Learning Opportunity

AISCA Teachers' Convention 2023: Better, Together! Literacy & Numeracy (EDMONTON)

Registration closes:
Feb 09, 2023 at 3:00 pm MTN
Webinar will NOT be recorded
Facilitators: John Mighton Lorraine Reggin
Date:February 17, 2023
Time:8:00 am to 3:30 pm MTN
Cost:
$135.00
Location: Edmonton (Edmonton Islamic Academy)
14525 127 Street
Google Map
Session Code: 23-OT-278
Focus: Curriculum Implementation and Pedagogy English Language Arts, Literacy and Literature Inclusive Education Mental Health and Wellness Other Mathematics and Numeracy Leadership

About this Learning Opportunity

AISCA Teachers' Convention 2023: Better, Together! Literacy & Numeracy (EDMONTON)

In-person event held at Edmonton Islamic Academy Agenda 

For a printout of the Breakout sessions click here

8:00 am - 9:00 am     Registration

9:00 am - 9:15 am     Welcome & Opening Remarks

9:15 am - 10:00am     Keynote Presentation - Dr. John Mighton

Our Mathematical Minds: Why Math is the Key to Equity at School and in Life

New research on the brain suggests that math may be the most universally accessible and the most important subject for young students. But a decade of significant investments in new technologies and curricula hasn’t significantly improved outcomes in math. We will discuss potential solutions to this problem including some key findings from the science of learning that could help us nurture the full intellectual potential of every student and create a more equitable and productive society

10:00 am - 10:45 am    Keynote Presentation - Lorraine Reggin

Robust and Explicit Vocabulary Instruction in the Classroom: Closing the Vocabulary Gap

Learning to read involves a complex interaction of two broad components: listening comprehension and word recognition. Although seemingly simple, as outlined by the Simple View of Reading, each of these components is complex and involves all areas of learning and teaching. We will focus on vocabulary and weave together research and practical classroom applications. Come with your ideas, inspiration, challenges and triumphs to help support every child to learn new vocabulary.

10:45 am - 11:05 am     Wellness Break

11:05 am - 12:15 pm     Breakout Sessions A - Choose 1 session


Supporting Beginner English Language Learners in the Inclusive Classroom (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Helen Emeny          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05am -12:15pm)

Language and culture are significant barriers for English Language Learners (ELLs) in many academic settings. Educators with limited experience teaching beginner ELLs sometimes struggle to build relationships with these students and are unsure how to meet ELL cultural and academic needs. This session will offer participants tips and insight into pedagogical “best practices” for teaching Level 1 English Language Learners. Attendees will be provided with a variety of print and digital resources to support the inclusion of explicit language instruction in a culturally responsive classroom environment.


Developing a Class Culture that Supports Engaged and Successful Problem Solvers (Audience: K-12)

Hosted by: Dr. John Mighton          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05am -12:15pm)

Research in cognitive science suggests that students are more likely to become engaged and successful problem solvers when they are given sequences of challenges in which (initially) only one or two dimensions of the problem are varied at a time. By raising the bar incrementally and combining scaffolding with continuous feedback, teachers can help students learn to persevere and develop the conceptual foundations they need to tackle complex problems. We will demonstrate free resources that use these evidence-based strategies to teach problem solving.  In a large randomized controlled trial, students taught by these methods made significantly more progress in problem solving than students in the control group.


Stories and STEAM (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by:  Talia Ritz          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05am -12:15pm)

Be inspired by ideas that connect stories to STEAM projects and academic content. From Conceptual Play Worlds to baking a pie, a good story can be a jumping point for children to build meaning and understanding. The aim is to have participants leave with some concrete, practical ideas to use in the division one classroom.


Classroom Survival Skills – Teaching your students prosocial skills (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Kathy King          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

You will learn basic classroom survival skills that you can teach to your students next week. Based on The Prepare Curriculum – Teaching Prosocial Competencies by Arnold P. Goldstein, these social skills were developed by the Mental Health Association in Saskatchewan. You will learn 6 basic survival skills that will assist your students in the classroom and in relationships. The skills include: Listening, Ignoring Distractions, Accepting Consequences, Using Self Control, Responding to a Request from an Adult and Working Independently. Teaching these skills to all students enables them to understand in four easy steps how to practice, demonstrate and model each skill. It promotes and focuses on positive reinforcement of the behaviours you want to see rather than dealing with behaviours that are interrupting the learning environment.


