Wednesday 12 August 2020

Educators and Indigneous Partners developing relational accountability and co-constructing practices

This year SD67 will be hosting a series  called  Welcoming  Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Learning  with and from the Okanagan/Syilx Nation.  Dr. Leyton Schnellert (UBC) and Dr. Sara Florence Davidson (UFV) will be partnering  with SD67 in this series.  Leyton and Sara have both been on the planning  committee, as well as Indigenous and  non-Indigenous educators from  SD67, and elders and educators from the Penticton Indian Band.  We are excited to be offering this series.  

This blog is a conversation with Dr. Leyton Schnellert and Dr. Sara Florence Davidson.  

Where we’ve been - Leyton

It is difficult for me to put into words my gratitude for the opportunity to learn with and in SD67 and the Through a Different Lens (TADL) family. Guided by the quiet, determined, supportive leadership of Judith King, I have been able to participate as an educator-researcher. It has been soul-filling work. Thank you Judith for your incredible leadership supporting us to embrace our diverse learners and transform our practice based on what our students can teach us. I still cannot believe that you retired last month!

When TADL began, with funding from the Vancouver Foundation, SD67 consistently achieved an 80-85% six year school completion rate, but looking closer, the two most at-risk populations were students of Indigenous ancestry (50% completion rate), and students with behavioural challenges (40% completion rate). Recognizing that this was an indicator that we were not meeting these students’ needs, TADL was formed with SD67 teachers forming inquiry groups that were connected as a network. We committed to teaching and assessing in more innovative ways and tracking the results of these shifts in our practice and for our students. Teachers identified a student who they felt was at-risk of not completing school, and included them as a ‘case study’ throughout their inquiry. It has been powerful work interviewing and learning from our case study students, developing pathways for learning based on their strengths, interests and/or passions, and offering these approaches to all students in the class. TADL has helped us to develop a welcoming attitude towards students whose funds of knowledge and identity are different from our own.

Over the past two years we have stepped back to reflect on and evaluate our efforts (Schnellert, King, Manuel, Searcy, Moase, & Moore, 2020). We realized that something was and is missing. If we change our practices, but not the system, we fail to recognize the structures that are marginalizing our learners. By traditional standards, do we even understand what success is and means for Indigenous students and from Indigenous worldviews? We need to transform our practice - and education - in tandem. Last year we took our first steps to partner with Indigenous educators to talk about welcoming Indigneous knowledge and pedagogies into our classrooms - to begin to decolonize our spaces. This year we want to go deeper, partnering with educators from the SD67 Indigenous education department, educators and knowledge keepers from the Penticton Indian Band, and my good friend and colleague, scholar-practitioner Dr. Sara Florence Davidson.

Sara

I was so excited to be invited to join this project. As a Haida/Settler teacher educator, I am very interested in the use of Indigenous education frameworks, such as the First Peoples Principles of Learning (BC Ministry of Education & FNESC, 2008) to guide classroom teaching. Through my collaboration with my father, Robert Davidson, on Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony, I explored integrating local knowledges into mainstream educational contexts with the Sk’ad’a principles (Davidson & Davidson, 2018), so I am particularly eager to learn from the local communities about their approaches to education. I look forward to sharing what I have learned about Indigenous education and supporting Indigenous (and all) learners as well. 

In one of our early conversations, Leyton and I began to speak about success and how that might look in the context of this project, as we did not want to reinforce narrow perceptions of success that did not reflect the priorities of Indigenous communities. The Canada Council on Learning (2009) indicates that key aspects of learning include the foundational role of Indigenous languages and cultures and connections to family, community, and Elders. Therefore we want our indicators to reflect these more holistic priorities such as maintaining cultural integrity, finding ways to engage in reciprocity by giving back to one’s community; and finding balance between intellectual, physical, spiritual, and emotional realms while also including mainstream understandings of academic success, such as coursework completion and a high GPA (Pidgeon, 2019). We see this as a starting place for learning more about broader measures of success that are meaningful to Indigenous and all students and their families and communities. 

A Call to Action

In this work, we recognize that Indigenous communities and students have been marginalized by colonial practices, disproportionally referred to special education programs, and encounter systematic prejudice and discrimination in education systems that lack respect for their ways of knowing and being (Gravois & Rosenfield, 2006; Hare & Davidson, 2019; Hare & Pidgeon, 2011). Indigenous Peoples in Canada and throughout the world are experiencing tensions that emerge from being educated in a Eurocentric education system that dismisses their traditional knowledge systems (Battiste, 2013). Indigenous scholars point out that education for Indigenous students must be “viewed in the context of systemic barriers and inequalities inherent in the current education system that marginalize Indigenous knowledge systems and result in significant challenges to the educational success of Indigenous children and youth” (Hare & Davidson, 2019, p. 204). Therefore, reconciliation and educational and system transformation need to work in tandem if we are to disrupt hierarchical practices and structures that enact a hidden curriculum of privilege and racism. 

Indigenous peoples have always honoured Indigenous knowledges in their pedagogical practices (e.g., Barnhardt & Kawagley, 2005; Hare & Davidson, 2019). A transformative approach to learning embraces “Indigenous knowledge, experience, and knowing while respecting mainstream knowledge and experience” (Battiste, 2013, p. 176). Following the release of the TRC Calls to Action (TRC, 2015a/b), many educators, school districts, and Ministries of Education are seeking ways to better support the needs of Indigenous students while recognizing that schools can reinforce colonial structures or be transformed into sites of change (Battiste, 2013). To meet Indigenous and all students’ needs, emerging research suggests the promise of collaboration between teachers and community partners (Canadian Council on Learning, 2009; Goulet & Goulet, 2014).

Collaborative Learning

We believe collaborations with Indigenous community partners within educational change networks (like TADL) will support pedagogical transformation and ultimately redefine student success. ECNs are professional learning networks that engage teachers as collaborative inquirers into their practice, and co-authors of situated innovation (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; Schnellert, Kozak & Moore, 2015). Promising findings suggest the capacity of change networks to improve educator engagement (Hadfield & Chapman, 2009; Schnellert, Fisher & Sanford, 2018) and ability to strategically and systemically disseminate innovative pedagogy (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2012; Stoll, 2009). However, questions about how change networks can best support teacher professional development that takes up Indigenous contributions remain. So, we will be seeking to learn more about how networks can support pedagogical innovation, seeking to take up Principle of Reconciliation 4, that requires engagement in “constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education” (TRCb, 2015, 3). As part of our work together this year, we are exploring the following question: How can education change networks, where educators and Indigenous community partners collaborate to decentre colonizing education practices, develop culturally responsive pedagogies?
In this project we come together to address the pressing need to engage with Indigenous communities differently brought to light by the Calls to Action (TRC, 2015a) and curriculum changes in British Columbia. Together our objective is to collaborate as a network working to integrate culturally responsive practices into our classrooms, take up local Indigenous ways of knowing and being, bring to life curriculum change, and ultimately enhance student success. We recognize that each of us bring different experiences and identities to the project. To engage with one another  in a good way we embrace Shawn Wilson’s (2008) concept of relational accountability with our focus on respect, reciprocity, and responsibility in this community-based collaboration. We also seek guidance from Willie Ermine’s (2007) practice of the ethical space of engagement, which is described as “a venue to step out of our allegiances, to detach from the cages of our mental worlds and assume a position where human-to-human dialogue can occur” (p. 202). 

Making Meaning Together

So Through a Different Lens has grown into Welcoming Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Learning with and from the Okanagan/Syilx Nation! Our 14 person planning team consists of Indigneous and non-Indigenous educators from SD67, the Penticton Indian Band, UBC, and the University of the Fraser Valley. Our commitment this year is to build on what we have learned from TADL over the past 8 years. This year’s series will involve collaborative inquiry with Indigenous community partners and researchers to foster culturally responsive practices that recognize more holistic notions and indicators of student success (CCL, 2009; Pidgeon, 2019). Together, based on feedback from this year’s series, we have developed some shared goals for Welcoming Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Learning with and from the Okanagan/Syilx Nation. Our shared intentions are to:
• increase understanding of Okanagan/Syilx ways of knowing and being, and an increased understanding of local protocols
• discover and explore of the impact of the First Peoples Principles of Learning on student voice and school connectedness for all members of our learning communities
• engage in respectful dialogue about the historical and current systematic racism towards Indigenous people in schools and reflect on our own areas of growth regarding anti-racism
• focus on actionable shifts in our beliefs, actions, and pedagogy
• take up the First People’s Principles of Learning to inform our teaching

