The first week of April is almost over, actually. We are a few weeks from the middle of the semester – and mid-term report cards. As such, it’s important that students and parents/guardians keep updated with progress in class, ensuring that all work is completed. For the most part, this is not an issue with students this semester. In English and Computer Science, students have been active participants in their learning. I’m impressed with the hands-on learning, contributions to class discussions, and collaboration occurring between students. Life is good! Here’s a brief update of where we’re at with that learning:
ENG3U – Grade 11 University English: We are just wrapping up the Frankenstein novel study unit. The majority of the unit involved students developing their own high-order questions regarding the novel. These questions became the basis for class discussions/seminars where students had to use direct evidence from the text to support their thinking. We talked about annotating text, interpretation, succinct responses, and narrative elements in the novel such as character traits and theme. All of these elements will be critical for the culminating assignment, a literary essay that students are currently developing. We’re also spending a few days watching 1994 Kenneth Branagh Frankenstein film, with Robert DeNiro, Helena Bonham Carter, and Branagh himself starring. While Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t give it a huge score, it’s a decent adaption and the source of some good discussion in class.
Next up, we’ll be spending a bit of time anaylzing and interpreting short stories in a short unit. Following that, we jump into Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a play I love studying with students.
ICS2O – Grade 10 Computer Science: Students have jumped into the Python Programming Language. What I like about this unit is that it’s a lot of hands-on learning where students have to use problem-solving skills. Like any new language, there’s a bit of a learning curve as students familiarize themselves with the basics in small steps. A few students in the class have really figured things out and have become awesome resources for others in the class, (thanks Darrin, Jacob, and Colby!). We’ve been using CodeCademy.com as our main teaching tool. As students become comfortable with Python in this environment, students will begin completing ten short assignments that combine their learning with additional problem-solving skills, (lots of math!) and collaboration to figure out how to get things to work.
Following this unit, we’re going to spend a few days with some hands-on computer gadgetry, (circuit-building, Raspberry Pi playing, and tech building) before moving into our website creation unit. Hooray for HTML!
Parents’ Night is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 from 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you’re a parent/guardian and you can’t make it, send me an email or call the school if you’d still like to meet and we can arrange something. Otherwise, be on the lookout for Midterm Report Cards toward the end of the month. Follow http://gchs.ca for more information.
Have a great week!