MATH, SCIENCE, AND OUR COMMUNITY
Over the past few weeks the children have been using tools in math to make learning easier and fun. Research has taught us that when we use our hands to learn, a deeper level of learning takes place. This way of learning makes it easier for the students to commit the content to memory. The children, working in groups, used math wraps to reinforce counting and to practice adding doubles up to 18. The class really enjoyed taking turns wrapping the green boards. It takes concentration to ensure you are wrapping it at the correct number. Being in groups helped the children stay on task and check their work. Using another tool, the math fact cards, the students worked with a partner to practice math facts. Learning these math facts is a fundamental step to learning more complex math problems. Memorizing these math facts has been linked to improved abilities to estimate, which aids in positive problem solving skills. The children have asked me, almost daily, when we will use these tools again in math. It’s a great thing to see young children excited about math!
We have begun a new unit in science, air and weather. Last week the groups made air and water fountains. My favorite portion of our science lessons is being able to allow the children time with the materials to explore and problem solve. Learning what air is, how it moves, how pressure affects it, and the power it holds has been fascinating to the class. They get animated when they find new ways to manipulate the air pressure and move the water. One group noticed that the water would only move up the side with the longer pipe. They yelled to me, “Look, if you flip it over the water can reach the short pipe and water moves into the syringe!” Some of my greatest joys as a teacher are seeing concepts click with the children as they are laughing together, jumping around with excitement when something is figured out, and sharing ideas with others.
Our youngest students on campus held a food drive and gave every student an orange ribbon to bring awareness about hunger in our world. Lower School (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade) students were happy to wear the ribbons and be reminded how blessed we all are, and the need to share our blessings with others. Involving our students, even the youngest, in community services teaches them to be stewards of Christ and to care about the place they live.