Authentic learning opportunities are everywhere!

Whether children are unschooled, homeschooled, on holidays, doing distance learning…. or not, they all have plenty of learning opportunities around them. What do you see?

According to you, what learnings might occur just by engaging children in cooking?

What might children UNDERSTAND (concepts) and be able to DO (skills)?

Standards-Based Grading Session for Middle Schoolers

Hi everyone!
I wanted to share my slides from the Middle School session I lead on Standards-Based Grading with 150 students in attendance from Gr . 6-7-8.
You will see the laughing rubric from Susan Brookhart (cited) and I got permission to share the video clips of the laughters of 6 volunteers so feel free to reuse the unlisted video for your own sessions on SBG. I think this becomes an outstanding resource for anyone here!
The students really enjoyed the session. They loved using Plickers for the pre-assessment and to share their thoughts about SBG. After each question, I asked them to justify their answer (explain why most of them said “agree” or “strongly agree”) and I received very thoughtful comments and powerful messages. Students were so eager to share and reflect and agreed with the tenants of SBG.
This is a Grade 6 student quote I loved during the session, as we were exploring mistake making/failing forward: “There is no wrong way to do something, there is only a new way to discover what is right”.
Even cooler, this student came to my office after the session to share that she was an author. She writes novels and now got an idea to write something about the growth mindset!
I am so grateful from my global collaborators on the SBG Facebook Group. Special thanks to: Lee Ann Jung for her analogy of the GPS, Ken O’Connor for being a mentor, Laura Anderson for sharing the Sue Brookhart‘s laughing rubric!


What is the difference between Inter / Trans / Multi / -disciplinary?

In their article “Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in health research, services, education and policy: 1. Definitions, objectives, and evidence of effectiveness “, Choi and Pak (2006) share analogies for the different terms and I found this so easy to understand and remember:

Interdisciplinary is a stew/melting pot because ingredients are partially distinguishable.

Multidisciplinary is a mixed salad where the ingredients remain separate and distinguishable.

Transdisciplinary is a cake because the ingredients, mixed together, create something new and different.

Let’s think about it and be precise! I believe that an inquiry-based curriculum should be transdisciplinary in the Elementary school because we can use a concept-driven approach and transfer the understanding to new contexts. In the secondary school, it’s often needed to more to interdisciplinary to go deeper into a particular subject in order to make connections between other subject. Multidisciplinary is perhaps less closed and static because all elements remains separate.

PYP French – some teaching ideas

I would like to share some of the ideas that are popping in my mind about my French PYP classes:

Exploring the phonology of the language by…:

  • keeping a journal of awarenesses (in mother tongue and/or English)
  • creating a concert of vowels (and perhaps make a song with my lovely looping machine)
  • making a skit about sounds combat
  • using scratch to create a programme to practice sounds
  • using scratch and makey-makey to create interactive work of art that speak
  • practicing yoga in French
  • creating breakout edu games
  • engaging in scavenger hunts


Other ideas might be…

  • mindfulness in French
  • conversations with Dash and Dot
  • Makerspace integrations
  • sentence constructions with fridge magnets
  • record a podcast
  • breakout edu
  • cooking
  • stop motion animation
  • Mystery Skype in French
  • Choose a picture and explain why you chose it
  • Virtual field trip (Versailles)
  • Greenscreen
  • Invisible writing tasks
  • Penpals
  • Passion projects (linked to the exhibition)
  • Create a collective illustrated book for children in French

As we personalize learning, students create their own goals and review them regularly to track their progress. We should have a spreadsheet to keep track of them and celebrate achievements.

Using peer assessments and self-assessments, we can promote autonomy and inter dependence. We need to know for ourselves that we know or don’t know a concept, how to correct ourselves or when to ask for support and how to develop inner criteria of self-correctness.

Some of the resources might include…

5Dplanner, 360 degree + Thinglink, Minecraftedu, EdPuzzle (create) and share your recipe online, Voki, Tour Builder, Edpuzzle, duolingo, rosetta stone, story board, Twitter, searching, planning a trip, creating a blog post, makey-makey, sketchnote, aurasma, QR code, infographic…

Some of the ways we can celebrate learning and reflecting…

Every time the students come in the class, they go across the “magic boundary” (ligne magique). They start with a calm activity (breath in and out, yoga or mindfulness in French), they express their intention to work (from the list in the classroom: this list is populated with the students and updated when the need arises).

Some strategies for effective teaching and learning

Student agency and teacher’s responsiveness and adaptability are probably some of the most important components of an effective and inclusive classroom. In order to observe this effectiveness and modeling personalized learning with teachers, I am in favour of the cognitive coaching approach where the coachee and the coach first meet to determine what the goal is, and how data will be collected during the observation. This sets the basis of trust and objectivity for classroom observation. The teacher can decide to self-observe by videotaping her/himself or by asking a coach to observe. Data gathering can take the form of anecdotal notes, can be a record of student/teacher talk time ratio, can be a script of the questions the learners or teacher asked etc. Through this qualitative process, teachers can reflect by themselves on what they think they might want to focus on, to continuously catalyse learning and grow as professionals.

I have not moved into a supervision role in my capacity as a Coach but I have experimented with a walkthrough tool created by Highlander Institute that has allowed me to self-observe. This template includes different aspects: classroom culture, student agency, pacing and self-directedness.