To prepare for this event, we put the finishing touches on our life-sized African Animals (like longer giraffe tails and “hairy”er cheetah bellies) and collaboratively created some savanna details like a nocturnal backdrop and a sunset. We also read "The Tree of Life", and then created (Thank You, Ileene!) our very own baobab tree for the middle of our savanna! Finally, we took some time to reflect on how well we had worked together as animal expert teams. Each group reviewed the group agreements they had written and then used our collaboration rubric to assess how they did following directions, making and completing a plan, taking turns and doing their jobs (group roles). After assessing their work, groups reflected on ways that they worked well as a team and what things they could do even better next time they worked as a team. Even through there will not be a kindergarten next time, there will be lots and lots of next times for collaborative work as they journey through the grades at QAE.
Below, you will find a slide show capturing our preparations and the PBL Showcase. I have also posted each groups All About Animal book and their collaboration rubric. Enjoy!
Appreciating the Learning We Measure ...
As a teacher who loves learning data, I enjoy having this Spring MAP data to verify the amazing academic learning I see my students engaging in all year. However, with any testing event, I keep in mind the variables involved and view the MAP data as one of many assessments data sources I use to assess academic growth. On the last day (Tuesday, June 16th) you will receive a final kindergarten progress report for your student.
... while Remembering to Value the Learning We Don't Measure
~ We are creative
~ We are collaborative, compassionate citizens of the world.
~ We learn everywhere, we learn together.
~ We encourage each other to think critically and learn more.
~ We are self-directed learners.
As a staff, we believe that allowing these pillars to guide our learning decisions will allow our student to develop resilience, perseverance and grit. And most importantly, we hope that our students will develop a love of learning.
There is not a state test that assesses our students' development in these areas, but I see evidence of this growth every day. I see evidence of this pillar learning all day every day. I see it when our marble jar helper does a count down and every student takes two silent breaths together when they get to two. When I am giving a mini lesson on the carpet or my students are sitting in our class meeting circle, I can count on them to really listen to me and each other with engaged brains. Daily, I see children who have learned to respond to the routines and expectations of their classroom in a manner that helps their learning and the learning of their classmates. I see students solving small problems that come up during their work and play without asking adults for help. I see students letting others in, including each other in play and conversation. I see students working collaboratively together to create group art products and research African Animals and solve math problems. These students are able to assess how effectively they are working together and can identify ways they can work together even better. During choice time, I see students laughing together and playing together and creating together.
I am so happy to be a teacher and parent in a learning community that values learning, in academic areas and beyond! Thank you for the nurturing and support you have provided your student this year. Thank you for getting them to school each day filled with curiosity and kindness and an eagerness for learning. Thank you for being such involved participants on your child's school journey.
I am so proud of all they have accomplished!