Friday, May 11, 2018

The English Corner

     Excitement is in the air!  As I look back over my planner, it amazes me the ground that gets covered. The freshmen, sophomore, and juniors completed a three week unit on research. They each chose their own topic, narrowed it, search and "re-searched" for quality information on their topic using the WCPL databases, primarily. They carefully crafted sentence outlines, then created the rough draft, and a works cited page. Their final products were well done (and that attests to their diligence) and fun to read! The 7, 8 Grammar class started their research paper last week and is now working on their rough drafts with plans to finish the final paper on May 17. They get to bring in an object related to their topic and use it in doing a presentation of their research that day.
     The juniors are now finishing their American Literature book with modern American poetry and prose. This week and next we are focusing in on a smaller group of authors of prose who are representative of the time after WWI: Rutledge, Welty, Bradbury, and Thorton Wilder. The last reading will be of an essay by James Stockdale titled Freedom: Out Most Precious National Treasure.
     Romeo and Juliet is entertaining the 9,10 English class. The classroom comes alive with the theme song for Romeo and Juliet, pictures of Verona, Italy, and the students' reading of Shakespeare's lines like: "My ears have not drunk a hundred words of thy tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound. Art thou not Romeo and a Montegue?" and "Make haste, make haste." We will complete the reading on Tuesday next week.
     It is Christmas in May for the 7, 8 Literature class! We just finished reading and analyzing The Christmas Carol. Next Tuesday is the test over Unit 6, Viewpoints. All of the readings have shown how one's beliefs and experiences affect one's viewpoint, and how one's viewpoint can change. We've had some good class discussions on this.
     While I am in DC with the high school students, my subs for my middle school classes will be Mr. Fiechter and Mr. Bertsch. The class will be doing some grammar, another unit in vocab, dramatizing a scene from a story, and listening to a Lamplighter audiobook. I know they will have a good week here under the guidance of such good teachers!
     Thank you all for your prayers and support this year. I am blessed to be able to teach these wonderful students in learning the many parts of English. I am learning much from them, in return.

Mrs. Lemmen

"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
                                                                                                                                   Colossians 3:14-15

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Where has time gone? A week from Sunday the high school students will be heading to Washington DC. Two weeks from tomorrow marks the end of this school year. Where has time gone?

Until then, though, we have some work to do. Calculus is going over some explanations on certain derivatives. Pre-calculus is in a chapter dedicated to probability. Algebra 2 is looking at exponential equations (graphs, solving, and application). Algebra 1 is also dealing with exponents by examining power functions, how to manipulate them, and how to graph them. Pre-algebra will be looking into geometric figures for the last little while. Last of all, Math 7 just began a chapter on statistics.

And while the math classes are keeping busy with various concepts, the publications class is wrapping up the yearbook. The students in the various foreign language classes are also seeing the end of their studies as well.

Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going through the end of the year. Thank you for your part in making this a successful year. Please begin praying with us for the 2018-2019 school year. Thanks again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wow.  Time  really is a vapor  as James 4 says.  This year has cruised by.  Just a few more short weeks and swish.  Another year at KA is gone.

In History, we covered a great decade for our world...the 80s.  The Cold War was won by Reagan and Thatcher!  However, as we are now getting into the 90s, the students are realizing why our current culture is so corrupt.  We are reaping what we have sown.  We will be looking into Desert Storm Operation next week...which happened when I was in 5th grade.  I feel old!

Mr. Kipfer has moved his class to a few different great locations!  A few trips to CC to visit with residents made for some great discussion and story sharing.  The class also went to the Church cemetery to hear stories of old given by Chris Pulver.  From what I hear, it was quite fascinating.  Ask one of the Juniors or Danny Bross what they liked best.

In M.S. Science, we began a chapter on the physics of sound.  We are covering topics such as a sonic boom and the Doppler Effect and how an Ultra sound machine works.  At the end of the this week, we will be doing a full class of demonstrations and activities that teach us about sound physics.  This involves a drive-by horn honk to illustrate the Doppler.  Look out!

In Speech, we are currently working on our visual aid speeches.  This coming week we plan to do our 5-8 minute demonstration speeches.  The students will be doing outdoor and indoor action!  Parents, come on in and watch the show!!!!

I must mention the alone Advanced Chemistry student: Rachel Brooks.  She has poured out many hours of discipline and study to finish this course.  Every time she asked me a question, I think "Wow, she is really trying hard." Either I am deceived or she is an excellent student.

In Physics, magnetism will finish the book.  As we review, I think back on how it has been a great year with the 6 Juniors and we got into many good discussions in class...some about Physics and Physiology and some about life.  We will miss these 6 Juniors as next year, they will be dual crediting all their classes and not attending KA. :-(

Have a great and safe summer everybody!

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.