Northern Area Teachers' Association Blog

Bryn Novak May 16-17, 2016 Making Sense of Anxiety

What is Anxiety? • A vague sense of unsafety and unease, characterized by apprehension and restlessness. • Dr. Neufeld refers to anxiety as an Alarm System. Some ways we alarm our children: • By raising our voice • With warnings and threats (especially with separation) • By giving ultimatums • By feeling separation • By trading on a child’s fears, with scary stories (ex: there are sharks in the lake, the green man is going to take you if you do that). Reasons for Escalating Anxiety: 1. Unprecedented separation from adults attached to 2. Children are failing to develop deep...

Ashley Kennedy Nov. 30, 2016 Cracking the Code

On Nov, 30th, I attended a fantastic PD called “Cracking the Code” that was put on by the SPDU. It was one part of a series all of Literacy PD. It focused on boning up a lot of the skills that teachers use every day, and helping us learn how to really ‘crack’ what is happening with early readers when there are problems. We looked at strategies for teaching code words (and strategies for teaching them to older but struggling readers too!) and we learned about some basic reading instruction. I particularly found use the next day in my classroom...

Doug Preikschat May 2-3, 2016 IT Summit 2016

The first day’s keynote asked a couple of big “what if’s.” What if creativity drove instruction? What if teachers learned from students? I think the gist is to focus instruction on individual student interests and then give the students opportunities to respond in individual and creative ways. The same presenter carried on in the next session which was on productivity for Google apps and Office 365 users. Her school division in Texas has staff using Office 365 and the students using Goole apps. Her school division is stuck on Microsoft, like ours, while the Google apps are more user friendly...

Megan Strong May 7-14, 2016 Vinyasa Yoga for Youth

During this week long workshop 25 people from all over the country attended a teacher training to be certified to teach youth yoga. During this professional development we attended 3 different community school throughout Saskatoon, and well as the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op, a place students can go to stay off the streets and complete homework. We taught yoga to youth ranging from ages 5 and 18 years old. We also learned different meditation techniques that work well for children. During this training we also took a look at the Saskatchewan Curriculum and identified various grades and subjects that yoga...

Joel Stange May 2-3, 2016 IT Summit 2016

The IT Summit is an opportunity to look at ways to improve digital fluency across a school division. Over the course of two days I attended many interesting sessions. Some of the sessions I attended spoke of the effect coding has on the classroom. There is room for inquiry, creativity, and sharing. There are coding websites such as https://code.org/ a resource that teaches children the fundamental idea of coding. I also attending a session on allowing 5 minutes of creativity where students are given challenges at a station in the room. There they can build lego, create circuits, or code...

Dan Marek June 11-12, 2016 Achieve Training Workshops – Emotional Intelligence & Assertive Communication

A brief description of the content of each is as follows: 1. Emotional Intelligence a. Responding to your emotions b. Recognizing others’ emotions c. Influencing others emotions A fact given was that in any given job, a certain threshold IQ level is necessary to complete the tasks required. Above that threshold, however, emotional intelligence is a far better predictor of job success than IQ is. 2. Assertive Communication a. Culture influences communication expectations b. Effective communication is an essential work skill c. We are always communicating d. Communication is goal oriented e. Communication varies in complexity level The two days...

Barb Traxel April 19-20, 2016 Self- Regulation with Stuart Shanker

Brother Harley and I were privileged to attend the Self-Regulation Symposium held in Lethbridge, Alberta this April. Our school started on the path of discovery with self regulation and we have used Dr. Shanker’s book “Calm, Alert and Learning” as a book club opportunity for the past two years. Having the opportunity to meet Dr. Shanker and ask questions was wonderful. We had ample time to talk with any of the staff who was there. Each day started with a keynote address from Dr. Shanker. There were also breakout sessions where we met in smaller groups to listen, ask questions...

Pat Hanley March 2, 2016 Developing Good Oral Language Habits (French Language)

This presentation outlined a system developed by two French immersion teachers in Lloydminster to discourage students from making the most common French errors. They began with one error, listed on a poster, and the class was instructed to say “EEK!” each time a student made the mistake. As errors fell out of use, others were added. This shifted the burden of policing students’ language from the teacher to the class and was reportedly very effective. It has been effective in my class as well.

Christine Ravenis – Think Indigenous 2016!

Christine Ravenis – Think Indigenous 2016! I HIGHLY recommend many of these presenters and keynote speaker for our NATA Convention 2016. The topics of professional development for this conference were all connected to understanding the big picture about colonialism, assimilation, and teaching practices of systems within systems that repeatedly fail our youth. The formal theme was “Inspiring Change Through Indigenous Education, Practices and Knowledges.” Through the beauty of education the focus was to inspire educators to incorporate Indigenous Knowledges into the everyday practices of teaching. The keynote speakers, as well as breakout session presenters were all superb examples of leaders...

Project Overseas – Facillitations to Maximize Learner Engagement – Jenna O’Connor

Project Overseas – Facillitations to Maximize Learner Engagement Jenna O’Connor – Churchill High This fall, I was one of four teachers selected by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation to participate in Project Overseas, facilitated by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. In July, I will attend a training session in Ottawa, and travel to St. Kitts and Nevis with a team of three other teachers, to provide professional development for the teachers in this developing country. The professional development session I attended in Saskatoon, “Facilitations to Maximize learner Engagement,” helped me to prepare for this international opportunity. The workshop was facilitated by Rob...