Sharing & Giving

Sharing is hard. Right? And it can be hard for everyone, not just little ones. For example, as parents, we find ourselves sharing all that we have with our children. We share our food, our stuff, our bed space, our time, and our love. Sometimes, as a mom, I want to not share (especially my food and sleep – ha!). I want those precious hours of uninterrupted REM to myself, or to simply eat a peaceful meal without hearing “Mommymommymommymommy” 100 times in a row, but ultimately we do share the things we have because we love our children unconditionally and want to put them first. Even when our energy is low, our plates are nearly empty, and our patience is wearing thin; we give.

How much more does our Heavenly Father give to us? In the Patience Fruit Stand, we’ve been learning about the ways Jesus shows us how to live. When he fed the 5,000, the Bible says he was originally headed to a place to rest. He was tired. He’d been traveling and teaching, and honestly, he probably just wanted to grab a nap and some food. But when the people found out where he was going, they went there too, and suddenly Jesus was in the presence of a huge crowd of people. Did he turn them away? Did he remind them of his busy speaking schedule and retreat into solitude? Matthew 14 tells us that he had compassion on them. He put them first. He healed their sick. He gave.

This past week, we learned about the widow in Luke 21. Many people were going to the temple to give to God out of their finances. The Bible says that the rich gave “out of their abundance,” meaning, they had so much that their gift was no great sacrifice. Contrast this display to the widow who only gave two small coins. It doesn’t sound like much, but to this widow, who had very little, it was everything she had. We can imagine that the big gifts from the wealthy were what people were watching. Probably no one noticed the widow and her seemingly inconsequential gift. But Jesus noticed. He said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” Her gift was a gift of proportion. The widow demonstrated sacrificial giving.

The Bible shows us over and over again how God gives this way to us. He gave His only Son, after all, and as our Bible verse this week described, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us the widow’s fate. Did she go home, her last means of self-support gone, to wither away and die? I don’t think so. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure [ . . . ] will be poured into your lap.” In other words, you reap what you sow.

Here are some of the clay coins the firsties designed to help them remember this moment in Biblical history, to remember to give to others, even when it means missing out on something they want.

20160223_172418

I noticed many examples of sacrificial giving during the week, moments where a student put another first. One washed another’s paint-covered table after art without being asked. One helped a friend tie his shoe. One waited patiently after being called on when a friend bumped his knee and needed a teacher’s immediate attention, giving up her turn. One shared a part of her snack when a friend forgot his at home. One passed a friend the last piece of white paper, even though she was planning to use it herself.

These little moments might not seem like much. They might even go unnoticed by most.

Jesus notices.

 

 

The firsties share their attention with this week’s Star of the Week as he shares about himself, reads a story, and demonstrates his talent.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The firstie saints devote focus to an assortment of scientific research and writing projects throughout the week.

 

The firsties give one another respect and grow patience while taking turns during math workshop and calendar.

100th Day, Groundhog’s Day, Star Wars Day, Oh My!

We have been very busy in the Patience Fruit Stand!

This last week was a week of celebrations. The 100th day of school and Groundhog’s Day both fell on Tuesday, February 2nd, and our school-wide Star Wars Day surprised all the kiddos on Friday!

We ate a snack comprised of 100 items, modeled our 100th day shirts (which were fabulous!), made necklaces of 100 Froot Loops, created hats filled with ten 10-frames, all showing a different way to decompose 10, designed towers of 100 cups, predicted and tested the distance of 100 footsteps, created stories of what it would be like to be 100 years old, and wrote 100 words. Here is a little peek into our 100th Day fun!

20160202_110606

20160202_14400620160202_10134220160202_11070520160202_11065820160202_10132120160202_14520620160202_10172820160202_10124820160202_14394020160202_10115420160202_14094320160202_10125620160202_10135020160202_14060920160202_14060020160202_10131320160202_10111120160202_14404820160202_10120720160202_10132520160202_10134420160202_10130320160202_14403320160202_14404520160202_14301720160202_140531

For Groundhog’s Day, we predicted whether or not the groundhog (Ol’ Punxsutawney Phil) would see his shadow. Most of us were right! We predicted that he would not see his shadow and that spring would be coming soon! We also read Groundhog Day by Gail Gibbons and watched a short science video about groundhogs.

