Posting to SeeSaw

Posting to SeeSaw

I have completed your report cards and they are available in Encom under the “Report Cards” button.

It was great to see some of a close-up view of learner’s educational growth. There were questions about what to post in SeeSaw . So this letter is to provide you with some useful guidance.

Use the shotgun approach.

The point of a shotgun is that it shoots many bullets in the hopes that some will find their target. When you upload a lot of items it allows me to sift through to find what I’m looking for. I find things like Heath Education in your Bible uploads and Career Education in your PE activities. I make comments about the learners' frequency of practice and inferences about the time a learner spends on learning tasks.

Remember kids can learn to post their own work to SeeSaw.

Upload pictures of children while doing activities. Say what the picture shows.

Leave notes and messages. Your comments and notes are valuable. They do not replace samples of learner’s work, but they are very good for making sense of it.

Post tables of contents of resources you are using. When you do that, check off what you’ve done.

Scan and send anything the learner has created such as

Worksheets that are completed
A drawing with words
Writing samples, paragraphs, essays
Video recording of the student reading or performing
A written project.
Recorded presentations of a project.

Open-ended work is much more interesting and valuable as evidence of learning. Open-ended questions can best be understood as questions that aren’t either right or wrong. Open-ended questions can be wrong, partly wrong, partly right, mostly right, or right. They can be poor answers, fair answers, good answers, or excellent answers. Here’s a couple of examples:

Closed-ended questions

Polycarp was born in the year _________.
The moon is _________ km from the sun.
In what year did the apostle John die?

Open-ended questions:

How did Polycarp contribute to the early church?
Draw the earth and moon in a scale drawing and describe the moon's distance compared to its size.
What did the death of the apostle John mean to the early church?

Upload one sample of each subject every other week. if you're not able to use the shotgun approach

For example:
Week 1: Language Arts, Bible, Science, ADST, and PE/Health
Week 2: Socials, Art, Career, Math, Foreign Language

Please note that the time is short between now and the end of Term 2. A reasonable level of posting would be an average of one item per day per child. More is always better.

Happy Learning.

Dates and Resources

My main job during this part of the year is to review your samples and provide feedback. The more samples you send the more you get service you get from Rob. I look in SeeSaw each morning and respond to everything I see. 

Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends

December 24-Jan. 1 HCOS Offices Closed

February 22 Term Two cutoff for submissions to SeeSaw

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

 

Growth Mindset

Reflections on Learning

A Growth Mindset

When my daughter was very young, she fell from a swing and broke her arm. Well, it was mostly broken. I remember vividly the 45-degree bend in her forearm. It also became one of her earliest memories that I scooped her from the ground and in one motion called out to my wife Cheryl, carried her to the car and drove to the hospital. Doctors were kind; and, the bone was set under anesthesia. What was fascinating, though, is that the doctor came out and said it wasn’t as bad as it looked, all he had to do was bend the bone back. I would have straightened out on its own. I actually knew the biology there. Bones grow toward the stresses they encounter.

One feature of living things is that they grow and reproduce themselves. If an organism no longer wishes to grow, then the process of decay is already setting in, even if only in some aspect. Every healthy creature has the desire and tendency to grow. As human beings, however, we have more than the tendency to grow, we have the power to direct our own growth.

I grow weary of constant improvement culture simply because nothing is ever good enough. It’s not that I don’t want to improve, but I want to direct my own improvement in response to the stressors in my life and professional practice. One of the rarely discussed aspects of being a teacher is that there is never enough of you. I’m sure that’s true for parent-teachers as well. All you hear is do more of this and do more of that. If only someone could explain what to do less of! Now that would be progress!

 

I think our children are like that too. I think they want to grow but they want to control the direction of their growth. Of course, they’re too young to make great decisions about their growth. Many of the things they attempt actually threaten them in some way. If you watch a child play, however, they are constantly pushing at that envelope of what they can do. They love to grow. If a child does something for the first time, they will likely tell their parents.

