MS Mythology (Ella Muelen)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

If you love stories, you will enjoy my class.  When I’m talking about stories, I’m not only talking about reading a book.  I’m talking about watching a movie, watching a TV show, listening to an audiobook, listening to a podcast and even good old fashioned human to human conversations.  These are all wonderful ways to enjoy a good story.  In my mythology class, we will explore stories from the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Norse people.  We will watch movies that tie into these myths.  We will then critique the story for accuracy.  We will research ancient myths and explore questions like: What makes a character a hero?  How is God defined in mythology?  The class will have a moderate amount of homework, but all of it will be manageable.  Please come and enjoy some fun myths with me.

History with Nigel (Nigel Fogelquist)

Do you enjoy learning things? What about things that have already happened? Would you take a class where you learn things about things that have already happened? If so, I have the class for you. In class, we will choose topics to research and discuss, no prior knowledge needed. Discussion is a great way to get a more in-depth understanding of history and I hope to be able to bring history to life through my class. So what are you waiting for? Put my class on your schedule right now!

 

1…2…3….Español!  (Mara (student) and Veronica (parent))

Are you ready to go on an adventure to learn a new language and experience new culture?

Come and join us! We are Mara and Veronica. We are native Spanish speakers and we would love to share our culture and language with you. 

The class will be tailored to your level and interests. You will learn basic Spanish conversation skills while exploring a new culture, through hands-on activities, games, music and more….

Los esperamos! 

 

Old Tactics, New Times: Pushback and Breakthroughs in the Struggle for Civil Rights (Larry Metzger)

The photograph above depicts one of the turning points in the Civil Rights Movement, which was, in turn, one of the defining events in recent United States history. What is the story behind that photograph? This is a course about the Civil Rights Movement and the continuing struggle for racial justice in America. It is also a course about the nature of race and racism in the United States. How and why did whites establish racial segregation in the United States? How did the Civil Rights Movement begin? What choices did people – white and black, leaders and plain folks – make and how did those choices shape the movement? How successful was the movement? What is the state of civil rights in the United States today? If these questions intrigue you, please join me.

About the instructor:

I am a volunteer who has been facilitating classes at PSCS since the fall of 2015. In past years I taught an earlier version of this course on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as classes on the Vietnam War, and Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. I currently live in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my wife, Elizabeth, and our dog, Dr. Norman (we moved here this past August). One of my greatest regrets about leaving Seattle was that I would no longer be able to teach at PSCS: I have always enjoyed the enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity of PSCS students. So, this fall I was delighted to discover that, through the magic of ZOOM, I have the opportunity to continue to work with PSCS and its wonderful students.

American Literature- A Wizard of EarthSea (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Celebrate Ursula Le Guin, a great American author who recently passed, by reading the first book, “A Wizard of Earthsea,” in her series, Earthsea.

“The first three Earthsea books … were written, at the request of her publisher, for young adults. But their grand scale and elevated style betray no trace of writing down to an audience.”

Le Guin wrote twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children’s books over the course of her life. She wove cultural anthropology, Taoism, feminism, and the writings of Carl Jung into her writings, and contributed deeply to the worlds of science fiction and feminism.

This will be a read-aloud and discussion class. There will also be short writing assignments along the way to dive deeper into the content and themes.

 

“The rhythmic structure of narrative is both journey-like and architectural,” Le Guin has written. “Great novels offer us not only a series of events, but a place, a landscape of the imagination which we can inhabit and return to. This may be particularly clear in the ‘secondary universe’ of fantasy, where not only the action but the setting is avowedly invented by the author.”

 

 

Embroidery and Connect (elizabeth ortega)

Embroidery is the craft of decorating fabric using a needle and applying thread or yarn. It’s a hand-eye coordination craft. You can decorate anything from a jean jacket to a handkerchief. You can decorate with words, designs, images, shapes, etc.

It’s bunches of fun and requires patience and intention.

We will discuss different issues and simply hang out with each other while we learn how to needle our way through fabric to create some awesome pieces.

I hope especially to be joined by students who don’t “normally” take classes like this. Perhaps you steer away from stereotypically “feminine” art like embroidery, or being hands-on creative is challenging for you? Well, I challenge you to join us for some creativity and connection with each other as we create. 

This class is also for you if you are already interested in these things and would love some more!

 

Continuing Sex and Health Education (year long) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

If you are in this class, I look forward to the continued journey!

