March 20

We had some guests at school recently!

Charleston Hughes of the Saskatchewan Roughriders brought some athlete friends with him to compete against our Sr boys and girls basketball teams. It was a great afternoon of fun competition, but he also talked about bullying and he and many of the other players shared some personal stories of support and encouragement.

He’s a record of our afternoon of fun!

February 3

Sub Notes – Feb 3

These are the links sent directly to students for their classes.

Social 10: none today

Psych 20: Genetics Research

  • Students have to read the following short article about the research proving behaivour is partially linked in our genetic code.
  • If the wording of the article is a bit too challenging to understand, students can copy the text of the article and paste it into the website Rewordify. It will exchange the larger words for more-understandable words, to help make it easier to understand the meaning of the writing.

ELA B10: Independent Novel Reading Class

ELA 20: Intro Activity to Class – Childhood Boundaries Drawing/Reflection

ELA B30: Small Group Discussion – goals for B30 course  (Instructional Video)

December 19

Looking back 11/12s: We’ve been busy since September!

As everyone is happily getting closer to the Christmas Break, it’s good to look backwards and consider all that’s happened over the last number of months. It’s especially important for our Grade 12s as there will be no other fall experience at Kenaston School for them! It was their last Halloween night, Student-Staff Hockey Game, and sports games like football and volleyball. But we’ve had a great few months together in this school year and have a lot to look forward to in the new year/decade!

You may already peek in on my school Instagram account to see some of the goings-on in our classroom since September, but if you haven’t, let me share with you a few of the memorable moments we’ve had, the grade 11 and 12s together.

ELA A30 Update

They were a combined class this semester for ELA A30, which is the Canadian literature course. It uses poetry, short stories, essays, film, and novel choices to explore past events of Canada, current national issues or influences on Canadians, and helps contribute to a greater sense of awareness in our students in understanding what their country has been about, is about, and what it may become yet. Our class size has doubled(!) but they’ve done really well in benefiting from more peers in the group to team up with or mentor, etc. At times, we pick a target date when we’ll all study the same text together as a whole group, to benefit from some discussion and sharing of experiences and ideas, and other times they individually take their own path in their learning, with some jumping past an assignment to start another project and hoping to come back to it, while others work chronologically through the work as it’s assigned. This year, I’ve developed more instructional supports to help students if they feel they need the review or instruction. I’ve included instructional videos on my blog for them to use as they need with examples or overviews of assignments. Since the whole class doesn’t exactly start the same assignment at the same time, being able to still follow along with the overview of the assignment from me, even if they’re starting it a week after many others, I hope is helping keep students supported and informed about the course content. Here’s a video where I try to explain what this looks like.

Some of their projects and topics of study in the Canlit course have included:

  • texts trying to pinpoint the thing that makes each person Canadian, culture or living on the land
  • texts that explore regrettable events of Canadian history, like the Komagata Maru ship turned away from Vancouver harbour carrying 300+ British subjects of Indo Asian descent
  • writing an editorial on a topic of conflict in Canada using a method designed to acknowledge part of the opposite position while convincing them of the other side
  • picking from a range of novels and non-fiction books written by Canadians, for an individual book study and later a Book Talk with a peer (podcast style talk, for some!)
  • writing a critical analysis essay, not studying the content of a text, but the manner of writing in it
  • poems that reflect on the natural environment or little memorable moments in relationships
  • A field trip to Saskatoon to watch court trials and attend a Red Cross International Humanitarian Rights conference on Canada’s arms trade. Their understanding of what Canada is like has broadened, become more complex, I hope.

 

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We are about to finish the ELA A30 in the new year with just three weeks left of classes before exams. For most of the Grade 12s, that will mean the last of their ELA classes in high school! A lot of them took their ELA B30 last year already, so there are only 5 students who will have an ELA class in semester 2, in grade 12. For the grade 11 students, then, they’ll continue in semester 2 with their ELA 20 course and only have one semester of ELA to complete in their grade 12 year. It sounds exciting, to not have to have ELA again for semester 2, but I think some of them might miss it. (I think at least a few would admit that. lol)

 

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History 30 Update

The 11s and 12s are also together this year, the whole year through, for History 30. Some of them have different levels of background knowledge in the subject area and Mr. Jamieson’s shoes are certainly big ones to fill, but I’m trying to keep them engaged through some group or team activities as well as including some direct instruction using a lot of primary documents, for interest sake. Recently, they’ve been working on New France projects that will reveal an understanding of what it was like to live there at that time. There are a few board games under development, a tv show about wife swapping(!), a Dating Website love connection, a professional LinkedIn Inn Keeper’s profile, some journals and letter writing projects. It all sounds quite interesting, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they submit.

Some of the topics of study we’ve covered in History include:

  • the team challenge of trying to draw out a complete map of Canada and label provinces, territories, cities, and regions by memory… quiet library-style (without going over 60 decibels noise level)
  • reading primary documents about the early contact of European traders with Amerindian groups in North America
  • trying to transfer basic knowledge information and use it to answer higher level questions that require combining that knowledge to new understanding (open book but no direct answers to find)
  • taking a digital copy of the summary notes from a History video and trying to digitally format it in a document to organize into main and secondary ideas – requires higher level thinking and develops practice identifying support types
  • reading through primary documents of New France living, like restrictions among the settlers for who they could sell their vegetables to, how to measure a cord of wood to sell, or the requirement of ladders on rooves to help fight house fires.
  • individually or with partners studying the Seven Years War, that actually spanned 23 years, and trying to decide if it counts as the actual First World War of history.

 

 

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It’s been a great year so far. I’ve seen a lot of personal growth, students stretching or challenging themselves to grow in skills, some who’ve had highs and lows, but there’s a lot of laughter and shared experiences. I’m looking forward to more when we return after the break!

Here are a few highlights from the Instagram page (below) that include the 11/12s. (These are taken/shared with student permission.) Happy Holidays to you and your family!

 

 

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September 15

ELA A30 Sept 15/16 “Canada is not Canada” – Gord Downie reflects on Canadian myth

In section A3, since you’re all selecting different non-fiction works to read, the “Connecting Text to Text” section on page 1 of the handout won’t apply to you.

Instead, take a moment to read this article of a recent new release by The Tragically Hip frontman/lead singer/ song writer Gord Downie where he makes the comment that “Canada isn’t Canada”.

  1. In the box given, list a few of his reasons for making that claim.
  2. Explain what he means by saying “Canada isn’t Canada”.
February 22

Feb 22 – Showcase Reading

In spending time setting goals for your Semester 2 courses, we would like to start a conversation with you about Multitasking while working and Distracted Learning. There’s an article link posted here. Please read the article and, once finished, join Socrative Room 252858 to respond to a few questions. Once finished, we will combine all the student responses to see if there are shared responses to the article. You will also get an individual PDF with your responses that may be shared along with the article link with your parents to encourage a continued discussion of this topic at home.

 

 

 

 

Try the link here.