It has been an eventful first half of the term in the Middle School. We have had many neat labs and activities. In addition we also have a new staff member. Her name is Chejuana Martin and she has years of experience not only as a teacher but also as an administrator. She originally is from Texas. She is not only the English Language Arts teacher but also the Middle School administrator. Chejuana has been working with the students on novels. She goes about setting up novels by providing a large amount of background knowledge so the students understand the culture and the context of the novels. This is just one of the many innovative ways that she engages the young scholars. Meanwhile students has been learning and practicing the English grammar as well. Mrs. Chejuana used games and videos to make the class very enjoyable.
In World History the students have learned about the Ancient Greek history as well as its place as the origin of Western civilization. This included learning a lot about its philosophy, mythology and its contributions to mathematics and science. This included a project where the students spent almost a month doing research and creating a project to show how Ancient Greek civilization shaped and influenced later civilizations. Students were asked to choose one part of Ancient Greek civilization (Art, Architecture, Science, Math, Myths…) and show that aspect’s influence.
Another way that we try to build creative thinkers is setting up creative activities that will both engage already present and inspire new critical thinking skills. An example of one of these activities is in World History class it can often be hard to see the practical application of History, especially with Ancient History as it happened so long ago. World History teacher Michael Depa showed that history could be relevant by having the scholars design cards for a popular card game based on people, places, or things from Greek Mythology or Greek History. Helping students see that movies, novels, television shows, comics and even games are shaped by our history and our culture (no matter where we are from) helps make history relevant to them. Furthermore, incorporating elements of game design is a great way to encourage critical thinking.
We have seen all kinds of interesting science labs with our Math and Science teacher Catt Huth. One particularly of note involved using peanut butter and jelly to mimic the strata of the Earth (Correct me if I am wrong here Grace). This allowed students to mimic the faults that form in the Earth. By using labs and innovative materials such as this students learn that labs can be both practical and entertaining. Also this term students start to learn some fundamental knowledge about chemistry. By using antacid tablet and baking soda, students made their own tooth paste. On the other hand, science class also has a strong connection on other subject as well. By doing the cookie mining lab reminded students the economy knowledge they have learned in history class last semester.
These fun labs continued in Mathematics as well. The volume investigating lab allowed students to understand 3 dimensional geometry and this helps them better understand the materials that are needed for the scholars to progress to High School. Teacher Catt has worked really hard to make sure all levels of language learners are engaged and excited.
This is just a small sample of the fun activities our little scholars have learned this year. Our teachers’ goal is always to help students achieve their personal goals and assist them to get ready for the next academic level. We hope that your young scholars can join us next year.