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April 2017

Read Everywhere

I do most of my reading while I’m driving. Lest you picture me with an open book on my steering wheel casting only occasional glances at the road, allow me to explain. As a high school English teacher, I find that most of my reading revolves around the essays I assign to my students (my […]

The Top Ten Picture Books and Early Readers for the Elementary Classroom (and Beyond)

As a pre-K–5th grade librarian, I get asked all the time, “What is your favorite book?” I always answer, “That is like trying to choose a favorite star in the sky!” My favorite book changes daily, sometimes hourly. And this is good because it means that the world of children’s literature is alive and well. […]

The Top Nine Middle Grade Books from 2016 (Plus One from 2015)

Maya Angelou once said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him.” Middle grade readers are eager to read books with strong characters, rich details, and a unique storyline. Putting the right book in the hands of a middle grade […]

The Top Ten Best Adolescent and Young Adult Books (For You and Your Student to Read as Soon as Possible)

This year I read many excellent adolescent and young adult books. Many of these books have a common theme: they take readers on a journey alongside someone very different from themselves—a good theme for students to engage in. I organized these books in order of how much I enjoyed reading them (from the ones I […]

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Meet Maya. Susan Cain describes Maya as the “redhead with a ponytail, wire-rimmed glasses, and a dreamy expression on her face” (251). In a classroom group with talkative students, Maya is clearly the quiet one who holds back rather than offering her ideas freely to the group. When she does talk, she looks down or […]

Does the Reformation Still Matter? by Karin Maag

Imagine you are at a teacher’s workshop. You introduce yourself to the teacher sitting next to you and say you are from such-and-such Christian School. The teacher asks what church your school is affiliated with. You say that your school is private, not parochial, and is not directly affiliated with any church, though it places […]

There and Back: Living & Learning Abroad by Donald G. De Graaf

Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges— Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. Go! —Rudyard Kipling With this Kipling quote, Donald De Graaf begins what is not so much a “how-to” as a “how-to-be” concerning traveling and studying abroad for college students and their mentors. De […]

Valuable Resources

For this issue of CEJ, we asked our panelists either to talk about a recent book they have read and its helpfulness as a Christian educator or to discuss other types of media (podcasts, blogs, newsletters, journals, etc.) they use for ideas, inspiration, and engagement with the work of Christian education. Justin Cook started the […]

Mission (Almost) Impossible

Day: Thursday My mission, should I choose to accept it: In my one full day of work on this campus, impart a love of reading, match students with books, and teach writing, history, math, Bible, art appreciation, and library skills. 0920 hours: Fifth grade. They have worked for a month on biographies in class, preparing […]

How-To Books That Don’t Exist, But Should

  How to Run a Meeting with Twenty-Five or More Agenda Items in Fifteen Minutes or Less: A Guide for Principals, Written by Elementary Teachers This no-nonsense guide shows principals how to cut after-school meeting times from two-and-a-half hours to ten minutes by using simple tools like delegating, eliminating irrelevant information, and talking directly to […]

A Heartbreaking Lesson Plan of Staggering Imbecility, or How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love the MMOG

Gord Winkle was well into his third jelly doughnut, his mustache vibrant with strawberry jelly and a smattering of custard, when Janitor Ed McGonigal strode purposefully into the staff room. Everyone fell silent. Because Ed had been working at Bedlam for as long as anyone could remember, he had become almost a part of the […]