The remaining days of January were mostly uneventful and full of routine. I stuck to the same teaching "script" as the previous semesters, so there's no need for me to rewrite the same details. (Teachers can only modify and add to their curriculums at certain times. We have more than enough material to teach, but not enough time in the semester to cover it all). I'll just give you a quick summary of the month.
My Grade 10 English students began their semester learning about literary elements and reading a variety of short stories. To keep the level of interest and reading up, my class worked on two short stories a day. The stories covered various topics, such as: dystopia, relationships, science fiction, bullying, and what a third world war would look like. The three stories that proved to be the most popular with the class were: Examination Day by Henry Slesar, Survival Ship by Judith Merril, and Akua Nuten by Yves Theriault. The reactions of the students can be summarized in three words: shock, surprise, and wonder.
At the end of the month, my students wrote their own short stories. I insisted they write them in small chunks rather than in one sitting. The end results were good. I was glad several students agreed to have their stories posted in the high school hallway.
My Grade 10 Social Studies students began their semester with the Residential Schools module. The pace of study was much faster and by the end of the month we had completed nine of the twelve activities. The module gives students a brief history of the residential school system, its affects on Aboriginal populations, and what is currently being done regarding compensation & reconciliation.
In Grade 11 Social Studies, we spent the month of January looking at industrialization of Britain in the 1700s and European imperialism all over the world. My students particularly enjoyed learning about the British inventors and their important inventions at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Some of the inventors were: Eli Whitney, Samuel Crompton, James Watt, Henry Cort, and Henry Bessemer.
My guitarists learned the basics of handling acoustic guitars, the various parts that make them work, several notes on the six strings, and a few basic chords. They also learned the basics of reading traditional music notation. As the month drew to a close, the guitarists & I began preparing for our first public concert in February. The sun returns to Arctic Bay in early February, marking the end of dark season, and the school annually holds a celebration. I reassured the class that I would perform with them and we would use our sheet music.
January 21 & 22 were days of extreme arctic weather. Cold temperatures, wind chill, and strong winds forced the closure of the school for a day and a half. The blizzard was gone by the afternoon of January 22.
It's been three years since Inuujaq School had an active student council. That all changed when several high school students met and decided to start one. A meeting / election was held on January 28 in the high school science room. Students who were interested in running for the positions of president and/or secretary treasurer had to submit their names a week before the election. There were only two positions advertised because the high school student body is small.
|Leetia reading her acceptance speech after winning the position of student council president.|
|Christine reads her campaign speech.|
On election day, the high school students body listened to the campaign speeches of two students, Rosalina & Christine, vying for the position of secretary treasurer. The voting was pretty close, but Rosalina was chosen as the secretary treasurer. Leetia was the only student who submitted her name for the position of president, thus winning by default. Her campaign speech was actually an acceptance speech.
The meeting concluded with a What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar? game. The game was proposed by the student council adult overseer, Kaitlynd. (She is also Inuujaq School's Student Support Teacher). The purpose of the game was to have fun and to get the students out of their comfort zone. The student council members came up with several funny challenges that brave students had to do in order to win a Klondike Bar. Some of these challenges included dancing & juggling.
And finally, I was able to get all the Professional Development (PD) applications submitted and approved on time. The PD cheques would be arriving in the mail in the next couple of weeks.