Archive for April, 2017

LDAO offering free webinar on anxiety and LD children

LDAO is offering a free webinar May 3rd, 2017, 3:30 to 4:45 on Recognizing and Supporting Anxiety in Students with LDs by Dr. Marjory Phillips.

From the Registration page:  Students with learning disabilities (LDs) are two to three times more likely to experience significant mental health challenges than their peers (Esmaili et al., 2015; Wilson et al., 2009). Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in childhood (Waddell et al., 2005). However, identifying anxiety and knowing when specialized supports are needed is a complicated task for educators of students with LDs. This webinar will provide educators with an understanding of the relationship between anxiety and LDs. Practical strategies for supporting the student with anxiety and LDs in primary, elementary, and secondary school settings will be shared.

Intended audience: Educators, Administrators, and Special Education Support Staff

Check it out! Rowan

April 30, 2017 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Knowledge building gallery (book & case studies) from The Learning Exchange

From The Learning Exchange: “The Knowledge Building Gallery is a collection of concrete tools and strategies for teachers and educational leaders to use to support KB work. Grounded in Knowledge Building theory, this resource features innovations for practice created by and for new and experienced Knowledge Building practitioners.”

You can download the entire 165 page resource, or individual chapters, and there is a link to a page of case studies for primary, junior, intermediate, secondary AND leadership.

Check it out! Rowan


April 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

Improve classroom learning with frequent breaks

Mindshift website included a post titled How Kids Learn Better By Taking Frequent Breaks Throughout The Day – and excerpt from Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies For Joyful Classrooms (c) 2017 by Timothy D. Walker. Note that the Professional Library has this book on order, and that TDSB teachers may reserve the book in our catalogue.

From the article/book: I’ve concluded that the primary benefit of Finnish breaks is in the way it keeps kids focused by refreshing their brains. Daniel Levitin, professor of psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and music at McGill University, believes that giving the brain time to rest, through regular breaks, leads to greater productivity and creativity. “You need to give your brain time to consolidate all the information that’s come in,” he said in an interview for the education blog MindShift (Schwartz, 2014). But even without scheduled breaks at school, the mind rests naturally through daydreaming, which “allows you to refresh and release all those neural circuits that get all bound up when you’re focused,” said Levitin. “Children shouldn’t be overly scheduled. They should have blocks of time to promote spontaneity and creativity” (Schwartz, 2014).

Check it out – reserve the book! Rowan

April 28, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Benefits of later start times for teens

On April 14, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a position statement that  delaying middle school, high school start times is beneficial to students

“Data show that later start times provide adolescents the opportunity to get sufficient sleep on school nights, which optimizes daytime alertness, reduces tardiness and improves school attendance. A later school start time supports peak academic performance, more opportunities for learning, better mental health, and enhanced driving safety.”

Check it out! Rowan

April 27, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

ASPIRE: greater workplace training opps for post secondary students

April 19, announced [document]by the Toronto Financial Service Alliance for post-secondary students:  “Toronto region’s financial services employers are increasing their investment in young Canadians through a ground-breaking, sector-wide initiative to create 10,000 new work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students by the end of 2020. Named ASPIRE, the pilot program has been designed by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), with the help of 10 financial services employers and 7 Ontario colleges and universities. ASPIRE’s complementary goals are to improve students’ transition from school to the workplace and grow the pipeline of in-demand skills needed in the sector.”

See also April 19 Globe and Mail article Schools, employers partner to fight underemployment by Simona Chiose. From the article : “For students, a co-op or internship can address some of the gap between education and experience that is leading an increasing number of postsecondary graduates to struggle with underemployment. For employers, training students is essential to finding people with the right mix of skills to fill future positions”  and “The aim of both educators and employers involved in Aspire is to try to make sure that every student graduates ready for an era of accelerating technological disruption, said David McKay, CEO of the Royal Bank.”

Check it out! Rowan


April 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Collaborative Professionalism

The Learning Exchange  has posted a new blog by Dr Beate Planche titled Deepen Classroom Collaboration by Refining Your Leadership Skills that expands upon the Ministry’s Policy and Program Memorandum No. 159 on Collaborative Professionalism.

From the blog: “Leaders must recognize that influencing others, be they students or staff to become engaged in collaborative work, begins with modelling the values that help to empower others through what is said and demonstrated in behaviour and disposition”

Check it out! Rowan

April 26, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

2 independent reports released re TDSB students

Profile of Students in arts schools:

The study, “Market ‘Choices’ or Structured Pathways? How Specialized Arts Education Contributes to the Reproduction of Inequality,” by Gaztambide-Fernández and Gillian Parekh reviews student data enrolled in TDSB arts schools and determine that they serve mostly affluent families and students with access to high levels of social and cultural capital.

Selected media releases:

Race and Black students in TDSB schools:

James, C.E. & Turner, T. (2017). Towards Race Equity In Education: The Schooling of Black Students in the Greater Toronto Area. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: York University.

From page 64 “Throughout the consultations community members, parents, students and educators welcomed the insights that the TDSB data provided, noting that the profile of Black students and in light of the recent spotlight on Black boysconfirmed for them that race plays a significant role in producing the unequal outcomes for Black students. They affirmed that the “web of stereotypes” (Howard, 2008, p. 966) operates to “racialize and marginalize these youth and structure their learning process, social opportunities, life changes, and educational outcomes” (James, 2011, p. 467).” Pages 68-79 include an extensive series of recommendations for the Ministry, school boards, the Black community and parents.

Selected media releases:

Check ’em out! Rowan

April 25, 2017 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

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