Tag Archives: Block

Geometry, Spring Term (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Ok, let’s make this a complete Geometry class!





We’ll continue to explore the major geometry topics through spring term to complete the course. You know who you are!

  • planning on using a block slot to get three classes per week
  • expect in-class tests, quizzes, and puzzles
  • expect collaboration on some work,
  • expect homework, which will vary in size, small assignments during the week, occasional larger assignments during the 4-day weekend gap between block meetings

Geography of Asia (Sam) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Asia! One of the most complex regions on the planet earth. It is a beautiful place that holds so much ancient history, mystery, and fascination. This class will study an area of the world that we don’t always focus on. We will be on a virtual journey traveling to each country and discovering what awesome things each territory has to offer. Some will be familiar, but most will be brand new. Also, we will talk about how this continent’s exports benefit the world as a whole.


Art and Journaling (elizabeth) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This class will be focused on writing, documenting and creating in a journal or journal-like book AND mixing art and different creations into your journal.

Journaling is one of the most effective ways to get yourself writing, expressing yourself and understanding yourself better. We will do just that in this class and will find ourselves at local coffee houses/tea houses occasionally.

This class is perfect for you if need to slow down, reflect, write and engage in your personal creativity.

I will have prompts and provide some fun supplies.

If you are not one to “normally” take a class like this, please consider how alil slow down and write/create for yourself could support your mental and emotional well being.

A Visit From The Goon Squad (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

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

A Visit From The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan’s (are-they-short-stories-or-is-it-a-)novel, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve ever read.

I’d like to read it again. With you.

Here are some things reviewers have said about it:

  • it’s a “star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos”
  • it’s about “how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, and lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn”
  • it’s “a frequently dazzling piece of layer-cake metafiction”

It’s about rock ‘n’ roll, getting older, how fast the world changes, and the elusiveness of happiness.

We’ll average ~30 pages of reading per night.

Required texts/materials: A copy of the text. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Choir! Choir! Choir! (Liana and Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Love singing? Join us!

Don’t know if you are a singer but want to try it out? Join us!

All are welcome.

We will use popular songs from the Toronto based drop-in choir group Choir! Choir! Choir!

We are also hoping to open this up to the community as well and get more voices to come join us!

Music Theory Sandbox (Liana) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This will be an open session for taking your music theory abilities to the next level and/or applying them to something you are interested in. I can help you develop ideas, and will be on hand to answer questions/help, but ultimately you’ll be picking a project or setting a course of study for yourself and going about your business.

Here are some ideas for taking your theory to the next level:

  • Practice existing skills on ToneSavvy and/or Teoria
  • Pick some new topics to delve into using online/print resources
  • Work on transcriptions
  • Work on arranging projects
  • Do some harmonic analysis
  • Write bass lines
  • Compose (using notation)

I will support each of you, providing some instruction as needed and hold you accountable to whatever your goals are, but I will not be leading the entire class through a specific curriculum — it’s up to you to think about what you want to study/work on.

Before the first class, you will need to communicate with me about your intentions. If you are unsure, chat with me before stickering so we can develop a loose plan for you before you commit to the class.

Required texts/materials: You'll likely need your computer and headphones, perhaps a midi keyboard (the school has limited resources for you to use), and probably a mechanical pencil!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Four young lovers, in a bizarre love quadrangle. Six buffoonish actors, making off-color jokes as they rehearse a play (within the play). A world of fairies and sprites, manipulating the behavior of everyone. Themes of love, magic, transformation, gender, and the supernatural.

We’ll read it out loud together, tease apart the 400-year-old poetry, and watch some clips of film adaptations as we go.

No prior experience with Shakespeare necessary!

Required texts/materials: A copy of the text. The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Crashing Cymbals (Liana) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Rumor has it that there are students among us who are intrigued by the idea of jazz but have little or no experience actually listening to or playing jazz. Jazz is at the root of most of the music you listen to, and the ability to play it (even at a basic level) will make you better at almost any other form of music that you play.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick read on why every musician should study jazz. (It has bullet points, so you can get right to it!)

This is a class for learning about and practicing the art of jazz and improvisation. Think of it as an intro: some simple basics to get you going. From there, you’ve got to find your inspiration and work to hone your craft.

The class will include a smorgasbord of things that will give you a better understanding of jazz: some light music theory, a wee bit of jazz history, some listening, and of course, some playing.

Open to any instrument/vocals (horn players: please join us!), and you need not be an expert to partake in the fun! You will, however, need to step outside of your comfort zone, take some musical risks, and contribute to an encouraging, positive musical environment.

