Archive of ‘Conferences’ category

Occasional Teacher Trainings

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.

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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!

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Get Connected: Professionally and in your Classroom

On July 14th, 15th, and 16th I was honoured to present “Get Connected: Professionally and in your Classroom” for ETFO’s Summer Academy. I was a 3 day course that I created, organized and presented.

Maybe you are interested in this course but could not attend so I’ve decided to share my 3 day presentation and resources I used in the course with you.

The course covers:

To get the entire course, click on the picture below

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Learning while Presenting

I was lucky enough to be a presenter for ETFO’s Summer Academy this summer. My workshop is called “Get Connected: In your Classroom and Professionally” and we learned about Twitter, Blogging, Skype, Global Projects and GAFE.  I had 3 days to teach these teachers with varying degrees of technology experience how to create and use these tools to connect themselves and their students to the world.

While teaching these amazing teacher’s who gave up three days of the summer vacation to come spend time with me I learned some great lessons.

Learning is joyful.

After the school year, teachers are so tired and burnt out. Yet, teachers sign up for courses and read books just to be better at teaching the next year. During the course when I was explaining Google Drive, a teacher jumped out of her seat and ran to hug me in front of a whole room of teachers. The power of learning and sharing how to learn motivates us to be better and do better. Another teacher started clapping when she understood how to do something and then tweeted about it.

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We are all experts at something.

After the first day of  presenting “Get Connected” I went for a walk with two other teachers. One of the teachers I start walking with, Barbara Brockmann, turns out to have won a Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and a Writer’s Award for her book of five plays that brings wartime history alive for students in Grades 5-12 in 2014. You never know who you are going to meet at these conferences so always make sure to meet some new people. We are all experts at something, what are you an expert at?

Teachers just want to share.

During our walk, Barbara begins to share many resources to teach social studies for my future Grade 6 class. When you feel passionate about a topic, it shines through and I was thrilled with all the resources she shared with me. I actually had to go back to my hotel room to grab my laptop to record them all.

Here are all the links if you are interested:

historicalthinking.ca

 

http://www.ohhfa.ca/media/Steps_to_Creation_of_a_Heritage_Fair_Project_Revised.pdf

http://www.ottawaheritagefair.org/English/awards.htm

 

http://activehistory.ca/

http://oessta-teachers.ca/

http://www.onthemarkpress.com/product/01/EBC145/Remembrance-Day-Plays-Grades-5-12eBook

http://www.canadashistory.ca/

 

Project of Heart http://projectofheart.ca/

 

 

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Get Connected Workshop Advice

I’m so excited to have been chosen to present and plan a 3 day course for ETFO’s Summer Academy. My course is called ‘Get Connected-Professionally and in your Classroom.’ I have never planned something this huge and need some help to make sure I’m planning it well.

I want to it be a jam packed 3 day session that provides a lot of learning but leaves you resources to learn on your own if you don’t it it all during the 3 days.

Here is my planning breakdown:

Day 1:

Introductions, Setting your class to connect (permission forms), Digital Citizenship, Twitter Basics, & Classroom Blogging

Day 2:

Twitter Con’t, Skype, Skype in the Classroom, Google Hangouts, Connected Classrooms, Mystery Skype, Mystery Number, Global Projects & Professional Blogging

Day 3:

Google Drive, Forms and Docs, Go Noodle and Remind

 

I would love some feedback.

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Learning about Student Voice

I was so blessed to be able to attend the Spring Leadership Conference on April 17th run by the OCDSB. This was my first leadership conference so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

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Jennifer Adams, the boards Director of Education introduced the day. She reinforced that this conference and our board should be focusing on 4 key priority areas: Well being, Engagement, Leadership, Learning. This conference definitely exceeded at all 4 of these priorities. 

We were allowed to choose different sessions that we wanted to go learn about. I chose to attend the session about Student Voice.

