As a teacher today in this fast paced, constantly changing world, it is really hard to keep up to date with all the different teaching tools, websites, and strategies.
We created Ottawa Teachers Professional Learning Community (OTPLC) for all different kinds of teachers to come together and learn about one new topic a month and have hands on time to play with the tools and chat with other teachers.
Our first get together is on February 16th, 2017 at Oh So Good in Westboro at 6pm. This is a very casual where you can connect with other teachers, grab a coffee and make sure to bring your device.
Occasional, contract, public, and student teachers are all welcome.
To know more about this, please check out the website at https://otplc.wordpress.com/
At Edcamp Ottawa this past weekend, there was a session all about occasional teachers, the process and the struggles. I remember being an occasional teacher (OT) for the OCDSB and was so frustrated with the wait to get my own classroom.
During the session I talked about spending your time as an OT learning and getting ready for your future classroom and students.
Afterwards, I spoke to the two OT’s running the session, Jessica Davis and Courtney White. I told them I had the idea in the past of giving training sessions to OT’s who wanted to learn. We decided to put it into action.
We are sending around the below form to ask you what you want to learn about. We are hoping to put together a bunch of sessions that will help OT’s learn relevant information to help them in their future classrooms and with their future students. We are only collecting your email so we can email you when we figure out when these sessions will be.
Please fill out the form below and please share it with your OT friends!
I’ve been working on Kid Tech Coach, a technology tutorial website for students by students and I’m so excited to launch it soon.
I’m looking for units and lesson plans on how to create or how to identify a good tutorial. I’m looking for any grade level, any curriculum links, or any subject matter.
Your unit or lesson plan will be posted on Kid Tech Coach with a link to your website, teacherspayteachers store or anything else you would like. It’s a great chance to add something else to your resume too.
If you have already created one or would like to create one, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much!
I’m working on getting Kid Tech Coach publicized and going but I’m coming up with some questions that I need help with.
The whole idea about Kid Tech Coach is students being the expert and sharing tutorials online but I’m curious about parental permission. In the ‘Submit a Video’ tab, I ask for for their first and last name, email address, and if they are a student/parent/teacher/or other. I do ask for Parental Permission and it says “I have my parents permission to share this video with you”
I would also love to post their first name, city, and country.
I would love your advice about how to go forward with this.
Recently I became a Google Education Trainer (GET). I honestly felt so excited to be listed among all of these amazing educators and I knew that my connection to the trainer community would inspire me to be better and more creative.
I’m pretty involved in the Ottawa education community. I have planned Edcamp Ottawa, Playdate Ottawa, am a co-founder of ONEdchat and Think Tank Ottawa. I love to plan events and create spaces for people to learn from each other. When I became a GET I wanted to do something bigger. I kept on thinking about what the education community needed. I am always trying to inspire non-techy teachers to get involved and try something new. I love Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and know how empowering it is for students. I wanted to make it easy for non-techy teachers to teach their students GAFE. I first thought of making step by step videos that teachers could play in their classroom and learn with the students. But then I realized, students do not want to listen to another teacher, they want to listen to their peers. Students listen more and learn better when their peers explain something than when teachers do, so I created Kid Tech Coach.
This website is to provide training for GAFE and other technology for students using videos made by other students. This is a way that students can share their expertise in technology and show their learning.
As an educator, this is a great way for our students to create a positive digital footprint, and it teaches our students collaboration, communication, technology skills and creativity. It also encourages students to learn digital media principles, such as engaging with an audience, production principles, etc.
Please follow us on facebook, twitter, and check out our blog (still in it’s early production).
If you have any videos of students that are already created giving tutorials on technology, you can submit the videos here.
I am completely thrilled to share that Ontario’s Edchat (@ONedchat) is featured in Professionally Speaking, the Ontario College of Teacher’s Magazine!
Here is a picture of our article.
I will link to the online magazine when it is available.
During the last Ontario Edchat we were chatting about Report Cards. It was an amazing discussion that really made me start thinking. We should be focusing on our students learning, not just assessing for grades. I decided to create these learning focused worksheets that your students can use to see what they knew about the topic before the unit and what they learned after the unit is completed. In an ideal world I would use these sheets unit after unit so that the routine is automatic and the students feel confident about it. Here are the two different versions.
The next one I thought would be neat to do more of a brainstorm on. The students can fill out what they know about a particular subject and fill in the box attached to “What I think I know” in one colour. At the end of the unit they can add what they learned about that topic but in another colour and add another colour to the box attached to “What I know now.” I decided to choose the wording “What I think I know” because it makes the students feel more comfortable to write things down and when they are writing about their learnings after the unit is complete they can cross out what they learned is not true.
Please let me know what you think of these printables in the comments and let me know if you used them.
I was honoured to be mentioned in Amanda Anderson’s article about Edcamps in the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) December Newsletter.
Check it out!
Check out the whole article here in this link.
If this doesn’t work, check out my saved version here.
I am participating in the Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge being put on by the wonderful Maria Verwey. For week 2 we have been asked what we are reading, what our professional goals are for this year and our one word for 2015.
Right now I’m reading ‘Making Thinking Visible’ which is my book club book.
This upcoming Wednesday we are reading and discussing Chapter 2. Last week we discussed Chapter 1 and I was blown away by the amazing discussion we had. You can still participate and sign up here.
I’m also reading ‘What Great Teachers do Differently’ by Todd Whitaker.
Right now I have a lot of professional goals. I became a Google Educator in the summer and I’m working on becoming a Google Trainer this year.
Since it is my first year being a contract and permanent teacher, I’ve been focused on learning about how a school really works. I joined the School Learning Plan Committee (SLP), the Lead Team, and am hoping to be on our Technology Team.
I’m also focused on continuing to provide great PD opportunities. I am hoping to do that through a Summer Conference I’m hoping to help plan, my #bowkerbook club that is happening right now and maybe in the summer months, applying to present at a ETFO Summer Academy workshop and another Edcamp Ottawa next fall. I am also hoping to continue with Ontario’s Edchat (@Onedchat) and make it more popular.
In my classroom I also want to focus more on learning rather than marks and continuing to try to collaborate and do cool projects even though it seems to not be working out this year.
My One Word:
My one word is Care. I wrote a post about it here.
For a different Think Tank tonight we headed to the Museum of Nature to check out their Arctic Voices exhibit for a Special Preview for Teachers and Educators.
Greeting from Gilles Proulx, Project Leader for nature School Programs
We had a greeting from Gilles who let us know about the current programs they have at the museum.
Roundtable Discussion Sessions: What are your needs?
Before I even got to the museum I was excited about this part. I love that the museum is asking teachers what we want. What a great idea for collaborating. Here are some questions they wanted answers to.
The Think Tank crew had tons of ideas to share. I think we all got excited about all the ideas and possibilities. If you have any ideas or answers to the questions above, please share them in the comments.
Visit to the Arctic Voices Exhibit
At the end of the night we got to visit the Arctic Voices Exhibit. Here are some pictures I took.
Real Penguin eggs was really neat to see.
I loved these posters at the beginning of the exhibit. They really make you think about the differences between us and Arctic people.
I double took these while I was at the exhibit but I loved that it says “Please Touch”!
I’m short next to a polar bear.
This was my favourite part of the exhibit by far. I loved being able to get so close to a polar bear. Absolutely amazing!
Super Cool side note: I found out that my husband’s Great Grandfather carved the letters on the front of the Museum of Nature. Pretty Cool!