Children should have practice making decisions. Parents should provide boundaries for those decisions. We always asked ourselves if what our children wanted to do was somehow morally or life-threatening. Often it was. But, depending on their age, there are many choices a child can make. I would encourage parents who are acting in the role of teachers to consider exercising the child’s decision-making process. Would you like to ride a bike to church or walk? Notice attending church is not an option, but whether to ride or walk is. Would you like to work at reading or writing this morning? Would you prefer swimming or gymnastics for PE? When we grow in our ability to make decisions, we can also grow in our capacity to direct our own growth, which is the very nature of adulthood.

Consider fostering in your children a growth mindset. A child becomes a learner when they develop personal interests. One of the best ways to get started is if their parents model the growth mindset for themselves. What are the stressors in your life? What would we like to achieve in the next year to relieve those stressors? How can we create milestones and recognize efforts? Parents and children can work together. Children can come to recognize what they know and need to know to meet their own goals.


Remember the power of “yet”. A growth mindset always adds the word “yet”. Has your child ever said, “I can’t do it”? A growth mindset adds the word “yet”. “I can’t do it yet”. With guidance, a child can learn to set some of their own educational goals that are visible, doable, and timely. This worksheet might be just a small start for fostering a growth mindset.

 

 

Dates and Resources

My main job during this part of the year is to review your samples and provide feedback. The more samples you send the more you get service you get from Rob. I look in SeeSaw each morning and respond to everything I see. 

Growth Mindset Printable 

Notes

  1. SeeSaw is working well. If you're having trouble accessing it or would like extra support in SeeSaw, drop me a text or email and let me know when we can get together. Providing evidence and samples of your child's development is required in this program. That said nearly everyone does an amazing job of getting me samples through SeeSaw. Congrats to you all.  If you have not posted on every subject by November 15, I'll use the phone or Zoom to get a better idea. If you'd like to schedule it now, send me an email.
  2. Foundation Skills Assessment for Grade 4 and 7. You will receive a package. Just to the tests as outlined in the instructions. Some people make the tests out to be more important than they are. They are a sort of intensive survey. Your individual results can vary on any given day, but they do provide parents, schools, and the Ministry of Education invaluable information for how we are doing. Please do participate.  Participation can also be a learning experience for both youth and parents.

Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends

I am using SeeSaw and gathering information for report cards until November 23, which is the end of the term. I will begin writing report cards on November 12 based on what you have uploaded.  Where there is enough data to write a report card I will alert you so that you can send in additional information. In most cases when there is a problem in the report card it is not due to lack of learning but due to a lack of communication and reporting. Please send lots of school work into SeeSaw. Some of you are sending a lot of pictures of outings and activities. These are great, but please do not send only that. I need to see what the learners are able to do. In the case of computer-based learning, pictures of the screen can be an excellent way of recording progress.

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

 

In Celebration of Mistakes

Reflections on Learning

Celebrating Mistakes

Much to the annoyance of people around me, I tend to think in creative but logical and linear terms. I like my thoughts ordered and sensible but they don't come out that way to start. My imagination tends to be imagining solutions to the disorder. I imagine myself an architect of technological and human systems, processes, and even movements. This may annoy my friends who have to hear about it. They can never keep quite keep up because next, I'll design something new. What annoys me is designs that nobody actually follows. Sometimes I feel like that last person to follow the rules. It conjures up images of friends all laughing and wondering why I’m still doing things that old way.

I make a lot of spelling mistakes. The English language seems devoid of rules and I never know what other people are doing. I'm busy creating reality in my head, why should I care what everyone is doing? For example, I learned “i” before “e” except after “c”. I liked that, it was a solid rule. Hardly. The first part of that rule is okay, most words put the “i” first, but when you have a “c” most words still put the “i” first. The iciest glaciers make idiocies out of the conceit of “except after c.” It pricks the conscience sufficiently and proficiently to imagine this scientific deficiency. I make a lot of spelling mistakes because I keep thinking there must be some logical way to know how to spell words, when really, they are just conventions, and I’m not wired for conventions.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who make mistakes and those who correct them. There are those who create content and those who spot the mistakes in the content. Professors are the exception who often seem to be people who can master both. When we think about our values as men and women of faith what is more important, to live without making mistakes or to live our lives fully? So go ahead make mistakes. You learn a lot more from making a mistake than from getting it right.

