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.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

It's already midterm and the semester is cruising right along.  With 4 days cancelled and multiple days delayed, the weeks vanish in thin air!

In World History,  we began studying the Industrial Revolution.  Anything we have in technology was built on the foundation of this time in history.  It is amazing to see how God has inspired men to invent such machines!  I'm hoping the more we study this section, the more it will motivate our young students to consider their career path!

In M.S. Science, we started a Unit on the 3 laws of motion by Isaac Newton.  Part of our class time was spent heading down to the gym to partake in demonstrations.  The good ol' egg drop contest was a highlight as each student built a contraption to help the egg survive the fall. 5 of 6 students protected their precious cargo.

Speech class has been filled with all kinds of action.  We have played many word games, multiple impromptu activities, and informative speeches.  We plan to start some bigger speeches in the next few weeks.  The students seem to really enjoy it so far!

In Biology, we finished up our chapter on Fungi.  This next Unit will explore the world of organic chemistry.  The students watched a documentary about ants who "farm" by growing big fungal gardens which is their food source.  Also, they gave some presentations on some very unique species of fungi.

In Physics, Levi and Dennis have been doing astrophysics.  1 teaspoon of a black hole would weigh tons!  We have using different equations to solve for centripetal force and how mass affects this quantity.  We also discussed Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

In Physiology, the Junior girls are studying the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System).  They have been finding out which hormones are secreted by which glands and what the function is for that specific hormone. Your enteric nervous system, which consists of 500 million neurons that control your stomach and intestines, has as many neurons as the cerebral cortex of a monkey. Can your enteric nervous system think for itself? Your gut intuition holds the answer!

Friday, February 2, 2018

     Greetings from the English Corner on this sunny winter day! God's creation is breath-taking, especially in the dawns and twilights. Such a contrast in worldview from the writings the American Lit class has had. The literature of the Transcendentalists and the Naturalists, in particular, are unsettling in their intentional ignorance of God and His love. The Juniors have finished a unit on the Transcendental Optimists and Pessimists,  and are now sampling the writing of the Regionalist, Realist, Naturalist and Anti-Naturalist authors.
    For all MS/HS students, the month has been full of not only reading, but writing!  They have completed the poems they will present at the Prose and Poetry Slam-Jam on February 22nd. Now they are writing the stories they will present as well. Today's first "read-through" of poems  went very well! I am quietly excited for each of them, and for those who can come and listen.
     Grammar is keeping the 7/8th graders thinking! They all completed the chapter on subject-verb agreement today, in good shape, too! A colorful poster in our room helps remind all of us of the three principle parts of verbs. Blackout poetry they created from prose is displayed on the wall outside our room-maybe you can take time to read a few poems when you're here for parent-teacher conferences?
    The English 9/10 class just finished a unit on Poetry.  With lots of digging, patience in learning about all the devices poets use to make their poems come alive, I think everyone's appreciation of poetry grew at least some!
     English 7/8 is just about to have a test over Unit 4 where they've learned the many parts of the plot diagram, read a beautiful autobiography/memoir (Evidence Not Seen), and enjoyed the adventure and life lessons learned by Andy in You've Got to Learn and The Wild Duck's Nest. Poems by Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson and others were good examples for the students as they created their own poems for the Slam-Jam, too.
     We hope to see all of you at the Slam-Jam February 22nd! Siblings and friends are welcome, too! I can't say how much I appreciate all of your support for this, and for your students/KA. Always feel free to call/text me with anything.  His Blessings.
Mrs. Lemmen

Friday, January 12, 2018

So the end of the year came & went, and I hope you all had an amazing break celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Now, it's time to turn our focus back to school. The beginning of this next semester began well with a cancellation on what should have been the first day back, a 2 hour delay on the second day, and another cancellation for Friday of the first week. However, the students are doing an amazing job of diving into their studies.

Foreign Language always begins with a higher expectation than at the end. Because of how everything works, the students are required to do 6 lessons per day for the first little while. Eventually, they go back to 5 lessons per day. Most of the students seem to be dealing with this better than they have in the past grading periods. Well done, and keep it up!

In math, we are studying a wide variety of topics due to the difference in age, ability, and maturity of the students. Here's a quick run down:

Calculus - We are continuing to look at integrating functions and are using a method called integration by guessing. It will help for future problems of this sort by providing a common sense approach to integration.

Pre-Calulus - Vectors and their properties are the topic of their first chapter. So far, we've drawn 2-dimensional vectors, found their horizontal & vertical components, worked with the magnitude of vectors, added them, and have extended our study to 3-dimensional vectors.

Algebra 2 - The use of calculators in problems involving exponents was the aim of one lesson. Using calculators properly in more complicated problems is important and can be difficult because of the complexity of scientific or graphing calculators. Additionally, we may know what we want a calculator to do, but may type things in causing it to do operations in the wrong order. This is problematic. Knowing these pit falls are useful for all of us.

Algebra 1 - Operations involving common bases with varying exponents were studied right after break. Again, the students did a fantastic job of working through their problems and doing what they were supposed to.

Middle School Math - Fractions, ratios, and rates were the basis of their new material when they came back to school. The 2 hour delay seemed to throw them off a little bit, but they did an amazing job of picking up the pace to catch up.

