School Name: Nakusp Elementary
School District: SD#10 Arrow Lakes
Inquiry Team Members:Leslie Leitch, Elizabeth Tupper
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: NOII (focus on core competencies, OECD learning principles, etc.)
Grade Levels: Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Other: all e-portfolio reflections
Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Formative assessment, Other: e-portfolio assessments
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We will be developing core competencies through e-portfolio reflections.
Scanning: After journalling independently, students participated in class discussion around the four questions. We noted that students are beginning to realise the power of using reflections on their strengths and challenges in order to set personal goals for themselves. Discussions compared the benefits of descriptive feedback with marks on a report card. A critical question that led to interesting discussion asked students to compared differences in their understanding about the depth of their learning and how it’s different when they receive a mark and when they receive descriptive feedback in a conference. The next step is to formalise this understanding with written reflections that are communicated with parents regularly through e-portfolios.
Focus: The focus was determined by the intensity of the students’ questions and curiosity around formative assessment. They were excited about the possibility of school reporting being less stressful and more individualised and formative.
Hunch: We believe that using e-portfolios to track our reflections will provide a clear picture of each student’s progress. It will help the students by providing frequent and regular self-assessments to direct their learning and our teaching as well as providing a forum for regular conversations with parents around student strengths, challenges and new strategies.
New Professional Learning: We explored how to be most effective and efficient when using e-portfolios as a means of communication with teachers, parents and students. The challenge was to provide a balance of feedback and information to provide a clear picture of the student’s progress and needs, and not so much that anyone was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material. We wanted the process to be efficient and effective for all. The guidelines on the government reporting website were helpful. Support from peers was helpful. Conversations about what was working in our classrooms. Trends that we noticed. We reported regularly to support one another.
Taking Action: We added the statement “And a core competency that I’ve accomplished is__________________.” to our regular reflections for each assignment. They are always included in the e-portfolio submissions. Over time, the students gained a much more comprehensive picture of what the core competencies are, how they are organised and how we can use them to support our learning. Core competencies are a regular part of our assignment reflections now. The first three questions are: Where I am (strengths), Where I am going (challenges) and How I will get there (goals and steps). And now we have added the above question to include the core competencies.
Checking: The differences:
kids are much more fluent using the core competencies to assess their learning
kids understand the value of knowing and using the core competencies to help with issues that arise in the class
kids say it created an awareness without actually working at it
now the kids can list the core competencies and speak to them
I am very proud of these chickens! (kids!)
The difference is that kids can now speak about the core competencies and their effect
The kids say they are 500 times richer. They are very funny children!
Reflections/Advice: I plan to involve the parents next year in this reflective process so that all three participants in a child’s learning and growth have regular, on-line conversations about the process.
The advice from the kids is to get really creative with the core competencies to make them fit your assignment. Warp them into what you’re doing – make them more specific to your assignment.
Thank you for including us in NOII!