January 24, 2017
At Cherry Gulch, one of the main goals is to keep our boys interested in school. Many of the boys that come to us struggle in school for various reasons, and find it difficult to enjoy school. The Cherry Gulch Academic Team works hard to overcome these obstacles. They create lasting bonds and relationships with the boys. Our teachers accomplish this by taking time to get to know each and every boy at Cherry Gulch. They are assigned advocate groups and work with the therapists to help our boys to succeed in school. Most of all, they use fun and inspirational tactics and offer engaging electives. These electives take place on Fridays in two 90 minute blocks of time.
Students can choose two different electives each semester. During the summer session, students can earn the chance to take up to six different elective classes. These electives are carefully orchestrated and offer the teachers the chance to show off and share some of their own passions and hobbies. This allows our teachers to connect with our boys, even more. Below are some of the amazing electives that our teachers have offered throughout the school year.
Visual Arts: Students will explore various aspects of visual arts in this multi-faceted course. Focus will be placed upon the following topics: conceptual art theories; art history (derived from covered topics); themes in artwork; and the ability to analyze, interpret, and make knowledgeable judgments about works of art. Students will utilize a variety of media when creating their own works of art.
“This Class is a Mystery” (Problem-Solving Class)
The students in this class will be confronted with a series of complex mysteries which they will have to solve using their critical and creative problem solving skills. This is all they will know heading into the class, so please help me maintain secrecy and build anticipation!
We will be investigating several items from The Mysterious Package Company (mysteriouspackagecompany.com) which will introduce us to the mystery of the King in Yellow. Throughout the experience, we will receive numerous weathered and aged background materials, documentation, and rare discoveries, shedding some light on the King in Yellow, his acolytes, and one Robert W. Chambers, who in 1895 inked a collection of short stories surrounding the mysterious monarch. I can’t wait to see the students’ reactions when a large crate arrives ominously upon our doorstep!
This class will be heavy in academic skills development – including conducting research and direct instruction in creative and critical thinking skills such as sequencing, observation, and inferencing – but will be creatively packaged to engage their interest.
Bowling- For the bowling elective we will be going to Nampa Bowl. We will be bowling from 10am to 12pm and the students will learn proper techniques on how to roll a bowling ball with accuracy. We will start with basics such as where to position the fingers and then progress into learning how to curve a bowling ball with a fast pace roll.
T.A.R.C (Team America Rocketry Challenge). The boys will be breaking up in to groups and assembling large rocket kits. These rockets will have certain specifications (height, hang time, and no broken cargo) they need to make to have a qualifying run. We will launch 3 or 4 times at the Emmett Cycle park during the semester.
Computer Coding: Students will complete at least two 20 hour courses that teach them the ins and outs of computer coding. This class is self-paced and some will only get through the courses, while others will have opportunities to create actual programs with what they have learned. Sites used for this class will be Code.org, and Codeacademy.com.
DC Underground: DC Underground is a trip prep class that will provide context for our upcoming June trip to Washington, D.C. We will focus on the historical and geographical importance of Washington D.C., and orient the boys to the cultural importance of our nation’s capital. As the class progresses, we will focus on the “underground” portion of our trip, which exposes the boys to the lesser known but fascinating stories and sites in Washington, D.C.
Secrets of World War I and World War 2: The students in this class will see a more human side to the two most influential conflicts of the modern era. We will focus on unsung heroes, spies, mysteries, and hidden secrets of the war. Students will review the causes and effects of the wars to ensure their proper comprehension of the topic. We will play a game called Diplomacy, which exposes the boys to the delicate balance of alliances which led to the outbreak of World War 1. Students may also get the opportunity to construct a historical diorama that exhibits a significant moment in World War history.
Skiing/Snowboarding: This is the first year that CG has offered a ski class and I couldn’t be more excited! We will get up to the mountain around 10:00, enjoy a two hour private group lesson, free ski for two hours and then head back to campus! I am a PSIA certified ski instructor and will be coaching the skiers during free ski time. Ms. Bonnie will be coaching the snowboarders and we will have therapists there on occasion to help out as well.