Visit to TBCDSB 2015

TBCDSBWell, it took me longer than expected to get to my post for Thunder Bay Catholic DSB, but here it is.  Recently I was invited to spend a day of learning and sharing with classroom teachers and teacher librarians in Thunder Bay.  This was the third of four full day professional learning days for their Technology-Enabled Teaching and Learning Workshop Series.   Each elementary school was invited to send one classroom teacher and one teacher librarian to attend the entire series.  Each session had a combination of learning, planning, sharing and collaborating as teachers learn how to infuse technology in their teaching practice.  Between each session, teachers were supported with ongoing job-embedded support from their district technology consultants.  The plan for their fourth session isIMG_1083 to have teachers bring artifacts of what the students actually did and tell their story of how the teachers got the students there.

During the sharing, we heard about all the great things teachers are working on in their schools:

  • junior teachers: students participated in a Book Slam focused on Forest of Reading – choose a favourite book and use Explain Everything with one image and their student voice to persuade others that this is the best book. When next class got the bin of books they watched the EE videos to help choose their book.
  •  grade 6 science, space unit: students used Garage Band and iMovie to share their research as they explore their interests in space through the eyes of an astronaut.
  • PSA for health awareness:  the teacher co-learned iMovie with students to create a movie trailer for the school to promote healthy living.
  • social studies and science teachers collaborated and co-created lessons for multi grades:  created shared notebooks (using One Drive) that the teachers from two schools could access and contribute to.
  • grade 2 class literacy activity:  used Wordle where students had to type into their own words and then class could work on changingIMG_1094 font, size, colour…
  • students created infomercials for persuasive writing:  students used Photo Booth and iMovie to create their own infomercial and learn about persuasive writing.

It was interesting to talk to Cindy as she reflected on the effectiveness of combining multiple larger group face-to-face professional learning with in the class support as needed between sessions.  She found that this positively impacted the use of technology by these teachers and that most of the teachers came back to subsequent sessions having used the technology and pedagogical strategies they learned during the previous session.  It has also lead to an increase in teachers’ ability to build capacity in their schools.  Awesome work in Thunder Bay Catholic DSB!

IMG_0572I didn’t get a pic of the Sleeping Giant, but the view near my hotel was great. Love my travels north, can’t wait until next time 🙂

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