September 18, 2019
Hello, 11th Grade Parents!

Greetings, all. I am the parent of Molly Poitras and am continuing to be the class liaison, getting teacher updates monthly and sending them to you. If you have any questions/concerns that I can help with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can contact me at .  

Read on for the teacher’s most recent reports.

Core Classes :
A summary of activities and lessons are listed under each class below. You are encouraged to check out teachers’ Digital Portfolios, which we call "DP’s" by clicking the links to find out what your student is learning at AHS.

Humanities – Sara Price (visit Sara's DP here )
Two weeks into "The Future of Labor in America" project, we are currently examining labor at the turn of the 20th century with a fine tooth comb. Using Historical Thinking Skills, we are dissecting the labor conditions and responses during the industrial revolution so we may better understand some of the challenges we will face during the "Technological Revolution". This will culminate in an in-class timed writing where students will synthesize their readings and write these important missing stories back into history using the Stanford model lesson, Opening Up the Textbook. 

Humanities – Jessica McCallum (Jessica's DP here)
Jessica's students are studying the American democratic experiment through the academic lenses of Rhetoric and Ideology. For a full description of the project, click here. You are encouraged to engage in conversations of substance with your child about American history and politics and the ways in which our interactions with rhetorical discourse shape our ideas about the world!

Chemistry -- Steve Smith (Steve's DP here )
As Americans we produce, on average, 4.40 lbs. of individual waste on a daily basis and we recycle or compost 1.51 lbs. (34%) of that waste. Throughout the fall semester chemistry students will be investigating chemistry through the complementary lenses of materials science and how we interact with the ‘single-use’ materials in our lives; whether through avoiding, reusing, recycling, down-cycling or discarding. It is my intention that students will develop an accurate and nuanced understanding of what happens to materials when we throw them in the trash or the recycling bin. Additionally, students will learn how the molecular or atomic structure of single-use materials like paper, metals or plastics dictate how we use those materials and the fate of those materials once we discard them into the trash or recycling waste stream. Students will have the opportunity to give careful consideration to their personal material ‘waste’ streams and create a large project of their own design to educate others about the potential fates of single-use materials. 

On September 12 students toured the Durango Recycling Center, Phoenix Recycling and the Bondad Landfill to have a first-hand multi-sensory experience with what happens to materials when we throw them in the trash or the recycling. I hope they have told you about what they experienced on this field trip! This field experience is complementing instruction in the chemistry classroom as well as rhetorical analysis happening in Jessica’s Humanities classes and some contextual problems in Math 3. 

On Friday September 20 the juniors will have their first lab at Fort Lewis College. In this lab students will be challenged to separate several components of a mixture into individual components based on physical or chemical properties. Students will have the option to have a standard or a challenge mixture. This process is similar to the work that happens after single-stream recyclables are collected and need to be sorted into their material type for further processing. In order to participate in this lab all students need to have their own pair of chemical safety splash goggles. Students have been told where they can purchase them and if families are unable to afford goggles students can get a loaner pair from me. Please ask your son/daughter if they have their goggles!

Up to this point in the semester we have been applying critical thinking and scientific reasoning to model or explain several different demonstrations. We have also explored how chemists represent phenomenon in three realms: the macroscopic, the particulate and the symbolic. Last week we explored the classes that materials scientists sort materials into and the important physical and chemical properties of the three materials classes: polymers, metals and ceramics/glass. Over the next several weeks we will continue to look at chemical and physical properties and change, the classification systems chemists use and the tenets of the particulate theory of matter.

Math – Julian Springer (Julian's DP here )
Our current area of focus is on functions as models. In the unit “It's a Small World, Isn't It?” we use the unit question, "How long would it take until we are squashed up against one another?” to explore functions as models for real-world phenomena. Through this lens, we explore rates of change and develop an intuitive understanding of the meaning of the derivative as a way to find precise slope. We will be applying our newfound understanding of various nonlinear functions to explore the issues that we are currently facing surrounding the population crisis, including resource shortages and the management of our waste, in all of its many forms. 

Career and College Prep :
Juniors met with our internship coordinator Janae Hunderman in late August to review the LINK Internship Program logistics and requirements. Students have also begun to schedule and attend one on one meetings with Janae to start processing their LINK ideas and next steps. It's an exciting process! Keep an eye out for emails from Janae with meeting notes and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. (Janae's DP here )

Juniors will work on college preparation curriculum with Jess Morrison on September 19 and 20. The first part of the semester will be for students to start focusing on what they want for their future and to provide space and time for them to design their ideal next step. Additionally, juniors will be encouraged to start attending visits with college admission representatives in order to start learning about different colleges and determining what they would like out of a college. Finally, save the date for the Junior/Parent night on Tuesday, October 8th from 5:30-7:30pm at Animas High School. Jess will review the college process, provide information on how to work with your students throughout the year, and give context to how Animas prepares your students for the next step. (Jess' DP here )

Special Events :
Student-Led Conferences (SLCs)s are on Thursday, October 17th from 3:30 to 6:00. These mid-semester check-ins between students and families are an important, required opportunity to have supported, structured conversations that help students reflect upon and clarify their academic and professional paths. Be on the lookout for a letter from Libby with more information about what to expect and an invitation to sign up for a time slot that works for your family.

Thanks--and let me know if there are other topics you'd like to learn more about in our monthly letters!

Margery Poitras
11th Grade Parent Volunteer