Sunday, November 9, 2014

Read to your child...

There is nothing my kids love more than a good snuggle on the couch with a book. Whether it is me or my child doing the reading, they don't seem to care, but reading, together, is the key. I don't do this enough. Such a simple act but the reward is so big. In our home we go through times when we do family reading really well and other times are desperately lacking.

We are slowly (ever so slowly!) working our way through the Little House on the Prairie series. We have been on book 4 for several months. We chipped away at it in the summer but there always seemed to be something more pressing. Maybe as the Fall nights get cooler and darker more quickly we might just have a chance at getting to book 5 before the end of 2014.

A few other books we have read as a family are:
* The One and Only Ivan
* From Anna (careful, this one will make the reader (me) cry often. My kids were always asking me what the matter was. I guess I just felt for the Anna and all her awkward ways)
* Kids' devotionals
* Philippians (I challenge you to camp out here for an entire month... read different versions, all 4 chapters, every night for 30 days. See how your family changes. We did this and to read it out loud it takes 15 minutes in NIV and 18 minutes in the Message, so it is not too big of a job!)
* Charlotte's Web
* Out of Time (a Reading Link book that my son brought home from school... good for about gr. 3/4 and up)
* Eleven

In the next week or so I am going to start my home reading program with my Kindergarten class. Here is a little poem that I love to give to parents as a reminder (and read myself for the same reason!) to remember the importance of reading to, with, beside or in front of your child.... and, sometimes, let your child read to you! (this is sometimes more painful, but the rewards are great).

Twenty Minutes A Day
By Richard Peck

Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time, 
And so do they.
Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while the dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm 
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your children will be off to school:
Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice;
Let them hear the first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says,
 Hey, don't quit. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Apple picking time!

One of the most delicious units in Kindergarten is our Harvest Unit. What a bounty we have in this country. A big part of what we learn during Harvest is all about apples. We had the opportunity to visit the local Apple Barn and try some delicious Jonigold apples there. We had a hay ride and got to learn about the life cycle of the apple tree and, as we left, the Apple Barn gave us a bag full of Gala apples.

The first thing we did with these apples was to look at the different colours. Not all apples are pure red, green or yellow. Gala apples are a good example of this.  

The Basket of Apples by Paul Cézanne

We looked at the varied colours and then we looked at the paintings of Paul Cézanne. This link will take you to the online story of Cézanne's apples that I read to my class. After looking at the painting by Cézanne, we made our own still life paintings.

Another great thing to do with apples is to make applesauce! Yummy yummy applesauce. The Gala apples that we used in our Cézanne activity are the ones we made into applesauce.

On applesauce making day my own 3 children (grades 3, 5 and 6) and I made up a little song on the way to school. I taught it to my class and they caught on right away!


Wash the apples, peel the apples
Dump the apples, stir the apples
Add a little sugar, cinnamon
Put them in your tummy
Yummy yummy applesauce
Yummy applesauce
Yummy yummy applesauce
Happy happy applesauce!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Friendship Garden

The school year has begun. I have 18 wonderful students that have spent the last two weeks making new friends and getting to know each other. What a great bunch!

For the first unit of the year we have been learning about Friendship. Things that go along with this unit are:
* God made me special
* I can use good manners
* I can treat my friends how I want to be treated (Golden Rule)
* I can make a new friend
* I can be a good friend

One activity that I love during this unit is the Friendship Garden. I read the Winnie the Pooh story, "The Friendship Garden" to my class and then we made sunflowers out of torn paper. Every sunflower looks different, but they are all beautiful. This is just like the children in my class. No two children are alike, but they are all very special because they are exactly who God made them to be.

We also did a group puzzle activity. Every child got 3-4 pieces of a Winnie the Pooh floor puzzle and we took turns placing our pieces. The students had to wait their turn and also urge on the others to keep checking their pieces so the puzzle could progress. It was such a good feeling of accomplishment when the puzzle was complete and everyone knew that they had taken a part in the activity.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Lonely Classroom in Summer

I have moved into a new classroom and I will be teaching full-time K in the Fall.There have been some great teachers that have gone before me in this particular classroom. Legends, really, with combined teaching experience that doubles my age, and then some! If the walls could speak I would learn so much from them. Thankfully, one of them (JW) will be just down the hall in my old classroom, along with my teaching partner from last year (JV, who is the reason I made it through my first year of teaching K so smoothly!).

There are so many things about this particular classroom that I love. The loft, the bathroom, the big floor space, the plethora of resources, the storage spaces, and so much more. But, along with a room having several teachers before me comes a lot of stuff. I spent several days at the end of June sorting through cupboards and donating items that could be usable to someone else but no longer serve a purpose in my class, tossing things that were broken or unfixable, and updating things that needed a wee bit of brightening up. 

