A Strong Math Foundation: Ages 3-5

IMG_2868Summer is here! Maybe your preschooler is on his/her way to kindergarten in August. Or perhaps your have a rising first grader who could use a review. Here’s something you can do with your kiddos to help them be prepared for the math they will do.

Before children can do basic addition and subtraction, they need to conceptually understand what makes a group. This basic mathematical skill is called sorting. But it’s often overlooked as we eagerly jump right into counting… and then adding and subtracting. Not fully understanding a concept can create problems when mathematical concepts become more complicated. You may have experienced this yourself- you learned facts and were able to memorize them, so you did well in math…until middle school.

So while you are waiting for your child to go to pre-school, kindergarten, or even first grade, here is a fun activity you can do at home. There are no workbooks or flashcards involved. YAY! Just fun and tasty…and nearly free. That’s always good.

IMG_2856You will need some things to sort. You can use: fruit loops, gummy bears, jelly beans. ANYTHING.IMG_2854

COLOR is good for beginning sorters.

I spray painted medal baby food jar lids to sort.

IMG_2859You may want to have a container to sort your colors into like muffin tins. Say to your child, “Put these fruit loops into groups that are the same.” After they have sorted them by color, say, “You made five different groups.”

Sorting by Color With Gummy Bears

You can even show this by making circles around the groups. Once children are able to easily sort by color, you can sort by something a little more difficult: shape-circles, squares, and triangles.IMG_2853

The whole time you are sorting you emphasize GROUP.

ADDITION is putting groups together. This group plus this group makes this group.

IMG_2867

IMG_2863SUBTRACTION is separating groups. “I have 5 gummy bears. I share 1 with you. Now I have 4.” 

Keep skills real…concrete…something they can touch. Worksheets and flashcards require visualization which students at this age are usually not ready for. (The transition from concrete/real objects to abstract/no objects occurs some where between 5-7 so some children will be ready to add/subtract in “their head.”)

International Delight Coffee Cans Painted Black. Numbers Written with White-Out

Counting will be a natural outcome when your child makes a group. “One, two, three, four, five. There are FIVE in this group.” The next gradual step is to match the group with the symbol on the can. I made this activity for FREE. I spray painted my INTERNATIONAL DELIGHT coffee cans with black spray paint. Then I painted the symbol/number with WHITE OUT. Sorting, counting, matching the symbol to the group is the natural process.

  Have fun this summer!

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Debbie taught math foundations and early literacy for children ages birth-eight for the past thirty-five years. 

Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

 

 

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Letting Go-Living Life Together:Inspiration #6

20170607_152855Letting go of the past isn’t always easy. For most though, the decision to “let go” catapults us into a new beginning, either physically or emotionally.

Today I symbolically let go of a 35 year teaching career by handing over my teaching materials to some of my favorite teachers. I had the best career and I loved teaching—first, elementary school, and then later becoming a college instructor, training students to become the best teachers. I loved being influential in helping my students succeed… all of them—from kindergarten to college. But that part of my life is over now. I look forward to the new ways that I can be impactful and be used by God.

Do you need to let go? Maybe it’s a painful memory that holds you at bay, keeping you from becoming all that God has prepared for you. Perhaps it’s shame or guilt that make you feel “less than.” Maybe you think God can’t use you or worse, doesn’t want to use you. It’s just not true. Or maybe you’re just like me—your past was wonderful but the time has come to move on and serve in another capacity.

God tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Then there’s more good news in Philippians 3:13-14, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

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Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Summer Writing Project your PreK-8 Children Will Love!

IMG_2531

Schools out for summer and the kids are home. I can attest to the validity of studies suggesting that students can digress academically over the summer. It can take up to six weeks of review just to put them back at the level they were prior to summer break. What would help them stay at and even exceed their current level in reading and writing?

Not a workbook or worksheets.

Not flashcards.

These can be boring, not on the appropriate interest level for the child, and meaningless. Bring some EXCITEMENT into a reading & writing project that is inexpensive, fun to do and a keepsake too!

