A Christmas Prayer

Loving Father, during this Christmas season,

Teach us to be an example of peace in the world, beginning in our own homes.

Open our hearts so we may extend kindness to those grieving, in pain, or alone.

Remind us to show gratitude for all we have.

Give us the strength to share the hope and faith of the season with all we encounter.

Loving Father, thank you for the gift of your Son. Let His light ignite compassion, grace and peace in each of us.



Ignore the eye rolls!

Last week I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss to a grade 6 class and two grade 5/6 classes. I had only met the students a couple of times before. I had a purpose in reading it, although pure enjoyment would be purpose enough.

I love watching the reaction of older kids when I pull out a picture book. In my own classes, reading picture books is the norm – no matter the grade. With other classes though, the range of reactions are interesting to watch. There are those who get truly excited. There are those who are seemingly indifferent. There are those who shift nervously in their spots. And, there are those who think they’re too old for a picture book and try to mask a little eye roll.

As I begin reading, I continue to watch their reactions. A few pages in, I know I have ’em: even those whose tendencies were the eye roll. Kids love hearing a good story. They may not necessarily admit it, but their change in demeanour is evidence enough for me: their eye contact with both me and the book, their stillness, their smiles.

“And what happened then …?

Well … in Who-ville they say

That the Grinch’s small heart

Grew three sizes that day!”

The trouble with words!

A few weeks ago while teaching grade one, I said to the class, “You can ask your neighbour for help if you need.” A little one exclaimed, “What? Our neighbours? We’re not at home!” They giggled at my use of this word.

Last week in a grade five class, we were discussing the complexity of the English language: all of those rules that aren’t always followed! We teach our students to add an ‘s’ to make something plural. But what about these? Mousesfootsgoosestoothsmans? And why aren’t too, blue, grew and through spelled using the same pattern? What about said and red? Limb and him?

Kids encounter new words, words in new contexts, rules, and words that break the rules, each and every day. It’s no wonder they make errors. How could they knot?