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STEAM in the Summer!

May 15, 2018
By Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed

We are a mere 12 DAYS from summer vacation!  I cannot believe how quickly this school year has passed, and before you know it, we’ll be talking about back-to-school activities!  (But let’s not rush it.) 

I remember when I was a kid, I would get super excited for the start of summer vacation, but after about six days, I was bored.  This could be because I was the kid who absolutely loved school (nerd alert!), but I would venture to guess it was also the desire to be engaged throughout the summertime.  It can be difficult to find enough activities to keep kids engaged and entertained all summer long.  Throughout the summer, our blog posts will continue, but we will be focusing on activities and projects that are fun (and inexpensive) for parents to do with kids at home. 

I know we have a few weeks to go, but today I’ll give you a sneak peek of a summer STEAM project to do at home.  This project teaches kids about balance and the center of gravity.  I hope you enjoy it!

Materials Needed:

  1. Cardstock
  2. Two pennies
  3. Scissors
  4. Poster putty
  5. Balancing Robots printable
  6. Coloring materials (crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc.)

Making the Robots:

  1. Print the robots on cardstock and allow your child to color the robots however they wish.  (Here’s the ARTS part of STEAM.)
  2. Cut out both robots and lay face down (so you see the blank side).
  3. Students should use the poster putty to stick the two pennies to one of the robots. 
  4. Now students can try balancing the robot (with the pennies) on their finger.  They should try moving the pennies to see how the placement affects the balance of the robot.
  5. Once they have the robot balanced, they can use some additional poster putty to attach the second robot to the other side of the pennies.
  6. Now students can try balancing their robot in a variety of different places!

Send me a picture of the most unusual place you can balance your robot here, and it might get featured in an upcoming blog post!  (Check out my own attempt at a balancing robot!)



Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed.





Upcoming Events Round-Up

April 23, 2018
By Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed

With the end of the school year in sight, there are still lots of exciting events coming up at PCA!  Here is a rundown of everything coming up.  Make sure it’s all on the family calendar!

FINAL Activity Period (April 26) – This marks the final day of Activity Period for the 2017-18 school year.  We are very thankful for our volunteers, special and support teachers who have helped to make these days a success.  The students had the opportunity to experience some new and exciting things including Geocaching, Math Escape Room, Movie Critics, Music Composition, Video Game Design, and Outdoor Science Lab.  We look forward to what activities will be launched next year!

Grandparents Day (April 27) – Grandparents are welcome to join their student for chapel and for in-class activities.  This day is always one of the students’ favorites, and we love having grandparents on campus! 

Trap Shoot (April 28) – This is one of two major fundraising events for the PCA community.  We host this event at the Mars Rod and Gun Club.  The funds raised from this event go to the programming needs throughout the school.  We look forward to a great day full of friendly competition and great food (from Mitch’s BBQ)!

Spring Musical (May 11 at 7 PM) – This event will be hosted at North Main Street Church of God this year.  The students have been working very hard with Mrs. Martin learning lines, dances, and songs to present to their families and friends!  We know they will all do a great job!

6th Grade Leadership Retreat (May 16 – 17) – Each year, the Sixth Grade Class goes to Seneca Hills Bible Camp for two days of team building and final preparation as they look to graduation.  This day produces some of the most memorable moments for our graduating students.  The entire trip is funded through their earnings from the Entrepreneurial Challenge in the fall.  Please join us in prayer over our graduating Sixth Graders!

Honors Chapel (May 25) – Our final chapel of the year!  What a blessing it is to join with parents and loved ones as the students’ hard work throughout this school is recognized during this special chapel service.  We know ALL of our students are hard workers, and we are very proud of the growth we have seen this year!

Sixth Grade Graduation (May 31) – This event is a bittersweet moment for us.  We are excited and proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our Sixth Grade Class, but we are sad to see them go!  This is a special group of 22 students, and we wish only God’s best for them in seventh grade! 

