As I reflect upon the 2016- 2017 school year (my first year in 3rd grade), I am amazed at the growth that has taken place in our Goodness Fruit Stand! Not only did growth occur with our little third grade Saints, but it also occurred in their teacher. I must admit that I was apprehensive about teaching the third grade class, having always worked with older students, but I have come to realize, even more now, that God’s hand was, and continues to be, in everything. His will was accomplished this year through our little Saints and through me. I realized that third grade is that turning point; that pivotal year in which students take the basic skills they have learned in reading, writing, and math from the primary grades, and use those skills as vessels to carry them to new and exciting places. I have seen so much growth academically, socially, and most importantly; I have seen spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth and Social growth were evident in so many ways. Spiritual growth was seen when one of my tough little guys asked to share something with me in the hallway. When we stepped out to talk, he told me in a quite little voice (and with a sweet smile), “Mrs. Moore, I got saved yesterday.” The tears of joy could not be held back. We were also blessed to witness the baptisms of three of our third grade classmates this year. To be able to see a child come to know the Lord and to realize, after talking and sharing with children about our own salvation experience (and the fears that we had as a child), that God uses us as His vessels to bring others into his fold, is one of the most joyful experiences that we as Christians can have. I have truly come to realize that God puts us where He needs us so that we can be used for His purposes.
We bear fruit. Our third grade Saints have become fruit- bearing vessels. Even when the storms of life hit, we continue to bear fruit.
“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3
Roots: (Our picture with the roots of the tree after Hurricane Matthew)
Academically, these third graders pushed themselves past the goals that I had set and past the goals of the third grade curriculum. Their eager little minds took off in directions that were fascinating! Through problem- based/ project- based learning, the Saint discovered new lands, new ideas built upon old facts and old ideas from history, created projects using ideas from their own research, found new ways to solve mathematical problems and situations, and investigated God’s World through science.
Here are a few pictures from some of our projects and games:
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: As seen through the eyes of third- grade researchers and presented through writing, 3-D media design, and technology.
Students are using deductive reasoning skills to determine missing factors with multiplication and dividends with division.
Various interactive projects in Social Studies, Science, and Math.
After reading the novel, The Whipping Boy, Saints created life- size characters from the novel and portrayed things from that character’s point of view for parents and guests at one of our Fruitful Events.
Wow! What reflections! I am so thankful that I was able to spend this year learning right along with my sweet third- grade Saints. They have grown so much! I will miss them over the summer, but I am encouraged by the fact that most of them are returning to CCA next year, and will be right next door to me in fourth grade! Have a blessed summer! I love you all! May God continue to bless!