Star Wars Day was described as the “best day ever” by several students in the Patience Fruit Stand. From watching an epic battle between Yoda and Darth Vader, to Jedi Training, to creating their own lightsabers, to writing their own space-themed stories (one was about space cats, because, of course), to designing and building their own space ships out of popsicle sticks, to playing Storm Trooper Blast in P.E., to visiting the 6th grade lego museum, it was a funtastic day filled with excitement and learning. Check out some of the fun!

20160205_091443
I had to watch out for the Jawa all day. No one wants to be sold for parts!
20160205_143813
Creating a spaceship masterpiece!
20160205_143837
She was going for a geometric design.

20160205_143830

20160205_153426
Hanging out with my best bud, R2D2, and my owner, Master Luke.

20160205_14395220160205_10533720160205_143821

20160205_104325
The force is strong with those who enter here.

20160205_14381020160205_143835

20160205_131300
Watch out! Lightsaber battles await!
20160205_111639
Storm Trooper Blast probably looked a lot like Dodgeball to the untrained eye.

20160205_14395120160205_14404520160205_143818

20160205_143957
Our inspiration during spaceship design.

20160205_13262720160205_13333720160205_134053

20160205_091649

At chapel, we learned that the Bible tells us to put on the armor of God and take up our lightsaber (Maybe sword. Probably lightsaber.), which is the Word of God. We learned that God’s Word is the strongest weapon we would ever need against the dark side.

Pick up your lightsabers, everyone. May the force be with you.

We’re “Batty” for First Grade!

One of the things the firsties learned about this week is BATS! We read several nonfiction books and articles about bats and watched a short video clip of the largest bat colony in the world to see how bats swoop and glide. We created bats and learned about all of their parts. Many firsties were surprised to learn that a bat’s wing is really like one large hand with thin skin stretched in between each finger! We learned all about what bats eat, and that although different bats have different diets, none of them like to drink human blood – a few firsties thought they did! Did you know that a bat can eat approximately 600 mosquitos in an hour? The firsties worked in groups to count out 600 mosquitos and serve them up on dinner plates. 🙂 We recorded our learning throughout the week on our bat chart, and used the information we collected to write about bats.

20151028_17000520151030_173216 20151030_173148

bats
     20151028_141048 20151028_140958 20151028_140839 20151028_140612 20151028_14053620151028_16595120151030_17311520151030_173041

Last quarter we learned about community helpers, and since October was also Fire Prevention month, we scheduled a visit to the fire station! We’re so blessed to have a station right across the street. 🙂 We got to tour the entire fire house, and learned so many things about these men and women who serve our community! Inside, we got to see their office, kitchen, weight room, lockers, and bedrooms. Did you know that they sleep and eat in the fire house? Did you know that all the food and other staples they buy to share at work is purchased out-of-pocket? We learned what to do in a fire, not to be scared of the uniform in case of an emergency, and that we should all know our own home address so that emergency responders know where to go! Finally, everyone got to hear the siren and sit behind the wheel of the truck and pretend to drive. Our visit was SO much fun!

20151028_103100 20151028_110146 20151028_110237 20151028_110256 20151028_110317 20151028_110356 20151028_110452 20151028_110535 20151028_110602 20151028_110634 20151028_110659 20151028_110713 20151028_110728 20151028_110806 20151028_110829 20151028_110851 20151028_110912 20151028_110933

On Friday, we practiced following a recipe and writing instructions for others to follow. We made “Franken-snacks” out of rice krispie treats, icing, and sprinkles, and then wrote about the process. Check out our delicious learning!

20151030_133045 20151030_132819 20151030_132808 20151030_132804 20151030_132535 20151030_121618 20151030_121615 20151030_121522 20151030_121157 20151030_120427 20151030_120408 20151030_120338 20151030_115510 20151030_115458 20151030_115358 20151030_115351

A Short & Sweet Peek at our Week

To wrap up our learning about community helpers, we were visited by our very own principal, Mrs. Stephens, who talked with us about what a principal does all day and answered all of our burning questions. She also shared a hilarious book with us: The Principal from the Black Lagoon. 😉 We learned that although children are not bad, sometimes they make wrong choices and need help solving problems during the day. The principal is a helper who supports us when we need to solve problems, pray, or simply take a break and talk things out.

