Last Thursday, there was an inservice workshop called Classroom Management. Jim Giles, the presenter above, shared his unique philosophy of education with us. Jim believes it is far more beneficial to integrate EVERYTHING in the curriculum than it is to treat each subject as a separate entity. For example, Jim taught a 5/6 class and programmed an entire year around the theme of flight. Each student was asked to come on the first day of school prepared to discuss the one place they would love to travel to. This was the starting point of an entire year of flight study. I thought Jim's enthusiasm resonated with me after the presentation. His progressive outlook was refreshing and I cannot wait to uphold some of his practices in my future teaching.
Ps. He looks like Wayne Gretzky!

Andrea Seabrook - Learning with the World


In the presentation called "Learning with the World", it showed different ways students can connect with different parts of the world. It also promotes global learning so that they can compare and contrast their life with others in different parts of the world. I found this presentation to be very useful and unique. The presenter gave some great ideas to use in the classroom, such as the diaries from a young girl named Bat Chen. She also introduced us to the website and the project idea called My Hero. This multi-week project dealt with heroism in your own community and around the world. It is something I would actually like to use within my teaching block this term. This workshop just showed us many different ways we could implement global education into the classroom every day.

Laura Johnson - SMART technologies
My first workshop was about SMART technologies in the classrom. I found this presentation to be highly useful because, often, we do not refer to this as a tool for parent communication as well. We discussed using smart boards to jot down notes and send in files for parents. Also, many do not know that if there are any Smart board software in your board, parents of those children can upload he software themselves! Also, new out is the smart board tables that allow up to 6 students to collaborate on a touch system! When I asked how much just the smart board, the stand and the software was, he responded 3,000 for one whole set! Although this price truly astounded me, I hope to see smart technologies in my future classroom!

Cathy Stephen - "Getting Under Your Skin: Creative Projects for the 21st Century" - Technology Showcase
The first presentation I went to at the Tech Showcase was the presentation put on by Apple Education. The presenter, Kelly Janzen, discussed the uses of Mac programs such as iMovie and Garage Band in the classroom to develop interactive and interesting projects for students both in media studies as well as music classes. It was really interesting to see how diverse Macs could be for classroom use! Growing up I did not have any music experiences, and even today the only music training having was our 6-weeks of music for our arts class. Having programs like Garage Band will allow me to teach music in a practical way, by allowing my students to develop their own music as well as view the notes they have created. Technology is truly the teaching assistant of the future, and using programs such as Garage Band to not only to aid a music program, but provide a medium in which shy students can give oral presentations to the class or develop soundtracks to a dramatic skit only works to emphasize the quality of products and the sophistication of the 21st century learner!

Vanessa Hill- Building Futures Workshop- New Teacher Induction Program

Since I am unable to make it to the tech showcase because I am going to home to visit a principal, I took my picture at the building futures workshop put on by the ministry of education. This first workshop provided information about the new teacher induction program. They explained the process of being a first year teacher and how new teachers are paired up with a mentor to get advice and direction from. The presentor also explained all of the support and programs that are available for new teachers. It was very informational and useful and while its intimidating to think about being evaluated, its nice to know that there is support.


At the technology showcase, the presentation: Learning with the world: Connecting
globally using 21st century technology highlighted the Front Row Amplification System.
This tool is basically a microphone that can be easily attached to a person and
significantly amplifies the voice. This is extremely beneficial for students because
they can hear the teacher more easily and are therefore more likely to be engaged with
the lesson. This is also beneficial for teachers because they do not have to strain
their voice all day in order to be heard by their students.
I chose this presentation because the notion of teaching students in the 21st century is
a very real issue that we as educators must address. I enjoyed hearing about different
methods and technology that teachers have used to engage their students and ultimately
increase student achievement. As for the Front Row Amplification System, I have seen a
similar tool used effectively in primary classrooms. If these technology tools mentioned
in this presentation are available to me, I would be more than excited to utilize them.

Allison Pala
Teachers engaging and communicating with parents

The first workshop I attended was “Teachers engaging and communicating with parents”. The main message in this presentation was that teachers and parents/guardians need to work as a team in the development of a child’s academics. Both teachers and parents should have open lines of communication and a common goal for the child. We also learned that parents should not have any ‘surprises’ when the report card is sent home, or during interviews. If there is an issue, the parents need to be contacted as soon as possible. We also learned how to prepare for interviews, such as having students clean out their desks, and displaying student work around the class. Dealing with parents is an integral part of the teaching profession. As teachers, we need to be prepared to communicate and work with them.

Brittany Leng: MET WORKSHOPS
The workshop I attended was “Teachers Engaging and Communicating with Parents”. During the workshop we were taught a variety of different strategies that we can use as teachers in regards to working with parents. Some of the strategies included how to talk with parents during interviews, how to communicate and problem solve with overbearing or disconnected parents and how to handle parents when disagreements arise. The presenter who was has been a teacher for many years provided a variety of different examples that she endured during her years of teaching as well as constructive ways to deal with the issues. I found this workshop to be very beneficial as I was able to walk away with a variety of strategies for my future career as a teacher.

