End of 2016

What a First Semester. Such a diverse group of learners and personalities made the class a very dynamic atmosphere.  There always seemed to be lots going on, whether it was learning, moving around, socializing, playing, creating things, class discussions and so much more the students took it upon themselves to be very open about trying new things, working with others, and giving it their best in all areas of learning. The class spent lots of time reflecting on how they learn best, and hopefully, this will give them the strategies they need to continue succeeding in whatever avenues they choose.  Reports have been sent out and there are lots of year-end reflections on SeeSaw. Please spend some time over the break looking through this online learning journal and add comments if you wish.

Have a great winter break and see you all in 2017.

Making Decisions

In follow up to our inquiry on leadership last week, 4F focused on how we make decisions in smaller groups. We started with a provocation that saw the class with a ball, a space and 15 minutes to invent and play a game (while being video taped). Upon review of the video the class was able to come up with some very interesting things about what decisions are made in that amount of time, and also things that we have to think about when we make decisions in a group. Some but not all of the considerations are: including fairness, listening more than we talk, considering emotions, how to compromise, giving time to people to answer, whose turn it is, ensuring people are participating, and more. During the reflection portion of the activity the students had a lot of time to discuss the difficulties that were experienced, and how we could improve upon our decision making as a group next time.

Throughout the week more opportunities arose to make decisions as a group such as building a visual poem as a class, considering spirit week, deciding the order of learning areas for the day, and giving the class a real opportunity to apply their new found understandings. To take more time to make decisions carefully, so more of the class has ownership, and agrees with the outcome. It will be interesting in the coming weeks to see how the class continues to make decisions more efficiently, effectively, and with more empathy.



A different side of leadership

This week saw an inquiry into leadership. The class reflected and worked together to come up with a list of traits that good leaders possess. Needless to say the list was exhaustive.  The students continued with this list to think about what they valued most, and created checklists to reflect on their own leadership qualities, and how they can improve.  This inquiry was followed by a visit from Mr. Coutts where the students had a chance to practice their questioning skills. There were a few surprises for the students about what it is like to lead a school, as well as a few surprises for Mr. Coutts in the form of unpredictable questions.

During the reflection that followed the interview some real surprises came out, mainly the connections to leadership qualities that they identified as having in common with their own checklists, and from Mr. Coutts. Caring, helpful, responsible, and honest all came up over and over again.  It was inspiring to see that the students value and recognize these characteristics in a leader over the traditional model that we think about when we hear the word. Does this represent a shift in how people lead and how systems are organized? At the very least it signifies a good start for YIS.