Seven Stones Community School

Seven Stones Community School

Saturday, 28 March 2015

High Expectations

1) Do all of my students, regardless of readiness level, have engaging activities to demand high rigor and expectation?
2) How do I see students from North Central Regina with regard to having high expectations?
3) How do my personal bias' affect the standards I set for my students?
4) How can I access supports to raise the bar for all of my students?

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Three Models of Flexible Environments

Seven Stones has implemented new flexible, collaborative and inclusionary practice this year.  With the school divided into 3 distinct learning communities (PLCs) and disignated staff tasked with creating this new learning environment for their students, it is not surprising that three distinctly different models have emerged this year.

By way of imagery, the three models could be thought of in relation to the following examples:

PLC 2 works similar to the traditional Peg Game called Kono.  Players move their playing pieces along the lines to new spaces.  In our model, each corner is a distinct team of about 25 students attached to a teacher for math, inquiry and PE / health.  The groups rotate through four stations for literacy (Read to Self, Work on Writing, Word Work and Listen to Reading). At times, groups come together or separate depending on the activity.  Spaces in the learning environment are also rotated depending on the activity. The DaVinci Studio, Commons, Media Centre, Quiet Studio and Flex Studio are similar to the 5 places on the game board.

This team is made of 4 classroom teachers and 2 EAs with additional augmented supports.

PLC 1 operates similar to a model of 3 lunar orbits. The 90 or so student are divided into the 3 teams (like planets) that rotate around through the learning space.  Each team (planet) has a system of supports that orbit around it similar to moons around the planet.  These supports include fine motor group, EAL support, book shopping, speech and language, guided reading, Reading Intervention and strategy groups. The groups rotate in a very patterned way each day.

This team is made up of 3 classroom teachers, a Reading Intervention teacher, 3 EAs with additional augmented supports.

PLC 3's model reminds me of the exhibition ride, The Scrambler.  Again, the whole group of 90 students is bound at the center with their 3 teachers.  Each arm of about 30 students attempts the 'catch and release' model of instruction followed by independent / group practice.  This is similar to the cars of the ride spinning out from and back into the center.  This is the model at work for literacy and numeracy.  The inquiry rotation simply changes from 3 arms to 7 arms as the groups are created based on the 7 stone virtues in traditional teaching.
This team is made up of 3 classroom teachers, a 0.5 transitions teacher, 0.5 EA and additional augmented supports.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Collaborative Learning Spaces

What are collaborative learning spaces? Have a read through these 7 introductory descriptions of what makes up a collaborative learning space and how they work. Seven Stones has all of these aspects at work everyday.  We can relate to the barriers of education traditions that can hamper our daily delivery of this model. Moreover, the entrenched structures of the education institution that play counter to innovation and progression.  While no model is perfect, our collaborative setting provides a uniquely personalized education experience that juxtaposes the the factory model of traditional school settings.  We are proud of our initiatives in innovating with schooling by design.

Article: 7 Things You Should Know about Collaborative Learning Spaces - EDUCAUSE, January 2013

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

An Education Worth Having

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Dispelling the myths about the purposes of education. Offering an interconnected, personally designed shift to how we educate and why we educate.