Ahhh, the Ontario Learning Skills, bane of my existence! I have to report on them, so they must be squeezed in, but where? What gets squeezed out? Character Traits? "Social Justice Begins with You!"? DPA? A strand of math? Oral Language? Media Studies? So many "extra topics" must be addressed... it can be a challenge to know where and how to best do it all!
At the resquest of several recent emails, I am posting the Learning Skills activities, checklists and self assessments I and some of my colleagues at Dixie used last year. Although they are not perfect, they at least offer a starting point for collecting information on how students represent (or don't represent, as is sometimes the case) these important skills. Where possible, multiple copies per page are included, in an effort to save paper!
We would often begin by brainstorming the criteria for one of the learning skills, then posting said criteria around the room. Later, the teacher chooses one of the activities below for the students to complete. In addition, we take notes throughout the year on the teacher checklist on the left. These form the basis for our report card comments in the learning skills section. (Currently we use point form, however, in schools where I have been permitted to write in prose, I have included specific examples, taken from my anecdotal notes, to illustrate the more generic learning skills comment for each student.)
I hope that teachers find these resources helpful; please feel free to modify to suit the needs of your class. (Parents, these make a great starting point for your work with your children at home, too, if you are working on learning skills this year -- choose one a month to focus on, and revisit several times weekly, noticing efforts and improvements!)
How good it was to be back at our home church this morning!
After a summer of traveling, it was nice to be back in the folds of the familiar, despite the positive church experience we had had in PEI. Worship is – in my opinion – as much about the company you keep as about the sermon preached by a specific pastor, or the songs sung by a particular choir. Just being together and sharing the collective experience of those things, catching up with people’s personal news (much of it very sad unfortunately; our church had a death and several illnesses over the summer), seeing the sea of smiling faces at the front of the church during children’s time, and being in the presence of people with whom I have a shared history presented a much-needed re-grounding for my tattered soul.
And then, it was a bike ride along the lake to the airport for my first flight lesson of the fall. Yep, I flew a plane today! Couldn’t remember if I could still do it, actually, but it was quite good in the end, considering it’s been a full three months since I last piloted an aircraft!!!
Flying offers a high (no pun intended) like no other: After a somewhat hellish week on the home front, and a coincidentally-hotter-than-Hades first week back in my 32-degree-Celcius classroom at school, I wasn’t even sure that I had the stamina to taxi off the apron, let alone do all the radio work and simultaneously fly the plane. But, as it turns out, flying is an immediate antidote for any kind of emotional trauma... there is something quite spectacular about pulling back the throttle, and -- moments later -- soaring over the city! After my lesson, I felt genuinely refreshed and newly optimistic about a variety of concerns, both personal and professional!
We finished off the day with a little picnic dinner at Leslie Spit, and some geocaching at Sherbourne Common before heading home for bedtime and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, which we have just started reading together this week.
A Sunday like this one is surely the medicine needed for an excellent week ahead!
Outrageous, I know. I had grandiose plans of writing about Day One, about Week One... despite the intense humidity and heat in my classroom, it really was a fantastic week back with the students; so many little things to inspire me to blog each day. And yet, here it is Sunday night, and I still haven't had two seconds to collect my thoughts and compose something coherent on the topic of teaching.
For those readers who follow my "teaching and learning" category, please accept my sincere apologies. I will post soon, I promise.
And in particular, to the three teachers who emailed me about the LS checklists... they are coming, they are! I just need to download them from my computer at work, which is tediously slow, especially now that it is hooked up to my new Smart Board!!! :-D
Despite the rain and resultant indoor recess, we all survived. So nice to see some of my students from last year, as well as to welcome a teacher candidate from York, who will be completing her first practicum in our classroom.
More to come, when energy is regained. :-) In the meantime...
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera turned her written attention to prolific blogging for some years, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and SMARTbansho . Homeschooling 4 was her travel blog in Argentina. She now spends more time on her Instagram (@schalgzeug_usw) than her blog (pictures are worth a thousand words?!) Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
The views expressed on this blog are the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the perspectives of her family members or the position of her employer on the the issues she blogs about. These posts are intended to share resources, document family life, and encourage critical thought on a variety of subjects. They are not intended to cause harm to any individual or member of any group. By reading this blog and viewing this site, you agree to not hold Vera liable for any harm done by views expressed in this blog.