Science, Visual Arts, and Core Competencies: Changes over time - The Story of Trees
After spending time with the provocation: “How do you show respect and responsibility for the natural world?” we read The Tree by Dana Lyons. We learned that the story is actually a song that the author believes was gifted to him by a tree. We were inspired to use our senses to listen to our own tree on our school grounds. We looked, listened, and touched a tree of choice in order to think carefully about what it might be saying to us, and captured our thinking in pictures and words. After sharing our documentation with each other, we began to wonder where our trees had come from. A sense of care and concern for our trees’ future also began to emerge. These careful observations and wonders began to come together as a timeline and we decided to share the journey of our trees. We considered: “What is the story of my tree?” as we thought about this important aspect of our local environment over time.
- I can use my senses to experience and interpret my local environment.
- I can consider some environmental consequences of my actions.
- I can show respect and responsibility for the natural world.
- I can share my ideas about a topic that is important to me.
Artifact Source: Sarah Schnare, Surrey Schools
Investigating Addition Strategies - "Showing the Knowing"
An important part of Math is showing and sharing the strategies you use to solve a problem. To do this, the class first explored a number of strategies together such as doubles, near doubles and ten friends. Students then chose a math problem and explained how they were able to solve it. Some used the strategies we explored together and some went on to create their own.
- Develop and use multiple addition strategies to 100
- Communicate mathematical thinking in many ways
- Explain and justify mathematical ideas and decisions
Artifact Source: Stacey Lamirand, Surrey Schools
February 24, 2017
Developing Scientists - Living and Non-living Things
When we went into the forest on February 16, our goal was to answer the following big question: “What makes something living?” We took pictures or things that we thought were living and non-living. We then used the app Book Creator to organize and label our pictures into living and non-living. We then challenged ourselves to look at our pictures of living things and determine the characteristics that make something living. As a class we came up with ideas which are posted below. We then recorded out thinking about why something was living or non-living using the criteria we created as a class. This was just our first experience with this, and we will keep developing our understanding of living and non-living. If you notice your child has mis-labelled something, talk to them about it as this helps develop their understanding.
- I can tell the difference between living and non-living things
- I can observe and record what I see
- I can work with others to achieve a common goal; I do my share.
- I can summarize key ideas
- I can understand and share information about a topic that is important to me.
Artifact Source: Shannon Howlett, Surrey Schools
December 17, 2016
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.
Through planning a healthy lunch today, students learned about making healthy choices and the importance of nutrition. This helps students develop strategies for making healthy eating and hydration choices to support different activities and overall health. Ask your child about the lunch and what foods they did or didn’t like.
Fine Arts Performances are not just an opportunity to be entertained (which we certainly were) but also a chance for students to learn valuable lessons. Today, we enjoyed “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” about a magician and his assistant. Each time the magician sent his assistance to complete a job, he would eventually come back and find it not completed. What the magician didn’t know was that the apprentice would send all her time practicing her own magic tricks because in reality, she really wanted to be a magician to. We talked about making assumptions, and trying to understand why people act in certain ways. We brainstormed ways in which we assume things about other people and about how often our assumptions are incorrect. Ask your child about the presentation and about the class discussion.
Today we had a puppet friendship presentation. Students learned to use the puppets to practice the seven friendship tips. We will practice these tips in our daily interactions with peers.
During the friendship presentation today, students learned different tips to start and develop friendships. Then they practiced these skills with puppets. Ask your child about a friendship tip they learned about.
We often go into the outdoor classroom in the forest next to our school. It is a calm, shaded place where students enjoy learning. Today, students explored the space and investigated different living things. They wrote and drew what they found, both plants and insects, learning about how they are connected to each other and how they interact with the environment.
We had a great time asking YES/NO questions and trying to figure out where the “mystery” class was from. We learned to ask questions, make inferences, and draw conclusions. We also continued to develop importance competencies such as communication and working with others. Ask your child about where our “mystery” class was from and how we figured out their location.
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.
Final Report on Student Learning
This year evidence of your child’s learning has been captured and shared with you through digital portfolios. This document is a summary of your child’s progress this year in relation to the learning standards of the B.C. Curriculum (what your child knows, can do, and understands) and identifies goals in preparation for Grade 4.
While viewing your child’s complete portfolio, please use this summary, as well as the parent prompts below, for a comprehensive understanding of your child’s learning. Parents and students maintain ongoing access to the portfolio from grade to grade. You are encouraged to login in at www.freshgrade.com and continue to reflect on and celebrate the learning of the past year over the summer months.
Congratulations … you are assigned to Grade 4 in September, 2017.
Have a safe and wonderful summer!
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.
Social Responsibility Self-Assessment
An important part of social responsibility is solving problems in peaceful ways. To do this, students are supported in developing an understanding that sometimes people have difference views and opinions, and are encouraged to think of, use, and decide the effectiveness of problem-solving strategies.
In our class, reading a powerful picture book, “What do you do with a problem” led to great discussions about the problems we sometimes face and how we solve them.
Students then shared personal examples of problems they have experiences and their attempts to resolve them.
“I was going to go down the slide but nobody let me.”
“I went down to the ground and talked to him.”
We use great literature, like this book, “What to do with a problem” to spark curiosity and conversation around important themes. In this example, the story helps students realize that problems don’t always have to be looked at in a negative way. Often, problems can present us with new opportunities as well.
Artifact Source: Kerri Hutchinson, Surrey Schools
November 24, 2016
Student Self-Assessment of Core Competencies
We practiced reflecting on our development in the Personal and Social Core Competency. We are learning about what it means to be socially responsible. We reflected on the “I can” statements below and chose one that we feel we are strongest in. We drew a picture of a time we demonstrated this competency and reflected on how it made us feel.
- I am kind to others and can work or play cooperatively
- I can participate in classroom and group activities
- I am aware of how other may feel and try to include them
- I can help others
- I can persevere when something is hard
Artifact Source: Shannon Howlett, Surrey Schools
November 16, 2016
Reading Fluency - "Two of the same"
Throughout the year children read a new book to the classroom teacher. The book is chosen based on the student’s reading level. We call this a ‘good fit’ book. When children begin to read, there are a number of reading strategies we want them to develop and use, including:
- Looking at the picture for clues
- Pointing to the words as they read
- Sounding out the words they do not know
- Re-read the sentence if it doesn’t make sense
- Using common sight words
How many of these strategies do you notice?
- I can read “good fit” books fluently
- I can use reading strategies to help me understand: using pictures, rereading, self-correcting, identifying familiar and “sight” words, monitoring (asking: Does it look right? Sound right? Make sense?)
Artifact Source: Kim Bomford, Surrey Schools