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Class of 2021 October Newsletter



Hello, 10th Grade Parents!

I am a parent of 10th grade student, Molly Poitras. I also have a senior at AHS. A monthly newsletter will be sent out to keep you informed of the goings on in your child’s classes. You are always welcome to reach out to specific teachers with any questions or concerns, as well.

Core Classes:

A summary of activities and lessons are listed under each class below.
Feel free to check out teachers DP’s by clicking the links to find out what your student is learning at AHS.

  • Humanities and Social Studies – Lori Fisher

Our first project has focused on Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey framework.  Students have applied that framework in multiple ways and to multiple texts, and have made connections to their own lives.  Our core text for this unit, aside from Joseph Campbell, is Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award winner, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.”  Students have read this text, analyzed it in multiple ways, and at the start of October will be engaged in the full writing process to write a refined academic essay in response to one of the questions we discuss in seminar.  In this writing assignment, we will emphasize the creation of a concise thesis statement, effective organization strategies, and how to analyze evidence. We are working on independence, time management, and completion of outside reading–I encourage you to check my DP Lessons page with your students to help them stay on top of out-of-class work!  When we finish with this writing, we will be diving into our first big project: Genocide in the 20th Century. I will send an email home with more detail about this, and with some suggested ways to support your student as we tackle this important but emotionally difficult topic.

DP – https://animashumanities10.weebly.com/

  • Humanities and Social Studies – Shane Nelson

Lori and I have collaborated for the first unit of the Fall 2018 Semester. This will culminate with the formal essay Lori laid out in detail. Beginning in October we will discuss our ideas for our exhibition that will be the physical representation of the Hero’s Journey. Once that decision is made, the curriculum chosen will be one that enhances, elevates and brings home the connection between each individual student that any journey can become a hero’s journey if they dare answer the call.

DP –  https://shanenelsonanimashighschool.weebly.com/

  • Science – Summer Sanford

In Biology we are taking the semester to investigate plants from a multitude of perspectives that will challenge students to think critically about how organisms develop, the role plants play as carbon sinks with a focus on climate change, the interactions between humans and plants, how we digest our food, the role of nutrition in developing teens, and how food can be limited around the world. We started learning about how we classify organisms and conducted short and messy ecological study on our camping trip. Students compared everything from canopy cover to macro-organisms in the creeks. We are now starting to dive into development and investigating the nutritional requirements of plants. We went to Native Roots at the end of September to talk to plant expert and owner of Native Roots John Wickman to get students to start thinking about conducting their own experiments and the complexity of horticulture. In class I will lead an example study focusing on how light affects plant development. Students will have the option to create their own experiments as a challenge extension. We will work on refining our science writing skills by thoroughly documenting our experiments and producing lab write-ups.

Climate Symposium: October 30th I will be taking some students on a field trip to a climate solutions symposium at FLC. This symposium features guest lectures and structured discussions focusing on how we can address climate change. There is an essay contest for students to participate in that they can win 100$, publication in the local newspapers, and the opportunity to read their essay at the symposium (due October 15th).

DP – http://summersanford.weebly.com/

  • Math – Dan Thurber

Students have started diving into their first unit, titled “Fireworks.”  This unit explores quadratic equations by looking at a central question of a group of students trying to plan a fireworks show and wanting to determine how far and how high the rockets will go.  It is quite likely that your students will come home with a homework assignment that they don’t know exactly how to solve yet. Bear in mind that it’s part of the learning process and we will be discussing that assignment in class the next day.  In order to be an active member of the discussion, they need to give the problems a try and write down the best ideas they have, even if they are incorrect. If they are absolutely stumped, they should write down a question they have about the problems so they are prepared to learn in class the next day.

DP – http://danthurber.weebly.com

Advisory Happenings:

  • You should have received an email from your student’s advisor in mid-September checking in and sharing information about our Advisory program. If you did not hear from your student’s advisor, please reach out to him or her. Hopefully you also received an email from your student during the first monthly Advisory Grade Check on September 26. In October, advisory activities will include college counseling, an activity where sophomores and juniors get to know each other better and the next Grade Check, on October 24. On October 31, we will use Advisory for an All School Pumpkin Carving Contest!

Career and College Prep: Jess Adams

  • This year with Career and College, sophomores will continue to reflect on their career and college goals during Advisory. Second semester, they will take a week off of regular scheduled classes for Sophomore Inspire Week, during which they will attend career and college workshops as well as practice their skills and explore their interests via volunteering in the community with a variety of local nonprofits.

DP  https://collegepreparationanimashighschool.weebly.com/

Special Events:

Student Led Conferences (SLC’s) are on Wednesday, October 17 and are mandatory for all sophomore families. You will receive a letter soon from Libby which will include a link that will allow you to sign up for a time that works for you and your family.

Please contact me if you have feedback about what you would like to see in these monthly updates for sophomore parents.

Until next time,

Margery Poitras

10th Grade Parent Volunteer

2021parents@animashighschool.com