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A critical truce in the war between traditionalists and progressives

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An interesting article via my friend Joe Bower that challenges to go deeper in our critical reflections when we discuss education reform.
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Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary
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Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Defining the Differences

Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Defining the Differences | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
It is important to distinguish between rude, mean and bullying so that teachers, school administrators, police, youth workers, parents and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene....

Via Shawn Davids
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Cutting Edge-ucation: Assigning Optional Homework?

Cutting Edge-ucation: Assigning Optional Homework? | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
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Scott and I have had a number of conversations recently and I truly admire his reflective nature as an educator. We often hear "we need to give homework to help prepare kids for high school" when, actually, there are a number of great educators rethinking homework. Although this Scott is a high school he brings up some great points and shares some action research he did in the area of "homework".
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Mrs. Wideen's Blog: Why I Abandoned Genius Hour

Mrs. Wideen's Blog: Why I Abandoned Genius Hour | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
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Some great reflections on inquiry in the elementary classroom.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 5, 1:07 PM

Students always need teaching regardless of age. It will look different with different students in a classroom and as students move on, but it is still essential.

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Anxiety 107 (a blunt approach to anxiety)

Anxiety 107 (a blunt approach to anxiety) | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Day 110 (of 184) Anxiety 107 (a blunt approach to anxiety) I have been asked a few times to explain how I handle anxious learners - a growing number ‘are appearing’ in our school (or just being bet...
Chris Wejr's insight:

My friend Ian Landy wrote this... and shares an important perspective from both a father and an educator.  An important read as we can probably all think of a student, colleague, friend, or child that faces this.

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The seven messages of highly effective reading teachers

The seven messages of highly effective reading teachers | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
In 1982, the late, great NZ reading researcher Marie Clay identified a group of children having difficulty learning to read as “tangled tots (with) reading knots”. She was referring to children who, despite…
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Here are 7 messages about teaching reading... what would you add?  What would you change?

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One Size Fits All? Hmm...

One Size Fits All? Hmm... | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Do you know Tom? Tom is fictional, but like many kids in our school (or any school)...he struggles. He is different from many of his peers, while some of them struggle, Tom, well he struggles more...
Chris Wejr's insight:
BC educator Darcy Mullin reminds is that although there are many programs to help struggling students... Nothing beats a caring relationship.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 14, 1:29 PM

Sitting beside a student who needs help is a rewarding experience. Students sense we care as we move past the shallow aspects of simple greeting and truly caring relationships.

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Student Power Rankings

Student Power Rankings | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
It is with great excitement I announce the launch of our Student Power Rankings. This is an exciting time that will push education into the 22nd century.  You have already heard a lot about 21st ce...
Chris Wejr's insight:

A great read for April 1 by West Van Superintendent Chris Kennedy.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 1, 1:42 PM

You do have to read the whole article to find the point being made. It is very tongue in cheek and does point out some of the flaws with doing school they way we do it. We have not left the 19th Century model behind. How can we expect a 21st Century model?

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5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) - Edudemic

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) - Edudemic | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
While we’ve witnessed many effective approaches to incorporating iPads successfully in the classroom, we’re struck by the common mistakes many schools are making with iPads, mistakes that are in some cases crippling the success of these initiatives.
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It’s Time to Stop Averaging Grades

It’s Time to Stop Averaging Grades | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
You’ve always averaged grades. Your teachers averaged grades when you were in school and it worked fine. It works fine for your students. Does it?
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Although this has US context, still an important conversation about averages and why we need to reconsider how we report out assessment.
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Ways to Develop Life-Long Readers

Ways to Develop Life-Long Readers | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Donalyn Miller, Mark Barnes and Christopher Lehman contribute their suggestions on how we can help develop life-long readers.
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A Framework for Professional Learning: Bruce Bearisto at TEDxWestVancouverED - YouTube

Bruce Beairsto is now an Adjunct Professor at SFU but previously worked in Richmond for 37 years as a science teacher, curriculum coordinator and superintend...
Chris Wejr's insight:

TED Talk by Bruce Beairsto who has become a bit of a "distance mentor" to me through many exchanges of emails around leadership, teaching, and learning.  He provides his framework of teaching and learning and challenges us to the same.

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How to Raise a Reader: 5 Tips for Parents

How to Raise a Reader: 5 Tips for Parents | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
When my son Jack was in preschool, he read Charlotte’s Web aloud fluently to his classmates. When he was in kindergarten, he began disappearing into his room for a few hours every afternoon to read...
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Some ideas about how to encourage habits and joy in reading.
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Are We Preparing Students for the 21st Century?

Are We Preparing Students for the 21st Century? | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
This week's EDCI 335 blogging assignment is: "Are our current schools/teachers/curriculum preparing students for the 21st century? Why? Why not?" I've had to let this question steep in my brain fo...
Chris Wejr's insight:
Very interesting post by an Abbotsford teacher that include some great quotes from her sons in high school. Aligns well with the dialogue around vision in sd35. Thoughts?
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The McDonaldization of Education: the rise of slow

The McDonaldization of Education: the rise of slow | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Slow.  I love this word, and yet it tends to have many negative connotations  in education. Which is too bad because it's the very philosophy we need to save our education system, and give kids the...