One of the areas where we need to make more mistakes is in writing. The first priority in writing needs to be to get what’s in our minds—our ideas, imagination, and responses, into printed form. This can be done through cursive, printing or typing. Some will do it with their thumbs on a phone. Start by making every mistake. Then go back and fix it after you’re done. In your PC there’s something called “Notepad”. That’s a great word processor that won’t get in your way. No spell check, no grammar check, just you and the keyboard. Spit it out! Later, fixing those mistakes is a great way to learn spelling and grammar.

Mistakes make great design and scientific discoveries. Mistakes happen we do stuff and follow through on ideas. Mistakes happen when we're creative and fully engaged in self-expression and making a difference. Mistakes are fun and interesting.  The worlds most creative people are the ones who are willing to make the most mistakes.

Mistakes also make a great topic for study. The world’s greatest mistake might be a good Social Studies investigation. Think of the Titanic, the army that attacked itself or the Mars Polar Orbiter which crashed because of Metric vs Imperial measure. Go ahead, get messy, make mistakes and learn.

Dates and Resources

My main job during this part of the year is to review your samples and provide feedback. The more samples you send the more you get service you get from Rob. I look in SeeSaw each morning and respond to everything I see. 

Tasks for You

  1. Social Studies Samples. In a few short weeks, I'll be reporting on your child's progress in Social Studies. I would like everyone to send in samples of what your children are able to do in Social Studies.  Please upload it to SeeSaw and I'll find it there. 
  2. SeeSaw is working well. If you're having trouble accessing it or would like extra support in SeeSaw, drop me a text or email and let me know when we can get together. Providing evidence and samples of your child's development is required in this program. That said nearly everyone does an amazing job of getting me samples through SeeSaw. Congrats to you all.  If you have not posted on every subject by November 15, I'll use the phone or Zoom to get a better idea. If you'd like to schedule it now, send me an email.
  3. Foundation Skills Assessment for Grade 4 and 7. You will receive a package. Just to the tests as outlined in the instructions. Some people make the tests out to be more important than they are. They are a sort of intensive survey. Your individual results can vary on any given day, but they do provide parents, schools, and the Ministry of Education invaluable information for how we are doing. Please do participate.  Participation can also be a learning experience for both youth and parents.

Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends

I am using SeeSaw and gathering information for report cards until November 23, which is the end of the term. I will begin writing report cards on November 12 based on what you have uploaded.  Where there is enough data to write a report card I will alert you so that you can send in additional information. In most cases when there is a problem in the report card it is not due to lack of learning but due to a lack of communication and reporting. Please send lots of school work into SeeSaw. Some of you are sending a lot of pictures of outings and activities. These are great, but please do not send only that. I need to see what the learners are able to do. In the case of computer-based learning, pictures of the screen can be an excellent way of recording progress.

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

 

Science Education

Reflections on Learning

What is Science?

Science is:

A body of knowledge
A set of skills for learning about nature

 

Science sets aside what you think is the answer. If you already know the answer you don't need science skills. To build science skills, find a topic where your comfortable exploring without having any form of an answer to start with. Some examples could be the physics of bouncing or rolling balls, the chemistry of baking soda and vinegar, or the effect of light on plants.

Skills:
Get curious and decide what you want to know. Turn it into a question in your mind. For example, you might like to know if a plant grows faster under a blue light or red light. The best part is you don't know the answer, but if you do a fair test you can figure it out.

Figure out a fair test. Break it down into materials and procedure. Find a way to collect measurements of weight and length.

Scientists also like to apply knowledge in real life. A scientist will test her knowledge to make sure it's really true. For example, does water sort soil into particles of various sizes? Is water good at this or only so-so? A ten-year-old in a garden with a hose could figure this out, but not without trying it. That's science. You have to try it. Science is not just the answers, it's a way of getting them.

Do you have an annoying child that wants to ask why? Why is the sky blue and a plant green? The child who asks why is a scientist. A child may also ask how such as, how do plants respond to their environment? How can we make energy go from one thing to another?

