Social Studies and Vocabulary

For many years I have found that students struggle most with vocabulary. Especially in science and social studies. I have found that talking about words, using words, study words, and writing with words helps students the most in conquering this vocabulary divide!

I just added several vocabulary packets to my TpT store for social studies and cannot wait for you all to check them out! Each packet includes a interactive notebook entry as well as vocabulary quiz. Sometimes I use the interactive notebook pieces as flashcards (fold them the other way) or a matching game (cut them completely apart).

The Civil War

The Reconstruction Era

Westward Expansion and the Turn of the Century

World War I and the Roaring Twenties

The Great Depression

The packets also have BONUSES!!!!! They include a standard poster, essential question poster, and achievement descriptors poster!

Time to Move On

It has been awhile. I know. There are reasons that I will be sharing soon, but not here. I am leaving Shining the Light in Third Grade and moving to a new blog! It’s a Ruff Life can be found here. I would love to have you all join me in my new journey with this new blog. Please come check it out and follow me!

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Compassion International Adoption

The Compassion International trailer was in our town last week. This trailer allows people to experience being in another country without leaving the country. You are able to walk through the lives of two students that have been sponsored by Compassion International donations. 

Kyle took some of the students from our youth group and adopted one of the students from Africa. His name is Nardos. I spent some time today making posters, prayer cards, and reminders to pray for Nardos. 

We are going to give one of these to each of our students to take home as a reminder to pray for Nardos. 

I made one of these for each Sunday school room. On the back is some personal information about Nardos. 

This will help our teachers make Nardos real to the students. 

I also made posters for our youth center and hangout room. We will be able to add the letters that Nardos writes to us and have a drop off basket for our students to leave letters to send to Nardos. 

I can’t wait to get these back to curve and set up. I’m so excited to see our students take on the task of funding Nardos through Compassion International and encouraging him through letters and pictures. 


Our students took the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS) last April. Most people would think that we would get their scores back within a month of taking the assessment, BUT that was not the case this year. After the test this past April we were told October would be when our scores would be released. October turned into January. Then, all of the sudden I receive an email in early November that my GMAS scores are in.

The results are ugly! I am used to 100% of my students passing the CRCT Mathematics portion. (the CRCT is what Georgia used to give as a standardized assessment). I knew the GMAS was going to be more difficult and I had been given a warning that the state was predicting that less than half of the students would pass the assessment the first year. Well, the state wasn’t lying.

I am not going to give my scores out because I have not been cleared to do so. I must say that although I am unhappy with the percentage of my students who passed, I had a higher percentage in my classes pass than the CES grade level average or state average.

I obviously need to make some adjustments to my teaching, start going deeper into their understand, and evaluate what I am doing as a professional. But I am proud of how hard most of my students worked on the GMAS. The next few months are going to be a lot of work as I reflect on how I teach, what I teach, and why my students did not perform as highly as I would have liked for them to.

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Don’t Read This if You Want to Feel Comfortable

Cherry Drop Princess you hit the nail on the head! Now let’s get out in the world and do something about it.

Cherry Drop Princess

You see that same woman standing there,outside theshopping centre,handing out her old fashioned bible tracts. You cringe. What is she thinking? This isn’t the way you share the message in this day and age.

There’s that man who standsnear the train station, yelling and shouting about the riches of heaven, working up sucha frenzy. people walk past and laugh. Is this what they think of Christians? They must think we’re nuts.

If only there were more nutters out there. More people who weren’t worried about making a fool of themselves for Christ.

People who will go out there, instead of sittling inside discussing stratergy.

People who don’t mind getting laughed at and mocked.

Yes, there isa time for being gentle about our faith. Butis that justan excuse for never really sharing it? Meeting friends for coffee with the intention of talking about the real things, “One day I’ll tell them…

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St. Vincent Series: Washing His Feet

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On Tuesday we had lunch on a black sand beach. The waves were big and the temptation to get into the water was too great for Kyle. He played in the ocean for a bit and then we headed to our second church for VBS. When we arrived I immediately got to work setting up and getting focused on the tasks ahead. Later in the day Kyle shared with me a special moment that happened during this setup and focusing time.

