Friday, April 29, 2016

Get Your Kids Digging In Their Bibles {One Proverb a Day for a Month}

Get your kids digging in their Bibles - FREE reading calendars to read through Proverbs in a month. Blog post includes calendar options for both younger and older kids. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey"

As a fifth grade teacher I was always on the lookout for ways to get my students reading their Bibles for themselves. One of the most important life skills you can encourage in your kiddos is the discipline of daily Bible reading. 

Dallas Willard said: "Bible reading is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation."

I wholeheartedly agree.

The book of Proverbs has 31 chapters in it - perfect for one chapter per day for a month. Proverbs is filled with nuggets of wisdom - and the verses are very accessible for kids.

Since May is coming up (with 31 days) I thought I'd share a freebie with you to help your students (or personal kiddos) dig into the book of Proverbs.

These free packet includes a calendar with boxes to check off when your student has read the assignment. 

There are two calendar options included:
A. For younger kids: asks them to read a couple of verses from each chapter. 
B. For older kids: asks them to read a whole chapter each day.
Get your kids digging in their Bibles - FREE reading calendars to read through Proverbs in a month. Blog post includes calendar options for both younger and older kids. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey"
Get your kids digging in their Bibles - FREE reading calendars to read through Proverbs in a month. Blog post includes calendar options for both younger and older kids. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey"
















Click here to download the FREE calendar pages:
Get your kids digging in their Bibles - FREE reading calendars to read through Proverbs in a month. Blog post includes calendar options for both younger and older kids. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey"
This calendar can be done again and again - there is so much richness in the book of Proverbs that your students could read it each month! Encourage them to pray about what verses God would highlight for them as they read.

Here are some other reading plans for kids/families:


Looking for more activities to get your kiddos digging into the book of Proverbs?

Dig into the wonderfully rich book of Proverbs with your students! "This Bible Boot Camp: Proverbs" packet is intended to challenge and engage your class – as well as get them diggin’ in their Bibles. This differentiated packet is perfect for classes with different ability levels and/or grades. Make your lesson planning a breeze! Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey"

Packet includes:
  • Note to the Teacher
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Hunting through the book of Proverbs
  • Categorizing Proverbs
  • Note-worthy Proverbs 
  • Visualizing Proverbs
  • Proverb-a-Day Calendars

*All activities include answer keys (if applicable)

The activities in this packet are DIFFERENTIATED – meaning there are 2 variations of each activity (A=easier B=more challenging). This was done to give teachers options when working with students with different ability levels or those teaching multiple grades. You can also choose to give your class the more rigorous activities when you have more class time allotted for the assignment. 

You can purchase this 25-page packet for only $5. Don't delay - make your lesson planning a breeze and watch your students dig into their Bibles like never before!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Mirror Craftivity: New Pages Added!

Have you checked out my Mother's Day Craftivity: My Mom in the Mirror?
This packet includes a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms.

I wanted to pop in and share a quick note that this packet has been UPDATED: By popular demand, I have updated my Mother's Day Craftivity to include options for all the special ladies in your students’ lives: Mom, Grandma, Grandmother, Nana, and Aunt
Also - if you need additional wording options, please e-mail me at joyinthejourneyteaching@yahoo.com and I'd be happy to accommodate you.

So go ahead - make your lesson planning a breeze! Purchase this 30-page print-and-go packet today!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Math Styled Photos - for Teachers & Teacherpreneurs

Do you know what a styled photo is?
You most likely do - even if you don't know that's the name for it.

Styled photos are stock photographs taken for use online - for blog posts, social media, product covers, etc. It's a growing trend that's really gaining popularity - especially among teacher bloggers and product creators. 

Here are some examples of how I've used styled images recently:
You see - there are so many possibilities!

To help you - the busy teacher and/or teacherpreneur - I have created a set of styled images in a fun and functional MATH theme!
You can use these photos as backgrounds for social media posts, title images for blog posts, cover pages for products, center title cards for the classroom, power point slide backgrounds, etc. These images can be used for both personal and commercial use!