Creating a Safe and Caring School and Classroom (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Jill Melnyk          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

Creating a safe and caring school and classroom is the responsibility of all staff and administration. How do you create this environment from the large scale school to the classroom level? Participants will learn how to use Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and evidence-based approach to support the creation of positive school and classroom environments.  This session will go from a general to a very specific approach of this framework approach right down to classroom management strategies.


Escape the Lesson - Using Escape Boxes to Unlock Student Potential (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Wanda Landshoff          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

The Idea:

Dr. Carol Dweck is famous for her research into growth mindset and how it affects student achievement. With this research in mind, Escape The Lesson was developed, giving educators not only an alternative to traditional lesson delivery, but also increasing the neural pathway growth within students' brains. Escape The Lesson uses Escape Boxes as a teaching tool challenging students to think critically, work effectively as a team while unlocking their love for learning through the use of gamification. Escape The Lesson is an educational win-win - It effectively strengthens students growth mindset while delivering required curriculum!

The Problem:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - Lao Tzu. Teachers today find themselves on the challenging path of holding student attention in the classroom in direct competition with social media influences, on a daily basis. From online gaming platforms to a magnitude of varying streaming services it can become challenging to hold student interest in school subjects. Curriculum outcomes are set and need to be achieved on an ongoing basis. How teachers choose to instruct these outcomes can affect student achievement, interest and desire to learn. Gamification provides freedom for teachers to help students connect with their learning, provide opportunities for self and group determination, leaving students with a sense of pride, accomplishments and achievement. Beyond the classroom, business is looking for employees who are able to communicate, collaborate, be creative and think critically. As educators, teaching beyond the basics of math computation and literacy analysis, we have the duty and responsibility to help students develop these foundational skills carrying them through life. What better way to do so then through the use of gamification! Grab hold of the opportunity to Escape the Lesson through the use of Escape Boxes!

The Concept:

This session you provide you with all the tools you will need to unlock the learning for your students through the use of Escape The Lesson - Escape Box puzzles and challenges. Choose a different path to instruction by:

  • Understanding growth mindset and how it affects student achievement
  • Learning how and why gamification is important for brain development.
  • Learning how to strengthen students critical thinking skills while working cooperatively with others through the use of Escape Box Challenges.
  • Developing an environment where thinking creatively and communicating clearly leads to student success.

The outcome of utilizing gamification and Escape Box Challenges will lead to the development of students who possess the 4C’s of 21st century skills.


Multilingual Approach in ECS: Language is a superpower (Audience: ECS and Kindergarten)

Hosted by: Graciela Morales          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

According to the 2021 Census, 14.3% Edmontonians speak predominantly in a language other than English or French at home. Find out how you could help Edmontonian families preserve their heritage languages.

In this session, you will learn how to create language-rich learning environments that empower children through representation, pride, and celebration of multilingualism. Presenters from ABC Head Start and the UofA’s Multilingual Families Lab will speak about their collaboration in on-going research and joint effort to equip ABC Head Start staff and multilingual families with knowledge and support strategies.


Proceeding to Permanency: Tips to Successfully Navigate Your Permanent Professional Certification Application and Evaluation for Independent School Teachers (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Ray Battochio          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

If you work in an Alberta independent school or an Alberta Accredited International School, have an Interim Professional Certificate (IPC), and are considering applying for your Permanent Professional Certificate (PPC) then this is the session for you! Learn to navigate the permanent professional certification application process including, calculating eligible teaching time and teaching experience! Learn about the evaluation process and how you will be assessed, so that you know in advance what to expect, and how to be successful! As the Senior Manager responsible for AISCA’s Designated Signing Authority (DSA) program, Ray Battochio leads a team of twenty DSA evaluators who have evaluated hundreds of teachers for permanent professional certification (PPC). He will provide teachers considering applying for a permanent professional certificate (PPC) with tips to successfully navigate the process.


Planning for the ELAL Curriculum with Multilingual Students in Mind (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Stephanie Dodyk          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05 am -12:15 pm)

The new Alberta K-3 English Language Arts and Literature (ELAL) curriculum addresses the vital components necessary in learning to read and write English. However, our multilingual students need more.  Multilingual students are not only learning how to read and write English, but they are learning how to understand and speak English.  This is a fundamental difference in providing literacy instruction to native English speaking students.

