New on the Horizon

So many exciting things have been happening with our students’ learning that it’s hard to keep up. 

Updates on Intervention Practices: 

  • If you haven’t recently looked at our Interventions page, you’ll be happily surprised there are new connected activities for you. If you need assistance, please email me. 
  • Consistent review of your data reports goes a long way towards supporting student growth. It’s all about present and next steps – “feed forward”

Introduction to the NEW FAST FORWORD: 

  • Get a sneak peek at the new and extremely much improved Fast ForWord set to launch in September. Yes, it has taken a while but they’ve taken all the active data from every site internationally, designed new features and tweaked out the old. Recently, I had a chance to see the new program at the conference and I think you’ll like what you see.  
  • If you would like to get a better idea of what’s coming, please consider registering for the live webinar on APRIL 19TH (12:00-1:00 pm). Click HERE to register.  Registration will also allow access to a download link that you can watch at a later time.  

Yearend Process: 

  • Time to celebrate the hard work and as always continue connecting strategies (eg. resilience, tenacity, reading) to authentic practices.                             
  • More information will be coming regarding yearend cleanup and processes. 

It’s October – What’s Happening?

October has entered with stormy weather (I think there’s a song about this..). And as we watch the leaves change colour and blow in the wind, we’ve been able to connect with returning students as well as get to know new students and staff. 

This is a significantly busy month in Fast ForWord. Learning sessions and refreshers have started and again our Coquitlam partners joined us so we’re one big happy family. It’s great to be able to share and gain additional perspectives. And a huge welcome to our new sites starting out on this journey. 

Reading Assistant has relaunched as Reading Assistant Plus. This upgrade includes focused word wall work (integrating well with our Words Their Way program), more stories, practice in fluency (one of the cornerstones of reading) and strategies to strengthen comprehension. We’re very excited that we can offer this to many more sites. Learning session for anyone on current and new sites are in the Staff Development calendar (Nov 2nd). 

I always like to leave folks with a little bit of wonder… This is a TedxVancouver (2015) video of Dr Lara Boyd’s (brain researcher at UBC) description of the wonder of neuroplasticity.  Now what questions do you have? 

 

Welcome back

Hope everyone had a great summer. It looks like the warm days aren’t quite ending just yet. I always look forward to beginnings and school startup is no exception – lots of interesting things to learn and new people to meet. With all the changes happening, the dates for Fast ForWord learning series are set. This year, all sites will be able to take advantage of Reading Assistant in their repertoire. Whether you are a returning teacher needing a refresher, a new teacher taking on this role, set your calendars for Tues October 3, October 24, Tues November 7th. If you are new to Reading Assistant, this will be held in November. 

Registration for all sessions are in the Staff Development Calendar (in the Learn Portal). 

Learning on the Edge – Reflections on Pro-D

northvikingbandWe just finished a districtwide Pro-D, where for the first time we squeezed 2000 people into one building. So parking was quite hairy and the deluge of rain didn’t help matters. Once inside, the atmosphere was positively electrifying (thanks to the facilitators and participants). Our opening started with North’s own Viking marching band, keynote Abe Fernández (Director of Collective Impact, the Children’s Aid Society and Co-director of South Bronx Rising Together) and then hundreds of workshops and ‘edcamp-ish’ conversations to choose. My team of three led four sessions – a crazy rewarding day of connected energy.

Here are some things I learned:

  • Building community and togetherness is everything even though the only building that can handle the numbers is a very old one! Crossed our fingers as fuses blew…but all was wonderfully organized. North’s school staff and students were amazing!Comfort Zone Quote
  • New experiences have to be connected to what you understand and then move from there
  • Individuals make personal conscious decisions to learn new things. What is ultimately worth learning is difficult and messy. It takes courage to make the leap.
  • Sometimes people will try something only because they know you will support them
  • When you see something with a new lens, you can never go backmyquote_changethelens

 

Pro-D, while meant as a learning experience, is really an event. How will you carry these ignited sparks and these challenges to thinking into your classrooms and offices? That’s where the magic happens.

Connectedness & Relationships

belonging

 

Welcome back. Exciting things are afoot… This month is all about connecting and relationship building. Behind every one of those faces are stories waiting to be heard.

Changes to both our infrastructure and Fast ForWord content is going to make this an exciting year. If you are interested in having this program in your building, please contact me (there will be training in October).  If you are a continuing site, here are some possibilities to consider:

  • new 3 day protocol with 40 minutes or 90 minutes available (*consider getting as close to 200 minutes/week as your goal for success). This may provide timetable flexibility to some sites.
  • new reports – detailing immediate achievement
  • Raz-Kids (our famous online support for reading fluency and comprehension) has changed its weblink and management look. New weblink is: kidsa-z.com (Please ensure that you have changed your links on class blogs and school websites.) This program is great for classroom teachers. Applications are found > FORMS
  • ARC-BC – register for a new year. Information and training: http://www.arc-bc.org/
  • New BC curriculum – get the latest to explore –  https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/