Life Skills A (John)
Students in Life Skills spent the latter half of the second quarter discussing healthy nutrition, effective communication, sewing, and decision making. They participated in a number of activities designed to encourage them to consider the consequences of their actions while also realizing the positive benefits of using good judgement. 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. The students also learned a variety of techniques for sewing which they put to use to create items to sell at the annual craft fair.
Life Skills B (Ryan)
During December, we discussed health, energy, lifestyle habits that promote feeling good, and goal setting. Each student set a goal for themselves that would presumably take several months to complete. It’s important for students to learn that achievements are comprised of small steps, which are explicitly defined during the planning stage or further developed as amendments to the plan. Students learned to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Several used verbiage such as “get better at …” and were encouraged to change checkpoint descriptions to be less vague. It’s a pleasure to see these students excited about reaching their goals. Every Thursday we continue to share goal updates, including what students are doing as they meet or fall short of their checkpoint targets.
We played the French game “Les 7 Familles” as an introduction to Chapter 4 about family. This traditional card game is as part of growing up in France as Go Fish is in the United States!
It includes a repetitive scripted dialogue which allows the players to collect all 6 members of the same family. Different sets include Hobbies, Professions, Transportation, Jungle Animals, etc…
We finished Chapter 9 about train travels with the study of irregular IRE verbs - such as Lire (to read), Dire (to say), Ecrire (to write) - and DRE verbs such as Descendre, Attendre (to wait), Entendre (to hear), Defendre.
In both sections we continued our research on Africa. Students graphed and compared the population of their assigned country with that of France. They also compared its land surface area to that of France and Vermont. In both cases they created final drafts and visuals to include in their reports, which will be displayed at the end of January.
We welcomed many new and familiar faces on Discover Endeavour Day. Our combined French block had 13 students! We played number Bingo and Verb Battleship in small groups and ended the class with a game of ER verbs charade!
Wishing you all une Bonne Annee 2017.
In Spanish, students continue to practice verb conjugation for both regular and irregular verbs in the present tense. Before the holidays, students learned about prepositions which answer the question “¿Dónde está?” (Where is?) and gerunds which answer the question “¿Qué haces?” (What are you doing?).
As part of our culture corner, we finished reading “When Tía Lola Came to Stay” by Julia Alvarez and had a discussion about the special traditions that tía Lola brought back to the family characters, Miguel and Juanita.
Students have also been working on writing a paragraph that compares their daily routine to the routine of a famous person in Spanish. We learned about the Canadian hockey player, Sydney Crosby, the World Cup ski racer, Mikaela Schiffrin, and the famous actors and comedians, Kevin Hart and Eddie Murphy. Students outlined their routine for the day or the week and researched the routine of their role model. They presented and answered questions in Spanish regarding their work for the end of the quarter.
In art class this Quarter, we created art for some of our community events; the Coffee House Talent Show and the Holiday Craft Fair. We designed and sculpted our own clay gargoyles and made a paper snowflake installation for the hallway. Now we are working on creating a diorama from a scene in our dreams with mixed media; including drawing, transfers, clay, wire, wood, and paper.
Music and Drama: Randal
In music class this quarter, we have begun delving into music theory and keyboard work. We have talked about keys and tonal centers and learned about the construction of major and minor chords and scales. From this, students will learn about songs and instrumental pieces and their musical construction. We’ve also been creating stories to act out in drama class and generating characters and storylines for our spring musical as well.
In PE, students continued to develop motor skills by hiking in the woods behind our school, while playing camouflage, playing Four Square, and other games. While not competitive, students participated in a Fitness test to get a baseline on physical fitness levels. Students were in good spirits and enthusiastically enjoyed the activities.
Young Writers Project: Cara
Students,working with prompts from the Young Writers Project, explored the nature of memoirs. Some students wrote about holiday traditions, others about vivid memories from childhood. Students used the techniques of fiction, adding dialogue and details. The new routine is for students to log on to the Young Writers Project website, find a prompt they like, and write for a class or two, and then submit their work. I’m looking forward to reading more wonderful work as we continue to write during the second semester!