Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Success Skills at BPS

What do we want from our students? It seems this question is being discussed with regularity in our district and districts around the world.  Maria Neset’s blog post, Mrs. Uselman’s post, and the community forum held in conjunction with the showing of the video “Most Likely to Succeed” are just a few recent examples that have contributed to the discussion locally.  A theme that I’ve noticed emerging during these discussions is that the world wants…. needs, students who can work together to solve the problems the world faces.  But, how do we go about helping students learn how to do that? The chart below is from the data collected during the BrightBytes survey and provides a glimpse into our current reality at BPS.
We know we have more work to do here at BPS, and one document that might help is the draft of Success Skills Production Behaviors .  Last year, a team from BPS worked at creating this document to help schools as they focus efforts on being more deliberate in instructing the skills sometimes referred to as 21st Century skills, the 4 C’s, or success skills.  The document outlines the kinds of things that students could be doing to develop and demonstrate these skills, and the kinds of things that teachers can do to support that development. This isn't a static document; it will continue to evolve as we get collectively "smarter" about teaching and learning.

One section of the document provides some ideas for key behaviors that students might do as they work on identifying and solving problems.  Are you seeing these behaviors in your students? In you?

Success skills aren’t “something extra” -- they already exist throughout the teaching and learning process, but our ability to contextualize and support them can make the difference between being “Career, College and Community Ready” and just “passing the test.” There are many models for encouraging and supporting Success Skills, and allowing ourselves and students time to explore where these skills are implicit in our work and how we can make them more explicit can pay dividends.  Think about how the production behaviors might support teachers' efforts to create experiences that allow BPS students opportunities to reach beyond proficiency.

Check out the Success Skills Production Behaviors document.  Does it align with your vision of what you want from students?  What changes do you suggest?  Did you notice any behaviors that should be added? Please leave comments with your suggestions for changes, and ideas on if and how you might be able to use this document.  Your ideas will help as work continues on this draft.

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