Note: This class is for people new to jazz. If you’ve already taken Crashing Cymbals, this isn’t for you… Come talk to me if you think you are the exception — I’ll take 1 or 2 more experienced folks who can help keep us going while being an encouraging cheerleader for those new to the art form.

Data Analysis and Statistical Reasoning (Nic) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Given our data-rich world, I believe every citizen should know how to draw and evaluate conclusions based on large amounts of information.

In this class, we will work together through an online course from Duke University — yes, an introductory college-level course. I led a group of PSCS students through this course three years ago, and I found the materials to be excellently put together. I’ve done a lot of online courses; this one stands out as high-quality.

You will learn “how to collect data, how to analyze data, and how to use data to make inferences and conclusions about real world phenomena.” We’ll also learn to use R, a programming language used by many data scientists for processing information.

There are lectures, problem sets, projects, and quizzes. Outside of class, you will watch lectures on your own time. There will be a lot of lecture-watching homework for this class, as the course is estimated to take 100 hours of time to complete, but we’ll have only 24 class hours. We won’t get through the entire course, but we’ll cover quite a bit of it.

During our class meetings, we’ll work problems and projects together, helping each other understand the content.

To get the most out of this course, you should be very comfortable with basic math, and ideally have some algebra under your belt. Given the pace of this college-level course, having a strong affinity for math will certainly make this more enjoyable. There are no programming prerequisites for this course. If you have any questions about whether you qualify, talk to me.

Handwriting and stuff! (Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

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

Want to work on improving your handwriting and expand your vocabulary and spelling at the same time? Then this is the block for you! Each class we will most likely have stations that will include hand strengthening, letter practicing and repetition. While we work on improving our handwriting, we will also work on building vocabulary and spelling. For each class there will be 20 minutes of practice homework. Middle school only – if you are a high schooler and really want to join, talk to Chrissy.

Image result for handwriting

Required texts/materials: Can-Do Print The instructor will procure the texts/materials.

Sumi-e (Chrissy) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Sumi-e is the Japanese word for black ink painting. Emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush so students will need to be patient, focused and determined in this class. You will spend majority of each class working on one or two specific skills. Sumi-e artists learn to paint by copying the Old Masters’ paintings, stroke by stroke. We will spend time learning a new skill at the beginning of each class and spend time practicing that skill for the rest of the class. This class is designed to be a quiet learning space.

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

Diverse Voices & Yummy Things (Liana & Elizabeth) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

In this block class, we’ll gather daily to consume and discuss media by and about diverse humans. We’ll hear from various voices on topics like identity, cultural appropriation, queerness, institutional racism and human rights, and we’ll pull from assorted forms of media including podcasts, documentaries and tv/sitcoms. Each class one of you will provide either a yummy treat or a yummy beverage for everyone to share!

Whiteness/straightness/cis-ness/male-ness etc. in media is the norm; this is an opportunity to approach important topics from a different viewpoint and perspective. 

No homework, just come ready to contribute to discussions each day.

This class is very similar to other iterations of POC Podcasts and Diverse Voices, except we are expanding to include media beyond podcasts!

Just Write (Sam) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

This class is what the title says, Just Write. I want us to gather and work on building up our writing skills in a relaxed way. I find that just taking the time to write and process thoughts and ideas helps us to stay connected to the great skill of writing. We will have time to free write (journal), work on specific projects, blog and even the chance to do collaborative work. If you’re looking to get more into writing or take the time to just write more, this is the class for you!



Science of Flight (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

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

Image result for flight scienceI’ll be partnering with “The Great Courses” here to co-teach alongside video lectures by Professor James Gregory. We’ll look at both the history and scientific principles behind most kinds of flying, with occasional math, and more for those who want it.


Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

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


‘Sapiens’ is a fascinating, provocative, and occasionally problematic book about the history of the dominant human species, our species, Homo Sapiens. This will be a book discussion class, requiring significant careful reading each week: approximately 40-60 pages. “Reading” here includes taking notes and coming to class prepared, meaning that you have specific questions and/or other ideas to talk about directly from the reading.

You should be a strong reader, note taker, side researcher, and thinker, or be willing to work very hard on your own (or with outside help that you find),  to compensate for any difficulty you may have with any of these areas.

You WILL be expected to ask questions and share ideas and opinions from the book in class every week. If your plan is to follow along quietly, and occasionally skip the reading, don’t sticker this class.

There will be a timeline project associated with the class to visualize the human timeline. Talk to me if you are interested in that particular aspect of the class!

Required texts/materials: A paperback copy of the book, plus a notebook, pen or pencil, and highlighter https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062316117/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_mdkICbHZ53F4R Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: long enough before first class meeting to complete a first short assignment