Spring Break Reflections & Looking Ahead to SLCs
I’m taking a morning to upload just a few of the hundreds of photos documenting recent projects and lessons in grades 6-9. The weeks leading up to Spring Break, 2015 were buzzing with energy, inquiry, and anticipation at FSI! We’ve hosted many tours for visitors, from prospective students to prospective teachers just beginning their professional training. Showing folks around makes me stop and reflect upon how far we’ve come, especially when visitors comment on how engaged FSI students are, what good questions they are asking, and how earnest they are to show and share what they are learning. This is why I love being the Director of Curriculum and Coaching at an Expeditionary Learning School! Every day involves some level of adventure, with new challenges to thinking, problem-solving, innovation, and discovery. When I visit classrooms, I don’t just observe! I get to assist in keying out index fossils, take a stab at a proton -vs- electron jeopardy question, participate in writer’s workshop, moderate the stump speeches for FSI Student Council Officers, or puzzle out a geometry grapple presented by a Math I student working on his textbook project.
I’m also excited about our up-coming Student Led Conferences. This premier annual event will afford FSI scholars the opportunity to reflect upon their own learning, assess their growth, set smart and measurable goals, and celebrate their accomplishments in both Habits of Scholarship and academic achievement. In the coming weeks, students will be assessing their own data in preparation for these conferences. They will be working in Crew to prepare for SLCs by: reviewing work samples and projects, revisiting their Personal Learning Plans, and practicing presentation skills with the support of their crew leader and crewmates. According to Ron Berger, in Leaders of their own Learning:
“When students themselves identify, analyze, and use data from their learning, they become active agents in their own growth. They set personal goals informed by data they understand, and they own those goals. The framework of student-engaged assessment provides a range of opportunities to involve students in using data to improve their learning. …Using data with students has the potential to build reflective and confident learners with key dispositions of college and career readiness.”
Here is a very informative article that I encourage all FSI community members to read, for better understanding of the Student Led Conferences and Portfolio Assessment:
As we return from Spring Break, remember ask your FSI scholar about Student Led Conferences! (We’ll share the logistics for the big event ASAP.)