Learn ▪︎ Teach ▪︎ Inspire (April 2021)

On-the-go Professional Learning

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Curriculum and Assessment

4 Strategies Designed to Drive Metacognitive Thinking

“Too often students receive information, receive instructions, receive objectives, and receive grades without ever being asked to think about learning and the development of discrete skills. I believe that is a problem” (Caitlin Tucker).

In this post teacher, bestselling author, and international trainer Caitlin Tucker shares and describes in detail how four rigorous self-assessment strategies might explicitly empower students to give ongoing voice to their thinking and learning.

  • SMART Goal Setting
  • End-of-the-Week Exit Ticket
  • FlipGrid: Describe Your Process
  • Ongoing Self-Assessment Documents

As always, Caitlin shares some practical take-aways we can use to get started with these four strategies tomorrow!

–Submitted by Tannis Niziol, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact a member of our team

Tannis Niziol, Adelee Penner, Tim Coates, or Irene Heffel — to book a professional learning session that explores this and other Curriculum and Assessment topics.

Early Learning

Why is Early Childhood Important?

The “Brain Hero” video, depicting how actions by a range of people in the family and community impact child development. This 3-minute video adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format. Based loosely on such games as “Guitar Hero,” “SimCity,” and “The Game of Life,” the video portrays how actions taken by parents, teachers, policymakers, and others can affect life outcomes for both the child and the surrounding community. – From the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University.

–Submitted by Adelee Penner, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Adelee Penner or Kelly Gibbs

to book a professional learning session to further explore this or other Early Learning topics.


Educational Technology

Let’s Make Certificates!

Celebrate student learning with fun certificates, and then mark your calendar for Saturday, April 24 to celebrate YOUR learning at an exciting and emergent ERLC Edtech Edcamp learning opportunity (read on!)!

Make certificates – Whether creating fun certificates or serious ones, the Autocrat add-on for Google Slides helps you create customizable certificates easily, merging any data you like (e.g. names) into a Google Slides template you create ahead of time. This quick 3-minute ERLC video demonstrates the process for you – enjoy! Also, don’t miss out on these great certificate templates from slidesgo.com – just remember to use the << >> brackets around your merge tags (and map them to your Sheets column headers, as in the video), and they’ll work just fine.

ERLC Edtech Edcamp (Hot off the press news!) – Eager to connect with others interested in edtech from around the province? Come join the conversation at the inaugural ERLC Edtech Edcamp co-led by edtech leads from near and far. Mark Saturday, April 24 on your calendar and keep an eye out for upcoming posts from ERLC about your chance to register in April for this awesome meeting of the minds!

–Submitted by Janet Bell, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Janet Bell

to book a professional learning session that explores a variety of Ed Tech topics.

First Nations, Métis, Inuit

The Outside Circle

The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings won the 2016 CODE Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature.

In this important graphic novel, two brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Indigenous man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Indigenous healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Indigenous men.

Come and meet Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson at the Palisades Indigenous Education Event on April 15th 2021.

–Submitted by Adelee Penner, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Adelee Penner

to book a professional learning session.

French Language Learning

La <dictée 0 faute> : An Activity for Engagement

Anyone who has learned French in a school setting has likely written the classic, and at times feared, dictée. Traditionally considered a form of evaluation, it was largely based on the spelling of key weekly words that students memorised. Marie Nadeau and la <dictée 0 faute> has helped take that more passive, teacher-led approach, and flipped it, allowing for a more active student role, which develops their metacognitive skills, with teacher as guide. The discussion begins when a student poses a question about any word. As many questions as are necessary are allowed. It is the students who pose the questions with the teacher guiding them through their analysis and reasoning, as he/she reformulates their ideas, which leads to understanding and an answer. Once all questions are exhausted, the next word or sentence is read.

This approach encourages confidence through grammatical analysis by way of student reasoning, questioning and mid-lesson reflection. This necessitates active listening, resulting in greater retention and retrieval of material. For a full explanation see the link above. Another example for use here.

