Connecting the Dots: The Practice of Oral Narration in the Lower School

We are all storytellers. We tell stories every day in our jobs, in our conversations at the grocery store, and with our friends. Children love to tell stories. They are excited to share their ideas and all of their experiences seem worthy of a discussion. In this session, you will hear how I’ve used flannel boards and story pieces to practice narration – the art of telling, with my students. My students have become confident storytellers through the practice of oral narrations. They listen to a variety of stories, create their pieces, organize their thoughts, and tell the story in their own words. Oral narration reinforces reading skills such as fluency, beginning, middle, and end, setting, and characterization. It has allowed my students to express themselves and to practice communicating with others effectively. They are connecting the dots to become better listeners, thinkers, and speakers.

Valarie Rennie

Valerie Rennie is a Kindergarten teacher at Trinity Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in educational technology. She has taught grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade. She has a passion for Classical Christian education because she has seen how it has transformed the lives of her two boys, both Trinity graduates. When she isn't with her favorite 5-year olds, she enjoys reading, listening to music, drinking coffee, and spending time with her family.

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.

Theology in the Lower School Classroom

Lower-School teachers have a unique opportunity to weave theology into all subject areas and to explicitly teach Biblical material. This session will explore both the big picture of what theology can be in the Lower School and propose some specific teaching practices to enhance Bible instruction. In the big picture, we will look at Christian practices in the classroom, the goals of Bible instruction, and the ways in which theology can interface with other subjects. Some of the particulars will include graphic organizers that aid in applying narratives, cultural connections, apologetic resources for young readers, Socratic questioning techniques, and examples of projects that synthesize theology and other subjects.

Nate George

Nate George and his family love living in Richmond, VA, where Veritas and a vibrant church community shape the ways they follow Jesus. His academic background includes degrees in Social Work and Theology, and he continues to delve into philosophy and social science in his spare time. After 11 years of teaching, Nate’s passion for learning and his enjoyment of teaching couldn’t be higher, and he considers it a great privilege to engage children in thoughtful conversations about the connections between the Gospel and the great ideas. He doesn’t blog, but if he did, he’d have a lot to say about philosophical ideas presented in animated lms, with special emphasis on Brad Bird and Hayao Miyazaki.