Via Shawn Davids
Chris Wejr's insight:

Would love to talk more about this as a staff... how do we slow down and go deeper in our classes?   Society moves so quickly - how can we help each other and our students to slow down in our learning and thinking?

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, August 20, 6:19 PM

School's objective, as a subset of education, is not to create citizens and individuals. It involves the being and becoming of people, one person at a time. Teaching and learning are not flipping burgers by rote and fixed recipe. It is about engaging and meeting people where they are in their learning as people. This takes time and is patient work that can never be hurried. The late Ted Aoki used the word linger. David Jardine uses whiling over the worth of what we learn.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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The Secret of Effective Motivation - NYTimes.com

The Secret of Effective Motivation - NYTimes.com | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Chris Wejr's insight:
Must read article by Barry Schwartz. Too often in education we hear a "motivational" focus on grades, test scores, and future jobs in... While if we keep the focus on the internal drive of learning, it goes a lot further.
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Instructional Agility 

Instructional Agility  | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
By Tom Schimmer For an assessment to serve a truly formative purpose, it needs to cause some action by the teacher and students. In other words, the information gleaned must have the potential to i...
Chris Wejr's insight:
I love the idea of keeping formative assessment more as a verb (action) and less as a noun (event). Tom is a friend of mine and has been huge in my shift as an educator.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 1, 12:50 PM

All teaching and learning should be a verb and this includes assessing. Events are only nouns if we allow them to be. They end up as a point in time. Emmanuel Levinas used events to describe the continuous flow living assumes. Assessing is a hermeneutic process which involves navigating and mapping always new territory. We have never visited this point and event before and we cannot visit it again.

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Heavily Decorated Classrooms Disrupt Attention and Learning In Young Children - Association for Psychological Science

Heavily Decorated Classrooms Disrupt Attention and Learning In Young Children - Association for Psychological Science | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
Chris Wejr's insight:
Interesting study that also validates the work of Shanker on "visual clutter". We put so much effort into our classrooms to make them engaging... Do we put too much?
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Louie Schwartzberg: Happiness Revealed, Gratitude - YouTube

A Moving Art original short. This inspirational video was well responded at TED conferences and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg motivates those around him as ha...
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This was shared with me by Victoria - a creative and moving reminder to look through a positive lens.

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Kids Do Well if They Can Ross Greene #1 - YouTube

This is the most important theme of Collaborative Problem Solving: the belief that if kids could do well they would do well. In other words, if the kid had t...
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This shift in philosophy changed everything for me.

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The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports | Changing the Game Project

The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports | Changing the Game Project | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
The American youth sports system is mirroring our academic quagmire, where hyper-competitive adults are driving children down a path to nowhere. We need to make some basic changes to put our players first.
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A great read - is this a microcosm for society and youth?
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Learning Stories: Documentation Project - Pedagogical Narration in Saanich Elementary Schools - YouTube

Elementary Saanich School District educators describe their experience using pedagogical narration in their classrooms.
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An alternative and progressive way of capturing evidence of student learning... Sharing the stories of student learning through images and video, rather than solely pencil and paper.
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Learning vs Marks – What’s important to students? | Educating in the 21st Century

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A great conversation starter by Delta educator Aaron Akune that includes some reflective questions that got me thinking (from when I was in the classroom more often): Do our students focus on task completion over learning? Do our students focus on grade-getting over learning? What messages do we send to our students with our assessments?

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 24, 2:03 PM

Learning is about being able to increasingly assess one's progress. It is a process of increased self-direction, self-discipline, and reflection which enables learning. Marks are a snapshot in time and averages out learning in ways that may be deceptive. The self-assessment processes are important to make sense of the marks.

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A critical truce in the war between traditionalists and progressives

Chris Wejr's insight:
An interesting article via my friend Joe Bower that challenges to go deeper in our critical reflections when we discuss education reform.
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The Wejr Board - Making Meetings Meaningful

"As a teacher, I sat through endless staff meetings where information was relayed and the same teachers commented and gave their donated ‘air time’.  As a principal, one of my main goals was to make staff meetings meaningful.  Just like a teacher designs his/her lessons with the students in mind, staff meetings need to be designed with the staff in mind!"

 
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A post I wrote as a new principal in 2010 as I pondered the organization of staff meetings.  Aligns with some of our recent conversations.

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The Wejr Board - Do We REALLY Believe in Inclusion?

The Wejr Board - Do We REALLY Believe in Inclusion? | Professional Learning at James Hill Elementary | Scoop.it
…sharing stories that reflect on the present & future system of education
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My latest post that shares observations and questions about a mindset of inclusion in society and education.

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, January 30, 12:27 AM

We want to belong and feel we make a difference. That does not happen in schools.