Here is the description from the beginning of the year to reground you in what is to come.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Sexual health and healthy relationships are things all people, especially young people, deserve. In this class I will do my best to be inclusive of a wide variety of genders, sexualities, experiences, and perspectives and focus on the real world and real life experiences.

Relationships and sexuality is a life long journey of learning about ourselves. Here in this class, I want to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can also be enlightening, informative and exciting!

I will be utilizing two different curriculum sources. One will be Be Real. Be Ready. is SFUSD’s (San Francisco Unified School District) comprehensive relationship and sexuality curriculum for high school students. And S.E.X., second edition: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties by Heather Corinna as well as various educational media pieces and articles as they relate to the topics.

 

 

Current Events (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

This class was so enjoyable, let’s continue! If you have already taken current events I would love to have you back and if you are new, welcome.

Every week we will dive into a different topic. We will gather opinions about what global issues, political matters, current news, etc. we want to explore and then start there. We will read articles, watch short videos, listen to news segments, and look at photos regarding the issue at hand.

You will have asynchronous time to complete an assignment each week and then, the following week, we will engage in small group discussion. What did you learn? What surprised you? What do you still wonder?

 

 

Taking Care of Myself (elizabeth ortega)

This class feels more important than ever. Our nervous systems and hearts have been overloaded with stress and anxiety throughout this global pandemic. What better time than to slow down and figure out how to be well through this?

We will come together to take care of our hearts, bodies, and spirits, and get to know each other and ourselves a little better. We will meditate, listen, breathe, make art together, go outside, write, do some yoga (not too much!), stretch, and create our own little sanctuary space in your rooms/homes where you can take care of yourselves right now.

This class is for you if you want to practice mindfulness and consistent acts of ritual to take care of yourself and to find your center in this time.

You become what you practice.

Sex and Health Education (MS) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Sexual health and healthy relationships are things all people, especially young people, deserve. In this class I will do my best to include a wide variety of genders, sexualities, and different bodies, and to focus on the real world experiences of students in middle school.

We will work to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be enlightening, informative, and exciting!

This class will be a place to build confidence and friendly curiosity, rather than shame and judgment. Cultivating a relationship with one’s sexuality and body is a journey – and it’s better if you feel informed and aware along the way.

We will utilize the book: Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and You “This candid, inclusive, stereotype-defying, and absolutely wonderful primer on sexuality and gender identity embraces diversity in all of its dimensions.” To further inform the curriculum we will also use the age appropriate curriculum: The Get Real middle school curriculum.

Please reach out if you have any questions about the content of this class!

World Cultural Geography & World Religions (Sam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

 

World Cultural Geography will take a journey around the world to learn about the physical and human geography of various regions. Students will explore the history of each region and examine the political, economic, and cultural characteristics of the world in which we live.

World Religions is a Social Studies course which will examine religion through a historical, social, political, and economic lens. Students will understand the connections between religion and society, and the many ways these two ideas are intertwined. By looking at both the origins of religion and our modern world, students will have a fuller understanding of the beliefs, culture, and conflicts surrounding the religions of the world.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Black History through Stories and Songs (Sam)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Exploring the journey of Blacks in America offers a deeper understanding of a culture that is always fighting. So many people share accounts of both struggles and triumphs. There are many stories that we have heard, and so many more that need to be heard! Along with those stories are songs that tell of a painful past, yet share about a glorious future. This class will be about hearing both familiar and not, while gathering a better understanding of why this history matters.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

World History, Continued (Sam)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Note: This class is a continuation from Fall Term. You can join for Winter Term whether or not you joined for Fall Term.

World History is a subject that explores the key events and global historical developments since the 1500s that have shaped the world we live in today. The scope of Modern World History provides the latitude to range widely across all aspects of human experience: economics, science, religion, philosophy, politics & law, military conflict, literature & the arts. The class will illuminate connections between our lives and those of our ancestors around the world. We will also analyze people, groups, and important figures who have not been credited in history.

We will uncover patterns of behavior, identify historical trends and themes, explore historical movements and concepts, and test theories. Students will refine their ability to read for comprehension and critical analysis; summarize, categorize, compare, and evaluate information; write clearly and convincingly; express facts and opinions orally, and use technology appropriately to present information.

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

EMC – Electronic Music Collective (Sam)

Note: This class is for students who have taken Digital Music previously. 

An exploration of composition, production, and keyboard musicianship through the use of electronic musical instruments, computers, and a variety of compositional, production, and instructional software. Students develop increased fluency in note-reading, ear-training, listening, keyboarding, and music vocabulary.

