The new year is off to a great start. Classes have resumed after a restful break and exams are in the rearview. For the Freshmen class, their 2023 started off with J Term (which stands for January).
“The purpose of J Term is to help the freshman reset and review essential skills while also continuing to connect as a class,” says Marshall McCurties, Social Studies Faculty & DEI Curriculum Coordinator.
Students took the first two full days after break and spent time learning about things like time management and prioritization, digital citizenship, DEJI topics, and emotional well-being. These are topics that are not always taught in an academic setting but are vital to long term success. By revisiting them partway through the school year the students have had some time to live into the high school rhythm and have one set of finals under their belts to help contextualize things like use of office hours and time management.
The time also serves as a great time for the students to emotionally bond as a class and in their homerooms. This included ASB led activities like Jeopardy, capture the flag, and an exciting gingerbread decorating contest.
One activity that was particularly enjoyable for the students was the homeroom skits. Each group was tasked with coming up with and ultimately performing a skit in front of their peers. “The students were fun and creative in coming up with skits. That type of activity pushes a lot of students outside their comfort zone which is a great equalizer. Because everyone is a little uncomfortable, we can talk about how we can support each other in an authentic way,” McCurties says.
Since students will remain with the same homeroom group throughout high school, the bonds formed early on are important building blocks for the students as they enter high school. Homeroom time is often ‘down time’ for students and McCurties noted that when the homerooms were given a fun task like a skit or gingerbread house, it allowed the groups to move beyond their established routine and grow even more together.
Check out some fun photos from their activities here.