“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…”

At our last fruitful event of the year, one of the Kinders explained that “Peace is a gift.” This was true for Jesus’ disciples as He spoke to them in preparation for His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. And this is also true for each of these students as they leave kindergarten.  Jesus says,

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…”

My prayer is that the PEACE that God leaves with each of them would continue to EXIST, EXCITE, EXPRESS, and EXPAND into first grade and the rest of their lives.  They have grown so much! It was such a privilege to witness the baptism of three of our Kinders who each made important salvation decisions this year. Another student plans to be baptized this summer after recently being saved! God’s peace is at work in the hearts of each of these Kinders. It is has been an honor and a pleasure to teach and learn alongside of them. Thank you Kinder Families for the partnership, constant support, and friendship throughout the year!

They are no longer my Kinders (sniff, sniff), but I can’t wait to see how their light shines in first grade! Keep shining for Jesus!

Happy Summer, Firsties!

 

 

 

 

 

Our Week in Field Trips, Part 2

A Visit to the Fire Station

The Kinders have been learning about community helpers and how they each serve a specific purpose and play important roles in allowing our community to run smoothly and effectively. On Friday they had the opportunity to visit the firefighters of Fire Station #9 to get a glimpse of their lives in action.

First, we went on a tour of the station and saw their sleeping quarters, workout room, captain’s office, and even walked in on some firefighters preparing lunch with a wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen.

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Captain Parrish explained the importance of heat and fire safety in the kitchen. He showed the Kinders that pot handles should NEVER face out where it can be knocked over. Pot handles should always face to the side or away to prevent spills and burns.

Some other important information for kids Captain Parrish shared included:

  • knowing the number for emergencies: 9-1-1
  • knowing the first and last names of your parents
  • memorizing your home address
  • having a designated meeting place right outside of your house in case of fires or other emergencies.

For more information on creating a fire safety plan in your home, check out this site: http://stayingalive1.com/kids_escapeplan.html.

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We listened in on a 9-1-1 dispatcher notifying all local fire stations of a car accident.

One of the firefighters put on his entire firefighter gear to show how well-protected he must be when fighting fires.

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He had the Kinders imagine a room filled with smoke. They practiced getting low to the ground, reminded them to not be afraid of a firefighter in full gear, and to crawl towards a firefighter (instead of hiding from them) if the situation ever arose.

We could not leave the fire station without getting to check out the inside of a fire truck first!

We are so thankful for our local heroes for their dedication and service to our community. Thank you!

Our Week in Field Trips, Part 1

What a wonderful week we had of getting a first-hand look at the very things we have been learning in class through field trips! Our trip to Hunt Club Farm was off to a great start, especially when this happens:

Our awesome tour guide Ms. Theresa took us to several different stations on the farm. We were exposed to the life cycle of frogs, bees, birds, and plants. We got to look for froglets in their mini pond, dig for worms, play with the chickens in the coop, pet some of the animals, feed the goats, and plant sunflower seeds in the garden.

The photo below is a look at the aviary from the outside with a display of different types of bird eggs, which Ms. Theresa was showing the Kinders. Can you guess how many chicken eggs are equivalent to one ostrich egg?

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Going inside the aviary and getting to feed the birds was probably one of our favorite parts of the entire farm visit! It was fascinating to see God’s amazing creation up close. The birds apparently LOVED Mrs. Smith!

Lunch time was a great time to share our favorite parts of the field trip so far and squeeze in some math discussion. The Kinders ate their food in fractions. “I ate 1/2 of my chip!” “I have 1/4 of my cookie left!” the Kinders exclaimed. It was impressive to see sandwiches cut into fourths, too!  (Way to go, parents)!

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And of course, we got to have recess at the farm!

Thank you Hunt Club Farm for an educational, hands-on, and all-around fabulous day! The Lord couldn’t have granted us a more weather-perfect day for field-tripping. It was beautiful outside!

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The Kinders were sad to leave the farm but were excited for another ride on the bus.

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Their excitement only lasted for a short time. Many of them were out within minutes of leaving the farm after a fun, yet exhausting day.

Peace “Otterly” Excites!

This time of the year naturally brings out the excitement of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. The Kinders are learning that peace excites not only in receiving from others but also in giving, gratitude, and persevering through hard work.

In learning about the first Thanksgiving and all that the Pilgrims had to go through for religious freedom, we realize how much we have to be thankful for.  Many of us got to celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends, a feast (harvested from the grocery store) that probably lasted for days, and the freedom to pray and worship God as we desire.

Just like the pilgrims had to work hard in a new land to survive, the Kinders got a small taste of what life could have been like in the past where everything was planted for harvesting and made from scratch.  They each took turns helping make homemade butter by shaking a jar of whipping cream constantly for about 10 minutes! Boy, did their arms get tired!

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Kyros took her turn at shaking one of the jars of whipping cream until it turned to butter!
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After minutes of vigorous shaking, the Kinders finally made butter! [We even noticed the three states of matter that existed in that small jar – solid (butter), liquid (buttermilk), and gas (air)].
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We couldn’t let the hard of work of butter-making go to waste, so we had to enjoy it on some bread, of course.  Delicious! The Kinders even asked for a second serving of bread and butter 🙂

We also made some popcorn in honor of our study of Squanto, the friendly Native American Indian who taught the Pilgrims how to raise and harvest corn.  With the help of our school’s cognitive therapist Ms. Pattie, the Kinders enjoyed the experience of watching corn kernels wildly transform into popcorn!

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They used their five senses to come up with some “juicy” adjectives to describe our popcorn before devouring it!

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With Christmas in just a few weeks, our Social Studies unit on Needs and Wants was a great segue into the real meaning and spirit of Christmas.  The Kinders came up with a list of items they want for Christmas.

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Then they brainstormed what they think we really need to live.  It’s a pretty good list, don’t you think?

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The Kinders concluded that what we really need is Jesus.  God provides for all our physical needs as He promises in Matthew 6:25-32, BUT Jesus is the only way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). This Christmas we are thankful for Jesus who came to earth for the purpose of saving us from our sins so that we could have an eternal relationship with God our Father.

In Art, the Kinders were excited to create their Christmas ornaments to decorate the CCA Christmas tree!

In Math, the Kinders are showing that peace excites when we become part of the math problem!

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Human Tally Marks!
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The Kinder saints use a nonstandard unit of measure (markers) to find out how long Cadence is!

Finally, we would like to introduce you to the newest member of our class…

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Oscar Otter!

The Kinders are reading through Oscar Otter together this quarter. It is fun to watch their “otter” excitement over finding trick words, digraphs, bonus letters, glued sounds, and chunking words together.  We have some great readers in the making!

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Here are just a few of our readers in the making.

Unite!

Our end-of-quarter “Peace Exists” Fruitful Event was a success!  It was a success because these Kinders were proud of their work and they truly honored God in what they shared.  This event was such a great picture of Central Christian Academy’s motto coming to life:

Where home, church, and school work together.

It was a real treat to have family members, friends, and pastors come together so that the Kinder saints could share their first quarter of learning, exploration, and fun. If you were not able to make it, check out the short video and photo slideshow below to get a glimpse of what took place at this special event!

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The God of Order

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…         – 1 Corinthians 14:33

As we continue our theme of “Peace Exists” throughout the first quarter, we discovered that peace exists when there is order.  1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us that our Creator is a God of order.  In context, the apostle Paul explains that the church functions best when there is order. That is true also in the classroom. We know that putting our supplies where they belong after we use them allows us to function peacefully and smoothly in the classroom.  We also know that disorder in the classroom (for example, not putting headphones back where they belong) can result in frustration, discontentment, and blame. In the Peace Fruit Stand, we are learning that we can make messes, get dirty, have fun, and still restore order when we work well together.

This week we discovered that order is EVERYWHERE!

In Math, we explored the use and function of ordinal numbers. The Kinders learned that ordinal numbers, by its name and definition, tell the position of something in an ordered sequence.

In Language Arts, we launched all of the Daily 5 activities: Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing.  Each activity follows a set of expectations that, when followed in an orderly manner, will help each Kinder become better readers and writers.

