Happy September – Welcome back!

Happy September Everyone. Hope you all had a great summer with time to connect with family and friends. 

This year we have quite a few new things to share, including our new home base at Canada Way Education Centre (tucked in between Canada Way and Woodsworth). Pop by and say hello in Room 3 > some of our workshops and teams will be held in the Presentation Room 8, while other sessions will be at school sites across the district. 

 

We have a number of focus learning sessions in the Staff Development Calendar to check out (more to come): 

  • Develop a web presence using blogs, websites (save time, get shortcuts)
  • Communicating student learning using digital portfolios and  multiple tools (eg. green screen, powerpoint…)
  • ADST centres kits (with core competencies) 
  • coding initiatives (Tynker (a whole program), Micro:Bits, Minecraft)
  • Fast ForWord to support struggling readers
Stay tuned for more information (email if you’re interested): 
  • O365 (basics and using Teams) 
  • coding initiatives (Tynker, Micro:Bits, Minecraft)
  • Using VR/AR to spark learning
  • All the Right Type (keyboarding)

As well, we have some joint learning teams (Making and Writing using O365; Math and Minecraft; CSL – Writing, self-assessment and inclusion). 

For those of you looking for support in addressing Digital Citizenship, please see the link in the top toolbar under CURRICULA or sidebar. 

We’re SO excited we’re starting right away!  Email if you have any questions or would like to jump-start ideas. 

We’ve UPDATED Our WordPress Blogging Platforms

You all know that we’re a tiny bit WordPress crazy for a large number of reasons (too long to list here). And just in case you didn’t know, this includes our classroom blogs,  secondary department blogs, library blogs,  secondary and some elementary student BlogFolios (ePortfolios), as well as our district blogs. (The school websites, although wordpress-based fall into a slightly different category.) 

We’ve made some updates (backend and frontend) that have taken us to the next level. These can be grouped by communication (always the most important) and aesthetics (who doesn’t like ‘cool’). You’ll see new themes to choose and old themes retired from the list of theme options. Each theme has its own look and feel. It’s all about personal choice. New plugins such as  WP Smush (optimizes images for web), Easy Google Fonts, new MailPoet 3, and Post Grid offer a wider variety of options. As well, there are the tried and true: 

  • Gravity Forms (survey collection, signup form) – a powerful drag/drop tweakable form to collect all types of information. As an example, we helped one of our schools to use it for students to sign up for their own day of pro-d – Wow! Better yet, the information is stored within the blog so no need to be worried about where it lives. 
  • News Announcement – a scrolling information list to share reminders that pop out
  • Google Language Translator – no need for explanation here

If you or someone you know would be interested in a bit of face-to-face support or want to see what others are doing to get your innovative juices flowing, hop over to the Staff Development calendar for a new session called: Make Your Blog Site Work for YOU!  (Wed May 2nd; 3:30pm at Schou-TLC). 

We’re interested in hearing how you’re using your blog or if you would like your blog to do certain things. Drop us a line here or email our team. We’d love to hear from you. 

Happy Autumn

stones_640Welcome back to another exciting year of connections, relationships and opportunities to be inspired through learning. If you are like me, you’ve been pondering and sparkling with ideas about how to move the Redesigned Curriculum forward. Sometimes a story unpacks the journey better than talking. So we’ve put together some of the stories from our teams as they explored the curriculum and what it means to learning. Click here or you can go to the top toolbar and select CURRIC STORIES. These are not meant as full units. Rather, they serve to illustrate learning windows into the process. There are more to come and we’re eager to share starting points of conversation.

documents-158461_640Planning is an art and teachers come at it through different ways. Our teams have been using a “KDU Planner” (short for whatever works). Many of the curricular areas have been created using this format, open for any teacher to add their own teaching notes and activities, merge and colour code cross curricular, copy/paste into report cards – basically whatever you wish them to be. Click here if you wish your own copies.

Professional learning is extremely important as we continue our learning work with students and staff. Workshops, Learning Series across a variety of areas are being finalized; some have been set and are available on our Announcements (to your right). As we continue to update this area, come back often or you can subscribe to this blog site.

Please share this post with anyone on your staffs. Wishing you all a fabulous year of curiosity and wonder.