In the last three weeks, I have been facilitating workshops, visiting schools and talking with many colleagues and I have to say how exciting it is to be where I am right now. There are ups and downs, as always, but let me tell you what I have seen since we started with students three weeks ago:
1) Teachers talking…a lot…with each other…about learning. This bodes very, very well for students.
2) Assessment driving instruction. At every workshop, teachers are looking at rubrics, talking about criteria, thinking about how learning unfolds.
3) Teachers talking about all the ways learning might happen and learning experiences might be designed. They are planning centres, simulations, explicit teaching, flexible groupings, invitations, games…the list is endless.
4) Teachers thinking about student learning deeply. I hear them talking about ways to enrich and ways to build in extra support. I hear discussions focusing on children as complex and diverse people with different needs.
5) Teacher planning for digital learning. I see Google Apps on computers, Facebook pages, and many other ways of engaging students in digital thinking.
6) Sharing…pictures on Twitter, documentation on walls, write ups in letters sent home. I see photos being taken everywhere by both teachers and students. Everyone is justifiably proud of their learning.
7) Teachers and students talking about learning strategies and teachers considering how to build them in students. Powerful stuff!
8) References to curricula everywhere: lesson plans, on walls, in assessment. Students know what they are learning and, more importantly, why and how better than ever before.
9) Learning moving beyond the classroom through field trips, Skype, classroom guests…
I am so excited for our students!