Summer Time

One thing we’re always doing is reflection. The end of year offers a chance to review our year and think about next steps. What is front and center is the work you’ve all done to support students. In whatever role you do, our students are the heart and center of everything. It is why we do what we do.

With great gratitude for your energy and efforts but mostly for your care…

There is much research on the brain’s need for downtime to solidify pathways, to reorganize itself, to sandboxencourage creativity. While the brain is never idle, in this fast-paced society it is important to shift gears. What better time than summer? What are you going to do to care for yourself?

It’s time to play in the sandbox, out of the sandbox, travel the world or maybe be a tourist in your own city. Whatever your summer sandbox looks like, have fun.

Thinking Math Supports?

In partnership with Ron Coleborn (Math consultant), we are pleased to announce two Math softwares available for teachers:

  • Dreambox Learning (Math)
  • Skoolbo (Math and Literacy basic skills) (Canadian version)

dreamboxDreamBox is an online Math resource (K-8) intended to support personalized instruction for students from intervention to enrichment. The ongoing formative assessments within the program can align classroom practices and lessons creating a blended model of instruction. Some of our schools have been using the program in pilot and can share their stories. A small number of purchased student licenses are available. More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > DREAMBOX LEARNING).   Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page.

skoolbologoSkoolbo (Canadian version)(K-5) is now available for those who are seeking practice in basic skills in Math or Literacy (building blocks). This is an online resource that provides a “game type” environment to hone basic skills. Create your avatar and the program can take you through the skillsets (based on a set of pre-tests). Or a teacher can assign specific content where practice is needed. This may enhance (RTI) Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports. We’ve registered all schools (elementary and secondary). More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > SKOOLBO).   Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page for a class account.

Watch for a full launch in September. Perhaps I see a coordinated song and dance in the future?

Share Button

“Citizenship” is Everyone’s Business

February 1st is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the day before Groundhog Day, digicit_relationshipsthe day (1920) of the newly established Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  But more importantly, it is the official launch of our Digital Citizenship Initiative (K-7).

While some may hone in on the word, “digital” implying that it is related to computer lab activities or technology classes, we suggest it is plain “Citizenship”. And everyone is responsible for learning and modeling citizenship (both in-person and online). At the heart of this, resides the core values and beliefs that we all hold.  This in turn, drive our behaviours and actions.

Citizenship is fully integrated in the new curriculum. It is embedded in the Core Competencies of Personal and Social competency. As well you will find targeted Curricular Competencies in every curriculum including the latest draft Applied Design, Skills and Technologies.

The Digital Citizenship Initiative has been divided into themes:

  • February – Relationships and Communication
  • March – Internet Safety
  • April – Footprints and Reputation
  • May – Cyberbullying
  • June – Credit and Copyright

Lesson launches are provided as starting points for teachers and students. As well, there is a FOR PARENTS area to explore at home with family. Keeping open communication is key to understanding how one lives and learns in all the environments we encounter. Schools have been invited to participate and share their class stories through school websites, principal newsletters, home communications, and PAC meetings. We are in this journey together. DCcontest

For classes, there is an added bonus – a monthly DC contest starting this month. Hop on over to the Digital Citizenship Contest page or click on the DC button found on your school’s website for information. We sincerely hope you’ll join us as we learn together.

We’d love to hear stories that you may wish to share. Please leave a comment below.

Welcome Back!

autumn-leavesStarting a new year is always exciting and this year cannot be any different. We’ve done some updates to the blog – please take time to familiarize yourself with the organization (you’ll find new consent templates, Admin section now under Program…). New training sessions (for new sites and any teachers new or nearly new to program) are set for October-December.

More importantly are the relationships and connections made with students, staff and parents. It is relationships that are the foundation to risk-taking. Relationships that serve to understand one another and support one another in facing joys and addressing challenges.  This is no different when using Fast ForWord. The program is only the program (though powerful on its own). It is being connected that promotes significant perseverance when faced with “mountains to climb”.

As we start this year, a ‘thank you’ to each of you for creating the conditions for connections, relationships, and risk-taking.

Share Button

New Beginnings

A huge welcome to our new sites – South Slope, Marlborough, Buckingham, Burnaby South Access Program and Moscrop Access Program.  A great time of learning with all teams and we continue to have more gatherings in the near future to continue the conversation of supporting our students.

The days of January have been whizzing by, partly due to the start of another term and partly due to our wonderful west coast weather.  Having some sun certainly invites a bit more energy in the steps as well as some hopeful signs of spring just around the corner.

Did you know that February 5th is  “Digital Learning Day“?  Although we know that many of you already use technologies in seamless ways, this is a day designed to invite you to further participate in a little something special. Maybe it’s a connection with a tool that allows for adaptation to happen on the spot allowing a full experience for students in class. Perhaps you may incorporate “text-to-speech” tools for those needing support in reading challenging texts or access ARC-BC for texts for Kurzweil. The flip to that would be “speech-to-text” tools for those writers struggling in written work. How about the use of QR codes (audio form) to showcase/share your work with books.  What about questions you post out using Soundcloud. This month’s Learning Technologies newsletter is full of ideas for you to ponder and put into action.  Consider celebrating the day with a little something special.  Drop me a line and share your story.

Since I’m a huge fan of Peter Reynold‘s work, I love how he captured the ideas for digital learning. It just looks so inclusive!

Peter Reynolds
Share Button