Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Competencies in Action

Last week we took sixteen grade 6 and 7 students to the RCMP detachment, to decorate the Command Vehicle for the Christmas Toy Drive.  We worked with the officers at different stations while listening to Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies.  While a little shy at first, the students responded to the friendliness of the officers and the enjoyed the chance to be out of school, in the fresh air and fall sunshine.

With the redesigned curriculum frequently on my mind, I realized that I was watching the students practice the competencies of Communication, Critical and Creative Thinking, Positive Personal and Cultural Identity, Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility. The tasks to be completed fell into the zone of "not too easy, not too hard."  Some students had never wrapped a present before, so that was a bit of a challenge.  Using spray snow to decorate the vehicle was another   job.  Decorating Santa's chair with garlands of greenery and ornaments definitely took some dexterity and teamwork.

We need to plan even more of these real-world, authentic experiences for students to connect and engage with the community.  Some of the statements successful students can make are:

I can work with others to achieve a common goal; I do my share.
I can give, receive and act on feedback.
I make my ideas work of change what I am doing.
I can experiment with more than one way of doing things.
I can show a sense of accomplishment and joy.
I can interact with others and the environment respectfully and thoughtfully.

Thanks to the teachers and the RCMP members for giving our students a chance to step up and contribute.  I helps us learn and makes us feel good.

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