Sunday, September 17, 2017

Room 132 Info

     The 2017/2018 school year is in full-swing!

Here is where you can find out more about our classroom and
keep up-to-date with the amazing learning my students are uncovering.

YouTube
manitoba youtube channel, manitoba teacher, manitoba education, ste rose school, kirsten thompson



Instagram 
A post shared by Mrs. Thompson's Classroom (@thompsonclassroom) on

Facebook 

Website



Canadian History Blog

ICT for Teachers - Back in the Blogging Game!

*This post has been written as part of my journey through my Master's Degree in Curriculum & Planning through Brandon University


Hello? 
Is there anyone in the blogosphere that still has me added to their RSS feed? 
If so, THANK YOU!

If you are joining me as part of class #BU755 then welcome!

     It has been a long absence from this blog (over a year in fact) but that doesn't mean I'm not still here! In fact I check into my blog pretty regularly as it was my constant source of documentation over the past 4 years. I often check back on past posts to remind myself of how I approached a certain curriculum, what I did with a particular class during a specific topic, or find articles I posted for previous university classes. While I was able to blog with various levels of frequency for 4 years I fell right off the wagon last September as I began the rewarding but ever so demanding journey of returning to teaching after my maternity leave. Needless to say balancing motherhood, work, my Master's program, and the regular demands of life left little time for blogging. 

     I will be here regularly now as I have recently started a new course as part of my Master's program titled: Internet for Teachers. In fact, the professor of this course is the one who helped me start my blogging journey way back in January of 2012! One of the requirements is to blog about our learning, connect with our peers through our blog, and build our PLN. Hopefully this is just the push I need to get back into a blogging routine that I will maintain more frequently in the future.




My introductory selfie from our class Padlet.
     I look forward to connecting with my peers throughout this course, sharing my learning, and rebuilding my blogging network. Thanks for joining (or rejoining) me in this journey!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Classroom Assessment Chapter 12

    LAST CHAPTER

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 12 - Conferences About & With Students

Kinds of Conferences
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 12.2 Kinds of ConferencesClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 387.
Feedback Conferences

- make sure students know what learning targets will be discussed before the meeting
- you can ask students to reflect on strengths/weaknesses before the meeting
- Keys to Success
     - focus on the intended learning (identify strengths & help guide improvement)
     - offer feedback
     - only offer feedback if the student demonstrates at least partial understanding
      - do not do all the work for the student
     - limit corrective info to the amount a student can act on at one time

Goal-Setting Conferences

- can refer to one piece of work or a collection of evidence
- not necessary for every student
- Keys to Success
     - clarify the learning target
     - clarify the students' current status
     - state the target as a goal
     - make a plan
           - what action will they take
           - what assistance do they need? from who?
           - what is the time frame?
           - collect before and after examples
           - ensure student ownership; don't set the goals for them

Progress Conferences

- typical parent-teacher night conferences
- can focus on growth over time or on a student's current achievement status
* personal preference is for student AND parent/guardian present 
- meeting agenda
     - explain learning targets
     - identify strengths, help guide improvement
     - provide evidence/exemplars of student work
     - end positive
* provide conference evaluation forms, follow-up as needed

_____________________________________________
I WANT TO KNOW:

How often do you hold formal conferences with parents?

Please leave your thoughts below :)

Classroom Assessment Chapter 11

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 11 - Portfolio Assessment

* a collection of artefacts put together to tell a story

Types of Portfolios
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 11.3 Kinds of PortfoliosClassroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 368.

