Recently we had session 2 of our Communicating Learning via ePortfolios Team. When I wrote up this session to post for the group, it struck me that these thoughts applied to everyone especially at a time when we’re all focused on assessment, report cards and all the things that come with the process.
- Learning is doing
- Learning starts with the learner’s own ideas
- Learning involves getting personally involved
- Questions drive learning and are also outcomes of learning
- Learning involves uncovering complexity
- Learning can be a group process and a group outcome
- Learning and thinking can be made visible
How might these ideas affect the way you approach a Fast ForWord learning environment, an assessment environment or what this means to think well (critically, creatively)? If you know your “why”, it’s easier to frame the assessment. I’m especially captivated by “questions drive learning and are also outcomes of learning”. Not the teacher’s questions but student’s questions.
We’d love to have your thoughts on this through the comment feature here.
In partnership with Ron Coleborn (Math consultant), we are pleased to announce two Math softwares available for teachers:
- Dreambox Learning (Math)
- Skoolbo (Math and Literacy basic skills) (Canadian version)
DreamBox is an online Math resource (K-8) intended to support personalized instruction for students from intervention to enrichment. The ongoing formative assessments within the program can align classroom practices and lessons creating a blended model of instruction. Some of our schools have been using the program in pilot and can share their stories. A small number of purchased student licenses are available. More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > DREAMBOX LEARNING). Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page.
Skoolbo (Canadian version)(K-5) is now available for those who are seeking practice in basic skills in Math or Literacy (building blocks). This is an online resource that provides a “game type” environment to hone basic skills. Create your avatar and the program can take you through the skillsets (based on a set of pre-tests). Or a teacher can assign specific content where practice is needed. This may enhance (RTI) Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports. We’ve registered all schools (elementary and secondary). More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > SKOOLBO). Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page for a class account.
Watch for a full launch in September. Perhaps I see a coordinated song and dance in the future?
Welcome back. Exciting things are afoot… This month is all about connecting and relationship building. Behind every one of those faces are stories waiting to be heard.
Changes to both our infrastructure and Fast ForWord content is going to make this an exciting year. If you are interested in having this program in your building, please contact me (there will be training in October). If you are a continuing site, here are some possibilities to consider:
- new 3 day protocol with 40 minutes or 90 minutes available (*consider getting as close to 200 minutes/week as your goal for success). This may provide timetable flexibility to some sites.
- new reports – detailing immediate achievement
- Raz-Kids (our famous online support for reading fluency and comprehension) has changed its weblink and management look. New weblink is: kidsa-z.com (Please ensure that you have changed your links on class blogs and school websites.) This program is great for classroom teachers. Applications are found > FORMS
- ARC-BC – register for a new year. Information and training: http://www.arc-bc.org/
- New BC curriculum – get the latest to explore – https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/
Around this time of year, the terms of celebration, reflection and sharing, become even more of a focus. It’s almost cyclical in nature. Beyond the “let’s have a party to showcase all the end products”, I wonder about the little things. Things like perseverance and tenacity and the courage to turn around and face the dragons of failure. I wonder how those are recognized and celebrated in such ways as to give them power. I wonder if we truly understand how much effort is needed for some of our students to acquire the smallest of steps (though mountains to them). I wonder if the students believe it when we congratulate them on achieving those steps. I wonder how we take that spark, started with determination and sometimes “downright fear” and lift it up so they can share their success in ways that help others grow and gives dignity to the learner.
I doubt there is one answer. Many ideas come to mind, past and present. While these may be overt and probably fun, they may yet capture the essence of the journey. How do you grow and share the sparks?