"What Matters" - Creative Writing and Core Competencies Assignment
We began working on a project inspired by the story “What Matters” by Alison Hughes and Holly Hatam. The story starts with a boy doing a small act (picking up a can and throwing it into the garbage) that the boy didn’t think mattered at all, but it did. The story follows the ripple effect of that small act, and all the ways that responsible action mattered. We were inspired by this story and after studying and discussing the core competencies about Social Responsibility and the idea that “students who demonstrate social responsibility are active, caring, and responsible members of society. They collaborate effectively with others, demonstrate a strong sense of community-mindedness, and take actions to support diversity and the environment.” We took a look at our daily lives and in our classroom, we reflected, and as a class we brainstormed some small acts that mattered, and how these acts had a ripple effect on other. For language arts, students collaborated then came up with their own ideas and created mind maps to trace their ideas and subsequent impacts and greater effects of the act. Later, students moved their ideas on to graphic organizers which helped them arrange their ideas in terms of growing impacts. Next, we moved on to writing a story and expanding on our creative ideas. We worked further on the idea of showing the reader not telling, adding sparkle words and details. Our stories needed to follow the guidelines of what is a small act that can have big consequences, and how can we all make a difference. Lastly, students were tasked with working in a group, team or individually to create final product that showed their creativity, thinking, and inspire others to do a good deed to show how we can all make a big difference. Some students chose iMovies, eBooks, PowerPoint presentations, art, or other methods to tell and share their story.
- I can use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create texts for a variety of purposes and audiences
- I can transform ideas and information to create original texts
- I can show an increasing understanding of the role of organization in meaning
- I can be part of a group.
- I can participate in classroom and group activities to improve the classroom, school, community, or natural world.
- I contribute to group activities that make my classroom, school, community, or natural world a better place.
- I can identify how my actions and the actions of others affect my community and the natural environment
- I can analyze complex social or environmental issues from multiple perspectives.
- How did you come up with your original “What Matters” small act that had a large impact?
- Why did you choose the tiny act? Why did the tiny act matter?
- In what ways did you demonstrate the core competency of social responsibility in your story?
- What are some ways that you are socially responsible? How do you see this in yourself?
- What is a goal you can set for yourself about social responsibility and how are you going to achieve this?
- What are you proud of for this writing activity?
- What is something you would like to share about your project that your audience should know?
Artifact Source: Lyndsay James, Surrey Schools
Physical & Health Education: Learning about heart rate, intensity, and exercise
Students participated in three fitness sessions at a local gym called Elevation Fitness. The sessions were presented in a “bootcamp” style with an emphasis promoting getting active, monitoring heart rates, having fun, and the ‘BIG IDEAS” that:
- Daily physical activity enables us to practice skillful movement and helps us develop personal fitness;
- Physical literacy and fitness contribute to our success in and enjoyment of physical activity; and
- Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
- I can apply methods of monitoring and adjusting exertion levels in physical activity
- I can identify and describe preferred types of physical activity
- I can participate in different types of physical activities, including individual and dual activities, rhythmic activities, and games
Artifact Source: Nina Minhas, Surrey Schools
"Two of the same": Writing from experience
Since September we have been working on developing our writing skills, learning strategies to write with greater depth and voice. We have been discussing what makes a “good” piece of writing interesting and powerful. It’s not the neat printing or the correct spelling, these are important skills, but what is most important is the way you communicate your ideas. We have talked about choosing life topics, things we know something about. This is where inexperienced writers need It’s not the neat printing or the correct spelling, these are important skills, but what is most important is the way you communicate your ideas. We have talked about choosing life topics, things we know something about. This is where inexperienced writers need start. These two Response Writes invited students to write about an experience they had. Students are learning to begin their writes with a catchy lead sentence, move to include details and examples, and end their write with a concluding sentence. Learning Standards:
- I can plan and create personal writing for different purposes and audiences
- I can communicate using sentences and most conventions of Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation
- I can advocate for myself and my ideas
Artifact Source: Kelli Vogstad, Surrey Schools
Zach writes with ease and confidence and his personality definitely shines through. In these two writes he demonstrates his ability to use a catchy lead to bring his readers into his story. He adds some interesting details and feelings to his pieces, and his conventions, spelling and punctuation, are well strong. Zach needs to bring more clarity and formality to his writing by using less back and forth dialogue with his reader, and more detail and elaboration so his writing flows more smoothly from beginning to end.
