Last Thursday, the Faithfulness Fruit Stand presented their learning from the first quarter. Through this quarter, the children studied the four gospels. Here, we learned is where faith begins–at the foot of the cross when Jesus died for us and then rose again from the dead. Though we may not understand everything that the Bible says, we need the faith to believe that what the Bible does say is true.
Alongside of this, this quarter, we read The Cricket in Times Square. The beginning of our event was a skit sharing the most important scenes from the book. The children worked in groups to write the different scenes and used exact quotes from the book. In the middle, one character says, “The cricket’s song shows faithfulness start because the song speaks truth and knows all things true. It resembles a person who has started their faith with Jesus because He gives us the desire to be honorable.”
We then went into the next room to do various stations about what the children had learned.
And finally, we feasted on Chinese food just like Chester and Mario do in our book.
“Look! We bought our house! It has a backyard, it’s only $295,000, and it’s in Florida!”
“We decided to buy a Jaguar car because they look so cool!”
“We will be donating to CHKD.”
These are some of the things that I heard throughout the week as we were in the computer lab. Though I knew exactly what was going, those not in fourth grade gave me funny looks.
“They’re buying houses?”
“Where did they get the money?”
“Why are they talking about cars?”
Well let me shed some light on what we have been doing this week. It’s called the Million Dollar Project. The children are imagining that they have inherited $1,000,000. With this million dollars, they need to purchase a car, a house (no more than $300,000), and a vacation (including all expenses). They need to give to a charity of their choice and to set aside $75,000 for college.
Once they have purchased everything they need, they can look to buy furniture or other things they would want. In the end, they are to have used as much of the money as they can so that they do not lose it.
The children decided to complete this project together. In their groups, they had to communicate to decide exactly what they wanted to purchase. One group took a feature of what everyone wanted in their car to find one that had all three features.
The energy and excitement has filled the room this week as they purchased items, subtracted them from their original total, and wrote a check for that item. Luckily, they do not need to think about things like taxes or fees.
Soon, they will have a visual representation of what they want to purchase with $1,000,000. If only we all had $1,000,000 to use wisely.
“‘It sounds to me as if you were going “crick crick crick,” ‘ said Harry.
‘Maybe that’s why they call him a “cricket,”‘ said Tucker.”
This was a line that we looked at more closely this week as we are re-reading The Cricket in Times Square for deeper meaning. And of course, we all thought it was hilarious.
This past week, we continued working with understanding exactly what we would need to raise crickets successfully. And as we did, several times we would make this joke.
As a class, we determined exactly what we would need to get. We decided that 60 crickets would be best, and the children were able to quickly calculate that this would cost $8.40 since each cricket cost $0.14. We had a healthy discussion on whether or not we should get a 4th cage and which one we should get. We decided to get the one specifically designed for housing crickets though a bit more expensive.
We already had water for the crickets (water in gel form so that they would not drown), but we had to decide which food to get. We decided for this one to go with the less expensive one because it provided all of the benefits as the more expensive one.
Finally, we determined if everything that we were buying was within the $30 budget we had established. They added up the numbers, and yes, indeed it was (with some leftover to include the sales tax).
Before we left for the field trip, the children chose a partner. In all except one group, one child was responsible for carrying the bag of crickets and one was responsible for carrying the money. In the final group, one child got the food and one the cage; both carried the money. Within their groups, they had to determine how much money they needed me to give them. They used addition and some multiplication and some rounding.
And then it was time to go to Petsmart.
We first got our crickets from a worker who told us he had gone to Central Christian Academy when he was younger.
Once we had everything that we were going to buy, we spent some time looking at the other animals that Petsmart had for sale.
Finally, we were ready to make our purchases. The children used excellent manners as they handed the correct amount of money to the cashier. They then needed to verify that they got the correct amount of change.
Then we went back to school where we had to prepare our habitats for our crickets. The children worked within their group to decide what would make their crickets the happiest. We then put some food and water into little bottle caps.
Already we have made some excellent observations about our crickets just by watching their behaviors. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to learn more about crickets as we show faithfulness starting through taking care of our crickets.
One of my favorite parts of the day is morning meeting. Why? Morning Meeting is a special time in the day when we gather as a class, and we build community.
The first part of morning meeting involves us greeting each other. This week, since we began our study of Rome, we greeted each in Latin, Bonum Mane (bah-new mah-nay)!
We then share about ourselves based on the topic of the day. We might share what we did over the weekend, our favorite food, or something that we learned. On Wednesday, we share class news. This would be anything that the children want to share with the class about what is going on in their lives.
We then usually do a class activity. This week, we played telephone. After the message came back completely wrong, we gleaned two lessons.
1. We better understood the difference between a primary and a secondary source in history. The primary source is the most reliable since the message starts with that person, and secondary sources use other secondary sources and the primary sources to form their information.
2. We talked about gossip. Gossip is something that we hear and share; it can be truthful or completely made up but it hurts the other person. And just like the last person in telephone is completely wrong, so too gossip often comes back completely wrong.
I loved seeing the lightbulbs go off as we discussed both lessons from this activity.
After our activity, we then read our morning message out loud. Each day, a different child chooses how we will read the message–squeaky, country, normal etc. They often have very imaginative ways of reading the message.
And usually after that, we look at the Bible. This week, we looked at Matthew and who wrote it and why. We studied the Sermon on the Mount. We talked about what prayer looked like. We talked about how God does not want us to worry; instead He wants us to fully trust Him for all of our needs and even our wants.
Together we learned our Bible verse for the week, Matthew 6:30: “If God so clothe the grass of the field which is here today, and tomorrow is cast into the fire, will He not so much more clothe you–oh you of little faith!” Naturally, we made up memorable hand-motions to go along with the verse to help us remember it.
And finally, we pray together as a class to open our day because without God, we can do nothing.
During this entire process, we are learning about what it means to be a good listener and a good speaker. We discuss body language which impacts how we listen. On Fridays, we even discuss how shake hands and make eye contact as we greet each other. Morning meeting allows us to communicate to build a better community.
Community and communicate both come from the same Latin root common (according to Dictionary.com means belonging equally to or shared alike by). Communicate is the verb form of how we can share alike, and community is the noun form that results in a group belonging equally. Both community and communicate are important within a classroom setting. Without one, the other is difficult to find.