May 18th, 2017 – Parent Communication
On May 18th, we got together and chatted about Parent Communication.
Ways to connect with Parents:
- emails, including ‘ask me’ questions
- Open House
- Remind (app)
- Google Drive to store pictures
- facebook group
Questions to discuss with parents when dealing with behaviour
- how much do parents want to know, know everything that goes wrong or just the big stuff?
- explicitly set lines between personal and professional life
- explicitly set expectations between what they should expect from you and what you expect from them
- set them early so everyone knows what is expected
- Let parents know you will respond to their email within 24 hours
- Make sure you BCC parents parents in emails to protect their privacy
Be careful of giving out your cell phone number. Parents will expect you to answer emails, texts and phone calls right away.
Communicating with parents well solves lots of problems. It shows care about their child.
Documenting children’s behaviour:
- make sure that you record just the facts/only things you see
- do not include personal opinions or guesses
April 20th, 2017 – Guest Teachers
This week we were supposed to discuss parent communication but got sidetracked by discussing how schools can make our guest teachers feel welcome. Here are some of our ideas.
- Classroom keys for lock down purposes
- Detailed lesson plans and duty plans
- School tour especially for bathrooms
- To be welcomed in the staff room
- Said hi to in the hallways
- Feel like a teacher when they are in the school
- To feel supported by staff
- Morning announcements welcome guest teachers
- To be called guest teachers-not supply’s
- Be thanked when they go above and beyond
The main thing we discussed is that Small things matter!
March 30th, 2017 – Apple Training 1
We had a great first PD with Adam who led us through some awesome apps to use to help us in the classroom and some tips about how to help our students use the iPad better.
Classroom is an iPad app that lets you monitor and control their students use of the iPad. Some other key features
- monitor and control what your students are doing on their iPads
- mute or lock out students iPads
- send messages to students
- send links/bookmarks to students iPads
- automagically adds students that are in close proximity to teachers iPad
- teacher controls showing student work on screen
For more information on the app, check this out.
Apple TV no longer need Wifi for mirroring.
Apple.com/education/teachers has a ton of ideas and resources for us. There is also free Apple training guides to train us on the tools we want to learn about.
Swift Playground is a fun new app for students to learn how to code.
To know more about this app, check it out here.
Accessibility & Guided Access
I think this was the best thing we all learned. To find Guided Access on your iPad, go to Settings –>General –> Accessibility –> Guided Access. In this section you can
- set a time limit on the iPad that gives the student a warning when time is almost up
- lock the iPad to only go on one app
- set up a passcode
- set up a accessibility shortcut (three clicks on the home screen
In Accessibility you have a ton of options of changing the iPad features to suit your students needs. They have options for Learning and Literacy, Vision, Hearing, and Physical and Motor skills.
Here are some other great resources on how apple products can help your spec ed students.
- Apple Technology: Uniquely Equipped to Let Every Student Succeed
- Using Apple Technology to Support Learning for Students with Sensory and Learning Disabilities
- Creating Inclusive Learning Environments
March 23rd, 2017-Project Based Learning
Project based can be student driven or teacher chosen/guided.
Anthony shared his unit he created on Water Systems for Grade 8.
Mallory and Amanda shared about their Grade 6 Space unit they are working on. They have created a student driven project. They introduced the unit to their students by using AJ Julian’s 4 Genius Hour questions. Check out their Space Inquiry Slideshow here.
- What will you learn/create?
- why did you pick this topic?
- Outline to meet your goal
- Resources you need
- How are you going to know your successful?
As you can see here in the Student Space Inquiry Ideas, students are usually really engaged and excited to be able to have choice in their learning.
When you are doing project based learning every group/class will be different. Different groups will need different amount of support and modelling. Sometime students are overwhelmed having a choice in their learning but we need to guide them and encourage them.
Crash course kids Science Canada-quick videos to explain difficult subjects
February 16th, 2017
Our first Get Together was awesome! Thanks to everyone that came!
We spent the time getting to know each other and discussing what we wanted to learn about.
The next Get Together will be at Oh So Good Westboro on March 23rd, at 6:30pm. We came up with several options about what we want to learn about next time. Please vote for the topic you want to learn about the most. (Just click on the tweet)