Scientists are communicators. They share their observations with others. Many children love to learn by trying things. The best things parents can do is to teach them how to record and share their observations. No child wants to write lab reports, but perhaps it can be negotiated. Lab reports done well can turn messing around into a career. Lab reports need a question or hypotheses. They need a 'method' for conducting a test. They need to collect information and make observations systematically, for example, by measuring the height of a plant every day. They need to display that information and very possibly conduct calculations on those data. Then they need to draw conclusions that are justified on the basis of the data.

Scientists must make keen observations. They make records and compare them to other records. For example, if you had been keeping a record of the weather you might know if the snow is early or late this year. What is the average temperature over a month? How can you get that number? Scientists must also practice looking closely at small things. Why do a twigs break and wires bend? How is a wire able to bend while a twig breaks? The answer might require a very close examination of both. A scientist can learn a lot from small details gained by observations.

Scientists also make observations systematically: they follow a plan. Planning observations can lead to experiments. A lot of what people call experiments aren't experiments at all. Those activities are still good to do, but they could be so much better if they were controlled. If I wire a flashlight bulb to a battery, and the bulb lights up, that's not an experiment that's a demonstration. To make it a controlled experiment you would have to make two circuits but make one thing different in each.

In a controlled experiment there is one thing you change on purpose, and there is one thing that gets changed as a result of the experiment. So, for example, I can control the colour of light a plant grows under. We can control how much water and soil each gets. We can control how much organic material is in the soil. We can control where the seed is planted. But what we cannot control is how fast the plant grows. That depends on the things we can control. So we call the thing we can't control the "dependent variable" and so, therefore, the other one is the "independent variable". Now with two variables we can make charts, draw graphs and tell stories. And this you can do at home.

This week I would like everyone to submit a sample of what they are doing in Science. It might be that you are learning a body of knowledge from a book. That's fine too. But I would encourage everyone to gain the skills of planning and conducting a controlled experiment. Regardless of what you do, I would like to see some science this week.

Dates and Resources

My main job during this part of the year is to review your samples and provide feedback. The more samples you send the more you get service you get from Rob. I look in SeeSaw each morning and respond to everything I see. 

Tasks for You

  1. Science Samples. In a few short weeks, I'll be reporting on your child's progress in Science. I would like everyone to send in samples of what your children are able to do in Science.  Please upload it to SeeSaw and I'll find it there. 
  2. SeeSaw is working well. If you're having trouble accessing it or would like extra support in SeeSaw, drop me a text or email and let me know when we can get together. Providing evidence and samples of your child's development is required in this program. That said nearly everyone does an amazing job of getting me samples through SeeSaw. Congrats to you all.  If you have not posted on every subject by November 15, I'll use the phone or Zoom to get a better idea. If you'd like to schedule it now, send me an email.
  3. Foundation Skills Assessment for Grade 4 and 7. You will receive a package. Just to the tests as outlined in the instructions. Some people make the tests out to be more important than they are. They are a sort of intensive survey. Your individual results can vary on any given day, but they do provide parents, schools, and the Ministry of Education invaluable information for how we are doing. Please do participate.  Participation can also be a learning experience for both youth and parents.

Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends

I am using SeeSaw and gathering information for report cards until November 23, which is the end of the term. I will begin writing report cards on November 12 based on what you have uploaded.  Where there is enough data to write a report card I will alert you so that you can send in additional information. In most cases when there is a problem in the report card it is not due to lack of learning but due to a lack of communication and reporting. Please send lots of school work into SeeSaw. Some of you are sending a lot of pictures of outings and activities. These are great, but please do not send only that. I need to see what the learners are able to do. In the case of computer-based learning, pictures of the screen can be an excellent way of recording progress.

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

 

Art Education

Reflections on Learning

I believe as you do that all human beings are created in the image of God. This is basic, but what does it mean? We’ve often seen how a warm wax can be stamped with an image. Human beings are stamped that way, with God’s image. Distorted that image may be, it is still real and important. Like God every human being is relational, wanting to connect and share an experience. To do this we use various languages. When we use words, we call it language arts; and, when we draw, dance, make music, or drama we apply every capacity to say, “I saw this”, or “I felt like that”, or “I’m like this”, and so on. 

The human imagination is also part of God’s image in us. Unlike any other creature, we can imagine how things could be and bring to life through images, scenarios, sounds, and movement. Children are so wired to do this that they do it constantly and spontaneously. They are sharing their experience, their observations, the content of their imagination, and the feelings of their hearts.

