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I am going to write and complete my Annual Learning Plan (ALP) on this blog. My goal is to create more accountability and urgency for the expectations that I have written for myself. As I am continually explaining the importance of sharing ideas and work beyond the classroom walls to my students I should, therefore, practice what I preach.

A second reason for this public forum is that I am trying to avoid using our boards’ software program. I have always found the program to be clunky and confusing. You often lose work, experience awkward navigation and I generally dislike using it. The program is outdated and I am much more likely to return to this space to check or reflect on my progress. Due to the functionality of our ALP program, I would bet that most teachers visit the program once a year and take little time to reflect on the previous years entry (myself included). You will, likely, also see a beefed up entry every fifth year to satisfy the teacher performance appraisal beast. Maybe this process will actually provide me with some personal professional development and a greater sense of accountability to the goals that I am setting? (I mean no disrespect simply stating my opinion)

Here goes…. (I apologize in advance for the probable overuse of edu buzz words in this ALP).

James Hewett
Grade 7/8 FI Teacher
Brooke Central
I teach: French, English, Math, History, geography, health and physical education
I am the Sysop, iPad lead teacher and SIT member

My main goal for this year is to continue to develop a strong digital underpinning to all of my planning and all of my student’s work. My class will continue to be BYOD friendly and we now have 12 iPad minis to collaborate with. It is very important that students experience new technologies in the class so they can develop their 21st century learning skills: Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking being the most important ones in my mind. I would like to see my students move closer to redefinition when looking at the SAMR model, using our tech in new and creative ways.

In French, we will continue to work with the curriculum and the Common European Framework (CEFR). The priority is to get my students more comfortable and fluent with their oral communication skills. We will be working on action-oriented lessons throughout the year. I am fortunate to be participating with our boards CEFR regional planning team, and will be participating at four cross board action-oriented planning sessions. The units planned from these sessions will drive my planning. Students will be building oral communication portfolios through the combined use of Google Drive and Voice record pro and they will be routinely practicing new vocabulary using Quizlet.

In Math, I hope to incorporate much more cross-strand learning. We will be participating together with the entire entire school on some open-ended collaborative inquiry problems. I would also like to incorporate game-based learning (Pixel Press) and some computer science learning (Scratch). Another goal in math is to increase student ability to express and explain their math thinking with clarity and confidence. Using ‘explain everything’ will hopefully force students to clearly state their ideas when recording answers.

In English, History, and Geography we will be focusing on fully integrating inquiry based learning and Challenge based Learning (CBL). Again, I am fortunate to be participating in our Board’s Grade 7 inquiry project with a focus on implementing the use of iPads in the classroom. We will be preparing students and teachers for the move to 1:1 iPads throughout grade seven classes next year (TELP). Through inquiry, students will be learning to apply real life skills (ex. Making a phone call) to try and potentially solve real challenges. Our Canadian War Museum is an example of History CBL in action. In English, we will be student blogging to write for a wider audience and incorporating graphic novels (reading and creating) to improve our writing (using apps like Moldiv and Graphic Novel).

Assessment: My students will be seeing less ‘marks’ this year and be receiving much more written and verbal feedback. I would like to increase the amount of student conferencing that takes place in my room.

Through the use of multiple web platforms I hope to improve access to classroom information for students and parents. Students will be using GAFE with Google classroom. I will be blending learning through the use of our class blog . I will try to increase parent access to information using ‘Remind’. I will also be actively sharing class work on Twitter and connecting and collaborating with other educators (@hewettja or @BrookeCentral ).

Feel free to question or comment.

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Image by Sam Brewster

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3 thoughts on “My public ALP

  1. Hi James!
    It is hard to go pubic with our wishes and dreams, so congratulations on your bravery. I am curious to hear how it is going.
    When you posted in November you were hoping to change some assessment practices with your students. I am interested to hear how that worked out. Was it something you were able t do? Did it make a difference? What did your students say? Did it change your teaching? Their learning?
    Best wishes in the last months of the school year!
    Mary

    Like

    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for reading and especially for questioning. I have re-visited this post a few times, but thanks for helping my reflection. As far as assessment goes, so far so good. I am assigning grades on very rare occasions. My students have been fairly quiet about this transition, surprisingly to me. I do think that I have a long way to go with assessment. I am finding ways to document student learning, but sometimes feel that I am not collecting enough evidence. I also feel that I could get better at having my students reflect and measure their own learning. Definitely not perfect, but my belief that grades stop the learning process has been reinforced. Consistency is my struggle, but I hope to find ways to produce more consistent and meaningful feedback for my students.
      To be true to this idea and process I should reflect and write a response at years end.
      Cheers
      James

      Like

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