Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mustard Seed Planting: Isaiah 9:6-7

Rejoining the link-up with Mom's Mustard Seeds after being away too long:


  "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince Of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7).











Linking up today with: 



PhotobucketiFellowship




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Binding Books Beautifully ~ Motivating Reluctant Writers

Several years ago I visited a booth by Binding Books Beautifully  at a Homeschool Convention and loved the hands-on approach to making books.  "What a fun and creative way to motivate my little writers to work hard on their writing assignments", I thought.  I then purchased the kit and brought it home.......where it sat on a shelf and got moved around quite a few times, but basically was untouched and very neglected due to the chaos and busy-ness of life (much like many of my great ideas and intentions  : / ).

This fall, we joined a Homeschool co-op where I thought I would get to sit back and assist in a class for a year while we adjusted to something new.  I somehow, however, often find myself being volunteered for and/or asked to things I didn't actually plan on and ended up as the teacher of the 5th grade writing class.

After several weeks of receiving half-hearted assignments from many of  my crew of 15, I came across the binding tool and thought, "A-ha!  We'll do a book project & I'll let them make their own books before Christmas break!  Perhaps that will motivate my reluctant writers to put a little more thought and effort into their assignments!".  So, I announced the book project to the class and plans were made.  Quite a few of the students were excited about it and others ~ not so much........until the day came to actually make our books.  THEN the ones that saw us making them were quite disappointed they didn't participate.  It turned out to be a bit stressful for me and I'm not sure I will offer such a hands-on project again to a class this size.  Part of the stress was due to the fact that in our co-op, participation in these things seems to be optional and until the week before the project was to be completed I wasn't actually sure how many students were going to participate.  Kind of frustrating for the teacher who is trying to plan and prepare!  In the end, about half the class made books while the other half played Punctuation Bingo ....and my students absolutely loved their finished product! 

It was a crazy, chaotic day that left me thinking, "WHAT was I THINKING????"!  Bad things happen when I am trying to help one glue, put another one's book in the binding tool, listen to something another one was saying to me & answer a mom's question all at the same time! If, after reading this post, you think "What a GREAT idea.....I want to do that with my kids" and end up getting one for yourself, I have one word of caution:  Should you ever do what I did (get distracted and not match up the symbols on the end of the tool, resulting in a book being trapped in the tool) - do not, I repeat DO NOT - try to pry it apart. It only makes it worse and more difficult to get the nails out. Get a pair of needle-nosed pliers and it will grip the nails perfectly and they come right out {small amount of muscle required, but not much ; ) }

Despite the chaos and some unexpected blunders, I was thrilled to get feedback from moms who thanked me for doing it.  Turns out my intentions were rewarded, as the hands-on project that included writing, drawing, fabric, glue, hammers, nails, needles & thread WORKED and DID motivate those reluctant writers I was seeking to inspire (one of which was my very own 5th grader)!

With all the craziness of trying to make so many books during class, I didn't get any pictures worth posting, but ♥Jacob♥ and I made his book at home the day before:



Gluing (Tacky Glue works well) his chosen fabric to the book boards (I bought a package from Amazon):

The covered book in the binding tool:

Hammering the nails in:



Binding/sewing the book together:




The finished book (minus label)!  The Binding Books Beautifully site shows samples of different label ideas for the front.



A few samples of the pages within (you can click to enlarge if you actually want to read them):

Title Page

There are some spelling, punctuation & miscellaneous other errors, but this is a HUGE improvement from what I often get from him and the point was to motivate his creative thinking and inspire him to work harder on his weak areas ~ so I'm happy with it!!

My personal favorite : )


He is so proud of his book......as were his brother and sister.  They found it very unfair that he got to make one and they didn't, so they are now feverishly working on revising some of their writing assignments and creating some new ones in order to give them as Christmas gifts!  : )


It really IS a very fun project......one or two students at a time.... ; )


Linking up with:

Get Your Craft On Tuesday
Photobucket

To-the-TOP Tuesday
A Crafty Soiree

Classified: Mom

Monday, December 20, 2010

Multitude Monday: 1,000 Gifts 46 - 65

Has it really been almost a month since I've posted?! Oh my ~ I guess I've been a little overwhelmed & my bloggy world has been neglected!


holy experience


Rejoining The Gratitude Community for Multitude Monday.........

46. Encouraging friends who know her well enough to read between the lines and assume the best about her instead of being a constant source of negativity and criticism.....they are truly a priceless treasure

47. Friends who are drama-free!!!!


48. 3 weeks off from our homeschool co-op (love our co-op, but happy to have a break!)


49.  Last minute Christmas orders


50. Unexpected e-cards from my precious (and often sassy) girl.......it's the "sassy" that makes the unexpected thoughtfulness so meaningful ; )


51. My wise guy ♥ (the one with the red)



52.  Opportunities to serve others....

        On Dec. 10, I was blessed with being able to participate with my daughter in our church's Middle School Christmas Ministry Night. 

Our middle schoolers packing up gift bags of cookies and candy to distribute to various teen crises centers and homeless shelters in our city....



We then divided up into groups and set out to visit and throw Christmas parties for them.....our group visited the Children's Home Society.  We played some Christmas games, shared the TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas, and had a Birthday cake for Jesus!  I was so exhausted this night, but so glad I went!  It's true what Jesus said, you know.....it really IS more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)!





53.  The Middle School Dept. of my church  : )


54.  A ♥church home♥ that REALLY feels like home every time I walk through the doors


55.  A music ministry that fulfills another longing to serve and give of my talents ~ so much more a blessing to me than I could ever be to it


56.  A ladies ensemble that lets me sing with them, covers for my mediocre abilities & blesses me far more than I can say


57.  Little boys singing "All is Well"

58.  Christmas carols

59.  Nativity scenes

60.  ♫ Hallelujah, we've been found....

61.  A child is born....To save us now....

62.  Jesus....

63.  Hallelujah, Light has come....

64.  A Savior who will set us free.....

65.  A promise for those who believe!  ♫