Sweet Lessons – Grade 6/7

 

 

As part of their ADST (Applied Design, Skills and Technologies) unit in baking, the grade 6/7 students spent a few days in the kitchen to practice what they have learned. What the curriculum required, was that students will learn about basic food handling and simple preparation techniques and equipment.  Judging by the satisfied looks of parents at the November Society Meeting who got to devour the baked goods, the class met their learning targets admirably.

 

 

 

But there are things we learn that can’t be dictated in a curriculum or measured on a report card, and these are the lessons that we most treasure at CCS. A child may say “I learned to bake cookies, cupcakes and loafs”, but this is what they actually learned:

 

  • Math is important, but not more so than problem solving, creativity and collaboration.
  • There is much joy in making something wonderful and then giving it away.
  • Art is more than drawing – it can be frosting a lemon loaf, decorating a cupcake or arranging donuts in just the right way.
  • In a kitchen, there are no male jobs and female jobs. Just jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Some kids excel at thinking, some at talking, some at doing – the world needs them all to work together.

The CCS Vision

At Centennial Christian School, we hold a “world view which recognizes everyone as created in God’s image.  We seek to support each other in nurturing the unique gifts of all students.  Through example and instruction, we equip each student with knowledge, skills, and understanding, challenging them to exercise discernment and stewardship in all aspects of life.  We intend the entire learning environment to reflect the diversity and unity of God’s creation.”

This has been our vision statement for many years, but what does this look like practically?

Created in God’s image

Liberal, anti-vaxer, hipster, addict, feminist, refugee, homeless… our world is full of labels and caricatures.  Our society is so used to organizing people into neat little categories that we sometimes forget that behind every label is a human being, each with their own loves, fears and stories.  Each created in the image of our living God.  When we start education from a knowing – not a head-knowing, but a heart-knowing – that Christ is in all, we cannot do anything else but listen to, learn from and love each other.  It is from this point that we aim to start all learning.

Example and instruction

Listening, learning and loving are of no use as theories.  They need to come alive in real-life interactions.  Students are instructed on the importance of listening to understand in stead of listening to reply.  They are taught that you only really understand something when you can explain it.  But teaching and instructing stays in the head, whereas learning in an environment where teachers set an example of civil discourse in the way they interact with each other, with parents and with students – that learning goes to the heart.

When students are given the task of debating against a matter in which they are in reality in favour of, it gives them the opportunity to see through somebody else’s eyes.  When they are expected to work together on projects, not only with their close friends, but also with those with whom they don’t see eye to eye, they are challenged to find common ground to reach a common goal.

Discernment

Challenging students to use discernment is the opposite of teaching them absolute truths.  It is an invitation to go to Scripture for wisdom, not weapons. It is a bidding to stop saying “you’re wrong” and start asking “help me to understand how you see it”. Discernment takes a black-and-white world and colours it in with all the shades and nuances that God intended in creation.

Diversity and unity

Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers, so it is our responsibility as Christ followers to find a way to live in love with all the possible manifestations of the image of God, whether they are like you or not.  There is after all a difference between unity and uniformity and the metaphor of the church being the body of Christ, with many different parts, illustrates this very well.

 A CCS Christmas wish

We might all live in the little boxes that society put us in to try and separate us from each other, but we have a choice to place our little boxes under the tree of life called Jesus Christ and together be a gift to mankind, each in our own unique way.

2021 A Vaccine for Hard Things – Tom Hartl

“COVID has been a vaccine for hard times” a statement made by Suzanne Lombard, one of our grade eight students, when asked to present their 2020 year in review. At first, this statement was catchy and interesting, but as our class continued to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic we found this statement more and more applicable. In class, we found our conversations steadily building on how we can ensure that ourselves, and people in our community, are finding ways to create a “vaccine” for their Mental Health.

One practical way our class has expressed their thoughts on the subject is through writing and designing a “Zine” (pronounced zeen, as in magazine). A “zine” is a self-published miniature Magazine that showcases the authors thoughts and opinions. A zine can be crafted in many ways but the heart of it is the chance to present the writers perspectives on a topic of their choice.

 

Each student was tasked with coming up with an idea that they could focus six different articles on. Each article inside the zine were written on a range of topics including Social Media, Mental Health, and how their idea can impact the world. This idea would be their overarching theme throughout the entire zine. The students were able to use these guidelines to come up with some truly unique writing pieces.

 

The Zines were a chance for the students to offer their thoughts and solutions to the rising Mental Health issues that many are facing over these last two years. Through writing these articles and designing the zines students have been able to offer practical solutions to battle the Mental Health pandemic and contribute to the “vaccine for hard times”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some article titles and quotes from the students’ Zines:

Art and Mental Health:

“Art gives one the ability to express themselves through what they create, this can be therapeutic.”

-Olivia Colborne Grade 8

 

Beauty Creators:

“Design can be done for many reasons, one of those reasons is to glorify God… I see this whenever I put colour on a page, glorifying God through my art.”

-Gordon Lyndsey Grade 8

 

 

Untitled:

 

“I want to seek justice for the hurting and mourning families and friends of these women (MMIW) and help build a community that is aware of these events that take place around them.”

-Brianna Anderson

Grade 9

 

 

 

 

Counting our chickens! – Trish Rolleman

 

“Did the chicks hatch yet?” Every morning, for 21 days in April, the Kindergarteners would ask this question and run up to our incubator to find out. Mrs. Marybeth Esau, a former employee at the school and now enjoying retirement on her hobby farm, gave us 22 chicken eggs to put in our incubator. While we were patiently (or not so patiently waiting) for the eggs to hatch, we were finding out what chicks need to survive, what they look like when they are developing inside the egg, their life cycle, and other important information. We read some information books about them and some funny fictional stories about chickens and roosters, too. We also made predictions about how many eggs would hatch. Every day we would also pray for the chicks that were going to hatch.

On Monday, April 19, our first chick hatched and was named Flash Gordon by our special helper, Jackson. Over the next few days, 18 chicks would hatch in total (out of 22) which was wonderful. Every child and adult that works in the class got to name a chick. Over the next 2 weeks, we got to watch, hold, and pet the chicks. We loved when they were soft and quite small. We noticed that they grew quickly and that their talons and beaks were very sharp. We loved to hear their cute little cheeping sounds and found out that they were especially noisy when we were singing. Overall, the students enjoyed learning about the chicks and were in awe about how God created these little creatures so amazingly and different from us and other animals.

We love being creation enjoyers and look forward to more opportunities to continue to learn about how we need to care for God’s creation, including the animals that He created. We want to thank Mrs. Esau, and Mrs. Crystal Whitford, who is now taking care of our chicks on her farm and provided the brooder, heat lamp, food, bedding, and the dishes that we needed. Maybe one day, we can visit her farm and see how our chicks are doing.

Learning sewing, teamwork and giving – Grade 6/7

In Applied, Design, Skills and Technologies this term we learned how to hand sew and use sewing machines. Mrs. Braam told us about a need for baby blankets in our community, so we decided to make quilts and donate them to the CDC for children and moms in need in Terrace.

To start off we split into pairs and planned out our quilt designs. It was hard work but still enjoyable. Once our designs were complete, we chose colourful fabrics and began to cut squares…. 49 in total. This took very long because the squares have to be exactly the same. A few squares had to be redone in the process.

After we cut our squares, we started to assemble our patterns and attach them with tape, until w

e were satisfied with the final design.

Before we could start using the machines, we had to learn how to properly thread the machines and use them. This proved to be an interesting process, we learned a lot!

Then we sewed….

We had to remember to put the “good” sides together, to keep the edges lined up with the foot, follow the pattern (sometimes the seam rippers were a popular tool), fill the bobbins and re-thread the machine.

We are relieved to be done, proud of the final result, and excited to have finished our first projects on a sewing machine, it was totally worth the effort.

 

  

Government Walk – Natasha Bakker

Some people believe that the great questions of life can be solved by simply taking a walk. We tested this theory last month in Grade ⅘.

Our current unit in Social Studies is one that looks at the three levels of government: federal, provincial, and municipal. One of the key questions in the Grade five social studies curriculum is “What level of government has the most effect on your daily life?”. To answer this question, the Grade ⅘ class took to the streets of Terrace armed with clipboards and enough curiosity to seriously threaten a cat . We began our adventure in our own backyard, discussing the role of the provincial government in our educational system. We then took a route that brought us past the courthouse, medical buildings, Taylor Bachrach and Ellis Ross’s offices, BC liquor stores, bus stops, and many many more physical representations of the three different levels of government.

And of course a quick donut break was needed to sustain our strength and energy on our journey 😉

 

After returning to school, we spent some time discussing how we could answer the pressing question and writing down our thoughts. Here’s what some students had to say:

 

“I think the provincial government has the most impact because I go to school and I use electricity.” – Elizabeth

 

“The municipal government affects my life the most because I make garbage everyday, I use roads everyday, I make sewage everyday and lots of other things.” – Olivia

 

“Municipal government because the most things impact me under it like parks, garbage, crosswalks, fire hydrants, and recycling.” – Jayden

 

Our discussion about government and community also included questions such as “How can we be a positive influence in our communities?” “What does it look like to be justice seekers in our school, town, and country?”. Students demonstrated thoughtfulness in their answers as they considered their roles as community builders and God worshipers in a broken world.

New Strategies – Diane Leffers

Educational strategies need do evolve in order to stay relevant. Over the last few years teachers at CCS have been reviewing different Learning Protocols and FLEx activities. One protocol that we enjoy using is the “Gallery Walk”.

Recently the grade 11/12 Composition 11 class was given a technical assignment in writing instructions. A gallery walk was incorporated in the learning and assessment portion of the assignment. Students’ finished assignments were hung around the room and they were given a set of learning targets with which to assess each others’ work.

Up close with the gallery wall.

 

Peer Evaluation Sheet
Taking in each others’ work.
Contemplating feedback.
Bright post-its from peers have replaced the teacher’s red pen.

The benefits of using this strategy are numerous and include  :

  • Students are moving! So much of the day is spent sitting at desks. With a gallery walk, students get to stretch their legs, get blood flow going and are actively engaged with the topic.
  • Students learn to critique kindly yet effectively.
  • Students learn to take critique constructively.
  • It promotes skills like analysis, evaluation and synthesis.
  • It is a great demonstration of “more heads are better than one” and that collaboration often leads to a stronger project outcome.

Front-Line Workers of Primary Concern – Tim Block

The Primary Cohort participated in a ‘FLEx’ (Formational Learning Experience) in January. FLEx learning projects ‘are opportunities for the learner to engage in “real work that meets a real need for real people”—opportunities to practice living the kingdom story. (Teaching for Transformation)

Word reached our ears that Front-Line workers could use some encouragement. The pressures they are under because of the Covid pandemic has made their work extra challenging. The primary staff agreed that students would be interested in helping. They were right.

To spread the word, Mrs. Rolleman lead the primary cohort in an assembly that introduced the idea of encouraging Terrace’s front-line workers.  The kindergarten, grade 1 & 2, and grade 2 & 3 classes embraced the challenge.

Each class approached their projects differently. The kindergarten class created colourful posters that included a message of thanks and student art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The grade 1 and 2 class made a stellar thank you banner with individually painted hearts.

 

 

The grade 2 and 3 class created a fantastic flag banner with all students involved in creating art and messages of thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These art projects made it to the Mills Memorial Hospital where they were placed in the hospital staffroom.

 

 

(Thank you Carin Henschel for the ‘on-location’ pictures.)

Students tried their hardest in creating these messages of support and were motivated by the amazing efforts of the front-line workers.

 

‘I felt generous because they are really hard-working people.’  – Emily

 

‘I feel kind of happy that they have been working for us during Covid even though they don’t even know us.’  – Titus

 

‘It was cool because it probably made the Frontline workers very happy!’  – Josephine and Grace

 

The positive energy and effort that was evident in each of the primary classrooms during this project was a strong reminder of the importance of linking student work to real needs and real people.

 

In Christ,

Tim Block

 

Earth Keepers, Creation Enjoyers and Yellow Fish – Jeff Lehman

 

What do Pacific salmon and wolves have in common?

 

Give up?

 

Each of these animals are identified as a keystone species.  A keystone species is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, ‘a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically.’

To see an impressive story about how wolves as keystone species transformed Yellowstone park in the US, click the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

In the course of a science unit which included learning about cells and systems within organisms, the Grade 6-7 class also explored the different species of Pacific salmon and their ability to thrive in a diverse range of environments throughout their life cycle and migration.   Salmon have tremendous importance to the people and the entire Skeena river watershed.  It is hard to overstate the importance of salmon to our province!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literally bringing the truth about the significance of salmon home was the recent appearance of a new species of yellow salmon seen on the streets of Terrace!  Here’s a link to an article in the Terrace Standard giving the background on the reasons for the yellow fish painted on streets this fall:

https://www.terracestandard.com/news/dead-salmon-fry-found-in-terrace-stream-prompts-response-from-city/

In connection with our unit on salmon, a key concept which was learned at the conclusion of the unit was biomagnification.  Stemming from human activities, harmful materials which can be introduced to waterways become absorbed in micro-organisms.  These harmful materials are magnified in concentration as the micro-organisms are eaten by smaller fish, then by larger fish and eventually by species at the top of the food chain where the concentration of harmful materials is greatest (eg. Orcas & humans).

The Grade 6-7 students wrote poems, created yellow fish and wrote a summary of key learning about salmon as a keystone species and the concept of biomagnification.

These, along with a short video by students, were shared with the school to help raise awareness of the importance of our whole community to be thinking and acting as Earth Keepers, literally right where we live.  How awesome to see the complexity and intricacy in what God has created and sustains in our world through the lives of salmon in the Skeena watershed.  We are called to be stewards of what He’s created!

 

Oh no! Where’s the yellow salmon?!

School of Rock – Ashley Hall

 

This term in Grade 4/5, students have been studying God’s creation of Rocks and Minerals.    Though rocks may seem basic and dull, we have been looking at how God created Rocks and Minerals for a purpose and that because of this we can delight in this creation.

In the Bible it says that even though God’s people might not proclaim Him as they ought to sometimes, God’s rocks will cry out to proclaim His majesty and might. This means that when we look at and consider how complexly rocks are made we cannot help but know that only God could have created such a thing.

Rocks are needed for so many different things: such as for making homes and roads and jewelry but also to form the very ground we stand on. In the Bible it also says that Jesus is a Rock and Fortress for any who believe in Him. We have considered as a class how building our life on Jesus is the only way to have a fulfilling purpose, peace and hope in our lives.

Finally, after a few weeks of waiting for the bears in Terrace to find a better hang-out spot, the Grade 4/5s went to Ferry Island to delight in rocks. There were four stations that these students participated in: 1) The snack station where students made an edible sedimentary rock with prepackaged cookies, smarties and chocolate or vanilla icing; 2) A Rock Painting station where they used their hearts and hands to paint messages of encouragement on rocks to leave at Ferry Island for others to find; 3) A Rock and Roll station where they learned a fun rock cycle chant that had us moving and grooving with actions; and finally, 4) a Rock Balancing challenge where we competed to have the highest rock structure.

Here are a few pictures of us being Creation Enjoyers, Beauty Creators, and Community Builders: …

 

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