Academic Dean Dr. Dawn Ruff ventures inside the classroom to highlight faculty innovation and moments of discovery.
Brent Berkompas-Pre-Calculus and MS Advanced Band
US Pre-Cal teacher Brent Berkompas and Band Director Max Fulwider combined classes for an eye-opening, cross-curricular lesson on the mathematics of music. 35 plus students were fully engaged as they took the numerical frequency of the vibrations per second of notes on the piano. Mr. Berkompas is a master question asker, and his rapport with his students is fun and respectful. It is clear that they enjoy each other and the class together. After taking data points, students were asked to make observations and write explicit mathematical formulas.
Mr. Berkompas tied in Biblical worldview by having students listen to dissonant tones and consonant tones. Students overwhelmingly chose the more harmonious, consonant tones as the most pleasing. He makes the correlation that as we are made in the image of God, what is pleasing to the Creator will also be pleasing to us.
What an amazing way to integrate math, music, and Biblical worldview!
Leigh Ann Nail, Fourth Grade Reading
Students know that when they go to reading class in fourth grade, they will have fun-filled activities that will increase their reading ability. Ms. Nail is a master at using every second, and she keeps the class energized with a great pace, rotating tables, group work, and technology.
The class is currently working on finding inferences, drawing conclusions, and discovering cause and effect in what they read. Students begin the lesson by watching a short video with no words, just noises. Using their background knowledge, students use a graphic organizer to fill out their observations. After a whole class discussion on their findings, they work in teams using task cards in different groupings, with QR codes. After reading the cards, they talk together and write down the inferences they make and the conclusions that are drawn.
Growth mindset is key to Nail’s instruction.
“If I can’t see your mistakes, I don’t know how to help you,” Nail says.
Erin Kitchin, Lisa Frutchey, Pre-K
The classroom was decked out in valentines, and a table was spread for an elaborate tea party. Students were dressed up for the occasion, with the girls in festive attire, and the boys in bow ties. Ms. Kitchin reads a story, My Valentine for Jesus, by Laurie Lazlo Knowlton.
“Jesus gives us our hearts, and we can give our hearts to Jesus. He is always showing us His love.” Ms. Kitchin shows the students a picture of a rain puddle from the day before in the shape of a heart. They also see a heart-shaped rock which was found on one of their walks.
The message was clear. God is always looking for ways to connect with us and show His love for us.
“I love how lessons just come to life the way they did this week while we were learning all about God’s love and tying it into Valentine’s Day. God showed up in a big way!” says Ms. Kitchin. This is such a reminder of how eternal our work as teachers really is.