Merry Christmas From The Hancocks

coldnessHello everyone! Now that the craziness of the end of school for 2010 has passed by I just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful support this last term and for the lovely gifts you were so generous in giving. Bob especially loved the food items and we had to keep telling him to not eat any more brownie squares! All the gifts were wonderful and we have been enjoying them as we relax and spend tie with our families. We are in Edmonton right now where the day is beautiful and the temperature is a balmy -20. Siena doesn’t quite know what to make of it. She likes the snow but not the coldness so much.

Deanne, Siena, Liam and I would like to wish all your family a wonderful and safe Christmas and that you would find the break to be a refreshing of the spirits with the anticipation of the year ahead filling you with a sense of hope for what lies ahead.

I always like to include this commentary by Ben Stein as I think it speaks perfectly to the season and the craziness in which the real message needs to fight through to be heard.

I keep seeing in the newspapers that it might not be a “good” Christmas because while visits to stores are up, purchases per visit are down very slightly.

There is also some fear that it might not be a “good” holiday season because fears about the housing correction will scare shoppers into keeping their wallets zipped.

I’m fascinated by this, because I have looked through a Concordance of the Old and New Testaments and I do not find the word “shopping” even once.

I’m not sure when the idea got to be dominant that a “good” Christmas was about total spending, but here respectfully are some alternative suggestions:

Maybe a good Christmas for this most blessed of nations would be when we as a nation and as communities made sure the homeless had a warm, safe place to sleep.

Maybe a good Christmas would not be about buying your kids the latest gizmo for listening to obscene lyrics, but about teaching them that if they are fortunate enough to have extra time or extra money, they can help out at the old age home or at the local animal shelter.

Maybe a good time would not be buying your parents sweaters they will never use, but taking a trip to see them and telling them how much you appreciate that they spent the heart of their lives taking care of you, feeding you, teaching you, putting a roof over your head, warming you with their love and concern.

Maybe the best time of all would be telling your husband or your wife that you would be lost without him or her and that you’re sorry for the selfish things you did that year, and you’ll be better next year.

Christmas and Hanukah presents rarely fit and rarely are to your taste. They sit in your closet and collect dust forever.

But gifts in this special, sacred time of love and caring to your family, your friends, and your neighborhood – those are never forgotten. They bring peace of mind for years.

And I seem to recall from my vanished youth that this is the holiday of the prince of peace, not the queen of diamonds.

Here are a couple of fun things for you as we zoom towards Christmas.

What Are You Doing Next Week? Come On Out For Crafts!

Just a reminder that next week we will be doing crafts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday if we need it. Parent volunteers would be awesome! We’ll have some fun, play some Christmas music and enjoy the spirit of the season! Check the previous post for times!

Also, just a reminder about the Tuesday evening concert. Check the calendar for times!

It’s the last week before Christmas break so here is some fun for you!


Merry Christmas

This will probably be my last post before Christmas with everything going on and leaving for Edmonton to celebrate Christmas with my family. However, I just wanted the chance to thank everybody for a great last week at school. I especially want to thank all the parents that came in to help with the crafts and the very thoughtful gifts the children gave. I have felt very blessed to be your children’s teacher this year.

Though apparently it is not good manners to put more than one video in a post, I just found a couple of great videos I wanted to share as a last Christmas gift to all of you.

The first is a holiday video sung by the Christian group “Sixpence None the Richer”:

The second is a great video done by a guy who thought up the idea of traveling around the world with his girlfriend and taking videos of himself dancing in these foreign places. Now, you may think that that is crazy but he has had over 30 million views and has received sponsorships from Stride Gum and Visa. Having said all that, the videos themselves are great and certain to bring a smile, if not a laugh, to your face.

Finally, fitting the season, here is a scene from the Nativity Story. If you haven’t seen the movie, it is really well done and my family and my wife’s parents all sat down together last weekend to watch it together.

To part, my family would like to wish your family a wonderful, safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A Busy Week

It’s been a busy week here in Grade 3. Plans are underway for our concert on the last day of school. Students received their report cards today and Parent/Teacher interviews are on Monday. These are just a few of the things that we have been doing or are gearing up to as we count down the days to Christmas and Christmas vacation.

