Friday, May 29, 2015

A Look at a Book: The Founding Fathers!

This summer, I decided to make some updates to my classroom library with some selections from Instructor's 2015 Summer Reading List. Find the downloadable PDF here. Summer has officially arrived this evening, so I started out with a picture book that will be perfect as my new third and fourth graders learn about American government. The Founding Fathers: Those Horse-Ridin', Fiddle-Playin', Book-Readin', Gun-Totin' Gentlemen Who Started America by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Barry Blitt offers witty, fact-filled biographies of the men who started America.

Warning: May contain spoilers!

This book takes a look at 18th century colonial America during a time of political change. The varsity and jr. varsity squad are comprised of fourteen of the most famous found fathers, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. This atypical look at history includes facts about their hobbies, their opinions on the Boston Tea Party, and their shoe sizes. Which president was a gourmet cook? The founding fathers had residences in Virginia, Pennsylvania, France, and England to name a few. The last founding father died in 1836. How did these marvelous men from varied backgrounds come together to start the United States of America? Travel back in time to the Revolution and learn about the fascinating lives behind some of the greatest men in American history.

This book is a great addition to any non-fiction elementary library. Its unique presentation of the founding fathers will encourage reluctant readers to take an interest in this important time in history.

Have a great start to your summer!

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's Not a Sacrifice; It's an Investment!

This spring, I accepted a Call to The King's Academy, a ministry that began with its first worship service in 1996. The preschool began in 2003, and the elementary began in 2012. I am so excited to be a part of this brand-new ministry! They are in the midst of building a new sanctuary and five elementary classrooms as I write. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the teacher's gala. What a fabulous group of people serving the Lord! One of the parents stood up and thanked them for providing her daughter with a place where she could be nurtured in a Christian environment. The pastor stated, "Christian education is not a sacrifice, it is an investment!"

In preparation for this Call, I have the privilege of enjoying every teacher's dream: buying new classroom furniture! Many years ago, I remember designing a classroom from scratch in college. While my budget is a little more practical, I started to think about the items and spaces I would design in a 2015 classroom. That is the question I pose to you this week. If you could add one new item to your classroom, what would it be and how would it be used?

Have a blessed week in the Lord!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Must Have in 2015: Videos on Social Media

Did you know that Facebook recently changed the way they share content so that videos reach more people than photos? YouTube is now considered the number two search engine, and one third of all online activity is spent watching videos (Simply Measured, 2015). According to Digital Sherpa, videos improve a customer's knowledge of a product by 74%. How are you using this knowledge to share the strong value of Lutheran schools and the love of Christ? Here are some tips:

  1. Turn your pictures into video. Before snapping the picture, think about a way that it can be modified into a video. Film a clip at the field trip or a snippet from your Mother's Day performance.
  2. Make it short! 45% of viewers stop watching a video after one minute. 60% of the viewers are gone by two minutes. Get your statement out before 60 seconds.
  3. Do you have an e-mail list for perspective parents or send out your newsletter via e-mail? Introduce the message with a link to a video to advertise your upcoming event or send a reminder to parents. Have you seen the snow day videos?
  4. Move beyond Facebook and YouTube and add your videos to Instagram. Check the analytics to see what type of content is most effective for your audience.
Is your school already using a social media platform with video? Share in the comments below! God's blessings on your week!

Simply Measured. (2015) 2015 social planning guide. Retrieved from: