Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Where did March go? Well I guess Spring Break took out a lot of that. Regardless, here we are in the first half of April. There's no snow right now, but that may change. I guess we'll just have to see.

On the academic front, we are beginning to work on our yearbook. It's a different company, different website, and different students, but I have high hopes of it coming together nicely. I guess we'll just have to see.

Turning to math, we have been working on equations and percents in the middle school. The kids have been struggling through it, but I think I see progress. I guess we'll just have to see.

In high school, we are working on quadratics, absolute values, conversion factors, exponential functions, and logarithms to name a few concepts. Sometimes these are a breeze, and sometimes we need to slow down each lesson. In fact, there are times a lesson is split up into multiple days just so we can gain a better understanding of the ideas before trying to work on them. How do they all turn out? I guess we'll just have to see.

As you can tell, just having to see is a common theme throughout all of my classes. In fact, it's a common theme throughout school. And that's because education is a dynamic venture. It's constantly changing, and needs to be as the students come and the students go. We begin with an end goal, and get there through many different routes.

So the big question, how will the year turn out? I guess we'll just have to see, but time marches on, so there is an end goal in mind. I hope spiritually we all have an end goal of furthering God's kingdom in mind as we journey through life together. Let's make that our goal and just see where God leads.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The English Corner

     Over the month of March, the 7/8 Grammar class has covered a chapter on using adverbs and adjectives correctly and another one on using the correct homonym and tricky verbs such as lie/lay, sit/set, and rise/raise. They had fun doing a rewrite of the Three Little Pigs using these tricky verbs and homonyms. (Ask them to read you their story!) They are off to a good start on the Capitalization chapter, too. Once a week they are back to practicing handwriting-I hope that regular practice of this will add to their skill and help them for years to come!
     The American Lit class has experienced the writings of the Masters of Realism (Mark Twain was the most familiar of these), and now the Naturalists (Crane, London, and Norris) and Anti-Naturalists (Markham, O'Henry, and Fanny Crosby) as well. The students have commented on hearing some naturalist views expressed recently, realizing the influence of this thinking that first expressed itself in literature in the late 19th century persists through today. The "remnant" of Christian thought in literature expressed itself in that time period, too, with the anti-naturalists, although it wasn't as popular. Yet, Jesus wasn't popular, either...  Thankful that writers are willing to share their Christian convictions.
     "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave the 9/10 English class a good mystery to solve and experience the literary techniques of a skilled writer. Overall, they enjoyed the Unit on Essay and Short Story. We have now been reading and learning about Folktales and Epics. The Iliad excerpts are great examples of epic conventions, many of which are still used in modern literature. As to be expected because the students' interests are varied, not everyone likes all the selections, yet that helps to stretch us, including me!  I really appreciate that they all are trying. Our book's selections helps us expand our literature experience!
     The 7/8 English class is taking the Unit test tomorrow on the selections of poems and stories in the "Adventures" unit. We really liked the Ben-Hur adaptation. Point of view and literary devices like alliteration, irony, hyperbole, etc. were highlighted. I really enjoyed our unit review today, as the students had lots of energy and competed to get the right answer first!
     It's amazing that we are looking at the last seven weeks of this school year! It has been full, fun and fascinating. I learn so much teaching all these students.  Thank you for all you do to support KA. It is a blessing to teach at this Christian school.

In Christ's amazing love,
Mrs. Lemmen

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The students have came back from Spring Break with a "spring" in their step.  They seem to be excited as we begin our last lap on the track of this school year.  It has been a wonderful year in many ways and my only complaint is that the Passion week of Christ fell on Spring Break week.  So I am just not ready to stop celebrating the resurrection of Jesus!  His tomb is empty so my joy is full.

In World History, we are finishing up World War 2 this week.  My favorite concept to discuss in this horrible ordeal is how God brought so much good and love out of so much evil and suffering.  Corrie Ten Boom, Anne Frank, Jacob DeShazer, Mitsuo Fuchida are all excellent examples of bringing beauty from ashes.

In M.S. Science, we began studying the structure of an atom.  Did you know that if you placed the nucleus of an atom on a pitcher's mound in a Major League stadium, the electrons would be orbiting around the outside of the stadium!  What is in between?  Just empty space.  Not even the best scientist really understand this idea.

In Speech, we continue to partake in all kinds of verbal games and speeches.  The students shared stories, informative speeches, short speeches and had a few debates.  As the weather gets nice, we plan to do a demonstrative speech so to include the opportunity to do something outside.

In Biology, the students just finished up cellular reproduction.  Now we are beginning a chapter on Mendelian genetics and Punnet Squares and Pedigrees.  I like how the curriculum teaches us that it is not just genetics, but also spiritual and environmental factors that determine who a person is.

In Physics, we ventured into the electrifying world of electricity.  We have mainly been learning the mathematical side using equations and constants.  Soon we will be learning the physical side of this using actual circuits and all that is involved with that.  The boys will also be building a big marble "roller coaster" with many plastic parts and no directions in the next few weeks.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Three quarters down, one to go. The year is continuing to fly by, and what a blessing it has been! The students are completing a couple of elearning days to make up for missed school. The content covered on those days reflects concepts that are beneficial to them due to their current studies. Let's take a look at what they did on their first elearning day.

Calculus - A question came up regarding how to find the coordinates of centroid on a graph. In some situations, the equations aren't that straight forward. The first elearning challenged the calculus class to figure out why the equations were different.

Pre-Calculus - We just completed a chapter on conic sections. We did a lot of graphing, finding the standard form of an equation of a conic, and then using the different properties of each conic section to find different parts of the conic section. The first elearning day asked them to graph a couple of different conic sections and then discuss why they looked different based on certain properties.

Algebra 2 - They have been doing a lot with quadratic equations. So they were asked to graph these quadratic equations using the intercepts and finding the vertex.

Algebra 1 - We reviewed operations on signed numbers and how to use boxes to factor quadratics.

Algebra 1/2 - On their first elearning day, they were asked to simplify an expression by combining like terms.

Math 7 - They simply reviewed the four operations with signed numbers as their assignment.

I think the students will be able to look at these elearning days and be glad they had them. I'm sure it will be a refreshing break from the "normal" school day.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The English Corner-March 11, 2018

The English Corner of KA has been buzzing with reading, writing and presenting. The Middle Schoolers are marching through their Grammar: pronoun usage and a deeper investigation of adjectives and adverbs. (Did you notice the pun?) They got to use their creativity (which they have a LOT of!) in making photo essays: very short essays told through photographs and captions. These are displayed in the hall for all to enjoy. They were able to reign-in their creativity on another project where they wrote clear, concise explanations of how to do something, like make a taco or start a four-wheeler.

Slam-Jam (February 22) was a success, thanks to our amazing God, the hard work and high standards of the students, and to the support of the parents and administrators. Our audience was entertained by 26 memorized poems (16 original) and 16 original, dramatically-told stories that evening. That's 42 pieces of literature! The hot chocolate bar, candlelit tables, and the fluffy pillow kept it cozy. Thanks to all those who made it a reality.

The American Lit students (Juniors) just finished the Unit on the Regionalist writers, and are now studying the Major Realist authors: Howells, James, and Clemens (Mark Twain). We'll see how Twain uses satire to express his views in Life on the Mississippi and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Though he uses humor, unfortunately we will also see his underlying pessimistic world view.

The Freshman class is finishing a unit on Essay and Short Story. They had fun working with Dr. Watson and Dr. Holmes solving the crime in The Adventure of the Speckled Band. The essay, Civil Peace, brought us to Nigeria after the civil war there and showed us how a financially poor, but morally strong, family managed conflict.  We will end this unit next week with a test followed by writing an essay of their own.

The Middle Schoolers are working on a Unit called Adventures. We read short stories, essays and poems, such as On the Banks of the Sacramento, which takes place after the gold rush. They are now using the RAP system to write answers to the questions after the reading. Ask your student about RAP-it is helping them to answer those questions more thoroughly. The vocabulary and spelling lessons keep them building our personal "useful word banks." Their creativity got put to good use after reading The First Robin.  They were asked to ponder whether they are a "first robin" or a "fifth robin," and explore the overarching question: "What is success?" Ask to see their essay-there was much good thinking!

