Sunday, February 24, 2013

God's Cricket Bat?

Last week D and I had a great chat about his favourite sport.  Cricket!  

I heard about ducks and sixes and fours and men with long and complicated names.  I heard about summer conditions and helmets and pads and types of shoes.  I heard about the seam on the cricket ball and the wickets and teams and the scores.  

The message we discussed was about Jesus' temptation in the desert.  We talked about how Jesus 'fought' off the Devil.  D worked it out all on his own that Jesus was using the Armour of God.  Of course, there are some things that are not the same but basically Jesus stood firm in the knowledge that He was the son of God.  He was ready and He stood firm against Satan in the sandals of peace and in the breastplate of righteousness.  Jesus used the shield of his Faith and especially, the Sword of the Spirit to put Satan in his place.  Jesus was the perfect example of a soldier of God.  

This week, D brought his cricket kit to Junior Soldiers and showed us all the bits and pieces.  D put on the padded gloves and both D and J told me all about the ball and the bat and the gloves and the pads and their purpose.  D used a 'soldier' template to make a Cricket Player with all his gear on.  We talked about how the pads protect the body and the helmet protects the face.  D told me that no one wore helmets to play cricket until a professional player broke his jaw during a game when a ball hit him.  From then on it was decided that players who were in close range of bowling and batting would wear helmets.  

The kids constructed their own "Armour of God" today.  I brought along two large boxes (one had initially housed an air conditioner and another had contained a chair from IKEA) and we cut pieces from the boxes.  We cut up Pepsi Max boxes for helmets and wrapped parts of the cardboard in aluminium foil to make swords and breastplates.  At the end of our lesson today, we filmed a video of Ephesians 6:10-20.  I read from the Scripture and the boys dressed up in the armour as each item was mentioned.  While his handmade sword was pretty cool, J insisted on using the cricket bat as his "sword of the Spirit".  The boys expressions were a bit deadpan, but the video itself looks quite precious and when we showed our minister he said that we should play it in the church service next week.  So, that will be fun. 

Unfortunately, I am unable to show you the video just yet, but as you can see I have 'illustrated' this blogpost with several images that will be included in the edited video.  Consider it a sneak peek.  

We have really enjoyed learning about the Armour of God over the last few weeks.  I think it has also helped the kids to spend a few weeks on the topic instead of skipping onto the next thing so quickly.  Next week we will begin talking about missionary projects and then move into Lent and the Salvo's Self-Denial Appeal.  So, that will link the topics and activities we do until Easter.  

Don't forget to put on your Armour of God this week! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

An Odd Story

Today we take a break from talking about The Amour of God... don't worry I will get back to it. But the BFF says this one has to go on the blog and what the BFF says, goes.

During our numeracy lesson on Tuesday I asked for a student volunteer to tell me if the daily number was odd or even.  Patrick raised his hand and eagerly announced that the number was odd (it was, in fact, even).  I replied, “Okay Patrick, why do you think it is odd?”  Patrick, without skipping a beat, answered, “I don’t know Miss, it just looks kind of weird.” 

I haven't heard that one before.  

That's that then.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kids in the Armour of God

Last week I said I would include photos.  I didn't take photos today.  Sorry. 

Today we played a few games.  One of the boys got very distressed (he threw a tantrum) because he didn't win the game.  We completed an activity sheet where the boys had their own soldier and a page of Armour pieces.  We cut out the shield, sword, sandals, helmet, breast plate, belt and then glued them onto the soldier in the correct places.  D finished first so he then added labels to his solider to make it look like mine.  While we were completed the cut and paste activity (with a bit of colouring), I talked to the boys about times when Satan tries to get us to do the wrong thing.  I reminded them that things don't always go our way and we might be tempted to hurt other people.  God tells us to put on His Armour so that we can stand firm against the Devil.  I asked the boys to mention times when we might be tempted to hurt others.  When we wear the sandals of the Gospel of Peace, we don't have to worry about other people or Satan or situations making us weak, but we can return to the peace that only a relationship with Jesus can give.  When we wear the Belt of Truth we don't have to worry about the horrible things people say to us, because we know the Truth about ourselves and God's love.  

