Archive of ‘Leadership in Learning Communities’ category

Learning Skills-Self Assessing and Reflecting

I created the below document to help my students learn about the learning skills we assess them on in Ontario. I am going to give them this document at the beginning of the year so that they can create goals about these learning skills. I want my students to  be able to self-assess and reflect on what they can do better for the next term.

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Click on the picture for the link.

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/

 

 

Goal Setting and Changing in the Classroom

I’m so excited to be teaching Grade 6 next year. One thing that I want to do with my class every week is Goal Setting. I recently finished reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.

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It was an interesting read and one that really can be linked to the classroom environment. Students need to learn how to set goals so they will succeed in their later educational pursuits, work and in life. I know that in my personal life sometimes I need a reward to complete a task that I don’t want to do such as working out or doing the dishes. I created this worksheet for students to use and to practice creating their own goals. For students to be able to complete their goals, they need to be as descriptive as possible in how, when, and where they are going to complete their goals.

Click on the picture to download.

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I’m sure you have some students in your class that have a routine that is less than positive. The below worksheet is to change their routine. You would meet with the student in private, when they are calm and discuss the trouble they are having.

For example: Student A sees another students take one of his crayons and he hits them to get it back. You can discuss why this happens, what are some other options they could choose and the student could suggest some rewards that they would like to get if they choose a better option rather than hitting. Please click on the picture to download.

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The below image is from CharlesDuhigg.com, the author of “The Power of Habit” and also describes in detail how to change a habit. 
How-to-Change-a-Habit

I would highly recommend reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.

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.

Get Connected – ETFO Summer Academy Presenter

Last year at this time, I was registering to attend ETFO’s Summer Academy workshop but now I am a presenter! I am so excited for this huge honour!

My 3 day workshop is called Get Connected-Professionally and in your Classroom for Grades Kindergaten to Grade 8.

Here is the caption:

Do you want to break down the walls of your classroom and introduce your students to the world? Join us for this interactive three-day workshop that will provide participants tools to create their own Personal Learning Network and to use in their classroom. Some of the tools we will be learning about are: Twitter, blogs, Skype, global projects, and Google Apps for Education. Participants will have the opportunity to create a twitter account, blog, and Skype account. They will also leave with many ways to connect their classroom and many resources they can confidently use in the new year.

Participants must bring their own laptop or Chromebook with Wi-Fi capabilities. Participants are encouraged to have a Google Apps for Education or Gmail account.

It will be taking place on July 14th, 15th and 16th in Renfrew. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or presentation tips.  

Kid Tech Coach 

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.

Kid Tech Coach (5)

 

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.

Debating Report Cards

A couple of days ago the Toronto Sun posted an article written by Catherine Porter about Ontario Report Cards called “Honesty and report cards prove a toxic mix.” The articles states that teachers are frustrated with the positive language they must use due to the Ministry of Education and principals push to keep parents happy. To read the article, click here.

The problem they are stating that teachers can not communicate really how students are doing because they have to put a positive spin on everything written.

Here is a quote from the article “…instead of telling parents their kid was disorganized and his desk was messy, the teacher now writes: “Johnny consistently places his materials inside his desk in a random order. He is highly encouraged to adopt a more streamlined organizational style, so that during in-class work periods he is able to locate his documents with greater ease.”

I honestly think that times are changing. Education is in the middle of the biggest flux that it has ever experienced. In the past, schools were a one room school house in the tiny local community. When I was attending school (1986-2001), it was a school that contained several separate classrooms but you only interacted with your own class.

Now with our world of ever changing technology, school has to be different. We can connect with other schools, authors, and experts globally at the touch of a button. We need our students to be able to think critically, communicate clearly, collaborate, problem solve and be creative.

Below is Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson’s series, report card from 1971-1972.

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So what has changed since 1971? In Ontario, we have a section at the top of our reports that focus on Learning Skills: Responsibility, Initiative, Organization, Independent Work, Collaboration and Self Regulation. We have also added comments to the report cards so parents have more information on what was learned. But comparing the report card now and from 1971, they are pretty much the same.

 

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With all of the changes in our world and with technology, shouldn’t our report cards have evolved as well?    

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