This year, we want to challenge Zach with different forms and genres of writing to develop his skills and artistry in writing strong, organized, and interesting pieces.
Zach's writing meets the learning standards and criteria for the tasks.
Student Self-Reflection: Connecting images and quotes to goal-setting
Art and literature can be combined to allow students to demonstrate their learning and goals. In this activity, students reflected on areas that they would like to develop, provided evidence, and made critical choices about images and quotes that would match their goals.
- I can express, feelings, ideas, and experiences through the arts
- I can use different processes, materials, technologies, tools and techniques to support creative works
- I can use symbolism and metaphor to explore ideas and perspective
- I can imagine and work toward change in myself and the world.
Artifact Source: Carol Kippan, Surrey Schools
Performance Scale Descriptions for Parents
This year, we will be using new performance scale language to assess student learning. We know sometimes the language we use in education is difficult to understand, so it is our hope that this brief description will help. These are a few simple phrases a student may use at each level. Detailed descriptions can be found in the graphic below.
- Emerging – “I’m just getting started”
- Developing – “I’m getting there”
- Applying – “I’m meeting the standards”
- Extending – “I’m meeting the standards and go beyond”
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.
Celebrations of Learning
Learning is a social process and takes place in all that students do. Students participate in a variety of group processes to not only learn about new things, but they activate and develop important “CORE COMPETENCIES” which are sets of skills and abilities all students need in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning.
We often play cooperative games during break times. While it looks like students are just having fun (which they are) they are developing important cooperation and critical thinking skills during these challenges. Ask your child what the group was trying to accomplish during this task? What solution did they come up with?
Not just a great photo, but a reminder that have continued to discuss the important concept of solving problems peacefully. Students were asked for examples of who they have solved problems on their own. This is how students commonly decide who will be ‘it’ first during recess and lunch games. Ask your child for personal examples of how to solve problems peacefully.
Science challenge … how many textbooks will the four eggs support? Ask your child what surprising things they discovered through this activity!
Today we participated in a powerful presentation on making local and global change. Ask your child about some of the key ideas the presenters talked about.
Remembrance Day 2016. Each class had an opportunity to present at the assembly today. Our class shared they poems they wrote about peace. Students did a great job remembering that the assembly is a ‘solemn’ event. Ask your child about why we commemorate Remembrance Day.
Students were thrilled today because it was time for ‘Reading Under the Stars’. Look at the gym – it was magical! Older students read with little buddies and model leadership, patience, and a love of reading.
NOTE: We know that through a variety of activities provided at school, students are constantly learning new things. When artifacts are loaded into portfolios without adequate documentation, we make the assumption that parents will understand the learning taking place. Without context, this can be challenging. This artifact demonstrates the concept of grouping this type of documentation, "Celebrations of Learning" into a single bucket so as to simply the portfolio. By clicking on an artifact above, notice the attached documentation that allows parents to make sense of what has been posted.
Self-assessment of Core Competencies within Mathematics
Artifact Source: Tinh Ngo, Surrey Schools
Student Self-Reflection: My One Word for 2017 Write
Every year people make New Year resolutions in an attempt to better themselves. We discussed and researched how many writers all over the year choose one word to focus on, one word to guide them throughout the year and they write about it. We also watched two interesting motivating videos. Each of us took the time to think about and carefully choose one meaningful word that we would focus on every day, all year long, a word that would help us become a better person and meet our goals. Students drafted, edited, revised with the classroom teacher during one-on-one writing conferences, and then published “My One Word” writes. The students then beautifully illustrated and coloured their words.
- I can use writing and design processes to plan, develop, and create texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, using proper sentence structure and grammar conventions
- I can advocate for myself and my ideas
Artifact Source: Kelli Vogstad, Surrey Schools