Monday, December 19, 2016

Lego Gingerbread House Challenge

My Lego Robotics class has been designing and building Lego Gingerbread houses.  They have a rubric to follow that assesses points based on drawing their design to scale, creativity, organization and group work.

I gave each group a Lego set - Creator Lake House, Tree House and Lego City Toy Store sets - they got to start with and then add bits and pieces from our class Legos to make them "candified".

Here are the finished products below:

Which one do you like best?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Breakin' Out

My Step-Up Class (gifted class for 6th, 7th and 8th graders) is currently doing a unit on problem solving and escape games.

I found this board game - Escape the Room.  It has four different simulations and you have 60 minutes to "break out" of the room.  There are a serious of clues, questions, information and more.  You work to solve which keys go in the decoder box and in the right order.  If you solve it correctly before the 60 minutes expire, you win.

The students are working in small groups to solve the puzzles.  This requires problem solving skills, critical thinking, planning, communication and teamwork.

Our next project is building our own Breakout Games followed by a trip to one of the actual Escape room locations in Lexington.

I love watching my students apply life-skills to real situations and work through hard problems!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Junior Achievement

We have a motivated and enthusiastic group of Freshman that went through Junior Achievement under the leadership of Gabe Uebel and Lonnie Lewis this fall.  As part of Economics class, they worked together to learn about business and develop a product, buy stock in their "company", distribute their product, make a profit, and pay their stakeholders.

They did a fabulous job!

This group decided to develop some sports/fan wear for our school and they called themselves, "Freshman Fan Outfitters".  They sold the products and made a $1200 profit.  For an initial investment of $2 per stock, they ended up with a return of $10 per stock.  They also chose to purchase American, Christian and Kentucky flags and stands for our school stage with some of their profit.

We are proud of their efforts!

An Evening of Celebration

Thursday evening, we had two Christmas programs  being presented by our elementary students.

Our first program is being presented by the TK-2nd grade students and is a compilation of a variety of Christmas songs and carols.

The second program is "The Bethlehem Project" being presented by the third, fourth and fifth grade classes. 

CRAM the Cruiser

We recently partnered with the Kentucky State Police to "CRAM the Cruiser" with non-perishable food items to benefit the community of Frankfort.

We had a contest with all of our homerooms.  Each morning they tracked how many items we had turned in and how many items per student each homeroom had.

Our top three winners were:  3rd place -Mrs. Bevins room (4th grade), 2nd place- Mrs. Stout's room (Transitional Kindergarten) and 1st place - Mrs. James' room (3rd grade).

We had set a school-wide goal of 500 food items.  We ended up with 1136 total items. Our school came in SECOND place in the county for collection with 1172 pounds of food turned in vs. the top school (with twice as many students) turning in about 1500 pounds of food. 

I am so proud of our students and families and how they have shown the love of Christ during this Thanksgiving-Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Creative Schools

I am currently reading several books. One of them is by Ken Robinson, Ph.D. entitled, Creative Schools:  The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education.  It is a fabulous book and it seeks to question that mentality of "doing what we've always done", without first examining why we do it that way and if it is actually working.

As I have delved into the book, I have found myself exploding with ideas, not necessarily of how our school does something wrong, but how we might capitalize on practices and ideas we have already put into place and make them better.

As a private school, we have to maintain standards and have academic accountability just like any school.  However, we also have the autonomy to make that accountability MAKE MORE SENSE.

We have to begin with the end in sight - what do we truly want graduates of our school to look like?  Working backwards from that, what does that mean for 8th grade?  4th grade?  Kindergarten?

How do we engage our students without stifling their creativity and natural-born instincts and passions?  How do we encourage problem-solving skills, application of knowledge and build a firm foundation of academic principles in new and different ways?

How do we authentically look for methods of student presentation and assessment that combines technology, 21st century skills and Christ-centered values in our school?

As I wrestle with so many thoughts and ideas, I find myself getting excited, not frustrated.  Our future, the future of our students and the heart of our community is dependent upon their education now.  We have the opportunity to "develop future generations of Christian leaders" as they grow to vocationally serve in ministry, engineering, education, medical field, business and more.

I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store, not only for me, but for our school and our students!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Drama and Chorus present....

Thursday evening was our kick-off to the Christmas season with our first of three programs presented by students.

The evening began with a selection of "Olde English Christmas Carols" performed by our MS Chorus.  During a brief intermission, we will have scones, tea, wassail and hot cider.  Our MS/HS drama department will then present "Ebenezer's Christmas Carol". 

The students have been working hard all semester to prepare for these performances. 

Both groups did a fabulous job!