Bring Learning to Life…

        So recently I have had the absolute privilege and pleasure of watching our students showcase their learning in many different ways, and in many different forms. To watch kids put their talents, their hard work, their passions, and their learning on display is easily my favourite thing to do as an educator, and it always brings me back to the paramount importance of finding ways for all our students to make their learning visible for themselves and for others.
        It’s essential in my opinion for schools to set up opportunities for students to creatively show what they know, and to design performance tasks and performance assessments which will allow for all students to bring their passions and their learning to life. Here’s just a small sample of the kinds of things that I’ve watched over the past several weeks…
Spring Music Concerts
PYP Exhibition of Learning (Grade 5)
Middle School Poetry Slam
Middle School Social Studies Mock Trials
PYP Attributes of a Learner Assembly (Reflection)
Middle School Science Project Showcase
Student Council Elections
Design Thinking Unit Showcase
Middle School Student Math Games Fair
Project Based Learning Unit Culminations
Drama Performance of The Witches
School Wide and Local Community Student Art Displays
Soccer and Basketball Championship Games
International Festival Cultural Performances
After School Activities End of Season Jamborees
Student Inspiration Projects
        These performance opportunities not only allow students to profoundly learn for themselves, but to profoundly learn from each other as well. They engage in real world problems, they demonstrate a process, and they actively engage in their learning. By allowing for alternate assessment opportunities like these, students get the chance to showcase their learning in so many different ways, and in many different real life situations. These often push students out of their comfort zones, and encourage risk taking and reflection, which are exactly the types of learning experiences that schools should be promoting throughout the learning environment.
        I’ve loved the last several weeks here at our school, and I’m proud of our teachers for giving our kids these rich, performance-based opportunities. I’ve seen so much growth in so many areas from our kids over the past few months, which I wouldn’t have seen if they didn’t get the chance to publicly showcase their learning. If anything, I’m left wondering how we can create even more opportunities like these for our kids, and not necessarily wait for the end of quarter or the end of the semester or for the end of the year. Let’s all think of ways that we can make the learning of our kids visible throughout all of next year, and to create a culture where active learning and performance learning is at the absolute forefront of what we do. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other.

Quote of the Week…

An acre of performance is worth a whole world of promise – William Dean Howells

 

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About Daniel Kerr

I am currently the Intermediate School Principal at Academia Cotopaxi in Quito, Ecuador. A Division of almost 300 students Grades 3 through 8 with just under 40 faculty members. I have an amazing wife, Jocelyn, an educator who is currently working as a counselor here at AC, and two beautiful children, Max and Gabby who are both with us in this amazing school. I am passionate about education and blog weekly about my thoughts and vision at www.mondaymusings.org. Check it out!
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