Imagine a child born with a cart they drag behind them. Perhaps that child is yourself. Label that cart “My Identity”. Only the child can put things in that cart, the defining experiences of life.  As children grow and share they develop a sense of connectedness and belonging. They can be influenced and they can influence other. A child knows they belong when they matter enough to share observations, music, dance, and drama. That identity cart can soon be full of stuffed animals representing heritage, family, faith, and ability. “I am a child of God” we would often tell our children, “and the evil one can’t touch me”.

Created in the image of God makes us creative and expressive. When we know who we are, and whose we are, we can hear that God calling us by name. We are moved to worship. Everywhere in the Bible, we find poetry and song. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD”, says the Psalmist. This especially includes children. Worship Arts are a key way that children can participate in the life of a church. They make a difference put into that cart, “I make a difference”.

Formal training really helps. Training develops talent, rarely is talent enough. Formal training enhances the power of a child to express themselves. For example, something as simple as how expression changes when on a piano the right hand becomes louder than the left can be powerful. This must be learned through time, coaching, and practice. While the child is young their brains are said to be “plastic”, that is, mouldable. The brains of musicians are able to track pitch and pace with exquisite perfection. The brains of visual artist see details that the rest of us miss. Actors perceive the feelings of others by the way they move and become alarmingly good at imitation. As a person becomes an adult they can still gain capacities, but it takes longer and requires more effort for the same gain. So the time to learn music, dramatic and visual arts is in childhood.

I have taught children with defiant and broken spirits. They are in conflict with all those around them. I have seen can take place when a simple horn is placed in their hands. And after a few lessons, they seem briefly transformed, as they inhabit the instrument and say to the world, I am here, take me in, I want a place in your universe. To teach your children well is to teach them the arts. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”.

Dates and Resources

What I'm up to

My goal this week is to be in touch with each one of you in some way, be it through email, phone or SeeSaw.  I want to thank everyone for their great dated samples of student work. I trust the government will be pleased. <Wry expression>  All of you have signed off on the SLP, and for that I am thankful.

Tasks for You

 

  1. Writing samples: It is important that I receive samples of writing.  For younger students this might mean making letters, and as children learn they make words, sentences, paragraphs, narratives, essays, poems, songs, novels and reports. Please send examples of what your children are currently able to write. 
  2. Foundation Skills Assessment for Grade 4 and 7. You will receive a package. Just to the tests as outlined in the instructions. Some people make the tests out to be more important than they are. They are a sort of intensive survey. Your individual results can vary on any given day, but they do provide parents, schools, and the Ministry of Education invaluable information for how we are doing. Please do participate.  Participation can also be a learning experience for both youth and parents.

Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends

I am using SeeSaw and gathering information for report cards until November 23, which is the end of the term. I will begin writing report cards on November 12 based on what you have uploaded.  Where there is enough data to write a report card I will alert you so that you can send in additional information. In most cases when there is a problem in the report card it is not due to lack of learning but due to a lack of communication and reporting. Please send lots of school work into SeeSaw. Some of you are sending a lot of pictures of outings and activities. These are great, but please do not send only that. I need to see what the learners are able to do. In the case of computer-based learning, pictures of the screen can be an excellent way of recording progress.

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

 

Learning in The Zone

Reflections on Learning

Learning in education is not so much about getting information in your head as it is about gaining the skills needed to work with that information. In order to gain skills, we must practice. Practice is what we do to improve how well we can do a task. In essence to practice is to try to do poorly that which we would like to do well. In a sense, practice is trying to do what we can no do, in order that someday we can. That’s why the little train said, “I think I can”. If you believe in your ability to learn, you can challenge yourself to learn. We’ve all done it.

It has been said that practice makes perfect. This is wrong. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. In music, if we rehearse our mistakes we’ll make them in performance. We must play slowly enough so that we don’t make the mistake. “First you get good”, as the Midas Muffler Man said, “And then you get fast”.

