It has been another great week of learning at West Langley. With report cards just around the corner, staff have been engaged in a variety of different activities aimed at getting authentic assessment for parents and students. Led by our guest student blogger of the week, Mackenzie, here are our 5 Things To ROAR About for November 22nd. Please be sure to share with your family and friends.
1. Guest Student Blogger Gets Scientific: This past week the grade sevens were working on a science experiment about acids, bases, and neutral substances! This experiment was a great learning outcome because our teacher, Miss Iggy didn’t tell us what the substances were, so we had to use our knowledge from the grade seven science textbook to guess what each substance was. This was a very fun and interesting experiment because it gave our class a visual perspective of acids, bases, and neutral substances. For our experiment we got to be like real scientists because we used litmus paper to decipher which substance is an acid, base, or neutral. This was a very fun experiment and from all of the smiles at the end of the day I think everyone agreed too!
2. West Langley Staff Share Success: On Monday, students were not at school while staff engaged in some professional development activities. The morning was spent having each staff member share with the others, a learning activity they did with students during the first term. And the energy was amazing. Whether is was sharing how to use Twitter to enhance grammar skills, teaching virtues and character traits via YouTube clips or integrating several subject areas through a class novel, everyone was able to get a sense of the incredible things going on right across the school. It is extremely important that staff have the opportunity to collaborate with each other and sharing success stories is one of the best ways to improve our practice as educators. And subsequently, the benefit for students is exponential.
3. Student Helping Student, Empowered By Technology: The students in Ms Cooper’s grade 4/5 class have been using an app called Explain Everything, to make math accessible for everyone. A group of students, Jonathan, Shane and Josh, have undertaken the task of creating short video tutorials to help their peers understand math concepts being taught in class. These mini-lessons are specific to the needs of the students and allow them to learn at their own pace, often with “kid” language that makes sense to them. These are then posted on a website that class mates can access at home, getting the help they need, when they need it. This is probably just the beginning of what will be a valuable learning tool, empowered by the technology at West Langley. Here is a sampling of some of the lessons.
4. Division Eight Empowers The Hundreds Chart With Technology: For many, many years, teachers have been using the hundreds chart to teach a variety of different math concepts. With this simple tool, students can learn about patterning, place value and xxx among other things. This past week, the students in Mrs Williams grade 1/2 class used an app on the iPad called Hands On Math to take their learning to a new level. This interactive tool allowed students to engage in a variety of activities to learn different numeracy concepts. For example, the teacher had students ask questions about about a mystery number and then cross off different numbers based on the answer. Eventually they were able to narrow it down to the correct answer. The amount of authentic learning that occurs during an activity like this is amazing.
5. Buddy Reading A Hit: One of the things lots of us probably remember as kids at school is reading with our “big” and/or “little” buddies. And this great learning tradition is alive and well at West Langley, this past week with Mrs Wong’s Kindergarten class and Ms Olson’s Grade 3/4 class. There are so many advantages to reading aloud with a buddy when it comes to literacy. The chance to hear fluidity, get help with tough words and discuss questions and themes that emerge out of the story. But one of the best parts of getting together to read is just the relationships that form between our primary and intermediate students. They often transcend the formal time they spend together to many other aspects of school.