–Submitted by Marylou Gammans, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Marylou Gammans

to book a professional learning session to further explore second language learning development for FSL and FR.IM.

Inclusive Education

Five Moore Minutes

Shelley Moore is one of our favourite “inclusionists”! She has created a series of videos called, “Five Moore Minutes”. This video entitled, “United: Inclusion AS Unity” is a wonderful reminder that our thoughts and questions surrounding inclusion are always changing and engaging. Here is a link to the video and some questions to keep in mind as you are watching this five minute video: How can we act to make inclusion better? How can we learn from our students? How can we reflect over the past year and make a plan moving forward?

To view other “Five Moore Minutes” videos, please go to: Supporting Inclusive and Responsive Learning Environments Video Series

–Submitted by Kelly Gibbs, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Kelly Gibbs or Adelee Penner

to book a professional learning session to further explore this and other Inclusive Education topics

Instructional Leadership

Actioning a Vision

What does it mean to operationalize a vision? Pritha Bhandari defines operationalization as turning abstract concepts into measurable observations. How do leaders take a vision from their Board or The Ministry and use it to impact student achievement in a way that builds capacity and culture? That is the question on people’s minds as they consider how to bring the new curriculum to life in their schools, school authority and the communities they serve.

All levels of leadership must remember their role. They must consider pedagogy — not as a punch line, but as a guide to lead their way forward. How do concepts best take shape in the minds of their students? How can we create learning environments that loop learning, feedback and self-reflection? How are we triangulating evidence of student learning through product, observation and conversation? How do we communicate what students know to the other people who care about them? As leaders work to create measurable outcomes the path forward will become much clearer, and it will be easier to lead the way.

–Submitted by Adelee Penner, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Adelee Penner

to book a professional learning session on this or other Instructional Leadership topics.

Literacy and Language Arts

April 2021 is Poetry Month in Canada!

The league of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 23rd National Poetry Month this April with the theme of RESILIENCE. What will your students read in April? What poetry writing projects might they be involved in? For more information go to poets.ca/npm/.

In 2010, Canada’s Poetry In Voice created a recitation contest for senior high school students. Since then, they’ve developed the best online resources for teaching poetry in Grades 6 through 12. Like thousands of other teachers across Canada, you’ll appreciate these carefully planned lesson ideas to get your students fired up about reading, reciting and writing poetry.

–Submitted by Tannis Niziol and Irene Heffel, Learning Facilitators, ERLC

Contact Tannis Niziol or Irene Heffel

to book a professional learning session that explores this and other

Literacy and Language Arts topics.

Math and Numeracy

Understanding Place Value and Basic Number Facts Together Allow Us to Calculate with any Whole Number or Decimal Number

Too many times we try to teach the four operations before our students have a strong grasp of place value. Without this understanding, students will resort to algorithms that make very little sense to them. Place value is the value each digit has. When teaching place value, place more emphasis on the value of each digit instead of the place it is in. Remember that in the number 314 you have 31 tens not just 1. This understanding will help students with mental math. Only teach strategies that you can use with all whole numbers and decimals. If you can’t – don’t teach the strategy. For example: teach your students the ‘use-ten’ strategy for multiplying by 5, instead of just skip counting. Help them understand they can multiply by 10 and halve the product: 5 x 8 think 10 x 8 is 80 and half of 80 is 40. Use the same thinking when multiplying 28 x 5. Think 28 x 10 is 280 and half of 280 is 140. This strategy lends itself beautifully to figuring out the GST and even what to tip the server in a restaurant.

For more strategies go to the Origo One playlist on Youtube.

–Submitted by Ulana Soletsky, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Ulana Soletsky

to book a professional learning session to further explore this and other Math topics.

Mental Health

Stress Explained – Elementary Edition

This video from teenmentalhealth.org teaches elementary-aged children what stress is, how stress is natural and normal, and how it can be helpful. Two coping strategies are taught by children. This video is useful for educators, therapists, health providers and other caregivers who interact with children.

–Submitted by Adelee Penner, Learning Facilitator, ERLC

Contact Adelee Penner

to book a professional learning session on this

or other Mental Health topics.