To the MHS Community:
We are fully through the midpoint of the semester with students and staff focused on moving towards the end of 2021 and the end of the semester. This semester so far was one of transition for many of our students, as we had many students who were finally able to enter back into Canada to continue their studies, and some who were entering Canada for the very first time. To help orientate students we wanted to give them opportunities to meet with each other and develop connections outside of the classroom environment. We were able to travel to Squamish and visit the Sea to Sky Gondola to learn survival techniques when out in the elements and the elements sure gave the students a great experience to practice what they have learned on that day! We were also able to learn how to curl at the Vancouver Curling Club which introduced students to a different sport that can be played at all ages. Students have also been able to join after school clubs as well as form their own. We have had great participation in the Basketball, Art, Murder Mystery, Badminton, Film, Game, Esports, and Model Kit clubs. Any student who has other ideas for clubs is free to come see me and pitch their idea. Halloween also provided an opportunity for students to participate in the festivities by learning how to carve pumpkins beyond the basics and o build new friendships.
With the holidays approaching, MHS wishes everyone a happy holiday. If any students are having difficulties leading up to or during the holidays, please contact myself or a MHS staff member so we can assist you in any way that we can. We are all on the tail end of the semester, let’s all finish strong.
A longer semester brings different learning opportunities and experiences to students. This semester being our first five-month-long semester allows learners to take the information and skills that they developed in the first couple of months and apply it over a longer period of time. As usual, the emphasis on core competencies ensures that students are developing critical thinking and communication skills as opposed to merely memorizing the facts of the day. This gives them chances to demonstrate these skills in reaction to the ever-changing world and the news that comes as a result of it. A particular highlight of this is the study on climate change and its relation to weather patterns and natural disasters: the recent flooding in British Columbia has in some ways ground the province to a halt, seriously disrupting supplies of key goods including gas. These topical events give students the chance to seriously reflect on real-world issues rather than them being a hypothetical far-away event. Additionally, because one of the things that are stressed is that the world is connected in more ways than one and that everything that happens influences something else, this is an occasion to foster multidisciplinary studies as these events are not singularly economic, human geography, or historical issues, but a much wider social issue as a whole.
Students in Art Studio did an amazing job blending realism with creativity, demonstrating impressive value shading techniques in their portrait work. Soon they will be starting on painting with watercolours, inks, and acrylics!
Grade 10 Digital Media and Creative Writing
In the first half of the term, students have been working on several projects using their reading and writing skills to script and create short films, study short story structure and literary devices, create print and digital advertising, as well as write and produce their own YouTube How-to videos. Next, we will create a class magazine focusing on different aspects of expository article writing, incorporating advertising techniques and studying various journalistic styles. We will then study and create our own informative research podcast and do a movie comparison looking as various takes on the movie Robinhood.
Grade 11 Composition
Students in grade 11 composition have looked at essay writing, studied a various of short stories learning both narrative techniques analysis skills. Students have also begun studying poetry, looking as a variety of poetic techniques such as structure, lineation, meter, rhythm, and sound devices. For the second half of the term, student will continue analysing poetry, looking at how figurative language affect the tone and meaning of poems, the different styles of poetry around the world, as well as writing their own unique poetry. We will then do a novel study of “The Marrow Thieves”, further developing students critical reading, and literature analysis skills. Finally, we will end the term with a creative writing unit, studying ways of creative expression.
Grade 12 English
Students in Grade12 English began the year by reviewing academic writing expectations and writing essays in various styles. Students then chose a short story and created a presentation to teach the story to the class in pairs. We then began our Canadian Poetry unit, focusing on works by local poets, and using poetic analysis techniques to explore the deeper meanings behind the tone, theme, mood, voice, and message of these poems in a Canadian context. Next, we will be completing a novel study of “Birdie” focusing on the developing compassion, comprehension, and sensitivity to the individual and cultural experiences of Indigenous individuals and their families in the context of their colonial experiences. Literary analysis techniques will also be utilized to better understand the author craft and style in writing this novel. Grade 12 will end the year with personal narrative writing, preparing a personal statement/essay to use for university applications.
Here are some of my favorite moments from this term so far. During the first half of the semester student’s learned new concepts in Physics 12 regarding forces and momentum and applied their knowledge to design a “egg protector” that would reduce the impact of an egg dropping on the ground. Some of the images above show the students designing and building their egg protecting device. The students had a great time behaving like real-life engineers.
Another highlight of this semester was watching my Science 10 students present on different invasive species in British Columbia. This project allowed students to use their curiosity and creativity to develop a captive presentation and educate their classmates on invasive species in our local community. My students amazed me with their beautiful PowerPoints, thorough research and expert level knowledge on their topics. The presentations allowed the students to practice researching, and presenting to improve their communication skills. Overall it was a fun and beneficial learning experience for the whole class. I look forward to watching more interesting presentations and doing fun projects and demonstrations with my students as the term progresses.
This term we returned to having the majority of students in the classroom. This has made class group discussions much more lively. In Career and Life Education, students have been preparing to enter the economy. Students have been choosing careers and working through the application process as well as role-playing job interview skills. In Physics, students were able to use high speed cameras to record a free falling object and through analysis of that recording they were able to calculate the acceleration due to gravity on earth. Many of the students have been enjoying school activities which have included board games and we even went curling. All in all the return to in person learning has benefited the students by giving them more meaningful interactions with each other.
We are finally back to the classroom in person this semester. Our school campus is a lot more lively now with everyone back to in-person learning. Students are able to have meaningful interactions with each other and make new friends. In Pre-Calculus and Calculus, students are gathering the fundamental math skills to get prepared for higher levels of study. Students are always having group discussions in class to help each other improve. In Chemistry, in addition to helping each other out with questions, students also constantly ask valuable questions regarding complicated concepts so the entire class can benefit. Students have also been enjoying school activities provided to them, such as Halloween activity day, curling, and weekly basketball games, etc. We also have many students who join homework club to get extra help from their teachers and peers; academic improvements of such students are observed. This return to the regular in-person learning environment definitely benefits the students in many ways.
In Block 4, ELL students have been speaking solo and in groups on variety of general topics. They have also listened, watched, and analyzed different audio and video resources. They will continue working on different topics. Regarding block 5, they have been learning different types of sentences which can help them in paragraph writing and reading comprehension.
The Badminton Club has been meeting for several weeks now. We are having a lot of fun playing and learning badminton.
Murder Mystery Club
The Murder Mystery Club has role played several different Murder Mystery Games this year. We enjoy it a lot and have a lot of fun going through the games together.
Model Building Club
The model building club is working on creating various Gundam models. Building models with this much detail is a lot of fun.
Art Club is working on making their very own game using Gamemaker Studio. Check out a screen shot of the work in progress.