All Grade 9 students spent the last cycle of classes leading into March break participating in a series of unique double block experiences in math/science, English, French and OE. They travelled with their peers in their English class to each session and interacted with a variety of teaching faculty from those departments, who were not necessarily their own classroom teachers.
During the math/science block, students completed an integrated culminating assignment that required them to make connections between their learning from both courses and exposed them to how these skills and concepts are used in some everyday examples. Independently, each student collected data using the electricity kits and skills practiced in science. They then used Excel to graph the data and answered questions that applied their knowledge about slope of a line from lessons learned in math class. Those students who finished the assignment early were introduced to the electromagnetism lab kits and collaboratively took on the challenge of building an electromagnetic motor and bell...and we did hear the bell ring!
During the English block, students completed a mock test and worked on their novel project. Next fall, all Grade 10s will complete a University Readiness assessment for the school. This assessment will help the school to see how students are improving their critical reading, data analysis, problem-solving, and writing skills during their time at LCS—the students will write the test again in Grade 12, so we can compare. To get the students ready for the real test next fall, we had the students sit a mock test so that they could get the hang of this challenging assessment, which asks them to read several documents and then prepare a written statement, all in one hour. The novel project is a collaborative novel writing assignment that requires each student to write one chapter of a book based on lively debate and feedback from their classmates. Each class novel will be published as a book this spring so watch for it!
All students, regardless of their level of French, were exposed to “Carnival” activities during the French block. They were given instructions in French and encouraged to work together and speak French as much as possible. Teams of five competed in “Le Course en Canot”, an event based on the famous canoe race across the St. Lawrence River during Carnival in Quebec each year. The LCS event used a canoe on wheels like is done during Polarfest in the Village of Lakefield. Afterwards, smaller student teams participated in the “Master Chef—Crêpe Bake Off”, once again, following instructions written in French to great success.
The final block was OE. It was cold but beautifully sunny each day and we had perfect snow conditions to get the cross country skis out. The students spent the full two hours outside learning the basics and then exploring our campus on cross-country skis. They will have more opportunities to ski again in the Grade 10 OE course.