Learning a skill, you can’t do yet involves a continuum from easy to hard. The best difficulty level I call, “The Zone”. It is a glorious thing if learners are in The Zone. They are focussed and connected with the subject. They are not easily distracted. They know they can win, they know they will win, and they know that when they do win, they will feel good about themselves. Learning in The Zone is hard, and fun. More than fun, it is deeply satisfying. It makes a learner grow as a person.

When learners are in The Zone they benefit from help. Helpers don't do the practicing for the learner, but they provide feedback and answers just when needed. This idea of being to help when the learning gets hard is called 'scaffolding'. When a learner is in The Zone we provide scafolding to that they can practice properly and learn well.

Here is a chart that shows how learners may feel about a practice task. If you work closely with your children you know how they feel. Is it too easy? Then turn the page. Is it too hard? Back up. Find that sweet spot. How close to the frustration line a learner can go depends on their maturity. Most learners move around in the zone. That’s excellent learning. I would encourage you to take some time to study the diagram and think about how you and your children can be in The Zone.

Dates and Resources

What I'm up to

Getting on the phone to connect and make sure you're off to a good start and your details are in order.

Thanks for your uploads into SeeSaw.  I am finished your Student Learning Plans but I'm happy to get feedback from you and update them. Please to sign off as soon as possible, it's important.

Thanks for all of you who sent in learning samples. I'm still waiting for a few. They must show the student's work, and have the student's name and date on them. Although not strictly required, I appreciate full names and dates. So for example name: "Gary Oak" rather than "Gary". And date: "October 15, 2018", rather than "Oct 15". They must have a date on or before prior to   October 19, 2018.

Tasks for You

  1. Foundation Skills Assessment for Grade 4 and 7. You will receive a package. Just to the tests as outlined in the instructions. Some people make the tests out to be more important than they are. They are a sort of intensive survey. Your individual results can vary on any given day, but they do provide parents, schools, and the Ministry of Education invaluable information for how we are doing. Please do participate.  Participation can also be a learning experience for both youth and parents.
  2. SLP signoff: You will need to sign off on the learning plans when they are done. I will advise you when they are done. Signing off does not mean you approve or agree with everything that's there or that it is error free. It's not a commitment on your part to complete everything they say. Signing off means you acknowledge that we worked together to create the document. I am responsible for what is written there.
    The procedure is to:  Log into Encom,  click your child's name to go to their home page, find SLP Parent/Guardian sign off and click, follow the simple instructions entering your name and indicate your acknowledgment.
  3. Dated Samples:  For government requirements, samples must be something that the child has written with their own hands. Not pictures of children doing work, not pictures of their books, but samples of the work they are doing such as a completed worksheet.  The must have full name and date.

Dates and Links

You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.

 Rob Wahl recommended resources

Learn more about The Zone

Applied Design, Skills and Technologies

Reflections on Learning

Talking About Subjects

Each month I will (Lord willing, of course), try to provide you with a simple summary presentation of a "subject". I just like Monday Morning mental gymnastics.  Don't do this at home but I will be making subjects objects of study.  So we should because if we don't, they just sit there doing and meaning nothing. We must bring them to life through the action of inquiry.  (Hang in there I'll cut it out now)

ADST:  Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

When I was a youth there was a great deal of angst about how push buttons (automation) were taking people's jobs away. When I first saw this button I was a little confused by it. How does looking alive prevent you from being replaced by a button? Well, I think the point is that as humans we must do what machines cannot do. We must master them or they will master us. When we learn to use tools and machines we can make our lives our work a lot more interesting and our lives a lot better.  Note the commas in the title. It means putting to use (applying) all three of these.

Design a creative process. Designs come about because we have problems to solve. If we make a napkin holder we're solving the problem of keeping napkins in a place where we can get them. They have to stay in place, but then when we want to take one, they have to come free. So we solve this problem with a design. 

Skills are abilities we gain through practice. When we put our skills to use in the real world we call it applied skills. Back in the ancient days of the 1970's we had Home Economics for girls and Shop for boys. Home economics was sewing, cooking. Shop courses were Woodwork/Metalwork and Electricity/Drafting. Students deemed having a lower academic attitude were put into an occupational stream and learned trade skills. From about 1990 to 2010 students were required to master some sort of skill that could be applied in work situations. It's called an Applied Skill. Students were encouraged to pursue careers in the trades. It turns out that everyone needs applied skills, and that people who work on the trades need a whole host of other skills such as communications, mathematics and the skills of science.

