This week was an amazing week at school. I have seen some of the best work from our class and we have done some amazing things. Normally I break this down by subjects and what we have done however, for this week I am going to focus on the big things we’ve done since we just had student led conferences.
We really worked on problem solving strategies and reflecting on our learning in our journals. The first day the students struggled a little bit with the problem and digesting what was going on. They were very focused on solving the question rather than the process of solving the problem and the skills they were using. We slowed it down and broke it down using the problem solving checklist that was created. Once we got past the actual question and figuring out what it was asking us the kids really started to understand what it was that they were doing and how to explain their thinking. AMAZING.
How many ways can you explain the same thing? If you have 20 students, you can explain it 20 ways at least. In Science we looked at our check up we wrote. Instead of marking them we discussed them in table groups and as a whole class. The understanding of the concepts came, not just the facts. They really started to understand that there are different ways to explain things and it is okay.
Feedback is an important part of everything we do in our class. We have peer feedback, teacher feedback, reflections, conversations and more feedback before we even consider a piece of work close to ready for final feedback. I started pulling old assignments and giving them back to the students to rework as well. They started to see that nothing is ever finished and we can always improve. AWESOME. We also worked on giving very specific feedback. Using our summaries, we gave multiple rounds of feedback, each time looking at a different part of the criteria we created together. Here are some examples of the kinds of feedback students are now starting to give:
“Overall your summary was good. I don’t think you missed any details because I could understand what the chapter was about even though am reading a different book.”
“I really like how you used transition words to put the events in order. Maybe try using some of the ones we learned in our Writing unit next time.”
“When talking about the characters, use their names so that people who aren’t reading the book can tell them apart. That would help your summary make more sense”
The summaries that came that block after the students realized the kinds of things they wanted from their peers started to show and reflect the criteria they were even more aware about since they had to use them to give feedback on that specifically.
Student led conferences were an awesome way to hear the students use the language of inquiry, problem solving and feedback. They are doing amazing work and I am very proud of what they are doing. Thank you to all the parents and family who came out. If you could not make it and would like to reschedule, please email me and we can pick a day/time for you to come in with your child for they to share their learn with you.
1) If you can drive equipment for our Ski Day in February, that would be appreciated. Please indicate on the field trip form that you are able to do so.
2) Trickster Theatre Artist in Residence in March requires parent volunteers. I sent home a blue letter. Even if you can only come in for a day or a few hours, please do. This is a huge inquiry project for the school and requires as much support as we can get. Thanks.
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