Engaging Electives at Rectory This Fall (2018) – Part I

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Engaging Electives at Rectory This Fall (2018) – Part I

Mrs. Kellaway helping a student organize information for her newspaper article during the Newspaper Elective this fall (2018/19). (Photo taken by DiRectory student reporters.)

Mrs. Kellaway helping a student organize information for her newspaper article during the Newspaper Elective this fall (2018/19). (Photo taken by DiRectory student reporters.)

Mrs. Kellaway helping a student organize information for her newspaper article during the Newspaper Elective this fall (2018/19). (Photo taken by DiRectory student reporters.)

Mrs. Kellaway helping a student organize information for her newspaper article during the Newspaper Elective this fall (2018/19). (Photo taken by DiRectory student reporters.)

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The Elective block in the Rectory academic schedule is a time for students to enrich their experiences. Each term Rectory faculty offer a variety of interesting electives for students to participate in. There are classes about such topics as sign language, mountain biking, watercolor painting, newspaper, robotics, etc. Teachers present their electives to the student body at an all-school assembly, and students are assigned to one of their top three choices for the term. In the fall term, electives meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:15 am to 10:15 am. The DiRectory reporters have put together a series of articles with brief descriptions and photos of each of the fall 2018/2019 electives, along with the names of the teachers who taught them (in parentheses), to give you a glimpse of what our students are learning in addition to their academic courses. Several of our student reporters wrote about one or more of these electives. Here is Part I in our series, written by Julia Z.

Fan Politics (Mrs. Haines & Ms. Fluckiger):

Fan politics is an elective open to all students who are interested in politics, current events, and geography. Mrs. Haines and Ms. Fluckinger, the teachers of this elective, teach both history and geography classes at Rectory. They love geography and want to inspire their students to learn about the world. In this elective, students use an online game system called “The Fan School.” This popular elective has been around for four years. Students sign up for this elective to learn more about geography and the conversations they have with their peers during the trading of states and countries.

To start the game, students choose a couple of states/countries that they think are currently included in the most news reports. For every news report their states/countries are in, the students who chose them gain one point. At the end, the student with the most points wins a Baker’s Dozen gift card as their prize. During this process, students are allowed to trade states/countries with each other to try to gain more points. There were two rounds of Fan Politics during the fall term this year; the first round focused on US current events, and the second round focused on world news and events.

Newspaper (Mrs. Shattuck & Mrs. Kellaway):

Newspaper is an elective open to all students who are interested in writing and news reporting. Students can choose what they would like to write about and then publish it in the online newspaper, which the whole world can read. This elective is conducted by Mrs. Shattuck and Mrs. Kellaway who both have a great passion for writing. Mrs. Shattuck likes getting to know more Rectory students by working with them in this elective, and she enjoys hearing about the ideas students have for their written articles. Mrs. Shattuck absolutely loves when she gets repeat students in the newspaper elective who are excited about expressing their ideas and opinions and who understand and follow the same process that real journalists use to write and edit their news articles. Students love this elective because they can improve their writing and interviewing skills, and they think it’s interesting to learn more about their school community.

This elective also has a very long history at Rectory School. During her second year at Rectory, the 2012/13 school year, Mrs. Shattuck started working on the newspaper with Mrs. Rimer, a former Rectory English teacher and tutor who had actually worked as a journalist before coming to Rectory School. At that time the paper was printed three times a year, at the end of each term. Mrs. Shattuck only got to work with Mrs. Rimer for two years before she retired. After Mrs. Rimer retired, the faculty decided to do an online newspaper because that is how people are getting their news today. This year is the fifth year that the newspaper has been online.

Sign Language (Mrs. Stewart and Ms. C. O’Neil): 

Sign language is an elective open for all students who are interested in learning American Sign Language. This elective was new to Rectory this fall (2018/19), and it was very popular. The students in this elective practiced sign language every time they met. Mrs. Stewart is a really good teacher. She suggested the best way to learn sign language is to practice and practice since this language is all about muscle memory. At the beginning of October, the students from this elective signed a song with the Rectory chorus, called The Distant Shore. Signing this song was also the part of this elective that students enjoyed the most.

How did Mrs. Stewart learn sign language? She thought it was cool and also a very important skill to have. Since deaf people cannot learn English, Chinese, or another spoken language like other people do, the only way to talk to them is by using sign language. Mrs. Stewart has been studying sign language for four years now, and she thought it was crucial to share this skill with students at Rectory.

When the members of Rectory’s Volleyball team learned that they were going to play a school whose students were all deaf, they ran to Mrs. Stewart and asked her if she could teach them how to sign some everyday expressions, so that they could communicate with the members of their opposing team. They learned how to say the following: “Hello. How are you?”; “My name is _____. What’s your name?”; and “Have a nice day!” We were all very proud of our volleyball team members for taking the time to do this; it shows just how caring our students are. This also shows how important it is to reach out to others by learning new ways to communicate with them.

The Sign Language elective, as is the case with most of our electives, has already taught our students some very valuable life lessons! Thank you, Mrs. Stewart and Ms. O’Neil, for opening our hearts and minds even more by teaching us this vital communication skill.

(Photos of this elective to be uploaded soon.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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