I quite like it when people make up new words.
I quite like it when people make up new words.

TfT Bulletin #2  |   September 27, 2023

I quite like it when people make up new words.  The new phrasing disrupts me—makes me notice something new or consider something old in a new way.  Created language is playful. Made-up new words cause me to think differently and deeply.
So when I encountered ejoycation this week (the combining of education and joy), I felt invited to think about the role of joy in learning.
The data is consistent: joy is a powerful motivator for learning because it increases engagement. When a student is experiencing joy as they learn things, they are more able to retain and apply this new understanding. Joy enhances learning.
Joy also reflects a truth about God’s created world: the Creation is good and delightful, the way God intended it to be. Teaching in a way that evokes joy is a powerful way to invite students into God's story.

Joy-filled ideas for opening circles

Building on the reflections above, one of the purposes of the opening circle game or initiative is to nurture joy and delight.  Despite the benefits of such an opening activity to learning, there is the constant temptation to skip it because of the time crunch. Fortunately for us, this video shows eight great initiatives/games that require minimal preparation while soliciting smiles and laughter in a matter of minutes. 
Eight Easy Classroom Games - No Tech and No Prep
For an additional idea, check out the competition of these Sioux Center Christian School staff during this opening circle on a professional development day.
Sioux Center Christian School - Opening Circle (PD Day)
Secondary TfT: Grade 11/12 Anatomy and Physiology at Intermountain Christian
Given the shrinking water levels in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, Amy Florell, Biology teacher at Intermountain Christian, describes this context for her Senior Science FLEx: 
When our beloved Great Salt Lake was at a critical low, the need to address the drought issue found itself at the center of global news. Learning about the effects of toxins like arsenic on the human body and understanding how the decreasing water levels increased levels of toxins in our air, Intermountain Christian School’s Anatomy and Physiology class knew it was time to do some real work for real people to meet a real need . . . and a FLEx was born!
Amy shares this learning story of her students educating younger grades and the Salt Lake City community through a presentation and production of this PSA video
"New to TfT” Administrator’s Cohort
Teaching for Transformation is again offering an opportunity for school leaders who are new to TfT schools to gather regularly over Zoom this school year. This year’s cohort will be led by Ann Steenwyk, Head of School at Sheboygan Christian School. The cohort of new administrators will explore the details and nuances of leading a school on a TfT journey.
If you are an administrator who is new to a TfT school and would like to learn more, please reach out to Ann or Darryl DeBoer. Zoom meetings will begin in October. 
Instructional Coaching Intensive - Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2023
Registration for this year’s Instructional Coaching Intensive at Rehoboth Christian School (RCS) is very strong, including sign-up for the Preconference Day (experiencing a FLEx centered within the RCS community). We are excited to immerse ourselves in the beauty of Rehoboth’s community and environ. 
Once again, we will offer three levels of Instructional Coaching instruction. Group rates are available for schools sending a team, and we have accommodation options available, including extremely affordable options on the RCS campus.
The preconference and conference days begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1. We encourage you to stay overnight on Friday so you can witness the Mass Ascension of Balloons on Saturday morning.
The registration deadline is October 20; however, we anticipate the pre-conference capacity filling before this day. All details are on our website.
Getting to know our TfT Network: Nicaragua Christian Academy
Nicaragua Christian Academy International (NCA) began TfT Year 2 with TfT’s Director of Learning Amanda Albright travelling to the campus to facilitate Deep Hope, Storyline, and Storyboard PD. This is our first fully bilingual offering, with materials and training in Spanish and English! Liam Starkenburg, Director of NCA, shared the TfT training launch via a newsletter. We are excited to expand the TfT network into Central America with full anticipation of God growing TfT through this partnership with NCA. ¡Muchas gracias al NCA por su hospitalidad y ejemplo de vivir la historia de Dios! For our TfT Spanish immersion programs, we will begin sharing translated TfT resources very soon.
The TfT Tips Trio 
At this point in the school year, Storylines have been launched in TfT classrooms. Learners across the grades are engaging Storylines to see God’s Story in their lives and learning!
This week’s tips focus on deepening learners’ engagement with the class’s Storyline, helping them make meaningful, personal connections that increase their investment and commitment. See the Story!