While having fun and creating a memory, your children will practice:

  • Spelling
  • Complete sentence structureIMG_2532
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Phonics
  • Context clues
  • Handwriting

In addition, he/she will become confident in his/her abilities and self-esteem will be strengthened. Confidence in oneself is motivation for learning in all areas.

IMG_2524

 

1. Purchase a spiral notebook, three-prong folder with loose leaf paper or plain typing paper, or a journal from the a dollar store.

2. You will need a camera. (Digital or single use camera)

3. Using markers, title the journal or notebook, My Summer Time Fun (or something else

you like)

4. Each day your child writes about something he/she did or experienced. Someone can take a picture of them doing it or they can illustrate a picture themselves.It can be very simple:

IMG_2528

“Today I climbed a tree.”

“I went to Home Depot with Dad to buy paint.”

“We had a picnic at the lake.”

Dictation- For a Non-Reader/Writer

Pre-k children can tell you about their picture and you can write down what he/she

says (dictation).

K-1 children shouldn’t worry about perfect spelling. “Sounding out words” is still

using phonics, which is necessary. But with so many silent letters or letters that “break the rules,” children could become frustrated. The point is to ENJOY the process of writing and to write meaningful content. The more reading and writing your child does,

Summer After Third Grade

they will see the correct spellings. Older children can be expected to write more.

5. Take the journal on vacation. Take pictures, cut them out and glue them down and write about what’s happening. You can use the pictures from postcards and paper menus too.

6. Provide your children with lots of experiences so they have something to write about. Again, these are as simple as “We planted flowers.” or “I helped mommy make a cake.”

8. You can also write your own cards                                                                                                   and letters for Grandparents.

9. Children are eager to read back to you what they’ve written.

A Sixth Grader's Journal Entry

10. Finally, what a wonderful keepsake for everybody! Worksheets usually get thrown away but a journal like this while be saved for the next generation to read about what “their Grandpa did when he was six.”

Enjoy this summer and write on!

Debbie was a former K-3 teacher for 9 years and a college instructor for 21 years where she taught future teachers successful reading and writing strategies.

Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

 

 

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Are you Waiting? Living Life Together: Inspiration # 5

hand-1819357_1920 - CopyThe storm passed, taking with it sheets of rain and fierce winds, resulting in a cloudless, perfect sky. It was during this storm that I waited for my daughter to meet up with us. After a three hour drive she safely arrived to join us at the beach. But the three hours I waited felt like THREE-HUNDRED.

Are you waiting? Are you waiting for God to show up and do a miracle? Are you waiting for the answers to the questions you have been asking? Are you waiting for specific direction before you make a move?  How would you complete this:

I am waiting for_________________________________.

Waiting for God’s answer can feel like an eternity

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

If you’re weary, tell God about it. If you feel like giving up, tell God about it. He will renew your strength. SHINE ON!

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Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

 

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What’s that Smell?

african-bush-squirrel-1580058_1920The sense of smell can be a beautiful thing. With it we experience the pleasure of tasty food.

The smell of lavender envelopes me with peace, and honeysuckle floods my heart with joy. What are your favorite smells? How does a “favorite aroma” make you feel? What are some of the ways you make your living environment pleasant to the senses?

Can you imagine our lives without the sense of smell? Or maybe you don’t imagine; perhaps it is your reality.

Some smells create a memory. My husband said that honeysuckle “transports him back to his youth when school was out and summer was just beginning.”

But some smells can be a bad thing. Perfume, for example, is a pleasing scent for many, but for my friend, Jan, she becomes “massively sick” to the fragrance of perfume, soap, candles, and other synthetic smells, including household cleaners.

The stench of something rotten in a garbage can also be nauseating.

What smells make you want to run the other way?

Whether we use our sense of smell or not, we all emit an odor.

2 Cor. 2:14 tells us, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

We are a fragrance—a pleasing aroma to God. The more we become like Christ, we become the fragrance of new life.

