Just the Math Facts; Not the Anxiety

Are your students struggling with basic mathematics fact recall? Memorization of basic mathematics facts is a basic principle in Classical Christian classrooms. This presentation will discuss basic facts’ instruction and how it looks in the classical classroom. It will also provide insight on how to improve recall without increasing anxiety in students. The researcher will share the stages students go through when memorizing facts and review the research that overwhelming supports memorization of basic facts. Finally, the researcher will provide guidance on intervention when fact memorization becomes difficult for students. You will walk away better informed about basic math facts and better equipped to teach for memorization in your classroom.

Cristina Dube

Dr. Cristina Dube is in her 7th year as the grammar school mathematics specialist at the Geneva School of Boerne. She holds a Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University and has been involved in mathematics education for over 30 years. She is the author of The Three R's of Mathematics published in The Journal in 2019. The results of her dissertation, Self-Efficacy Score Differences Between Supported, Unsupported, Departmentalized, and Non-Departmentalized Classical Christian Elementary Mathematics Teachers, will be published soon. Prior to working at Geneva, she spent 14 years as an assessment specialist writing math textbooks and tests. She has a passion for mathematics education, classical education, and connecting mathematics to other disciplines.

Living in the Constellation of the Canon

For my doctoral work, I took a journey into the lived experience of African American students reading Great Books. In this workshop I invite others to experience the journey. The research question that guided my study was “What are the lived experiences of African American students reading Great Books literature?” especially when including African American thinkers like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Marva Collins, Anna Julia Cooper, Gloria Ladson-Billings, James Baldwin, and others. Years ago, I taught a Great Books literature class for six years at a small Classical Christian School school in Southern Maryland. Twenty-two African American students came through, and five of those students were able to participate in this study where we all met around a table, just as we did years ago for the Great Books class. These former students and I went away for a weekend retreat to engage in conversation about their lived experience. The students had started out struggling with embracing and internalizing the books, but progressed to transformative insights—the experience of reading the literature deeply affected their lives as adults. 

As a culminating event, the participants created and performed a play, entitled “The Table,” which provided a visual representation of their lived experiences reading Great Books literature. The play was performed at St. John’s College during President’s Day weekend and Frederick Douglass’ birthday. This experience has been a guiding light for me as I move forward as an educator of primarily African American students in the school I help lead.

ANika Prather

Dr. Anika Prather has earned her B.A. from Howard University in elementary education and graduate degrees in education from New York University and Howard University. She has a Masters in liberal arts from St. John’s College and in 2017 completed her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus on literacy education. She has served as a teacher, director of education and the Head of School for public and Christian schools. Currently she is the founder of The Living Water School (www.thelwschool.org). The inspiration for starting this school comes from her three creative and curious kids. Anika lives in Maryland with her husband Damon (an engineer and business manager for the school), 2 sons (Dillon-10/Destin-9), 1 daughter (Day-6) and way too many pets. Anika also enjoys urban farming and raises angora rabbits and spins yarn from their wool for her hobby of crocheting and knitting and a few herbs and veggies. Her inspirations in life are her grandmother (who taught her to crochet and garden), her mom (who led her to faith in Jesus Christ and introduced her to classical education), and Marva Collins and Anna Julia Cooper (whose lives and work serve as North Stars for her work in education).

Rejecting Disciplinary Insularity and Irrelation

It may seem normal that, with increasing specialization in our world, particular academic disciplines tend to stand alone, becoming insular and standing in irrelation to other subjects.  Christian educators must not only resist such a trend, but also commit to seek out, delight in, and communicate the connectedness, compatibility, and coherency of all true knowledge.  Insofar as some prominent academics, who are or have been vocal in the public square, have succeeded in convincing many people otherwise, faithful Christian educators should purposefully design their curricula such that the unity of knowledge is magnified and celebrated, and so that our students are prepared for living the life of faith in a sometimes hostile and polarized world.

