Day 86 (of 186) the secret weapon of efolios…..
Not even gonna bury the lead: student/parent/teacher interviews are so powerful when connected to efolios. And we just had our first (for this district) coordinated (for early dismissals at multiple schools to deal with the buses that set our bell schedules) day for conferencing.
And because I use efolios…..the conversations were not about “how to get a better mark/letter grade” but we stead on individual learning goals —> the ongoing descriptive feedback loops that authentically engage learners in Learning rather than “chasing grades” in the game-of-school.
I was able to confirm where students were being successful while we collaboratively planned “a” key goal for the learner for the rest of the year. And again, without letter grades to chase, we were able to focus on key competencies for some and “Love of Learning” for some of my reluctant learners. We also each have a role to support the goal: parent student and teacher – again reinforcing the way a descriptive feedback loop works!
What I loved to hear was the number of families who commented that their child loves coming to school (I admit and share that I run a very-anxiety-aware classroom)
I also liked discussing why I don’t do the homework game (but encourage reading and if necessary, going to my virtual assignments site for online exploration) because we do a lot of thinking and I want kids to have time to be kids and be part of the family.
I also liked the positive feedback parents shared about the “Finnish schedule” we are playing with: 45 work 15 break (sometimes 10 sometimes 20 – depends on the weather😇) but I freely admit our cohort has not done transitions well so….. we increased the number of transitions – but with a mental/physical break.
I also appreciated the honesty and vulnerability shown in many conversations. There were tough moments to talk about. But when there are “no secrets” it helps me to know why certain learners may be acting a certain way due to some external “thangs” that are beyond any of our control…..and to build supports between home and school as we work together as a team.
I appreciated how many families commented how they enjoyed the face-to-face time – and I appreciated how the conversations were able to be focused on the personalized learning journey of each child rather than on task completion compared to others. In a strong sense, the new BC curriculum works very nicely with eportfolios to essentially create IEPs (individualized education plans – usually reserved for student service learners) for each child – because each kiddo is working at a different rate and speed – which is why differentiated instruction is more important (and enabled/sanctioned) than at any other time in the history of public education!
Hope this also means more parents will feel more comfortable “popping in” (real time or asynchronously) to talk about their child’s learning….because while it’s a journey, we can’t just be passengers! Thank you to those that are trying out efolios as we all evolve into viewing learning as a life long personalized journey!