Tuesday, December 11, 2018

In US History, we have been though 3 Presidents and the peaceful transfer of power from Federalists to Democratic-Republicans.  It is certainly something I take for granted that every time we get a new President or new political party in power, there is no rebellions or bloody massacres like there has been in many countries and through the ages.  This week we have specifically been studying Jefferson and his life and his political ideas.  Sadly, he did not live a very moral life, but yet had a great desire for the new country to prosper.  He also sent Lewis and Clark to explore the Louisiana Purchase which doubled our land size.  In the plains of the early 1800s, there were 95,000 humans (mostly Native Americans) and 30 million bison.  Today, there are 40 million humans and about 15,000 bison roaming free!

In Science, the students just finished up a few chapters that cover geology, the age of the earth, fossils, and our earth's history.  Since there is no midterm, we are currently working on a debate project.  The debate will be targeting the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham video on Youtube.  The students are really getting into it and I'm excited to see the final outcome. 

In Chemistry, we are studying ionic and covalent bonds.   We also have learned how to do Lewis structures and reviewed the history of the atomic structure.  We are beginning our semester review and will be reviewing everything we learned so far this year.

In Gym class, we are on a rotation between floor hockey, soccer, frisbee football and matball.  The students have been doing a great job and there has been some very close and action packed games!  After Christmas, we plan to do volleyball, basketball, badminton, and more matball.

Merry Christmas and have a great break!!

Auction Pictures...

Thanksgiving Feast

So, here we are in the last month of 2018, and time continues to fly! The kids are doing an amazing job of keeping up, though.

The Geometry class just completed a test over quadrilaterals. They were asked to classify the different quadrilaterals provided, be able to construct them given certain information, and know the properties of their angles, sides, & diagonals.

The Algebra 1 class is getting into solving 2 equations with 2 unknowns. Solving by substitution is the first method they are learning. Graphing them to show the solution is also a great way of creating a visual for them to see. It helps make sense once the equations are solved.

Middle school continues to work on finding fractional, decimal, and percent parts of numbers. Being able to convert to and from decimals, fractions, and percents is a crucial stepping stone in this concept. This is taught in grades prior to middle school, and is being reviewed to help them stay on top of things.

Publications is continuing to take pictures for the yearbook, create announcements that they give for the school in the mornings, come up with creative Facebook posts for Kingdom Academy's Facebook page, create 2 newsletters per quarter, work through a creative writing book in hopes of helping them with the newsletters, and work on miscellaneous projects that the school needs. Although there's a lot of work that needs done, they complete it in a timely manner and with a great attitude!

As you can see, there is a lot going on, and time isn't slowing down. However, I want to take my hat off to the kids for the effort they put into their work. It's great to see their work ethic improve, and it is our hope to continue pushing them so that they will continue to grow. I also want to thank you for the prayers and support you show to Kingdom Academy. Without all of us working together, we wouldn't exist. Have a great Christmas season, and don't forget to say "happy birthday" to Jesus!

Monday, December 10, 2018

    How many "hats" do we all wear?  Words can wear many "hats," too. The 9, 10 English students stretched their perspectives of the English language as they learned how verbs can be  twisted into "verbals." Between participles, gerunds, and infinitives, they settled into recognizing them as adjectives, nouns, and adverbs, yet still being a verb at heart! These are really used everywhere and once they caught the concept, they could see it. Now, the hope is they/we can use these tricky verbals to create even more improved writing.
    The 9,10 class also just finished a Lit. unit on discovering the "theme" in various stories and poems. The only thing better for a writer than clearly expressing his/her thoughts, is to be able to weave the message, the purpose of the writing, into the story. Sometimes the message is very clear, other times it takes digging by the reader to uncover it. But, just like the parables Jesus told, we readers and hearers remember those implicit themes the best!
    We are now reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and the Sherills. This is such an inspiring story of God's love and of his followers spreading the Good News! We look forward to the class discussions and watching the movie soon.
    The 7,8 grade grammar students have completed three chapters over the past month-they have covered adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, phrases and clauses, and simple, compound and complete sentences. You may have noticed they do some diagramming of sentences, too.  Diagramming is like putting a puzzle together. The pieces each have a place, and fit well. The visual objective version of the sentence gives us another way to remember the function of all these words! They are all doing a great job!
    The unit on Generosity in 7, 8 grade literature was full of many examples of people giving of themselves for others' benefit-a great concept for this time of the year especially. "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry contained a great personification of "Mr. Pneumonia." Behrman, the artist who lived near the main characters, gave of himself, thereby helping Johnsy live, yet caused him to die.
    The 2018 Scripps Spelling Bee at KA will be on Thursday, December 13 at 8:30. Please encourage your kids to review their words and have fun with the challenge. One will win and move on to the county bee!
    In Creative Writing, we have explored the various ways to create tension for your character-and there are many, including the specifics of grammar, like "active voice," as well as dialogue, setting and action. Around the World in Eighty Days is an example of using a time limit to create tension. Once you think about it, you can see authors using this technique a lot...literature reflects life, afterall.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, as we celebrate God's amazing love shown through the gift of Jesus. Thank you for all you do!

Mrs. Lemmen
Phil. 2:10-11

Monday, November 12, 2018

As time marches on, this very idea is somewhat of a struggle with some math students. Studying rate, time, and distance problems can become cumbersome when students have to decide if the question "How long?" is referring to how far did somebody go vs how much time has elapsed. Making mistakes in this type of problem is easily done, and sometimes hard to grasp.