The gospel message is like incense diffused everywhere. Those who live for Christ share the gospel and radiate His love. This lovely fragrance rises up to God. Those who reject Christ, reject the fragrance and the result is death. But these who receive the gospel become the fragrance of life.

What needs to “die” in our life so that we will “live” a life-giving aroma to those around us?

When people get a whiff, is the “scent” we exude nauseating or uplifting?

Today, let’s ask God to help us be a sweet smelling aroma to others.

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Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

**Photo:pixabay

 

 

 

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The Hope of Good Friday

drought with flowerCircumstances are difficult. Questions and confusion fog your mind.  Indecisiveness, fear, and worry keep you awake at night. If this describes you… Good Friday is your promise of hope. We call it Good Friday because we know the outcome. God’s plan and purpose was true.

But there was nothing good about “that Friday” for the mother watching her son tortured, or for loved ones watching their friend beaten and mocked. But God had a plan and beautiful Sunday would come!

May today be a reminder that God still has a plan—a personal plan for you. Romans 8:28 tells us, “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)

Not EVERY-SINGLE-THING that we go through in this life is good… but collectively they become good and are used to fulfill God’s purpose.

Your Sunday is coming! Keep the faith. God is never without a plan.

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Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs Shining Together! Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

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Polished~ Biblical Womanhood

Polished womenIn April 2015, skincare and beauty line Dove posed a world-wide question to women in which they were asked to walk through one of two doors. One door was labeled “beautiful” and the other door was “average.” A shocking 96 per cent walked through the average door, leaving just four per cent to admit they consider themselves beautiful.

One participant said, “Beautiful, to me, is too far out of reach.” Another woman confessed, “It was confronting to see these signs, and to have to choose, and be self-conscious of how you perceive yourself and if it lines up with how the rest of the world perceives you.”

An American participant added, “Am I choosing because of what is constantly bombarded at me and what I’m being told that I should accept? Or am I choosing because that’s what I really believe?”

How would you describe a beautiful woman? Would it encompass more than just the external appearance? Is beauty more than a physical attribute?

I, too, have wrestled with what it means to be a truly beautiful woman.

I ask myself, Am I enough?

I like what one participant said in the Dove survey. She said, “Knowing that it’s your decision to feel beautiful is so powerful. Once you realize that, no one can make you feel otherwise.”

 With so many diverse ideas, many of which contradict each other, I am compelled to turn to God’s Word for His view of women. After all, the Creator of women can best define His intention, a women’s role, and her purpose. When God describes a woman He deliberately chooses every word. He doesn’t waste His words, mix them up, or use them incorrectly.

In Psalm 144:12b God uses these words to describe a woman: Our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace” (KJV).

Webster’s dictionary defines polished as: “shiny,” as a result of being rubbed; accomplished, skillful, and refined. In the Hebrew, polished means: “To cut with a chisel; to make smooth.”

A sculptor uses a chisel to sculpt an ornament. In the context of our verse, a Polished Woman is likened or compared to the ornamental columns of a palace.

The implication is that woman are:

  • Strong
  • Beautiful
  • Wise
  • Refined
  • Cornerstones
  1. As polished women, we are shrouded in strength.

How would you describe a palace column? Would these words fit? Weight-bearing,                         supportive, pristine, unshakable, dependable, strong, powerful

Columns hold structures up or serve as the foundation on which something else is held.

This same level of strength enables women to resist the temptation to believe they are anything less than worthy. Satan lies about our worth. He uses:

  • Social Media
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Magazines
  • Bad friends/relationships

Each of these can be a vehicle to directly or indirectly tell women that:

  • You don’t fit in.
  • You’re too young or too old.
  • You’re not good enough.
  • You’re not smart enough.
  • You’re not pretty enough.
  • You’re too fat or too thin.
  • You’re boring or untalented.
  • You’re not worthy of respect.
  • You’re less than.

Satan is on mission to destroy your self-worth, your purpose, and your identity.

