24 Jan 2016
We are approaching the half-way point for the third quarter, and we just finished our “chemistry” unit. Students made really spectacular atomic structure models of elements of their own choosing from the periodic table (with one who encountered some challenge when she realized what she had done when she chose Gold (Au). For a lab, we attempted to make rock candy, which though we succeeded last year, this year it failed after two attempts… (There are videos, but I will spare you the time and say we made the sugar brick you see at bottom). 🙂
As a segue into our next unit, I put together a mini presentation on geology in anticipation of an end-of-week annual Tyler Rock and Mineral Show field trip! To make a practical connection, I linked well-known “birthstones” with the twelve stones of the tribes of Israel! The fifth graders really enjoyed looking at our local collection of different types of rocks and their classifications. We are now headed into our “Astronomy unit” (the sun), and I am looking for some captivating interactive labs that would be realistic. This was my favorite unit last year – it is a very “mind-blowing” exploration of God’s creation!
As for the language classes (spelling and grammar), we are mastering the practical understanding of language (proper reasoning of phonogram sounds and seperating syllables). We are heading into Pronouns “Professional Nouns”, and the theme I am reminding them of is relationships depend on good communication.
As for Bible in forth grade, We are finishing Theme IV: Kingdom of God unit, and then we will be heading into Theme V: Early Church “Assemblies of Believers”. I have endeavored from the beginning of the year to emphasis the theme of the Bible as “God’s story with man”, and linked God’s character of keeping His promises at every point. I really enjoyed teaching on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, and hope to hit Paul’s epistles with new vigor after having gone through a college course on them this last summer.
In our life news, there is a friend I have here on the base that has a heart for evangelizing to gamers, and he has introduced me to the “LARP” (Live Action RolePlay) universe. After a couple of weekend excursions with him to one off by Houston, he has endeavored to create his own here on the YWAM campus with the same massive scope the other one had. The people generally attracted to these events are often in need of a fantasy world to go “excape to”. There may be relational issues, frustrating work environments, and/or spiritual issues that drive them to immerse themselves here. I love the vision, but it is a lot to learn. We had a preliminary “playtest” yesterday, and I really enjoyed it! Here is a link to the Facebook group if you would like to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/groups/shadows.of.salus/
I am again in need of God’s provision financially. If you could pray that God would provide for my needs here as I finish out the year here, I would be tremendously grateful. The plan, after this years ends, is to continue studies towards my undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies at Ecclesia college. I have some plans beyond that, but they are still in a bit of “dream stage”, and I need to take one step at a time.
As a teacher, there is no end to learning, and I am discovering I do not need to disect every lesson down to a minute level to give students an accurate picture of the unit (last year I learned that the hard way when I tried to go over whole epistles in one day!). It is enough to give them general points that summarize the entire branch of study in sufficient detail, and have some more detailed information available if they are interested. It makes my life easier, and they receive and retain what they are getting better.
I want to thank Jim and Jane Corbett for being such faithful partners with me as I remain stationed here as a “local missionary”. I’d also like to thank my parents for for wisdom/advice when I needing it. And for everyone else who have partnered with me through gifts and prayer (Cynthia Larson, Tanja Tuovinen, and others I can only thank generally!)