Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Co-constructed Success Criteria in Grade 2

For one of our Writer's Workshop lessons this week, the learning intention was:

We are learning to write an interesting informational text introduction.

Students were given the task of constructing success criteria for this learning intention. According to Shirley Clark, author of Outstanding Formative Assessment:

The impact of co-constructed success criteria is that:
* Pupils become more independent
* Pupils have more ownership over their learning and ongoing assessment
* Pupils can decide criteria for which help is needed
* There is higher achievement when pupils have seen good examples and can follow or choose from the success criteria they have generated
(Outstanding Formative Assessment, page 86.)

To begin this lesson, I showed students an example of a bad introduction. Students thought it was hilarious! They started thinking of how it could be improved and shared their ideas on Grade 2's Google Docs account. Students wrote Success Criteria based on how they decided to improve the bad example of the introduction. Some students noticed that the Success Criteria that they created was similar to the Information Writing Checklist.

Instead of saying "Cheetahs are fast," get your readers' interest by writing: In this informational text, you will learn about cheetahs. They are very fast creatures. 

Success Criteria: I wrote a beginning in which I named a subject and tried to interest my readers.

Initial Success Criteria created by students. They compared it with the Information Writing Checklist to add to it and put it in their own words so they it was easily understood.

Class-written informational text based on the Success Criteria they created. Many students were experts on how to take care of dogs. Can you notice the improvement?

Yura reviews her research about cats and compares it with the class-constructed Success Criteria. She is thinking about writing strategies that she will use to make her introduction interesting for her readers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Semester Two Learning Outcomes

Below you will find the Semester Two intended learning outcomes for all subject areas.  Click on the links to view and download the documents.  If you have any questions about these learning outcomes, please contact your child's homeroom teacher, our PYP Coordinator (Michael Hughes), or our Elementary Principal (Sandra Mulligan).

Click here to view the Grade 2 intended learning outcomes for Semester Two

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Becoming Better Readers (and Mathematicians)

Today Mr. T., a science teacher from the high school, came down to visit 2A for "Feed and Read". He shared a story about one of his favorite story characters, Whinnie the Pooh. That's why he's sitting on a tree stump rather than the chair. It's Whinnie the Pooh's "thinking spot". We aim for each of our girls to become life long readers. "Feed and Read" is an opportunity for the girls to model from adults who are passionate about their favorite stories. Would you like to be our next guest reader? Please let us know!

“Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating..."
― John Wooden

Today in small group, we practiced reading orally with expression. In small groups, we sometimes read books slightly above level so we can practice using the word decoding strategies we've learned to read tricky words.

During class read alouds this week, the students have been working on making text-to-text connections with their reading partners.

This is an example of a text-to-text connection from today's story:

When I read the words "a girl can't play baseball",  it reminded me of Grace when she wanted to be Peter Pan but the boys said she can't because she's a girl. --2A student

Each day, the girls take a minute or two to fill out a "mini report card" to keep track of their progress as a reader. Before independent reading practice time, we remember our 'next step' from the previous day to focus on. Our goal is to make a small improvement each day-- in the end all those small improvements add up! By keeping track of their progress, the girls can see their growth which adds to their motivation to get even better. 

"What gets measured, gets managed." -Peter Drucker

Kaizen 改善  the practice of continuous improvement (one of Toyota's core values). 

As a pre-assessment before starting our Mathmatics unit on data handling, 2A students put their "mini reports" in order by date and were prompted to make a graph to illustrate their progress as a reader. Before every math unit, we assess what students already know and plan instruction to build upon their background knowledge and previously acquired skills.

This graph is still in progress. She has added some labels to her graph without being prompted. She has also chosen to use a ruler to make her lines straight.

This student has also begun to add labels. It's interesting that her graph reads right to left like a Japanese book. A next step for her is to add a title to describe what her graph shows. You can see that she has made progress as a reader with three days of all fives. Awesome.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How We Organise Ourselves Summative

Grade 2 teachers assessed their students' understanding of the central idea. They used an assessment tool for transportation systems and map skills that you can see in the 2nd image below.

The students could:
* Show how networks of transportation systems are connected
* Create a network of transportation systems to meet a town's needs
* Plan a journey on the back-side of the map

These maps are incredibly detailed and interesting. They will be added to the students' portfolios for their parents to see!

Erica adds symbols & Saki adds a shop to her map

Grade 2 How We Organise Ourselves - Summative Assessment Rubric 
Students add colour to their maps