This session will give an overview of the importance of the following instructional considerations, along with some key strategies, when planning for ELAL instruction in the  multilingual classroom:

  • role of home language
  • importance of background knowledge
  • meaning-making
  • scaffolds to support comprehension
  • foundational role of oracy

Implementing the New 4-6 ELAL Curriculum (Audience: Grade 4-6)

Hosted by: Kelly Gibbs          Feb 17, 2023 (11:05am -12:15pm)

The 4-6 ELAL Curriculum identifies learning outcomes that focus on “providing solid foundations in language, literacy, and literature that will support Alberta’s students in achieving personal and academic goals.” The Elements of Structured Literacy are specific and support learners in their learning in the new Curriculum.

In this session, you are asked to:

  • reflect on how literacy may be approached in your classroom
  • does your programming serve students who struggle in literacy?

We will look at how Structured Literacy can serve all learners and what instructional processes teachers need to engage in to meet the diverse learners in the classroom. We will look at the strands of word recognition (phonological awareness, decoding, sight words) and language comprehension strands (background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, literacy knowledge) and how all of these strands weave together to create literacy for all!


 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm          Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:10 pm          Breakout Sessions B - Choose 1


A Deep Dive into Vocabulary Instruction in the Classroom (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Lorraine Reggin           Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

A deep dive into vocabulary instruction in the classroom. Practice identifying appropriate words for explicit instruction, using techniques for explicit vocabulary instruction and Frayer models. Gain experience using different discourse genres, inferencing, and the use of figurative language to improve reading comprehension in your students across the grades.


Punjab, Punjabis and Sikhs (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Jagwinder S Sidhu          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

History, Theology, Geography, Language, and Culture


All Behaviour is Communication! (Audience: All Levels)

Hoste by: Jill Melnyk          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

All behaviour is a communication of needs.  This session will provide participants with some brief information on fundamentals of behaviour by understanding the functions of behaviour. How to get to the 'root' of social-emotional behaviours in order to respond to student behaviour and de-escalate matters. Participants will also learn how trauma impacts students' behaviour in order to start to become trauma-informed.


Using video games to teach (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Ash Thompson          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

Learning can also be fun. There is a different level of engagement to be achieved with many students when they are given a practical task that applies the theoretical material they are presented with. We often talk of skill scaffolding specifically in the context of teaching the skills a student will need to complete assessments. Using games as lessons allows students to utilize the skills they already have to reach a higher level of understanding in a way that reframes one of our biggest possible distractions within the classroom as a powerful teaching tool


The Science of Reading and the Essentials of Early Screening and Intervention (1 of 2 parts to this presentation) (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Michele Pentyliuk          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

Teachers often feel at a loss to help those children who do not develop reading and writing skills on par with their peers. Understanding how literacy skills develop in children, why some children struggle to develop these fundamental skills, and what research tells us about how to best teach them, will help teachers and other school professionals bridge the gap between the science of reading and educational practice. In this session, teacher will learn about the “Reading Wars” which began in the 1950’s continue to be fought, primarily within the academic realm. On one side are the “Whole Language” proponents who believe literacy instruction should be based on exposure to literature. This approach relies on children developing reading skills naturally, similar to the way they develop oral language skills through exposure and practice. Those advocating for the “Science of Reading” suggest that literacy instruction should not be an ideology, but rather pedagogy based on an emerging consensus from research. Michele will provide an overview of how literacy instruction has evolved, what current research tells us about how to help struggling readers, and how teachers can ensure they identify and support struggling readers in the early stages of reading


Mathematics through play (Audience: Grade 4-6)

Hosted by: Dr. Janelle McFeetors           Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

What would elementary mathematics class look like if we redefined basic skills to be mathematical processes like visualization and reasoning? What if developing these basic skills could be achieved through play? We investigated these questions by introducing abstract strategy board games in Grades 4 to 6 mathematics classes with the intention of supporting students’ spatial reasoning and logical reasoning. Spatial reasoning is the ability to navigate the world along with creating and manipulating actual and imagined shapes, while logical reasoning is a systematic pattern of behaviour that creates convincing justifications. As our students developed strategies to win the games, they surprised us with how integrated their use of spatial and logical reasoning was and over time they confidently would share examples of this reasoning in their play. In this workshop, we will introduce the games we used along with criteria for selecting games and invite teacher participants to engage in play while they use spatial and logical reasoning to create effective game strategies. Teacher participants will learn how to identify the many different components of spatial and logical reasoning and the kinds of questions they can ask students to have engaging conversations about spatial and logical reasoning. In addition to showing video clips of our students’ reasoning, we will also share the lesson resources created during our project and teacher participants will learn how to adapt them to their own classrooms by showcasing their students’ reasoning.


Unpacking the new Science K-3 Science Curriculum (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Ted Zarowny          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

This session will provide an overview of the new Science K-3 Curriculum. Participants will gain an understanding of the curriculum by looking at it through three different lenses: concepts, skills and procedures, and the phases of learning.