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This session was lead by students from Nepean High School. They have helped host two student conferences organized by the OCDSB to promote student voice in our students. To see some tweets from these conferences, follow #findyourvoice15

Some of my key learning points:

  • many different kinds of student voice
  • need to active listening, more student to student discussions
  • asking students what they want
  • technology gives those that are quiet a voice
  • Need critical thinking in schools
  • experiences not books
  • teachers shouldn’t be the end result for projects. Should have a real world demand
  • Give the kids the curriculum guidelines, build their own rubric

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The teacher behind these students learning is Jon Tenthorey who teaches CORE at Nepean High School. He believes in risk free play time and time to fail and learn from it. He creates situations to push kids beyond what they think they can do, mentally and physically. He take students downtown and gives them ten dollars but limits the students saying that they cannot just give the money to someone. This way he gets his students to find out people’s stories and to learn and care for them. To learn more about his teachings, check out thecoreway.org

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Dr Alex Russell discussing Child Anxiety

On one Friday in February every year, teachers in Ottawa always have a Federation Professional Development day. This year it was held at the beautiful Shaw Center in Downtown Ottawa.

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Dr Alex Russell was the Keynote Speaker; a clinical psychologist, speaker and author who lives in Toronto, ON. He focuses on children’s emotional development and talked to us about Child Anxiety.

He says Anxiety is like fear, except it is always anticipatory. It is fear with planning.

Anxiety is not all bad but teachers and parents need to make sure that the child is developing adaptive anxiety. We need to make sure that our child or student is becoming responsible for their own life and are feeling adaptively anxious for their own success. For example: If you teach Grade 6 and a parent calls screaming at you, the teacher, because Tim failed his test, we need to make sure that Tim is concerned and upset that he failed the test, not just his parent. If Tim is not concerned or adaptively anxious about it then he will not try to make it right and improve his grades. This will affect his future going forward as well. We need to teach our students and children that learning isn’t only about the grades or about pleasing our parents but pleasing ourselves.

As parents and teachers we need to let our children and students fail. Kids need to learn that doing bad things cause bad things to happen to them.  We need to let them try and fail in reality. It is a hard lesson to learn but one that they need to become anxious for themselves to turn it around and work hard to succeed. If we as parents take care of it for them, they will never learn.

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Teachers, of course we want to communicate with parents what is happening in class and how their son or daughter is doing but we really want to make sure that the student is responsible for their own success. We want parents on the side of their child’s education, not in charge of it. Children need to build their own responsibility, problem solving, and ownership of their learning.

Parents feel on the hook for their child’s behavior. When the child makes a mistake, parents feel like the world sees them as a bad parent. Parents need to trust their children to learn the tough lessons.

We need our parents during their child’s life to gradually release responsibility onto the child. When a child is baby, 100% of the care relies on the parents. When they are in Kindergarten, the parents still have most responsibility (98%) but the child can have some too (2%). When the child turns 18 years old, an adult, they should have 100% of their own responsibility. So throughout their life, the parent and teacher should continue to give the student more and more responsibility.

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Teachers: If you have a difficult parent who is upset at you for their child’s mark. You need to realize that the parent is feeling anxious about their kid. We as teachers need to work on getting parents anxiety go down so the child’s responsibility and anxiety increases. When addressing an upset parent or calling home about a grade, make sure to talk about the whole child and have some stories ready to tell so the parent knows that you know their child and puts them at ease. Then, with the parent, discuss a plan that you have to help the student.

 

 

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Week 2: Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge

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.

Reading:

Right now I’m reading ‘Making Thinking Visible’ which is my book club book. 047091551x

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.

Goals:

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.

 

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Collaborating with the Museum of Nature

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Real Penguin eggs was really neat to see.


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I loved these posters at the beginning of the exhibit. They really make you think about the differences between us and Arctic people.

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I double took these while I was at the exhibit but I loved that it says “Please Touch”!


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I’m short next to a polar bear.


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This was my favourite part of the exhibit by far. I loved being able to get so close to a polar bear. Absolutely amazing!

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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!

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Changing for the better

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Photo Credit by Andrew Forgrave

This is not me. Never would I have the nerve, know how or confidence to stand up in front of amazing, long time educators and speak.

Well, I guess I have changed. This is me. I honestly cannot believe it. I was the shy kid in school who always stayed out of people’s way, never wanted attention in front of a crowd, never wanting to cause a ruckus. I’ve grown and I’ve found myself. Yes, I know that sounds corny but I truly feel like I have finally found myself and my role in education. I feel excited, passionate, and inspired about education. Yes, I find it frustrating sometimes but I love that aspect of collaboration, technology, working together and supporting each other that comes from the education field.

Look at me. I’m the prime example for someone who never wanted to cause trouble, never wanted to be heard, to someone standing in front of an audience speaking. We can change and grow. All you have to do is put yourself out there. Support each other.

 

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