We are looking forward to the field trip to the Menno-Hof Museum in Shipshewana tomorrow! Learning about anabaptist beginnings, lunch at Millie's Market Cafe, and road-time to relax with friends-thankful for it all. If you read this in time, please pray for the safety of everyone on the trip.

Thanks, again, for all your support and encouragement for the students, teachers, administrators and the many others that make up KA.

We are thankful for Jesus, "the Living Fountain that forever quenches thirst." Hymns of Zion, p. 232.

Mrs. Lemmen

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As we wrap up this 3rd quarter, I thank the Good Lord for giving me the opportunity teach here at KA and especially to be privileged to have students who are so special.  It reminds me of a song to which I will make up some additional words...

Oh the Lord's been good to me 
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
to teach at Kingdom Academy

In World History, we finished up WWI, the age of trust busters and limiting big business and impact Christians had in fighting modernism in European culture. As we prepare for the quarter final test this Friday (7 chapters!!), the students have been working on a HUGE "countries of the world" geography quiz as well.  Thanks to Reuben, there has been plenty of maps, songs, and study going on in the world history classroom.  

In M.S. Science, we have been studying centripetal force.  The students researched modern inventions and tools that actually put this force to good use.  Next, they have presentations to the class about how centripetal force has helped us.  Some examples were cooling fans, washing machines, cotton candy machines, and the Gravitron!

In Speech, the students continue to do a variety of informative and impromptu speeches.  Tomorrow we will begin our first debates.  The students were divided into partners and chose a topic that they will disagree on in a civilized manner.  Points will be docked for interrupting.  After the debate, the class will vote (unbiased as possible) and whoever wins shall receive extra credit.  As it warms up, we will begin our demonstrative speeches as some of them will be outside.  Persuasive speeches will also begin soon.

In Biology, we have been studying cytology.  If you don't know what that is, look it up.  But as I explain a little here, you may figure it out.  100 of them can fit across your fingernail.  They are alive.  Each of us has trillions of them.  They are responsible for the energy, synthesis, and function of our body's every existence.  Figure it out?  Cytology is the study of cells.

Human Anatomy had the exciting privilege of exploring the heart of a cow as they studied the cardiovascular system the last few weeks.  They cut into each chamber and were able to get a visual of how our hearts work as they are created very similar.  As they took the heart around to other classes, students were either fascinated or totally disgusted.  Now we are onto the lymphatic system which isn't quite as difficult to study and the curriculum does not have dissection this time.

In Physics, we have been studying the reflection and refraction of light.  We studied the difference in concave vs convex lenses along with constructing light diagrams to calculate real or virtual images and if they will be magnified or inverted.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

5/8 of the year is over, and it doesn't seem like it's been that long. As time continues to slip by, the attitudes of the students continue to impress me. Of course there are times when attitudes need tuned up, and now is one of those times. In the middle of the winter, halfway through the third quarter, and at a time when any excitement for school has long since worn off, you begin to catch a glimpse of what people are really made of (teachers included).

Anyway, as we tackle these issues of character, we must also continue on with the work at hand. Pre-calculus is finishing up a chapter that focused on comparing and converting the rectangular form of a number to the polar form (and vice versa). Algebra 2 has also been focusing on polar vs rectangular form of numbers. In fact, they just completed a lesson on force vectors on a point. Calculus has been dealing with change of variable in integration and application of integrals in finding the area under a curve. Algebra 1 has been dealing with binomials, trinomials, and their relationship to each other. The middle school math classes has been tackling concepts involving fractions (improper fractions to mixed numbers, reducing fractions, common & uncommon denominators to name a few). They have also been looking at problems involving signed numbers.

The work has kept us busy, and I hope that with a little bit of encouragement, we can also keep up their motivation. We won't know that until later though. So until then, keep us in your prayers. Thanks.