Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dust it off!

Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.--Isaiah 33:2

I wearily entered my classroom at the start of the day and switched on my desk lamp.  Light flooded my desktop revealing coffee rings and a layer of dust too thick for me to tolerate a minute more.  I yanked a saturated wipe from the dispenser and pushed away piles of papers.  Scrubbing away coffee stains, I eyed the rest of the mess decorating my desktop. 

A handmade card, an origami crane, a starfish, a plastic frog, a puzzle cube, and a pencil sharpener disguised as a little smiley-faced blue man who seemed to say, “Here I am, ready to serve!”  I laughed and shook my head.  What an odd assortment of items!  How did this collection find its way here? 

Then I remembered. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rainbow Words

By Desiree Glass

The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.—Psalm 145:13
I call it a “brain ingrain”—a repetitive activity to teach a lesson, that is.  I’m not sure what Jacob’s teacher calls it, but she certainly implements it with her pupils.  Her daily homework assignments include a spelling activity designed to ingrain proper spelling of designated words.  Once a week I assist my 7 year-old nephew with his homework.  He can choose from an array of spelling activities, like writing each word three times or writing each word in a sentence.  But most often he chooses rainbow words, in which he must write each word in pencil and then trace it three times using three different colored pencils.  Sometimes he doesn’t feel like doing any of his homework.  I sit next to him.  I encourage him and coax him.  Sometimes I demonstrate the letters.  Other times, when Jacob gets tired and wants to quit, I promise rewards for completion.  Is spending time with me making a difference for Jacob? I wonder.