January 31

Soc 3/4: Jan 31 Creating legends…

  1. Students talked about the legends we read together last class. These were stories Aboriginal people traditionally told to their children to educate them about different aspects of their world. Often times, these stories created an origin for where things came from or why something existed the way it did. The kids paired up into groups and tried to create their own legends that had to do four things:
    1. Include characters with names that were either people, animals, or parts of nature.
    2. Have a lesson or moral that was to be learned.
    3. Show how something came to be a certain way or where it came from.
    4. Have a problem or complication that is eventually solved by the end of the legend.
  2. They worked together in these groups writing their legends and drawing symbols / pictures to go with them. They will eventually act out their legends. They did a great job of working on these stories.
January 31

ELA B10: Jan 31 Individual questions / Racial assumptions…

  1. Students read through questions focusing on the two topics of Inequalities and Racial Tensions. They considered these individually and wrote their responses in their books.
  2. We discussed the difference between prejudice (the beliefs) and discrimination (the act). We also differentiated between subtle and overt acts of discrimination. We had a bit of a talk about racism, that it is not only Caucasian people who can be racist and also that not all people may be aware that they have biased opinions about their world.
  3. We read together a story called “After You, Dear Alphonse” and the students picked out right away the assumptions the mother in the story makes about Boyd’s family.
  4. We were going to end the class with a quick view of scenes from an important movie titled Mississippi Burning that is based on real events of extreme racism in Southern USA. The bell interupted us but we will continue tomorrow.
Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 31

ELA B30: Names / “By Any Other Name” …

  1. Students were given two handouts and we worked through them together. There were questions for them to consider individually and they started on them right away. We had a discussion about names and how important it can be to get someone’s name correct.
  2. I read aloud as students followed in their booklets a portion of the Canadian novel The Life of Pi where the main character struggles over mispronunciations of his name.
  3. We discussed the idea that we have many labels that we use to define ourselves. When asked “who are you?”, we will either give our name or we will give an association we have to something, such as Canadian, Christian, or German.
  4. We read the story titled “By Any Other Name” written by an author who grew up in Colonized India. The teacher at her British school could not be “bothered” to learn to pronounce Indian names so she would give the students new English names to make things easier. We almost finished when the bell rang. Students were asked to have the last short bit read for next class.
January 31

Art 7/8: Jan 31 Deadlines for projects…

  1. We discussed the deadline for one of their flip projects that will be used for evaluation. They’ve tried a few and can choose between some of their work to decide which they feel they did the best on to have it marked. The due date is next Wednesday.
  2. They’re also working on their next project, creating a background and drawn or cut out objects that they will move around the background and take pictures as they go to create an animation. A due date will be set soon but I am pleased to see they’re enthusiastic about this slightly different approach to animation.
January 30

Art 9: Jan 30 Deadlines for assignments… yes, finally!

  1. Students gathered together in the classroom and we discussed the progress of their animation practice. Students will have to hand in an animation video next Friday, February 8. It has to be an animation of a figure or some object that seems to move across the page. We talked about how it would be evaluated based on the obvious Art-related areas: creativity, fluidity of motion, care taken/attention to detail, completed project of no less than 150 photo frames.
  2. They were given their next project, though they can still choose to work during class time to complete the last one until it is due. The due date for the second project will be Friday, February 15. Again it has to be submitted in video form, with no less than 150 photo frames as well. There are two differences with this project:
    1. For this one, there is to be no object shown moving across the page. This, instead, will be a scene or words / poetry / symbols that appear on the screen as the artist draws them but pictures are taken between the small steps of the drawing. It is very much like the “First Try” video I made and shared with the class.
    2. The second difference is that they are to use a different medium for this project. They can either use charcoal or pastels to add an extra texture to the drawing. With charcoal, the mood created would likely be a dark, moody one but pastels would allow for a lighter mood. One of the major focuses with this project is that their animation (the words, drawings etc) draws a strong emotional response from the viewer. In the same way that an author uses words to create a tone in their writing, the students had to plan in advance of their work for which tone they want to create and then plan how they would accomplish it.