Technology means know-how. Sometimes technology means the fruit of scientific investigation, but unscientific people also have know-how and lots of it. Today's know-how is centered around computers and computer networks, but it also includes all the know-how it takes to make and create the things in our lives. Children are encouraged to learn basic computer coding and to understand how computers and software actually work. Robotics is an example of computer technology that requires coding.

In Grade 1 to 5 children are encouraged to explore technologies. We track and report what they are learning as they go through the different activities. Coding is an excellent choice and skills in coding today can be important to many careers such as project managers, IT professionals, engineers, scientists, and data analysts. In rural areas where specialists aren't available, people need to be quite flexible. For me, the skills to use coding and scripting to gather and analyze student data accelerated my career in educational administration.  In Grade 6 to 9 youth are required to engage in a program of study involving three modules or subtopics which we design together as we go through the planning process. I would highly recommend that one of those three be coding.  A single coding project brings together design, skills, and technologies.

Patterns in wood like this one are often made with a computer-driven device called a C&C.

As children grow into adults they grow in their skills but some themes emerge. We learn that designs improve as we use iterative (repeating) processes. The third napkin holder I make is likely to be better than the first. Practice helps with skills, and as we gain experience we also learn to choose the right tool for the job. Experience also lets us take on more complex tasks and not only solve our own problems, but the problems others have as well. Sometimes you have to mix and match your tools and technologies. Finally, we learn the power to plan ahead and how doing things in the right order can make all the difference. Now I know to finish the inside of my napkin holder before I glue it up.

Dates and Resources

What I'm up to

Working on learning plans is interesting and challenging work. I now have all the information from each one of you to finish the task. My goal is to finish by the end of this week, but I'm promising my aging physical body that I will not sit behind a computer all day.

Thanks for your uploads into SeeSaw. I'm still so focused on learning plans that I have yet to establish my routine. Responses will be random for another week. After that, it should settle down to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon to respond to SeeSaw uploads. SeeSaw participation and the quality of the uploads is exceeding all my expectations. Well done to all of you.

Tasks for You

  1. SLP signoff: You will need to sign off on the learning plans when they are done. I will advise you when they are done. Signing off does not mean you approve or agree with everything that's there or that it is error free. Signing off means you acknowledge that we worked together to create the document. I am responsible for what is written there. Procedure is:
    • Log into Encom
    • Click your child's name to go to their home page
    • Find SLP Parent/Guardian sign off and click
    • Follow the simple instructions entering your name and indicate your acknowledgment.
  2. Dated Samples: During the first two weeks of October I will need three samples of your child's work. Because we're using SeeSaw this should be easy, but for government requirements, I'll need a certain kind of sample. It has to be something that the child has written with their own hands. Not pictures of children doing work, not pictures of their books, but samples of the work they are doing such as a completed worksheet. Samples should look like 45 minutes to an hour's work.

Dates and Links

In the future I'll be putting ongoing useful information here.

The Promise of a New Year

Reflections on Learning

Ever notice we who have children or work in education have two new years? That is a good thing. I love the promise of a new year. A chance to get right what didn't work last year, and a chance to speed up what did work. We are filled with optimism and idealism. Enjoy the moment. It's every bit as real as the struggles and challenges that inevitably follow. Let yourself be inspired. You don't do this because you like to struggle, you do because it is God's calling.

Why does the school year start in September? When school for kids first started it was year around. But in rural and farming areas attendance was poor in the summer term. Children were needed to work in the fields. So to save money they canceled the summer term. Then the fall naturally became the time to re-start, so that seemed like the time to start the year.
Strangely I didn't know that until I asked the question why do we have two new years. Questions that start with why are often powerful to learning. Little kids ask 'why' a lot. Bigger kids should too. They should hone their skills so they can find the answers on their own. To hone skills use this rule: first, you watch, then you try with help, then with less help, then on your own with access to support, then all on your own with someone you can show off the results to.

