Tok school's 11th and 12th graders did an awesome job with the first issue of Tok School Friday Note!
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Students and staff had a wonderful time during Culture Week at Tok School. There was a lot of learning going on everyday! Diane Titus is not specifically pictured here, but she deserves so much credit for organizing the activities and sharing her wisdom with the students at Tok School!
Stephanie Moe was here to talk about Athabascan culture in the Tok area. She described the different types of potlatches and the different roles of men and women in village society. Stephanie is a great resource for our community.
Ray Titus had a very informative presentation about snowshoes: how they are made and what they are good for besides walking in the snow. You can use them as a shovel to brush snow away when building a fire and they also come in handy if your snow machine gets stuck! Having snowshoes along will make sure you get home.
Mr. Titus also showed the boys examples of native games. They weren't just for fun. The young men of the village would test their strength against each other and based on their skill and strength, they might be chosen to go on the hunt!
All of the students enjoyed learning traditional dances.
Shawn Frank serving stew at Thursday evening's potlatch!
More scenes from the potlatch. There was tasty food and friendship there!
Norman Cerlo provided the expert drumming for all of the dancing over the three days of Cultural Week. He and his mother deserve a special thank-you for visiting us and sharing the amazing musical culture of our region.
This week the 9th and 10th grades are starting to read George Orwell's 1984 which is all about government control and Big Brother watching every move you make. Considering current events, we should have lots of great discussions in class!
The students WILL have at-home reading assignments almost every day. Please ask your student if they have done their reading for the night.
11th and 12th grades are continuing with The Scarlet Letter. I found a very good movie to accompany the reading and help explain the plot. The language is slow-going at times, but the students are soldiering on!
6th and 7th grades started Freak the Mighty last week. The book is full of references to the Arthurian legends, so to capitalize on this knowledge, we will have a knighting ceremony for the students in November. In order to earn their knighthood, they each must have a certified "good deed" that was observed by a teacher. This could be anything from helping someone pick up papers they've dropped in the hallway to helping a fellow student understand a concept in class.
The ceremony will be exciting - lots of candlelight and solemnity followed by a walk through the elementary school with student cheering on the knights!
Here's Mason Copeland showing how excited he is about becoming a knight!
The students who were writing fairy tales needed a bit more time so I gave it to them: the stories are due tomorrow and we will (finally!) begin our novel units.
The 11th and 12th grade classes will be learning a bit more about Puritan culture in order to understand the background of The Scarlet Letter. I have also obtained a very faithful movie version of the book (NOT the Demi Moore movie from 1995) and the students will be able to watch the scenes as they read them in order to aid comprehension. The book is a difficult one to get through, but it is a very important piece of American literature so it is well worth the effort.
Also this week the students will have another grammar assessment and the 11th/12th grade will have a vocabulary test this Wednesday.
100% papers from our last grammar test. As you can see, the 9th grade really shines! This week we'll have our second grammar test and I hope the perfect scores will double if not triple in all grades. :D The grammar test will be on Thursday.
You may have heard that the 6th grade is not allowed to use Chromebooks in class. Unfortunately, the computers have proved to be too much of a distraction to the students so I've suspended their use until further notice. There's nothing wrong with the old-fashioned paper & pencil way and I believe there is more genuine learning being accomplished.
This week the 6th/7th grade will begin Freak the Mighty, the 9th/10th grade will start 1984 and the 11th/12th class will delve into The Scarlet Letter. These novel studies should all last through the month of October and hopefully we'll do something special for Halloween. :)
Also this week the 11th/12th grade class will receive their first vocabulary list and will have a test next week. The words come from the students: as they read, they mark words they haven't heard before and that makes up the vocabulary list. Much better than me assuming I know which words might give them problems.
Have a wonderful week!
All English classes had their first grammar quiz last Wednesday. Most did well, a few did not. Here's what you need to know about the bi-weekly grammar quizzes:
1. All students, 6 - 12, are allowed to use their notes on grammar quizzes during the first semester. I am interested in the students learning and applying the concepts correctly, rather than playing "gotcha" on a test.
2. I provide all the notes. I write on the board and the students copy the information. At this time I don't require students to create their own notes: I want to make sure they are copying and using the correct information.
3. I do require that students keep track of the notes they take. I've asked each student to have a grammar notebook or folder in which to keep track of their daily grammar notes.
On this first test many students did not have any grammar notes. I allowed these students to look up concepts on the internet (the 8 parts of speech, for example) and use the information on the test. Several students did not take advantage of this opportunity.
If your student's grade went down due to this first quiz, please remind them of the information above and stress the importance of paying attention in class, writing down the correct notes, and asking questions if they don't understand.
Thanks for your help!
This week the 6, 7, 9, and 10 classes are beginning a unit on critical thinking via fairy tales. We will be reading a LOT of tales and discussing different aspects of each. Along the way we will be listening to tales from the Tanacross region as well as Northway, so students may experience local culture and myth in an immediate and interactive way.
This unit will culminate with each student creating their own myth through an online writing program from Scholastic, with the option to publish their work, also online. It should be a fun way to re-learn the story arc, talk about vocabulary and it's importance as well as paragraph writing/grammar. This should take us approximately 2 to 2 1/2 weeks.
After this the 6th and 7th grades will read their first novel this year, Freak the Mighty and 9th/10th will read 1984 as an introduction to the dystopian genre. Fun stuff!
11th and 12th are reading two short stories this week that were written in the 1700's, in preparation for their first novel, The Scarlet Letter. Ms. Burham is covering the Revolutionary War beginning this week so we're collaborating; making sure what's happening in English is tying into the historical context. This will give the students a much better grasp of author's intent.
My computer classes are continuing to practice keyboarding skills: 3-5 are actually practicing touch-typing while the little ones are still learning their way around the keyboard with fun games that make a lot of noise!
Thanks so much for your support at home. Without interested, involved parents, none of this would be possible. :)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! My husband and I went up to the Arctic Circle and thoroughly enjoyed the drive and the fall colors. Alaska is a beautiful state. :)
This week all classes will be finishing up their units on bias and perspective in the news. The high school classes are doing a media web-quest and the middle school students will be reading different news articles in order to identify different types of bias.
As with every week we'll be studying the Magic Lens method of grammar. All of my classes will have their first grammar quiz on Sept. 14th. Also, all of my classes are able to use their notes on grammar quizzes during the first semester. Please encourage your student to copy what we're doing with grammar every day! Those notes are invaluable at test time. :)