Steve Mittwede

Steve Mittwede serves as Science Department Chair at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth. His academic journey began at The College of William and Mary in Virginia (BS in Geology), took him south to the University of South Carolina (MS and PhD in Geology) and Columbia International University (MA in Intercultural Studies and EdS in Educational Leadership), and took on an international flair when he studied at the Evangelical Theological College of Wales--now Union School of Theology (MTh in Modern Evangelical Theology). Steve and his bride make their home on the westernmost edge of Fort Worth, but relish opportunities to spend time with four sons and their burgeoning families. He does research and publishes every chance he gets, and is especially passionate about faith-learning integration.

Patio Discussion for Pre-School on “Phonemic Awareness”

This Patio will focus on discussing “Phonemic Awareness” in Pre-K through 2nd grade.

Melissa Siller

Melissa Siller has spent the last 20 years in various areas of education, including assessment item writing, classroom teaching, teaching pre-service teachers in field based teacher education, and is currently in her 8th year as the reading specialist at the Geneva School of Boerne. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member in Trinity University's Department of Education. Her research focuses on teacher education, brain-based teaching practices, curriculum and inquiry as well as beginning in-service teacher induction support. She earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The Ideal Classical Educator

Across the world, classical Christian education is being revived. Many teachers who were not taught under this model are now being asked to employ a classical Christian pedagogy. “How?” they ask. Mrs. Robyn Burlew encourages these teachers, providing a picture of how the ideal classical educator thinks, acts, and loves.

Robyn Burlew

Robyn has served as Head of Upper School at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia, for six years, after serving for fifteen years as a teacher and administrator at Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has a B.A. in Biology from Houghton College and a M.Ed. in Integrated Curriculum and Instruction from Covenant College. She enjoys spending time with her three adult daughters and a son-in-law, all of whom live in Richmond. Robyn's leisure time is filled with kayaking, gardening, two golden retrievers, and piano playing. She is a member of Redeemer Anglican Church in Richmond.

Story-Based Learning in Early Classical Education

“Once upon a time…” Fewer phrases can spark such instant interest as this familiar story opening. Story-telling is a primary mode of input for our littlest learners. But how do you decide which stories are worth being told? How do you present a story so that children learn to comprehend the elements without dissecting the story into lifeless bits? How do you choose books that tell the Truth in a world full of mediocre children’s literature?

This workshop is an interactive, hands-on session. You will see demonstrations of read-aloud techniques, and come away with a grid for selecting and reading Life-giving stories with your youngest learners. “The most important part of education is right training in the early years. The soul of the child in his play should be guided to the love of…excellence.” (Plato, Laws, as quoted in Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

 

Kristina Pierce

Kristina Pierce joined Providence Classical School’s faculty in 2011 and has taught in both the three-day and five-day kindergarten programs. She has degrees from Louisiana State University and Dallas Theological Seminary. She is certified in early childhood, special education (birth to 21) and grammar K-5. Kristina has taught the early years and primary grades in many parts of the world including Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland and England. She is passionate about the younger years and the opportunities that are available both classically and spiritually for this age group. Whether she is teaching her fifth grade Sunday school class or serving as a children’s supervisor in Bible Study Fellowship, she encourages the current generation of millennial's to rethink their parenting techniques and philosophies, as they consider what it means to love truth, beauty, and goodness.

Gretchen Geverdt

Gretchen Geverdt loves stories, science, children, and teaching. She began teaching elementary students in 1989 and has taught in co-op, private, and public schools. She currently teaches kindergarten enrichment and Latin at Rockbridge Academy in Maryland. Gretchen is married to an English major who now does statistics for a living. They have two high school sons, both at Rockbridge. Gretchen's hobbies include meeting strangers, walking her family's Portuguese Waterdog-Jack, teaching foundational truths, and baking almond flour cookies.

