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Blog: Thursday, October 10th, 2019

ATSS with Traditional Innovation

As the dust settled in September we embarked on a staff retreat with well experienced educator Tom Hierck. We wanted to take a look at what we need to revisit and implement in order to expand and enhance our goal of a strong positive classroom and school environment. Tom led us through an excellent day of reflection, education and conviction as to our role as educators. Through this retreat we began the process of re-establishing our commitment to revisit and implement strategies to develop the type of student/graduate we want ATSS to produce and to initiate innovation which will lead to successful student learning in a positive classroom environment.

One example of some of the innovation taking place at ATSS in order to enhance learning is a practice implemented by one of our Math teachers, Mr. Daniel Muller, himself the product of a Traditional School. Mr. Muller has his students stand around the room working on Math problems in pairs using erasable markers on windows and whiteboards. In his words, “the purpose of this practice is to maximize students’ critical and creative thinking and problem solving in my classroom; creating and maintaining a motivating environment is crucial. I draw from Dr. Peter Liljedahl ‘s research when creating this environment by placing students in visibly random groups to solve problems on large, vertical surfaces that are non-permanent (i.e. whiteboards and windows). The daily problems range from simple, computational questions to open-ended problems that can be solved in a variety of ways. Under this model, students are quick to engage the problems and critical and creative thought more naturally occurs. To maintain this environment, I hold students accountable for their learning; I assess, and students reflect, on their ability to consistently demonstrate the curricular competencies during the daily problem solving tasks.”

GLEN HILDEBRAND
Principal, Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School