Archive for July, 2017

Safe & Inclusive Spaces

From Judy A. Librarian, Reference and Collection Management

Egale Canada has released a new resource package on creating safe and inclusive classroom spaces for trans and gender nonconforming students. Entitled Draw the Line – Against Transphobic Violence, the package consists of:

  • 1 DTL-ATV Educator’s Guide containing 4 lesson plans with Ontario curriculum connections, background information and resources on trans identities and violence prevention
  • 5 DTL-ATV Scenario Postcards and Posters (for classroom use)
  • 2 DTL-ATV Videos: Hallway Harassment & Bathroom Panic (for classroom use)
  • 1 DTL-ATV Trans Women Speak Out Video (30 minute documentary for educators)

All of the resources are available for free download. Have a look and share with your colleagues. For additional information TDSB staff can check out these books available from the TDSB Professional Library:

Being transgender. (2017)
Transgender children and youth: Cultivating pride and joy with families in transition. (2017)
Understanding sexual orientation and gender identity. (2017)
Rethinking sexism, gender, and sexuality. (2016)
Transphobia: Deal with it and be a gender transcender. (2016)

July 31, 2017 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

New kids’ book about immigration and Bob Marley

From Judy Chyung – Librarian, TDSB Professional Library

This morning on the Metro Morning Talk  with Matt Galloway, Itah Sadu, Toronto children’s author and storyteller talked about her new picture book. “Greetings, Leroy  is one long email from a new Canadian boy named Roy to his friend Leroy in Jamaica, telling about his new life and first day at school.” The boy discovers that his “new life in Canada is already rich with Jamaican connections” through Bob Marley.

Take a listen:

New kids’ book about immigration and Bob Marley

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1011151427553

 

The book, Greetings, Leroy, is available from  TDSB Professional Library  to borrow. Look for it in our book catalogue.

July 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Spiral Curriculum for Mathematics

From:  Judy Chyung – Librarian, TDSB Professional Library

Check out this short online article from University of Chicago on Spiral Curriculum for Mathematics.

The Spiral: Why Everyday Mathematics Distributes Learning

What is a spiral curriculum?

“In a spiral curriculum, learning is spread out over time rather than being concentrated in shorter periods. In a spiral curriculum, material is revisited repeatedly over months and across grades. Different terms are used to describe such an approach, including “distributed” and “spaced.” A spiral approach is often contrasted with “blocked” or “massed” approaches. In a massed approach, learning is concentrated in continuous blocks. In the design of instructional materials, massing is more common than spacing.”

Benefits of Spiral Curriculum:

  • Spiraling leads to better long-term mastery of facts, skills, and concepts.
  • Spiraling is effective with all learners, including struggling learners.

Why does Spacing (spiralling) Work Better than Massing (blocked)?

  • Massing reduces attention so that learning is weaker.
  • Effortful processing of the sort involved in spaced learning enhances long-term retention. Easy learning often doesn’t lead to the best retention; more difficult learning can lead to more robust encoding of information and better long-term learning (Schmidt & Bjork, 1992).
  • Spiraling helps learners make connections over time, which creates more robust pathways for recalling information.

For more information, also check out:

TeachOntario  Professional Learning Series webinar on Spiralled Curriculum

July 27, 2017 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

Successful Student Transitions

From Judy A., Librarian – Reference & Collection Management

As increasing numbers of young people worldwide struggle to establish a career path, the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada published a document this month entitled CMEC Reference Framework for Successful Student Transitions designed “to inform, encourage, and support jurisdictions as they respond to the changing nature of student transitions.”  This document outlines the issues around student transitions in Canada and provides the following benchmarks “intended to support and promote good practice”:

  • Stable and student-centred career programming is provided
  • Career-management skills (CMS) are actively developed
  • Career and labour-market Information is accessible, and its effective use is supported
  • Policy and programming recognize, and are tailored to, the diverse and specific needs of students
  • Learning is explicitly linked to labour-market applications
  • All students participate in work-integrated learning opportunities
  • Students learn about all PSE pathways
  • Youth have access to career and transition services
  • Implementation, impact, and quality assurance are underpinned by adequate training of providers
  • Career education and service provision are assessed
  • Continuous improvement is guided by evidence and return on investment

The Framework is also accompanied by a Student Transition Benchmark Self-Assessment Tool and a Student Transition Action Plan Template. Have a look!

July 26, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Neurodiversity: The Future of Special Education?

From: Judy Chyung, Librarian – TDSB Professional Library

Armstrong, T. (2017, April). Neurodiversity: The Future of Special Education? Educational Leadership, 74(7), 11-16.

What is neurodiversity?

“Neurodiversity can be defined as an understanding that neurological differences are to be honored and respected just like any other human variation, including diversity in race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and so on.”

In the neurodiversity approach of teaching kids with disabilities, the focus is on maximizing the strengths of the students and minimizing their weaknesses or deficits. Neurodiversity looks at the “social and ecological dimensions of diagnostic labels by examining how a person may be disabled in certain contexts but not in others.”

These are some of the benefits with the neurodiversity approach mentioned in the article:

  • Increased expectations that can lead to more positive academic outcome.
  • Less bullying by peers due to more positive attitudes for the students with neurdiversity.
  • More seamless inclusion since teachers will view them as assets rather than burdens.
  • Greater equitable opportunities for all students.

The strengths of students can be measured using “assessments associated with asset models like the VIA Character Strengths and Virtues, Dunn and Dunn Learning Style Assessments, Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assests, Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, the Terrance Test of Creative Thinking, the Multiple Intelligences Diagnostic Assessment Scales or the Baron-Welsh Art Scale.”

As well the article mentions some informal assessment methods to use: “Neurodiversity Strengths checklist (Armstrong, 2012), “strengths chats” (Epstein, 2008), and motivational interviewing (Sheldon, 2010).”

This article is definitely worth checking out.

For additional information, you can check out these books by Thomas Armstrong available at the TDSB Professional Library.

July 25, 2017 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

How prevalent is bullying in schools?

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

A recent report from OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment looks at how much of a problem bullying is in schools.

Some stats:

  • On average, 11% of students in OECD countries are “frequently made fun of”
  • 8% of students are the subject of rumours
  • 7% of students feel left out

Read the full report in Pisa in Focus

Also, check out this blog post on the report from Mario Piacentini on Education & Skills Today.

July 24, 2017 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Great Geo Tools from the California Geo Teacher Institute

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

The California Geo Teacher Institute is taking place in San Francisco this week. Many TDSB teachers have been sharing what they’re learning at the Institute on Twitter, including some exciting tools that can help students explore far-off places without leaving the classroom.

Some that I’m looking forward to exploring further:

  • Google Earth EducationFind lessons & activities to help use Google Earth in the classroom
  • AugmentEdu: A new project that leverages Pokemon Go technology to allow students to create augmented reality tours
  • Google Spotlight Stories: Augmented Reality stories that allow students to drive across the country, experience a sunny day in London, take an adventure with The Simpsons and more
  • Visit Vimy: A 360 degree tour of Vimy Ridge with Peter Mansbridge
  • Walk With Us: A storytelling project where students will capture street-view imagery of northern Ontario Indigenous communities
  • Google Earth Engine Timelapse: See how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years

Check out some of the conference tweets below from star TDSB teachers:

July 21, 2017 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

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