Patio Q&A with Angel Adams Parham and Anika Prather

Anika Prather

Dr. Anika Prather has earned her B.A. from Howard University in elementary education and graduate degrees in education from New York University and Howard University. She has a Masters in liberal arts from St. John’s College and in 2017 completed her PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus on literacy education. She has served as a teacher, director of education and the Head of School for public and Christian schools. Currently she is the founder of The Living Water School (www.thelwschool.org). The inspiration for starting this school comes from her three creative and curious kids. Anika lives in Maryland with her husband Damon (an engineer and business manager for the school), 2 sons (Dillon-10/Destin-9), 1 daughter (Day-6) and way too many pets. Anika also enjoys urban farming and raises angora rabbits and spins yarn from their wool for her hobby of crocheting and knitting and a few herbs and veggies. Her inspirations in life are her grandmother (who taught her to crochet and garden), her mom (who led her to faith in Jesus Christ and introduced her to classical education), and Marva Collins and Anna Julia Cooper (whose lives and work serve as North Stars for her work in education).

Angel Parham

Dr. Angel Adams Parham is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Nyansa Classical Community. Nyansa provides after-school programming and curricula designed to connect with and draw students of color into the beauty of classical literature and the great conversation. She is also Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola University-New Orleans. Dr. Parham's sociological training provides an in-depth understanding of the social and economic challenges facing many low-income communities of color, while her Christian faith emphasizes the importance of combining this sociological knowledge with a commitment to students’ spiritual formation and the cultivation of their moral imagination. She is also a wife and mother of two beautiful girls who are homeschooled according to classical Christian principles and pedagogies.

Classical Pre-K And Kindergarten: Structure Or Senses

One might argue that pre-grammar students learn better at home with their families than they do in a classroom setting. Free time, reading quality literature, classical music, cooking and learning about God can provide the foundation for a strong classical education for these young children. In today’s families, however, it is increasingly common for both parents to work and for less time to be spent on heart-training and partnering in education. How do we, as teachers, keep to the fundamentals of a classical education without surrendering to the culture? How can our classrooms engage the senses and train hearts?

Kristina Pierce

Kristina joined Providence Classical School's faculty in 2009 and has taught in both the three-day and five-day Kindergarten programs. She has degrees from Louisiana State University and Dallas Theological Seminary. She is certified in early childhood, special education and grammar. Kristina has taught in many parts of the world, including Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland and England. She is passionate about the younger years and the opportunities that are available both classically and spiritually for this age group. Whether she is teaching the junior girls at church or serving as a children's supervisor for Bible Study Fellowship, she encourages the current generation of millennials to rethink their parenting techniques and philosophies as they consider what it means to love truth, beauty and goodness.

How To Support Students with Learning Differences So That Everyone Benefits

This session will present practical ways that schools can and should support students with learning differences. Principles for considering what, how, when and why to intervene and support students will be shared as we present problems and find solutions together.

Leslie Collins

Leslie has been working in classical Christian education since 1995. She was the founding Headmistress of Rockbridge Academy in Maryland, and was privileged to brie y serve in Hawaii as Trinity Christian School transitioned to a classical model. She is now the Head of School at Covenant Academy in Cypress, Texas. Leslie and her husband, Dave, have four children, the youngest of whom is entering his senior year. Leslie is passionate about the people of God’s Kingdom welcoming others from di erent abilities and backgrounds.

The Seven Liberal Arts: Liberty and Justice For All

We have heard of the liberal arts – but can we name them? We live in a fuzzy moment in which even college professors at “liberal arts” colleges often cannot name the seven liberal arts, nor tell us precisely why they are called “liberal” and why they are called “arts.” In this seminar, we will name and describe them all. (Hint: They are contained in the Trivium and Quadrivium.) We’ll also learn why they are “liberating” arts and fully-capacitated to do what only humans can do. (Hint: This has much to do with mastering words and numbers.) We will also note the ways that a liberally-educated person can become just and bring about meaningful justice in our world.

Chris Perrin

Christopher Perrin, MDiv, PhD, is the CEO with Classical Academic Press, and a national leader, author, and speaker for the renewal of classical education. He serves as a consultant to classical Christian schools, classical charter schools, and schools converting to the classical model. He is the director of the Alcuin Fellowship, former co-chair of the Society for Classical Learning, an adjunct professor with the honor's program at Messiah College, and previously served for ten years as a classical school headmaster.