Here are some examples of things I made using these images:
 They are totally customizable!
 I *LOVE* this quote - it's true of learning in all subject areas!
This packet includes 25 styled photos that are crisp, clean, and ready to go! For easy formatting the photos cropped to create both square images (to be used on social media) and 4:3 images (to be used in Power Point or Publisher).  These are can be used for both personal or commercial use - so what are you waiting for? Download them HERE and start creating! :)

Like what you see?
I have another set of school-inspired styled photos - in a fun NEON theme! :)

*GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!* CLOSED!
As a special promotion for my blog readers I would love to GIVE AWAY a FREE copy of my Math Styled Photos. If you're interested in winning a FREE set please leave a comment with your e-mail address and one of your favorite math concepts to teach. I'll choose a winner on Sunday night (April 24th).

p.s. For every 10 comments I receive I will give away an additional packet of styled images- so tell your friends! :)

The winners are:
*drum roll please*
Congratulations to Stress Free Teaching and the Activated Educator!
Ladies - check your e-mails for your FREE styled photos :)

If you didn't win, don't worry - you can purchase these 25 styled photos for only $6.99!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day


Mother's Day will always hold a special place in my heart because not only do I have a wonderful mom who is my very best friend, it is also the day when I brought our newborn son home from the hospital last year.
This year, Mother's Day falls on this munchkin's first birthday, so it'll be another special day!

Each year I liked to have my students make something special for their moms for Mother's Day. Store bought gifts are nice, but there's nothing like a homemade card or craft to warm a mama's heart.

This activity - Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day - includes a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms.
Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day - this is a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey."

This booklet includes 4 pages:
1. "My Mom in the Mirror" Cover page
2. When I look in the mirror I want my mom to see that she is: (writing)
3. Here is what I see when I look at my mom: (drawing)

4. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! (coloring)


**I have also included an additional blank mirror template if you would like your students to complete an additional customizable page.

The packet includes full teacher/student directions:

Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day - this is a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey."
Here's a sample picture of what each page in the booklet looks like:
Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day - this is a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey."
Isn't that cute?! I just know that your students' moms will be so touched by the sweet sentiments. Make your Mother's Day lesson planning a breeze with this cute and memorable craftivity - trust me, you'll be glad you did! 

You can purchase this print-and-go packet in my TPT store.

*CLOSED!*
Plus - as a special offer for my blog readers, I'd love to GIVE AWAY A FREE COPY!
Here's how it works:
1. Pin this image:
Mom in the Mirror: Reflections for Mother's Day - this is a cute and meaningful PRINT-AND-GO craftivity for your students to complete. This fun booklet is intended to show appreciation for your students’ beautiful, hard-working moms. Resource created by Jessica Lawler, "Joy in the Journey."
2. Leave a comment on this blog post with the URL of your pin (click "see it now" to get the URL)
I'll choose a winner on Monday night! (April 18th)
Happy pinning!

UPDATED: By popular demand, I have updated my Mother's Day Craftivity to include options for all the special ladies in your students’ lives: Mom, Grandma, Grandmother, Nana, and Aunt


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's Cookin' Wednesday: Sweet & Tangy Chicken

Don't tell my Kitchenmaid, but my crock pot might just be my favorite kitchen appliance :). I love the convenience of prepping dinner in the morning and then enjoying the delicious smells wafting through the house all day long. 
Today on "What's Cookin' Wednesday" I want to share with you one of my recent favorite crock pot recipes - it's quickly become a go-to in our household. 
This quick and easy crock pot meal is the delicious blend of sweet and tangy - and with only four ingredients, it's a great go-to for week night dinners.


It's delicious, easy, and only includes four ingredients. Yes, you read that right: four. And the best part? All you do is just dump each item in the crock pot and walk away. An impressive dinner that's sure to please in 5 minutes flat - Can't beat that.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 c. french dressing
  • 1 c. apricot preserves/jam/jelly
  • 1 pkg. onion soup mix

Directions:

1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock pot.
2. Add the french dressing, apricot preserves, and onion soup mix.
3. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
4. Serve over rice or with mashed potatoes.

