The Power of Words

During the first week of Dynamics of Human Relationships, we spent a lot of time learning about self-esteem, self-concept, and how the two factor into healthy relationships. We took a closer look at how our self-esteem can play a role in what we post on our social media accounts, as well as how our self confidence impacts how we interpret what we see online. During these lessons, we had many open discussions in which students shared some factors that influence their self-perceptions. Students shared stories from the past and present, disclosing incidents of bullying, social trends, and online activity. One student shared of an incident dating back to grade 4 and detailed how she still carries the hurtful comments from almost a decade ago. In order to show the lasting impact of hurtful comments and negative self talk, we participated in a class activity.

We started the activity by each taking one crisp, clean, blank sheet of paper. We then took turns “bullying” and talking negatively to our paper, crumpling the paper with each hurtful comment. We heard comments such as “you will never find love”, “you are worthless”, “you are dirty” and “you are weak”. We stopped bullying our pieces of paper once we had them crumpled up into small balls. We then took it in turns to apologize to the piece of paper for what we had said and tried to flatten the paper back out with each apology. We ended up with creased, ripped, holey and damaged pieces of paper. Despite how much we apologized, we could not fully erase the damage that we had done.

The students seemed to connect with this activity and appreciate the visual aid of irreparable damage. Not only is this an important lesson for when we’re talking to and about others, but it’s also important to recognize that the effects of negative self-talk can be just as long lasting and influential to our self-esteem.

Food and Nutrition Cook Off

While we couldn’t cook at school, or share our culinary creations with each other during a potluck, the Food and Nutrition class made the best of our situation, and moved our meal preparations into the comfort of our own kitchens. Over the course of the 5 week octomester we had 4 “cookoffs”, in which the students practiced a variety of important meal preparation skills in the very environment that they should be applying those skills now and in the future. Each meal required that the students demonstrated specific knowledge or skills that they had learned and practiced during each unit. By cooking at home they were able to develop some comfort and familiarity with their own kitchens and in doing so make cooking for themselves and their families more accessible. Though I cannot be certain, as I was unable to taste test them myself, by all indications they made what appeared to be some super yummy creations.

What’s Cooking?

Cooking Club started off the new year by making simple, but satisfying smoothies. After all the holiday treats and big meals it was nice to make something packed full of healthy fruits and vegetables. As this was a fairly easy snack to prepare we had lots of time to catch up on our winter break activities and also discuss what recipes to make in the coming weeks. We have a long list of interesting ideas to choose from with some old favourites and new challenges.

Over the last few weeks we have made some really tasty meals. We created loaded nachos,
homemade pizzas, and stir-fries. Each student used their favourite ingredients to customize the meal for themselves and their families. These versatile recipes are great to meet the diverse tastes of our students and also allows them to use whatever they have on hand, which is a good skill and especially important during the pandemic.

We hope to be able to cook together in person once again, but for now our virtual Cooking Club gives us the opportunity to share our love of food with each other and socialize with our friends.

Cooking Comfort Foods


With winter upon us and another lockdown in place Cooking Club has been making some warm and comforting meals to get us through!

Last week everyone made their version of fried rice. We discussed some key tips to making delicious fried rice including using leftover rice, sesame oil, and fresh ginger. Once again, there was a wide variety in the ingredients that students chose, including chicken, tofu, beef, shrimp, egg and lots of different veggies. The end results were even better than the take out versions.

This past week we made a fan favourite – macaroni and cheese. Impressively everyone made their mac n cheese from scratch, no KD in sight. We discussed how to make a roux for the base of the sauce and shared what kind of cheeses we were including. Some students chose to make a different kind of pasta dish to suit their needs, leaving everyone satisfied.

With just a couple sessions left for the year the club plans to make Potato Latkes next week ahead of Chanukah and then finish off 2020 (finally!) with some holiday baking.

Learning to Plan


With the first unit on leadership in the rearview mirror, the grade 12 recreation and healthy active living class is headed into its second unit, the facilitation of recreation and leisure. In this unit, students will be learning how to collect relevant information about a target group, analyse the data, and use it to plan a physical activity event. They will learn about the nitty gritty of planning by learning to take into consideration the who, what, where, and how of events, while also being mindful of safety guidelines, procedures and considerations. By the end of the unit, students will have the necessary knowledge to plan a physical activity event for a kindergarten class with various needs.