I haven't taken a trip to the Teacher store yet but that is going to be fun because I need a new alphabet and some new calendar supplies. But I have taken a trip to the paint store for a gallon of bright white paint that has given the room a new fresh look. 

Red is my favourite colour, but, it was time for this red toy shelf to get a new outfit.

And here it is freshly painted white. I just put the tubs on the shelves for the picture and then removed them so the paint can finish curing over the summer.

Here is one that used to be blue....

This bookshelf was fun to paint. The green and yellow paint that it had on it was really vibrant, but it was needing to be freshened up as well.

Now I can create a cute little reading area that will section off part of the classroom. I think the kids will love it!

Here is a shot of 2 of the toy shelves back to back to create another space in the back of the room. Notice the loft in this picture... that is for sure one of the kids' favourite places to be.

Lastly, a shot of my pretty empty classroom. Such a lonely place without boys and girls to fill it. But I know they are enjoying the summer, getting fresh air and tans. I will have 18 little bodies in here very soon. I have a lot to do before they arrive. Once I get my new alphabet hung up above the white and black boards, and some bulletin board fabric up, along with the supply tubs on each table, the room will be ready to welcome the kids.

But first, I am going to finish my online course that I am taking called Christian Approaches to Assessment and Evaluation for Student Learning, as well as spend time with my family. My own kids are really hoping for a trip to the Waterslides this summer... I think I can handle that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The History of the "Living With Power" blog...

I started this blog as a tool for discussion with the Bible Study that I was leading at my church at the time - back in 2007. When I stopped leading it I kept this blog alive for my thoughts, devotions and things I am learning along the way in my Journey.

I am going to change the purpose of this blog once again. The new intention of this blog will be teaching with power. Not my own power or strength, but the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide me to be the best educator for the students in my care, to the glory of God.

No names will ever be given, nor will recognizable photos of children be posted. Please note: I welcome comments, but please do not refer to the children in my class by name. If you would like to discuss something about a specific topic feel free to post a comment or send me a message.

Why is this blog called Living With Power? Because we have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). So, live with this power! This was the theme verse of my Bible Study blog when I first began it. I have decided to leave all the original posts as they are. If you feel like browsing, be my guest. Any posts below this post are not school related, but you are welcome to them!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

May your 2013 be blessed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I just got an email from Dayspring - a company that sells a lot of Christian inspirational material and books. They also send out a devotional email that I subscribe to. Usually, I glance over the email to see if they have any clearance items that I might stock up on for gifts, or I read the verses for the day, and then I delete it.

Today, however, something caught my attention. These words were in the email:

When Jesus was on the cross, the last thing He said was,
"It is finished."
After He made that statement He died.
When is God's purpose for you on this earth finished?
It is finished when you die...
until then, you are not finished yet! NFY!

To read the whole post, head to Roy's blog HERE.

I have been frustrated by my Grandma over the past few years. She was put in a care home after a series of falls that made it impossible for her to live on her own any longer. Before she left her own apartment, she had already given up on life. Since then, and it's been a few years, she has been quite upset anytime one of her friends dies. She gets so jealous that she is still here suffering in old age and pain, and others "get to" die.

It makes me think that God still has plans for my Granny. NFY. When he's finished working on you, then it's time to meet him in Glory. But until then... NFY.

I don't know how it feels to be 90 years old, but I do know that I've seen plenty of old people that have a much better life because they haven't stopped living.

Take Gigi, for instance. She is a gem. She is 97 years old and still lives alone. She loves Jesus with all her heart and I know she still prays for anyone that she thinks of. Gigi is completely blind. She doesn't let that stop her. She is determined to share the love of Jesus until the day she dies.

I read about another lady, once, who at the age of 83 took up running. She was a feisty one, that lady! She always came first in her age category when she entered races, too!! You can't always do that as a younger person, but she could do it now! Age was no barrier for her!

About a year ago, a friend of my husband's and mine said that his dad was struggling with purpose in his life. His dad is in his 90s. What he told his dad was that he is NFY!! Maybe God still has someone for him to talk to and minister to. But for SURE, God has people for him to pray for.

Nobody is worthless, nobody is too young or too old, nobody is not good enough or not smart enough for God to use. If you are for God, then who can be against you? God will always have a purpose for you, don't wait to ask him. We get hung up on our age, or our weight, our status, or our position/job/address... any number of things can hold us back from living our lives to the FULL. His ways are so much greater than ours and if you are 2 or 92 or 102, he can use you. If you are still breathing, then he still has work for you to do. Don't give up on life before you're done.

Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the
Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the
good news of God’s grace.

Hebrews 12:1-3
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.