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!  

Book Fair Extravaganza

We are in the middle of our annual Book Fair with Scholastic.  Each year we host the book fair and students look forward to going through and making a wish list for books.  Our librarian, Mrs. Messinger, works hard to set up for this and make it a huge success.  Through the book fair, we are able to add $4000-5000 worth of books to our library each year!  Tuesday night was family night at the book fair and we had a wonderful turn out of parents, grandparents, students and faculty.

We have selections for our younger students and young adults.

There are gadgets and gizmos, building sets and science projects.

Of course, there are also posters and other toys!

A few of the books I have picked out to read with or for my boys are:

 You can still come today or tomorrow of this week to browse, purchase a Christmas gift and support reading at TFCA!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

We pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving celebrating with family and friends. The Lord has blessed us greatly as a school and we are grateful for that.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Student Art on Display

Mrs. Bourne is gearing up for our Christmas Art Show.  This year we will have all of our students' first semester art projects on display during the Elementary and MS Christmas programs.  In the past, we've done one art show in the Spring and kept everyone's work until then.  This year, we will have two art shows.  One will be in conjunction with the Christmas programs and then another will be in May. 

Here are some samples of what is already up around the hallways:

Our Christmas programs will be Thursday, December 1 at 6 pm when our MS/HS Drama presents "Ebenezer's Christmas Carol" along with our Chorus presenting, "Old English Christmas Carols".
Our Elementary students will have TK-2nd grade performing at 6 pm on December 8 and the 3rd-5th graders presenting their program at 6:45 the same evening.  Come see our students sing and perform and explore our hallways filled with student art work.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Reality Store with the Eighth Grade

Each year we take our eighth grade students to the Reality Store.  This is an event sponsored by the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce and area businesses and individuals.  Students are assigned an occupation based on their GPA, an annual and monthly salary and number of children (which is based on their attendance and tardies). 

Once there, they have to report to Uncle Sam and pay taxes first!  They then work their way through about 20 different stations to arrange housing, insurance, transportation, child care, groceries, furniture, and more.  They have opportunities to sign up for supplemental income by enlisting in the National Guard and/or part-time jobs with Walmart or Kroger.  I always enjoy when the National Guard representative puts them through drills and calisthenics!

Each year I enjoy going with the students and hearing their conversations and reactions to this experience.  One student came up to me at the end and said, "Mrs. Tigges, if I didn't have any kids, I would have a lot of money!" and another student said, "How do my parents do this?". 

I appreciate the work that our local Chamber of Commerce does to put this together.  It is a valuable experience for students as they navigate what it means to pay your bills and have a set amount of money to work with to manage.  They make them talk about savings, insurance, and more. 

These type of activities are so important for our students as they continue to connect their choices to life consequences!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If I Had a Hammer demonstration

Today we were fortunate to host a visitor in our middle school math class to demonstrate the "If I Had a Hammer" math curriculum.  If you'd like to see a demonstration of this, go to the website here.

I really enjoyed seeing how he used technology and manipulatives to teach measurement, fractions and more.  The students really grasped what he was teaching from a visual, audio and tactile point of view. 

Here are a few photographs of our students interacting with the demonstration.

I am excited to see how we are able to incorporate real life application of math concepts into our classrooms. Making house plans, building scale models, calculating mortgage rates and more are all ways to help our students learn how they actually WILL use math each day. 

We are Thankful......

One of my favorite things about our school is being able to walk around and see student work displayed and/or hear them during instruction in class.  Right now, there are a lot of items on display about Thanksgiving and being thankful.  I thought I would share a few of them on the blog:

Mrs. Bevins' 4th graders

Mrs. James' 3rd graders

First Graders writing



2nd Grade Turkeys

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Upcoming Service Opportunities

It is such a blessing to lead students to serve our community.  We have several upcoming opportunities to serve Frankfort and beyond.

1- Operation Christmas Child boxes - our shoeboxes are due back by WEDNESDAY, November 16.  We will pray over them and dedicate them in our chapel services on that day.

 Operation Christmas Child

2- Ringing Bells for Salvation Army - we currently have openings to help ring the bell for the  Salvation Army at the East Side Kroger THIS SATURDAY, November 19 from 10am-8 pm.  See the sign up genius link to sign up for time:


3- "CRAM the CRUISER" - we are partnering with the Kentucky State Police to bring in non-perishable food items from November 22-December 12.  You may send in any non-perishable food items during that time and we will deliver them to help feed people in and around Frankfort during the holiday season. 


Thank you in advance for partnering with us as we strive to serve those less fortunate in our community!

Monday, November 14, 2016

What I am Reading......

Our Board of Directors is currently reading through a book, Rethinking Sustainability:  A Strategic Model for Christian Schools by Alan Pue.

I have read through this book once already, as it was/is a requirement for my courses through ACSI Leadership University.  Now that it is highlighted and underlined and starred, I am re-reading it again and looking for themes, important items to discuss in our monthly board meetings and items we can use to directly impact the financial stability and vision for our school.

Right now, we are discussing current paradigms that exist within the Christian school at-large and specifically in our school.  We are also examining biblical principles that need to be applied when examining finances at our school.

I really enjoy the way this book forces me to think, to examine pre-supposed principles regarding financial decisions.

One question he posed is, "Do we want to make Christian education accessible or affordable?" and that really resonates with me.  For me, the choice to educate my children at a private, Christian school requires dedication and sacrifice.  Every family has to decide what that looks like for them, what it requires.

I want to value my faculty and staff.  I want to retain dedicated and committed individuals.  I want to provide high-quality professional development for them to continue to grow, expand their practice of educating our students, learn more about specific subject matter.  We want to provide "out of the box" opportunities for our students.  All of these requirements have to be properly funded.

Our board brings much thought, expertise and prayer to each decision we make for the school.  I am excited to see how we grow and learn together through this study.  I am also excited to see how we continue to lean on God's provision!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Parent Teacher Conferences

Tuesday is our fall parent/teacher conference day.  We set aside one day each fall to have initial parent/teacher conferences.  Our teachers can certainly meet with parents throughout the year for concerns, but this day is specifically aimed at partnering with our parents to document progress of our students academically, as well as spiritually and socially.

It is exciting to see so many parents invested and interested in meeting with their children's teachers.

Several of our teachers are incorporating progress monitoring data from our CBMs (curriculum based measures), as well as class work and even reflections from the students as a part of their materials for these meetings.

Recently, I found some fabulous resources on Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest to share with our staff for them to utilize for these meetings.

Here are some suggestions if you are looking for resources:

Student Self-Reflection page -

Parent Teacher Conference form packet -

Resources from TpT -

Parent/Teacher Conference Report -