“Keeping it Real”
Deeper Learning Goal: Spring Creek students will leave school with the How, When, and Why to apply the Knowledge, Understanding, and Skills they’ll need to face the challenges of post-secondary, career, and life.
Theory of Action: if we provide students with real world, authentic learning experiences – then students will engage deeply with their learning, contribute meaningfully to their community, think critically about issues that really affect people; students will see their work at school as part of their “real” life.
Sustainability is our outreach to the community. Are our practices sustainable, is our school contributing to the health of our community/planet?
Reading is the door to everything. Skillful readers have access to the information they need to do the work our goal demands.
In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including:
- Mastery of Core Academic Content: Students build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language, and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students think critically, analytically, and creatively. They know how to find, evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems.
- Collaboration: Collaborative students work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.
- Effective Communication: Students communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.
- Self-directed Learning: Students develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Students who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.
- An “Academic Mindset”: Students with an academic mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.
SD 48 Competencies: Learn, Critical Thinking, Contribute, Collaborate, and Create.
When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more efficiently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.
Mastery of academic content is critical to a student’s future success in college, careers, and life, so it is the foundation of—and never overlooked in—deeper learning classrooms.
Read more in-depth definitions of this set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs.
Key Data Points that drive our Improvement Plan
There are so many reasons to celebrate student successes, teacher innovation and creativity at Spring Creek. Yet, last year some other data spoke up:
10% of in one primary grade are still working on sound recognition
37% of one primary grade were below expected reading level
20% of one intermediate grade reported that they had no strengths as a writer.
Key Strategies for Improvement
1 Reading Coaches program
2 Home Reading for all
3 Sustainability (so far) through
- Electronic car: parent collaboration with teachers for student learning
- Harvest Festival: we love the learning, and want to make it even more about kids.
- Continuation of recycling, composting program
- No disposable plates for hot lunch program
- Play presented to students on climate change “Cool It”
4 Presentations of Learning in term 2 (Also school wide presentations at Remembrance Ceremony, Winter Show, school play, etc)
5 Student led strategy development to showcase the ways that they…
-engage deeply with their learning,
-contribute meaningfully to their community,
-think critically about issues that really affect people;
-students will see their work at school as part of their “real” life.
2 Carol Ann Tomlinson How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms: How to meet differing student needs, Differentiation strategies.
Keep it Simple
Keep it Honest
Keep it Real