And that's it! 
Sweet, tangy goodness that makes my mouth water just thinking about it!
So what are you waiting for? Add it to your menu next week - Your taste buds will thank you for it.

Looking for more recipe ideas?
Check out my food-pinspired boards on Pinterest:


Do you have a go-to recipe that you LOVE? I'd love to hear about it - leave a comment below :)

FREE Ideas for Celebrating April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day was always a fun day in my 5th grade classroom. 
I love celebrating silly holidays with kids - and always worked hard to balance the fun (read: zany silliness) with our regularly scheduled activities. 

Here is a compilation of fun FREE ideas you could implement in your classroom on April Fool's Day {April 1st}. 
A Mountain of Morning Work
The first things that I like to do on April Fool's Day is shock my students with a big ole mountain of morning work. 
This is usually their crazy list of tasks:
1. Read three novels and write complete essay summaries for each one in your reading journal
2. Write out your 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 times tables
3. In your spelling notebook, write each word from this week's spelling list 8 times each.
4. Memorize the Declaration of Independence
5. Make a 3D model of the solar system using items in your desk
6. Write a 16-page persuasive letter to the principal, convincing her that you need an additional recess period.

Another variation: 
Ashley from said that she would always have her fourth graders write their homework assignments every morning. On April 1st she would have a longgggg list for them to copy - and when they were all done she would tell them to read the first letter of each assignment - it would spell "APRIL FOOLS" :)
Directions Test
Hand this out...and sit back to watch :)
It's hilarious - and a great discussion-launcher!
Definitely a memorable activity and a fun way to celebrate April Fool's Day.
I hand out the "test" and tell the students to read the directions very carefully and to work as quickly as they can. The key is most students don't read carefully - they just start following the directions as they go, calling out their age, jogging around the classroom saying, "I love school!," and working multiplication problems on the back, etc. However, if they read all the way through, they just need to write their name, draw a picture of a house, and smile at the teacher, showing that they followed the directions carefully. 
I usually have one or two who follow the instructions properly and I always make a big deal about them and shower them with praise and sometimes a small prize :)

You can download my "Directions Test" for FREE here:
*if you download it, please leave feedback!

Opposite Day Activities
Now the official Opposite Day is January 25th, but April Fool's Day also makes an excellent excuse to celebrate and do a fun assortment of opposite activities - some of these ideas are so fun your students will forget that they're learning! :)
"My Opposite Age" asks students to imagine that the numbers in their age have been switched!  They must write a journal entry about what their life is now like – and include a picture!. (For example if they are 06 years old, they pretend that they’re 60! If they’re 12 years old, they pretend they’re now 21.) Note: If they’re 11 years old, they can choose to be 1 or 110 :)

"Opposite Learning" gives kiddos some practice with basic skills - but with an OPPOSITE twist :)
Also included are some fun antonym activities:
Wordless Word Search
My fifth graders love word searches - but this one will give them a run for their money and make them sweat all day long. You can let them work in pairs, you can up the ante, but there's no way they can finish this puzzle...because this is a wordless word search. That's right - NONE of the words in the word bank are actually in the word search. :)
You can snag this freebie from Second Grade Math Maniac

I Broke My Funny Bone
This one's a classic - a broken bone on April Fool's Day.
But this teacher actually made a feel-real "cast" out of paper towel rolls and zip loc bags and even had her students sign it - they totally bought it! Melissa from "Inspire Me ASAP" shares her story here: We Broke Our Funny Bone!
Lirpaloof
Denise from "Sunny Days in Second Grade" has an AWESOME April Fool's Day activity - send your kids on a lirpaloof hunt! You can give your students this reading passage:
Then hand out some carrots and head outside to lure the lirpaloofs out with singing.
While no lirpaloofs will appear, it will be funny to watch - and an activity your kiddos will not soon forget!

p.s. Doesn't this remind you of the scene in Up when Carl sends Russell off to find a "snipe" :)
Brown E's:
Every year I pull a small April Fools prank on my students. I tell them that I have brought it a special treat for the end of the day... brownies! But they have to work diligently all day in order to earn this treat.
But at the end of the day, this is what gets passed out... 
Hahahahah! Get it? 
A Brownie 
A brown E!
They are often SO confused...and then SO MAD! :)
But they soon laugh - and many take extras home to try the joke on their parents and siblings.