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Apparently a young boy (9 or 10 years old) saw Kyle’s feet and legs covered in sand from swimming in the ocean. He told Kyle he needed to rinse off. Kyle informed him he didn’t have anywhere to rinse. The young boy showed Kyle a sink at the nurse’s clinic across the road from the church. Anyone who knows Kyle knows he is not flexible and cannot come close to touching his toes, so the idea of lifting his leg into a sink at hip height is hilarious. Kyle managed to lift his leg (in an exaggerated manner) into the sink but proceeded to show the little boy that he could not reach his feet to wipe off the sand. The young boy didn’t even react. He immediately began to wash Kyle’s feet. He wiped his calves and feet off. If you haven’t seen, or smelled, Kyle’s feet BE THANKFUL! They smell awful and usually have a unique look to them. :/ It didn’t even phase the little boy.

Kyle asked him if he knew who else washed feet. The young boy knew that Jesus did. In John 13: 4-5, 12-17 the bible says, “so he [Jesus] got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him…When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Jesus was showing his disciples how they were to serve. He showed them that they were no better than anyone else, even though they were His disciples. He showed humility and service to his disciples and encouraged them to do the same.

This young boy was concerned for Kyle. He wanted to help. Not only did he help by showing Kyle where a sink was, but he washed his feet! He showed deep humility and had a HUGE servant’s heart.

As Kyle was sharing this with me Tuesday night I was brought to tears. What an experience! I wanted to meet this young man. I wanted to see this darling boy. I couldn’t wait to meet him!

Just from hearing this story from Kyle, God taught me that I am not too important to do anything. I am not special because I am the youth pastor’s wife. I am not any different than anyone else and should jump at the opportunity to serve others, no matter what is needed. I shouldn’t have to be asked. I shouldn’t think about it or look for excuses to get out of it. I should be the first person who is willing to serve, who is seeking to serve.

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The Cross is Not a Crutch

Fearfully Wonderfully Me did an amazing job of encouraging Christians to live lives for Christ not for ourselves seeking out religion. Thank you for sharing this blog post with us!

Fearfully Wonderfully Me


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I’ve often heard the argument from non-Christians that God is just a crutch for believers. He makes us feel better, gets us through tough times, and helps us deal with things when we can’t handle reality.

Well, I guess you could say there can be some truth to that statement. Here’s what I mean by this: God isn’t a crutch, but religion can be used as one.

Knowing this truth requires the understanding that being religious and following Jesus are two totally different concepts. With religion you can pray, go to church, study your Bible, and say and do all of the right things. Religion is about us and what we can do to make ourselves look and feel good. 

Being a true follower of Jesus Christ is realizing that there is nothing we can do anymore–God’s already done it all by sacrificing His one and only Son…

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Can you imagine a soldier without a helmet?

I love this!


Great visuals and ties to our own current world. Thanks for sharing this with us all!

Cherry Drop Princess

Can you imaging seeing a soldier without a helmet? I think you would be shocked. You would probably be thinking, you idiot! Do you want to die! I can tell you, if I ever found out my husband was riding a motorbike without a helmet I would have some pretty strong words to say to him!

Yet we don’t seem to be worried about people who are effectively running around a battle field without a helmet.

If people are not Christians, if they do not know the reality of Christ’s salvation, they are in even greater danger than a soldier who goes to battle on the front line without a helmet. They are as good as dead.

That should worry us.

If we do not accepted Christ, and put on the helmet of his salvation, then we are as good as dead.

This is serious stuff.

Christ saved you. He took…

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Do You Really Want to Get Well?

Fearfully Wonderfully Me continually writes great posts that remind me of my need for God. This post hits close to home for some of the things I have been praying for myself as well as for others.

Fearfully Wonderfully Me

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(Photo Credit)

All of us suffer from something–usually multiple issues–at any given time. We may need physical healing, mental healing, a new job, restored relationships, financial stability, or any other relief from suffering.

No matter what needs healing, Jesus Christ has the power to deliver us. He may touch us directly, or He might use other people or resources to provide for our needs.

In John chapter 5, we see another example of Jesus healing someone. The passage describes a pool where the physically disabled go to lie. Every so often, an angel from God would come down and stir up the waters of the pool. When Jesus goes to this pool, he meets a man who has been lying there disabled for thirty-eight years. Although we expect healing for this man right away, something different happens:

When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been

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