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Thursday, 25 May 2017

BC Redesigned Curriculum - Big Ideas Posters for Grade 7

BC's curriculum has been redesigned around "Big Ideas."  For Kindergarten-Grade 9, this year was the first year of implementation.  To help myself stay organized, I've created posters for the Grade 7 core subjects.

 I plan to post them in my classroom in September. Not only will they help me stay organized, as I'll have a constant visual reminder of the Big Ideas, but I hope they will help my students as well.  My plan is to talk about each of the Big Ideas with the students to help them understand why we are focusing on specific concepts.  By setting up that background knowledge, and then referring to the posters in lessons, I hope the students will also be able to use the curriculum language in their self-assessments.

Making the curriculum clear for the students can only help to deepen their understanding of lessons, and will, hopefully, help them make deeper connections.

The posters are all available for free on my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Do you have curriculum outcomes or standards up in your classroom for students to see?  Let me know how you share the curriculum with your students in the comments below.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Poems to Show That They Care (...And Maybe To Butter Me Up Before Report Cards!)

My Grade 7s  are finishing up their poetry unit this week.  As I was going through their poems, a few stood out for me.  Of course, I was the subject in each of them!


Limerick - First Draft


Limericks just are so much fun!

I like to think these have nothing to do with report card season (which is upon us all), but there might be some flattery for a purpose going on.  Regardless of their motives, they are a sweet group and I'll miss them next year.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Project Management Challenge - Grade 7 Career Education

Part of the BC Career Ed Curriculum for Grade 7 is project management skills - defined as "taking an idea, creating a plan (including timeline and resources), putting the plan into action, and reflecting on the process." To satisfy this curriculum outcome, my students have been working together on Project Management Team Challenges!

Taking an Idea
This week's challenge was to make the longest paper chain possible using only one piece of printer paper.

Creating a Plan
I gave the class a 30 minute timeline and the limit of one pair of scissors and one glue stick per team. Before I handed out supplies, each team of 3 or 4 students had to decide and agree on a plan of action. Some teams decided on a strategy quite quickly, while others spent half their time trying to coordinate with each other.

One team decided to split apart when 3 of the students agreed on the plan, and the other one refused.  I let the single student manage the project alone.

Putting the Plan Into Action
It was interesting to see the different approaches that were used.  Some teams cut their paper into really long, skinny pieces. Others made several tiny pieces. One team worked especially well together as they had one teammate cutting, another gluing one end of each piece, and the other two teammates putting the pieces together.  They were the only group who had all teammates working at the same time.

Once the time was up, we lined the paper chains down in the hall to find our winning team.

Reflecting on the Process
The best part of these challenges for me is the conversations we have during the "Reflection" stage.  The groups were able to see which strategies worked well (and which ones didn't), and were given the chance to ask questions to the teams who had the longest chains.  

It was interesting this week that the teams with the longest chains ended up changing their strategies during the task because they realized it wasn't working. The two teams with the shortest chains stuck with their strategies, even though they saw that it wasn't as effective as the other groups.

Have you done something similar in your class?  Let me know how it worked out in the comments below :)