How to Select Artefacts
Chappius, et al. (2012). Figure 11.4 Who Decides? Classroom Assessment for Student Learning, pg 371.
Keys for Successful Use

1 ) Ensure Accuracy of Evidence
- "each entry is only as good as the assignment given"
- verify with the student that the artefact is showing what you both want it to show

2 ) Keep Track of the Evidence
- find a system that fits your personal organization style
     a ) how will you store the artefacts?
          - digitally (photos of projects, computer files) or hard copies
     b ) how will you organize it?
          - hanging files, binders, notebooks
     c ) how will portfolios be stored?
          - flash drives, filing cabinets, shelving
     d ) schedule updating time
          - don't leave it for a rush before parent-teacher time

3 ) Invest the Time Up Front
- teach students about portfolios 
     - why we do it
     - how do you set one up
- model how to complete meaningful reflections
- do first submissions together so you can pass off responsibility later

4 ) Make the Experience Safe
- students can feel stressed by publicly sharing

_____________________________________________
I WANT TO KNOW:

I don't use formal portfolios in our classroom; the closest thing would be collecting samples of work to showcase to parents right before parent teacher meetings (would be classified as a "celebration" portfolio).

Do you use portfolios?
If so, what kind?

Please leave your thoughts below :)

Classroom Assessment Chapter 10

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 10 -  Converting Summative Info into Grades

1 ) Use Grades to Communicate, Not to Motivate
- grades should never be used to manipulative behaviour (punish or motivate)
- no solid evidence grade manipulation works (including competitions)
* this is why learning behaviours are assessed separately

2 ) Report Achievement & Other Factors Separately
- rubrics/checklists should not score effort
     (ex) neatness, "pretty" colourful; stick to learning targets only
- find other ways to communicate work completion, absence, cheating, etc

3 ) Reflect Only Current Level of Achievement in the Academic Grade
- averaging new with the old hinders those with slow starts

Summarizing Info

- verify accuracy
- don't include outdated or non-applicable information
- convert all entries to the same scale
- raw scores or %
- weight as needed
- combine information thoughtfully
- recommend using the median rather than the mean
     - I really like this idea; it made me think of this image
     - how does averaging grades affect students? is it is the most accurate way to communicate their level of understanding

Is it time we stopped averaging grades? (2015). Uploaded by Justin Tarte. Available online at: http://www.justintarte.com/2015/12/is-it-time-we-stop-averaging-grades.html

* you shouldnt get grades from a rubric by adding up all scores, dividing by a total, and averaging
     - this skews communication of understanding because levels on a rubric don't necessarily translate into matching a percentage

Accurate, Fair, & Defensible Report Card Grades

1 ) Start with learning targets
- list all of the learning targets you will assess
2 ) Make an assessment plan
- what will be formative?
- what will be summative?
3 ) Create, choose, & modify assessment as class unfolds
4) Record info from assessments
- use the raw score
5 ) Summarize achievement info into one score
- weight as appropriate
6 ) Translate into appropriate format for the report card

_____________________________________________
I WANT TO KNOW:

What are your thoughts on averaging grades?
Our school policy is to average grades and our grade book computer program automatically averages grades for us as well.

Please leave your thoughts below :)

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Classroom Tech Tools

     There are still EIGHT days left until I can get back into my classroom and begin setting up for the new year! *insert stressed expression here* In a perfect world I would have loved to have access through the whole summer so I could work at it casually since I am beginning from the ground up after returning from maternity leave.

     In my first year I had access in the middle of July which worked perfectly; I was set-up and ready to go a week before school actually started and I could relax before the craziness began.

     In my second year I didn't really change much in my room so a lot of my content prep was simply done at home and I spent about a week cleaning and organizing for the year.

     This year the custodians are not only doing the floors in my room but also repainting the walls and installing new white boards... which is awesome because everything will be new and fresh but it also sucks because now I have to wait forever before I can do any work in the room.

     Jaxson is still nursing regularly as well so when I do gain access to my room I plan to do so after he goes to bed in the evening (at 7pm) so that I can work for longer stretches than if I were to attempt to take him with me during the day; I foresee some late nights in my future!