Publications - We are beginning the 3rd portion of our writing book, preparing for the first newsletter, and taking care of announcements. There are a couple of other tasks that will be tossed their way, but this is basically where we began.

All in all, the students have impressed me with their efforts coming back. I want to thank them, encourage them to keep it up, and encourage you to give them a pat on the back for this. Keep us in your prayers as the year continues. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It's a new year and a new semester, but that is not all that is new.  So are His mercies every morning according to the Scriptures.  As the middle school and high school here at KA navigate this semester, I hope every student and teacher will stand on that promise.  His mercies are new every morning!  And there might be some need for mercies from students and teachers to each other as well. ;-)

In World History,  we began studying the French Revolution.  It is a Godless, bloody, and horrible time in history.  I am very thankful to live in this time and in this country.  The more I teach history, the more I remember to be thankful for this.

In M.S. Science, we started a Unit on motion and kinetics.  Along with the normal lecture, worksheets, and notes, we plan to calculate some speeds and accelerations by heading to the gym.  We will use each other running as well as some RC toys.  We might even toss some things off the mezzanine and fit that into some equations.

Since we finished up Health, we began the semester class of Speech.  I am really looking forward to this class and I believe quite a few students were anticipating having this replace Health.  We began this week by playing some group word games to break the ice.

In Biology, we finished up our chapter on bacteria before Christmas.  So now we are going into the next microscopic world of Protozoans.  The students will learn things like how toothpaste scrubs off plaque, how there is ocean organisms on top of mountains, and why are jelly beans chewy.  All of these topics are related to the organisms we will be studying.

In Physics, Levi and Dennis were given a late Christmas present.  Along with keeping up on their curriculum, they will be undergoing an engineering project using a Discovery kit of hundreds of pieces, tracks and marbles.

In Physiology, the Junior girls are especially excited about this semester because they will be dissecting a fetal pig, a cow eyeball, and a cow heart.  Rather than worksheets and tests, there is just something more exciting about dissection when it comes to structure and function of the human body.  I'm sure the girls are just glad we don't have cadavers here at Kingdom Academy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

     The first semester of the 2017-18 school year is now wrapped up. It, too, was a gift, full of spiritual, academic, and personal lessons for us all. Memories to use and appreciate. Friendships, new and deepened.
     The grammar units for MS and HS all wrapped up well. I know I pay closer attention to my writing after those focused units; I hope this is true for the students, too!
     For a change of pace, all three lit classes read and analyzed novels. The Juniors experienced a "backwards look" at Christianity through the eyes of a devil and his devil-in-training in The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis). The Freshmen/Sophomore experienced life in controlled utopian community as they read The Giver (Lois Lowrey). Saved at Sea (Lamplighter Books) gave the middle school students an opportunity to "experience" the importance of being a witness for Christ. Three lives were changed because of the prayer of a young child, and because of the question asked by a visitor: "what is your life built on?"
     Thank you all again for all your support and friendships. As we look to the new year, let us be willing to ask ourselves that same question, and then take the risk of responding to God's leading and ask it of others. "What is your life built on?" It could make a total difference in someone's life.

     On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
     All other ground is sinking sand.

                                                                                                                   His Blessings,
                                                                                                                             Mrs. Lemmen

Monday, December 18, 2017

Greetings from the English corner!

Adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections occupied all the 7 and 8th graders' thoughts and grammar dreams during November!  Really?  Absolutely! They even coordinated some conjunctions and joined some clauses, ending up with some pretty nice grades on the last test! They are beginning to spy subjects and verbs just about as quickly as they breathe when they play dodge ball!

The Junior class finished a unit on the NE School Poets, and experienced poems that were written for political purposes, like saving the USS Constitution. The students got some experience with in-class essays. We then focused on a grammar unit: Punctuation...this sounds simple at first, but throw in a few restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses and some coordinate vs. cumulative adjectives, and you've got a challenge.  No fear, this class always rises to the challenge, and met this one head-on. Nice work!

The English 9/10 class finished Unit III on Allusion and Symbol in literature. Selections included both poetry and prose. There was quite a variety of subjects ranging from A Piece of Chalk (Chesterton) to The Red Masque of Death (Poe) to maggie and milly and molly and may (e e cummings). After reading great literary examples of allusions and symbols, they wrote their own literary analysis of a biblical symbol. These are well worth reading-be sure to ask to read theirs.They, too, moved on into a grammar unit-they studied good old sentences and nouns.  Again, it sounds simple, but ask them if it was!!  Rising to the challenge, they did well.

The 7/8 grade english class finished Unit 2 and moved into the historical fictional story In Search of Honor by Donnalynn Hess.  We focused on characterization, style, personification, and  the use of suspense.  We finished by reading a biographical sketch written by Tom Brokaw whose purpose was to show the great sense of personal responsibility and commitment of honesty in the members of the Greatest Generation. We could see how these character traits make a difference in a person.

The best character traits, though, are best learned through the amazing love God has for us, as shown by the humbling gift of His Son.  We pray that everyone who makes up KA will shine their light of love and joy this season in particular, allowing God to draw his children to Him. Wishing you peace and joy.
Mrs. Lemmen