Use the science of reading to help struggling readers (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Joanne Heckbert          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

The science of reading provides the empirically supported information teachers need to help struggling readers.  This session will provide practical applications of this science in the areas of:

  • Phonemic awareness: Who needs it and how to teach it
  • Phonics:  Sequential, explicit instruction and application in decodable texts
  • Fluency:  How to help readers become fluent with appropriate speed, accuracy and expression
  • Vocabulary:  Ways to increase and deepen word meanings
  • Comprehension: Strategies for developing understanding of sentences and texts

Health and Wellness In and For Your School (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Kelly Maxwell          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

Health and Wellness is an important concept that is very prevalent in society these days. It encompasses a small part of the new curriculum and yet, we know it is essential in every part of our schools. Does your school have a consistent plan for how wellness is encouraged from the youngest of students to the most senior of leaders? Have you found ways for it to be shared from the top down and the bottom up? This session will look at health and wellness in a new way, and the goal of this session is for you to have practical tools for it to work for everyone!


Create a positive digital citizenship culture in your classroom - resources, activities, strategies and expectations (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Janet Bell          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

Using the EDVOLVE Digital Citizenship Framework - which focuses on Digital Safety, Media & Information Literacy, Digital Well-Being, and Social Responsibility - as the backbone for this presentation, discover resources, try out some activities, learn some helpful strategies, and get advice about how to set expectations for the best use student devices for learning in your classroom.


Open Parachute Community of Practice Session

Hosted by: Dr. Hayley Watson          Feb 17, 2023 (1:00 pm - 2:10 pm)

Open Parachute School Champions and interested teachers implementing Open Parachute in their classrooms are welcome to attend this session. It is an opportunity to join Dr. Hayley Watson to share, network and ask questions.


2:20 pm - 3:30 pm          Breakout Session C - Choose 1 session


Social Media & The Internet: How Online Interactions are Impacting Student Mental Health (Audience: All Levels) 

Hosted by: Dr. Hayley Watson          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

This session will provide educators with an understanding of the impacts of social media and other online interactions on student learning, peer dynamics, and self-esteem. They will explore ways in which online exposure impacts short and long- term mental health outcomes, as well as strategies for helping their students counteract these impacts.


The Science of Reading and the Essentials of Early Screening and Intervention (2 of 2 parts to this presentation) (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Michele Pentyliuk          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

Teachers often feel at a loss to help those children who do not develop reading and writing skills on par with their peers. Understanding how literacy skills develop in children, why some children struggle to develop these fundamental skills, and what research tells us about how to best teach them, will help teachers and other school professionals bridge the gap between the science of reading and educational practice. In this session, teacher will learn about the “Reading Wars” which began in the 1950’s continue to be fought, primarily within the academic realm. On one side are the “Whole Language” proponents who believe literacy instruction should be based on exposure to literature. This approach relies on children developing reading skills naturally, similar to the way they develop oral language skills through exposure and practice. Those advocating for the “Science of Reading” suggest that literacy instruction should not be an ideology, but rather pedagogy based on an emerging consensus from research. Michele will provide an overview of how literacy instruction has evolved, what current research tells us about how to help struggling readers, and how teachers can ensure they identify and support struggling readers in the early stages of reading


Structured Literacy Basics (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Talia Ritz          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

Structured Literacy, a branch of the science of reading movement, is a set of evidence-based strategies that often have a strong positive impact for emergent readers. When taught explicitly, structured literacy can mitigate many common reading gaps and difficulties, some of which are actually caused by three-cuing and balanced literacy. This presentation will introduce concepts and strategies used in structured literacy and is a great starting point for teachers or EA's who are interested in expanding their literacy toolkit.


Chatter Programs: Supporting students with social difficulty through building social community in schools (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Nausheen Khan          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

The Chatter Program is a group intervention program for students who have difficulty forming and maintaining positive peer relationships due to language, social skills or executive functioning disorders. Chatter programs are developed for various ages and skill levels. Programs include:

  • Language development groups for students 5-8 years old who need to develop foundational skills for socializing including expressive language, joint attention, play skills and social referencing skills.
  • Social skills groups for elementary and jr high aged students to develop higher level social skills such as perspective taking, emotional regulation, problem solving and conversational skills
  • Social skills groups for teens: A program for adolescents to learn conversation, friendship, executive functioning (planning and executing tasks, setting goals), and collaboration skills.

