An Advent Surprise

An Advent Surprise

The Christmas season is well and truly upon us.  To help celebrate the season we purchased an Advent calendar for my three-year-old.  It is nothing fancy–a simple piece of cardboard with a little door to open each day beginning on the first of December through Christmas Eve.  Each door has a tiny picture and sentence inside and together they tell the story of the birth of Jesus.  The first day Addy needed help to figure out how to do it, but on Saturday I asked her if she wanted go open that day’s door, and she told me she already had.  When we went to look at it, not only had Addy opened the door already, but she had opened the correct one and only that one.

Every day since she has found the correct door all by herself.

I tell you this story because it is important to remember that children and people can often do a lot more than we give them credit for.  Addy knows her numbers.  She can count to twenty without help (and often higher with only a little direction), but I did not know she could recognize the written form of so many numbers correctly and without help.  If she had not done it on her own before I asked on Saturday, it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to let her try.

How often do we make assumptions in our own classrooms, out own homes, in life about what others can and can’t do?  How often could those around us do so much more than we give them credit for?  How often do we not even allow them to try?

For most of us, probably more often than we would like to admit.  And many times this is not because we are pessimistic or doubters or anything like that, but it is just because we don’t stop and think.

So this week I encourage you to give those around you the chance to show you what they can do.  There will be some surprises, and that is wonderful.  There will be a few failures, but that is okay too.  I am sure Addy will hit one of these days soon where she doesn’t find the right door on her calendar.  But if I don’t let her try, neither she nor I will ever know what she can do.

Teach On!


Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler, Staff, Not Grade Specific -


This Week’s Featured Product

“A Chaparral Christmas Gift” by O. Henry Lesson and Activity Pack
Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 7.37.15 AM

This pack has everything you need to teach “A Chaparral Christmas Gift” to your middle or high school class.  It can be done completely in class or with portions assigned as homework and covers reading, vocabulary, figurative language, discussion, and writing extensions.  For more details or to purchase this product, click here!


This Week’s Journal Questions

For the teacher:    How do you encourage your students?

For the student:  What is something you can do that others don’t know you can?


A Recipe from My Kitchen:

Cranberry Relish Roll-Ups

Cranberry Roll-Ups
These simple and pretty roll-ups are a great way to use all the fresh cranberries available this time of year!


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
  • 1 orange, washed, NOT peeled, and cut into wedges
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar
  • cream cheese, softened
  • tortillas
  • cinnamon and nutmeg


  1. Place cranberries, orange wedges, and sugar in the food processor.  Process until the fruit is in very small, uniform pieces (about the size of half a pea or smaller–remember, this should be a relish).
  2. Place this in a bowl, cover, and let sit for several hours for flavors to mix well.  (You can serve this relish just like this if you want.)
  3. When you are ready, spread cream cheese in a thin, even layer on your tortilla.
  4. Spread your cranberry relish over the cream cheese.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste) over the cranberry relish.
  6. Roll the tortilla up.
  7. Cut thin slices of the tortilla roll and place them on a plate to serve.
  8. Enjoy!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Elizabeth says:

    My kids could never wait to open the last window, so taken were they by the picture of Jesus. Your little one has good self-control!

    Liked by 1 person

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