Welcoming Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Learning with and from the Okanagan/Syilx Nation will involve shared learning in the morning of 3-4 professional development days and participation in a small inquiry group where educators delve deeper into a topic of interest.  After each morning together with local and provincial presenters and facilitators, participants join their small fires inquiry group. Small Fires will meet throughout the year, include self-reflection on our practice in the area of Indigenous Education, and allow participants to delve into a topic of interest. 

We are very excited for this project, the opportunity to work and learn with you, celebrating work that’s already underway in your schools and practice, and moving forward together!



References


    Barnhardt, R., & Kawagley, A. (2005). Indigenous knowledge systems and Alaska Native ways of knowing. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 36(1), 8-23.

    Battiste, M. (2013). Decolonizing education: Nourishing the learning spirit. Purich Publishing.

    BC  Ministry of Education, & First Nations Education Steering Committee (2008). English 12 First Peoples: IIntegrated Resource Package. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/curriculum/english/english-language-arts 

    Canada Council on Learning. (2009). The state of Aboriginal learning in Canada: A holistic approach to measuring success.

https://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education2/state_of_aboriginal_learning_in_canadafinal_report%2C_ccl%2C_2009.pdf.

    Cochran-Smith, M. & Lytle, S.L. (2009). Inquiry as stance: Practitioner research in the next generation. Teachers College Press.

    Davidson, S. F., & Davidson, R. (2018). Potlatch as pedagogy: Learning through ceremony. Portage & Main Press.

    Ermine, W. (2007). The ethical space of engagement. Indigenous Law Journal, 6(1), 193-203.

    Goulet, L. M., & Goulet, K. N. (2014). Teaching each other: Nehinuw concepts and Indigenous pedagogies. UBC Press.

    Gravois, T. A., & Rosenfield, S. A. (2006). Impact of instructional consultation teams on the disproportionate referral and placement of minority students in special education. Remedial and Special Education, 27(1), 42–52.

    Hadfield, M. & Chapman, C. (2009). School based networking for educational change. Second international handbook of educational change. Springer, Vol 23(3).

    Hare, J., & Davidson, S. F. (2019). Learning from Indigenous knowledge in education. In G. Starblanket, & D. Long, (Eds.), Visions of the heart: Canadian Aboriginal issues, 5th Edition (pp. 203-219). Oxford University Press.

    Hare, J., & Pidgeon, M. (2011). The way of the warrior: Indigenous youth navigating the challenges of schooling. Canadian Journal of Education, 34(2), 93-111.

    Hargreaves, A., & Shirley, D. (2012). The global fourth way: The quest for educational excellence. Corwin.

    Pidgeon, M. (2019). Contested spaces of Indigenization in Canadian higher education: Reciprocal relationships and institutional responsibilities. In H. Tomlins-Jahnke, S. Styres, S. Lilley, & D. Zinga (Eds.), Indigenous education: New directions in theory and practice (pp. 205-229). University of Alberta Press.

    Schnellert, L., Fisher, & Sanford, K. (2018). Developing communities of pedagogical inquiry in British Columbia. In Poortman, C. & Brown, C., Developing professional capital in professional learning networks (pp. 56-74). Routledge.

    Schnellert, L., King, J., Manuel, T., Searcy, N., Moase, J. & Moore, S. (2020, Apr) Through a Different Lens: Increasing success for "at-risk" learners through situated, collaborative inquiry [Conference Paper]. AERA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA https://www.academia.edu/43320583/Through_a_Different_Lens_Increasing_success_for_at-risk_learners_through_situated_collaborative_inquiry.

    Schnellert, L., Kozak, D. & Moore, S. (2015). Professional development that positions teachers as inquirers and possibilizers. LEARNing Landscapes, 9(1), 217-236.

    Stoll, L. (2009). Connecting learning communities: Capacity building for systemic change. In A. Hargreaves, A. Lieberman, M. Fullan & D. Hopkins (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational change (pp. 469–484). Springer.

    Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015a). Calls to action. http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

    Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015b). What we have learned: Principles of truth and reconciliation. http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2015/trc/IR4-6-2015-eng.pdf

    Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony. Fernwood Publishing.


 


Wednesday 6 May 2020

Harnessing Interests in Middle School Students: Learning at Home

KVR Middle School in SD67 has launched a new website during these extraordinary times.  The exploratory and non-enrolling team looked for ways they could connect with their students to support their well-being as they learned at home.  They wanted to provide their students with an outlet to express their creativity, a way to harness their passions and interests, and a way to support their social and emotional well-being during a difficult time.

The educators landed on the concept of weekly challenges in each of the exploratory areas, as well as a “choose your own adventure” option that would allow students to explore their unique interests at home.

As they played with options, the website grew to include different areas, and a variety of resources for students to access.  These areas included digital reading resources, physical and digital literacy, counselling and learning support resources.  The team wanted the website to be a one stop shop while keeping it streamlined and purposeful.

The website was released a few weeks ago and has received positive feedback from students, families and staff.  The team hopes that showcasing some of the student work will further grow their community.

This resource is open to anyone wanting some creative ideas for their students to do as they learn at home.  

https://sites.google.com/sd67.bc.ca/exploringkvr/home




Explore the drop-down menus under each title.


Digital Library: provides students with websites to find books of their choice

Learning Showcase:  showcases student work from the weekly challenges. Students and families can see what others have created for the weekly challenges. Here is a sample of what the students have sent in from learning at home.



Weekly Challenge:  students are offered a host of challenges in the exploratory areas each week.  They can do as many or a few as they like - all in one area, or in as many areas as they choose.  Currently, three weeks of challenges are available.  Students/families can choose activities from any week and send in a picture or video to be showcased.  There are challenges in art, computers, home-ec., music, tech-ed or a choose your own adventure.

Each week has a theme:
Weeks 1 and 2: Connection
Week 3:  Kindness




 PHE:  offers students daily physical activity calendar and digital citizenship

More:  gives the students a way to contact resource teachers and counsellors and some additional information on staying well during this time.

This website offers so many choices to students and families for learning at home.  The options are rich, engaging and full of learning opportunities. 

Thanks so much to the team who developed the website and are willingly to share it with others.  
Thanks to:  Amanda Hooper, Amy Boef, Blake Palm, ​Devin Burroughs, Fiona Bickell, Katie Naish, Natasha Stutz, Nick Korvin, Anna Blackwell, Janice Moase, Jeremy Sherburne, Steve DeVito.







Sunday 19 April 2020

Creative Ideas for Learning at Home

Learning at home during a crisis - like a pandemic - is about learning in your environment with the things your family has, in a non-stressful way

In an article by Chris Corrigan called “Learning with your kids at home: how we unschooled”  he suggests 4 things for parents to think about:
-       Don’t try to replicate school at home
-       Notice that you are all learning all the time
-       Kids learn at different speeds
-       Strewing and Conversation - flood your environment with interesting things, and then watch and be curious about what your kids are interested in.
http://www.chriscorrigan.com/parkinglot/learning-with-your-kids-at-home-how-we-unschooled/   

Learning at home is not the same as on-line learning or “doing school at home”.

I have had a few conversations with families this week and their comments have ranged from “there is not enough coming home that my child can do independently to there is way too much coming home”.  I have also heard a great deal of thankfulness for everything that every teacher is attempting to do and a lot of grace given to all of us in general!

