This Year’s Goals included: We can commit to actively participate on a learning team which will focus on action research. We can continue our commitment to the implementation of the 6+1 Writing Traits into our LA programs. We can commit to researching, discussing and experimenting with the research based “promising practices”. We can commit to examining Key Vocabulary and developing grade level list addressing Math and Social. We can commit to developing our grade books to track learner outcomes. We can commit to understanding the research surrounding 21st century learners and the implications this has for teachers and students. What will be the effect on Student Achievement if WCPS systemically implements researched based “Promising Practices” in instructional design?”
“I think that we are very lucky to have embedded Learning Team times. I find this time very valuable. As a teacher, I took many ideas and incorporated them into my classroom instructional design. We at ELUES are doing many great things and it is very valuable for us to have this time to have such rich conversations and are able to “show case” our learning and share with others.” “I really enjoyed this goal. This was an opportunity for me to really analyze my teaching practices. Moreover, it was a chance for me to add to my teaching toolbox. The video we created as a class really helped reinforce the variety of teaching practices that take place in my classroom. I enjoyed researching learning strategies such as: organizers, questioning techniques, cooperative learning and journaling. I plan on continuing the use of these strategies and exploring new ones next year. I am really interested in merging these strategies with Web 2.0 programs.”
“I LOVED the staff presentations! What an awesome way to bring the learning team focus areas to life! The presentations were outstanding!” Staff Collaboration is a strength Learning teams and embedded meeting times proved to be very successful again this year!
What does good learning look like? (Rubrics and exemplars) Where are students relative to the outcoe…a pre-assessment phase? Revisit outcomes to think about Instructional design. (Learning styles, complexity) Selection of initial input structure for new knowledge What evidence will show that students have met the outcomes? The12 Componentsof an Excellent Learning Environment Student opportunity to interact and practice with new knowledge to develop fluency Outcomes are clear to the student. Classroom structure, peer relationships, culture of school and student strategies. Studentopportunity to experiment with or use new knowledge more deeply Plan to assist students when the outcome is not being met… a new course of action Constant assessment feedback so students can modify learning efforts. Final evaluation on authentic compilation of assessment devices
Outcomes are posted, accessible and referenced regularly. “I CANS are now on all of the assignments that I pass out and on all of my tests. They are posted in my classroom and I talk about them with my students. I feel that I am much more aware of the curriculum and probably a better teacher because of that. I CANS are recorded in my mark book for each individual student for math and LA and are then transferred to their portfolio at the end of the year. I also put a covered sheet of I CANS for each science unit in their portfolio that shows exactly how they scored on a particular outcome when it was assessed.”
TWO – Evidence to show how outcomes will be met Evidence of:
THREE – Pre Assessment – Where is each student’s learning relative to the outcome 6 +1 Writing Traits sharing at PD Day - favorites “Still love this approach to teaching writing.” “I have really ‘bought into’ the 6+1 Writing program and my English and French writing programs are largely based on this system. I have seen that it really benefits my students’ skills.” Year Two Evidence of:
Five -Teacher designs the unit of instruction to meet the learning outcomes(s) WAIT TIME… January 31 – PD Day Learning Team Focus Research Based Strategy: Questioning and Engagement Focus Questions: What does “I manage response rates during questioning (multiple students respond to questions, response cards, etc.) look like in your classroom? When learners are involved in questioning strategies, it looks like….? How/where does this strategy fit into your math or social units? February – PD Day Sharing “I manage response rates during questioning” Barb, Bobb and Colleen Bruce, Paula and Heather Evidence of:
“I found myself checking and counting more with wait time and using different strategies to pick students to respond to questions.” “Being aware of wait time, I have had this be a focus most of the year. I use whiteboard approach and most recently introduced the ‘countdown bomb’ strategy from learning team presentations.” Commercials this year
Six – Introduction of New Knowledge November 16, 17, 18 – Learning Team Focus Research Based Strategy: Cues, Questions and Advance organizers Focus Questions: What does “I help students preview content in a variety of ways (advance organizers, KWL, preview questions)” look like in your classroom? When learners are previewing content, it looks like………….? How/where does previewing content fit into your units of study (provide examples)? January 31 – PD Day Sharing “I help students preview content in a variety of ways”: Brenda and Nicole Cathy, Wendy and Rob Ian May 6 – PD Day Research Based Strategy: Student Engagement Focus Questions: What does “I present unusual or intriguing information to “hook” the students” look like in you classroom? When learners are presented with unusual or intriguing information it looks like…..? How/where does this strategy fit into your math or social units? Nellie McClung Jacqueline Guest The key this year was quick transitions and life-applicable hooks (“Have you ever seen/done/been to…?) where students could talk about their personal experiences.” “Inquiry questions are often used to introduce a topic and visual displays, videos, clips from You Tube, pictures help to build interest in the students and cue them as to what is going to be studied in the unit.” “Having two Cree, two Metis and one Korean student in the class made study of cultural groups and their unique heritage and contributions an important and personal way to start the study of Alberta. It also helped support the learning during our author visit with Jacqueline Guest.”
