Building Homes in South Africa

This year one of our Grade 6 Humanities Teachers, Chris Dittmann, is volunteering for a organization, Hands at Work, that works with HIV orphaned children in Africa. Chris has dreamed up a project that he’s hoping the Calgary Science School community will help support. A letter from Chris: Greetings to all of you at CSS from hot and sunny South Africa. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Mr. Dittmann and I am usually a Humanities teacher at CSS. I say “usually” because this school year I have taken a leave of absence from my teaching … Continue reading Building Homes in South Africa

More Math Podcasting

In a recent post we shared an example of podcasting as a powerful tool for students to demonstrate their mathematic thinking. Here’s another example of students recording their mathematical thinking, this time by a grade 4 student. We believe that this is one of the most powerful uses of a 1:1 laptop program – how technology can empower students to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways. This video was made by a grade 4 student using this National Library of Virtual Manipulatives website – and then using the SMARTrecorder tool (comes with the SMART notebook software). As with all our … Continue reading More Math Podcasting

Google Earth for Mapping Math

Our grade 5’s have just finished using Google Earth to solve a math problem designed to build large number sense. The students were challenged to find a route across Canada, starting in Calgary, that would take them to each of the capital cities. The trip could go in any order after leaving Calgary, but the students needed to complete their trip using at least 20,000 km and not going over 25,000 km. In order to complete the trip, the students first needed to know the names and locations of all 14 capital cities, including territories and the capital of Canada, … Continue reading Google Earth for Mapping Math

Reimagining the Future of Education in the 21st century

At the end of last school year, the Grade 8 Humanities team (Rachelle Savoie and David Scott) and their students embarked on a project examining the question: If schools got it right for adolescent learners, what would they look like? To prepare students to respond to this question, we looked at various resources that provided context around traditional approaches to education and the history of schools in North America. This exploration included the following references: Where do schools come from? (Dr. Sharon Friesen’s Perspective:) Where schools have gone wrong: The Residential School Experience (Muffins for Granny: and Lorna Crowshoe as … Continue reading Reimagining the Future of Education in the 21st century

1:1 Research Report – Year Three

Here at the Calgary Science School we are currently in our 5th year of 1:1 computing. As part of our 1:1 program, the University of Calgary, along with the Galileo Educational Network have been researching our 1:1 program. Below you’ll find the full research report from year three of our program: Citation for 1:1 Report:Jacobsen, M., Friesen, S. & Saar, C. (2010). Teaching and learning in a one‐to‐one mobile computing environment: A research report on the personalized learning initiative At Calgary Science School. Report delivered to the Board of the Calgary Science School, March 2010. Continue reading 1:1 Research Report – Year Three

Resources for MT Year-One Lecture

This week, three of our teachers are giving the two morning lectures to 350 first year education students at the University of Calgary. We are sharing the vision we have for inquiry-based learning at the Calgary Science School, and using some of our classroom projects as a way to illustrate how strong inquiry-based work is carefully and thoughtfully designed. The two slide shows given are: Engaging Teaching and Learning at the Calgary Science School WorldView: From Abstract to Reality View more presentations from Calgary Science School. During the MT lecture we mentioned the Inquiry Rubric developed by the Galileo … Continue reading Resources for MT Year-One Lecture

Illustrative Examples of Inquiry-Based Learning

Here at the Calgary Science School we build our understanding of inquiry-based learning around the Inquiry Rubric developed in conjunction with the Galileo Educational Network. To help unpack how the Galileo Inquiry Rubric is lived out in specific projects from our school, we’ve compiled the following list of projects tied to particular elements of the Inquiry Rubric: Authenticity Boreal Forst Study Sustainable Communities Google Earth for Mapping Math Academic Rigour Worldview Survey Water Quality Testing Creating Virtual Rube Goldberg Machines Active Exploration Renaissance Project Grade 5 Historical Fiction Compassion Canada Your Story is My Story Endangered Species Assessment for Learning … Continue reading Illustrative Examples of Inquiry-Based Learning

Assessment Discussions at CSS

Assessment has been a hot topic at the Calgary Science School over the last year. (AISI Cycle 4) Our AISI funding has allowed teachers to meet periodically in 2009-2010 to review the assessment strategies of the school as they pertain to our AISI assessment goals, and to review some of the pillars of the school’s assessment philosophy. The following video is a compilation of numerous assessment-related discussions that occurred during PD days during the the 2009-2010 school year. In the video you’ll see teachers discuss the following three key areas over the course of three professional development days offered over … Continue reading Assessment Discussions at CSS