New Quarter

I must admit, I was a bit worried about this week because it was the first full week that we have had in over a month.  Surprisingly though it went quickly because the children were excited and engaged in the learning.

As we shift into the new quarter, we begin focusing on faithfulness spreading.  This is our chance to share our faith with those around them sharing God’s love with them.  This is also the quarter that one project spreads throughout every single subject that we cover.  The children have already started it through research about the medieval period.  I love hearing, “Miss Savides, did you know that….?”  as they find those exciting (sometimes disgusting) tidbits about the medieval period.

To introduce our force and motion unit in science, we talked about medieval weaponry, especially catapults.  Within groups, the children had to create a catapult that would go the furthest using 12 popsicle sticks, 1 spoon, 4 rubber bands, and hot glue.  Then, we launched them.  Our first thing we launched was a marshmallow–all traveled rather far.  We then tried an eraser and finally a ball.  Needless to say, the heavier the object was, the closer to the catapult it stayed.  From this the children determined the rule about the greater the mass of an object, the greater the force needed to move it.  A pretty big catapult would be needed for the ball to be launched the same distance as the marshmallow.

Overall, it was a wonderful week as we started on new adventures to spread our faithfulness. I am certainly excited to see the children to continue to grow.

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Creativity

Creativity is thinking in a way that is different in order to solve problems and to create new things. In a study, kindergartners were asked the number of uses of for a paperclip.  98% of the children responded at the genius level coming up with 200 or more uses; they did not limit themselves to what we think of as a paper clip (small and made of metal).  As these children grew older, sadly though, they did more and more poorly on this same assignment each time they were tested.  What the researchers concluded was that as the children were exposed to more education, their creativity dropped.  (Here is part of the video that speaks about this study https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzBa-frc2JA).

When I first heard about this study, I was distraught to think that our education today is slowly stifling a part of ourselves, thinking creatively, that God allowed us to have to better understand Him and His ultimate and complete creativity.  God showed us His creativity in creating the world and all the small details (like the smallest bone in the human body allowing us to hear) and the big details (the stars that He knows by name) by creating them out of nothing.  And yet, despite of all the details that he created, He still shows us His love for us, for you personally.  I am amazed as I think about how God reveals Himself through His creation. He gave us a small small portion of this within our own thinking so we could use this to worship Him.

As you may already have realized, I firmly believe that as a teacher I should do all that I can to foster this creativity, not to stifle it.  That is why so often we are creating something or trying to solve a problem or wondering why.  This week was no exception, especially in science and math.

As we are wrapping things up, the children had several opportunities to demonstrate their creativity.  For math, they chose to create a dance to help them to remember the various geometry terms like line, point, and ray etc.  Each child and those they were working with had to choose a song and the order of their motions.

Then, we all voted for the one we liked the best, and as a class, we began to learn it.  The children even decided to show it off at our fruitful event next week (so be sure to check it out on Thursday January 12 at 11).

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Throughout the week, the children worked on their animal habitats.  This is the final step in their zookeeping project; they need to create a model of where the animal would live if their zoo were able to purchase the animal.  As they worked, shared ideas, helped each other, their creativity buzzed throughout the classroom.  I was so proud of the way they were working to solve the presented problem. On Tuesday, I walked back into the classroom when the children had gone to recess; I smiled as I looked around my classroom.  There, where others may have seen a mess, I saw the evidence of unique and extensive creativity.

This week went by quickly, but was very busy as we are preparing for the end of the second quarter.  Throughout the week, we stretched our faithfulness as we practiced upholding the Code of Chivalry.  However, if anything though, we also certainly practiced using the creativity that God has given to us.  Perhaps, we can use this to learn even more about who God is.

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