SCHOOL NEWS from the Free Christian School

Lower Room Update

The past six weeks have flown by as quickly as the first. We have already completed twelve weeks of school and December is quickly approaching.

With December approaching, so is our annual Christmas program. We have already been learning our songs and memory verses for a number of weeks. Since there are only five of us, we depend on one another to know them well.

The students have also enjoyed learning two new songs that go with some of our Bible lessons in the New Testament this year: “Fishers of Men,” and the “Twelve Disciples Song.” The rhythm band instruments have even made an appearance to accompany our singing. The lower room sure likes to “make a joyful noise.”

Additionally, as we travel through the New Testament, the students have found the picture language of Jesus’ parables to be quite interesting and the miracles of Jesus amazing. They also were able to learn the Golden Rule with a little help of some sparkly gold glitter.

Our creative writing class has incorporated a couple of themes thus far. For our ‘fire prevention’ theme, we made our own fire safety brochures and wrote a help wanted ad for a fireman. The ‘following directions’ theme allowed kids to write a story about what can happen if directions aren’t followed properly.  Even adults can get mixed up when they don’t follow directions. The students were also challenged to write the best directions to get to their house. I’m not so sure we would be able to find it though.

We do a little more than problem solving and sentence building as well. For fun, we took a little time to make popcorn so we could find out what an ‘old maid’ was; a word in one of our stories. We also have been seeing if we can regrow vegetables if we place the stalk or part of the vegetable in some water. So far, the celery is sprouting. We have to be patient to see what happens with the carrots and sweet potatoes.

Lower room students checking out the brush fire rig. Pictured are Quentin Brands, Anna Gunnink, Arie Ver Hey, Isaiah Brands, and Brandon Boverhof.

Upper Room Update

Edition 2 of the Free Christian School News features the fourth graders. Fourth graders have to make the transition from the lower room to the upper room. They have to learn how to work more independently and handle more and different subjects. They also go from being the oldest in a classroom to the youngest. All of this is new to them and can be frightening especially if they have an older sibling who tells them a few “horror” stories. Jaron Brands is the oldest in his family so he gets to break the ice for his brothers and his parents. The other five students have older brothers or sisters and have that experience to go on. Their parents also are experienced. Levi Fennema and Casey Ver Hey are the fourth of their respective families to come into the upper room. Each of the students except Jaron have a brother or sister in the upper room at this time so they have to endure the “Mom, do you know what ____ did today?”

The fourth graders’ last unit in English dealt with letter writing. While this may be a lost art in today’s electronic world, we still teach it here at Free Christian School. You might have seen in a past issue of the Enterprise that we still teach cursive; however, we also teach keyboarding skills. The students wrote a letter to you using long hand and then they typed it out using a word processing program. The letters only contain the bodies of the letters as we left out the heading, greeting, closing, and signatures.

Transitions to the Upper Room

I will tell you what changed when I moved into the upper room.

Now I do not get as much free time. When I do have free time, I either go on the computer, catch up on other work, or read my book report book. I used to do activities or go and get a book to read.

Some changes are nice. Some of these changes are that I do not have Vowac spelling or Vowac any more. My spelling words are not as hard as they used to be. Another change is that the lower room comes to sing with us, and I am not with them. The upper room listens to music more than the lower room does. One last change is that I do homework instead of draw pictures during story time.

These are just some changes from coming out of the lower room and starting in the upper room.
Emily Boverhof

The upper room is harder than the lower room. We write more in pen than in pencil. We also don’t do as much on the computer as we did last year. Last year we did not do Daily Oral Language, but this year we do. We get more homework than last year. In the upper room sometimes you go to Mrs. Brummel in the library so she can help you. It is very helpful. I also like doing maps.
Alyvia Brands      

This year I start in the upper room. My favorite subject is geography. I like learning about the states. We started on the New England States, but now we are on the Middle Atlantic States. This year we have twelve students in our class, which is unusual because we have a small school.
Jaron Brands

I am going to tell you about fourth grade. In Bible we are learning about Jesus`s times. In math we are learning about mixed numbers. I like math! Our grades are going good. We do not have much free time. In spelling it is getting harder. In spelling we are having trouble. In language we are writing letters. That is why we are writing these letters to you. It’s fun writing thank you notes. I like language. In geography we are learning about Middle Atlantic States. We have vocabulary in geography. Geography is fun because we get to do maps. In science we are on unit two, “Plants.’’ We are learning what plants need, and what they do for the plant community. We are doing research about plants.
Levi Fennema

This year I am in fourth grade. Fourth grade is very fun. We learned a lot of new things. I am in the upper room. My favorite subjects are spelling and math. My least favorite subjects are language and geography. Scholastic News is fun and it is due every Friday. The upper room is very fun. My favorite thing to do during my free time is read my book Little House in the Big Woods.
Abbie Gunnink

This year I am in the upper room. It is different than the lower room. Geography is my favorite subject. I like learning about different states and places. I am learning about the Middle Atlantic States. It is a little harder than the lower room. We went on one field trip already. It was the Outdoor Campus. We went orienteering.
Casey Ver Hey

Levi Fennema and Alyvia Brands doing Daily Oral Language.

The fourth grade outside: Alyvia Brands, Emily Boverhof, Jaron Brands, Levi Fennema, Abbie Gunnink, and Casey Ver Hey.

The fourth grade working in class.

Jaron Brands working on a math drill.