In terms of school work, for Language Arts, we have been working hard on our paragraphs. We have started using the word “because” as a way to connect and elaborate on ideas. Each paragraph must have at least 3 “because” words in it.

For Social Studies, we have finished our look at communities and have been working on mapping for awhile. Today, we introduced the idea of a bird’s eye view. I even allowed the students to stand on their desks to illustrate the idea. I told the students that this would be their one and only chance to stand on their desks. The students were enthused and had fun. We then took a tour around Google Earth to look at the various levels of Bird’s Eye views we could explore within the program noting the amount of detail we saw as we moved further and further out towards space. We then talked about map legends.

In science, we are starting our major project in the building unit. Students have been given a choice of three projects: A bridge, two car garage or a tower. Students have also been given a budget which they must stay under as they purchase their materials. It should be a great project and I am working on putting our budget sheets onto the blog so you and the students can keep track of their expenses as well as progress on each of the projects from home. I will update you on how that will work as we get into the project. I have told the students that I will not just let them build any old thing. An engineer must have a plan and keep track of their expenses (though we won’t use the Olympic buildings as an example, eh?). It should be a lot of fun and the students have been looking forward to this for a long time.

Well, it’s been a long night and I am just about to go to bed but I just thought I would make a mention of our toy drive again. Please keep bringing in those toys! Also, cans!!! More Cans!! Yeah!! Also, I have had some wonderful moms volunteer for the craft days next week (Tues, Weds Thurs). If any other moms are interested and want to spend some fun times with the students making crafts, please let me know. The more the merrier!!!

Speaking of the concert, I though I would give you a sneak preview of one of our concert pieces. The students here are doing an amazing job and I think you will love seeing this piece performed at the concert!

A Whole Bunch of Things

First of all, here is the spelling for this week. You can click here spelling-m-5 or you can print it out below. It is also in the area.
Spelling M 5

Students also have a memory verse and poem to memorize. The poem is for the concert next Friday. The memory verse is due on the Thursday of the next week. The memory verse is Luke 2:10-12:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

The poem is in the students planners. We would like them to have the poem memorized as soon as possible.

As mentioned last week, the elementary is holding a toy drive. We are looking for used toys or books in excellent condition that could be donated to those children who don’t usually get a whole lot for Christmas due to various circumstances. I am also sweetening the pot by giving away four tickets (2 each) to the two students who bring in the most items.

We are also still looking for opportunities/ideas for service projects for the class. If you ahve any ideas, post a message on the blog or come and talk to me.

Crafts: Next week, we are going to be doing Christmas Crafts as a class. If you are interested in helping out, we are going to be doing the crafts from Tues-Thurs next week. On Tuesday, we will start at 10:35. On Wednesday and Thursday, we will go from 9:15 to 10:15. Please let me know which days you might be interested in helping out if you can. You don’t have to commit to all three days. If you just want to come in on one of the days, that would be great. If you can make two or three days, that would be great too.

Finally, here is a little video that reminds us in this busy time what the season is all about. Enjoy!!!

Christmas Time is Here . . .

We had a wonderful day yesterday. The students had a reading test yesterday and we also prepared for their Science Test today. Students were extremely well behaved on their field trip to the Chilliwack Museum where they got to hear stories from the past and make some pioneer crafts including potato candy. Yes, that’s right. You heard correctly; potato candy! And it was good!! In fact, it’s all good in Grade 3.

As the Christmas season comes closer, we often tend to think of those in need. While we should always be thinking of others who are having difficult times throughout the year, Christmas seems to naturally bring these feelings out.

As such, our class has a couple of projects we are working on to help bring Christmas to others. Our first project is the annual Salvation Army Food drive. We are are working hard to being in lots of cans and other food items. We have already received a number of items but more is needed. Please continue to bring those items in.

The other project we are working on is a toy drive. We are working on getting used or new toys together to donate the local Woman’s Shelter. Any toy is fine as long as it is in good shape, has all the pieces with it and is clean. I am sure that your child has many items that they do not play with and could be donated to someone who may not get a present for Christmas.