Self-expression through Art

posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Last term, during their art classes, Grade 8 students created personalized flower pots based on the four temperaments: choleric (short-tempered or irritable), phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful), melancholic (analytical and quiet) and sanguine (optimistic and social).

Each student chose the temperament that best suits him or her and created facial expression through clay and use of under glaze and clear coat of colour and then an explosive glaze.

Students appreciated learning how to work with clay slabs and rollers, as well as various media and tools. They also enjoyed the opportunity for self-expression and self-discovery in a non-threatening, creative environment.

Thanks to Ms. Christy Donald who works so hard to ensure that students achieve creative excellence!


A Generous Act:
Sharing the Gift of Warmth

By Jim Bender, Winnipeg Sun

posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Reposted from the Winnipeg Sun: Sunday, January 10, 2016 05:18 PM CST | Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2016 06:11 PM CST

Asia Davidson came up with the idea last February when she turned nine. That’s when she asked her friends to bring money instead of gifts to her 9th birthday party. Now, she’s used that cash, and her allowance money earned since then, to purchase 50 blankets for those who need them the most during the coldest part of our winters.

Asia and her mother, Shaleen Sisk Davidson, personally took 25 of those blankets that cost about $50 each to the Red River Lodge, a 45-bed transitional housing facility for at-risk people, on Saturday. “A small deed can make a big difference,” a rather shy Asia said through her mother Sunday.

Roland Vandal, a board member, said Asia responded to a Lodge request for winter clothes and warm blankets. “I was really taken aback,” Vandal said. “She came walking in with a laundry basket full of blankets and she just lit the whole place up.” It was an unforgettable experience for Asia, her mother said. “My daughter was kind of scared,” Davidson said. “She didn’t really know what to expect and it opened her eyes to see that people live like that. “When we went inside and got a tour of the place, it was heartwarming.”

The kind act came on a weekend when the weather plunged to -30 C with a -40 windchill. “It teaches me to be a better person and I’m really proud of her,” said Davidson, who moved here from northern California with her husband, Dan, and two children a few years ago. “Winnipeg has been a big inspiration to us. Winnipeg is such a giving city. People just want to make a difference.”

Asia gave the rest of the blankets to those who attended her party, urging them to pass them on to those in need. She is planning to start another project next month. Another who makes a difference when the mercury plummets is Ron Eldridge, director of Devoted To You Street Ministries.

After being homeless for 13 years himself, Eldridge understands the challenges of getting by in the deep freeze. “It’s very hard. We get a lot of frostbite cases. It’s hard to keep (people) warm,” he said. Eldridge and his team doled out hot chocolate, donuts and muffins at two locations Sunday, when the temperature topped out at just -24 C with a windchill factor of -31. “We get a humongous response. A lot of hugs from the homeless people,” he said.




Triumph in Debating

posted: Friday, January 15, 2016

SJR students from Grades 8 and 9 had a very successful night of debating at the Acadia Junior High Tournament, held in Winnipeg on January 14, 2016. SJR had seven of the top 10 individual speakers and five of the top 10 teams, including first, second and third. The results were:

Individual Speakers
1 Jonah P.
3 Arshia V.
5 Ethan H.
6 Roene N.
8 Lillian B.
9 Evelyn S.
10 Zanko A.

1 Jonah P. & Zanko A.
2 Ethan H. & Arshia V.
3 Lillian B.  & Roene N.
7 Emma H. & Evelyn S.
8 Ethan B. & Alfred Z.




Grade 3s Learn About SCRAPHIC NOVELS

By: Ms. Carla Brown, Grade 3 teacher

posted: Monday, January 18, 2016

This term, both Grade 3 classes are utilizing a multitude of skills by making Scraphic Novels with guest instructors leading the students.

Scraphic Novels is an original concept from author Karin Adams and animator Anita Lebeau. These colourful and textured books combine elements of creative writing, graphic novels, comic strips, crafting and scrapbooking, creating a fun and lively mash-up of all these formats. The result is physical ‘3-D’ books that can be digitized and re-produced in many alternative formats (digital storybooks, posters, wall art…even t-shirts!).

