If you haven’t yet had a chance to join the BCTELA summer book club, don’t worry: you still can! The coordinated date has been extended to July 6th.
This year we are reading about theories of Place-Based education. As this topic is still emerging as a area of study, we will be reading four articles rather than a single text.
Let us know if you have questions. If you’re ready to read, please download the form and send it to the address you’ll find at the bottom. We will send you the articles. The first two will be discussed on Twitter on July 9th, and the second two on August 11th (see the Important Dates in the sidebar to the left).
We are pleased to announce BCTELA’s third annual professional literature book club. Three years ago we started a pattern of book clubs over the summer as a lead-up to our fall conference. We have traditionally chosen professional literature authored by our upcoming keynote as a way to extend and deepen the conversations surrounding the themes of our conference.
This year we are continuing to connect our professional book club to the October conference. But this time, rather than choosing a text by our keynote speaker, we are using the theme of the conference as inspiration. The theme of the 2015 BCTELA provincial conference is “Story and the Landscapes of Learning” and centres on the ideas of place-based learning and the stories which make up our experience of ‘place.’
Instead of selecting one professional book as our book club text, we have chosen to build a text-set of four articles. The articles have been carefully chosen to provide a comprehensive foundation from which to further explore and discuss what it means to teach BC students to read and write stories set in BC.
The discussion format will be similar to what we have done in the past: we will use Twitter as an accessible platform and divide the reading into a few hour-long twitter chats. The chats will be on July 9th from 10-11am, and on August 11th from 11am-12pm. As usual, our tweets will be delineated by the hashtag #bctelabook.
If you are interested in reading along with us, download and fill out the 2015 BCTELA book club application and email it to Celia Brogan (address on the form) by June 25th.
I remember feeling pleased with myself as I posted spreadsheets full of marks, several years ago. The essays had been graded, missing assignments had been assigned zeros, and my students would be able to check their progress in anticipation of the upco ming “marks cut – off day.” I occasionally heard a student exclaim, “Argh! She’s giving me 36%!” as he or she examined the spreadsheet. That sort of comment always frustrated me. I was not “giving” the student 36%. Rather, he or she had not submitted as signments. I began to realize that, for some students, the grade on the spreadsheet was the grade that they identified with; they did not see opportunity to improve, but they saw their own “failure” in the course and, therefore, my failure as a teacher.
5 Years Later: Assessment, by Megan Jakse
T oday, we finished the second week of an interpersonal communications course. The students in the course are first term college students, a few fresh out of high school. As is my common practice, I end my week of instruction with reflective questions for the students:
- What was your significant learning this past week?
- What principles for everyday life can you extract from our class activities? (Note: The activities are experiential).
- What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself?
- What can you take from the class activities to use in your life outside of class?
I asked the students to get in small groups to discuss these questions. They got in their groups and just looked at one another with baffled looks on their faces while remaining silent. I tried rewording the questions and providing examples and still got blank looks when they returned to their group discussions.
Where is Reflection in the Learning Process? by Jackie Gerstein Ed.D.
When I began this journey two years ago, I was looking for answers to a question that had become increasingly pervasive and yet frustratingly intangible in my teaching practice: how could I resolve the student I was with the students I now teach? Despite my exposure to some new ways of thinking about teaching and learning and my development of some powerful professionally collaborative relationships, there was still a disconnect. I was ready to do something about that. (more…)
“Marking is soul-destroying,” proclaimed a disheveled looking woman in the front row. “I’m not kidding,” she insisted, “it is actually destroying my soul.” Shouts of Amen! came from several teachers in the crowd, and the woman with the destroyed soul leaned forward, looking eager to hear whatever advice the workshop leader might offer. This was not a light-hearted affair. She needed help.
To provide more opportunities for students to practice writing, many universities instituted Writing Across the Cur riculum (WAC) programs starting in the 1980s. These programs are based on the principles that writing promotes learning, that writing is the responsibility of all content teachers, that writing should be integrated in all disciplines through out a student’s educational career, and that only by practicing authentic writing in every discipline will students learn to communicate within that discipline (The WAC Clearinghouse, 2009). These collaborative programs have filtered into K-12 secondary schools, espe ially in the last decade due to the standards movement (Brewster and Klump, 2004).