Christmas Part 2

These past few days have gone by in a blur.  The children worked so hard, but yet we still had time for lots of fun celebrating Christmas.

Last week, the children performed in the Christmas play and truly did an excellent job.  They were able to share about Jesus being the greatest gift given to us.  This is why we celebrate Christmas.

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This week, every morning we spent looking at the different passages in the New Testament about Jesus’ birth.  The children recognized the great faith of both Mary and Joseph as an angel came to them to announce Jesus’ miraculous birth. Mary and Joseph did not question God, but humbly accepted what He told them.   Jesus was not only God’s Son, but he came to the world in a way that shows God’s power.

Even the visitors to Jesus show the world how truly miraculous the birth of Jesus is.  Shepherds came and worshipped Jesus because an angelic crowd came and announced the His birth.  Later, perhaps two years later, wisemen come following a star and worship Jesus.  As we were reading, one of the children pointed out that these two examples show us that anyone can come to Jesus, both the poor and the rich and everyone in between.

As the children understood the Christmas story better, their faith was stretched as they contemplated Jesus coming into the world to save sinners because He loves us.

I would also say that our class was the most festive class when it came to Crazy Christmas sweater, socks, and hat day.  Some of them, even decorated their own sweaters.

And then there was PJ day.  We went caroling, watched a movie, ate snacks, and made cards for a Navy ship, and had an ornament exchange.  Overall, it was a great day to bring in the Christmas vacation.

I’m excited to see what the New Year will bring as we continue on our faithfulness journey.

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Christmas! Part 1

As December has come, we have been busy preparing for our Christmas program that is happening on December 15.  This year, the fourth graders sing the song that specifically tells the Christmas story.

We have been learning the words, and the children even created their own hand-motions.

The children understand how important this song is because God is giving us the opportunity to share His love with everyone who comes.  We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came to this world and chose to die on the cross for us.  He suffered what we were supposed to endure so that we wouldn’t have to.  Today, He offers us the gift of having a relationship with Him because He did not remain dead.  The greatest gift at Christmas is Jesus.

To go along with our song The Greatest Gift, we created little manger scenes to hang on our school Christmas tree.  For years to come, the children will remember our song because they wrote some of the words on their nativity scene.

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Our first class picture, but certainly not our only.
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Silly picture!

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Coming up next week, I will share more pictures about our Christmas program and more of our learning about Christmas.

Long Division

Whenever we do math, I veer away from just teaching how to do the math; I really focus on  why we do that math.

This week, we started long division.

On Monday, we had three different stations to help us define division.  The first station was multiplication facts where a factor was missing (Ex: 3X___=6).

When we discussed the definition, we came up that division is the opposite of multiplication.

The second station was something along these lines:  Bob had 203 cookies.  He gave out 5 to as many people as he could.  How many people did he give the cookies to?  The children were able to use Diens blocks to help them to solve this.  Many decided though it would be easier to just subtract 5 from 203 until they couldn’t anymore.

This led to our second definition that division is repeated subtraction.

The third station was a bag of kisses.  The children first had to figure out how many kisses were in the bag without opening the bag.  Then they had to determine how many each person in our class would get.  At the end of the day, we divided the kisses among ourselves.

Our definition was that division is the whole broken into equal groups of a certain amount.

Then on Tuesday, we solved this problem: Billy had 307 candies.  There are 11 people in our class.  How many does each person get?  The children had to use repeated subtraction and then toy coins to group them to determine the number.

 

Yes, this was a long process.  We got to talk about stretching our faithfulness and going beyond what we thought capable.  We also got to talk about that some of us did not get the right answer even though we had the right process.

This allowed us to see the importance of solving division problems in the traditional method, which allows us to group the items in a much faster way.  Of course we are by no means experts yet at division, but this week I could certainly feel brain cells growing as they were stretched to think about math.

And of course, how can one learn long division without the long division dance?