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The Baby is Missing!

This will be my last posting until January 8th. I want to take a break from blogging and technology in general to have an old fashioned Christmas with my family. All 17 of us will gather in our house on Christmas evening to find the pickle ornament hidden in the tree, to open gifts and be surprised to find another new toothbrush this year. We will feast Cornish hens, twice baked potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, cranberry salad, and of course, cheesecake to celebrate my lovely daughter's Christmas birthday. We will also read the Christmas storybook I created years ago using old Christmas cards, and all nine grandchildren will help me tell the story.

I love an old devotional in Our Daily Bread entitled Where's the Baby? I think it is excellent, and wanted to share it with you. It goes like this.

*Two women, who were dressed in their finest, were having lunch together in a very exclusive restaurant. A friend saw them and came over to their table to greet them. "What's the special occasion?" she asked. One of the women said, "We're having a birthday party for the baby in our family. He's two years old today." "But where's the baby," the friend asked. The child's mother answered, "Oh, I dropped him off at my mother's house. She is taking care of him until the party is over. It wouldn't have been any fun with him along."

How ridiculous! A birthday celebration for a child who wasn't welcomed at his own party! Yet, when you stop to think about it, that's no more foolish than going through the Christmas season without remembering the One whose birth we are supposed to be honoring!

And that's how many people celebrate Christmas. In all their busyness - the party going, gift shopping, decorating, and family gatherings - the One whose birthday they are commemorating is almost completely forgotten.

As you move through the holiday season, in all of your good times with your family and friends, make sure you don't leave out the Lord Jesus. Give Him the honor He deserves.

Christmas blessings to each of you.  May the New Year bring you joy and contentment.


*DeHaan, Richard, Where's the Baby? Our Daily Bread, Dec. 14, 2000, RBC Ministries,

Gift Giving Time

Merry Christmas to all the truly dedicated teachers of the world! It doesn't matter if you are a classroom teacher, a homeschool Mom or Dad, a tutor, a Sunday school teacher, or even a grandparent because you are all teachers in your own right. You should be applauded as such because each of you makes a difference in the lives of children each and every day.

To show just how much you are appreciated, a variety of Teacher Pay Teachers sellers have put together five TPT Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies E-Books which are our free gifts to you. The five digital books are divided based on grade level: Pre-K, 1-2, 3-5, and 6-12. The upper grade books are grouped according to discipline, one for math and science and one for language arts and the humanities. Each book contains different activities that represent subject areas such as reading, science, math, etc. Each contributor has also included one holiday tip or activity idea. Be sure to sit down and read through all of the wonderful teaching tips and download the freebies! So get that flash drive ready to have some Christmas gift giving fun because this time, you are on the receiving end!!

Just click the grade level link below and start the free download!  
Grades 1-2

PreK - K
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-12
Math & Science

Grades 6-12
Language Arts & Humanities

My gift to you is The A, B, C’s of Number Tiles, a ten page free resource. It is in the Grades 6-12 Winter Holiday E-Book.

Faux Diamonds

In some preschool and kindergarten classes across the country, the geometric shape formerly known as a diamond is now being called a rhombus.  Why?  Does it matter? 

To be honest, a diamond is not technically a mathematical shape whereas a rhombus is.  When someone says the word rhombus, you know they are referring to a quadrilateral that has all four sides the same length; the opposite sides are parallel, and the opposite angles are equal.  (Mathematical Warning: A rhombus is not thinner than a diamond, AND the plural form, rhombi, is not a dance performed on the program Dancing With the Stars.)  

But what comes to mind when you hear the word diamond?  If you are a woman, you might envision a large sparkling gem setting on the ring finger of your left hand.  If you are a guy, you might think of a baseball infield. (The distance between each base is the same, making the shape a diamond.)  If you play cards, the word might bring to mind a suit of playing cards, OR you might recall a line in the song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  Calling a rhombus a diamond is similar to calling a child a "kid" (could be a baby goat), or a home your "pad" (might be a notebook).  The first is an accurate term, the second one is not. 

So how does this affect you as a teacher?  It doesn't, unless rhombus is on a local benchmark or state test.  But if you are an elementary grade teacher, please use the correct mathematical language because a middle school math teacher will thank you; a high school geometry teacher will sing your praises, (see song below) and a college math teacher, like me, will absolutely love you for it!

Rhombus, Rhombus, Rhombus
  (sung to the "Conga" tune)
(The song where everyone is in a line with their hands on each other's shoulders)

 Rhombus, rhombus, rhombus;
Rhombus, rhombus, rhombus
Once it was diamond;
Now it's called a rhombus.