Edu1st VESS Teacher’s Curriculum Guidance Plan Always consider the VESS philosophy and curriculum. Use VESS as a guide to plan activities that foster and develop intellectual and emotional growth along with a culture of thinking. Plan activities that take into account what children are doing in other classes and from which they can draw connections and new perspectives about other subjects and activities. Don’t wait until the end of the activity to allow questions. Let children ask as the activity takes place. Plan activities that further the children’s past experiences and knowledge by taking into account what they already know and what they don’t. Children should explore each subject to the fullest, so don’t try to cover too many subjects every month. Instead, go into depth about one or two subjects each month and allow children to really grasp each concept. Allow children to take an active part in setting and designing the rules and goals within activities. Children should take an active role in their learning. The teacher doesn’t always need to have total control. Help and involve other teachers when planning activities. Remember that the school is a team. Design activities that that expose children to the outside world and to ideas and events that are important to them. Take every student into account by considering the different skill levels, experiences, cultures, and inclinations in the classroom. Plan / Do / Review Tips for Teachers Do Assign group activities that allow for teamwork and a feeling of responsibility within each child about their own learning. Remember to switch teams after each activity so that children are exposed to the different personalities and ideas within the classroom. Review Students should learn to see evaluation as a method to understand what they have learned and what they need work on. Lessons and activities must provide an environment in which the learner can participate and feel empowered and responsible about her/his learning. Above anything, evaluation must be fair and balanced, but it must also take the individual’s strengths and efforts into account. Lessons and activities must generate a sense of curiosity and active experimentation in the learner. The classroom should be a place for participation and not for mere dictation of lessons. After evaluations, students should be invited, encouraged and assisted in reflecting about their answers. Learning should be built upon the children’s experiences and previous learning. This will make it easier for them to understand new concepts and to relate to new ideas. Activities should be varied in order to take different perspectives into account. The teacher should not only include students who might not be proficient in the main language of the classroom, but should understand that the perspectives of these students can provide an important addition to the rest of the classroom. As well, the teacher should not only include students in the classroom who have special needs, but should understand that the perspectives of these students can provide an important addition to the rest of the classroom. In order to promote balance and fairness, assessment throughout the year should rely on numerous different evaluation methods and not only one. Assignments and evaluation should be used as a method to understand the strengths and needs in each student and the classroom and not only as a tool with which to pass or fail students. The processes of planning, learning, and evaluating should be consistent with each other, and should all be moving towards a clear and common goal In order to further the sense of ownership and responsibility toward their own learning, students should often take an active part in their own evaluations as well as in their peers’. Before a new topic can begin, the teacher must assess, through the class’s evaluations, if the students are ready to leave the old topic behind. Teachers in the same school should evaluate as a team, and should have similar standards for the students in each grade regardless of teacher.