20151013_105205 20151013_105544

Recess is a foundationally important part of a child’s day; in fact, pediatricians say recess is as important for young children as math or reading! Taking a learning break allows the brain to process the information it has taken in during the day, much like sleep. Children simply need downtime in order to do their best. Although recess is necessary for the development of physical gross motor skills, it also deeply affects social, emotional, and cognitive development as well. Unstructured play gives children the opportunity to develop conflict resolution skills that they otherwise would not. Then they’re ready to come back to class, able to learn and focus on challenging material. At CCA, we protect recess time as a valued period of free play. In the Patience Fruit Stand, the firsties devise their own games and activities, and are able to use the playground freely to swing, run, climb, slide, pretend, and even build or create.

20151013_112015 20151013_112201 20151013_112204 20151013_112249 20151013_112304 20151013_112456 20151013_112506 20151013_112520 20151013_112542 20151013_112557 20151013_112650 20151013_112708 20151013_112733 20151013_112749

Remember the pumpkin we began investigating last week? This week we used the seeds we scooped out to practice making and counting sets of 10. Each group of students was given a large sheet of butcher paper and a plateful of pumpkin seeds. They grouped the seeds by 10s, circling and labeling their work on their butcher paper as they counted. Finally, we collected each group’s data and added each group’s number of seeds together to find the total number of seeds inside our pumpkin. We discovered that our pumpkin had exactly 300 seeds inside!20151013_115445 20151013_115500 20151013_115721

After counting all those seeds, we’d worked up an appetite! We followed a pumpkin seed baking recipe step by step, measuring out the necessary ingredients and setting a timer so we’d know when they were done.

20151013_141500

Most of us enjoyed our final taste test!

20151013_142338 20151013_142344 20151013_142406 20151013_142417

We let our pumpkin sit for a week after opening it to collect the seeds. Finally, it was time to investigate what happens to a pumpkin over time. The photographs do not begin to truly show the full “ick” factor, y’all. Our friends thought the strings of moldy yuck looked like cat hair. Shudder. There were “eeeeeeewws” all around! In general, we try to remember that scientists don’t say “eew,” but in this case, it was warranted!

20151015_114939 20151015_115011 20151015_115031 20151015_115050 20151015_115102 20151015_115121 20151015_115148 20151015_115209 20151015_115223 20151015_115246 20151015_115311 20151015_115344 20151015_115400 20151015_115422 20151015_115443 20151015_115507 20151015_115526 20151015_115638

We learned a lot about the natural process of rot and decay. Now our pumpkin rests outside, by the fence on the edge of our playground so that we can continue to observe its changes over a long period of time!

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Just a little glimpse into Week 7

Our social studies learning this quarter has revolved around communities inside and out. This week we were blessed with the opportunity to experience a little of what it might feel like to serve the community as a firefighter!

20151007_094014 20151007_093914 20151007_093756 20151007_093648 20151007_093501 20151007_093250 20151007_093126 20151007_092958 20151007_092855 20151007_092724 20151007_092613 20151007_092457 20151007_092302 20151007_092145 20151007_091813 20151007_091325 20151007_090635

While the helmet is authentic, the coat is a little snug. I’m also not sure how flame-retardant it would be. These firefighters should talk to their rep about new uniforms! 🙂  Almost everyone said they noticed how heavy the helmet is, and how difficult it would be to wear it while running in and out of a burning building. One firstie even exclaimed that they were “sure glad there’s firemen to keep us safe so we don’t have to worry.” Exactly.

We also began a new scientific investigation into pumpkins. The firsties measured a pumpkin’s height, width, weight, and circumference! Ask your firstie how to find circumference of round items at home!

20151009_104823
To weigh this pumpkin, we had to do a little computation. We weighed our friend by herself and then again holding the pumpkin, then subtracted to find the difference! Ask your firstie to tell you how much our pumpkin weighed and whether or not they made a good estimate.

