2017 - 2019 A focus on SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
For the past several years at Byng, students have been engaged in social responsiblity lessons. In 2017-2018, staff and students used the anchor text Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. Language from the text developed kindness and a sense of community as students learned to "fill each others' buckets." Staff worked collaboratively to create inclusive language ("I feel") and visuals to facilitate deep thinking when explicitly talking about "bucket-filling".
Students continue to be encouraged to use this language, and the "I feel" words, in talking about how other people's actions make them feel. Using stories, loose parts, buddy classes, sharing assemblies, and visuals around our school, students foster a deeper appreciation for kindness in our community. With the new school year, 2018-2019, we checked-in to assess how we are doing with our focus and asked ourselves What next?
It became clear that the "I feel" language developed and practiced as a school was supportive but not necessarily manageable since there were so many "I feel" options thus making it challenging for learners to weave in to their daily vocabulary. We decided a good starting place for the 2018-2019 school year, is to help students choose 2-4 "I feel" statements that mean something to them (intrinsically personalize it) with an effort to take student thinking and learning deeper by connecting the "I feel" language with the core competencies.
Our school focus was How can our students use the "I feel" language in connection with the core competencies to further develop community and a better sense of self?
Late 2019 - Present A focus on ASSESSMENT
The BC Ministry of Education's use of the Know-Do-Understand curriculum model fosters the opportunity to re-look at classroom assessment practices. As most of Byng's classes are engaged in the Student Reporting Policy Pilot for it's second year (for some it's their third year as we enter the 2019-2020 school year), we feel it is our collective responsibility to shift our thinking to assessment. This does not mean that all of our hard work with Social Responsbility will disappear rather it means we plan to turn our attentions to weaving a new story about what assessment looks like and sounds like to us while continuing to value our "I feel" language since it is a part of the core competencies that we live by daily. Collaboratively we ask what do powerful, ongoing and relevant classroom assessment practices look like in communicating student learning AND how do we support our students in understanding teacher feedback so that learners know WHAT they need to do and HOW they need to do it in order to be the best learner that they can be?
The slideshow above shows some of our early stages of learning and collaborating.