One thing that was present in many of the conversations was there is too much screen time expected and too much on-line everything. 
Some quotes from parents: 
-       On-line reading: where students are asked to read a story and do an on-line test:  The question was “Can’t my child just read a real book?  And then say what she liked or didn’t like about it?  Or draw the plot or anything but this on-line test?” 
-       All math is on-line for all 3 of my children.  
-       We only have one device at home and it’s difficult to meet the school requirements which are mainly on-line

A “What If” challenge for K-8 Educators:
-       What if … I only used on-line for communicating with my kids and families and maybe 
one or two links that could be used to give ideas or support?  No actual work on-line?  
-       What if … I only sent home things to do that were … creative ideas, challenges or project-based learning using materials that students can find at home?
-       What if … I gave outdoor options for those students who are in an area where they can get out and explore?  
-       What if … I made sure there were a few choices that students can do totally independently?
-       What if … I looked at my plan and thought “Wow this doesn’t look like I’m trying to replicate school at home”

CREATIVE OPTIONS:


Claire Tamang at Naramata Elementary School created a website for her school that she is offering to anyone who would like to access it.  It is http://jumpsingplay.com
On the website she has three sections:  
1.     Arts Education:  this includes 6 ideas for fine arts - found sounds, recycled instruments, nature weavings, nature mandellas, monster masks, cardboard city
2.    Grade 4/5:  this includes examples of projects - the first one is to “create a home or habitat for a creature”.
3.    Student Gallery:  where student creations are displayed

Nature Mandellas:
Instructions: Geometry and Fine Arts -  Get outside, collect some materials and get building.  Work together or make your own.  Stones, pinecones, flower petals, seeds - the sky is the limit.  (And, hey, if you want to use lego on your bedroom floor - that counts too).



Some questions to ask ourselves:  What competencies live in this activity?  Is it accessible to all?  Is it engaging? Can some or part of this activity be done independently?

Student Examples in the Gallery:  Kindergarten and grade 4




GRADE 4/5 PROJECTS


On the Grade 4/5 site on Claire’s website she has described a project to create a home or habitat for a real or imaginary creature. 



What competencies live in this activity?  Is it accessible to all?  Is it engaging? Can some or part of this activity be done independently?

Grade 4/5 Project from Uplands Elementary

David has challenged his students to create a game that involves social distancing.  They must think it through in terms of rules, materials, what to call it, and how they will package it for others.  David has received back some very creative games from the students.  They have represented their games in a word docs,  power point and in video. 

1. Invent a game with physical distancing  2.  Invent means something new  3. 6’ apart & and can’t touch the same object.
4.  catchy name.  5.  List of rules for fair play. 6.  Questions:  inside/outside; number of people; equipment/materials; scoring; how long; when over.
7.  kind of game:  board? Word? Math? Treasure hunt? Other?  8.  What kind of sport? How far/close/times… 9.  Display game - choices - pp/word/video/other

What competencies live in this activity?  Is it accessible to all?  Is it engaging?  Can some or part of this activity be done independently?

Other creative and nature-based activities 

that are great to share


Think about the competencies, engagement, accessibility and independence in each of these.





There is no doubt that we are living in a difficult time.  
All of us are responding in different ways.  All of that is okay.  
As we move into this next week - let's remember to find JOY wherever we can
and give ourselves  a lot of space and GRACE.  




Thanks to:  Claire, David, Shelley, Kirsten, Byng Elementary, Mill Bay Outdoor School




Monday 13 April 2020

Teaching and Learning in a Crazy Time - Blog 2



I had to laugh when I saw this tweet from Shelley Moore about social isolation.  I know many of us are feeling the effects of isolation but we just might not put it up on twitter quite like this!  Isolation is hard - and learning to teach and learn in different ways is a challenge for all of us.  Educators are life-long learners and we are working hard to embrace new possibilities, new ideas and to continue to share our learning in community with one another.  

There have been some great stories this past week - some funny, some frustrating or sad, some overwhelming, and some with surprizing joy and delight.  All have been trying to figure what it actually means to ‘teach from home’, and support kids and families virtually.  



I loved this tweet from a teacher in New Jersey.  “What my students see vs reality”.  Educators who are teaching from home with young children of their own - we all admire you. Your days must be very long and very full.

This week's blog looks at three areas:
1.  Learnings:  some learnings from our colleagues
2.  Connecting:  educators, students and families
3.  Sending Home: a few more examples of what teachers are sending home - some structures and formats


SD67's Guiding Principles that anchor our practice:

Sustainability:
• is it sustainable and realistic?
• not a burden to families
• relevant and meaningful activities in a home environment

Equity:
• Can all students access the activities?
• Do the students have devices we are asking them to use?
• Are there access points for all students?

Relationships:
• are we connecting with our students and families?
• Do we know how our students are doing?  And how the family is doing?  There are many stories we need to listen to and have empathy for - loss of jobs, financial difficulties, trauma, stress

Consistency:
• Do we have a collaborative approach within and across schools?  Shared expectations/understanding of how we are moving forward.

1.  Learnings:  some learnings from our colleagues

It has been a huge learning curve this past few weeks for us, the students, and the parents.  I was struck again by how open educators are to this new reality, expressing freely the kinds of things they are learning, grappling with, and continuing to figure out.   

• I feel like a brand new teacher and it has been very overwhelming.

I feel like a brand new teacher and it has been very overwhelming. I think about how overwhelmed I am and then I think of my students and the conversations that we have had this week and how they are also feeling overwhelmed and worried. . . 

• I am not comfortable with this manner of teaching, social-emotionally. 

I was at school Tuesday and Wednesday handing out school supplies and food hampers to families.  I was very discombobulated and teary this week. . I am not comfortable with this manner of teaching, social-emotionally. 

• I have learned how important it is that I continue on this path of supporting their overall well-being right now

Through our conversations I have learned how important it is that I continue on this path of supporting their overall well-being right now and that any learning that I offer really needs to be just an opportunity for learning ... 

• I am learning to move slowly

I am thankful that I have spent so much time learning about the kids I teach.  I am so glad that this is NOT the first time I am talking to families in person. I am learning to move slowly ... I am giving myself permission to use my old house phone and calling my families to just say Hi!

• Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea; ‘when you change the rules you change the winners’.  

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea; ‘when you change the rules you change the winners’.  I have been thinking about what it means to be ‘successful/winner’ in a traditional school setting and how our district does an incredible job of levelling the playing field so that all students (and teachers) are able to succeed. However, with our recent lifestyle changes and drastically altered learning environment I am wondering who are the new ‘winners’ in this situation.

• I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team to work with, and we are in constant contact.

The biggest message I would want to spread is this cannot be done alone!!  I am so fortunate to have such an amazing team to work with, and we are in constant contact.  A day does not go by that I do not video chat with at least 3 of my colleagues, and the support they give me is unbelievable!!  Collaboration creates joy and wellness among us all!! 

• I learned that when I offer opportunities for the whole class to check in via a community circle that they ALL want to be a part of that, they miss connecting with each other.

• I have been on a steep learning curve this week

2.  Connecting:  educators, students and families


Over and over this week I heard how connecting with the students in a multiplicity of ways was the highlight of the week, not just for the kids, but for the teachers - and in some cases the families.  It was also striking how creatively the gatherings took place.

One kindergarten teacher had a zoom party with her kindergarteners and their families. 


We had a class Zoom Party last night and 16 of my kids and their families tuned in and it was just a riot! We chatted from 6:30 – 7:00ish last night. I put out a feeler on time earlier in the week and thought that since many families are still working that a quick check-in after dinner and before bed would be best. Families agreed. The kids absolutely loved it so I think we will build that in every week or two. 

The kids said hello to each other, repeatedly, for the first 5 minutes or so and then I asked families to mute their microphones and if they couldn’t figure it out I did it and then gave each kiddo a chance to share. They gave me a wave or held up a certain number of fingers or a certain letter in sign language (as we have a student who signs and we are learning with her) when they had something they wanted to share. There were a few technical difficulties but everyone hung in there pretty well. Then they said goodbye for another 5 minutes and we called it a night.

It was the highlight of my week just to get to see their faces and connect with them all. Highly recommend it!

A number of Middle School teachers met with their students individually and also as a group.  


Teacher 1:
Today, I did my first virtual community circle…I was not sure how it would go…but again, to my surprise it went super well!!  19/22 students attended and stayed for the entire meeting, which lasted an hour.  I ran it very much like I would in the classroom, and the kids were super respectful of each other.  They were a little shy in the speaking part, but they had the option to pass, and only one student passed, everyone else shared 😊.  My resource teachers all joined in, I thought it was great!  Students had the opportunity to ask questions, and I was able to clarify my expectation for the upcoming weeks. 

Teacher 2:
Our week went well. I got to video chat with 22/23 kids in small group meetings and was able to mirror my screen to show them where to find certain activities and resources on Teams. They are very excited and it’s been so nice connecting with them. They’ve all been really lovely conversations. They responded to the weekly question “where have you shown/seen courage” and their answers have been thoughtful and insightful.

Teacher 3:







Teacher 4:  In this story the teacher had been buddying one of her grade 8 classes with a near-by senior’s residence.  She is recognizing the need for the social connection not just for herself and her students, but also with the seniors.

Apart from my academic courses I have been looking into resuming the senior buddy program through pen-pal letter writing and videos.  Ms. * and I are in the process of organizing this for Trinity Care and SLMS.  I have also reached out to a contact at Southwoods Retirement home so that other colleagues can do this with their students as well.  

3.  Sending Home: a few more examples of what teachers are sending home - some structures and formats

It is great to see what others are doing and how the weekly plan is changing as we understand more what works, and as we get feedback from students and families.  Here are a few examples from this week.

Kindergarten: note again that the teacher invites families to choose from the activities.  It is an invitation.







































Kindergarten choice board:  The teacher again invites families to do as many of the activities as they would like to do.  She has included wellness, physical well-being, social and emotional wellbeing, literacy and number sense.  



Grade 1:  This teacher sent home ideas for the week in a choice board as well.  She had suggestions for literacy, numeracy, and physical and emotional well-being.  She is slowly introducing her families to both outdoor learning and also the heartmindonline.org resources.  



Grade 2/3:  This teacher has also displayed the learning opportunities in a choice board.  Here the wonder is:  What are some of your family traditions during Easter?   





Middle School

The Middle School examples are lengthy to post in their entirety.  Here a few pieces from a group of teachers working together at one middle school.

Word of the weekCOURAGE


Please join us for our community circles if you can:

Opening Circle – Positive welcome into the week:  Tuesday 9am 
What is something that you enjoyed about your long weekend? What is one goal that you have for this week? It could be around your learning opportunities or how you want to connect with your family and friends or maybe you want to make time to go outside every day. 

Closing Circle – Optimistic closing to our week: Friday 9am
Thinking of our word of the week, what is one way that you have shown courage over the past month?


The tasks are formatted under these headings:

AREA               Please Do                    Can do             Could do

Tasks are given in 4 areas:  Advisory, Literacy, Math and PHE
The advisory and literacy tasks have to do with their key word Courage
The Math has to do with graphing to do with the virus
PHE tasks are all about health/well-being - exercise, cooking, and other ideas for well-being.

Here is the journal description provided for the students.

JOURNAL
Journal theme: What does courage mean to us? (The graphic organizer will be provided separately on Teams)

Please do:
1.     What does the word courage mean? Brainstorm all the ideas that you have for what this word could mean and write them in square 1
2.    Ask at least 3 other people what they think courage means, write down their thinking in squares 2-4
3.    In square 5 write any new thinking that you have after your conversations.
4.    In square 6 come up with your own kid friendly definition for the word courage.
If you’re up for more:
  1. Build or draw your definition of courage.  Use any materials you would like.  Take a photo of your creation and upload to teams. I will put my example where they should be uploaded.
  2. Make your creation visible to your community - post on your window, create something in your yard


Thanks to educators in SD67, Oliver, West Vancouver and Maple Ridge 
SD67:  Sydney, Pam, Corrie, Janice, Allison, Julia, Anna, Nicole, Kelsey, Melissa
Out of district:  Melia, Jeanette, Sylvia