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Friday, 2 October 2015

Alberta Assessment Consortium Conference

Written By Denise Litke, Instructional Coach
September 24 and 25, 2015 - Edmonton


This past weekend I attended the AAC Conference in Edmonton. There the IC team was treated to two world renowned researchers and speakers - Ruth Sutton and Rick Wormeli.  
Ruth kicked off the conference Thursday with a presentation on School Leadership in Changing Times. The recurring theme I heard from Ruth was in order to get to where we want to be, we need to start with the foundations.  We can’t do everything and we can’t do it all at once, so we need to get down to the fundamentals of strong practice and do them well.  The fundamentals she spoke of were design and planning, curricular outcomes, assessment, feedback, engagement, and teachers as learners.  
Friday Rick Wormeli presented.  To me, Rick is a cross between Steve Martin, Jim Carey and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  He is a fast talking, fast moving ball of information, and if you have ever seen him, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Based on the premise that “Grades are communication - they are an accurate report of what happened.”, Wormeli  goes on to talk about how we need to be ethical in our reporting practices.  This includes stopping the practice of  averaging marks, defining mastery, having pre-assessments that relate to the final understandings,  giving feedback, allowing for redos, differentiating in our classrooms and being a responsive teacher.

Overall, I found the conference to be informative, engaging and I would highly recommend it all teachers in FSD.  Check out their website at www.aac.ab.ca

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