Class Management Templates

Classroom management and organization are vital so that classical content does not get lost in a tangle of day-to-day mismanaged disorganitzation.

Excel templates are readily available to teachers and headmasters, saving money on gradebooks, copier paper, toner, and the like. Such things as planbooks can also help a headmaster make certain that classrooms are staying on task efficiently.

Many free templates are available across the web, but as an example, check out Vertex42's Excel templates for gradebooks, planners and calendars.

For a small annual fee (less than the price of a wire-bound hardcopy gradebook), administrators, teachers, parents, and students can have access to weekly lesson plans and assignments through PlanBookEDU's full-featured online planning book.

Chromebook and G-Suite users should also be able to find numerous solutions in various apps.

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Virtual Dissections

Small classical Lutehran schools may not have the resources to purchase specimens and dissecting equipment, but there are free websites which can provide the next best thing: virtual dissections (although there are also those which require a fee for use). Check out the resources listed on the ScienceBank website.


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Eratosthenes' Calculation of the Earth's Circumference

Today marks the autumnal equinox (also see the equinox pages at Earth and Sky) -- which is also known as the beginning of astronomical autumn (in distinction from the meteorlogical autumn).

There is a myth that the autumnal and vernal equinoxes have a special property which enables eggs and brooms to balance in a unique way. Today might be an opportunity to demonstrate how to debunk a myth. Students might also like to consider measuring a shadow (perpendicular to the ground), erecting a sun dial, or marking the point on the horizon where the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening - something which can also be done using an app like "The Photographer's Ephemeris," or viewing a simulation on a website.

However, it was on a summer soltice that Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth using some "simple" geometry (n.b. geo = earth and metry = measure). Thinking ahead a few months . . .  I wonder if some classical Lutheran schools around the country (or the world?) might re-enact Eratosthenes' experiment on the next December solstice -- or perhaps the following June -- and communicate their findings via Skype . . .

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When Lutheran Schools Close

The statistics are alarming. Enrollment in Lutheran schools is declining sharply and Lutheran schools are closing in greater numbers over the past 25 years.

In his 2014 work entitled, When Lutheran Schools Close: A Study of Ministries Under Stress, Rev. Dr. Richard Zeile examines the decline of Lutheran Schools in Detroit, Michigan, during the 1990's. Ten Detroit Lutheran schools that closed during the decade 1990 to 1999 (The remaining ten closed by 2010) were examined by comparing statistical data, leader surveys, and the author's participant journal to compare the interplay of theory, fact, and assumption. The failure to acknowledge demographic trends, with an inadequate theology of church growth, led to dysfunctional responses on the part of congregations, staff, and district officials. Theoretical questions, so often neglected by participants in ministry, go to the heart of institutional integrity which requires shared vision and values, as well as a sober cognizance of circumstances. A theology of the cross, which recognizes that God is with His servants even (or especially) in failure, and thus prizes faithfulness rather than institutional success, is needed to provide an authentic basis for the ministry of Christian schools in times of stress.

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Give Your Websites A Widget

With a little knowledge of embedding code into a webpage or an HTML block, a fair number of tools and interactive time-spacers can be made available to students through WIDGETS.

I place widgets on our Moodle course pages for our students to spend their time engaging in some wordplay or history if they have completed their other assignments. These widgets have proven to be more beneficial than other things they might be doing. They could also be placed on a schoo;'s home web page.

Check out the examples for "This Day in History" or "Word of the Day" at The FreeDictionary by Farlex which makes the HTML/CSS code for widgets available here.

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