by Dr. Jamie Wernet, Director of Learning/Math Teacher

Our vision for students is that they will be equipped to engage and transform the world for Jesus Christ.

A primary question in our work is how to give students opportunities to practice engaging the world through our classroom learning. One answer is formational learning experiences, in which they use the content they’re learning at any grade and in any subject area to do “real work that meets a real need for real people.” These experiences often grow out of teachers’ Deep Hope for students, which guides teaching and learning in our classrooms. Here is an example of a formational learning experience from our year so far.

Mr. Lohman’s Deep Hope: “My deep hope for my students is that they would see everything we do as an opportunity to know God, love Him more deeply, and love people.

In Jason Lohman’s 5th-grade classroom, students are imagining, designing, and building wooden children’s toys. At the end of the project, the class will donate the toys to Shared Pregnancy to be enjoyed by children and families in our Lansing Community. Through the design and building process, students have the opportunity to practice multiplying fractions and finding and using scale factors. They are also using their learning to make a difference in the lives of others by creating something beautiful.

Doing math this way makes it more memorable. It’s like, doing worksheets has a purpose, but this has a deeper purpose. Like if you went to a swimming pool and just watched people enjoying it from the edge, you’d remember it kind of. But the memories you make by actually getting in the pool and swimming stick with you longer. That’s like the math in this project. – 5th-grade student

The wrestling and effort and blood, sweat, and tears that go into this, all for a toy that they are giving away, invites students to see that the math they are doing matters. It’s not just math for math’s sake. It’s math for the sake of people that are deeply loved by the same God who loves us. When we use math to partner with God in his redemptive work students are able to see their role in the Kingdom more clearly. – Mr. Lohman