 

Required texts/materials: The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Student Leadership Class (Amy and TSam)

Do you want to learn about who you are and how that impacts you as a leader in our community? Do you want to explore various leadership styles? Do you want to be a part of understanding how to create and support a culture of belonging at PSCS? Do you want to work on projects like creating a student government at PSCS and other community building activities? Then this is the place for you.

This class focuses on who you are as a leader, different strategies for leadership, different styles of leadership, working on various projects that are student driven, and really digging deep into what it means to be a school that cares about everyone feeling like they belong. Join us as we continue our journey in exploring all of these topics.

You did not have to be in this class Fall Term to join us in Winter Term. This class is open to all!

Dance Dance Dance! (hannah)

Dancing is the most reliably joyful, fun, expressive, ecstatic form of movement I’ve discovered in the world so far. For this class, I will send y’all a curated spotify playlist before each class that we will play synchronously and loudly in our own homes and dance together at the same time while on zoom. It will be a workout – I will lead each class through a mix of aerobic exercise and free dancing.

Short Story Exploration (hannah)

In this class, we will explore the power and process of short story reading and writing. We will read stories by a range of authors including Alice Walker, Roald Dahl, Langston Hughes, Gabriel García Márquez, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan, and Chinua Achebe. We will analyze the anatomy of  a great short story and practice writing some of our own.

Protest Writing, Continued (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

This is a continuation of the Fall Term class. In Winter Term, we will finish Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist and begin Persepolis. We will learn more about the current state of protest in the USA and abroad. We will write a variety of things, including poetry and the classic 5-Paragraph Essay, and engage in socratic seminars to discuss what we learn.

Required texts/materials: The two books from Fall Term. If you want to take this class but didn't take it in Fall Term, let's talk.

MS Ecology (hannah)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of life on Earth. In this class, we will learn about Earth’s biomes, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles, expanding our understanding of how all things are interconnected. You can look forward to spending time outside and creating a model of a cell! 

HS Ecology (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of life on Earth. In this class, we will learn about Earth’s biomes, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles, expanding our understanding of how all things are interconnected. You can look forward to spending time outside and creating a model of a cell! 

Totally Async Dictionary Game (Scobie)

This will be an entirely online term for players who love the game, with no zoom meeting and no class time–just rounds of the Dictionary Game on the app with notices through Slack. I’ll publish new rounds and give you a day or two to respond with your word or definition, then run voting, then do the reveal for all to see, and I’ll show the scoreboard from time to time. If you play nearly all the rounds, we’ll likely put it on your transcript, though plan on playing mostly for fun: don’t count on it to add significant English credit for graduation.

Studio (Scobie)

Winter term Studio will focus on principles of sculpture using thin cedar stock to create triangle based space-frames which can be abstract or representational. We’ll start with skill-building exercises, and then move into designing small and large projects that can range from ornaments to lighting designs, to mobiles, and more. We’ll experiment with covering and partially covering our space frames, and using drawings to plan our work. Depending on our level of involvement, we may move on to other technologies for sculpture, or push this medium to the maximum!

Summarize THIS! (Scobie)

IMPORTANT: Work with your advisor to set aside plenty of writing time for this class in your weekly schedule. It can be any time that truly works for you, but if you need open slots to get the work done during the school day, make sure you have them and will use them.

Each week, you’ll either be writing a summary of an audio piece to a specific word count, or you’ll be carefully improving and refining a previous piece.

A writing week:
Expect to listen to an audio or video source piece several times (Excerpts from This American Life, The Moth, and other well-produced audio/videos are common). Then you’ll take notes, make a draft, and improve it using a custom check-list created just for your writing skill set. You’ll have time in class to get started, and make progress, but you’ll probably need to spend more to produce your best work, so budget for that!

A re-writing week:
You’ll respond to a very detailed edit of your original work to further improve it.

For most students, it’s at least a few hours of work each week OUTSIDE of class, but a great investment in becoming an effective listener, logical thinker, and competent writer.

  • Credit for the class requires all summaries to be complete and up to the standards in your checklist.
  • If this is a repeat class for you, I’ll be asking you to up your game.

Geometry, The Year Long Course, Continued (Scobie)

This is a full year of high school math linking your current algebra skills to a whole new world of visual and measurement math, with lots of drawing, proofs, projects, and puzzles. What’s more, I’m committed to delivering you into some awesome access to trigonometry during Spring Term, with calculation and visualization skills that many high schoolers never get. If you know you’re headed to pre-calculus and calculus, these skills are precious. If you’re not, they’ll still make you feel like you have special math powers!

