If you don’t have a child in Middle School, you might not be aware that one of the amazing opportunities available to them at the FIS is the option to select a year long Exploratory course. Here they get the chance to dive deeper into a subject they are passionate about, or a new subject they would like to learn more about. These Exploratories are all composed of a mix of students from different sections in Grade 6 to 8.
Uniting students with a common interest brings some really dynamic learning opportunities where our more experienced students can be assisting other students with a skill they have never tried before. Sometimes, this is a Grade 8 student leading a younger student, and other times this format gives a Grade 6 student the chance to share their understanding with an older peer.
These courses are based on student interests and this year the Design department has offered many of the exploratory choices, like photography, fashion design, plus Coding I and II. Because these courses take students from all different grade levels, they must be offered at the same time. This presents our teachers with another amazing opportunity to combine classes to share their learning, create something together, or even as we’ve just done, switch teachers to bring in instructors with the most experience and expertise in a particular unit.
For the past few weeks, I have been able to teach Coding II and share my expertise with programming as students experimented with creating algorithms to simulate gravity in a computer game. Jacquelyn Beck was able to come in from the Arts department and lead a unit with the Photography students. This unit was combining the design elements of self-portrait photography with art concepts and skills of reverse painting on acetate. The teaching of the unit will finish by combining both our skill sets to create a paste paper etched background for the self-portrait using a digital medium with brushes and filters found in Photoshop.
Be on the lookout for the photography students’ finished pieces which will be displayed around the FIS, once ready!
Director of Educational Technology