Anyone can believe lies. But to disregard the lies of the enemy and choose to believe what God says about her, takes a courageous, strong woman.

  1. As polished women, we are beautiful.

A plain, wooden column can do its intended job to support. But a sculptor chisels away the rough wood to create something beautiful. The sculptor does this so his columns will stand out. Their beauty reflects the pride and skills of the column maker. Likewise, our beauty reflects the skill of our Creator.

Zechariah 2:8b tells us that those who belong to Christ are the apple of God’s eye. The apple is the pupil of the eye. When we look into another person’s eye, we see our reflection. Similarly, when God looks into our eyes, He sees His reflection. We are made in the image of Christ. And that is the highest compliment.

How beautiful do you feel?

More important than our external appearance is our inner beauty. Our physical appearance will change with age. But inner beauty will last forever.

God designed our brains. We may not be good or smart in everything but we are all accomplished and skillful at something.

What are your strengths? Don’t be embarrassed—your strengths reveal the skill of the Creator!

Hebrews 13:21 tells us that God equips us with the thing you need to accomplish your purpose.

  1. As polished women, we are wise. 

This woman recognizes that her help comes from God and turns to Him to receive it. Life is just tough sometimes.

  • People can be mean.
  • Gossip and slander hurt.
  • People fail us.
  • Not getting the job we wanted can disappoint.
  • Marriage requires work.
  • Children need guidance.

Dependence on God is called humility. God calls a lack of humility a sin (Proverbs 8:13). It actually creates the domino effect and leads to other sins: arrogance, self-sufficiency, self-reliance (Proverbs 16:18). God never intended us to live separate from Him and on our own.

God does not tire of hearing from us. What do you need His help for today?

  1. As polished women, we are refined.

Women go through the refining process in much of the same way that a gold and silversmith refine their stones.

After years of being squeezed under the heat and pressure of the earth, the rock is broken and impurities, called dross, come to the surface. The refiner removes the dross, leaving behind gold and silver. The silversmith knows his work with the silver is completed when he can look into his work and see his image.

When life brings the heat and pressure, our impurities surface. And like the dross, God scraps it off. Diamonds have inclusions (a clarity characteristic) and these do not go away. They make the diamond unique. We, too, will emerge as sparkling diamonds, gold, and silver—precious and beautifully unique. And just like the silversmith, God will see His reflection in us. Imagine! God is the original goldsmith.

  1. As polished women, we are cornerstones.

Jesus is called the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Are you surprised that women are also called cornerstones?

The cornerstone holds the structure together. As the foundation on which something else is constructed, it is both essential and valuable. What an honor to have this most important position in the eyes of God. Women are the moral glue that bonds families, communities, and nations together.

As cornerstones, women are:

  • Influential
  • Worthy
  • Respectable
  • Strong
  • Capable
  • Accomplished
  • Skilled
  • Competent
  • Qualified
  • Dignified

Women are made on purpose and with a purpose. Just look in the Bible for women that God used to change history: Rahab, Esther, Ruth. If you believe anything else about women then you have accepted the lie from Satan. Choose to believe what God says about you and own the beauty that comes with this position.

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Debbie is a published author, national speaker and workshop presenter, and a partner with the Polished Conference Ministries L.L.C. She facilitates an online Bible study page on Facebook, teaches Bible study in her church, and blogs at Living Life Together. Debbie has written Shine! Radiating the Love of God, a Bible study designed exclusively for young women ages 13-18. Additionally, she has articles in the Divine Moments series, and is a monthly contributor to Refined Magazine. All books are available at grace-publishing.com. She would love to speak at your next women’s event, teen event, or at the college where she brings an inspirational message to teachers in training called, “A Christian Perspective for an Inspirational Classroom.” Debbie is married and has three adult children. She travels from Asheville, NC. Visit her website at www.debbiepresnell.com, email her at: debpres@yahoo.com, or visit her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShineEveryDayNC.

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