Transforming Classroom Practice

TEACH Journal of Christian Education, Aug 2017

Michelle Cutajar, Beverly Christian

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Transforming Classroom Practice

TEACH Journal of Christian Education Transforming Classroom Practice Michelle Cutajar Tweed Valley Adventist College Avondale College ResearchOnline@Avondale Follow this and additional works at: http://research.avondale.edu.au/teach Part of the Education Commons Recommended Citation - Article 5 Transforming Classroom practice “ Each student also designed his or her own butterfly garden. Their designs and ideas were presented to the Principal ” Michelle Cutajar Teacher, Tweed Valley Adventist College shared with Beverly Christian Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Education, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, NSW Hearts are all aflutter in the Kindy/One classroom. How does learning about butterflies offer opportunities for learning about God? Michelle Cutajar, the Kindy/Year One teacher at Tweed Valley Adventist College (TVAC) wants her students to see God in everyday life. A class project involving butterflies is one way she achieves her goals. “The Kindergarten and Year One children at Tweed Valley Adventist College have been learning about butterflies. They discovered that butterflies need nectar plants to feed off, host plants for the caterpillars to eat, a mud pit for nutrients, a water source, and some rocks for sunning themselves. The children took their knowledge and wrote reasons why it would be a good idea to have butterflies at school. Each student also designed his or her own butterfly garden. Their designs and ideas were presented to the Principal in the form of a proposal. The children were delighted to see their visions and designs come to life as TVAC’s very own Butterfly Garden emerged. Each child planted their chosen nectar plant in the butterfly enclosure outside of the Kindy/One classroom. Every afternoon the children were enthusiastic about caring for their plant. The movements of the hungry caterpillars and the majestic Monarch Butterflies enchanted them: the colourful plants and butterflies proof of our awesome Creator God’s lovely design. The children were experiencing God in their butterfly garden. Standing in amongst God’s beauty in the enclosure, or in quiet moments watching through the window from their seats in the classroom, our children had an opportunity to watch the carefully designed lifecycle unfold before their very own eyes. The students watched with wonder the miracle of the caterpillar spinning and turning into a chrysalis. As time went by my students marveled at the black striped wings of the Monarch Butterfly curled up inside the chrysalis just waiting to emerge into new life. As the children watched the caterpillar give up its life in order for the butterfly to emerge, I used these moments to “We love butterflies so we would love a butterfly garden please. Please can we have a garden because they are beautiful. Please I love butterflies at lunch.” 7/7/17 12:22 pm remind my students of the new life that they are given through Jesus. Raising butterflies as a class project is instilling awe for our Creator and amazement in His miracles.” Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) “Raising butterflies as a class project is instilling awe for our Creator and amazement in His miracles Figure 4 . Kayla Pleskovic and Darcy O'Grady from Year One ( 2016 ), and Levi Harding Kindergarten ( 2016 ) enjoying the butterfly garden .


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Michelle Cutajar, Beverly Christian. Transforming Classroom Practice, TEACH Journal of Christian Education, 2017,