Navigating Middle Earth: Creating Community in Logic School

Logic School is often viewed as just a bridge between the Grammar and Rhetoric years, but these years are a time of great change and growth for students. Enriching these years with a true sense of community among the students is essential to a successful Logic School. However, creating a sense of belonging and a true feeling of community among the students can be challenging, particularly as a school grows in size. With over 170 students, the Geneva School of Boerne Logic School has found success in cultivating community and unity through a Tolkien-themed annual celebration. This tradition fosters community and is highly anticipated by students, as well as faculty. In this session, we will explore how to create a Logic School honor code, how to use devotion groups to create fellowship across grade levels and the importance of celebrating together.

Mary Clifford

Mary Clifford has been in the field of education for almost 20 years and has taught at the Geneva School of Boerne for 12 years. She currently teaches 6th-grade English and 8th-grade dialectic. She is a two-time recipient of the Paideia Award for excellence in teaching in both the Grammar and Logic Schools. She and her husband have two sons who are both graduates of the Geneva School of Boerne. Mary is an avid reader, paddleboarder and Francophile.

Identifying Unknowns: Real Science for Logic Stage Students

Many teachers engaged in science education may recall that, when they themselves were students of high school chemistry, they were assigned the task of identifying an unknown solution. Such an assignment brilliantly thrusts the student into the heart of the scientific enterprise — namely, observation and experimentation. But why wait until so late in a student’s academic experience to introduce them to real science, especially when younger students are developmentally suited for such endeavors? Insofar as having students actually “do science” is a lofty, but altogether realistic goal of classical science education, why not get them started early in order to hone their skills of observation and experimentation? In this session, we’ll explore a three-stage “observation exercise” using unknown rock specimens that has proven to be a superb means of such honing among Logic-stage earth science students. Because the exercise is done in stages, the students move from having no knowledge to practical experimenting to identifying rock types of particular specimens. As they advance in stages from the unknown to the known, these students do real science.

Steve Mittwede

Steve Mittwede is the Science Department Chair at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1981, he was graduated from “Their Majesties’ Royal College” (The College of William and Mary) with a bachelor’s degree in geology, after which he concurrently worked as a mineral resources geologist for the South Carolina Geological Survey and completed his master’s degree and doctorate in geology at the University of South Carolina. In the mid-80s, Steve also took classes in Bible, theology and missions at Columbia International University (CIU).In the midst of all of that, he married Dana, and they were blessed with four sons in close succession — all now grown, married and raising their own broods. The Mittwedes served in Turkey for 23 years, during which Steve was awarded a master’s degree in intercultural studies from CIU and a master’s degree in modern evangelical theology from Union School of Theology in Wales. Never one to weary of the academic setting, he more recently completed an education specialist degree at CIU. Steve and Dana make their home on the westernmost edge of lovely Fort Worth.

Time to Mind: A Story of “Much, Not Many” and Logic School Flourishing

Because learning is “slow, effortful, and uncertain,”
the classical principle of “much, not many” shapes a program at all levels — classroom culture, pedagogical structure, curriculum and scheduling — to provide time for students to know and love.

Brent Tohlen

Brett Tohlen is the Logic School Director for The Covenant School of Dallas. Before assuming that role four years ago, he taught Upper School literature and Bible for several years. Brett has a master’s degree in humanities from the University of Dallas.

Virtuous Investment: A Finance Project for Late Grammar/Early Logic School Mathematicians

Let’s say that someone gave you $100,000. What would you do with it? Math students in 5th Grade at The Covenant School said they’d purchase Ferraris, primo Super Bowl tickets, and lots and lots of Legos! The hearts of these newly-minted investors were gradually changed, as well as their knowledge of how mathematics works in the real world of banks and markets. The best part is that this all occurred within the context of their normal math curriculum map. Come see how math can speak not only to the head and hands, but also the heart of our students, providing them with tools to play out their calling to use their talents wisely through virtuous investing.

Chris Hall

Chris Hall grew up in Towson, Maryland, and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Towson University. Before coming to The Covenant School as Lower School Academic Dean in 2012, Chris taught at public and independent schools and to a variety of students from Kindergarten to college. Chris has served in many positions, including Gifted and Talented Education Team Leader and Science Department Chair. He is a member of the Alcuin Fellowship, a repeat presenter at ACCS and has given professional development seminars on science, technology and nature education, as well as technical seminars on martial arts and guitar. He has written a Lower School science curriculum, Skills of the Tracker, and is currently co-authoring a book and several articles on a variety of topics, from nature education to martial arts training. Chris and his wife, Cathy, have built a sustainable micro-farm which provides much of their food and heat. They have three children.

Getting from Grammar to Logic Latin

This team-taught seminar will focus on the transition from grammar-stage Latin to logic-stage Latin, specifically aiming to develop the ways in which this key transition can be anticipated, executed, and capitalized on in later grades. Marcus Foster and Brent Stevens will begin with the more theoretical topics of incarnational teaching, the prioritization of goals, and curricular alignment. This will be followed by a very practical discussion of the methodological shifts in both communicating and evaluating content specific to the respective pedagogical stages. The seminar will conclude with time for Q & A as well as collaboration between participants.

Marcus Foster

Marcus graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. in Classics in 2000. He worked with youth in Berlin, Germany for ve years, part of which was also spent studying theology at Humboldt Universität. He received a Masters of Humanities from the University in Dallas in 2012. Heavily invested in languages, Marcus hopes to stir a love for language and literature in his students. He and his wife, Julie, have been married for 10 years, and have three beautiful daughters.

Brent Stevens

Brent graduated from The College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a B.A. in Humanities in 2010. Brent was introduced to classical education while a ending DBU for a brief time, and has wrestled to understand its meaning and implications for modern education ever since. He and his wife, Stephanie, are thrilled to be a part of the Covenant family.

Teaching Latin in the Logic School

They have outgrown the cute songs and jingles, they have mastered amo, amas, amat; so what next? This presentation gives practical advice on how to teach students in the logic stage of learning (grades 7-9) by making use of the styles of learning that suit them best. this not only includes building on the grammar lessons of previous years, but also training students in reading and literary analysis. Whether the student is new to Latin, or building upon the foundation established in the grammar school, Karen will provide teachers with strategies for facilitating the student’s journey into the wonderful world of Latin literature.

Karen Moore

Karen Moore began her study of Latin in seventh grade, and added Greek to her linguistic studies during her college years. Karen earned a BA. in classics from the University of Texas in 1996. Since that time she has taught latin to students in grades three through twelve through a number of venues. Currently, she is in her ninth year as the Latin Chair at Grace Academy of Georgetowne, a classical Christian school located in the heart of Texas. Karen teaches an award winning chapter of the National Junior Classical League. Karen and her husband, Bryan, have three children who attend school at Grace Academy.

Middle School Drama

How do middle school students need to be treated different than lower/upper school students? How are their minds developing and does it effect your teaching? What should you do with the difficult students (the rebellious student, the class clown, the shy students who won’t speak up, the dead class that won’t engage in discussion, etc.)?

Eric Cook

Middle and Upper School Head, Faith Christian School, Roanoke, VA

Prior to his current role, Mr. Cook served for two years as an assistant principal at a large middle school in Cincinnati, OH. (2008)