So far in class we have been working on building a foundation to develop complex, in-depth writing. To do this, we have focused on various parts of speech to enhance description and sensory details in writing, as well as the nuances of sentence structures to be able to create more complex sentences. With all of this, we are using the various elements of complex, descriptive writing to write a creative piece extending a short story we read in class. The goal is to emulate the style of the original author – his sentence structure, descriptive language, and use of tone and dialogue. In doing this, students will gain a better understanding of complex writing and be able to apply it directly to their own. On top of all of this, students are reading independently, and practicing writing about their reading through pre-writing strategies and analysis.
你好！Hello from the Chinese class! We are in our second unit of the semester and learning how to talk about our classes in Chinese. Here’s a fun fact: there are several ways to say “Mandarin Chinese.” One is “Hànyǔ,” which means the language of the Han (the main ethnic group in China, also the ruling dynasty around the time of Christ). Another way to say “Chinese” is “Zhōngwén.” “Zhōng” comes from the word for China (Zhōngguó, Middle Kingdom), so “Zhōngwén”means the language of China. Finally, “pǔtōnghuà” is yet another way to say Chinese and can be translated “the common speech.” There are many dialects and ethnic groups in China, and as a result, different ways of talking about language have developed over the centuries. In class, our discussions also include how to talk about Jesus and the gospel with someone from a different religious background or someone who has never heard about Jesus. We are preparing to be ambassadors for Christ wherever we go!
Radical Pre-Algebra! Ok, that isn’t a description but one of our topics, radical numbers. Although if you define radical as “affecting the fundamental nature of something,” then teaching math over zoom is definitely radical! The hardest, but possibly one of the best “side effects” of being on zoom is the change in the process of finding errors in the student’s work. Normally, the teacher watches the students work out the problems and catch errors as they are being made. Since this doesn’t efficiently happen over zoom, the students must do this. The students are having to be more attentive and more vocal. They must find the errors in their own work by comparing class notes and their work. As one student talks through their own steps, other students learn from it. It has become a cooperative learning environment! Once again, Our Lord has taken something difficult and made it into a blessing.
In Algebra 1 we just completed [at the end of October] Unit 1 of 5 Units, and will be taking the Unit 1 test this week! The timing of this Milestone means we are right where we need to be with all the math practice, reviews, and tests. Each Unit will be a fresh start throughout the school year. This has been an interesting first Unit, as a couple of students got taken off of Wifi with windstorms in Whatcom County. A hidden blessing of the digital classroom thing is that we have all been able to keep attending class on Zoom – even with a couple of students’ unexpected trips to the East Coast or Southern States area. A beautiful time of year to hear about their travels!