Blog post 3

I am starting this blog entry by quoting ministry of education, Saskatchewan website https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/education

By putting the needs of each and every student first, we will ensure that our province has a highly skilled and highly educated population that will contribute to the success of our province”.

The reason to quote above statement is to connect dots of the presentation we had this Wednesday from Kevin Tonita. He shared with us some of the key points of ministry strategic plan. Specifically, learning about ESSP targets for 2020, as a beginning teacher I feel great responsibility to help ministry achieve these goals. He mentioned that the current Saskatchewan three year graduation rate is about 73% and this is almost constant with previous years. And the ESSP target is to take it to 85%. Based on the previous statistics, it seems like a very difficult task but again I consider the above quote and feel responsible to put my all effort to help ministry reach this goal.

But, after looking at some of the main reasons behind ministry not able to finish their tasks were closely related to funding issues. For that we all have to come together and re-evaluate our priorities and think about our future generation.

Going back to our class activity we did as a carousel, first the activity itself was a great way to review and introduce topics that require cooperative learning. But this was the first time I performed this activity therefore I was curious to learn about it. I browsed about it and learned few key reminder about this activity from http://www.gcasd.org/Downloads/Activating_Strategies.pdf

Here are some of them: Ahead of time prepare the chart paper and the different topics, insuring that you have enough “stations” so that every group is at one station during each rotation. These charts and responses can be used as the lesson activator, representing the prior knowledge and current understandings of the group. And Tracy did a great job of putting it all together.

We discussed three topics in our carousel: learning contracts, inquiry and then tests. Among the three topics we discussed, we shared a lot about learning contracts and most of the time all we talked about was negatives of the learning contracts. We were all confirmed on the statement that learning contracts hinder student’s growth and progress by showing students what they will not be able to achieve. But there was some powerful discussion around positives that learning contracts allow students to become more self-directing and more responsible for their own learning. Also, providing students the choice of their own learning make them feel powerful.  And we talked about our own experiences and discussed that students learn material more deeply and permanently if they learn through projects of their own choice instead of direct lecturing or teaching.

In all, this week class broaden my knowledge as a student and as a professional.

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One comment

  1. Great post Abdul! I agree that the presentation we had from the Ministry of Education was very informative. I heard of the 2020 vision in my first ECS 100 class, but I haven’t heard of it since. It was a great refresher and it was nice to see that it was still being implemented. I agree that we are a part of the 2020 vision and that it is our mission to help fulfill it. Learning all these different assessment strategies in this class will help us in this vision, as we will be using a variety of strategies that help get the students to reach their full potential. I never heard of carousel activities until this past year; however, I seem to really enjoy them! When we were going around the stations, I realized that the only station I had prior knowledge on was inquiry. We both have had extensive information on how to implement inquiry in a mathematics classroom, so the information provided wasn’t brand new. It surprised me that your groups discussion around learning contracts was negative, for the group that I was in had many positive ideas related to learning contracts. We saw that the most obvious place where they could be implemented was English; however, it was difficult to find ways to implement it into a math classroom. I think when there are students who have a lot going on in their life or students who are athletes and travel a lot would benefit from learning contracts. It allows them to choose a number of assignments they think they can get done over the course of the semester and they choose which average they think they could reach. I also have never given much thought of creating tests, so it’s interesting how we were given the opportunity to learn about how to create good test questions. I agree that giving students choice in their learning and how they present their learning is extremely important!

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