SEVEN –Student opportunity to interact with, or practice the new knowledge January 11, 12, 13 Learning Team Focus Research Based Strategy: Non linguistic Representations, Summarizing and Note taking Focus Questions: What does “I teach students how to record and represent knowledge (summarizing, note taking or non linguistic representation) look like in your classroom? When learners are recording and representing knowledge, it looks like….? How/where does recording and representing knowledge fit into your units of study (provide examples)? February – PD Day Sharing ideas Sharing “ I teach students how to record and represent knowledge”: Marlene, Leslie and Alana Shannon and Shelly
EIGHT – Designing learning opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of new knowledge April 15 -PD Day Research Based Strategy: Collaborative Learning Focus Questions: What does “I strategically organize students to practice and deepen knowledge (groups designed to review or practice skills) look like in your classroom? When learners are working in groups it looks like…..? How/where does this strategy fit into your math or social units “I have managed to keep this goal in mind when forming groups throughout the year. I have used the SMART tools Group Generator many times this year ahead of time and reshuffled the groups to get the groups I want. I have tried to mix groups randomly, mix kids who work well together and avoid those who don’t ‘mix’. I have created some leveled groups for some reading activities and many times in math, allowing for enrichment and remediated activities.”
EIGHT – Academic VocabularySpecifically focused on Math and Social “I really felt that the focus on academic vocab was super important, especially in French Immersion where the majority of vocab was new to students with each unit.”
EIGHT – Academic VocabularySpecifically focused on Math and Social I shared my goal with my students and asked for some feedback from them:
“I know my science words better this year. I liked drawing pictures, they helped me.”
“This helped me because of drawing our pictures.”
“I did know more words for science than math. I learned way more words this year from last year.”
“I learned from ___ new words like axle, fulcrum, biodegradable and I just love the new words I learned.”
“I learned lots of new words like renaming, levers and some more.”
“She helped me learn new science and math words by saying them a lot.”
“I loved the vocabulary sheet because I’m not good at memorizing what things mean so I could just look it up.”
“Academic vocabulary was very much a focus for me this year.”
PD days Smart boards Blogging Parent Council EIGHT – Digital Citizenship and Web 2.0 “I think one of the biggest changes in my teaching this year was incorporating my smart board. It was amazing how the students that didn’t usually participate much in class jumped at the chance to come up and use the board.” “…the focus seemingly shifted through the year to Digital Citizenship.” “was more aware of Internet safety discussions that needed to happen with students, completed an Internet safety mini unit in Health.” “I think I finally woke up to discover that I am living in the 21st century and it is about time that I start accepting and working with technology instead of avoiding it….what I lack is time to explore these possibilities.” “Having the Smart board in the classroom added an interesting element and gave new life to my lesson plans as it became a teaching/learning tool that certainly engaged the students.”
NINE - Formative Assessment Feedback October 26, 27, 28 – Learning Team Research Based Strategy: Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback Focus Questions: What does “ I track student progress using formative assessment” look like in your class? When learners use formative assessments or feedback in your class it looks like……………….? How/where does formative feedback fit into your units of study (provide examples)? January 31 – PD Day Sharing ideas: Sharing “I track student progress using formative feedback”: Larissa and Megan Derek and Denise Maryann and Joanna Evidence of:
TEN – Remediation and Pyramid of Intervention December 3 – PD Day ESL Benchmark training AM “Having an ESL student in the classroom also changed lesson presentation for me this year. We needed a focus on vocabulary (both content and academic) so using graphic organizers; cooperative learning; think, pair and share and summarizing were crucial to support the student’s understanding and progress in the English language and grade 4 curriculum.” Do these instructional strategies effect student achievement? Absolutely. Using a variety of different approaches engages students in the process of learning no matter what their learning style is. Some strategies are said to be more effective because studies show that they yield a higher percentile gain for students. I don’t always choose those strategies because I find that some strategies work better with different groups of kids. This year, I had to differentiate a lot to meet the needs of my students. I had some very high achieving students who complete tasks fairly easily. For those students, we worked on individual projects (anchor activities). I also had some very low students who needed a lot of additional support. As a result, I focused a lot on hands on activities where students had to represent their knowledge using webs, diagrams, charts and tables We also focused on learning groups where students were able to work with individuals at their own personal level, and then in groups where they were able to support each other. Evidence of:
Service Learning Projects Citizenship Theme Days Spring Fling Dance Clubs and Groups Student of the Month Quality Citizen of the Month Ryan Lee Rice Award Intramurals Mock Rock Drumming Concert Music Concerts French Immersion Concert Clubs and Groups Breakfast Program After School Sports
Additional PD Opportunities Smartboards Middle Years Conference Coaching Leading and Learning Impact of Domestic Violence on Student Learning Michelle Bourba Western Admin Conference Still covering most of our PD in house!
“I enjoyed this very much. I look GREAT!! Ha, ha, this is was good and bad. I enjoyed seeing my interaction with the kids, a bit too much time at the front of the room rather than circulating, but I seemed to still have a handle on the kids.”
“I also was reluctant to video but I found the experience very worthwhile. My videotape-ographer was more focused on the kids than me, but I learned lots just by watching the kids. In the video we were doing an experiment and the kids were in groups all over the place….it was so neat to view what was going on in other groups, words the kids used, strategies they had in place for group work, all when I wasn’t standing with them. That was powerful and made me proud of my students. I realized that I sound a lot like my sister when I talk!”
Where are weheaded? Goals to continue for This Year : Continued commitment to Instructional Strategies and purposeful implementation. Commitment to continue and highlight 6+1 Writing Traits. Commitment to purposefully implement academic vocabulary.
Where are weheaded? Goals to addressfor This Year: Commitment to integrating digital citizenship outcomes for all students. Commitment to experimenting with and integrating Web 2.0 as an Instructional tool. Commitment to familiarize staff with WCPS Excellent Learning Environments framework. Commitment to learning about Inclusive Education Framework.
Works in Progress The 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship