I have always felt that my students voice and choice is important when planning my units. When planning units, the students and I create a rubric together so they are informed and understand the expectations. During the Refugee novel study that is below, the students provided feedback after completing assignments and activities to help guide the instruction.
Refugee Novel Study
Prior to the unit, the students were learning about Summarizing. To show their understanding of Summarizing, the first assignment was creating a graphic novel page representing the first chapter in the novel. The pages on the right are two samples of the finished assignment.
The pages on the left are samples of the final project. Students created a "one-pager" demonstrating what they learned. The students were given various guiding questions, but it was up to them to represent their learning in a creative way!
Adaptations: Students had the option to do the assignment on paper or on the computer.
During the novel study, we had an interactive bulletin board. When a character fled to a new country, a new pin was added to the map with string to represent the distance. By the end of the novel, the map had intricate strings all over with some characters overlapping!
One of the students' favorite activities during the unit was listening to a podcast about an event that occured during World War 2 that one of the characters experienced. The students were given a sheet of questions and notes that was created specifically for the episode we listened to. The worksheet they were given is below.
I believe in providing students with tools to help them be successful in their learning. In each math unit, I give the students a "cheat sheet". The cheat sheet has fill in the blank answers, formulas, and sample questions. We fill the cheat sheet together as we progress through the unit. The cheat sheet acts as a reference or guide to use when they want to review previous examples. Some of the cheat sheets I have made are attached here:
When I modify assignments I adapt the assignment for the specific needs of the student. Typically it involves making the assignment much more concise and taking out repetitive questions so the student is still practicing the essential skills. For example, when planning math tests I use the Saskatchewan Common Math Assessments from the Resource Bank. I will use the given format for the majority of the class, but for some students, I will pick 3 questions for each outcome, reword the question, and adapt and change the text font and size.
Formative Assessments that I Use:
Traffic Light Self Assessments
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Summative Assessments that I Use:
Each activity and material in the classroom is thoughtfully placed and picked to fit the Essential Learning Experiences. I ensure there is an activity for each Essential Learning Experience in the room. The Essential Learning Experiences include Spiritual, Physical, Social-Emotional, and Intellectual domains.
Most importantly, all activities prepared are completely student interest-based. We pay attention to the interests of the children and what they are enthusiastic about and plan activities that further their exploration. For example, a student was writing letters, sealing them, and delivering them to their peers. The next week we created a Post Office for students to create letters and drawings for their friends and families.
The document attached shows some of the Post Office center as well as others that were planned for our Pre-Kindergarten classroom.
This year at BCS I took a leadership role in our school-based PLT group. Our PLT work was on Middle Year's ELA with a focus on creating a scope and sequence. When meeting on PD days we discussed OCA assessments, strategies for reading comprehension and shared resources. My role was note-taker and I led the agenda and discussions.