All Chatter groups have a robust volunteer peer mentorship component where junior high and high school students in the schools join the groups to learn how to support children with social communication difficulty. Volunteers model positive social skills to support child learning, and in turn learn strategies for being a better communication partner. A capacity building component also targets ongoing training for education assistants and teachers so that they are informed about the goals of the program and how they can target and support them.

This presentation will cover background information about what social communication is, why a student may have difficulty with social communication, the concept of neurodiversity, and how Chatter programs and social communication supports can be implemented in K-12 schools.


Art and Literacy (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Pamela Ollenberger          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

In this session we will cover 4 lessons

1. Mini Lesson on Creativity

2. Stain Art

3. Connecting Art with Literacy

4. Incorporating literacy with Art


Digital Literacy and Critical Thinking: Resources for Teachers of K-12 Science (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Kerry Rose          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

As teachers of science, we know how important it is for students (and adults) to be able to understand and apply scientific principles outside of the classroom. The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced how crucial this is, but also made apparent some real challenges that teachers face when they work toward these ends. The free and modifiable resources, supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, presented in this interactive session will help teachers to use curricular topics, including those surrounding the pandemic, to enable their students become astute consumers of information and to better be able to apply their learning both within and beyond their science courses.


Understanding the Context of FASD in your School Environment (Audience: All Levels)

Hostd by: Tsion Abate          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

As educators, we know, particularly for our students with complex needs, behavior can become their primary means of communication. To implement interventions effectively, we are often challenged to shift our mindset around behaviour. This presentation is designed to center us on a shared understanding and help us shift our thinking towards a ‘brain not blame’ mindset. This presentation will cover teaching strategies that educators can use to support learners to succeed in the school environment. These strategies are applicable to all neuro-diverse learners and classrooms, but are evidence-informed to children, youth and adolescents with (or possibly with) FASD. These include synergistic discussions on target specific areas of sensory processing such as body position and movement, tactile, auditory, and visual stimulation.

We will also provide an overview the WRaP 2.0 project highlighting intentional practice, reflection, and assimilation that are incorporated in the 4 modules we offer as well as the at-the-elbow support we provide for educators and schools.


Make your data work for you: let Google Forms, Sheets, and some quick little addons provide you with ongoing insight into student progress over time, celebrate learning, keep parents informed, and more (Audience: All Levels)

Hosted by: Janet Bell          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

If you're using Google Forms for surveys, worksheets and/or quizzes, it's an easy next step to flip over to Google Sheets and set up your Sheet for quick snapshot insights about how each of your students is doing in your class. Your sheet can be set up for easy reading, for color-coding scores or other specific words contained in responses, for providing a "sparkline" mini-graph- in-a-cell of each student's progress over several assessments, and more. Provide students and/or their parents with personalized updates whenever you like with the send of a single email. Create certificates for students whose work is exceptional, make nametags or merge inputs into other documents. In this active session, come play with a on-the-fly created Google Form to create our data for the day, then see how that data can be shaped to demonstrate all of the above! And yes, you'll get a certificate at the end (which we create together).


Navigating the New Curriculum Gr. 4-6 (Audience: Grade 4-6)

Hosted by: Betty Morris          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

This session will support teachers in navigating through and implementing the new math curriculum.

Topics will include:

  • Navigating the New Curriculum through New Learn Alberta
  • Unpacking the math curriculum and its components
  • Looking at what's new

Reframing Risky Play (Audience: K-Grade 3)

Hosted by: Adrian Merrick          Feb 17, 2023 (2:20 pm - 3:30 pm)

The session aims to provide an overview of the theory behind--and benefits of--risky or adventurous play for young children. Participants will gain a better understanding of what comprises risky play, and learn about a variety of strategies to better support children’s participation in a type of play that is often seen as “dangerous” or “unsafe.” Participants will also gain a better understanding of how risky play supports children to better understand their own limits, strengthens their personal risk assessment skills, and provides myriad opportunities for social skills and language development.


3:30 pm          Day Ends

Facilitators

Dr. John Mighton

Dr. John Mighton, OC, is an award-winning mathematician and playwright, best-selling author, and founder of JUMP Math, who is internationally recognized for his ground-breaking work building children’s confidence, skills, and success in math.

John holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Toronto, a Master’s in... Read more »

Lorraine Reggin

Lorraine is a PhD candidate in the Language Processing Lab, part of the University of Calgary’s ChILD Research Group. Lorraine obtained a Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of British Columbia in 2002 and worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for Alberta Health Services for almost 10 years in Calgary area schools. She then... Read more »

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