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Word Work

In Science, we learned about the States of Matter: solid, liquid, and gas.  We made observations and conclusions about water.  When a solid (ice cube) is introduced to heat, it will melt and become liquid (water).  When the liquid (water) is introduced to more heat, it changes to a gas (steam). When a liquid (water) is introduced to cold temperatures, it becomes a solid (ice cube).  We learned that not all solids are affected by temperature, but when they are, they follow these rules.

The Kinders watched a solid ice cube change its state when heat from their hands was applied to it (pictured above).  Then they worked together to make Jell-O and observed its changing state from a liquid to a solid.  The following day they enjoyed the best part – eating their work!

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When there is order, peace (and the sweetest smiles) exists.

Created In His Own Image

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Meet Blastoids!  He is the newest addition to our class! What would you say if I told you that Blastoids is the result of integrating Academic Content Objectives (ACOs) in multiple subjects in a fun, creative, student-led, teacher-facilitated environment? Blastoids is an example of project-based learning (or PBL).

For more information on PBL, check out this short video.

Blastoids is a product of the Kinders’ collective work.  Let me share with you the process we took to create him.

In math, the Kinders spent a little over a week learning about 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes.  To help them connect shapes to the world around them, we went on a shape hunt around the school and collected objects in a variety of shapes.  The Kinders even saved some of the disposable containers from their snacks!  The Kinders quickly discovered that shapes are EVERYWHERE!  We couldn’t take everything we found with us (because that would be called stealing), so we took photos of them on my phone and printed them out later on.  After our shape hunt, we found ourselves with a pile of random items in the middle of our classroom.  The Kinders needed to address the driving question: “How can we display the 2D and 3D objects collected during our shape hunt?”

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After some collaboration and communication, the Kinders decided to take it to a vote.  They came up with all kinds of ideas and finally narrowed it down to building a robot together.  “But how do we do that?” one Kinder asked.  This question sparked a conversation about a recent Bible lesson about God’s creation of man.  Genesis 1:27 says,

So God created mankind in His own image,
in the image of God He created them;
male and female He created them.

We were reminded through this verse in Scripture that we were created in the likeness of God. And all that He had created prior to this verse was so masterfully done with varying shapes and functions.

The Kinders were given a brief exercise to imagine God’s created world with everything made only of squares.  Then they attempted to draw self portraits using only squares (as pictured above).  Though we all thought each drawing was quite adorable, we concluded that God’s artful design of us and everything else He created is so much more beautiful with all of its varying lines and shapes.

“God is so creative!” a Kinder joyfully exclaimed.

“So, if WE are created in His own image and God is creative, that must mean that we are creative, too! How can we use our creativity to build this robot?” I asked.

The Kinders proceeded to share their ideas, established different jobs and roles (with teacher assistance), gathered supplies, and got to work. This project did not address a real world problem like most project-based learning does, but the students had to problem-solve and learn to work together peacefully when they hit snags in their creating and building approach. It was a rough process for them to work through since most of them were concerned about what THEY wanted to do. However, each time they were reminded of their purpose and goal, those key social skills (of turn-taking, showing patience, sharing ideas, listening to others’ ideas, and working together in a peaceful manner) would resurface. They were able to move forward and create a final product.

So in the midst of covering content in the subjects of Math, Bible, and Art, the Kinders were developing some of the social skills necessary to be successful now and in the future!

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Here are a list of other things the Kinders are learning and developing in school:

  • Building reading stamina during Read to Self and Read to Someone (pictured below) for Daily 5.
  • Adding details to their drawings to share an idea or tell a story during Writer’s Workshop.  They will be adding words to their pictures next week.
  • Applying lessons from Adam and Eve; Hannah and Samuel; and Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac in the Bible.
  • Logging on online to IXL independently (for additional math content practice) in the Media Center.
  • Learning number sense, days of the week, months of the year, patterns, shapes, addition, and tallying during calendar time.
  • Identifying, writing, and counting numbers 1-20.
  • Studying the five food groups and the importance of each in our daily food intake.
  • Exploring a variety of lines and shapes in Art.
  • Using loud vs. soft and fast vs. slow through song in Music.

The Kinders are excited about using Kindles next week in Language Arts and Math!  I, however, am excited about watching their “likeness of God” continue to unfold this year in the Peace Fruit Stand!