Just thought I would brag on my students a bit.

Here they are.