Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Amazing Grace


What do you think of when you hear that word? It is a pretty powerful word. Someday's I feel like this word is unattainable, and I always feel it is undeserved. 

Grace- noun
-the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

Let that sink in. FREE. UNMERITED. FAVOR. 
Wow. How can a sinner like me even deserve that or even give that out? 
How? Because of JESUS! 
Thank GOD right?! I mean I would not make it through a single day without some GRACE! The minute my feet hit the ground in the morning the enemy is ready to pounce. Some days he seems to win, but by golly God swoops in and covers me. 
Now I also believe I have to put in the effort to seek HIM out, but no matter how far I may fall God covers me in that GRACE. I know for a fact I don't deserve it at all. That's the beautiful, amazing, and sometimes confusing thing about GRACE is that he freely favor's us. Seems easy right? Just to go around handing out freebies of Grace. I mean everyone loves a freebie. Yes they do, and no it's not easy. We are a fallen people and sinners. We are selfish and self absorbed. We are mean and we can be hateful. But we have a God that sacrificed his only son to save us from all of those things and grant us Grace and forgiveness even when we are those things and totally do not deserve it. 

Depending on which source you read, the word Grace appears in the bible over 150 times, some sources say over 200...either way it is a lot! So obviously God is all about that Grace, bout that Grace, no trouble....those are the lyrics right?! ;) 

So back to giving Grace. The struggle is real. People are going to disappoint and fail you. People are going to act a fool and say things you don't agree with. People are going to not agree. People are going to make mistakes daily. People are sinners. But how can we best represent Christ than to offer Grace as He does. Some days it takes a Uhaul of Grace, and other days a sprinkle will do. Either way our goal should be to extend Grace. 

The quote says it all: Grace is forgiving. Grace is For Giving.
We are forgiven through Grace by God. We also need to be giving Grace. 

Now, are there times when someone can use it as a crutch and not be a responsible human being at some point? Well at that point we have to give it to God. 

Grace epitomizes the character of God's attitude in providing salvation for a fallen world. We will fall short of God's glory, (Romans 3:23) but we have a God that loves us unconditionally. His Grace is a gift. Something given without requiring anything in return. 

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. It is amazing and so hard to fully understand sometimes. 

"He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness." John 1:14

"Yet now in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins." Romans 3:24

"Instead you are free by God's grace." Romans 6:14

"God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this;it is a gift from God." Ephesians 2:8

Now please tell me how that is not AMAZING GRACE! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Balanced Equations & Missing Addends-New product

One of my favorite parts of the year in first grade is teaching missing addends and balancing equations. Now if you would have asked me 6 years ago I might have thought you were out of your mind! Why? Well because it does not always come easy for those little mathematicians. It can be abstract, but that is why it is up to us to model, model, model, and hands on practice until it clicks! My kids got excited being detectives for those missing numbers in an equation and LOVED using the balances to solve balance equations. Once they discover exactly how the = sign works they were amazed at how the numbers worked together on both sides! My main goal really from this was just to get them to understand that the equal sign is a symbol to show that the left is the same as the right. They get so used to seeing it one way that when it changes at all it throws them off track and they freeze. When in all actuality they can do it. I broke out the balances and you would have thought I was a super hero . I also found one online that was interactive so we were able to use the smartboard and the small balance they could touch.
Here is the interactive online one:

I also felt the need to have them be able to record their thoughts and findings throughout the lessons so I created a packet that incorporates missing addend, balancing equations, and word problems.  I went very slow and gave them a lot of time to talk and explore and discuss reasoning's. Seriously, my mind was blown listening to them think through and use math talk. Everyday after these lessons I felt like I had run a marathon, not in an Oh My Goodness I am going to pass out, what was I thinking kind of way, but like an Oh My Goodness that was exhilarating, I feel accomplished, it can be done kind of way. Especially when they were so interested and pumped as well. 


We not only worked through seeing the equal signs meaning but we also challenged ourselves to make a false, unequal, unbalanced equation, actually balanced. 
They started seeing how they could create certain equations different ways and that there was not just one way to make or see it. 
I thought they were going to explode when we got to one problem that went past 10 and since the balance only goes up to ten they had to either put more than two weights on or stack the weights to get to their answer. 
There was so much good stuff that we did that week I can't even list it all! 


We also used the bucket balances (not pictured)  as well as the number balance to work through problems. 

If you are looking for these types of activities to work with your students you can check out the packet HERE!! 
Not all is shown in this preview. 

Have a BLESSED week!! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

End of Year Celebrations and Reflections

The end is near people...of the school year! Can you believe it?! If you have followed this blog or know me at all you have seen that I am pro Growth Mindset. I really believe instilling our kiddos with a positive mindset and guiding them towards independence is very important.
So the other day my mind wandered into end of the year activities. For some reason I thought about how flowers sprout and bloom and then started thinking about words that rhyme with those words and well, one thing led to another and I was on a full blown rabbit trail as usual. So these anchor charts were born, which then turned into this packet.
You can use this with your class or even with your teammates to reflect on the year. It is low prep and helps to celebrate those goals that have been met as well as continuing to model the Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet. 

Make your own anchor charts or print them as a poster (I include the template in the packet).
You can write on the poster directly or have students fill out one of the various templates. Totally up to you and your preference! So many ways you can use this. 

See? Simple and a fun way to celebrate the end of the year and all the hard work throughout the year! 
Click HERE to snag yours!!! 

So go SHOUT it out! Find all the ways you and your kids have BLOOMED! Celebrate the SOONS and the SPROUTS, because we need to promote and show that growth can and does happen. You may not always BE the best, but you can DO your best! 

If you like Growth Mindset- go check out my Growth Mindset Bundle! It is 147 pages! 
Click HERE!