Forensic Science Unit – Guest Speakers

At the end of our crime scene investigation unit, I arranged for some members of the Port Moody Police Department to visit the two Grade 7/8 classes. They were able to create a deeper understanding for my students by making a connection between our lessons and a real-world career.

Goal 8: “The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning.”

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Social Emotional Learning

I planned a Social Emotional Learning unit for my long practicum. It started with students completing “heart maps” as an extension of a read aloud of In My Heart. The unit also included students writing “feelings books” and journal entries about self-regulation strategies.

Goal 8: “The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that accesses and engages students’ ability to think and learn through their minds, bodies, and hearts.”

 

Mini Unit: Crime Scene Investigation

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For my mini-unit that I taught to my two Grade 7/8 classes, I used the Mystery Festival program created by the Lawrence Hall of Science to create a series of forensic science lessons. Students investigated a mock crime scene, recorded evidence, and deliberated between suspects. They then carried out a series of laboratory experiments to further their results. Finally, they completed assignments that told the story of what happened, and “who done it?”

This was a very interactive and hands-on unit, with many opportunities for students to guide their own learning. It also required them to strengthen their critical thinking skills so that they could argue for which suspects were incriminated by the different pieces of evidence as they were discovered.

GOAL 5) The development of knowledge about curricular content, educational theory, and effective practice that sees opportunities for cross-curricular and cross-cultural connections.

GOAL 8) The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that is conducive to the development of critical thought processes.

GOAL 9) The development of the ability to blend theory and practice in well-organized ways that cultivates a disposition towards inquiry in the classroom.

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The New Curriculum at Work

Eagle Mountain Middle is the pilot school for SD43 to try out the new BC curriculum. The school’s instructional format is largely based around the core competencies in the new curriculum. Parents are constantly updated on student performance as they make self-reflection posts on FreshGrade that describe assignments they have been working on and how they feel they are progressing with the competencies. All report cards are structured in a “Exceeds Expectations”, “Fully Meeting”, “Meeting”, “Not Yet Meeting” format – forgoing formal letter grades.

Additionally, each team of teachers created a focus that their lessons would centre around for Term 2. The focus on Team Eagle, for example, is “How does conflict shape our world?”

GOAL 8) The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that are consistent with learning objectives and the principles of learning described in provincial integrated resource packages.

GOAL 9) The development of the ability to blend theory and practice in well-organized ways that includes the ability to recreate, re-invent, re-constitute or discard practices that have been tried and found to be ineffective to individual and/or group learning needs.

That includes the ability to recreate, re-invent, re-constitute or discard practices that have been tried and found to be ineffective to individual and/or group learning needs

 

Braiding Histories

GOAL 8) The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that utilizes relevant learning resources and technologies.

Using Susan Dion’s Braiding Histories, our module designed a series of lessons to deepen our perspectives on Aboriginal education. My group was given the chapter entitled “Listening – But What is Being Heard?” We led a storytelling exercise to demonstrate how dominant discourse can erase different voices and perspectives. Afterwards, a graffiti activity led into a discussion about the Canadian representation of First Peoples and how that affects us as educators.

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