Learning Produces Character

It’s hard to believe that June has arrived, and we are in the homestretch of the 2015-2016 school year. Students have been kept busy with a flurry of athletic events, extracurricular trips, concerts, university applications, project deadlines and studying for final exams. Students have to dig deep, ignore distractions, and give it all they’ve got–it is moments like these that character is cultivated.

At Hamilton District Christian High, we want to see our students flourish. We believe God has blessed each person with tremendous potential, and our staff is committed to supporting students as they continue to learn who they are, and as they develop and use their skills and gifts. We believe that, through learning, God will shape their character.

Lately, teachers have been experimenting with cross-curricular project based learning opportunities that allow students to broaden their understanding of concepts by teaching one another skill sets in their expert field. This learning style encourages creativity, competence in their craft, compassion for students who are learning a new skill, resilience when frustrated, and an adequate time to reflect on the exchange in knowledge bases. It’s a method that is quite inspiring and helps to create community among peers.

One of the latest classroom collaborations has come from the unlikeliest of places. The Grade 12 Chemistry and Sculpture classes got together to make pottery using the Raku technique (a pottery technique that has its origins in 16th century Japan). The Sculpture class shared their knowledge on types of clay, types of glazes, and techniques for making Pinch Pots. The Chemistry class brought their knowledge of oxidation and reduction to demonstrate a different way of finishing pottery. We think the results are amazing!

The Grade 12 Chemistry and Sculpture classes got together to make pottery.

The Grade 12 Chemistry and Sculpture classes got together to make pottery.

The glazed pots before firing in the kiln.

The glazed pots before firing in the kiln.

Pulling the glowing hot pottery (over 900 degrees Celcius). The pottery goes in a metal garbage can containing sawdust which bursts into flame. When the lid goes on the can, the burning sawdust pulls oxygen out of the glaze, changing its appearance. See how we did it: https://youtu.be/OQOsvM6AM78

Pulling the glowing hot pottery (over 900 degrees Celcius). The pottery goes in a metal garbage can containing sawdust which bursts into flame. When the lid goes on the can, the burning sawdust pulls oxygen out of the glaze, changing its appearance. See how they did it: https://youtu.be/OQOsvM6AM78

The still smoking cans...

The still smoking cans…

See the metallic colours the glaze produces?

See the metallic colours the glaze produces?

Both pots were fired with the same glaze. The right side is from oxidative firing, and the left side is from reductive firing.

Both pots were fired with the same glaze. The right side is from oxidative firing, and the left side is from reductive firing.

For more incredible examples of collaborative classroom projects, visit us at the school on Thursday, June 9 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at our Summer Celebration of Learning. Interact with our students, sample delicious snacks, engage with inspiring performances and celebrate learning. HDCH students are working very hard this semester, and they are ready to share the products of their work.

The purpose of this evening is not only to celebrate what students have learned, but to provide students with a wider audience than just their teachers and classmates. We want parents and experts to come and see what a tremendous job the students of HDCH are doing. The feedback that you give them will be essential to deepening the learning that has already happened. So please, engage with the students as you wander around, and bring the whole family. Admission is free! For more information and a schedule of the evening, visit our website.

Charlene2016
By: Charlene Hone
Communications Specialist

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