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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Reflection: SEA, UDL and Curriculum-linked PD

Reflections on Assistive Technology Curriculum PD
Focus:  Three-Part Math Lesson on an Interactive Whiteboard

On October the 18th, the SEA team (which is part of Special Education and Section Programs) hosted a curriculum-linked professional development session at Burnhamthorpe Adult Learning Centre/ BCI - The East Mall.

Math problem solving, the three-part lesson and special education students
SEA AT curriculum sessions, like this one, have a different focus than software training. This PD was very much a “next steps” session focused on how the various tools can be used to differentiate a math lesson. For example, throughout the session, any feature or tool of the IWB demonstrated was presented in terms of accommodations - how it would help meet learner needs and appeal to learner strengths (as opposed to simply how the tool works).  The department supports the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model. This Curriculum PD involved using the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) as a tool for Making Math Accessible within the framework of the three-part lesson.

What challenges do our students face in mathematics? (What problem are we trying to solve?)

Minds On!

In keeping with the interactive nature of our tool, our session had many built-in opportunities for each of the participants to get up and interact with the materials on the board.  An example that was shared included the various ways of recording student responses and problem solving, building student independence, choice and using auditory, visual and kinesthetic ways dependending on their learning style and preferences.
There was also built in planning time during which each participant used software to develop and save materials to take back to his or her school.
Connection, Reflection and Consolodation!
A teacher, student or group of students can make use of the IWB technology in one, two or all three parts during math problem solving. IWBs can be used as both student and teacher tools of creation and presentation.  We look forward to running this session, along with other Assistive Technology curriculum linked sessions, again in January.

Check on Key to Learning for the latest training sessions available.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

RWG Flash - Heritage and Citizenship - research skills

This Read and Write Gold Flash is an example of a lesson using the Research tools of the programme. This lesson includes: internet research skills using the Fact Folder as well as selecting relevant information from various sources using the Highlight toolbar. Although this particular lesson is grade 3 - Pioneer Life, it can be adapted to suit any grade level needs.

For the document click the following words: Research skills

Coincidently, the SEA team hosted two curriculum-linked professional development sessions today at Burnamthorpe Adult Learning Centre/ BCI - The East Mall. In the morning participants explored the Interactive Whiteboard and it's use in Differentiated Instruction, Math and the three-part lesson. In the afternoon a session on: Using Read and Write Gold to support the Research Process, was held.

The PD marks the close of our Fall curriculum sessions. Look out for our Winter sessions to be posted on Key to Learn. Other informaton about Assistive Technology software, home use, as well as other pertinent forms are located on our Board's intraweb under: Special Education -->SEA Information and forms.

Monday, 10 October 2011

RWG Flash - Junior Language Arts lesson - more Curriculum PD by the SEA department

Here is another Read and Write Gold flash brought to you by the Assistive Technology SEA department.

Click on the title or Flash icon to access this week's Flash is a curriculum lesson which ties the assistive technology capabilities of Read and Write Gold to a Junior Language Arts lesson: Persuasive writing and Speech Arts.

More Curriculum P.D. offered by the SEA department
Another set of Read and Write Gold curriculum P.D. will be offered by the SEA department in October.
Tomorrow morning there is a session in the East at Terraview Learning Centre: Using Read and Write Gold to Support the Research Process. The SEA department offers the same session in the West at the Burnanthorpe CI - East Mall (Burnanthorpe Adult Learning Centre) next Tuesday, Oct. 18 in the afternoon.

Other Curriculum P.D. to be offered tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, Oct. 12) at Terraview Learning Centre is: Using the SMART Board to meet the needs of Special Education students.

Next week, Differentiating Math Instruction in the Special Education Class Using the Interactive Whiteboard is offered on Tuesday (Oct. 18) in the morning at Burnanthorpe CI - East Mall.

Just a reminder that if you attending this sessions, no coverage is provided by the AT/SEA department.

Training Session also available
The above sessions are uses of assistive technology and lesson integration and not training sessions about how to use the particular Read and Write Gold software or specific Interactive Whiteboard.
Keep looking at Key to Learn to see the many training courses offered by the AT/SEA department at both Terraview LC and Burnanthorpe CI-East Mall throughout the month.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Updates Curriculum PD and The Director's Series

This afternoon the assistive technology team participated in the first of a number of The Director's Series - Special Education at Spirales Banquet Hall. Close to 200 educators gathered in Don Mills to discuss Special Education.  All secondary school teams were requested to send a school team consisting of:
one Administrator, a Curriculum Leader /Associate Curriculum Leader (CL/ACL) of Special Education; and one academic or applied subject teacher.

The theme Know Your Learner - Let's Make A Difference had participants visit the Assistive Technology and MI Lead booths prior to a panel discussion. The AT team shared information related to the department's Read and Write Gold support and implementation in schools.
Along with answering questions about Read and Write Gold, the team showed videos from the blog "Read and Write Gold - top 10 things you should know", provided Top 10 Things and In-School Training Handouts. The itinerant teacher team also set up three mini-demo areas to highlight the writing, research and study skill features of Read and Write Gold software - with a secondary focus.
Sharing the Fact Folder function of Read and Write Gold.

End of September Curriculum P.D.
Last week, educators from across the Board participated in the first of a number of half-day curriculum P.D. sessions:
Supporting Literacy Development Using Read and Write Gold with the SMART Board and Using the SMART Board to meet the needs of Special Education students.
 Terraview Learning Centre and Burnhamthorpe Learning Centre are not only the sites of Curriculum Professional Development, but also training sessions - on software and hardware use, as well as Learning Community meeting places for teachers who receive the SEA group claim Interactive Whiteboards.