How to Teach a Class (Amy)

Hello! Are you a student who wants to lead a class? If so, prior to being able to teach, you need to complete this almost 100% asynchronous class delivered in ten modules that you can go through at your own pace. To help, a pacing guide and weekly email reminders are sent to keep you on track. Here is what the class covers:

Part One  – Exploration of Good Teaching and Learning About Yourself as a Teacher.

Part Two – Planning Your Class

Part Three – Pitching Your Class

Duolingo World Language Class (Amy)

Do you need a World Language class? Are you motivated to work asynchronously approximately 20 minutes a day during the week? Do you want to choose what language you learn? Then this is the class to take. Students can either select to use the program Duolingo or provide their own program (must be approved) to study a language over the course of ten weeks. Students are expected to work at least 20 minutes a day five days a week to earn credit for this course.

Midrange Frequency (Band) (Brandon)

If you are a current member of Midrange Frequency please sign up for this class. Thank you!

MishMash (Band) (Brandon)

Calling all students interested in being in a band. Do you want to add a little music to your life? Do you want to get to hang out with our amazing music teacher Brandon? This is the class for you. No experience required but you do need to have an instrument available that you want to learn how to play.

*New this term – this class is open to all students 6-12 not just middle school students.

Panthera Leo (Brandon)

If you are a current member of Panthera Leo please sign up for this class. Thank you!

Pizzly (Band) (Brandon)

If you are a current member of Pizzly please sign up for this class. Thank you!

Make Tiny Films (Nic)

Several hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. Being able to express oneself well in video may soon be as important a skill as being able to express oneself well in writing. Let’s do it!

(My credentials: prior to working at PSCS, I made a living as a video editor and producer.)

In this course, we’ll focus on generating a lot of product. Make stuff, talk about how to improve it, then make more stuff. You won’t make a perfectly polished work of art, but you will make a lot of short pieces.

We’ll start with very short pieces, and work up from there. There will be assignments ranging from instructional to narrative to abstract. Nothing you turn in will be longer than 60 seconds.

You’ll need something to shoot video (a phone is fine) and something to edit video (chances are we can find some adequate free software that will work on your laptop). Nothing fancy.

Each week will include some limited synchronous discussion and instruction, some asynchronous time watching and giving feedback on your peers’ work, and time to make your own work. You will likely have to spend some time beyond scheduled class hours shooting and editing your stuff.

Math: 1x/week sync (Nic)

Sticker this math class if you want the same structure in winter term as you had in fall term. I will sort you into sections (Prealgebra, etc.) based on what I know of your skill level. See below for more info.

Winter term “Math With Nic” will have two options, differing only in the amount of synchronous class time:

  1. Continue with the 1x/week group synchronous sessions, and leave an hour in your class schedule for async work
  2. Participate in synchronous group work 2x/week, and find your own time for async work

I will continue to use the synchronous sessions to develop your sense of the beauty and fun of math, solving puzzles, playing games, and—for the 2x/week folks—developing some projects. (For those of you skeptical that this is “real math”: we’ll be working on the eight standards for mathematical practice.)

In both cases, you will still be expected to do self-paced asynchronous work to learn and practice new skills.

And while I still think that ~4 total hours/week is a good target for math learning, most of you this past term showed that you weren’t willing/able to manage that. I’ll work one-on-one to set appropriate individual goals for the self-paced work.

 

Math: 2x/week sync (Nic)

Sticker this math class if you want more synchronous time in winter term than you had in fall term. I will sort you into sections (Prealgebra, etc.) based on what I know of your skill level. See below for more info.

Winter term “Math With Nic” will have two options, differing only in the amount of synchronous class time:

  1. Continue with the 1x/week group synchronous sessions, and leave an hour in your class schedule for async work
  2. Participate in synchronous group work 2x/week, and find your own time for async work

I will continue to use the synchronous sessions to develop your sense of the beauty and fun of math, solving puzzles, playing games, and—for the 2x/week folks—developing some projects. (For those of you skeptical that this is “real math”: we’ll be working on the eight standards for mathematical practice.)

In both cases, you will still be expected to do self-paced asynchronous work to learn and practice new skills.

And while I still think that ~4 total hours/week is a good target for math learning, most of you this past term showed that you weren’t willing/able to manage that. I’ll work one-on-one to set appropriate individual goals for the self-paced work.

 

Constitutional Law, Continued (Nic)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

 

 

 

 

Open only to participants from the fall term course.