Professional Development 2022

PaddleCanada workshop - Christine Ravenis

Was part of NLSD#113 Professional Development opportunity that offered Paddle Canada Certification and Instructor status May 27-30 in Pinehouse. Grateful to be able to explore the Pinehouse lands and waters as this was my first time there. I enjoyed meeting with all the staff that joined in from the community. Our weather exceeded expectations and our instructors were amicable.

I was able to start moving through the process towards becoming an Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada after finishing this course. I am hoping to be finished this process next year at this time. Thanks to Jordan Kolbeck and Curtis Chandler for their efforts in creating a robust paddling community within the Division.

Awasis conference - Ethel Dorion

The Awasis conference I attended on April 24th – 26th was very informative and interesting. We started with Dr. Herman Michell speaking about the importance of land-based education. He is a very knowledgeable person. We broke out into smaller groups, I attended the looming session where they used recycled cardboard material, string and masking tape and pony beads. We made patterns to follow the math curriculum. The lessons can be used from kindergarten level to Grade 12. I also went to a Moss bag making session, we were able to construct a miniature moss bag that we could take back to our classrooms to do as a project. There were other interesting topics that I would have liked to attend like the NFB film and teacher resources which promote Indigenous activism, justice, and reconciliation. Traditional medicines, Wellness, Teepee teachings, how to deal with stress for students. If I have a chance to go again I most certainly will.

Ethel Dorion

Grade 6 - Charlebois School

Play Based Projects in Kindergarten - Sarah Beer

The Play Based Projects in Kindergarten PD was an exciting opportunity for me to learn about play based project learning in kindergarten. We learned how to engage students in learning through play. This gives them the opportunity to inquire about things linked to their interests and the curriculum. We also discussed the importance of parental engagement versus parental involvement. We discussed that for students to succeed, there is a need for parental engagement however we often offer more opportunities for parental involvement than engagement.

During the course we had the opportunity to design a play-based project linked to the curriculum. We also got to inspect and review other play-based projects made by our colleagues. We linked each play-based project to numerous outcomes. We also reviewed how to plan for play-based projects. We discussed incorporating student interest. It was suggested that we start with circle planning. This involves the initial topic, curriculum outcomes, possible invitations, materials/things to bring and assessment/how what you did went. This was a new way for us to look at planning. It was good to grasp an understanding of how planning in kindergarten should occur as we often plan vertically or horizontally. I often thought about the links to grade one and how this style of learning may help to engage students and make the transition from kindergarten to grade one easier. We discussed how play-based projects are guided by student interest and therefore planning a performance task is difficult because the unit is guided by student interest. The unit may be shorter or longer depending on engagement from pupils therefore you may not get to a performance task. It was also suggested that we start by mind mapping what students know about a topic. Then later in the unit you can revisit the mind map to see how much we had learned. This idea is applicable to all grades in a variety of subject areas.

Any opportunity to get together with other teachers and share our techniques and discuss teaching styles, helps our students. All of us teachers were from a variety of locations in Saskatchewan, so we do not always receive the opportunity to get together for peer networking. This was a great opportunity for us to conference with the help of a leader from STF. Since I am in the Learning Consultant, this knowledge can be passed onto grade one and kindergarten teachers when I work with them. By being knowledgeable in kindergarten, I can help more teachers in our division. This is vital to ensure that more of our staff are being supported. It allows for more collaboration which will result in more growth in our division. Whenever teachers work together, growth will occur.

Overall, the experience was very useful to help me understand planning, play-based projects, parental involvement versus parental engagement and curriculum outcomes in kindergarten and pre-k. This will help when I assist teachers in kindergarten and pre-k with planning. The value from peer networking and learning from others will have an ongoing impact on my practice.