Sharing Learning With Our Parents: Jan. 29th – Feb. 2nd

A fresh blanket of snow always looks so nice, even if it means the streets are a little more slick than we are used to lately. My kids had a great time helping me shovel, although it did add a little more time to my job as they usually left more mess behind them. Oh well, quality time, right? As Krista was working nights this weekend we needed to keep the house quiet, so we took advantage of the free fun at the University checking out the fossils, fish, and other cool features. My kids are still as excited about elevator rides and automatic doors as they are with the t-rex or the koi fish, but the highlight for them is always going for a little treat downstairs at Lower Place Riel and playing the piano in the Arts building.

Rooooaaaaar!

Something I began to notice at the U of S on Saturday was the role my older kids were taking with the 4-year old twins. Charlie was quickly following Bobby, asking him questions, pointing exciting things out to him, occasionally annoying him, but ultimately learning from him. It was cool to hear Charlie ask him, “why is there a dead snake in there Bobby?”, only to have Bobby explain that what he was seeing was, in fact, discarded snake skin. #Sidebyside learning! What was just as cool was to see the approach Eva (7) was taking with Maggie, Charlie’s twin sister. The two of them were playing field trip and Eva was leading Maggie through the different areas, reading her the information she could and then asking her questions just like her teacher would do with her. #Engagement! The kids were creating their own learning based on their interests, and they were really into it. I wonder what would have happened if I gave them a test after? What would happen if I told them to go discover 5 facts and then report on those facts? I worry it would suck the fun right out of the afternoon.

Seeing the kids learning in action caused me to think about the ILO Sharlene was a part of last week discussing #assessment with other educators and the potential of online portfolios. When I can see my kids exploring and wondering, and when I can hear them asking questions and having discussions I am part of their learning experience. This is what Sharlene is trying to capture with her students. Obviously it is much easier with 4 kids on a Saturday afternoon than it is with 20 – 30+ kids on a hectic Tuesday morning, but does that mean we don’t try? I’m seeing more of this in other places too, like Genius Hour open houses, numerous tweets, Instagram posts, e-mails home, literacy cafes, parent volunteers, and assemblies (I know I’m forgetting others). We have so many more ways to bring evidence of our students’ learning to their world than ever before, I certainly remember the days when my parents had no clue what I was learning at school. I wonder how different my learning would have been had they been more involved? I wonder if my parents would have made different parenting choices had they known more about me? When you think about the intentional choices you make when sharing the students’ learning with their parent(s), what is working? What else do you want to try? What do you need to take that next big risk?

I’m so excited about the upcoming week, semester turn around is always a great time to reflect on how things are going and to re-calibrate as we head into the back half of the school year, much like a golfer thinks about their round after 9-holes. Hopefully you aren’t like me as a golfer, usually after 9-holes I was ready to throw in the towel! We do have an exciting week of learning though, starting with our staff PD meeting on Monday afternoon where we have two presentations taking place. Trace is going to share what he has been working on and Steve will be leading us through a book talk.

Here’s what lies ahead:

Monday:

  • staff meeting (see agenda e-mailed  on Friday)
  • final exams continue
  • classroom visits: what are the big ideas? 

Tuesday:

  • assembly with grade 3/4’s from 2:30ish to 3:00ish
  • classroom visits: what are the big ideas? 

Wednesday:

  • Prep day (EA’s at PD in Warman all day)
  • Staff supper @ 4:30pm

Thursday:

  • Semester 2 begins
  • classroom visits: what are the big ideas? 

Friday:

  • 7-12  progress reports sent home
  • Bruce in a webinar learning about My Blueprint 11:30 – 12:30
  • classroom visits: what are the big ideas? 

As always, create a great week!

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