Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Learning the Fundamentals of Digital Media

Using digital tools to communicate is an important part of a 21st Century education.  At Greenwood, one of the ways students learn this type of communication is through participation in our digital arts classes.
In Grade 7, students are introduced to fundamental digital programs, such as Photoshop. By designing assignments like “Create Your Dream Meal” students learn how to use the tools in this program (and learn a little bit about healthy eating habits!)

The course is designed so students can work at an individual pace. However, when they need expert advice, the teacher is able to provide timely one-on-one support.

Before submitting their completed meal, students use the success criteria for this assignment to self-assess or get feedback from a peer and complete any necessary refinements.

By connecting technology with the process of learning, students engage in a meaningful design experience.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Supporting Self-Directed Learning

Giving students opportunities to self-direct their learning within the classroom is a tremendous way to enhance student engagement and confidence.
Most of our high school math classes use an approach that allows students some choice in how they learn. Students can work individually using an online lesson prepared by Greenwood teachers or in small groups.

Some of our math classes are co-taught, which means there are two teachers in the room. This approach allows students to get direct instruction from one teacher, while the other teacher facilitates group learning. This approach is effective, as students use class time efficiently and learn in a way that meets their individual needs.

According to our students, having input into how you learn makes learning engaging. Our alumni tell us that this approach equips them with the high level of independence required to succeed in postsecondary studies.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Doing and Understanding

The latter part of the old saying, I hear and I forget, I see and I know, I do and I understand, is an important component of progressive education, as there is a strong link between hands-on learning and deep learning. 

This principle was evident in a recent Grade 9 Geography class on the rock cycle. In this lesson, students completed activities to develop an understanding of:
  • the classification of rocks by type;
  • how rocks are formed.

To fully grasp the role of heat and pressure in rock formation, the students took bits of shaved wax crayons and forced them together using small presses. This action produce a form which the students identified as sedimentary rock. They then used foil and small heaters to discover how sedimentary rock transforms into metamorphic rock. 

Based on the exit cards collected by teachers, students were able to demonstrate a "solid" understanding of rock formation.