Monthly Archives: October 2011

Free Webinar: Discovering the Potential of “Student Voice” with David Booth – Oct 27, 2011

Finding Ways to Encourage and Support Student Voice in the Classroom – A Free Web Conference

Join David Booth in a free web conference as he examines and explores the power of incorporating student voice in our classroom communities. Assisting learners in developing their own authentic voice can help them to develop confidence in their own capacities, realize their own potential, maximize their abilities, and take a self-determined path of personal growth. Since student voice increases engagement and promotes a willingness to take part in classroom and whole school activities, we teachers want to find strategies to promote and value student voice in our classrooms.

Students have better opportunities to buy into their own learning if they have a voice in determining, organizing, structuring and responding to the events occurring in their classrooms. These opportunities may challenge the students’ personal thinking in meaningful ways, so that they are constantly reflecting on their learning – increasing, altering, modifying, and deepening their understanding through collaborative and cooperative events.

In this web conference, participants will:

  • Discover ways of valuing and including student voices and choices in their classrooms.
  • Challenge our own assumptions about the role of classroom talk and student voice.
  • Explore a variety of organizational modes for encouraging student inquiry.
  • Learn strategies for selecting and incorporating topics or texts of relevance, substance, and interest.
  • Observe film clips of students engaged in thoughtful dialogue and discussion as a class, in groups, and with partners.

Registration:

Additional Notes

This session has no cost for participants.

Before registering please read the technology requirements to see whether you have the technology necessary to participate in these interactive sessions.

Aarthi Vig

Project Leader
Professional Learning Services
Curriculum Services Canada
439 University Avenue 14th Floor
Toronto ON M5G 1Y8
Tel: (416) 591-1576 ext. 231

Vote in the Provincial Election – October 6, 2011

Just a reminder to all members that we can take advantage of  much shorter lines and good weather and vote in the advance polls being held in ridings across the region.  You don’t need your voting card – photo ID will do!

The advance polls will close tomorrow – September 30, but there is yet another option available to cast your vote before the 6th if you miss tomorrow’s deadline – just go to the Election Office for your riding and vote by ‘Special Ballot’.  The government is really working hard to make sure all citizens have the opportunity to vote.  You can find your advance poll information or the location of your Election Office by checking out any candidate’s web page.

It’s our right and our responsibility!  Please vote!

Workshop: Tried & True Classroom Management – Oct 19, 2011

Tried and True Classroom Management for Occasional Teachers With Connie Zoet

Talking Out, defiance, in your face behaviour, refusal to work, unprepared to work, “make me”, are but a few of the attitudes and behaviours faced daily by OTs who take over when the regular teacher is absent. Occasional teaching is challenging and without effective strategies for managing what students regularly dish up, a “supply’s” day can be long and stressful. In this workshop OTs will identify behaviours, explore why students behave the way they do, and learn effective, positive strategies to prevent and/or deal with negative behaviours.

There will also be a focus on examining out current practices, determining what does and does not work, and making choices based on that reflection. OTs will receive a resource packed with ideas that work!!!

Date: Wednesday October 19th
Time: 4:30-7:30
Location: Waterloo Region Occasional Teachers’ Local, 130 Highland Road East, Kitchener.

To register for this workshop, please send an email to wrotlocal_pl@etfowatots.ca subject line to read: Tried and True. A light dinner will be provided. All emails will be responded to within 72 hours. This workshop is targeted toward daily work, but all OTs are welcome and can learn tips and tricks to improve their classroom management strategies.

Cheers,
The PL Committee

What makes a great teacher?

We are an audience of parents all with our hands raised. The principal has asked us if we had a favourite teacher, one who made a difference in our life. And almost everyone has raised their hands.

