Friday, March 6, 2015
I must admit that most of what is visible on this blog is fun stuff-- the honor roll parties, the dress up days, February Fun Days, etc. But that is only what appears on the surface. Behind every fun picture or motivational idea is something else: hours of work. Hard work. Hard work on our part: teaching, presenting, and motivating. And hard work on the students’ part: understanding what we are presenting, remembering it long term (not just for the test), and being able to say it aloud, and then writing on paper the concepts we have been learning in math and English, or elaborating on topics we have been discussing in science and history. THAT is the ultimate reason we do all the other stuff; so that school is an interesting place to be. So that students are eager to be there, eager to learn, eager to think and write and expound and dream. That is the reason why. And, for us small, private schools, there is another reason. To bring up the children of our churches in the admonition of the Lord. And that does not have to be boring either.
I am reminded of this concept every time I grade a set of papers, and all of the students in the group get honor roll grades, or all 90s, or, in this case, all 95s or higher. That is one of the main reasons we do all the other fun "stuff".
For more on motivation, click here
Thursday, March 5, 2015
How to Draw an Eyeball,
and the Super Skyscraper Builders, (with apostrophes in the right places!)
and “Spanish”, which included an acoustic bass guitar, a regular acoustic guitar, a piano keyboard, a flute, and two vocalists. Their humorous song was all about the students in the school and funny but nice things about them. Here is one of my favorite verses:
Jeffery and Levi throw dirt at each other,
It is embarrassing to say this, but he is my brother.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Last year a girl won, but this year only gentlemen participated. The furthest flight was 67 feet, thrown by a 9th grader. And that it where the plane first hit the ground. Several of the planes went over 60 feet, and several finally came to a halt even further. Some would have gone quite a distance longer if they would not have hit the low-hanging wall. We tried them outside, but it was a cold, rainy day. Maybe in a month or so we could try again . . . .
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
And, when your almond is done burning, it makes a good charcoal pencil.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Finally, we received some of that glorious, fluffy, frozen precipitation known as snow. It is a rare occasion down here in these parts-- one that comes maybe, if we’re blessed, once a year. This one lasted for about twenty minutes, and as soon as we saw it, recess was announced. We were not about to miss the chance to go out and enjoy it, however brief it was. The Super Skyscraper Builders even made their own little snow man. (To learn more about the Super Skyscraper Builders, look for the coming post on our talent show.)
Friday, February 27, 2015
This is one of the students' favorite days. In fact, they have already requested that we do it again for Fabulous Fridays. They are getting more creative. This year besides just the tents, we had sleeping bags, cots, and stuffed animals. They really enjoyed it, and I was happy because their grades stayed high and they were focused on their work. When the students perform like that, we can keep having fun.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
This year we did things a little differently, with unusual results. We split the students into two even groups with twelve on each team. Their "job" was to let their leader know who they were so that the leaders could guess who was on the other team. After the above poster went up the first hour, we realized it would probably be a draw. So the Anabaptist team decided to play a different game. They purposely didn't guess any spies, gave a bowl of candy to the spies, and ended the game at 3:00 with this note:
We, the Anabaptists, chose not to harm our fellow men.
There is a gift of love in the kitchen for all the spies.
Love wins! We all win-- and we had a fun, different day.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
This was another new day we thought we would try this year. We wrote every segment of the day (except for lunch) on a piece of paper, and then put them in a hat (or actually an Oasis Chorale bass section animal mask*). Next, the students with summer birthdays drew a piece of paper out of the mask to see what class we would have next. The day was all mixed-up, and we all thought that was fabulous.
After each twenty or thirty minute class, we would all meet together in anticipation as the next student drew our next class out of the mask. The suspense and excitement were really infectious. We decided to do this one again for . . . Fabulous Fun Fridays.
While I was researching February Fun Days, I stumbled upon a post about a school that had something like February Fun Fridays- they did something fun every Friday in February. Well, I thought, we will still do something fun every day in February, and for the rest of the year we will also have Fabulous Fun Fridays. Yay! School doesn’t have to be boring. Learning doesn’t, and should’t be boring either, as long as our focus is on the right thing: The Reason Why.
*To learn more about the Oasis Chorale bass section masks, click here.
Monday, February 23, 2015
I have to admit that I am usually racking my brain to come up with the last few February Fun Days. So it was with this one-- Eskimo Day? It ended up being in the 30s that day, which helped a lot. Some of the students wanted to open up the windows, but that was quickly vetoed, although it would have been fun to try for a short time. We were going to make igloos out of sugar cubes, but it is hard to find sugar cubes in Rosebud, Texas. We did make bear paw cinnamon biscuits from canned biscuits by cutting three slits into one side of them, adding raisins for claws, and sprinkling sugar and cinnamon on the tops. They were yummy, and it was delightful diversion from the normal morning break. It was also hot lunch day, and the sewing ladies served us warm tortilla soup. Spring is coming!