Time seems to be soaring by here at Prairie Waters! It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching the end of November already! October and November have been a time for our staff to learn about the new Communication of Student Learning. Like any new initiative, the learning curve has been fast and steep, and frustration levels have been quite a roller coaster of ups and downs – but our staff is committed to persevering. The level of collaboration and communication of tips, tricks, strategies and overall encouragement to get through these first reports has been amazing!
The new evidence summary has given our staff a great opportunity to discuss what and how we assess in our PYP Units of Inquiry. It has made grade teams think carefully and critically about the essential elements that we are teaching within the Units – Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action. Together, we created an Essential Agreement of what needs to be included in our comments in the Communication of Student Learning. We agreed that at a minimum, all teachers will comment on the current Unit of Inquiry, and a strength and/or area of growth that the teacher noticed for each student within that unit. They will also comment on the development of at least one of the Attributes of the Learner Profile that were focused on within that unit. Above and beyond that, if teachers or grade teams felt comfortable commenting on attitudes, concepts or skills that the student was working on, they may do so as well. We also spent some time connecting Rocky View’s portrait of a 21st Century Learner competencies to our Transdisciplinary Skills and Attributes. We agreed that we would connect the 21st Century categories; Ways of thinking, Ways of working and tools for working and ways of living in the world to our units to describe how they were explored. We now feel that we have good consistency across the grades for how we comment on each students’ development and growth as a learner.
Many of our classes are all a-flutter on Twitter this year, and most of our classroom blogs are now up and running. Students have begun to add pieces to their digital portfolios as well. Students are learning that there are many ways to connect, communicate and ask questions to others outside the 4 walls of our school. Here’s a list of our classes to check out on Twitter – give them a follow to keep up with their discoveries in their Units of Inquiry!