Hopefully everyone is back up to speed after the Christmas break and things are going well with your classes. Technically, the days are getting longer, but you’d be hard pressed to know it given the temperatures we’ve been dealing with. Oh well, it’s great for those with outdoor rinks or a penchant for ice fishing. I’ve been enjoying the pictures my brother has been posting from Mexico as he is on a nice holiday with some friends of his from BC. Unfortunately this is as close as I’ll get to Mazatlan for a while!
It is assessment time at Waldheim School, as elementary teachers are gearing up for their first round of reading assessments and high school teachers are putting the final wraps on semester one. As there are only 3 weeks until semester two, students may be feeling the stress as final exam week closes in. Please make sure you are taking the time to ensure students who are missing assignments have an opportunity to finish those up so they are not facing a mountain of work at the last minute. If you have any concerns about students not successfully completing their course work please connect with Chris or I this week.
The end of semester one gives us an opportunity to reflect on the risks we’ve taken and lessons we’ve learned. The cover photo this week is from Krysten’s Biology 30 class, and it is an example of the hands on learning that is happening all over the school. The kids were busy extracting DNA from saliva samples and what caused me to stop and take that picture was the amount of laughter that was going along with the lesson. Who said learning can’t be fun? As you think about the first 5 months of this school year, what lessons have really stood out? Which ones will you try to re-invent next year? Hopefully you are able to find the fun like the Bio class did.
Semester two offers us a chance to try those changes we want to, the changes to how we teach and how we assess. We have done a lot of talking this year about student centered learning and utilizing the workshop model to help all of our students reach their full potential. During semester two we will begin our peer/peer observations and it is an excellent opportunity to have a second set of eyes in the room to offer feedback as you explore new methods. Learning link one is a presentation on using the workshop model in a math class, and as this is something we have discussed with Karen Campbell I thought it might be a useful resource for those of you starting down that path. Regardless of where your focus lies, hopefully the peer observations will be another opportunity to grow as a professional. I’m excited to be part of this process, if the book study is any indication, this too will be an excellent adult learning opportunity.
Here’s what lies ahead for this week:
As always, create a great week!
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