• Liberty North has many exciting teaching and learning opportunities! This space is devoted to making that learning visible and sharing our collective story. 

  • Portrait Photography Prep

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 12/19/2019 10:00:00 AM


    Teaching Photography is an artform itself! How do you impress on students what it takes to make a portrait a work of art when we live in a culture of snapchat and selfies? Melissa Allshouse broke it down into strategies and techniques for the students to learn and teach to their class. Students shared their knowledge “speed dating” style and took notes as reminders before their photo shoot!


    Teacher Reflection- I loved that the kids were able to take ownership over the subject. It was more personal to present their learning one on one. They had the flexibility to present in a format they chose and they got to do their thing.

    students sharing

    Student Reflections and work- “I know how to take silhouettes in any situation. Using terms in here helped me get across on my website what I wanted to say. I also had a lot of background from graphic design.” - Bret 


     “I liked the idea of the brochure rather than just a google slide. I thought it was cool how we got to draw it out.” -Sedona 

    Lighting Patterns in Portraits


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  • LN First Fashion Show Success

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 12/18/2019 11:00:00 AM

    Promotional poster

    Teaching real world applications is Traci Silvey’s superpower. Her Intro to Fashion Fundamentals classes hosted a full fledged fashion show at Liberty North on December 12th. Students chose a committee based on their strengths including merchandising, coordinating, program promotion, commentary, stage, and hospitality. 

    Dr. Kurth was a special guest of honor and modeled an outfit created for her by the Fashion Fundamentals students! 

    Student Reflections- “The fashion show came together in the end even though we thought it wouldn’t. I enjoyed the hands on and student led process. It was more interesting than traditional things.” - Maia

    "I thought the fashion show was pretty cool. I liked how we got to express our fashion in an outfit and that people got to enjoy it with us." - Cory


    Fashion model


    Teacher Reflection- I was inspired to host a fashion show after a visit to a Fashion Designer in the Crossroads District who hosted a huge fashion show with dinner and everyone involved. I thought I will go back to my Fashion Merchandising class and we are going to do this. This was the first but as an annual event, we will reflect and do this again in the future. 

    Our culinary arts students provided an amazing pink buffet as well! 

    Pink food




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  • Principles of Biomed

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 12/12/2019

    Darn the google! What do you do when your kiddos are googling answers rather than diving in deep to understanding of the content? Create expert groups and have them teach each other of course! Juli Hustoft’s classes rocked it recently! 


    Teacher Reflection-  I don't know about you guys, but Google has absolutely been killing me this year.  It seems like no matter what I do, how many resources I give, or how many times I harangue my students the second I turn them loose to work on an assignment they're on Google copying down the first thing that pops up without even going to the website to make sure the answer is in context.   


    I'm horrifically behind in content for my in my Principles of Biomed class and I needed a way to speed things along without handing my students a list of resources and materials they needed to learn and having them take notes for days on end. They've already had a unit on this material (in a different context) in Biology so Tara suggested expert groups.  


    For those of you unfamiliar with expert groups, it's this nifty thing that lends itself really well to content that has clear divisions.  My students were learning about three different types of biomolecules, so I split each class into three groups (one for each biomolecule type) and further split those groups into twos.  Each group was responsible for researching specific things about their topic and making a poster. Once the posters were done, they groups traded with the other group on the same topic and they did a reflection of the work.  We spent a day revising and then a day where the students acted as the "expert" on their topic and taught classmates in small groups about their topic. I tried this part a couple of different ways. First, I did groups of 3 where one representative from each topic was present.  They only talked about their poster and the students were given the others as extra study materials. The students didn't really like that and I switched things up after 1st hour. The second time around I pulled a student from each group and did groups of 6, each poster had a representative and they were almost able to team up with the other person who shared their topic.  The student felt much more confident this way and were able to help each other out. I stuck with this for the rest of the day.


    All of this was great except that I was agonizing over how to get the information to the students without simply having them write a ton of notes.  I had done all of this work to avoid huge meaningless notes and I didn't want to dump a ton of info on them at once.  


    Bless you Adobe Scan.  A while ago I'd needed a scanning app for business outside of school and Adobe Scan was the first one I found that seemed to meet my needs and was free. Basically, the app uses your phone camera as a scanner, it even auto detects the edges of documents.  After it takes pictures, the app saves them as a PDF and you can send it to yourself or others. Here are the posters my 4th hour kids made.  

    4th Hour

    The other nifty thing that Adobe Scan did was it automatically re-sized the images to fit within a regular piece of paper.  I was able to print them and make packet for my students. Now, instead of writing copious amounts of notes, they were able to simply listen to their classmates describe their posters, highlight and annotate on the actual posters, and keep the rest as a study aide!   10/10, would absolutely use again!


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  • Humanities 10

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 11/25/2019

    Humanities 10 is a project based class incorporating both English Language Arts and American History learning. Having read Night by Elie Wiesel and researched their own human rights violation topic.  Students engaged in a Socratic seminar to unpack how we survive traumatic events.  

    • How does trauma impact a person’s faith, or lack thereof?
    • What does survival look like and sound like?
    • What does it look like and sound like when we struggle to overcome trauma? 
    • Are there some strategies that are successful and could/should be shared?

    Teacher Reflection: Socratic seminars are one of my favorite protocols to use in class to get students to voice how they truly feel about a subject.  Prior to the Socratic, students had been reading the novel Night  by Elie Wiesel and to hear them make connections from the book back to evidence and articles centering around the idea of what impact trauma can have on a human.  I believe this kind of discussion really makes the reality of the topic come to life for our students!


    Student Reflection: “ I really liked the seminar. It helps everyone get involved. Normal classes you memorize and copy it on the test. Socratic seminars you have to think.  

    We apply everything in here and it builds social skills. It also builds respect and responsibility and we get better as a whole.  Huge success in a tiny circle.” Nicholas

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  • Humanities 9 Perseverance PBL

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 11/21/2019 12:00:00 PM

    Humanities 9 has been engaged in a project of perseverance. They dug into how historical icons, contemporary figures, and fictional characters show their “toughness” and succeed in spite of adversity. Through mini lessons on race relations, LGBTQ, Native Americans, and education students took their surface knowledge and dove deep to find more about their chosen topic. 

    Teacher Reflection: With our current mental health crisis in America and the challenges students go through throughout their adolescent years, Mr. Baldwin and I felt like it was important to tackle what it means to persevere through difficult situations. As always, we wanted to bring in elements of history and ELA so we had students, with the theme of perseverance, choose, research, and present information on a historical, contemporary, and fictional character who is a good example of perseverance. I really loved this unit. I think by researching challenging situations in their figure’s lives, the students got to dig deeper into the humanity of these people who are otherwise removed from their everyday lives. I think, too, it gave students role models to look up to in times of crisis. This unit was so fun for me to see what subjects they gravitated towards, who they ultimately ended up choosing, and why they found these people such good examples of perseverance. 


    Student Reflection: 

    I have been interested in gender equality and feminism for as long as I can remember. I've always been confused as to why women and men are treated differently.

    I chose this topic because I am passionate about gender equality/women's rights and I wanted to learn more about the people throughout history that are trying to make gender equality a reality.

    Student Work:  

    Gender Equality Project - Malala Yousafzai

    African-American Relations Project - Barack Obama

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  • AP Biology -What's that cell telling us?

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 10/17/2019 11:00:00 AM

    Dr. Brittan Wilson’s AP Biology students are not just studying for an AP test, they are gaining the skills needed to cure diseases! Students are investigating different diseases to determine what cells and molecules are affected using primary research from institutions like the Mayo Clinic or The Center for Disease Control.  They can describe a healthy and an unhealthy cell in a person affected by a particular disease as well as the size, function, purpose, and cellular structure. They will then be assessing how this impacts an individual as a whole. The goal of this research is for students to experience the initial research process and to be able to assess what we already know about these diseases.  At the end of the term, they will be submitting a research proposal for what needs to be further assessed in order to cure their particular disease.

    Teacher Reflection: Science relies heavily on research skills and peer-review.   My goal with this project is to teach my students about the scientific research process through authentic research and a topic they choose. The project is designed to have the students break down their research into manageable pieces.  The students peer-reviewed each other’s projects looking for points of confusion and offered to clarify questions to one another. The students were also able to get new ideas regarding how to approach their own research. Seeing the varied approaches increased their understanding of both their own and others' processes as the project progresses.  This also exposes them to how science is reviewed in a conference-style setting. The students are struggling at some points within this process and I hope to add clarification as we move forward. They do seem to have a genuine interest in their selected topics and have expressed that it is helping them put or coursework into use.  


    Student Reflections- “I like being able to do peer review so we can edit it before we turn it in. It was helpful to me being able to draw out the cells and looking at other people’s drawings.” 

    “The project is very interesting. Especially learning how such a small change can cause disease. Research has been challenging but interesting.”

    Student Work-

    student work student drawing

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  • American HIstory Read, Write, Think!

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 9/17/2019


    American History Class


    We have all read something and then forgotten everything that we just ran our eyes across at one time or another. American History teacher David Fulkerson is determined to help his students find a process that supports learning reading material and is personal to the preference of each student. We exposed the students to 3 styles of note taking in the first month of school.

    • Outline notes
    • Cornell notes
    • Sketch notes 

    While the type of note taking changed the goal remained the same. Make meaning of what you are reading! We talked about the learning process and how it requires the right type of repetition including adding new thinking, making connections, and asking questions. 


    Teacher Reflection:

    Regardless of the format, notes should require the notetaker to analyse, look for connections, and get to the “why”.  Many students don’t understand the purpose of notetaking and use it as a task that needs to be completed; not looking at it as a tool for growth and understanding.  One of the biggest challenges is to change attitudes about the chore of learning to embracing how learning takes place. This is true for the teacher as well. Sometimes I find myself falling into the trap of delivering content or providing an activity without making the learning connections evident.

    Student Reflections:

    • Benefits of Outline notes: Organization, making connections with the information
    • Benefits of Cornell notes: Deeper thinking 
    • Benefits of Sketch notes: Engaging your brain in a different way

    sketch note sketch note

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  • Biology Project Based Learning

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 5/29/2019

    The Liberty North Biology team was really thinking about student voice and choice in their culminating project. Students were able to pick their subject and project and flow from their normal room of assignment to a place where they could dive deep into learning about a topic of their choosing. Juli Hustof’s students attacked the problems of the MO Dept of Conservation through art and web design to draw awareness to our ecological problems and potential solutions. Andrew Bilen’s students worked like sports medicine specialists and examined the effect of specific exercise programs on muscle groups. There were students who went further to research how those muscle groups affect their sport.  Gretchen Hubinger’s students looked at water quality and water pollution in areas we live. They traveled to the fishing river and studied how to improve the water quality. Cheryl Turlin’s students created experiments to investigate animal preferences and studied careers in animal education. Ryan Dahm’s students worked like forensic scientists and dissected pigs to determine the cause of death.


    Teacher Reflection:

    90% of our students responded positively to the project and many asked for more time. The feedback on the project was incredible. Students who attended the project were able to articulate that they would have enjoyed it as freshman and remembered the material more in this type of format. The juniors and seniors who attended were also impressed by the amount of information the freshman were able to articulate and the range of knowledge they displayed.

    Student Reflection:


    Student Work:

    How to remove feral hogs

    Mussels in MO

    Chronic Wasting Disease

    Elk Repopulation

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  • Humanities 10

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 4/29/2019

    Humanities 10 teachers Ronnie Lathrop and Kimberly Brownlee asked their students:

    What story is worth telling?

    The students researched and found that many stories worth telling were from individuals and groups affected by world wars, revolutions, and global conflicts. Students analyzed the short term and long term effects and presented their findings in a gallery event. Additionally, students engaged in a film study to enhance their understanding both the context of the conflict they researched as well as film techniques that highlighted the culture and conflict represented.

    student project

    Teacher Reflection: “This was the most successful research project we’ve done all year. I credit that to student choice in terms of partners and film analysis (and thereby the history behind the film) and the fact that at this point the students have become master researchers. The level of progress from where they were in September to where they are now has been very pleasing. I have two students who struggled early on and their project was absolutely outstanding.” - Ronnie Lathrop

    gallery walk

    Student Reflection: I thought the project was intriguing. I liked how the history and the film went hand in hand and learning the techniques of filmmaking. I liked my project because my topic was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and it is not as well known as it should be.

    Comments (-1)
  • Business Management Socratic Seminar

    Posted by Tara Harvey on 4/9/2019 10:00:00 AM

    Students take the lead in Kristen Hittner’s Business Management class as they participate in a socratic seminar wrestling with the question: Are Leaders Born or Made? This combination of reading, research, and speaking & listening skills is intentional in an effort to have these aspiring business leaders take and stand a defend it with evidence.


    Teacher Reflection: It is important to give students the opportunity to practice communication skills which can get lost in the technology driven world. Their verbal communication skills and ability to dialogue is critical to their skill set for the future workplace.


    Student Reflection: I thought it was cool to hear my other classmates input.  I like it more than a test and it might be more beneficial for me to research and hear from the class. I learned more.

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