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New curriculum course for May!, A.T. team wins innovative teaching award & Cliffside P.S.: Importance of water project

Friday, 17 May 2013

New curriculum course for May!, A.T. team wins innovative teaching award & Cliffside P.S.: Importance of water project

New curriculum P.D. offered in May

It's not too late in the year to build your Assistive Technology repertoire! The A.T. team is offering two sets of curriculum P.D. later this month: the use of Independent Activity Schedules for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental challenges.

Participants are to have access to an IWB and/or have attended other IWB training sessions before registering for this course. It would be beneficial for participants to have some background knowledge of/familiarity with Independent Activity Schedules. Registration is on Key to Learn.

Dates: May 28th 9:00 – 11:30 am Burnhamthope Collegiate Institute
            June 5th 9:00 – 11:30 am Terraview Learning Centre

A.T. team wins award

TDSB's Special Education and Sections A.T. team (Rosslyn Leslie, Joanne Mihaly not pictured)

The A.T. team, led by Coordinator Angela Scarano-Iuorio, received the team Innovative Practices Award last week during The Learning Partnership (TLPs) Roundtable on Technology. The full day event took place at Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on May 10. 21st Century LIiteracy: Leading and Supporting Exemplary Practices was the key theme.
Jeff Demacio, Literacy/Technology Lead Teacher, at Donald Cousens PS, YRDSB received the TLP's individual teacher award.

For a summary of the TLP's roundtable and related discussions go to:
TLP RTT or search #TLPRTT on twitter.

Building student leadership at Cliffside P.S. in the Intermediate MID ISP

Laurie TenBroeck and her students at Cliffside P.S. has enjoyed her journey with "Sparky" this year. ( Sparky is what she and the students fondly refer to the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard  (IWB) in her intermediate MID program.) TenBroeck and her educational assistant Terry Bronnimann have enjoyed the challenge of incorporating the IWB and its peripherals as accommodation tools in all aspects of their students' learning.
Cliffside P.S. staff Terry Bronnimann and Laurie TenBroeck.
Team co-planning
TenBroeck recently initiated a collaboration by bringing together Stephanie Cini, her school's Model Schools for Inner Cities Teaching/Learning Coach and A.T.  Learning Community IRT Valia Reinsalu to co-plan a culminating unit. The group designed and discussed ways to incorporate available assistive technology to support student learning along with the higher level critical thinking lens about the importance of water. 

The unit was designed to incorporate the "human diorama" that the students created together with an artist in their classroom as well as provide the students with leadership and presentation skills. Anne Barber and Brad Harley of Shadowland Theatre Inc. were supported by the Ontario Arts Council in order to join the Cliffside P.S. class. 

The goal: Other classrooms at Cliffside P.S. will be visiting Ms TenBroeck's class. In groups of three her students will lead a discussion of the importance of water - creating, organizing and presenting information using the classroom's IWB.
After a brief introduction, Ms TenBroeck's students will lead a tour of the class human diorama. Then, students would survey the visiting students - showing them how to use the response systems and collecting survey data.

Students will examine information collected and hope to use the information next year as potential school community goals eg. bottled vs. tap water.

The outside of the diorama about water. Students can walk around and then
inside the structure to view ocean biodiversity.

Step 1 - Creating the survey questions
Students co-created questions for their fellow students about the importance of water in their lives. Ms. Tenbroeck's students picked their three main areas to concentrate on  when developing their survey questions also using the response systems (drinking water, water sports and ocean biodiversity).

To activate prior knowledge as well as making connections, Tenbroek's students explored sounds, images of
a recent trip to the zoo as well as text and pictures (captured using the document camera). They voted on the topics of their survey using the Response Systems.

Step 2 - Designing the presentation
The students, put into groups of three, design their own introduction page to introduce what is important about water for them on the IWB and using the IWB tools including pen, type tool, background colour, images etc. The introduction page incorporates images of each student's part of the diorama and, if the student preferred, the student will use the sound recorder to pre-record his/her script.

The group intro pages (student names deleted for privacy). A simple page containing text and images to remind students which group they are in. Each group of images is hyperlinked to the group's personlized page
which contains each students'  response to how water is important to them.

Step 3- Administrating the survey
Ms. TenBroeck's students will ask the survey questions and show peers how to use the response systems. The questions follow the initial introduction of the topic of importance of water and the interactive experience of travelling through the diorama. Response systems are used to collect the school's data. 
Greater Purpose: We will look at water usage and the possibilities of decreasing of water usage or conversely, increasing water conservation (e.g. timing how long we run the tap for washing hands, always filling the sink for doing dishes and introducing a rain-water barrel for garden watering)," says Ms. TenBroeck.

Look for updates to this blog entry as more images will be available next week! (May 21, 2013).

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