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Bringing Beavers Back to the Cross Conservation Area - Grade 7 Interactions and Ecosystems Field Study

-by Denise Kitagawa (Guest Parent Blogger)

Earlier this month I had the privilege and pleasure of accompanying fifty grade 7 students from the Calgary Science School as they headed into the field to collect some baseline observations prior to the reintroduction of beavers to the Pine Creek watershed at the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area.

Opening Up a New Frontier of Exemplary Instructional Leadership

-by Phil Butterfield, Assistant Principal

Instructional leadership has been getting a lot of buzz in educational circles these days. It seems challenging enough to gain consensus on a definition for the role of an instructional leader without venturing into the potential minefield of strict adherence to a set of guiding principles designed to provide a framework for exemplary instructional leadership. Well…strap on your helmets and forge boldly ahead for a few minutes as we take the first tentative steps toward finding alignment between the seven Professional Practice Competencies for School Leaders and the frameworks for exemplary teaching and learning that have been developed at the Calgary Science School.

Significant Historical Events using Capzles and Augmented Reality

-by Jody Pereverzoff and Dan McWilliam, Grade 7 Humanities

In the final inquiry for the year, students examined significant themes in Canadian history by studying specific events, people, and places that have had an impact on the development of Canada. Students, using one of the major themes, created a monument or structure using Augmented Reality in our school field that showcased their understanding of the most significant event and its impact on Canadian history and our world today.

Learning Coaches - One Year Later...

-by Erin Couillard, Professional Development and Collaboration Coordinator

We have reached the end of our first year with designated learning coaches within the school. Last fall, two Math/Science learning coaches and two Humanities learning coaches were selected from teachers who applied for the positions through a letter of intent process. For more information on the impetus for learning coaches at the Calgary Science School, read the blog post I wrote at the beginning of this project. Midway through the year, an inclusive practices learning coach was added to the team in a part-time capacity. This coach specifically worked with teachers on ensuring that the learning needs of all students were being met.

Grade 6 Science: Evidence and Investigation

-by Carolyn Armstrong

When we, my teaching partner Candice Shaw and I, began to plan our “Evidence and Investigation Unit” we thought it would be fun to do it around a crime scene. We used the GEM: “Mystery Festival” to quick-start our story. From there we took artistic license to create our own series of events leading up to the tragic demise of “Felix Navidad”. It was suggested, by one of our teachers, to use actors as our unfortunate victim and “Persons of Interest” in our case. The students loved this.

Action Research: The Model Method in Solving Word Problems

-by Kevin Sonico

“Show me your ‘thinking’.”  “Explain your process.”  These are two statements that are often used to encourage students to communicate their strategies in solving a word problem.  In my experience, what is often produced, written, and described are algorithms, equations, and other symbolic representations.  Rarely have students submitted strategies that comprised of visual methods.  Because of this, I set out to see if there is an effect of explicitly teaching a visual strategy, namely the model method, in helping students solve problems.  Through the use of models, students worked on word problems around the concepts of fractions, decimals, percent, and ratios.  Described here are three examples of the many problems posed in class.