Faithfulness stretched. A few weeks ago we talked about what this, our theme for the quarter, meant. We decided that stretching our faith means that sometimes we have to go through more difficult times or experience something that is hard. This week, we looked more at this in every subject.
Faithfulness Stretched in Social Studies
As we have progressed from 33 AD with Pentecost, we are now learning about the time period around 600s. According to the time period, we studied the start of Islam and what Muslims believe. As we discussed the similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity, we talked about how our faith was stretched. Several students expressed they felt a bit nervous about studying other religions because they were concerned about being influenced. We then turned it around and talked about how our faith was stretched in studying about this. It was not easy. However, together we talked how our faith was strengthened. We serve a God who came to earth to sacrifice Himself because He loves us so much; we cannot do anything to earn His favor like other religions teach.
Faithfulness Stretched in Sign of the Beaver
As we were stretched in our own faith, Matt, our main character in our book also experienced stretching faith. He began telling Attean, the Native American who has been helping him survive, Bible stories, and Matt begins with Noah’s flood. Attean then shares his own culture’s tale of the flood. This of course leaves Matt with questions about what Attean believes. The author purposefully never answers the questions. During our discussion, we again related this to our own faith being stretched. The children had some excellent thoughts to share about the book.
Faithfulness Stretched in Math
Ah division! People look back fondly on their elementary years and think fondly (or likely) cringe when they think about long division. Our faith was stretched as we began division. I did not simply teach them the way to do long division; we explored what division was. For some, the children had to backtrack to not divide and instead show the meaning of division.
After the first day where we explored the meaning of division using smaller numbers, the next day, we worked with dividing larger numbers. As a class, the students put over 300 coins in a pile for 9 people. Some just wanted to solve the algorithm, but I would not let them. After putting the coins into the groups, we did it on paper by repeatedly subtracting 9 until they got to 0. It was hard; many made mistakes and had to go and re-check. After showing understanding of what division is, I finally showed them the easier way. I wanted fourth grade’s faithfulness in math to be stretched.
Faithfulness Stretched in Science
This week, we finished up Part 1 of our animal unit. To showcase their knowledge, we had a quiz. Though the children may not realize it, their faithfulness was being stretched as they thought and answered their quiz. This wasn’t a normal quiz. In fact, it was one of the quizzes that I have most enjoyed creating. As the children took their quiz, I heard excitement around the room and whispers of “This is the best quiz ever!” Why was this quiz so special? It was not simply a recall quiz. It was an application and creative quiz. The children had to use their imagination to create an animal. Then using their drawing and their animal they shared about the animal’s habitat, structural adaptation, behavioral adaptations, prey and predators. As I walked around, their creativity just jumped off the paper. I was so proud of them as I watched their thinking and faithfulness being stretched.