Another concept students are struggling with is Angle-Side-Angle (ASA) vs Angle-Angle-Side (AAS). These geometry concepts are useful when trying to prove that two triangles are congruent (almost the same in every aspect). However, these two can seem so similar that differentiating them can be confusing. So what is my explanation on this? First, I tell them to create an illustration that they can draw on so they have a visual. Second, I tell them to realize that order is incredibly important. For Angle-Side-Angle, the known side is sandwiched between the known angles. Below is an illustration of this:
Image result for angle side angle
For Angle-Angle-Side, the known side is not sandwiched between the known angles. Again, the illustration for this is shown below:
Image result for angle angle side
Hopefully between the visual they create and the explanation on the differences, they will be able to see which one they are using.

For the middle school, conversions are somewhat of a struggle right now. So converting 2 cubic miles to cubic yards is one example of that. They even need to be able to go from metric to English or vice versa. So converting 30,000,000 square meters to square miles is a question they could run across. There are enough different conversion rates that this could get confusing. However, the kids are doing pretty well at it.

These are just three of the many concepts the middle and high school students here at Kingdom Academy have been dealing with in the past month. They are doing great mastering these concepts, though. They are also learning to think in different ways, to slow down and show your work (even if the problem seems easy), and that hard work pays off. It's great to see these kids grow, and I can't wait to see what this next month holds!

Monday, November 5, 2018

     October was full of character for the 9, 10 grade literature class! Whether round or flat, static or dynamic, sympathetic or unsympathetic, normative or a foil, the stories presented them all. We also analyzed character motivation-why the character behaved the way he did, making the story and characters more real. Why do we act the way we do?  (hmmm...not always clear!) The readings included Neighbor Rosicky, selections from DonQuixote, and My Last Duchess. After finishing Unit II, we have changed gears and are learning different types of phrases. It's hard at first, but then patterns within the sentences become clearer. It takes patience and perseverence...they are all getting it and will become stronger writers.
     The 7, 8 grade grammar class has finished chapters on pronouns and adjectives of all kinds. They wrote persuasive paragraphs and made audio recordings to "publish" them. We hope to "persuade" everyone to attend the KA auction after students hear them read their writing during our "morning announcements." Kendra already read hers to "persuade" listeners to attend the Global Missionary Event.
     The Nature and Man Unit in 7, 8 grade literature wrapped up before Fall Break. the students really have fun reading the poetry selections in front of the class-a great way to share poetry. They read fables, too, in this unit. It's great to have students asking to write...and this class does! Each of them wrote a fable of their own-each with a good moral. If you come into school, you can read them-they're posted on our back wall.
     How to reveal a character in creative writing is tricky and has many angles. Specifically, time was spent creating an empathetic lead well. To see an example of how this can be done, we watched parts of Wall-E, then practiced doing it in a longer writing assignment. Silas Marner and The Last Book of the Universe are good examples of how a writer shows character motivation. We are now focusing on creating an antagonist-and looking at how it was done in God's Not Dead and parts of It's a Wonderful Life. Writing journal entries from "an antagonist" will give opportunities to practice this skill. Writing is so much like painting, just with words...lots of them. This student is doing an excellent job of it!

Again, thanks for all your support at home. It's an honor to teach these students.
Mrs. Lemmen

Thursday, November 1, 2018

In US History, we finally started the Revolutionary War.  The students have been learning details on all the friction that led up to the "shot heard around the world".  We also continue to listen to "Journey Through Slavery" which has journal accounts of many different slaves and slave owners.  In Mr. Kipfer's class, he supplements what we are learning with some stories and information he knows. One of my favorite stories that he recently shared was the about the missionary to the Indians named David Brainerd.  He married the daughter of Jonathan Edwards.  At one time some Indian scouts were watching him in the woods and a poisonous snake did not bite him.  So the chief decided he must be from the Great Spirit and they let him preach the Gospel to them!

In Science, the M.S. did an excellent job at their Science Fair before fall break.  Since fall break, we have been studying Geology.  We have discussed the Grand Canyon in detail and the possibilities of how the strata were laid down.  We learned about the difference between rocks and minerals and also how different types of weathering affect different types of rock.  We also took a "field trip" to the field behind KA to check out the lime/clay pits!

In Chemistry, we are studying stoichiometry.  This is when you relate the number of moles of a given substance to another substance in that chemical reaction.  It is very important because it is used in labs to make substances without have any limiting reactant and also no excess.  It allows chemists to calculate the maximum amount of product with no waste or limit.

In Gym class, we finished the mile prior to Fall Break.  The students did a GREAT job and to reward them and just for fun, we hit up Hardee's on the last day.  Since fall break, we have been playing flag football.  Although we are not pro's by any means, it sure has been fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The end of the first quarter was last Friday. Where did the time go!? However, that time has been filled with amazing work accomplished by the students. It's encouraging to see them continue to grow as students and as people.

In the middle school, we are focusing on using unit multipliers for conversions. For example, they are being asked to do things like convert three miles to inches. It's a challenge to get them to show their work, but as this concept becomes more complex, showing ALL of their work will become more crucial.

For the Algebra 1 classes, student's are solving for variables in equations. It's the old "solve for x" concept that is so cherished in Algebra. However, being able to work from beginning to end really helps them use a lot of different math properties that they'll be using in their other math classes.

The Geometry class is focusing on the different centers of a triangle. The four that we look at are the circumcenter, incenter, orthocenter, and centroid. Each of these can be found in a different way, they each have a different use, and they each are defined differently. Being able to wade through it all is tricky, but the students are doing a fantastic job of piecing it out. Hopefully, putting all the pieces together will create a beautiful puzzle in their minds.

It's inspiring to see these kids put their whole heart into the learning that's going on. Sometimes, it convicts me when I'm not doing so well myself. I guess God can use what's going on around us to teach us a lot, if we let Him.