Virtual Worlds: Minecraft Club Promo Video!

Our Virtual World is now 6 months old! To celebrate we decided to create a short promotional video to showcase all the amazing and creative things our students have built. I am looking forward to what else we will achieve this year as the club has grown significantly since the start of the school year. If you are interested in the history of the Minecraft club you can see some of our previous blogposts.

Minecraft: Building Virtual Worlds – The Origin story of our Minecraft world!
Virtual Worlds: A Home away from Home – Building and Living in a Virtual World during COVID-19 Shutdown.
Virtual Worlds: The Great Wall Initiative – Securing the frontier, and the start of group adventures.
Virtual Worlds: Building a Community Village – How to build a community village and helping new players.

Enjoy the video!

Tapping into the Entrepreneurship Spirit


We are just a week into the Entrepreneurship class but have already covered a wide range of topics. The class consists of a terrific mix of students, some of which already have entrepreneurial experience, and others who bring forth new and exciting ideas to the table.

Thus far, students have completed an entrepreneurial self-assessment, examined the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur, and identified essential qualities, skills and characteristics of an entrepreneur. In addition, students presented a brief profile of an entrepreneur of their choice, studied famous Canadian inventors and innovators, watched pitches from the Dragons’ Den show, and explored various different leadership styles.

Things will only get more exciting as students test their leadership skills in fun games and challenges, interview existing entrepreneurs to gain additional insight straight from the source, and develop their very own business plan.

There is no question of the severe impact this pandemic will have on our economy. There are many jobs, businesses, and industries that have been forced to shut down or are barely staying afloat. In some rare cases, there are examples of businesses that were fortunate enough to adapt and stay healthy during this time of crisis. As part of the course, students will analyze the ways in which different businesses have reacted to the change in market conditions.

Cooking Club Feasts on Fall Flavours


For our first Cooking Club session in October we embraced fall flavours and put together stuffed sweet potatoes. We used quinoa, onions, and kale for the filling and topped them off with cranberries and goats’ cheese. Some students followed the recipe closely and made stuffed sweet potatoes for the whole family. Others made a variation on the recipe or used the theme to make something different, including one student’s full Thanksgiving plate.

It was a good week to make something on the healthier side as we made pizza in last week’s meeting and are planning cookies for this week. It also helped gear everyone up for the Thanksgiving weekend!

Students continue to enjoy the chance to see each other, albeit virtually, and it is extra special that a few alumni regularly join us so that we can remain in touch. Many students use Cooking Club as an opportunity to socialize and often phone numbers are exchanged and plans are made. So, there is definitely truth to the saying that “food brings people together”!

Socially Distanced “Front to Front” Drawing



Even though during this pandemic we have to be distanced from each other, communication and collaboration are still important skills to be practicing! Last week, the Grade 9 Learning Strategies class learned about interpersonal skills and collaboration. They discussed what interpersonal skills are, why they are important and how we can best practice them (in a safe way!). They also discussed what it takes to be strong communicators and active listeners.

To put these ideas into practice, we did a “front to front” drawing exercise. In non-COVID times, this activity would be done “back to back”…but 12 students in a room with masks on talking back to back would likely be a bit too tricky! Students were paired up and asked to identify as Person A: The Speaker or Person B: The Listener. Person A was given a picture and Person B was given a blank sheet of paper and a (sanitized) pencil.

The rules were that Person A had to describe the drawing to Person B using as many details as possible! Instead of just saying “draw a circle”, they were encouraged to dive deeper and say “draw a medium sized circle, about the size of the palm of your hand in the exact centre of the page”. The catch was that Person B could not talk at all! They had to really listen to their partner and focus on what they were saying in a room filled with other distractions.

Once pairs finished the first round, they then did another and switched roles. After, we had a discussion of what strategies worked and what didn’t. Some students liked being both Speaker and Listener while others were drawn to one over the other. Overall, the activity was a blast and comparing the drawings in the end created lots of laughs. Not to mention, some of them were really accurate! It was nice to see students enjoying themselves and connecting with fellow students, despite the strange times we are in!

Middle Schoolers Battle at Sea

As part of the middle school’s new small group skill-based program, students made and played a game simulating a classic, where players battle at sea – no stacking your ships! Each student used Google Sheets to create their own digital game board, formatted cells to change colours when a ship is “hit”, then shared and played the game with a partner.

This was just one of the project-based learning activities in a week devoted to developing G Suite skills. Throughout the year, students will continue to rotate through this program every third week, each time developing different practical skills.