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

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

A student in the Watercolor Painting elective chooses her colors. (Photo taken by a DiRectory student reporter.)

A student in the Watercolor Painting elective chooses her colors. (Photo taken by a DiRectory student reporter.)

A student in the Watercolor Painting elective chooses her colors. (Photo taken by a DiRectory student reporter.)

A student in the Watercolor Painting elective chooses her colors. (Photo taken by a DiRectory student reporter.)

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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 II in our series, written by Celina Z.

Watercolor Painting (Ms. Blakelock): Watercolor Painting was a new elective at Rectory this fall (2018/19). Even though this seems like a simple craft (because it is just drawing with watercolor paints, right?), there is much more to this art form than meets the eye. Perhaps that’s why this was a very popular elective for students who enjoy art. In this elective, students use watercolor paints to make creative paintings by drawing a variety of different objects that they like, such as animals, inspirational quotes, landscapes, and so on. Students in this elective all agreed that it was a fun-filled elective. They love art, and they really enjoy the process of painting and the sense of achievement they feel when they look at their finished creation.

Ms. Blacklock, who started this elective, said she wanted to give Rectory students the opportunity to learn watercolor painting because it is a fairly easy form of art to learn, and it is very relaxing and fulfilling. Most of the students who took this elective thought they learned a lot from Ms. Blakelock about how to express themselves through their paintings, and they say they will choose this elective again next year. Ms. Blakelock has been at Rectory for over two years now, and she is a creative and caring art teacher. So, please, Ms. Blakelock, please teach this elective next year! We loved it!

Chess (Mr. Healy and Mrs. Hart):

Chess has been an elective at Rectory for many years, but there are still so many Rectory students who like to play chess. In fact, the Chess Elective was so popular this fall that we needed two classrooms to fit all the students who signed up to play chess. In this elective, the students who play chess with each other really challenge themselves, so it definitely helps students to improve their chess skills. To make the classes more productive, the teachers divided all the students into two groups: students who were new to the game of chess; and students who were more familiar with the rules and strategies of the game.

The students who have been playing chess for a while had a tournament at the end of the elective term. They all put so much effort into playing chess and learning how to improve their game. The DiRectory interviewed one of the students and teachers from the chess elective to find out what makes the game of chess so appealing and so timeless.

DiRectory: Why did you choose this elective and what’s so special about playing chess?

Student: I chose this elective because I really want to improve my chess skills. I like to play chess; I’ve been playing it since I was seven. I usually play with Namil, Ben, or Mr. Healy.

Mr. Healy: I think all the students enjoy this elective. I’ve been playing chess for a long time, and I always enjoy playing it with students. I like this elective because I like to talk to the students about the different strategies you can use against your opponents. It’s fun to watch the students play and see what strategies they use to win their matches.

Yearbook (Mrs. Gould and Mrs. Hart-Rodman):

Yearbook is also a long-time elective at Rectory. Every Rectory student will get a yearbook at the end of the school year. The Rectory yearbooks always include the grade-nine students’ photos and profiles, faculty photos, pictures of students doing a variety of activities at school, and the school portraits of all the other Rectory students in both the elementary school and the middle school. In addition, for the graduating ninth-grade students, there are many additional items that will help them remember all the special memories they’ve had with their friends and teachers at Rectory.

Each year the Rectory yearbooks are designed by the students and faculty members of the Yearbook elective. When they are finished with their work, Mrs. Gould, one of the Rectory art teachers, sends the design to a yearbook company to finalize the layout. Then the layout must be sent to a printing company that will print and bind all the yearbooks. So there is quite a process involved in making the finished product, and the students in this elective learn the different steps needed to produce a yearbook. They will be able to carry these skills with them to their secondary schools and their colleges, as well.

The DiRectory interviewed some students and one of the teachers from the Yearbook elective this fall. Here’s what they had to say about being part of this elective:

DiRectory: Why did you choose the Yearbook elective?

Joanna L.: Because I want to help make the yearbook fun; I want to make it more interesting than just having all the students’ names and pictures in it.

Calvin M.: I joined this elective because I want to see all the pictures of my friends, and I like taking photos of students at Rectory.

DiRectory: Have you worked on a yearbook before?

Joanna L.: Yes, I was on the yearbook committee at my old school.

Calvin M.: No, this is my first time.

DiRectory: Do you like this elective? And, if so, why?

Joanna L.: Yes, I really like this elective because we get to vote on the cover of the yearbook, and it’s a privilege to see the finished yearbook before anyone else gets to see it.

Calvin M.: Yes, I like this elective because I can get all my questions about how to create a yearbook answered, and I can take a lot of pictures all over the campus.

DiRectory: Have the pictures that will be in the final yearbook already been decided?

Mrs. Hart-Rodman: Yes, the students have already put them in the yearbook; all the quotes and the cover are done, too.

DiRectory: What are the main steps of the yearbook production that the students in this elective get to participate in?

Mrs. Hart-Rodman: The elective students get to vote on the design and the background of each page in the yearbook.

DiRectory: Do you enjoy participating in the Yearbook elective?

Mrs. Hart-Rodman: Yes, because I was in yearbook when I was in high school. Back then we used to do everything by hand, but now we use the computer. All the students have very good ideas about what to include in the yearbook, so it’s always fun to hear their ideas, too.

(Photos of the Yearbook elective to be uploaded soon.)