20151009_141844 20151009_105751 20151009_105445 20151009_105209 20151009_105111

We also used our five senses to make scientific observations about the pumpkin. We noticed the way it looked, smelled, felt, and sounded. Did you know that pumpkins have ribs, just like we do? Some of us even tasted the pumpkin’s inner flesh by licking spatters of pumpkin off our fingertips after scooping. We will continue our pumpkin investigation next week by determining how many seeds our pumpkin has and then doing a little pumpkin taste test!

Through writers workshop, the firsties have been learning how authors and illustrators use size, shape, and color to tell stories. They read and re-read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear to study the illustrator’s use of color, shape, and size. The firsties then applied their learning in their own illustrations, remembering to create  5 Star pictures.

strawberry mouse bear

In readers workshop, the firsties learned and practiced several reading strategies to help them when they come across unfamiliar words while reading. Ask your child to teach you how to check the picture, get your mouth ready, and think about what might make sense. The firsties practiced each skill by reading and re-reading Flower Garden, by Eve Bunting.

Flower-Garden

In math this week we reviewed composing and decomposing numbers, place value, and measurement, learned how to write addition and subtraction equations in fact families and count coins. The firsties played games independently, used IXL to practice skills, wrote about the skills in their math journals, and worked with their math groups through guided math.

20151007_121104 20151007_121054 20151007_120954 20151007_120900 20151007_120259 20151007_121501 20151007_121446 20151007_121437 20151007_121430

Next week is our last week before Fruitful Event week. The firsties have learned so much this quarter! I can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

Communities of the Past, Present, and Future

This week in the Patience Fruit Stand the firstie saints were busy extending their first quarter learning about communities into ideas about past, present, and future. They created timelines and imagined what their homes might have looked like in the past and in the future after reading The House on Maple Street. 9780688120313_xlg

They drew and wrote about themselves as babies, today, and what they might be like in the future. We learned all about schools of the past, and created our own hornbooks to show what learning to read and write was like decades ago, and compared their learning tools (chalk, slates, quill pens) to the ones we use now (crayons, pencils, SMARTboards, Kindles, document cameras).

the-puritans-in-colonial-america-6-728

We also imagined how learning might be different in the future. Most students believe that school will be completely virtual and we’ll learn from holograms, or alternatively, that schools will float in the air. 🙂 We thought about Uncle Jed and the ways in which his community is different than ours, but also about the ways they are the same (people still take care of each other, families often make sacrifices for one another). We will continue to explore some of these ideas further into the next few weeks! On Friday the firsties were very excited to think about some of the stuff people used in the past. We got to see an early video game system: The Atari! We examined how the console and controller are similar to and different from the systems we already know and love, like the wii, Playstation, and Xbox, then viewed a few short video clips of example games, comparing the music and graphics of each. I’m not sure our firsties truly appreciate the struggle that was “Frogger!”

20151002_144603 20151002_144541

Our Reader’s Workshop is fully off and running. Students are engaged in a variety of literacy learning choices, including independent reading, independent writing, word work, partner reading, and listening to reading. This week, students focused on the idea that reading is thinking, and that good readers think while they read. We made connections between our lives and the books we read, such as family vacations during The Relatives Came. They also began thinking about reading strategies and why they are important, using Shh We Have a Plan and Froggy Plays T-Ball to examine the strategies each set of character used when they encountered problems, much like applying the strategies students are learning to problems encountered during word-solving!

relatives cameshhh  froggy

20151001_094309
Some friends like to create phrases or sentences using the letter beads.
20151001_093957
Look at her expression! Reading is exciting!
20151001_093944
During Work on Writing time, students create cards, letters, poems, or even recipes, such as this one about making pizza.
20151001_093855
Saints use many different materials to make words, including play-doh, which is excellent fine motor practice and strengthens the muscles that make handwriting possible.
20151001_093813
This saint creates a wordle using all the words she can find in the room.
20151001_093757
This student explores word families in her Word Work notebook.
20151001_093722
Firsties love to read books created by past first grade classes!

