Greystone takes on the polls!

Today students in LC 5 and LC 6 had the opportunity to vote in a mock parallel election called Student Vote. The students loved the experience. We tried to set up the voting similar to as you would see at a polling station, however we went to each class to vote. What an amazing experience for the students. I have heard amazing feedback from all the students about the process. Some of them were a little bit tired we had a lot of prep to do.  Greystone’s results will be announced Wednesday morning after the official election results are in so that students can compare their vote to the official vote. We are in the process of putting together a movie about our experience but here are some photos from our student photographers from our afternoon. Below are some of our tweets from the day.

 

 

Our Wrap Up Video:

Decision Greystone 2015 from Courtney Albrecht on Vimeo.

Our Term 2 Learning Update

Each time that I listen to the students talk about their learning, I am amazed and proud at their growth and their ability to explain their learning using the vocabulary that we use in class. Seamus and Cailynne had the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Cameron about feedback and how it helps us grow in our learning. When Mrs. Cameron told me the story, I was so impressed with their description. They described like climbing a staircase and each feedback loop allowed them to move to the next step. It was phenomenal to hear. I have since used that example to explain to teachers in other districts about the work that we do.

For this video, the students put together their ideas. My job was simply to hold the camera still and put photos and video together in a format we could share.

LC 5A learning for term 2 from Courtney Albrecht on Vimeo.

I am so proud of the students and can’t wait to see what Term 3 brings in our #bestyearever

Innovation Week at GCMS

There have been many questions regarding innovation week. One of our LC 5 teachers, Ms. Ariss wrote an excellent explanation on her blog had allowed us to repost it. You can find the original post here.

Innovation Week at GCMS kicks off tomorrow morning for all students interested in inquiry, project-based, problem-solving and the innovative creation process. We have a unique opportunity at GCMS to implement this incredible week-long program that challenges students to question, investigate, process, create and share in teams on areas of deep interest.

Here is a video from previous Innovation Weeks held at GCMS:

The theme for Innovation Week 5 is “How Do I Learn?” and students will be reflecting on this theme daily via their blogs.  This allows for the students to take away a greater understanding of themselves as learners and how sharing their learning while being open to receiving and providing feedback will allow for growth.

Tomorrow morning all interested students will be brought together to submit a proposal based on the following criteria:

  • What is your guiding question?
  • What is your plan for the project?
  • What will you do to prepare for your project? What research or preparation will you need to do? What resources will you access?
  • Will you connect with an outside expert? If yes, who will your expert be? How will your expert assist you? How and when will you connect with your expert?
  • What will you need to move from the preparation to the action phase for your project? How will you move from research to actually creating your project?
  • Materials you will provide
  • What will you create as a final product?
  • Who is your audience and how will you present your learning?

Following the completion of their proposal, students will be guided by teachers through the Ideation and Prototyping stages. They will use their guiding question that they developed and come up with 100 ideas to help answer that guiding question in a constrained set of time. Students will also need to produce a drawing of their prototype.

Students will have to submit their group proposal based on the above criteria however their projects can centre around any topic, idea or passion they have and would like to explore. Innovation week ties directly with Alberta’s Cross Curricular Competencies. Innovation Week provides our students with opportunities to experience one or more of the following competencies:

  • Know how to learn
  • Think critically
  • Identify and solve complex problems
  • Manage information
  • Innovate
  • Create opportunities
  • Demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others

Innovation week officially begins the last week before our holiday break from Dec. 15-19th. All participating students will spend that entire week working in teams with teacher and expert guides on their projects. On Friday Dec. 19th, we will host an open Gallery Walk to showcase their projects from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm. We hope to see you there!

Students who will not be participating will continue with alternate learning activities.

If you’d like more information or want to see previous student projects and learning from Innovation Week, please visit Mr. Mclean’s Blog: http://jessepmclean.com/tag/innovation-week/

Our November

Where did the month go? We have been very busy in our classroom.

Here’s a look at our month in review from Twitter.

The kids have had a chance to look at their report cards and ask questions. There really shouldn’t have been any surprises as Feedback is a big thing in our class. If there were surprises, we looked at their work and it made sense to the students. A few students were positively surprised, they had not pieced together how much growth has made. Make sure you read the curriculum letter about what we have done in Term 1 and where we are going in Term 2.

Goal Setting Conferences

Thank you parents for coming out to our goal setting conferences.

As a class, we worked hard to set our goals. We even came up with criteria for setting out goals. We were all proud to share these goals with our parents the last couple of nights. These goals will help direct our Best Year Ever here at Greystone.

 

We feel that goals should be

  • Reasonable
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Challenging
  • Appropriate
  • Personal

 

A big thank you for those who added to our board of questions from the statement “A World Without Canada”. There are some amazing questions on there.

Our back-to-school so far…

The first two weeks has been a great experience. 5A and 5F are temporarily sharing the music room until our space just off the purple pod is ready for us. Boy, are we excited! Despite having 44 kids in one room, 2 teachers and sharing a hallway with the grade 9s, the students are working great together. Everyone is still getting used to being in middle school but I am seeing growth in the students everyday.

Week 1 we focused on how to make this the Best Year Ever – that feedback will help shape our time shared and lead to a good transition once we head out to our new classroom.  We’ll be adding to the #gcmspride on twitter as we get comfortable

Week 2 as a group, we have looked at Peer Feedback and what makes good feedback. We’ve summarized it pretty good into this chart, though we have added that positive feedback can also be a suggestion for improvement if we word it properly.

Effective Peer Feedback

 

We have also learned about the Scientific Method in science and how it relates to being a good scientist, brainstormed questions to ask Cst. Lucas when we have our video call with him next week about digital citizenship, had a class meeting and looked for ways to work cooperatively, and also got all set up on Google Docs. We’re still working out the kinks to all this technology use but slowly, we will get there. Having a class blog set up was a big step.

We’re just getting started on our #BestYearEver