Friday, 30 December 2011

Long time no post!

My goodness I have neglected my blog.  Tis the life of a teacher, busy busy.  I was thrilled to be featured in the Coquitlam Now recently discussing how teachers are communicating with parents without using report cards.  To be honest I prefer this method to report cards.  I've always found that when you give people grades on something that is all they care about.  They don't read your very thoughtful comments on their child or what you could do to help improvement, it's all about the grades.  And how do you grade a 4th or 5th grade child?  Really they are still developing.  I can't give them percentages or large reports to do.  I have to look at a performance standard rubric and base my interpretations on that.  As someone who has taught this grade for a while it's a little easier for me to say, that's an A or that's a B.  But in today's society people just assume they will get an A and if I don't give it, it's somehow my fault??  This is bizarre thinking considering I received mostly Bs or C grades my entire life.  I worked very hard but sometimes I just didn't quite reach the A.  A's should be hard to achieve, they stand for "Excellent" and I'm afraid we are not all excellent all the time.

Anyway, enough about report cards.  I also received a link that will be put on the district site soon which shows people who have created innovative spaces in their classrooms.  I appear on the link, which was created by Greg!  Who helped inspire me with my space!  So I'm looking forward to seeing and reading all about other people's ideas.

My master's project needs to be piloted this coming month.  I will need to get permissions and figure out where to place a video camera to record the kids.  My project has updated itself a little.  I'm looking at how choice of work space affects students on-task behaviour in a work choice setting.  Since my kids will be choosing their own work (which they are used to) I will be filming them on how they behave when they sit where they want, versus me telling them where to sit.  In order to keep this real I will be using January to alternate them with choice versus no choice, then in February I will be recording and documenting.  Fun times!!!  I hope it all goes well and I get some results that help teachers with their work spaces.

Another new development:  the students asked to be able to bring in pillows for working on/with.  I said yes, with parent permission.  One pillow has arrived.  That student seems very happy to do his work while resting his back against the pillow.  The chairs we have suck, so if pillows work, so be it!  We will see how this continues but the kids are great at decision making and helping me make the space easier for them to focus.

Hopefully I will update more often!