Life Skills A: John
Recent lessons in Life Skills A have emphasized the importance of decision making in our everyday lives. The students participated in a number of interactive simulations that encouraged them to use their judgement in order to succeed. One of these scenarios took place on the moon and required students to list the objects they had with them in order of most important to least important for survival. Similarly, a desert island scenario took place over the course of multiple class periods and provided a number of challenges that needed to be overcome before any rescue could take place. Each of these lessons ended with a reflection and discussion period during which students reflected on the consequences of their decisions within the simulations as well as the importance of decision making in real life.
Life Skills B: Ryan
We continue to discuss goal setting and are on our way to committing to S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. This challenges students to break down larger targets into smaller steps / checkpoints. We’ll be creating charts and plans to complement discussions and goals already identified. Aside from goal-setting, students have been taking part in games that encourage collaboration, problem-solving, prioritization, and roles. They thoroughly enjoy these and we have a load of fun sharing ideas and perspectives while practicing respect and good listening skills.
We have left Europe, and are now traveling across Africa and its many French speaking countries. In both sections, each student has selected one of these 27 countries to research more in depth.
Chapter 1 introduced the students to the masculine and feminine forms of French nouns and adjectives, and the irregular verb "être" (to be), so they could practice describing themselves and their personality.
Chapter 2 allowed them to explore the French school system and talk about their own school and classes, and tell which subjects are their favorite.
We are now finishing Chapter 3 in which, besides learning about school and classroom supplies, the students are formally introduced to the first group of French regular verbs - ER verbs.
This section starts the year at Chapter 7, teaching about men and women's clothing.
Chapter 8 takes us to the airport and exposes the students to vocabulary related to air travel, from the initial checking of their luggage to the passport verification at their destination.
We are now traveling by train in Chapter 9, and, as a hands-on project, the students are building a "shoebox train station" highlighting key vocabulary.
Each chapter is an opportunity to introduce small groups of irregular verbs that share similarities.
¿Qué pasa en español?
In Spanish, we concluded October by celebrating “El día de los muertos” (The Day of the Dead). Students learned about the elements of the altar and why people celebrate this holiday in México. As part of our celebration, we remembered two important figures in Mexican culture – the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo and the famous revolutionary hero, Pancho Villa.
Students continue to practice different roles during our “Noticias del día” (News of the day) and have settled into different jobs throughout our units. Their roles include the reporter, the meteorologist, the mathematician, the geographer and the reader. In recent units, students are conjugating regular verbs that end in “-ar”, “-er” and “-ir”. They’ve also learned about the irregular verb “to be” and how it has two flavors in Spanish – “ser” and “estar”. They’ve also recognized patterns with other irregular verbs, although they don’t follow the same rules as the regular verbs.
As part of our daily exercises, students were introduced to “El Quijote”. They continue to practice adjectives by comparing the two main characters, Sancho Panza and Don Quijote. Along with adjective endings, students become more familiar with the use of the verb, “ser”.
To enhance our connections in Spanish culture and our practice at home, we started reading “When Tía Lola Came to Visit” by Julia Alvarez. Duolingo homework has also been uploaded and most students completed the Basic 1 and Basic 2 modules. As students build upon their Spanish skills, they will be working on their first project – “Mi rutina y la rutina de un olímpico”.
In November, Endeavour Art classes made 2D art and installed it for the Coffee House. We also made crafts and started a large snowflake installation that will be hung for the Holiday Art Fair starting December 14th!
Music and Drama: Randal
In our classes this quarter we've successfully prepared and performed the Endeavor Coffeehouse and the Winter Performance. Endeavor students were a crucial part of not only performing but stage managing, running lights and sound, and helping design our beautiful performance spaces. Apart from the performances, we've continued work on stage and have delved into music theory where students are learning about tonal centers, chord construction and our harmonic system in Western Culture through studying basics of the piano keyboard.
During November, we continued the spirit of competition by introducing the volleyball game Nukem, with the goal of improving hand-eye coordination. In addition, students participated in a fitness test to help them create individualized baselines and to help improve basic skills such as the plank, push-ups, wall sit, PACER run, sit & reach, and arm reach. Keep exercising over the holidays!