The principal says that what makes some teachers truly great is that they see their students for who they are – their strengths as well as their weaknesses and they choose to challenge and support them on the student’s terms…

Read the responses to this blog to hear about people’s favourite teachers:
http://www.embracethechaos.ca/2011/10/tell-me-about-your-favourite-teacher.html

Offence Declaration Update

Colleagues,
For those who missed the Offence Declaration deadline of September 30, the Offence Declaration will reappear on your ECNO page ‘sometime this week’ – sorry I can’t be more specific, but that’s the information I have from the Board. It will be open for a short period of time – again, the time frame is not specified. I would suggest that members check their ECNO site on a daily basis until they see it. It is not in Waterworks! – ECNO has a different password that does not expire every 90 days, so the password you used last year will work this year. Please make sure you try it a.s.a.p. so you will be ready when the OD appears on your site. To get to ECNO, I simply type WRDSB ECNO on a google search, hit ‘enter’ and then click on the top option – ‘ECNO Applications’ and up comes the Waterloo page. We can provide some assistance to members who are struggling to get into ECNO. Please call the office. 519-571-0222. I would ask that those of you who did not complete it by Sept. 30, let me know when you do successfully complete it, as I do need to follow up with members who do not get it done ‘soon’. If you are unsure if you have completed it, you can check by going into the ECNO site and following the choices, ‘Employee’, ‘Offence’, and ‘Declaration’ in the top left corner of the page’.

I also encourage all members to make sure they can access their Waterworks accounts. Important information from the Board is posted under the ‘System Memos’ Conference on the desktop. That is how the Board connects with all employees. Information about the Offence Declaration was available there. Information about the declaration was in the newsletter mailed to members’ homes by this office and the information that the OD was available, and the deadline for it, was sent to all members’ personal email boxes on Sept. 15 in the Connecting…Occasionally enewsletter. There were a couple of references to its availability on the OT conference as well. The Board does not post announcements in our OT Conference and they do not have access to the personal email addresses of members. If you can’t access your Waterworks account, please contact the Board’s IT department at extension 5566. We are planning to offer a ‘Waterworks 101’ mini-course at our Local office on November 24. If you think you might benefit from it, please mark the date on your calendar! More information about this opportunity will be coming soon!
I hope this information helps. I apologize for this reminder if you have already completed your Offence Declaration but there are many members who have not done so, yet.

While I’m here, may I take this opportunity, once again, to encourage all members to vote on Thursday, Oct. 6!!

I’d also like to remind members about our drop-in ‘Grab and Go’ event recognizing World Teachers’ Day that will be held here at the office on October 5, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:30ish. If the parking lot is full, there is space behind the building – use the laneway on the opposite side of the building from the parking lot. Remember, you are invited to bring books etc. that you wish to sell, or give away, to this event.

Judy Cutts
WROTL President

Workshop: A Teacher’s Guide to Combined Grades – Oct 17, 24 & Nov 7, 14

Do you wonder how you would effectively set routines for a 3/4 class? Are you currently teaching a split grade? If so, you may be interested in joining us in our first book club of the school year.

In this 4 session book club, we will examine the resource: Learning Together: A Teacher’s Guide to Combined Grades, which provides educators with a framework for teaching combined grades. This resource offers practical strategies, clearly defined criteria, and sample templates, which support the successful organization and management of combined grade classes. This approach to teaching combined grades encourages the development of a new perspective, in which a multi-grade class is no longer viewed as a ‘split grade’ but rather as a ‘combined grade’. This optimistic perception of a multi-grade class enables educators to create a classroom environment that supports an inclusive learning community. By establishing this type of learning environment, students feel safe and supported, and they are able to recognize the importance of working together as a community.

Along with an inclusive learning community, we will also consider the positive influence that a successful management structure, differentiated instruction, strategic planning, and effective assessment each have on student achievement. Each of these essential components are puzzle pieces that, when joined together establishes an optimal learning environment by creating opportunities for students of a combined grade class to demonstrate their learning capabilities.

Dates: October 17, 24, November 7, and 14
Time: 4:15-5:45 pm
Location: 130 Highland Road East, Kitchener

Books will be available at the office prior to the start of the book club. The cost of the book ($35.00) can be covered by our MDF book subsidy. Participants who attend all 4 sessions will have the cost of the book reimbursed by the PL committee.  A light snack will be provided. Space is limited to only 10 participants.

To register please send your name and phone number to wrotlocal_pl@etfowatots.ca. All emails will be responded to within 72 hours.

Cheers,
The PL Committee