Archive for the ‘Study Skills’ Category

Eighth grader Ariana Foxx examines a seedling during her gardening elective. (Photo by SeAnna Brennan)

Eighth grader Ariana Foxx examines a seedling during her gardening elective. (Photo by SeAnna Brennan)

By Kristine Funke
Cougar News Blog

     There is a new enrichment class for eighth graders. The class is gardening, and the students are growing produce on campus.
     Carol Dolle, a teacher and counselor, hopes to inspire students about the fun of gardening. She wants to share her hobby with students.
     “I want my student to learn the basics of gardening and have a sense of accomplishment when they harvest their veggies,” said Dolle.
     The class is going to plant vegetables and maybe edible flowers. The idea is for the produce to be something that can be eaten. Dolle also wants students to see how much better things taste when it is fresh from a garden.
     One problem they could face is that the quarter is in winter. However, they plan on planting produce that grows well in the cold weather.
     “Some of the very best time for gardening in desert climates is the winter,” said Dolle. “The days are still relatively warm and the nights usually stay above freezing so many varieties thrive in those conditions.”
     Some students have had experience with gardening before, and Mrs. Dolle enjoyed vegetable gardening before she became a teacher.
     “When I was little, I lived on a farm for about 6 years,” said eighth grader Laila Brady. “My mother’s and (my) favorite thing to do was garden. We would go outside in our big      The class plans on doing a particular type of gardening that involves straw bales, which students may have seen in the courtyard. They also plan on building raised beds to garden, and students will be keeping track of progress.
     “We also might need to fence them in case the rabbits find us,” said Dolle.

Isabella Vasquez, 7, and Emely Zepeda, 7, tape their bridge together. (Photo by Carissa LaFrance)

Isabella Vasquez, 7, and Emely Zepeda, 7, tape their bridge together. (Photo by Carissa LaFrance)

By Bronte Pappas
Cougar News Blog

     Building bridges is the step to creating good relationships. Only this time, it’s literal. Cactus Canyon now offers a new enrichment class, where students build bridges.
     In this study skills class, students will be building real model bridges, but also learn about civil engineering. Students research different types of bridges and construct one using popsicle sticks with the goal of building one that can withstand 100 pounds.
     “I am excited to see the creative solutions that students will come up with for everyday problems,” said science teacher Diana Kidde. “Students will also have to explain their design and process. I am excited to see the different designs and which ones will support the most weight.”
     Students will be learning about engineering design. This is the engineering design process that will guide the students. It will help them solve problems, and it will help them make improvements to their designs.
     Many of them are excited for the experience because they are looking forward to making something with their hands.
     “I am excited and the reason is because we get to construct something small but if made big it can hold a lot,” said eighth grader Krysta Espinoza.
     In the future this will help students who one day might want to take up a career in engineering.
     Not only will students be building bridges, but they will also be constructing a spaghetti tower. They will even be making an egg engineering project which will be a ton of fun. The spaghetti tower is a tower made of uncooked spaghetti noodles, and the egg engineering project is where the students must create a safe incubation for an egg. It will have to be safe enough for the egg not to break.

By Kenzie Surratt
Cougar News Blog

     CCJH introduced a new study skills this quarter, Greek mythology, with eighth-grade science teacher Regan Roach. Students in her class focus on major Greek gods and the stories behind them.
     The purpose of the class is to learn about major players in Greek mythology, such as Zeus and Poseidon. Students watched two movies near the beginning of the quarter, Clash of the Titans and its sequel Wrath of the Titans. They are also in the midst of reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Mrs. Roach helps the students learn about the conflicts and resolutions in the fantasies.
     “I would expect that the students either learn more about Greek mythology or that they will learn how to help others,” said Mrs. Roach
     Many students in the class had prior knowledge in Greek mythology, or knew the basics of it. There were also some students who had studied the characters and their adventures on their own, while there’s also classmates where this is their first lessons on the topic.
     “I knew that Zeus was the main god and that there are a lot of gods,” said student Carole Altherr. “I (have) learned a lot more about the family of Zeus.”
     Mrs. Roach got the idea for the enrichment elective from a language arts teacher. Students primarily chose the class because they were interested in the subject.
     “I chose this topic because it was something that I knew very little about and felt that it would be an awesome way for us to learn together,” said Roach.


By Alyssa Flores
Cougar News Blog

     Book club has a week full of plans to get students and CCJH staff to read. “I Love to Read” week is April 28-May 1 and is a week for CCJH to show their love for reading, not just in language arts class.
     Lisa Smith, the book club advisor, wants encourage students to read because she believes reading can help students learn new things and can take them to different journeys through the books they read.
     “Reading can be fun and exciting. I want students to learn different books that are out there to read. I want all teachers to share their love of reading, not just language arts teachers,” said Smith.
     There is going to be different activities each day of the week during Study Skills and the materials will be given to the teachers.
     On Monday, classes will be playing “book charades,” where the teacher will be given a box of 25 book titles. One student will act out a book title and the others will guess what book it is. On Tuesday, the students will be playing an activity called “who’s reading the book.” There will be a Google presentation that the Study Skills teacher will show. On each slide, a teacher be shown holding a book they like to read and students will try to guess who the teacher is.
     Wednesday is “worms for bookworms” day and each student will get a bag of gummy worms to eat when they are reading. Thursday is poetry day and teachers will receive paper so the students can write a four-line poem and the winner will get a treat. Friday will be “read with a buddy” day where students will bring a stuffed animal to read with.
     “Reading should be a life time activity that people enjoy. It helps you learn new things and can take you on many different journeys through the stories you read,” said Smith. “Each CCJH (student) gets to enjoy reading with a fun week to show their love. In the same week there is going to be a book fair in the library.
     “I want them to learn how to find a book that suits them,” said book club member and seventh Phillip Baker.

By Cassie Wallace
Cougar News Blog

     James Gibson, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Cactus Canyon has a new enrichment class, Study Skills Reading. The study skills classes are made to give students more motivation and interest in learning. The main goal of the new reading class is to draw students in and get them to read more often.
     Some students read independently, but there are other options for less motivated readers, including audiobooks and class sets for reading in groups. Mr. Gibson reads the same book as the group and offers support.
     Mr. Gibson hopes to encourage students who read a lot, as well as the ones who don’t.
     “People can be encouraged to read in a variety of ways,” said Mr. Gibson. “Encouraging people to read is essential in our age group. The hope is that the students find the time spent in class fulfilling, not just a time to talk and hangout with friends.”
     The class will go on until next quarter and,allows students to take different classes and have different experiences. Mr.Gibson expects that the students will take on knowledge of how reading is an “empowering activity,” and use it later in the future.
     “Often people allow themselves to be pulled into a novel or a short story through the power of imagination, the ‘take-away’ from reading is limitless,” said Mr.Gibson.
     Mr. Gibson’s reading class is an opportunity to read, and get extra reading points for the “Book Wars” program, which gives students prizes at a specific amount of AR points.
     AR points help teachers target and understand where the student’s reading level is, and if they need extra help or if they need to read different material.
     “I like this class, I think it gives students a little more time to focus on AR goals, which some students actually do care about,” said Kylie Cann.

By Natalie D.
Cougar News Blog

     Eighth graders at Cactus Canyon have been flying into history in a new way this semester in John Leal’s new study skills class.
     Leal’s new comic book class is a popular one with 36 students and the class is learning about the history of comic books and how they have been influenced by or influenced historical events. They are also learning about the first comic books, how comics are made, and, of course, the superheroes.
     “I expect my students to take away all the components of a comic book and be able to explain how they may influence comics,” said Mr.Leal.
     Students will continue this class until the end of the quarter with their new knowledge of comic books and favorite things from the class to share.
     “My favorite part of the class was learning about the superheroes,” said Aysaiah Aguilera.
     The students are learning about topics such as the first woman and first African-American portrayed in a comic book during times when women and African-Americans were not treated as equals to white men.
     For example, Wonder Woman was the first woman DC Comics published in 1941 when women were expected to work mostly in their homes. Marvel also featured African-American superheroes in the 1950s when Blacks were still experiencing segregation and racial injustices in the United States.
     “My favorite thing to teach has been the history of comics and how they have influenced historical events,” said Leal.
     Even though this class is only continuing till March, students say they would take this class again to learn more and bring friends along.
     “I would take this class again because I like learning about superheroes and recommend this class to a friend,” said Aguilera.