A few more peeks into Readers Workshop:

20151001_093915 20151001_093909 20151001_093731 20151001_093715 20151001_093659 20151001_093652

In Writer’s Workshop, the firsties continued practicing writing stories near and dear to their hearts and wrapped up their first author study of Kevin Henkes. They also began thinking about how illustrations can help tell the story. Ask your firstie to explain how to create a 5-Star illustration! The firsties are applying their ideas about strategies to writing, too, as they brainstorm writing ideas and plan story sequences. They enjoyed reading Draw Me a Star, Jamaica’s Blue Marker, and Author: A True Story to see how these ideas could be applied in their real-life writing.

draw me a starjamaicaauthor

Although they practiced many numeracy, measurement, and addition skills this week, the firsties’ favorite project this week in math was learning how to write secret messages. It is a tricky skill, requiring logical thinking, planning, and sequencing skills. Ask your firstie to write you a secret message and see if you can crack the code!

These firsties practice writing double digit numbers using expanded form.

20150929_120300
He looks less-than-thrilled because my camera wasn’t working and he had to pose through about 5 attempts. Hilarious!

20150929_125912 20150929_125825 20150929_125402 20150929_125354 20150929_125341 20150929_120828 20150929_120819 20150929_120810 20150929_120747 20150929_115006 20150929_115001 20150929_114957 20150929_114954

Our Bible learning centered around the story of Joseph. We learned that his family, and ultimately his employer (well, his employer’s wife), did not treat him very well even though he followed God, yet God was always with him and always provided him a way out of his desperate circumstances. Next week we will learn what Joseph does with the power God grants him, and whether he abuses it for revenge or uses it to do good!

Faith, Missions, and a Little Science

This week in the Patience Fruit Stand, the firsties were busy learning another example of how God wants us to honor our families. We learned about how Noah honored God and protected his family through his faith and compared his example to the story of Jacob and Esau. We learned that neither son honored his family when Esau exchanged his own birthright for a single bowl of lentil stew and Jacob cheated his brother out of his blessing by deceiving his blind father. Eesh. We realized that we dishonor our families just like these brothers when we are disobedient, have poor attitudes, or seek to deceive one another. The firsties had many great ideas for ways to honor our families, and brainstormed a list to use while writing and drawing their thoughts. To cap off our learning, we cooked our own stew! Although the Bible describes it as lentil stew, we also added vegetables and meat. We thought Esau, a hunter, would have wanted lots of meat in his stew! 🙂 Ask your firstie how they liked it!

20150924_08252720150924_08262920150924_08272720150924_08345820150924_08345420150924_08334820150924_08393320150924_084020 20150924_08381420150924_08373520150924_08363420150924_083631  20150924_141151    20150924_14012720150924_14031420150924_140303 20150924_140246   20150924_140223       20150924_140406

We continued using apples to explore science this week, learning about its life cycle, the apple’s parts, and the scientific process. Check out our experiment!

20150925_175447 20150925_142409 20150925_143432 20150925_14353820150925_143709

We also cooked up some delicious applesauce. Only 3 firsties didn’t enjoy it. To see who liked it and who didn’t, stop by the graph we created outside our classroom.

20150923_09322220150923_09512320150923_09553920150923_10221320150923_10213220150923_10160320150923_10073520150923_10055920150923_10050220150923_10034120150923_10010920150923_09571420150923_09410720150923_09433020150923_09550820150923_10292920150923_10291220150923_141917 20150923_141911 20150923_141908 20150923_141903 20150923_141848 20150923_141845 20150923_141842 20150923_141837 20150923_141831 20150923_141823 20150923_141808 20150923_141803 20150923_141743 20150923_141740 20150923_141735 20150923_141731 20150923_141728

This week was Missions Conference, and the students have enjoyed learning about the different countries each missionary or missionary family will be visiting. At Chapel on Friday, the saints got to ask them any question they wanted! We learned that as Christ-followers, we are all missionaries tasked with spreading the Gospel. We don’t even have to leave our neighborhood; we can share the good news of Jesus anywhere!

20150925_095703
Check out the tiny missionary in the front. Who wouldn’t follow that cutie straight to Jesus?

Finally, a picture from our indoor PE fun on Friday. We couldn’t use the gym because it was set up for Missions Conference or go outside because of the rain, so we did a fun (and educational – we even got to practice our sight words!) exercise and dance video instead!

20150925_110641

Looking forward to next week!