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Monday, 28 November 2011

SEA IWB Learning Communities - sessions at BCI (West) and Terraview LC (East)

SEA Interactive Whiteboard Learning Communities
Learning Community sessions
Interactive Whiteboard Learning Community sessions are one way that the SEA department supports teachers who have SEA group claim Interactive Whiteboards in similar Special Education Classrooms.
The title of the first of four sessions was called: Getting Started. At these sessions there was a model literacy lesson (persuasive writing) followed by teacher work time.
(Left) Creating an attendance page. 

(Right) Building an interactive (SMART) language lesson.

Community partnerships
Learning Communities provide the opportunity for teachers to plan, find resources and create materials in a supportive and collaborative environment. Teachers team up with one another, SEA Department staff and presenters. 
 Creating a math lesson using Active Inspire (Promethean) software with one of our presenters. 
December brings the second Learning Community session: Document Camera and Multimedia.

A document camera (also known as a visual presenter) is a versatile tool that allows teachers to, for example, project and film live demonstrations, project and annotate a text, and grab students attention by zooming in on the details of an artifact. 

Strategy: Visual information (Document camera): Teachers can visually share information with students that might otherwise be inaccessible to a large group. eg. shared/modelled cross-curricular tasks.
Students can demonstrate and present their thinking and problem solving solutions in all subject areas.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Learning Communities - in-class IWB lesson at Thorncliffe Park

SEA Interactive Whiteboard Learning Community in-class sessions

Today, a group of HSP teachers from NE5 and NE6 family of schools gathered at Thorncliffe Park Public School to visit and observe an IWB Patterning math lesson. This was one of a number Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) SEA group claim Learning Community in-class sessions being held across the TDSB.  The in-class session is one way that the SEA department supports networking opportunities for teachers, who have similar Special education Classrooms.

Today's SEA in-class session in three steps:

1. Session 1: Co-planning
The Host teacher works with the Itinerant teacher to co-plan a lesson using features of the IWB to differentiate for the needs of her particular group of students. The lesson was designed to have students as active participants in the lesson. They could manipulate objects, use an interactive 100s chart, and use tools to their process and thinking. A whole group lesson was followed by an individual component - students using the IWB as an centre, to rotate through and complete individual work. 

 Session two: Observation session 
2. The visiting teachers attend the Host classroom to observe the classroom lesson.

3. Sharing and reflection. The Host and Observers discuss the lesson itself, both the pedagogy behind its design, as well as technical aspects. They also share their individual journeys using the IWB in their classrooms along with resources and web links. 

Reflection is an important aspect of the in-class process as each person is given time and opportunity to connect learning and discovery to his/her own classroom and groups of students.

IWB (a tool for differentiated instruction)

Strategy: Auditory support: During the co-planning with the itinerant the Host teacher recorded and embedded her voice file reading each question out loud. Those students, who require auditory support, could play and replay the math question they have been asked to complete. 

Along with four half-day Learning Community sessions hosted at Terraview Learning Centre (East) and Burnhamthorpe C.I. (West) throughout the year, each of the 21 groups may take part in in-classroom professional learning opportunities - following the Job Embedded Professional Learning Model. Both Hosts and Observers participate on a voluntary basis.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

RWG Flash - Canada and World Connections - Local Communities

Here is the latest Read and Write Gold flash: Canada and World Connections - Local Communities. Click here for the link.
In this lesson, students perform research by gathering, categorizing and interpreting information that they find on the web. The Read and Write Gold Fact Mapper feature helps students to organize information about different community workers. They highlight information and collect highlights for use in Microsoft Word.

SEA department resources and TDSB take home licenses
Read and Write Gold home use information has been updated on the internal TDSB web page. Visit the home page via this link: TDSB only to find out more information about student home use of RWG.

Interactive Whiteboard (IWB)
Along with the software home use information, our SEA department TDSB web site has been updated with more information regarding Interactive Whiteboard resources. This year our SEA IWB group claims have generated 21 Learning Communities. Teachers may have a Promethean or SMART IWB in their classes. Our curriculum-linked Learning Communities are organized based on classroom exceptionalities.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

SEA IWB Learning Communities - snapshot 1

SEA Interactive Whiteboard Learning Communities
Growth this year
Last year, the SEA department installed close to 100 Interactive White Boards (IWB) into various Special Education classes. This year, the SEA department is supporting 21 Learning Communities across the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). These Learning Communities are curriculum-linked sessions and teachers are grouped according to the exceptionality they teach. Teachers share and learn how the IWB can be used to help support the curriculum and apply to their own students’ learning.

Getting Started
At our first LC – Getting Started – teachers were shown a range of ways to engage students and get them to think critically via a modeled lesson. They were also provided with work time to put into practice what they learned.
Teachers designed lessons to use in their classrooms, dialogued with other teachers, and became more comfortable with the technology. Below are two one-page examples created by LC teachers: (Left) SMART DPA page, (right), Promethean What do we wear?

Building Capacity and Community
In between our LCs, teachers have an opportunity to become a Host teacher or visit a Host classroom in order to observe a lesson and share the use of the IWB. Afterwards, the Host and Observers, have time to reflect, discuss and debrief the IWB lesson.

Next LC session
Our next LCs will be held in December and will focus on the Document Camera and the Promethean Slate/Smart Board Tablet and their uses in the classroom to provide visual resources. Stay tuned for a future entry with more info about this session.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

RWG Flash - Canada and World Connections - Communities

In this Read and Write Gold flash (RWG flash) students gather, categorize and interpret information as they research a specific community. The example lesson involves the country of South Africa. Once students select a region, they go through steps of the research process using features of the Read and Write Gold programme  such as the Fact Finder, Highlights and the Fact Mapper.
This curriculum lesson addresses expectations in both the Language and Social Studies subject areas.

Here is the link to the RWG flash lesson: Communities

To access past RWG flashes posted to this blog, click key phrases on our label cloud or scroll down on the main page to find the RWG label.

Upcoming Read and Write Gold training in schools
The SEA department continues to support Read and Write Gold in schools this year.
Administrators, who have not yet used their five hours of training provided by the Assistive Technology Department, can sign up on Key to Learn for the following training sessions:

Monday November 21 
Read and Write Gold Information Meeting 
Administrator or school representative 
Monday  January 30 
Read and Write Gold Information Meeting 
Administrator or school representative 
Terraview Learning Centre 

Key to Learn training sessions posted 
Last week our blog outlined a recent Assistive technology curriculum-linked session: Math problem solving, the three-part lesson and special education students . Now, the Assistive Technology department has posted training for TDSB teachers on Key to Learn. Ten different sessions offer training for SEA claim and OSAPAC licensed software. Also available are Promethean and SMART Interactive Whiteboard training at the beginning and next steps levels. Each session is being offered a number of times during the months of November and December at both the Terraview (East) and Burnhamthorpe (West) training centres. Spaces are limited. Look under the Professional Growth category and SSV-SPED Section department for specific details.