Monday, 7 November 2016

Core Competencies in the Classroom - BC's New Curriculum

Today I am attending a FISA conference.  Darren Spyksma is speaking about BC's new curriculum and the core competencies.  The following notes are based on his presentation.

As a human, you will be developing your core competencies throughout your entire life.  They do not need be assigned a grade or a number.

As educators, we must use the Content as a vehicle to practice the core competencies, RATHER than focus on the two areas separately.

Below are some key points for BC teachers:

  1. The KEY to core competency acquirement is REFLECTION.
  2. Do NOT focus on all core competencies at once.
  3. What core competency do your students need to develop?
  4. Begin your unit by defining the chosen core competency of focus.
  5. Include REFLECTION at the end of every activity based on the chosen core competency of focus.

Following these five ideas, you as an educator will be fulfilling the requirements of the new curriculum.

QUICK EASY Reflection Activity: One new take on Think, Pair, Share is the Back to Back Sharing activity that would be a great, easy reflection activity.
  1. Have students find a partner and stand back to back.
  2. Ask a question that encourages reflection based on core competency development.
  3. Example: How well did you communicate during that last activity on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 being Working on it!, 2 being Good! and 3 being WOW! Provide an explanation as to why using a "because" in your answer. Allow students 30 seconds to think before they answer.
  4. After 30 seconds, direct students to turn and share their answers with their partner.
  5. Repeat this activity at least three times to encourage social responsibility. At first, you tend to choose a partner you are comfortable with. Eventually, you will need to branch out as you are required to find a different partner.
Here is a little freebie to extend your reflection process with your students!

Also, Suzanne Hoffman presented on ideas for assessment:
  1. Passion Afternoon: Every teacher chooses a passion to study with the whole class for the afternoon.
  2. Exit Tickets: Formative assessment! Here are some great Exit Ticket packets from
  3. No Hands Up Class Lesson: Don't let your students who don't know off the hook! As a teacher, you may choose any student to answer. Students with anxiety are well known by the teacher so teachers would focus on their exit ticket instead. You could also have a secret signal for that child to indicate that they are willing to share. This app allows teachers to see student answers to a question as an evaluation tool without allowing other students to influence the decisions of others, so students
don't feel self-conscious. The cards are free and just need to be printed.
  • Each student receives a different plicker.
  • The teacher asks a question with an A, B, C or D answer.
  • Students choose an answer and hold up their card.
  • The teacher scans the room with their camera on their phone which is connected to the app.
  • The camera collects the data, reports to the app and provides data for the teacher.

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