Featured Teacher: Steve Moor, 7th-9th Grade

Steve Moor, or Mr. Steve as he is known to his students, has a simple goal for his teaching career: 

Teach students how to build a better world.

How does he do that? Through mentoring. Mr. Steve has BA's in Religion and English, and a Masters in Teaching, and he uses that knowledge to really reach kids. He mentors students by modeling Christ's behavior and asking kids to apply Christian principles to everyday problems and life events. 

Mr. Steve has many interests, and this year he is most excited to be teaching and mentoring students in the areas of Music, Videography, Yearbook and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). He incorporates communication technology into his English, Social Studies and Publications classes, which enriches students' learning and gives them valuable skills in today's world. 

Mr. Steve prepares students not just for college, but for life through his mentoring and skill building. We are glad to have him as part of our TVA team!


Fun Facts About Mr. Steve:

Proudest accomplishment: Being a dad
Snack of choice: Maui potato chips
Quality I most admire about others: Expertise
One thing I hope to achieve in my lifetime: Doctorate
When I was a kid, I thought I would be a: Psychologist
3 qualities to describe myself: Quirky, passionate, flexible
If I could be any literary character, it would be: Willy Wonka
In my free time, I like to: Write music and shoot video
Favorite place I've ever travelled: Koh Phi Phi Island
Sport I love: Basketball
This store has a lot of my money: Amazon
My at bat song would be: Everybody's Got Their Something (Nikki Costa)
If calories didn't count I would drink: Smoothies
Best movie ever was: Lord of the Rings

The STEAM Work Continues!

TVA's 9th Grade STEAM class, Project Integration, is keeping our students busy learning about new technologies. 

Check out the compilation video below for their second quarter projects focusing on stop motion, animation and video experiments. All of the videos were entirely student created and produced. We are proud of our students!

Featured Class: 9th Grade STEAM

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Getting students excited about learning can be hard. Sometimes it's not easy to see how algebra or geometry will impact daily life, or how certain parts of science have real-world application that will impact a student directly. 

That's where Tualatin Valley Academy's STEAM* class comes in.

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The STEAM class is taught to TVA's freshmen, and it's designed to get kids excited about learning in a fun new way. The class is based on Project Based Learning (PBL), a technique that has students identify a real-world problem or need and look for ways to solve it. STEAM is dynamic, engaging and solution-focused. Students learn skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork as they work together on various projects. 

This year's 9th grade class is passionate about producing videos and writing music, so Michael Blackburn, the STEAM instructor, is teaching different technology skills to students through the lens of a music video. 

How can 3D modeling be used in a music video?
What do you need to learn to use MIDI and instrumental recording?
If you're going to use time lapse in this video, what math do you need to use to figure out how you're going to do that?
A Rube Goldberg machine in the video does sound cool. How do science and engineering impact the machine you want to make?
Can computer programming be used to do slow motion or stop motion for the video?

By researching and learning these various techniques, students are building a foundation of needed skills for bigger projects to be accomplished in the years to come. For example, the students learning computer programming have chosen to learn Javascript specifically so that they can explore creating a computer game in the future. 

Student individuality is embraced in this class. Not every student will learn extensively about every component of what will go into the video they are writing and producing. Students are encouraged to pick an area or areas of interest to focus on. Some prefer computer programming. Others prefer learning how MIDI works. The end goal, however, is one group project that will combine all of their talents, skills and abilities. 

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Each student in the class is exposed to each technique being taught at some point. The whole class spent all of first quarter and half of second quarter learning 3D modeling in SketchUp. They will continue to have mini lessons as a group on this skill and others throughout the school year so that they are exposed to different technologies, can develop a few basic skills in each area, and decide if they are interested in learning more about it or not. 

Ultimately, this class is about 2 things: Getting kids excited about learning via technology and helping them develop skills for college and life. To that end, each student has set up a "locker" - an online portfolio where they can store their projects and work for the next 4 years to use in the college application process. 

It has been exciting to watch the 9th graders develop new skills and find that they enjoy things that they never thought they would like. Things are not always easy. Much of what they are learning is brand new to them, and that comes with some frustration. They are learning skills often taught in sports - perseverance, teamwork and dedication. But most importantly, they are learning that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. 

We are excited to see that video at the end of the year!

 

*STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math

Featured Teacher: Sara Beck, 7-9 Mathematics

When a close friend of Mrs. Beck's was unable to pursue his dreams in college because he couldn't pass the necessary math prerequisites for his major, she determined to become a math teacher so that she could help other students pursue their dreams by teaching them solid math skills. 

"I want all students to gain the math and reasoning skills needed to pursue their dreams."

With 10 years' experience, a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with minors in Education and Chemistry, a Master of Science in Teaching Mathematics and Professional Teaching Certificates in Advanced Mathematics (Middle and High School) and Chemistry, Mrs. Beck is definitely well-equipped to make an impact on Tualatin Valley Academy students' education! She has taught subjects ranging from Pre-Algebra to AP Statistics, and is always pursuing new ways to capture students' interest in her math classes. 

When asked what she loves most about her job now, she says "I enjoy being able to openly worship and pray with my students. I am grateful to work at the same school my children attend. I am excited about the possibilities as we expand into high school."

We are excited that Mrs. Beck is pouring her knowledge, dedication and passion for learning into our 7th, 8th and 9th grade math students!

Fun Facts About Mrs. Beck: 

Bucket list item: Take my daughter scuba diving with manta rays
Proudest accomplishment: Developing a proficiency grading system and program with the technological support of my husband
Snack of choice: Dried young coconut and mangoes
Qualities I most admire about others: Work/Life balance
What inspires me: Possibilities
One thing I hope to achieve in my lifetime: Writing Pre-Algebra and Algebra textbooks
3 words to describe myself: Observant, purposeful, prepared
In my free time I like to: Contemplate, plan, cook, watch cooking and travel shows, read, spend time with my family
Favorite place I've travelled: Cook Islands or Little Cayman
This store has a lot of my money: Costco
My at bat song would be: Multiplied by Needtobreathe
If calories didn't count I would eat or drink: Haagen-Daz or Ben&Jerry's ice cream and Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke
Favorite color: Turquoise