An Introduction to Comic Life and Bitstrips for Schools
I attended this presentation by Marilyn Legault who demonstrated two programs for making comics with you students. Both of these programs are really cool and I look forward to using them in the classroom. I am a comic book fan and absolutely love the idea of having students use comics to display their information, especially since this can be used in many subject areas. The presentation was very exciting for me and I look forward to using the programs.
(I am in a group picture currently posted on section 5)
By: Laura Lawson

Laura Gedge: "Assistive Technologies" presented by Mary Ann Fenner

One of the workshops I attended during the Tech Showcase was about various assistive technologies to use with Special Needs children. The presenter showed us how to use Write Out Loud, which is a word processor which uses verbal feedback to help students. The program Co Writer was also taught to us during the workshop, and it incorporates word prediction into a word processor. One feature I really liked was that it could recognize phenetic spellings. This is great for students who struggle with spelling, and hopefully they would quickly learn the corrections. The last program we were exposed to was Clicker 5. This program can be used for all students in the class, not just for Special Education. Students can create talking books, learn how to write proper sentences, or create a story using a specific grid. There is even a clicker which can be used for children with cerebral palsy, so they can respond to questions without using the mouse. All these programs are free to use for teachers because they are ministry licensed. I found this workshop very helpful, especially because of my interest in Special Education.


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Melissa Bernardo: "Assistive Technologies" Hamilton Technology Showcase

This was a wonderful workshop because it gave me the opportunity to understand how to use various forms of technology for individuals with special needs. We looked at three different program which include, Co Writer, Read it Out Loud and Clicker 5. We spent the majority of the session discussing Clicker 5 and the wide variety of detail that it has and how wonderful it is to use in the classroom. We were able to see how individuals can use a scanner instead of a mouse if it is too difficult for them. This was an excellent workshop and it really showed me how to meet the needs of individuals who need that extra support in the classroom.


Stephanie Amantea: "Assistive Technologies" Hamilton Technology Showcase (Far right in the lovely picture!)

I am very pleased to have attended the session on assistive technology as I can see how technology such as, write: outloud, co: writer, or clicker 5, can be very beneficial for certain students. The presenter focused on clicker 5 which was very easy-to-use for both the teacher and student, where students are prompted to write with whole words, phrases or even pictures. The clicker that was attached to the mouse was a great tool for those students who cannot use a mouse, as they can easily touch the pad. Lastly, I think clicker 5 is a great tool because you can tailor it for individual needs as the presenter showed us various games/exercises she created for different students!


Vanessa Dinis-Alves: Comic Life and Bitstrips presented by Marilyn Legault
As my first session of the day, Comic Life and Bitstrips presented by Marilyn Legault left an impression on me. This session, showed me that
as a teacher all you need is a little creativity and openness to include engaging software in your classroom. As Marilyn showed me not only can Comic Life and Bitstrips be used in language arts, but in practically every curriculum area, such as social studies, science, mathematics, French, etc. Your imagination is the limit! Not only are the programs student friendly, they would engage most if not all of your students, especially boys, who would find the idea of creating their own graphic novel or comic book a lot more appealing than writing an essay. In fact, the next session I went to "The Classroom of the Future" presented by John Migliore used Comic Life as the cumulative activity in his science class and found that his severe ADHD student was highly engaged and motivated while working on the project. This first hand example made what Marilyn and Candace said really hit home: we need to use technology to engage and motivate our 21st learners!
And of course as a teacher it's a lot more fun to assess and evaluate 30 unique comic books on a topic rather than 30 essays! I will definitely be using Comic Life or Bitstrips in my classroom!

Melissa Schonberger: Brain Pop Technology Showcase 2010
Brainpop was my first information session of the day. During this session we learned about the brainpop website for students and for educators. The site is equipped with tonnes of informational videos and engaging activities for students. Teachers can search videos according to curriculum expectations. The site is currently suited to American education expectations; however, the goal is that by May the site will include Canadian curriculum expectations up to grade tweleve. Everyone who attended the session was provided with a free thirty day trial to the site. Teachers can request that their principals look into subscribing to the site for the school.

Robin Bosscher: BrainPop Technology Showcase 2010
BrainPop was the first session I attended that day. It introduced me to a website which includes videos, quizzes and activities for students at all grade levels in a variety of topics. It was a very interesting and practical website because it was so interconnected. You could explore by subject but there were tabs which allowed you to go back to the core subject that you have come off from. The website is currently set to accomodate American standards but they are working on having it include Canadian curriculum by May of 2010. Currently they are also working on an ESL version and a French version which are free to use for now. It is nice to have a free trial of the website but will actually not be very useful because I have it when I am not in a classroom so I can't use it with any students which is too bad but all in all it was a very interesting website.

Anurag Sood: Occasional Teaching (Building Future)GetAttachment.aspx.jpg
I went to Building future and attended several workshops. The most interesting workshop was "Occasional Teachers". I learned so much about how to feel and what to do during occasional term. I am so going to keep my toothbrush, extra shirt and mouth fresheners in my tool box just for any emergency. He told us to make sure we are flexible for anything and everything and keep old lesson plans. Also, be friendly with administrator, colleagues and students in order to have great day of work with no hassle.

Lori-Anne Clark -in the middle!

This is my picture from the Building Futures workshop, as I was unable to attend the technology workshop. The presentation was on Aboriginal Education and I found it to be a very interesting workshop. Some students were there because they wanted to teach up north (very north!), but I was there just to learn about Aboriginals and some strategies to teaching them. It was a good workshop in terms of information on resources and where we can find help. I learned that Aboriginals are one of the fastest growing population in Ontario!


me and tech guy

Here I (Lara Engelhardt) am with one of the set-ups from the Tech Workshop. My favourite workshop was by Apple Education. I am a mac user so although I was already comfortable with the software presented, I still learned a lot. It was a very engaging and hands-on session, with lots of practical ideas on how to incorporate technology and creativity with technology into a variety of subject areas. All in all, a fun and beneficial day!