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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Math and Special Education partnership: SEA IWB Learning Communities in-class sessions

Math and Special Education partnership
Learning Community session 3 focus:
Math and the three-part lesson

As one of a number of in-class sessions held for the SEA Interactive Whiteboard group claims teacher Learning Communities, a group of SouthWest HSP and HSP/MART teachers met at Huron St. P.S. last Friday morning (April 20) for an observation lesson. Prior to the observation, host teacher Ms. Assaly co-planned a three-part Math lesson with a Math instructional leader and AT Itinerant teacher specific to the needs of her Primary HSP student population.
The LC co-planning/ co-teaching sessions are a result of a partnership between the Mathematics and Special Education departments.

In-class observation session

Lesson problem:
Ms. Assaly: Students will divide images
of familiar whole objects into halves.

Learning goal:
We know that the whole matters
 when determining fractional parts.

Debrief session discussion.

 A debrief was held before and after the lesson. Prior to the lesson the Assessment for Learning tool was shared with the group - a method of focusing the observers attention as they watched a particular student/set of students progress through the fractions lesson.

Host teacher thoughts
It was very useful to have the time and resources to plan the math lesson on fractions using the SMARTBoard as the main technological tool.  As co-planners, we were able to come up with a motivating and engaging lesson that students were able to participate in fully.  I enjoyed the professional discussions that took place before and after teaching, and I was able to think about next steps for my students.  Hosting an in-class math SMARTBoard session was an informative and rewarding experience.                                                - Melissa Assaly, Huron St. P.S.

Some reflections from the observer teachers:

SouthWest LC members with Math Instructional Leader and Itinerant AT teacher.
 The lesson was well planned. The Minds On activity really got students' attention and prepared them for the "During/Action" part. I liked that the teacher allowed students to choose an image,instead of her providing them with an image (to do the halving activity). Students were focused on their work. I also liked the sharing part on the Smart Board and the teacher giving them (students) time to articulate/demonstrate their thoughts.
                                                          - Lindita Guffin, Lord Dufferin P.S.

Demonstration classrooms are an invaluable opportunity for us, and we are lucky to be able to participate. The benefits are always deep and unpredictable. From the lesson taught, to the language used, an anchor chart on the wall, a resource on a shelf or discussion with a colleague you meet, you can't help but come away better. Melissa was brave and excellent!
                                                                         -Adam Caplan, Island P.S.

I was so thankful for the opportunity to visit Melissa’s class because in their acceptance I was afforded an opportunity to observe and reflect more in my own questions, unlike the work in other PLCs. I was reminded about what I loved so much, and still do, about math learning; thinking through the puzzle with some good mentorship to develop my thinking, was how I became forever motivated in solving challenging problems. Thanks for including me!
-Roma Lupenec, Pape Ave. Jr. P.S.

The in-class session resulted in the teachers engaging in a very thoughtful, reflective and purposeful discussion about students and their understanding and learning of Mathematics.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Read and Write Gold flash - Using images to convey tone and mood of poetry (grade 7) activity

Read and Write Gold Flash 
Grade 7 Language activity - using visual images to convey mood and tone of the poem: On Flanders Field.

This week's Read and Write Gold flash activity uses the Study skills toolbar, graphic organizer software and the Research toolbar in a way that students can select images which connects to the poem: On Flanders Field. 
Students select certain words or phrases using the highlighters. 

Then using the Fact Folder, students search and select images from the internet, which they feel connects with the specific tone and mood of each stanza.

When collecting the web images, a pop-up window appears allowing the student to input his/her own information such as description and title. This helps the student practice giving support for their thinking when they are choosing images and provides students with memory challenges, some notes if they review the images at another time.

(Any poem or piece of text can be substitutes in this activity.)

To download this activity please click here.

SEA IWB Learning Community updates:
The AT team is preparing for the final Learning Community session for the year. The focus of the fourth session is: Visual Literacy and Critical thinking. Teachers will explore a variety of strategies to support all kinds of students using visuals and tools of the Interactive White Board.

Mathematics and Special Education partnership
Mathematics Instructional Leaders and the AT itinerant teachers (IRT) are working together across the Board supporting LC groups during in-class sessions during the months of April and May. Each LC group has a volunteer host teacher who co-plans a math three-part lesson with the IL and itinerant teacher. Other teachers from the LC then are invited to take part in discovery as observers of the lesson.

Prior to the in-class sessions LC groups participated in professional learning at the two training centres in areas of math and accommodation tools of the IWB, the three-part lesson including the math congress using a document camera.

More information about the in-class lesson to come in future blog entries.

Friday, 13 April 2012

RWG flash! Cross-curricular vocabulary

This week's Read and Write Gold flash is a cross-curricular activity which makes use of the Study Skills toolbar and highlighters.

In this Junior example, students research and investigate the Science topic of  States of Matter. Using the text-to-speech tools students can identify and

then highlight words they find to be challenging. Students collect the highlighted words and create a vocabulary list using Read and Write Gold.

To download the activity please click: Vocabulary building

Saturday, 7 April 2012

RWG Flash - Secondary activity - Human-Environment Interactions - grade 9

In this learning activity, students use the Research Features toolbar's Fact Folder to collect and organize information about the ways in which humans and the environment interact. The students then use the Study Skills toolbar's highlighters to determine the key facts from their collected information document. Students can transfer and organize information into a graphic organizer which can be used as a basis for an Environmental Awareness poster (Applied) or persuasive presentation on improving the balance of human and natural systems (Academic).

To download the Read and Write Gold lesson click here.