Verbal Assessment in PE – Part 2

 By Tammy Berry, CSS Phys. Ed teacher  For more information on this project, please read the first blog post here. I have now completed 100 grade 6 Garage Band (converted into iTunes) audio recordings. These audio recordings were placed on the desktops of students’ personal computers. Students received a mark on their written report card and then had an audio recording to replace the written comment for PE Term Two. These recording were about 3-4 minutes long in length. Why did I do these recordings? To get to know the students better (especially to find out what physical activity they … Continue reading Verbal Assessment in PE – Part 2

Action Strategies for Fostering Effective Relationships

-by Garry McKinnon, Superintendent  In my last blog highlighting the first of the seven school leadership competencies, fostering effective relationships, I presented three scenarios which represented real life experiences I have encountered. It is helpful to consider the school leadership competencies in the context of realities which those in formal school leadership roles (principal, assistant/vice principal) may encounter. In this blog, I will present two more scenarios and will offer what I would describe as action strategies for school leaders to foster effective relationships. Scenario One- At the first staff meeting of the year, the principal articulates a strong belief … Continue reading Action Strategies for Fostering Effective Relationships

Parent Engagement: Where to from here?

-by Tanya Stogre, Grade 5 Humanities In the preceding three blogs, I have outlined the research behind why parental and community engagement is important; the differences between ‘involvement’ and ‘engagement’, as well as specific examples of each at the Calgary Science School. In the final blog of the series, I want to look at the question “where do we go from here?” To answer this question, I look specifically to a document written by Dr. Garry McKinnon & Mr. Lyle Lorenz (2005) from the College of Alberta School Superintendents Module Building Effective Partnerships for School Improvement: A Principal’s Guide for … Continue reading Parent Engagement: Where to from here?

The Cat Food Problem

-by Val Barnes (Grade 5 Math Teacher) and Kevin Sonico (Math Learning Coach) The Grade 5 students were posed with the task of determining which store, Petland or PetSmart, gave a better deal on the same brand and same size of cat food (Figure 1). Before proceeding with their solutions, students must hypothesize through estimation and rounding which of the two would be the better deal. Students then worked in groups to solve this problem. Each group was also assigned a Grade 8 student who facilitated the discussion. The facilitators’ responsibilities did not include providing hints or strategies, rather to … Continue reading The Cat Food Problem

Video Assessment in PE, Part II

-by Dean Schmeichel, Phys. Ed. Teacher (For more information on this project, read the first blog post here) I have now completed all of the video recordings for 300 students. There is a clip of the students participating in PE class (approximately one minute) and a conversation between each student and myself that lasts for an average of three minutes. This process was a lot of work and at times I questioned my own intelligence in taking it on. Benefits: The four minutes of total video each student receives, is far superior in multiple ways to a traditional written comment … Continue reading Video Assessment in PE, Part II

Grade 8 Magazine Project

-by Dave Scott, Grade 8 Humanities Recently grade 8 Humanities students finished an inquiry unit that brought together an independent novel study with the creation of their own magazine. For this project students were asked to select a novel of their choice and work through a series of four writing assignments listed below. Each writing piece was given a two page spread in their magazine. This along with a cover, quote page, table of content and ad page, resulted in a 12 page magazine. An outline of each of the four writing assignments can be found at these links on … Continue reading Grade 8 Magazine Project

The Scorpion Project: Novel Inquiry in Progress

By Ivy Waite, grade 9 Humanities This novel inquiry is housed online at The Scorpion Project. As students are sharing their work through blogger, building the project there as well allows us to model the use of technology that we expect to see.  Novel studies are supposed to be about connecting with literature. They are intended to give readers an opportunity to look deeper into themselves and their surroundings through another set of experiences, whether real or fictional. The Scorpion Project is more than a novel study however, it is a novel inquiry.  The project launch began with a conversation about inquiry and … Continue reading The Scorpion Project: Novel Inquiry in Progress

Aurasma: Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Dan McWilliam – Grade 7 Humanities Augmented Reality is the digital layering of information overtop of, or in front of, the real world. This content is viewable through a digital device that places it realtime over the real world through the camera. Imagine a pair of eye glasses that could show the Facebook status or most recent Twitter above a person’s head. Augmented Reality browsers are working to make this possible. Some advances have been made in this with browsers such as Wikitude, Layar, Junaio, Acrossair and others. These make it possible to view YouTube videos in the places they … Continue reading Aurasma: Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Implementing iPads (Part 2)

In the last posting I looked at the technical setup of our iPad initiative, but never really touched on our rational for the project and some of our initial realizations. That will be the focus of this posting. VISION Our interest in iPads was two-fold. We wanted to find a product that encouraged content creation with the freedom a mobile device permits. We knew that we needed to find a product that could be used as a productivity tool. It is too easy to use technology as a passive consumer of information. We needed to find a tool that allowed … Continue reading Implementing iPads (Part 2)

Learning Coaches at CSS: The Very Beginning….

-by Erin Couillard, PD and Collaboration Coordinator At the end of the year last year, the administration at the Calgary Science School proposed the idea of modifying the existing role of Curriculum Lead to that of a Learning Coach. Traditionally the Curriculum Leaders (one Math/Science and one Humanities) at CSS were in charge of the team budget, team meetings and coordinating PD opportunities within their curricular area such as lesson studies. Within this role there was no formal instructional leadership component built in. That said, Curriculum Leaders did serve, in an informal capacity, as mentors within the school. The shift … Continue reading Learning Coaches at CSS: The Very Beginning….