Whoever said ‘Patience is a Virtue’…

Whoever said ‘Patience is a Virtue’ obviously never had to wait for amazing learning tools in a classroom full of passionate and curious kids! Ha!

I’ve learned a lot about myself the past few weeks… primarily how bad I am at being patient. I am SO eager to get this inquiry re-started, to re-ignite it with new tools and the curiosities that follow, and to get messy learning new things. The snag? Our equipment hasn’t been inventoried yet, so we don’t have it yet. *sob*

Well, thats not entirely true. I was able to pick up the Padcaster this week and started to explore all the pieces. I was so grateful to have had THIS podcaster tutorial to watch first – there are SO many pieces, it was wonderfully overwhelming. I watched it and then started to take out the Padcaster piece-by-piece. My mind was racing with possible uses for each of the included lenses, mics, and pieces and I had to remind myself that part of my professional inquiry was to be patient, be responsive, and to be present. In short, to let the kids guide the learning without expectations and without a ‘plan.’


Im endeavouring to follow their lead, and to honour the emergency nature of this inquiry – It’s yielded amazing learning so far, right? So, I tried to anticipate some challenges they might have in setting up the Padcaster for the first time, some resources that I might want to (coincidently *wink wink*) leave on our provocation table, and what some of the next steps in the inquiry might be. I want to be responsive, but I also want to be timely in supporting them, so pre-thinking is a necessary ‘evil’

The other thing we’ve been doing as we (I’m)patiently wait for the equipment is reactivating and developing our understanding of the Core Competencies – the heart of this inquiry. We used the text “The Six Cedar Trees” to connect to our previous knowledge and to enjoy a shared experience as a new class. I have strong, and mixed, feelings about the text that I’d like to devote a whole blog post to it later this week.

We’ve been adding to our Core Competencies board – which is a mural gifted to us by last year’s grade 5 students (before they left for middle school). We’ve been adding new information and new understanding to the board as we uncover new understanding about the competencies. I really believe that documenting shared learning is an important step when celebrating the circular nature of learning; revising of old learning with new insight.

We’ve explored each of the competencies generally, but the kids seem particularly interested in examining how personal awareness impacts their learning. We’ve got a few ‘experiments’ planned for the coming weeks and Im curious to see what data they yield. I’ll be sure to post about each of them… hopefully we’ll even have our iPads so that the KIDS voices become the primary voice of this blog. The possibilities are SO exciting!


It all began a few years ago, and at the time I had no idea that it would grow into this wonderfully unpredictable inquiry project. Perhaps thats part of its charm; the unpredictable and emergent quality of the learning – anything is possible. It all began with a single question, which birthed another question and, in turn, spawned hundreds more questions.

This is the journey of – Core Competency Candids (@corecandids)

In 2017 I was part of a learning team in SD43 – the “Communicating Student Learning” Team. We were each invited to develop an inquiry question that we’d explore in more depth during the school year. This would be the catalyst for the Core Competency Candids (the C.C.C.s). I spent a year working to develop Core Competency Literacy with my students though a series of experiments, struggles, shared experiences, successes, and a whole lot of laughter. I wanted to develop a shared language with my students so we could reflect with more clarity, and so that we could not only hear each others reflections but also understand them. The process was a learning endeavour for us all; fraught with growing pains and a lot of ‘ah-ha’ moments. What I did not anticipate during this inquiry project, however, was that the kiddos would develop their own inquiry question as a result…

Inquiry - the rolling stone

Through my inquiry we uncovered a lot of information about the why behind the core competencies, and even the who, what, where, and when. What really frustrated the kiddos was that conversations and resources that accompanied the core competencies, something that was touted as being ‘child centered,’ was dominated by adult voices. One kiddo asked “If the core competencies are supposed to be for kids, about kids, and self-assessed by kids, where are the kids’ voices?

Student Voice?

As is frequently the case, I didn’t have an answer for them. Instead I had a question: “where could you find those voices?” So, the group set to work. This time, it was personal. They engaged in collaborative inquiry, and started making a plan to bring student voicetheir voices, into the conversation.

Being kids of a digital age, they instantly agreed that the platform they used would have to be digital – they wanted their voices to be amplified through the networks of social media. Twitter. This, they believed, would be the fastest way to get information out – quickly and easily. Here was the plan:

Make a twitter account  (wait, for what? called what?)

  1. create a name and Logo for the project
  2. take photos (we needed proof that “this is really happening”)
  3. create a twitter account
  4. secure followers (“this is hard, we didn’t know it would be this hard”)
  5. create a ‘confessional’ space – this is where we will make the video diaries
  6. ask British Columbia’s teachers for their Core Competency questions… answered by kids… by US!
Developing a Logo

The kids created an outline of the logo through a collaborative process – I forgot to document that process (#oops). Then we all imagined what the completed logo might look like, documented those ideas, shared the ideas, voted on the ideas, and finally… we had a logo!

Creating a twitter account

The name Core Competency Candids came from the kids. They wanted the name of the project to indicate that this wasn’t scripted, this wasn’t their teacher telling them what to say, this was their unfiltered, unedited, raw, honest, feedback – candidly.

Creating the 'confessional'

The “Candid Cave” was born with thanks to Ikea for the curtains, and Amazon for the tripod.


The questions came pouring in thanks to British Columbia’s educators!

We were ready to activate the Core Competency Candids and share our voices with the world – Here is our Introduction!