I trust and pray at this time that you would have a great year. May God bless and guide your decision

Dates and Resources

What I'm up to

With the exception of one new student, I've spent time with each of you to talk about the new year. Not enough time to be sure. I am keeping up with day to day matters and leaning into planning out the year, one family at a time. It is important that we are intentional about education. That's my role is to work with you until we have a meaningful year plan.

Communication and work routine:
I would encourage each of you to develop a routine. Put a weekly schedule on the wall near the dining room table where you do school. I'm slow to arise and build energy over the day. So my routine this year will be to wake and after devotions and breakfast, and go out and discover the wood shop for the rest of the morning. From about 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm I'll be at my desk.
I love to take your calls any time between 9:00am and 9:00pm. When you call me there's a definite area that needs attention. If you don't call me I'll call you just to catch up. If you call in the afternoon while I'm at my desk I might be more nimble, have access to more information and be able to handle things right away. Regardless, I'll repeat myself, call me anytime-- except during church. 🙂

Dates and Links

In the future I'll be putting ongoing useful information here.

The Promise of a New Year

About the Learning

I love the promise of a new year. A chance to get right what didn't work last year, and a chance to speed up what did work. We are filled with optimism and idealism. Enjoy the moment. It's every bit as real as the struggles and challenges that inevitably follow. Let yourself be inspired. You don't do this because you like to struggle, you do because it is God's calling.

Dates and Resources

Here's all our dates and links

Finish Well

Newsletter May 28,  2018

Photo: Skeena River in Winter as seen from the Old Bridge

Finish Well

It’s a lovely, heady time of year when we make memories and flourish with the wonders of spring.  Although routines may change, I encourage you to keep learning and documenting learning. With few exceptions, we do not win the race by coasting in the final strides.   Finish well!

  1. Get your portfolio samples in by June 8
  2. Do the self-assessment in Encom
  3. Set down plans for next year
  4. Take field trip
  5. Leave yourself notes and plans for next year.
  6. Purchase a few items to get started in September.
  7. Complete any registration tasks still outstanding.

This may be my final newsletter for a while, I would enjoy doing a final send-off letter later in June. I am gratified that almost all of you have signed up again next year. I have one new family and a handful who are entering the Graduation Program. I feel like I’m at a sustainable level of work and I really do enjoy making a positive contribution toward you and your families. I continue to pray for you and your children, not merely that they would learn well, but that they would grow into strong and able adults. What the world needs more than anything is families who exemplify the life of Christ in every aspect of life.  I pray that you would grow well, learn well, and live well, for this is the will of God for you.

During this time of year, I find it important to keep tabs on the calendar.  There's a very important event for me coming up. Next month I have the privilege and honour to be an official delegate to the General Assembly of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada which this year is being held in Calgary. I covet your prayers; the Assembly needs to find consensus on how we communicate our moral positions to a hurting and diverse world. What we decide is of national interest and could lead to media attention for good or ill.

Organizers

Important:

Please login to Encom and complete the self-assessment process with your child. This is an important Ministry requirement. Here's a link to help

Parent and Kid Friendly Performance Standards for Writing (Link)

Empowering Young Writers Web Page.

Questions as organizers:

Download Word Doc View in Browser
Social Studies Questions        Social Studies Questions      
Science Questions Science Questions

 

That will take me away from home from June 4 to 10 although I will keep up with and phone calls as long as they don’t come during debates or sessions. I don’t actually plan to attend workshops which are more geared for pastors. I will be home Monday, June 11, to take your calls and emails, but also to immerse myself in full days of Report Card writing. Report Cards are due June 22nd, and they are visible to you as soon as they are done. If I have questions during the writing of report cards I do make calls, sometimes even more than one. If you are expecting to be away from home between June 12 and 22 please let me know.  I’ll email after I finish each family’s report card. I start with the youngest children but also do siblings at the same time when they have similar programs. I like to work from youngest to oldest because it helps me keep in mind expectations for a given grade level.

The trip to Calgary is my only major trip before the last week of August when we HCOS teachers return like salmon to HCOS headquarters. Otherwise, we are planning to sit tight around Terrace this summer working on the house, yard, and shop. I hope to do home visits in the early afternoons of Monday, August 27 and Friday, August 31 in Burns Lake.

Until then, God bless and happy trails.

Rob