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Friday, November 25, 2016

Do Educators Model Self-Assessment?

Are we are reflecting enough on our practice? If so, what else can we do to model our reflection practices? Everyone needs time for reflection (teachers, students, admin) by writing and reflection on what is being learned.

As educators, this can be something we model. We do self-assess informally - talk with our PLN about strategies, evaluate how a lesson went, replay scenarios in our heads... and then use that reflection to plan our next lessons and units. We do this on a regular basis as it has become part of our own learning environment.

However, do we model enough to our students? Do our students see it? Do we make our reflections public? If we want students to be able to reflect and self-evaluate - and see why it is an important process - we need to demonstrate how it is critical to our practice. 

Self-assessment shouldn't just be at the end, but done many times throughout the entire process to help us stay engaged and on track.

Examples of technologies that promote self-assessment and reflection include:

Blogs -get your thoughts down on virtual paper and reflect publicly on what went right, and what went wrong

Online discussions - seek input on said blog, and respond to comments. Show thinking when in discussion with someone from your PLN

File sharingwork with another colleague on a lesson or unit-explains your thinking

Google Forms – do a post survey with your audience on what worked and what didn't work? Seek out feedback and allow them to see you take it in to consideration to guide you for your next steps

Google Sheets - lets you look at things in a pro vs. con, yes vs no, right vs. wrong perspective

Portfolios - Portfolios are a great way to share this knowledge and will actually develop one’s own understanding of what they know

At the end of each term, I always take the time to work through with my staff on the SIP and re-examine the goals. It is important to assess and reflect on our quantitative and qualitative data as we move into the second phase of the school year both as a school team and individually. This gives us feedback on how our progress, how are we learning together, and what we need to do to move forward.

Friday, November 18, 2016

21st Century Learning Foundations & 21st Century Learning Conditions

The school just completed its 1st round of Professional Learning Network visit and the principal team observed all the high-level of learning. It is evident that the teachers are incorporating the 21stC Learning Foundations (What we want our learners to be able to do?) and embracing the Learning Conditions (How can we create these conditions to support all learners?) as part of our strategic plan.
In the midst of the demand and stress of Progress Reports, the teachers here continue to show a responsibility toward their and commitment on what we want our students to experience: the 21st C Learning Foundations: Belonging (sense of connections), Engagement (sense of involvement), Expression (sense of listening and being heard) and Well-Being (sense of self). Moreover, they are creating conditions that are supporting all learners: Responsive Relationships and Interactions, Learning Through Exploration and Inquiry, Environment Supports Learning and Thinking Pedagogical Documentation and Reflective Practice.

As we move toward the next round of SIP we are keeping in mind that are our students going to be able to build these competencies and continue to focus on: Voice, Choice, Classroom Reflection, Opportunities For Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Self-Assessment, and Connected Learning.

The community already observes this evidence of 21st C learning through the teacher’s Social Media feeds. As we move toward our Celebration of Learning next week the community will be able to share in this “Culture of Collaboration” experience on this day.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

What technology are you using to communicate to your parents?

In one of the sessions I attended on our PA day October 25, I was surprised by the number of people who are not using Twitter as a means of communicating with our parents. Moreover, I was even more disappointed with the number of educator who are not using a form of electronic software to communicate to their parent’s altogether.
We live in age where we rely on technology to communicate the learning of our students and even our own learning.  Twitter has been around for 10 years and wonder why educators have not jump on board to utilize its features.  My staff have really worked hard at capturing student learning and communicate their documentation through video newsletters. They all use various forms of applications such as: Remind, Blogs, e-mail lists, and Seesaw. All of the applications answer what parents are wondering, “What is my child learning?”
If you are not using technology to communicate to your parents, what are you using?
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