Classical Conversations Week 17

February 16, 2016

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR WEEK 17

Family Presentation: Wheeler Family


Student Topic Suggestion: Improvisation- students will draw a topic from a hat


Student Skill: Interesting Details


Playtime Supervisors: Havyer & Fulton Families


Lunch Clean-Up Crew: Aguirre Family


Afternoon Clean-up Crew: Niemeyer Family.

Helpful information from kim poulin on how to organize an impromptu speech

1. Restate the topic

2. Define any terms (optional)


3.Think of 1-3 examples from:


a. personal story

b. historical event

c. literature

d. Bible verse

e. current event


4. Restate the topic


Example topic: What does it mean to be a good friend?


1."Today I am going to tell you what it means to be a good friend."


2. "A good friend is someone that you have similar interests with and you enjoy spending time with. A friend is someone who accepts you just the way you are."

3."I have a good friend, Anna, she and I like to ride bikes together. She shares her toys with me when I come to her house."

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times.

4. "and that's what I think a good friend is."

Valentine's Day

This week, if your family so desires, you are welcome to bring a valentine and hand out in class on Tuesday. This can be a simple card, a treat, or a small trinket. Please remember to avoid any treats that contain nuts, as you are planning and purchasing supplies. And this is completely optional, no one is required to participate, it is simply meant to add some fun for those students who enjoy handing out things to their classmates. Please prep your child in advance for the possibility of some students giving out items and others not, so there are no hurt feelings if a child gives something and doesn't receive anything in exchange.
The Invisible Woman

An encouraging video for moms

Week 17 - Great Artists Project - Michaelangelo

Week 17 contains our study on Michaelangelo. Our project will involve painting with tempera paints on wet plaster, so please bring a paint shirt or wear older clothing to avoid paint stains. We will have a slightly different schedule this week, as each student will be making their plaster fresh that day, and we will need to adjust accordingly to allow time for it to dry. We will begin our time with mixing and creating the plaster, and then come back later in the morning to paint on it, once it has set up a bit more. This is such a fun project for those who enjoy the relaxation of painting, and I am planning to set up a table for moms as well, should any of you want to paint during this time.

Nursery Art Project

Our wonderful nursery workers, Hannah & Rachel, also thought it would be great fun for their nursery students to create a plaster paint project this week. We will be using washable paints for them, and will bring some extra paint shirts, but please do feel free to dress your child accordingly for a painting day.

Challenge Programs for 2016-2017

There are some new plans in place for our Challenge programs for the 2016-2017 school year. Tami Olson will be leading our Challenge I class, Rebecca Klein will be leading our Challenge B class, and Melanie Biermeier (the current Challenge A director on Wednesdays) will be leading our Challenge A class on Tuesdays for next year. At this time, the plan is for all Challenge classes to meet on Tuesday next year. With this change, we are anticipating several new families joining our group for next year, with Challenge students and younger siblings. Some of these will be families new to CC, and some will be transferring from the Wednesday group.

Registration Closing and Visiting Families

With the addition of the Wednesday Challenge A group to our Tuesday group next year, we have reached the end of our space availability in classes for Foundations. At this time, I will be closing registration on Tuesdays for any family that is not part of Challenge, and will place all interested parties on a waiting list. This does not mean that you can't still enroll in CC on Tuesdays, there is still a possibility that there could be space available, but I won't know that for another week or two as all of the Wednesday families finish their transfers over and I lay out the classes accordingly. If you had planned to enroll in CC for next year with our group, please do let me know so I can take that into account as I proceed with planning classes, and put you at the top of our waiting list. And there is still space in several of the other Rochester CC groups for Foundations and Essentials; I can put you in touch with one of those directors, if that would be of benefit to you.


We might possibly have visiting families with us these next few weeks. Would you each help make those new visitors feel welcome and at home in our group? Answer any questions they might have, engage them in conversation, help them feel as if their time with us was enjoyable. And if you have friends who are interested in CC, even though we are only able to accept registrations on a waiting list right now, we are still more than open to having them visit and observe CC in action

Window into Challenge - February 20th

We will have a Window into Challenge on February 20th at Calvary Baptist Church, 5905 Silas Dent Rd NW, from 9 am until 2 pm. This is an excellent opportunity to further your knowledge on the Challenge programs, whether you are a current Challenge family or have a student who will be approaching Challenge age in the next few years. You are not required to stay for all of it, so please do feel free to come for whatever portion of the time that you can. We will have some snacks and beverages, but please pack a lunch if you plan to be there over the lunch hour. We do not have childcare for this event, however, if it is a need, please let me know and I will see what arrangements can be made. Also, please feel free to invite friends who may be interested in our Challenge programs, even if they are not currently part of CC.
Encouraging Article of the Week

Getting It All Done: Ten Tips from a Classical Conversations Veteran

Classical Christian Education

“In classical education, we learn the grammar of a subject first, then we sort, classify, and understand the information, and finally, we ask the students to teach back or use the subject creatively.


These three stages are called grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages. Modern educators have tossed out this idea. They concentrate on creative expression in the primary grades and then spend the rest of the time surveying content with the goal of making a competent score on a test.


“If you pull out of classical education before high school, your student will have learned the grammar of the subjects and worked to understand it, but you will not be giving your student the opportunity to get to the good stuff—to use it: to solve real problems, to express themselves well, to write original essays, to enter into debate. It would be like purchasing a gown, getting your hair and nails done, and rather than going to the prom, staying home and watching TV.”


—Courtney Sanford, “All Dressed Up for the Prom, but Will You Go?”

Foundations to Challenge

Many educational programs are built from the bottom up. In other words, many classical, Christian schools start with kindergarten and build a grade at a time. Classical Conversations was built from the top down. When her oldest son turned twelve, Leigh Bortins realized that he needed to discuss literature, make presentations, debate history, and complete science labs with his peers. She gathered a group of students in her home, and the Challenge program was born. After a number of years, she realized that she and her friends could have prepared their children for these experiences better in the younger grades, and so the Foundations program was born. In other words, we started with the end in mind: everything you are learning right now with your kids has a purpose for later studies.


Foundations to Challenge Week 14:


In Week 14, Foundations students learn about Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378–1455), an Italian artist and goldsmith famous for the ornate cast bronze doors of the Baptistry of Florence Cathedral.


In Challenge II, students learn that Ghiberti’s work on the northern portals (and the later eastern portals¾called “the Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo) is representative of the full transition from the art of the Gothic period to a style that would be known as Renaissance art.



Foundations to Challenge Week 15:


In spite of his name, Prince Henry the Navigator (Foundations Week 15) never sailed. Instead, with his unique vantage point in southwestern Portugal, with access to both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, he sponsored many sea voyages in the early 1400s along the western coast of Africa, which was largely unexplored. He sought African gold, but the explorations resulted in new charts and information about the western coast of Africa, ultimately leading to the African slave trade.


Challenge IV students will discuss Henry the Navigator and many other explorers in World History.



Foundations to Challenge Week 16:


In Week 16, Foundations students learn about three of the most unusual words in English grammar: am, are, is, which are the forms of to be that we conjugate in the different persons to shift the meaning of other verbs. Learning the power of language - the power of speaking and writing well - is a key component at every Challenge level.


Starting in Challenge A, students analyze, then imitate, the literature of great writers, much as an art student might copy an Old Master. Having mastery of the word mechanics learned in Foundations means that students have many language grammar tools already in hand by the time they reach Challenge A.

Lego paper airplane machine

For all the lego-loving kiddos in our group