Touching and Concerning

  "Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple choice test" ~ Sir Ken Robinson   This morning during a beautiful drive into work I listened to a story on the radio that was both touching and concerning at the same time. One of our local radio stations was doing a their morning show live at the Children's Hospital to help support a fundraising campaign. During one of the segments they interviewed a young 12 year old girl that just a few years earlier was fighting for her life at that very same hospital as a result of a brain tumor. The girl and her mother both gave touching recounts about their time at the hospital and all the wonderful staff that helped them through a very difficult and challenging time. The young girl was very articulate and charming as she explained what her condition...
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Learning Goals and Success Criteria

If you are a parent reading this blog you may not have heard of the concepts of Learning Goals and Success Criteria.   Together they are essential components of teaching, assessment and evaluation.  The Growing Success document from the Ministry of Education defines each as: Learning Goals (p. 148,  Growing Success ):  “Brief statements that describe for a student what he or she should know and be able to do by the end of a period of instruction (e.g., lesson, series of lessons or subtask). The goals represent subsets or clusters of knowledge and skills that the student must master to successfully achieve the overall curriculum expectations”. Success Criteria   (p.155, Growing Success ): “Standards of specific descriptions of successful attainment of learning goals developed by teachers on the basis of criteria in the achievement chart, and discussed and agreed upon in collaboration with students, that are used to determine to what...
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The Case Against Grades

Yesterday an interesting tweet caught my eye around the same time that our Learning Network was meeting to plan for our next Learning cycle.  The tweet caught my eye not so Discussing writing lists in the Kindergarten classroom at Tweedsmuir P.S. much for the content of the tweet but because a familiar name was cited - Alfie Kohn.   Alfie Kohn is the author of 12 books and many articles in the fields of education, parenting and behaviour.  He is a staunch critic of rewards and competition and is very outspoken about education's fixation on grades and test scores.  I first came across Alfie's work during my third year of teaching when I was looking for a book about creating a classroom where students had jobs or roles as part of a collaborative community.   Punished By Rewards happened to be the first book that caught my eye that day...
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