When the kids were finished their soldiers, we played hangman (which I later decided we should probably change) using 'parts' of the Armour.  When we worked out the "Sword of the Spirit" I asked the boys if it was a real sword.  They remembered, thankfully, that it wasn't a sword but what it really meant was The Bible.  God's Word is the greatest 'weapon' we have to 'fight' against Satan. 

Next week will be more 'sitting' and talking instead of running and chasing and doing.  I will only have one child attending.  So, it will be a great opportunity to talk one on one with him about his relationship.  It is a rare opportunity. 

Don't forget to put on your Armour every morning when you get ready to face the world.  Remember every item and that God is with you always.  

RESOURCES: I drew a soldier and the accessories myself.  But if you would prefer to just press print, check out these links. 
Black and White Poster 
Printable in various colours

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Schools In!

Most Australian schools are back in action.  Next week the rest will follow suit (except for some flood affected schools) and before you know it we will be counting down to "Easter" break.  We always called it Easter break because it always coincided with Easter.  However, national curriculum, alignment of state education holidays and several other factors have resulted in a change in the timing of the first mid-semester break in the year.  I don't know why this is bothering me, it just is.

This week, the first week back has been very busy.  If you are a regular you are probably thinking "when is she not busy?"  and my answer to that is, "about two weeks ago." LOL

Year 8 and 9 students
think they are sooo cool.
Between flood damage, recovering from the flu, lost stationery orders, medical appointments, broken glasses, new glasses and a spot of shopping.  The new school year began.  I met my year 8 classes on Thursday and as always I will have to be on the ball.  One of my classes is almost entirely made up of "spirited" boys.  The other class is more balanced in terms of gender and much quieter.  In that group there are two boys who "enjoy participating in classroom discussions but sometimes require support to stay on task".  That's right people, I have already started writing their semester 1 report comments (LOL).  All in all, my year 8's are okay.  We have lots of work to do and they will discover what it means to be busy.

I had my first year 9 lesson on Friday.  They are a great bunch of kids.  All of whom I met last year when I was team teaching with TPK.  Although TPK has left (to teach at another school, boo hoo) and now I have a new teaching partner, I think she will always be TPK.  Anyway, we had a lovely lesson together just catching up and talking about the plans for this year.  I am really looking forward to working with these guys.

That's enough about school...

I bought a new air conditioner for my bedroom yesterday.  WOOHOO!  It was a delight to sleep through the night without waking up in a lather of sweat.  If you are thinking "GROSS" you might begin to have a sense of what I used to think when I woke up hot and wet.  ICK!  My new little friend is not-so-little and a bit noisy, but it does the job exceptionally well, so I'm cool, calm and collected through the night.  Well, I'm cool anyway.

My new laminator has been working hard and it has been nice to have posters and other decorations ready for school. Ooops. I wasn't talking about school- you just think I was. Did I mention that my stationery order got lost and it has only been processed this week, so my students still don't have pens or folders or notebooks?! We are using lined paper and I asked my new Teaching Partner to buy a box of biros when she was at office works.  Hopefully that will keep us going, but it is quite frustrating to think that I did my order in November 2012 and it still hasn't left the school yet.  How are we supposed to work like this?

Okay, seriously, no more school....

I returned to church today after a month of slacking off.  I wasn't really slacking off.  Last week I was sick and the week before Mum and Dad didn't go because they were at a wedding, so I didn't have a ride.  The week before the wedding, Mum and Dad didn't go because they were visiting people, I think, and the week before that I was going to go with Dad but he was sick.  So I had a good reason, every week.  Anyway, we started Junior Soldiers for the year and began a series on The Armour of God.  Each Sunday for the month of February, I will be adding a quick 'run down' here of the activities that we do around this theme.  The Junior Soldier program had only one week/ session on this topic, but it is such a rich (and important) passage for my boys to understand that we are taking our time to learn more about it.  The concept of "the spiritual realm" is difficult enough to grasp before you even get to the 5 items that make up the armour.

I didn't get photos of everything we did today, so I will show them next week.  We started by thinking about school (as we went back to school this week) and all the new things we buy to get us through the school year.  J brought along his soccer and boxing kits and told us all about the clothing and protective gear that you use when playing each sport.  We talked about the importance of each item and that if you don't have even one of them, you could get hurt or perform poorly on the field/ in the ring.  Then we read Ephesians 6:10-18 and as each item was mentioned we put labels onto my drawing of a soldier in armour.

So that's the latest... I think.