Today was a planning day for many students as some forgot their cameras.

The plan for the method to hand in their animations is to use the Windows Media Player program that is on all the computers in the school. When they are completed,they can copy it into the Hand In box on the main server for the school where I have a folder with my name on it. All students can access this folder and I’ll be able to easily receive their projects.

Category: Art 9 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 30

ELA 10: Jan 30 Intro to course…


  1. We started the class with a look at the course outline, the list of literature and assignments in the order they will be presented for the next eleven weeks, and talked about the breakdown of the marks. Again, the blog project is new to these students so we spent time talking about it and looking at my own blog and how to use it.
  2. I went back to a conversation that was intended to be shared before they watched the video on Monday. We talked about the difference between Empathy and Sympathy and I asked of the students that they would come to class with an open mind. I am not going to attempt to make the course into a strong emotional appeal for sympathy towards people who suffer because of inequalities. I would ask, though, that people not mock our discussions or topics.
  3. We looked at a few videos that highlighted some of the topics we will cover in this course, such as historical figures who have fought injustices including our own former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.
Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 30

B30: Jan 30 Intro to course / marks breakdown / blog overview…


  1. Students filled up the room again as the weather is letting up and more are venturing off to school. We went through the outline handed out that detailed the literature and assignments in the order we will encounter them. In the handout, any assignments or exams are highlighted in grey for students to recognize when due dates are.
  2. We also discussed the breakdown of their evaluation. As mentioned before, there is no participation mark as all discussions, contributions, homework checks, etc are the standard expectation of all students. I do not give marks for homework checks but keep sporadic records in the possibility that someone unhappy with their mark may wonder why they are struggling. If you keep up with the work, it will be reflected in your mark.
    I have taken “Me” as much out of your evaluation mark as possible. English is somewhat subjective but there is no place in this mark for my opinion of your effort, etc. All parts of the evaluation mark are completely within your own control. I give assignments with clear expectations, often give you an example of work that is similar to show what type of mark it would receive, and give plenty of time to complete it.
  3. One of the components of the mark comes from a student blog project. Instead of having students write personal reflections after readings or discussions that are handed in for a mark, students will work on a blog of their own, similar to this blog, and engage in a dialogue through this with partners. They will be able to share thoughts together, post links to articles that ellaborate on the focus of their topic, and embed videos or music as well. The hope here is that they will be able to internalize more of what they are thinking after our talks and by adding comments to partner blogs, they will maybe see another perspective to learn from. Another reason is that the internet just has so many options for finding material that reiterates the ideas behind our classes. “Pimp out” a blog of your own or “pimp out” a journal notebook. Which would you be more involved with?
  4. We began a discussion about Identity and what it encompasses. Students came up with their own definition, brainstormed to come up with a list of descriptors of the identities of the two main characters from The Interpreter, and began a list of their own identity labels.
  5. Students have to create a list of ten things Other People think of them and ten things they think of Themselves. We’ll be using these twenty in a future assignment.
Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
January 29

Art 5/6, 7/8: Jan 29 Few people!!

  1. There were so few people here for classes today. The 7/8 Art class joined the two 5/6 girls at school today and worked in the computer lab playing with the animation program on the computer.
  2. For the girls in their own Art 5/6 class, with just the two of them, they were treated to a first-time viewing of The Princess Bride, a true classic.
January 29

ELA B30: Jan 29 Period two viewing The Interpreter…

  1. Students in school today seemed eager to finish watching the movie they began yesterday. The timing worked out quite well, also, as they kept watching through their ten minute break to finish. The benefit of showing a movie that’s more than five years old is that maybe the majority of the class hasn’t already seen it! I’m glad they enjoyed it.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/HGcy90YfXas" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]  Here's a taste of the movie (a fairly good summary of the events) for those who missed both Monday and Tuesday. I'll lend out the movie, as well, for any who want to watch it on their own time.

Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT