It is important for students to pause and celebrate their successes – big and small! Particularly, during these weird and sometimes bleak times, we need to encourage students to see their triumphs and accomplishments. Recently, the middle schoolers finished writing their fantasy stories and we took time to reflect and celebrate their hard work. It took the class several weeks to complete the whole writing process – brainstorming, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. During our writing celebration students got to share their stories like real world authors would during a book release. By the end of the unit the students felt incredibly accomplished and proud of themselves! Way to go middle schoolers!
Is there an everyday challenge that you experience and think to yourself “AGH, I wish someone would create a…to fix this”? For the last few months the middle schoolers have entered a Dragons Den competition (we’ve renamed it the Academy of Anaconda’s). Their task has been to think about these everyday problems and create a service or product that solves the problem. Eventually these students will be pitching their business to a panel of the Academy’s finest business Anacondas. The students have gone through many steps along the way. One of the first steps that the students went through was thinking about what makes a good business and what makes a good pitch. As a class we analyzed various pitches and businesses presented on Dragon’s Den and we had guest lecturers come to speak with the class about the challenges and triumphs of developing a business.
These guest lecturers included a founder of a Kombucha company and an Art Production company based out of Toronto. Once we had a better understanding of what makes a good business plan and pitch, the students were off to the races. They figured out what their business was going to be, who their niche audience was, and created models of their product or plans of their service. Throughout the process students have given and received a lot of feedback about their business. They have supported one anothers projects as well as received feedback from experts in their respective fields. You can see their mini-pitch along with some of the feedback they received here. We look forward to continuing to fine tune these business plans, developing websites for their businesses and ultimately preparing for the big day where students pitch their ideas to a panel of Anaconda’s.
– Dayna and MJ
This past Friday the middle schoolers took their afternoon studies outside and did an expedition to Toronto Island. The journey began with the boat ride over and ended with sticky marshmallow fingers, dirty pants and smiling faces. During these strange times it’s important to give students the opportunity to let loose and have fun for a while. That is absolutely what we did! The students collected wood and built a fire, explored the shoreline, and toured the island on bikes. We hope that we are able to do an excursion to the island some time soon – maybe next time there will be snow!
Hello we are Sasha and Ryla, and we’re here to talk about the middle schools first ever collaborative project!
Since we are in the month of October we have decided to make and design a haunted house in honor of the upcoming holiday, Halloween. The first thing the middle school class did was brainstorm different themes for our haunted house. We then decided on the themes of this year’s YMCA Academy haunted House which are “World war 2 zombie apocalypse” and “zombie hospital apocalypse”. And for a bonus there will be a tax evasion room! Next, we brainstormed and discussed ideas for the layout of the haunted house. Finally, we began to build! We had some setbacks along the way but we kept on working hard and working together.
Everyone in the middle school class also made sure that the haunted house was safe and socially distanced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the ongoing pandemic we are only allowing teachers, as well as staff and students in Grade 7/8 to go through the haunted house. Since the high school students won’t be able to go through the haunted house in person our handy dandy photographer and videographer, Lucas M, also known as McChicken, will be taking the high school students on a virtual tour of the haunted house.