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Blog: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Showcasing Assessment Week at ATSS: “Satirizing Abbotsford’s Issues”

It is an exciting time in education in BC as we explore new ways of assessing student learning. At the end of first semester a few weeks ago, secondary schools took the first step in departing from traditional exam week and introduced “Assessment Week”: a weeklong opportunity that in reflecting the priorities of the new curriculum, promoted risk taking and innovation by giving students a chance to “show what they know” in new and personalized ways. The following is one example of inquiry based learning and demonstrations of learning facilitated by English teachers Elizabeth Smoes and Becky Toews at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School. Thank you, Elizabeth, for providing the following summary of your students’ inquiries.
-Gino Bondi, Assistant Superintendent

All grade 11 English students at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School, under the guidance of their teachers Elizabeth Smoes and Becky Toews, embarked on a 6-week long Inquiry Based Project. Students needed to determine how they could best highlight a community based issue through the use of satire.  n groups, students researched issues like Abbotsford’s homelessness, unaffordable housing, fentanyl overdoses, gang violence and more.  As part of their research, groups made contact with an expert in the community in the field they were researching.  APD’s Cst. Kern was a primary contact for students and underwent many interviews to help support the students with their project. 

All their hard work culminated on January 27th when V.I.P.’s in our community came to participate in the students’ Presentation of Learning.  In attendance were Abbotsford’s mayor Henry Braun and Police Chief Bob Rich. Cliff Mac Arthur, a retired judge, and Martin Declare, the director from Psalm 23 Transition Society provided ATSS students with an authentic audience to showcase how they used humor, irony and exaggeration to shed light on concerning issues in their community.  Students’ final satire products included memes, movie trailers, public service announcements and more.  It was an utter success!

ELIZABETH SMOES & BECKY TOEWS
Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School