Monday, April 23, 2012

What a Day of Learning!

Last Friday our staff engaged in the Sharing Our Learning Day   - a staff driven and owned pro-d day. The day was full engagement and relevance to our specific needs as a school community.

Below is summary of the topics discussed and shared as well as some of the feedback given by the staff.

Student Engagement Team
There is a widespread sense that traditional student motivation techniques are becoming less and less effective. In this session we will examine some current work on student engagement and discuss some research-based strategies for increasing it in the classroom.

We also surveyed a representative sample of our students about their own engagement. Curious about the results? Come and see! This session will include a short presentation, discussion and doughnuts.

Literacy Team
This team has been meeting for two years now. The team is comprised of teachers from each department in the school. Their goal was to determine the literacy skills of our current grade 8 students and work to implement various interventions. Later in the school year, the team will conduct a another assessment to measure any improvement in the students. The team shared the resulst and the various interventions they used in class. They recommended that each Department team adopt a literacy based SMART Goal in the 2012-2013 school year. They also shared specific teaching tools to assist teachers in teaching specific literacy related skills across curricular areas

Technology Team (Web Site Creation)
We hope our presentation will be practical and useful for anyone interested or just curious about making their own class website. We will be sharing our experiences with creating our own class websites using Google docs and We hope to convince all that will listen of the value in creating your own website. Check out the Prezi here

Technology Team (Document Publication/Sharing, School Email Capabilities, and Online Team/Club Management)
This will be a quick overview of some of the existing technologies available to the staff and students in the school.
Teachers will learn how to make documents accessible to students almost immediately (e.g. a worksheet that absent students can access from home the same day it is given in school).
Teachers will learn how to make the most of the existing student email service. (
An online team/club management service (TeamSnap) will be demonstrated.

Personalized Learning Team
Personalized learning for each student in British Columbia means a shift from a set of broad, uniform learning outcomes and courses, to learning that is increasingly student-initiated and self directed.
It is learning that is co-planned with students, parents, and teachers. What might this look like for us?
We will present the ministry document on personalized learning and discuss the ways in which we might put it into practise at St. Pat’s.

Problem Based Learning
My Pro-D presentation will involve everyone learning about the Problem Based Learning model I've used in the same format I taught my Physics class with. We'll apply techniques of Problem Based Learning and Social Learning theory to learn how to apply these theories in ways that get students active and involved.

AFL Team
This year the AFL community has been exploring Assessment OF Learning from the p.o.v. of AFL. For example, aligning AFL (formation) with AOL (evaluation) within the current constraints of report cards, grades, etc… Is there a difference between Learning and Grading?

Teachers will be provided with a listing (sampling) of multimedia resources that have informed our dialogue (e.g. Rick Wormeli, Dylan Wiliam, Douglas Reeves, Joe Bower, etc…).

The Feedback
Here is a sampling of the one word responses from various teachers who were in attendance:
informative (4)
productive (2)
awesome (3)

Final Thoughts
I consider myself fortunate to work with such a dedicated and hardworking group of teaching professionals. The process of Building Experts confirmed that if given the right conditions (time, focused energy, autonomy, purpose and trusting relationships) pro-d from "within" can cause the shifts in learning that are enduring, sustainable and relevant to the needs of each school.

As we plan ahead for the 2012/2013 school year, I am excited to build up the success of this year and to hosting "Sharing Our Learning Part 2"

1 comment:

  1. Wow Johnny! Sounds like an awesome day. I think I need to come back and sit down with the student engagement team, personalized learning team, and AFL team to add to my knowledge base. Kudos to all for their efforts.