Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Innovation Grant - What our Departments are Working on....

Innovative Summary of your Department Continue

this is a continuation of the last blog where our departments updated the school on the different areas of study or change (Innovation) that was taking place in their area.  This sharing helps our school keep updated, helps in our Individual Goals (so we internally network and share), and helps up help each other.

In no order of importance, just teachers taking turns, here is what else is happening in our school.

Physical Education
  • Grade 8 and 9’s together.  Reorganize students in more meaningful ways.  Pooling classes together, with  Separating students on fitness levels.  Students like the variety of options. choices
  • Also doing 2 fitness days per week, culture changed this year.  It was previously scheduled for one day a week.  150 – 160 kids.
  • We have as many as 6 blocks per period.  Sometimes they are leaking out into the hub, but when bad weather it’s worst.
  • Increase in enrollment in Super Fit day.  In the grade 11/12 area.  Women only – get Fit class.   ½ the girls did the Sun Run; it’s a transformation of their life.
  • Assessment piece – digital portfolio, doing interviews, and some portfolios were tangible, but now it’s going tech, towards a blog entry recording their physical fitness development They are embedding videos, links to different sites of interest, with peer, parents and teachers doing the assessment.  Using the Library to do the blogs.  It’s been fast, a bit messy but fun.
  • Looking at going out of the classroom and into the community.  To the aquarium, Play land, ties to the elementary schools (feeder) Grade 2 working with the Grade 12s, interacting with the Grade 12s helping them and then 
  •  The TRU for Grade 11s being entered.  Sent student to the Grade 11 Physics challenge.  Congeniality award.  Ms. Leonard. 
  •  New teachers James Lo and Chris welcomed to the school.
  •  Working with Discovery Education.  Video clips added into students.  Changed common assessment with the different groups together. 
  •   Gill taken on Project Based Learning with a Naming Game.
  • Now also have fish, growing for students to see.
  • Update - oversee events – Costa Rica and to Europe with Science related assignments.

  •  Course selection online.  Grade 10 – 11.  There were not too many glitches but 11 going into 12, it was the students and the time it took them to register. So the 10s got most of the spots for the registration.  So now they understand the process.
  • Tweet scholarship information and various programs for students.  Need teachers to follow @msborasa.

  • Jr. teachers are working towards getting students to the same levels.  Many students at different levels.  The department decided it was more important to get students to master the skills then the grades.  Called “Skills Mastery”.  Taken main concepts, broken into the skills, and judging the mastery of each one.  Doing it conceptually, pictorially, and then it’s an assessment of the skills, only (i.e. skill 1, skill 2, skill 3.).  Marked out of 4.  Top score, showed all.  3 – got what I meant but I did not come up to the right one.  2 – I really tried but I need to work harder.  1 – I tried.   Each skill tested twice about a week to a week and a ½.  To get 5 out of 5, you need to get to a 4 twice.  You need to transfer the skill in different ways.  Three changes, twice in class, one out of class. 
  • New this semester, so working at it.  But you can see a different.  The learning and the passion to learning are greatly improved.  Parents are contacting department, stating that they like where it’s going.
  • Need to make 3 skills test for each concept.
Tech Education

  • Students did very well in the Skills Canada this year, working almost through the night to make sure their robot worked in everyway.  They took best machines at the provincial in 4 games – seated 4th, and they won the Silver in the finals.
  • Showing Skills Canada video.
  •  Too many kids leaving high school without basic skills.
  •  Skills Canada promotes trades and technology to the next generation to keep the skills up.
  •   Not enough kids are coming into schools with the skills to teach them hand skills. 
  •  Career is working at getting a bus to the Nationals June 5th and 7th in Vancouver.  Looking at sending students to see these skills and be ready for these skills.
This 20 minute new course has been implemented across the entire school.  It was new this year but it has been growing in development, shape, and form.  J. Helping surveyed a group of students, got feedback from all the grades.  The students valued the time but they expressed concern that some teachers don’t’ understand the concept of discovery time.  They asked what their view of discovery time is and then were asked if this was happening in your classroom.  Are you finding connection, are you making connections?  Many said it was dependent on the teacher’s philosophy.  Some loved what was happening, others not sure.  Yet at the end of the discussion they wanted Discovery Time to continue.

There will be a survey for the teachers to do, what’s working for them, and what is not working for them.  If the teacher believe in Discovery Time (a time to get to know your students, to be a part of their life, and to follow them through all the grades to make a connection, a mentor in the school) then the students do.  If the teacher doesn’t believe in it,  then the students don’t.

Every teacher handles Discovery differently, and the dynamics are all different.  Each classroom is different a different grade, different personalities in it and it’s up to the teacher to make the connections.

There is a problem that was mentioned during our sharing, one that will be considered.  When you are away, some teachers are supposed to cover.  The “Sit and talk “ to the kids doesn’t work with a sub.    Teachers need something that can be handed to the TOC for the sub to make the work.

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