Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Still learning!

How can I reach my students and the parents at the end of the process?

As we know learning is messy and assessment is the core of the process that loops backwards and forwards and develops the pedagogy and next steps of learning. Grit is something that you don't teach, students experience grit through rich tasks and giving them time to reflect on their learning skills by focusing on next steps. A reflection becomes an inspiration for learning through sharing and learning from each other. Therefore, reflections are the core of the learning process. It is the looping of the forward and the backward and bridging the learning. My students are asked to reflect on Google calendars and document their challenges and their new learning. I posted about the process last June. Reflection Post

After 4 years of monitoring and learning the reflective process with my students and its effect on their learning process, reflections have changed from a requirement to an inspiration for learning.  Reflections became the perseverance for the next steps in the learning community.

 Teachers in Ontario are responsible for providing grades at two reporting periods. The focus of the assessment is the process based on the overall expectations from the curriculum that the students unpack through many learning tasks. The process becomes a collection of evidence that have been reflected upon by the students with each other and with me, based on the co-constructed criteria and its details (mechanism) that determines the assessment of learning. This takes a long time! As it is not just a coverage it is unpacking the metacognition throughout the process giving time to reflect, to determine learning goals and to apply the feedback as well as allowing autonomy to flourish among the students and adapt to this process.

Documented feedback and applications of feedback are gathered through audios for oral evidence, screen capturing of online learning, written evidence, evidence of thinking through organizers and conversations in class. Learning is seamless with technology by connecting and providing evidence throughout the process. Learning is enjoyable, completed with perseverance based on clear expectations and interactions with the students and the teacher.

Communicating throughout the process is key to learning for the students and tracking the progression, where assessment becomes a community based on purposeful learning. There is always room for learning and improving with the assessment process and the evaluation. By honoring students roles and relationships at individual levels with their learning and building relationship with students to parents and to me, I have invited the parents to the evaluation. Parents and students should be able to comment on the evaluation. Last year's success motivated me to continue and  this year I am incorporating  the co-constructed criteria and audio for commenting on the skills by using keizena.

This post will focus on my own learning of sharing the evaluation with the parents. Students are responsible at home to unpack the steps and the process through the evidence based on the criteria on the eportfolio. I still have so much more to achieve in my learning and I will continue to share. This is how technology has allowed for the evaluation process to become seamless. I took a screen capture of it due to privacy and respect to the students than adding live links.

A picture of a comment from a student about her Social Studies Journey.

I am still learning and this is what is working for me at the moment. I am trying out many tools for documenting feedback. With Hapara the process has been much easier for me to track and for the students to take ownership as well.  I will still use my two days of professional  development to arrange learning fairs with the parents in my classroom. The students and I will be thinking about how it might look like . I will continue to share my learning and would love to hear about your learning too.

I continue to persevere and learn with my students about autonomy, assessment and documenting. I always think about: How am I communicating to the students the evaluation?  How am I and the students communicating about the assessment process and next steps? How am I speaking to the evidence? How students are taking autonomy of their learning and identifying their next steps? How can assessment and evaluation become a community?


  1. A fantastic a fantastic time! I'm particularly drawn to the reflection component of your students' social studies learning journey. It seems like such a natural part of the progression in learning, and yet it's one that many partners in learning (teachers, students, parents, etc) seem to miss. I wonder when we will place as much value on grades as we do on reflection? I believe that reflection leads to growth which enhances grit and the loop continues.

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your fluid and holistic learning environment!

  2. Thanks Jennifer for your reflective comment about the learning journey. We each have a learning journey and having students reflective is a journey that it takes time to embrace and immerse in the process of learning. The loop continues giving students the opportunity to persevere and persist with the learning from each other.