Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The big picture

Quite a busy day again today, with lots of reflection, singing and dodgeball. You know, just the essentials! The class spent a whole hour in choir, preparing songs for tomorrow's Anti-Bullying rally. The songs sound great, I can't wait to see them tomorrow. We also did lots of work to prepare portfolios and reflect on them, an activity that provided lots of good ideas and opportunity for improvement.

Students also completed some sheets that reflected on the relevance and importance of reading, writing and other skills. These will be benchmarks for the rest of the year, and we will refer back to them often. It was nice to have a chance to sit down and talk one-on-one with the students, and find out what they are interested in. I continue to be amazed by the variety of interests and skills in this class.

All parents will be shown these portfolios at parent-teacher meetings, and invited to read their child's reflections and leave their own feedback. I think that this is a very constructive way to keep everyone in the loop, and help students drive their own improvment and success. Another point I have been impressing upon students is to start taking more ownership of their own schoolwork. This could include having your child take more control of organizing their homework and agenda, and providing incentives for taking initiative at home.

I have had a lot of interest in the idea of individually-tailored projects that can be ongoing over the school year. These will range from art-based projects to math, social studies and science, and should get rolling at the beginning of Term 2. I have already spoken to some parents, but if you have an idea of a home/school project your child would enjoy, please feel free to let me know. This might be a good time to have such a discussion at home.

As an example: One student will be carrying out a Claymation animation project. He will write a script, lay out stage directions, select camera angles and create clay characters and background to create a stop-motion animation. This project will take a long time and require many steps, but is something he is interested in. It has many stages and elements, some that can be done in spare time and others that can be done at home or in class.

If you are looking for ideas, here are a few thoughts to start with.
  • Family tree
  • Plant-growth science project
  • Community history
  • Photojournal
  • Diary/journalling
  • Building an art portfolio
  • Working for a cause (environment, culture, etc.)
  • Creating a book or comic strip
  • Developing math problems for others to do
I would suggest that the project be driven by the student, focusing primarily on one of their key interests. Then, we can tailor the project to take in a variety of curriculum outcomes. This is not a mandatory activity, but I am willing to accommodate as much as possible.

For tomorrow, a few notes:
  • Students should wear their pink Anti-Bullying T-shirts and bring a pair of sunglasses for their choir performance.
  • If your child has not brought back their signed math test, please do so ASAP.
  • I have both the Blue and Yellow DuoTangs at the moment, as part of the portfolio evaluations.
  • There is no Journal de Questions assignment tonight
  • Scholastic book orders are due by Friday
Have a great Tuesday night, and talk to you tomorrow. Please cast a vote in my weekly Poll (top right corner), thanks very much!

No comments:

Post a Comment