The enthusiastic artist-duo are bringing Scraphic Novels to SJR through the Manitoba Arts Council’s Artists in the Schools. Over the course of 10 artist-led story writing and arts-and crafts sessions, students create their own, Scraphic Novels.

Along the way, students develop skills in a variety of areas, such as making a plan and setting goals; understanding story structure; writing with vivid language to bring stories to life; creating visuals with artistic intention; layout and design, and more!

Karin Adams is the author of three humorous novels for middle grade readers published by James Lorimer and Company: Lights! Curtains! Cows! (2009), No TV? No Fair! (2010) and Frostbite Hotel (2014).

Anita Lebeau is a filmmaker with a focus on animation and documentary film. Her two National Film Board animated shorts Louise (2004) and Big Drive (2011) have won numerous international awards.


Drumming to the Beat

posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grade 12s had a vibrant - and musical - start to their week yesterday. As part of the 'mini-mesters' experience, the Grade 12s had the opportunity to learn African drumming from instructor Jordan Hanson. The lesson took place in the SJRPA Music & Arts Studio where the students learned to play different beats and rhythms - making sure to keep in time with the rest of the group, of course! Jordan - a teacher at the School of Music at the University of Victoria - was a fantastic coach for this fun and challenging mini-mester session.

Watch a clip of the African drumming experience below!


Experimental Lakes Experience

by Matt Henderson, Senior School Social Studies Teacher

posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our students will undoubtedly face the most critical ecological crisis our species has ever faced. At present, we are on pace to increase the average temperature on this planet by four degrees by the end of the century. The problem is serious.

At SJR, we take the destruction of the biosphere very seriously and wish to equip our learners with the skills, abilities, and attitudes necessary to mitigate climate change and other planetary boundaries. We believe that students should gain an ecological literacy from their SJR experience.

As such, the SJR Centre for Ecological Literacy has created a learner-centered experience at the Experimental Lakes Area in July 2016. This two-week educative experience allows our learners time and space to work with world-class scientists and outstanding educators within a whole ecosystem research environment, encompassing 59 fresh water lakes. 2016 will mark the third year of the program.

Learners shadow scientists from all around the world, participate in one-on-one discussions, take in weekly lectures, break bread with mentors, and design their own research experiments throughout their time.

This years's experience will take place from July 18 - 29, 2016 and costs $2000. Learners may apply online by February 29, 2016 and will be notified in April if they are selected.

The students will be guided by certified teachers from Manitoba and International Institute for Sustainable Development/ Experimental Lakes Area staff. Students will live in state-of-the-art accommodations, will have food service and modern amenities provided, and will participate in a three-day canoe trip. The students need to take responsibility for their own learning and must demonstrate leadership, environmental stewardship, and integrity at all times.

View a slideshow about the Experimental Lakes experience.

For more information, please contact Matt Henderson at mhenderson@sjr.mb.ca or at 204.477.2485 ext. 507.



Chariots of Sphero

posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

As part of this week's mini-mesters series, our Grade 9 students got busy coding and designing. Under the guidance of Senior School teachers Mr. Phil Taylor and Mr. Paul Marshall, they took part in the Sphero chariot design challenge to design and create a unique Sphero chariot, then create a program for Sphero to navigate the race course. Using their creativity, design and coding skills, they successfully completed the challenge in groups and took part in a 'Sphero Chariot Race' at the end of the project.

A Sphero is a spherical robot toy which is controlled by a smartphone or tablet - users can program the Sphero and it can also be used as a controller for some games. This project was a great way to get the Grade 9s thinking creatively, using innovation and coding to successfully complete the project.

Watch videos of the Sphero chariot racing below:



Mini-Mesters Success!

posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

This week, our Senior School students experienced a break from their usual classroom routine and schedule to enjoy three days of 'mini-mesters' - a variety of activities, speakers, sessions and trips which helped immerse them in their subjects in more depth than the normal timetable typically allows.

This year, mini-mesters included fascinating talks from a wide-range of speakers. Invited guests included:

The Grade 9s got busy coding and designing chariots for Sphero racing, while our Grade 10 students immersed themselves in a project based around ethics and ethical dilemmas. Other mini-mester activities included ballroom dancing and African drumming as well as a trip to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. All in all, the mini-mesters experience was a huge success!




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