Monday, March 21, 2011

Personalized Learning, Performance Standards and Visual Arts

For years, we have been saying that the BC performance standards are an invaluable resource for teachers, parents, and learners. Based on the judgment of hundreds of teachers, the performance standards create a shared set of understandings about what quality work looks like. With recent updates in Reading and Writing, and work underway in Numeracy K-12, the Performance standards just keep getting stronger. A key aspect of personalized learning is developing the skill in learners to coach themselves. The Ministry has just released Visual Arts K-7 formative assessment standards. We are confident that this resource will be extremely useful as a coaching tool for both learners and teachers. Let us know what you think.

Getting to Graduation

The BC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development!
(BCASCD) is sponsoring a dinner presentation on Getting to Graduation
featuring Gayle Bedard (District Principal, Aboriginal Education,
Surrey), Perry Smith (District Principal, Aboriginal Education, Abbotsford)
and Caroline Mahlman (District Principal, Aboriginal Education,
Sunshine Coast), on April 7 at Heritage Park Secondary in Mission.
Registration begins at 5:30 pm, dinner is at 6 pm and the presentation begins
at 7 pm. Registration is $50 and more information is available at http:// or

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Key Questions

Many of you have been working with the three key learning questions for student engagement and ownership: Where are you going with your learning? How is it going? Where to next? Here are some suggestions as you 'listen for' evidence of learning. We look forward to hearing what you are learning as you work with these questions.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Network Learning Opportunities

The Network seminar, May 15-16 is going to provide a great opportunity to learn from some of the schools in BC at the leading edge of personalizing learning. In addition, Lorna Earl, Kim Schonert-Reichl, Helen Timperley, Alma Harris and Laura Tait will be working with us to create deep and sustained learning connections. Hope to see many of you there!

Here's a link to the blog by John Medina, author of Brain Rules. His work on learning and neuroscience is important and easily accessible. Check it out!

This morning I (Judy) attended a healthy living inquiry session at Vancouver Island University featuring the work of Grade 3, 4, and 5 students at Randerson Ridge Elementary School. The work of these students was deep, thoughtful, and inspiring. I had a chance to ask some of the students the three key questions: Where are you going with your learning? How is it going? Where to next? One young boy in Mary Lynn Epps class answered this way:
"I am learning to write with more flow and more detail. I am using the criteria Ms. Epps gives us to see how I am doing. First, I write a bit. Then I look at the criteria to see how I am doing and what is missing. Then I write some more. I usually do this three or four times until I get my final draft. I am working on my 4 C's, in particular becoming more cooperative. I am pretty good at working with the person next to me in class but I need to work on making more of a contribution in a bigger group."
It is impossible to get thoughtful answers to these questions unless the learners are clear on what is is they are intended to be learning, the criteria for determining the quality of their work, and descriptive feedback that helps them figure out their next step. I think that Donovan has a pretty clear idea.
What do you think?