Field Day (June 1) – We have arrived at the final day of the 2017 – 18 school year!  What a fantastic year this has been, and we wish all of the students a safe and fun summer!  This day is always a fun way to celebrate the start of summer with our students and to have some friendly contests along the way!  Look for more details coming from Mr. Kramer.


Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed.


5 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day

April 09, 2018
By Mrs. Angie Gillis, M.Ed

We are all ready for warm days and sunshine, but what can we do when it is still cold and rainy?  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Living Room Movie Theater – this can be as simple as pulling the shades and popping popcorn; or as elaborate as letting your child make poster advertisements of the features, including the show times. Kids can make tickets (handmade or on the computer) to be presented at the entrance to the “theater.”
  2. Dining Room Restaurant – again, it can be as simple as creating a menu of easy lunch choices like Mac & Cheese, PBJ, Soup, Grilled Cheese, and sides of apple slices, raw veggies, grapes, and yogurt. Let your children serve or be served, again depending on their ages and interests. For children and parents who really like to cook, you can spend a rainy day making elaborate plans for a future event. My youngest son and my husband conducted “5 Toad’s Restaurant” for extended family members three different times over the course of a year! Check out our restaurant menu! Later, they combined ideas one and two by hosting a dinner movie! Check out our dinner/movie menu!
  3. Game Day – pull out your family’s favorite board games and play one after the next.  You could make a bracket tournament for Connect Four or other simple games to maintain interest beyond the first 10 minutes.  Other simple ways to keep everyone engaged would be youngest player picks the first game, and then winners of subsequent games pick the next.  As a child, I remember setting up an “arcade” by having a board game set up in each room, and we went from room to room playing the games and then cleaned everything up at the end.  How fun!
  4. Indoor Tent Camping – you can make simple blanket tents across living room or bedroom furniture, or in bigger spaces, go ahead and pitch the tent!  Read books, listen to music, or watch movies in your indoor tent.  You have the best of both worlds – the outdoor tent atmosphere, with indoor comforts like electricity and running water!   And what better way to get younger siblings to take a nap, than in their sleeping bag?
  5. Local Adventures – maybe you just need to get out of the house.  Here are links to some great local adventures:


Mrs. Angie Gillis, M.Ed.


Enrichment Services

March 19, 2018
By Mrs. Megan Tolfa

As you may have previously learned on our blog or recent vlog, PCA meets students’ needs by ability grouping in Reading and Math. We understand that children learn differently and we aim to provide groups at each grade level that can reach each student. We offer Reading and Math groups that will meet students where they are and help them grow.

For Reading, we offer services in second through sixth grade for students who have been tested and have received an IQ score of 120 or higher. The students read novels in class based on their Lexile range. Questions, discussions, and even projects are based in the higher-level thinking areas of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Being the Gifted/Enrichment Reading teacher, I get to see this passion and creativity flow on a daily basis. A specific example that comes to mind happened while reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret with my fourth graders. We spent a lot of class time analyzing the relationships between the characters and hypothesizing different reasons for this connection or that action and within a few days they had the entire book figured out without reading the second half!

For Math, in first through third grade, we ability group for each unit. This allows flexibility throughout the year so we can get the students the education they need for each unit. In Enrichment for those grade levels, the students work more in depth with the outcomes, problem solving skills, and with hands-on projects. In fourth through sixth grade, approved students take part in Advanced Math Track. The goal of this is to work through one and a half years of curriculum in the span of one academic year. This means there is a faster pace happening in these groups. At the end of sixth grade, our students will be ready for Algebra when they graduate and go on to another school.

Not only does the Special Academic Services Department work together to meet the needs of a struggling learner, but also the learners who excel.  These programs are few and far between, especially in private schools with limited funding, and we have expanded our programming to meet the needs of every student.



Mrs. Megan Tolfa

Gifted/Enrichment Reading Instructor; Testing Specialist

Recent Posts

5/15/18 - By Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed
4/23/18 - By Mr. Craig Carnahan, M.Ed
4/9/18 - By Mrs. Angie Gillis, M.Ed
3/19/18 - By Mrs. Megan Tolfa
3/14/18 - By Mrs. Angie Gillis, M.Ed