Saturday, November 9, 2013

Our Thanks...

Dear Parents,

We want to thank our entire PCE community and especially our PCEA for the love and support you have shown to our entire staff.  This week our teachers have received so many kind notes, comments and emails!  These are the type of gestures that remind us of why we all became educators.  We are all here to create a better future for our students!  Thank you for recognizing our teachers' hard work and determination through your kindness and dedication to our school, our staff and most importantly our children!

Every decision we make keeps what is best for our students in mind.  Together we want to build a community of learners that are prepared to take on whatever the future brings their way!  With this in mind we are starting our library re-design to transform our library into a central hub of learning that includes kid friendly, flexible learning spaces, along with current resources in literature and technology.  This redesign will be done in several stages and will be a joint effort between PCEA and the school.  We are excited to move forward and implement prior plans and be able to expand upon those ideas to create a space where students will love to learn.

We are also continuing our professional learning in the area of meeting math needs for our children.  This is our second year of Math in Focus and we are finding that many of our children are up to a bigger challenge in math.  We are working to find the ways that best benefit our children without creating gaps for them in their learning and providing a deeper level of understanding in all mathematical concepts.

Another goal for PCE students and teachers is to make learning relevant and authentic by cross-connecting curricular concepts with real world problems that create a deeper understanding of the content and move away from the surface level learning.  We want children to know the content, understand the content and USE that knowledge and understanding in their everyday lives.

The features of Deep and Surface approaches can be summarized as:
Focus is on “what is signified” 
Focus is on the “signs” (or on the learning as a signifier of something else)
Relates previous knowledge to new knowledge 
Focus on unrelated parts of the task 
Relates knowledge from different courses 
Information for assessment is simply memorized 
Relates theoretical ideas to everyday experience 
Facts and concepts are associated un-reflectively 
Relates and distinguishes evidence and argument 
Principles are not distinguished from examples 
Organizes and structures content into coherent whole 
Task is treated as an external imposition 
Emphasis is internal, from within the student 
Emphasis is external, from demands of assessment 
(based on Ramsden, 1988)
Read more: Deep and Surface learning

I know it has been said many times but we really are preparing our students for a world that we can not truly define yet.  Career opportunities and demands change on a daily basis.  It is more important for us to teach our children "how to learn" than to just memorize facts.  Education is truly about the journey rather than the destination.  Our children need to understand how to make decisions and choices based on what they understand about themselves and their abilities, so they can reach their fullest potential-- there are no limits on what they can achieve!

Our hopes are to provide this solid foundation and opportunity to ALL students at PCE on a daily basis.


Carrie Rotherham
Principal, PCE