The maxim, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts,”* holds much truth when it comes to “report cards,” but what teachers are mandated to report and also choose to report suggests to parents what many of the priorities are for student learning at each grade. Similar to the way a school’s blog reveals what is important to the school, so does the report card reveal key areas for student learning.
What follows then, is both of those things: a blog post surveying some of the learning outcomes found in reports ranging from kindergarten to Grade 7.
Prior to the conclusion of each term, I review each report, something I have done enough times now to be impressed by the extraordinary diversity and depth of learning at BICS but not surprised by it. The reports capture just a little of the remarkable experiences students have in their classrooms and beyond learning about interesting and often complex things and using what they’ve learned to, among other things, learn more.
In reviewing reports this term, I’ve pulled one learning outcome from each grade as well as an outcome from our wonderful music and learning assistance programs. My hope is that it offers the reader a very brief look at the breadth of what is learned at BICS.
Kindergarten – Speaking and Listening
- use speaking an listening when engaging in imaginative play; such as problem solving and working co-operatively
Grade 1 – Attitudes, Effort, Work Habits, Social Responsibility
- consistently models respectful behaviour and acceptance of others’ differences
Grade 2 – Fine Arts
- began to use simplification effectively, to create artwork in the styles of Lawren Harris & Ted Harrison
Grade 3 – HACE/Physical and Health Education
- describes practices contributing to healthy living (e.g. exercise, healthy eating, friendships, sleep)
Grade 4 – Thinking Competency
- reasons and uses logic to explore, make connections, predict, analyze, generalize and make conclusions
Grade 5 – Language Arts
- recognizes oral traditions in First Peoples’ culture and identifies how story connects people to land
Grade 6 – Socials Studies
- evaluates how geographic challenges and opportunities affect the development of societies
Grade 7 – Math
- competently uses mathematical operations to determine a monthly budget
Performing Arts – Music
- can create, notate, and perform rhythmic solos while following a musical form
Learning Support reports
- Segmenting, manipulating, and blending vowel and consonant sounds in words
In selecting the learning outcomes above, I tried to pull diverse outcomes – math, language arts, performing arts, etc. In reviewing the reports, however, I looked for some patterns that might reveal how our school is doing with some key priorities identified in our School Growth Plan and Aboriginal Education Plan: inquiry-based learning, self-regulation, critical thinking and aboriginal education. There are far more effective ways of determining how the school is doing in these areas – visiting classrooms and speaking with students being one of them – but what did the general scan of K-7 reports reveal to me about these priorities?
Learning outcomes about timeless and transferable concepts and references to “Fascination Time,” “Genius Hour,” and “Passion Projects” made it clear that students were pursuing inquiry, whether it be teacher-led or open inquiry, often. In opening comments and in various sections, it was obvious that not only is self-regulation a key feature of each classroom at BICS, it is also being reported on frequently. Whether it be found in socials studies or explicit references to the “Thinking Competencies,” it was obvious that developing students’ skills as critical thinkers and asking them to uses these skills is a key area of learning. Lastly, students are learning about Indigenous Peoples frequently. Whether it is in Language Arts learning about oral stories teaching about the land, or learning about cultural characteristics and traditional ways of life in Socials Studies, the many references to Aboriginal Education found in BC’s new curriculum were also obvious in the K-7 reports.
I am proud of our School’s progress. And in reading reports, I can’t help but feel a strong sense of satisfaction in knowing that each of the many bullets on a report card, simple words on a page, had some powerful learning experience behind it – perhaps a beautiful work of art, a field experience to a National Historic Site, a memorable visitor, help from a dedicated staff member, or simply a student’s persistent effort – and that each of these experiences provided a sense of accomplishment and the satisfaction of learning.
*This quote is attributed to both Albert Einstein and the sociologist, William Bruce Cameron.