Inquiry Still Lives Here!

It has been a little while since we have posted some of the work that happens at Connect. In this latest installment of our video series, “Inquiry Lives Here”, three examples are shared. 1. Voice Your Vote – Grade 9 Our Grade 9 students adopted an active role leading up to last Fall’s federal election. Our students descended upon three of Calgary’s post-secondary education institutions in a campaign to encourage citizens to get out and “voice their vote”! It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and it afforded our students a wonderful opportunity to engage in the democratic process. … Continue reading Inquiry Still Lives Here!

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Re-thinking Inquiry-Based Practice in Physical Education

Deirdre Bailey ~ Physical Education While conventional education is often criticized for either segmenting learning into smaller pieces without ever giving kids the whole picture, or for letting kids read all about something without ever having an opportunity to engage in … Continue reading Re-thinking Inquiry-Based Practice in Physical Education

FreshGrade: Commendations, Recommendations & Limitations

(continued from earlier posts Deirdre’s Reflections, Kevin’s Reflection,  the introduction to our action research, emphasizing student autonomy) -by Deirdre Bailey and Kevin Sonico A major advantage of the FreshGrade tool that has been touched on briefly above but merits further discussion was its ability to allow for the attachment of specific curricular outcomes to key learning tasks. FreshGrade also provided for flexibility in customizing outcomes to include foundational skills, such as visualization, reasoning, communicating and problem-solving. The ability to generate and include these “front matter” learning goals in addition to the more traditional, knowledge and skill specific outcomes was a pedagogically valuable … Continue reading FreshGrade: Commendations, Recommendations & Limitations

FreshGrade: Emphasizing student autonomy, promoting conversation, and developing metacognition

by Deirdre Bailey and Kevin Sonico

Theme 1: Emphasizing student autonomy

The cultivation of student autonomy in an inquiry-­driven space suggests that students should both understand their learning goals and be able to assess what they need to do to reach them (Chappuis, 2009, Black & Wiliam, 2004). Continue reading “FreshGrade: Emphasizing student autonomy, promoting conversation, and developing metacognition”

Deirdre’s Reflection – Finding Freshgrade: A journey through digital portfolio and online assessment

-by Deirdre Bailey My journey in assessment began in Grade 4 with a strict focus on engaging students in formative feedback in order to work toward involving them more effectively in the learning process. With an emphasis on teaching them … Continue reading Deirdre’s Reflection – Finding Freshgrade: A journey through digital portfolio and online assessment

Kevin’s Reflection – Finding FreshGrade: A journey through digital portfolio and online assessment

-by Kevin Sonico The shift from 9 years of teaching Grades 8 & 9 students to Grade 5 students proved to be an immensely transformative experience.  This change in my teaching assignment demanded my consideration of how to involve my younger students in their learning. There is a wide developmental chasm that exists between Grade 9 and Grade 5, and how to communicate their learning in a meaningful way deserved careful thought.  Further, there was the substantial question of how to engage their parents. I had numerous experiences with various forms of medium and all yielded divergent results when it … Continue reading Kevin’s Reflection – Finding FreshGrade: A journey through digital portfolio and online assessment

Forests and Trees: Inquiry Lives Here

Our Grade 6 Science students engaged in a study of a nearby natural space’s health with the guidance and their teachers, Greg Neil and Marla Paxton. By taking our students to the wild areas of Calgary, they engaged them in authentic issues we face as we balance the pressures of urban growth with the needs of the environment. Video by Rick Fawcett Continue reading Forests and Trees: Inquiry Lives Here

Balance not Blame: Mathematics and Public Accountability

Darrell Lonsberry With the release of the results on last June’s Provincial Achievement Tests Albertans again find themselves having to wade through misinformation and misdirection in trying to make sense of what are, undeniably, dropping results in mathematics. Of course, there will be the predictable chorus from those who espouse a back to basics approach to teaching mathematics. I cringe at the possibility that the Ministry of Education will use these results to justify what I would characterize as a step backward to a rote learning, back-to-basics curriculum. What is required, in my opinion, is more support for teachers in … Continue reading Balance not Blame: Mathematics and Public Accountability