Phew! So many fun and silly ideas - I hope you can find one or two that you'd like to try with your students. I hope you have a fun-filled April Fools Day filled with friendly pranks and memorable silliness!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ideas for Teaching the TRUE Meaning of Easter

Happy Easter, friends!
Sweet Blessings: I Will Rise
Because Jesus conquered death on the cross, taking away the sins of humanity in a long-foretold rescue mission, and rose from the dead victoriously, we can live each day with joy, hope, and an everlasting relationship with the King of Kings!

Here's a super cute video that shares about the true meaning of Easter - from the mouths of babes :) Check it out:

  I know a lot of teachers are on Spring Break this week or next, so you might not have the chance to teach about the Easter story in-depth - but that's okay! It's never too late (or too early!) And for those of you who teach in a public school setting, perhaps you can use some of these ideas with your own children or in a Sunday School class.

As a new mom,  I have been thinking more and more about the importance of instilling biblical values in the hearts and lives of our kiddos.

Here are some awesome ideas to teach about the
TRUE Meaning of Easter:

As a Christian teacher, it is my deep desire to see my students grow in their faith and their relationship with God. This fun and interactive set of foldables is a great reminder and discussion-starter for the true meaning of Easter and why we celebrate more than Easter bunnies and egg hunts.
Every year my students created a lapbook/interactive notebook foldables to help them remember and retell the TRUE meaning of Easter:
As a Christian teacher, it is my deep desire to see my students grow in their faith and their relationship with God. This fun and interactive set of foldables is a great reminder and discussion-starter for the true meaning of Easter and why we celebrate more than Easter bunnies and egg hunts.
Here's what some teachers & parents who have purchased the packet have said:
Thank you for helping me teach my sons that it is not about the bunny :) Thank you for sharing your talent! xoxo" -Linda A.
Teaching in a Catholic school, it is important for me to find quality religious resources. This product is wonderful and will help make Easter more meaningful to the kids. I know they will love all the notebook activities. Thanks for sharing this! -Judy H.
Very excited about this! My kids are going to learn a lot from it and have fun doing so! Thank you so much for all the work you put into it! -Katherine M.

Each page comes with complete student directions and a suggested answer key - simplify your lesson planning this week with this print-and-go packet - you'll thank yourself later!
As a Christian teacher, it is my deep desire to see my students grow in their faith and their relationship with God. This fun and interactive set of foldables is a great reminder and discussion-starter for the true meaning of Easter and why we celebrate more than Easter bunnies and egg hunts.
If you download the packet and use it with your students, please leave feedback to benefit other teachers who are interested. Thanks!

Secondly, my kiddos LOVED completing this Easter Wreath craft that tells the Easter story in sequential order using pictures and verses. It is a FREE printable activity from Wee Little Miracles
wee little miracles: Make an Easter Story Wreath {free printables!} still trying to get the printing to work-
Click HERE to be taken to her website.
Instead of the wreath, we put Erin's printables on a cross:
Here are some other FUN & FREE ideas to teach little ones about Easter: (click on each picture to be taken to the website of activities)
Empty Easter Tomb Biscuits #easter #JESUS #resurrectionsunday ---> http://www.katiescrochetgoodies.com/2014/03/how-to-explain-true-meaning-of-easter.htmlChrist-Centered Easter Activities and Crafts: Make the true meaning of Easter meaningful and memorable!
Sweet Truth of Easter - M craft for kids!Free Scripture Hunt Printable! Use this to teach your children the true meaning of Easter while also providing a fun and engaging activity!

Happy Easter, friends!