How do you kick a goal if there are no goal posts?

One of my kids is very outcome focused – less about the ‘journey’ and more about the ‘destination’. This can be a good and a bad thing – on the plus side, someone who is outcome focused simply gets on with tasks and gets things done. Mornings for this child are a breeze, as they tick off what they have to do to get out the door on time. However, the flip side is that when a task requires time for reflection, feedback and adjustment, it can be challenging.

A recent project that this child was given, required a detailed plan, testing of a design, feedback and then revisions to the plan. The usual ‘do the homework on the first night’ wasn’t going to cut it. Much to my child’s horror, the end design didn’t ‘work’ in the way that they’d anticipated and they were worried that they’d get a bad mark for the project. I explained that the point of the exercise was not to have a perfect working model but instead, to show how they had incorporated feedback and made adjustments to their design. And I knew this because of the rubric – very handy tools for students (and parents) in understanding their learning.

rubric-1024x768I asked Sally Marsh and Andrew Wood to share some more information about rubrics and how they are used at KPS. Continue reading

Learning to read

Naturally, I want Penny (Grade 1) to become an excellent reader, writer and speller. However, right now, I’m savouring the brilliance of her phonetic approach. A few weeks ago, she lost a tooth at school. Her teacher, Melissa, accidentally* threw the tooth out – but you got that from Penny’s letter to the Tooth Fairy explaining the situation, right?!

tooth-fairy-letterKids learn to read and write in different ways. Penny’s letter to the Tooth Fairy reminded me of this, and also of a question that was asked of Prep teachers at an information session I attended one year – “Do you teach reading using phonics or word recognition?”

It’s a great question and one that doesn’t necessarily have the same, or a simple answer, for every child. I asked lead teacher, Sally Marsh, to tell us a bit more about how kids learn to read.
Continue reading