     In the meantime, I have been doing as much work from home as I can think of, including:
- prepping course content, updating course outlines, etc
- prepping furniture for my flexible seating options (more info on that in the future!)
- creating supply labels
- revamping classroom posters
- making endless to-do lists

     I have also been getting some of our classroom tech tools updated and organized for the year. This includes:

CLASSROOM WEBSITE

ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     Our website's home page got a facelift for the fall and I've been updating our "students", "parents/guardians" and "about Mrs T" pages to reflect new information for the 2016/17 school year. Our website is primarily a static source of information but it does house all of the links for any videos, websites, online labs, notes that I share during the year.

     You can check it out at: http://thompsonclassroom.weebly.com/

REMIND ACCOUNTS
ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     I use Remind in all of my classes to communicate with students and parents/guardians. Depending on the grade level and subject area our correspondence includes:
- general school reminders
- prompts on what supplies are needed in class for a specific day
- reminders about upcoming assignments/tests
- classroom instructions

     I created new accounts for each of my classes for the upcoming school year and made posters on how to sign-up for the service using screenshots from the Remind website and clip art from Creative Commons. These posters will be included in an interactive "Connect With Us" bulletin board outside my classroom but the sign-up information is also included through our classroom website, course outlines, and emailed out to parents. 

CANADIAN HISTORY BLOG

ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     Back in November I shared that I was going to be using blogging in my Grade 11 Canadian History class. Although I have blogged with my students in previous years this year our blog is going to be much more purposeful, will serve as a form of summative assessment, and be completed cross-curricularly with their English teacher. I have set-up the basic framework for the blog already and am slowly adding exemplars of the various blogging prompts I will be asking for throughout the course.

     You can check it out at: https://canadianhistorytoldbyus.blogspot.ca/


CONNECT WITH US POSTERS

     
ste rose school, kirsten thompson, Mrs. Thompson ste rose, turtle river school division, manitoba tech teachers, manitoba classroom websites, manitoba teacher blogs

     In addition to our classroom website and blog (both shared above) I also maintain a classroom YouTube channel that features videos created by students as well as comprehensive playlists of videos shared in various classes. As a way to maintain all of these resources I have an interactive "Connect With Us" display (mentioned previously) that features:
- the tech tool
- applicable links
- a QR code that can be scanned and take you directly to the resource

     The image above is the set-up I had created in previous years. I now have a large bulletin board outside my classroom where I will relocate this information to. I've updated the posters to include our new Canadian History blog.

     The posters were made using clip art from Creative Commons and QR Stuff.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Classroom Assessment Chapter 9

     To help us work towards our school goal of improving our understanding and practice of assessment, my principal has provided our staff with a copy of Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right - Using it Wellby Jan Chappuis, Rick Stiggins, Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter. As I make my way through the book, I will be summarizing my learning as a means of organizing my thoughts and getting clarification on particular ideas.


Classroom Assessment for Student Learning Cover. (Accessed 2016). Uploaded to Amazon; Pearson Education. Available online at: https://www.amazon.ca/Classroom-Assessment-Student-Learning-Doing/dp/0132685884

Chapter 9 - Record Keeping

- everything is target-based so tracking should be too

- what does a 9/10 on "Worksheet #3" actually tell you in your grade book?
     - you should have to organized to show target mastery

- have students track their understanding so they know where they stand before during a summative assessment

Record Keeping Guidelines

1 ) Organize Entries by Learning Target
- effective use of labels
- easy to report on specific outcomes
- quickly see strengths/challenges

2 ) Track Info About Work Habits & Social Skills Separately
* we do this in the "learning behaviours" section of the provincial report cards
- extra credit work
     - students shouldn't be given extra points for completion (effort points)
     - if students need more formative practice & then want another shot to communicate understanding then thats different
- missing/late work and cheating
     - zeros do not demonstrate learning; find other punitive measures

3 ) Record Info by Raw Score
- provide info regarding sample size
(ex) 8/32

_____________________________________________
I WANT TO KNOW:

This chapter was much longer but a lot of the information suggested different record keeping options; since our school uses a mandatory online grading system the information wasn't applicable to me.

What do you use to organize your records?
Our schools uses the program Maplewood.

Please leave your thoughts below :)