8Y24 Lab 2: Wednesday 10-12
Place your cursor BELOW the three lines. Type in your Professional Learning Community Reflections below. Add your image. Then place a line under your entry to prepare a spot for the next student's reflection. BE SURE TO ADD YOUR NAME!!

Although I attended various professional development opportunities this semester, the one I found most interesting and helpful was the visit to the St. Catharines museum. I grew up in St. Catharines and this was the first time I've ever visited the museum. I was fascinated with all the interesting stories and artifacts. It was amazing to see that my home town had such an interesting history. It was be a wonderful opportunity to take a class to the St. Catharines museum. The museum offers a multitude of opportunities for authentic learning and integration. In addition, it has an interactive workshop where students can experiment with their learning. The day I visited with the Social Studies class, the workshop was on Oriental Art and lettering. Students were able to practice this skill using various tools and examples to follow. I have also seen the workshop focused on "Going Green" and taking care of the environment. The interactive workshops allow students to actively participate in their learning and provides authentic instruction.

I was inspired by the museum because of the man possibilities it offers for students. It is necessary to provide authentic instruction so stduents feel engaged in their learning. Furthermore, the museum offers an opportunity to validate student identity and give them a sense of pride about their hometown. I, personally, thought St. Catharines had little to offer in regards to heritage or innovation in history. My visit to the museum changed my thought process - I can't wait to take my own class there one day!


- Emma Christie


This is a picture of Peter Vietgen and myself at the Arts Conference in Hamilton on October 28th and 29th. This was my first Professional Development event. Peter was the Visual Arts representative from Brock who organized the Visual Arts presenters. He is also currently my Visual Arts professor. Peter has a strong passion for the arts, specifically visual arts and how they should be incorporated into the curriculum wherever possible. The purpose of the arts conference was to provide teacher candidates with ideas on how to incorporate the arts (visual arts, music, drama, and dance) into the curriculum. It was a great experience and provided me with some ideas I could possibly use throughout my teaching blocks and one day my own classroom. I really enjoyed the visual arts presenter who created a number of activities based on a book. The different activities incorporated drama and visual arts into the language curriculum. I never thought about how important it was to incorporate the arts throughout the curriculum, but after the arts conference I realized how easy and fun incorporating the arts is into different subjects such as math, history, social studies and much more! The arts are such a great way to open up and expand the creative corridors of both students and teachers!
-Sarah Batey

Betta Wrekanize

Mike Snow - In October, I participated in a PD day at Prince Philip Elementary School. The conference which I attented was concerned with the development of progress reports, a new initiative in the board. In several groups, the teachers in the school as well as the student-teachers brainstormed ideas on how to made the implementation of these reports succint, successful and personalized. This was meant to ensure that teachers were not consumed by writing progress reports and so that parents can use such reports as effective ways to help thier children succeed. The biggest lesson I took away from this was the importance of personalization. If students and parents feel as thought the teacher genuinely knows and cares about thier child, they are more likely to take an active role in thier child's education. As we have learned, participation and involvement of parents can make a huge difference in teacher, not only for us, but for the success of our students.

My Man D, Dan Ricci, Cabbie on the Street, and Myself in Boston, Mass.
Emanuelle Barbaro (Manny) - In May 2010 I was in Boston, Massachusetts where I met Toronto The Score sports anchor Cabbie on the Street and his producer "My man D". Although these are not school educators they are educators of sports. Everytime a special guest came into the classroom I never had a camera to take a picture so I decided this was the next best option. The biggest lesson I took away from this moment is that celebrities, although local, are still normal people. Cabbie has taught me that when speaking infront of people it is important to stay confident, knowledgeable, and throw in a joke here and there to keep this light. This was a great experience for me talking to these sports casters and I learned a lot about public communication and speaking from them.

On October 28 and 29th I was fortunate enough to attend the Integrating the Arts conference in Hamilton. The main focus of the conference was to provide teacher candidates with the tools necessary to find room in our busy schedules for the Arts. The course provided me with several ideas and resources for integrating the Arts in my classroom. I think the biggest lesson I took away from the conference is that the Arts truly has the power to enrich all other curriculum areas. The conference was actually very low tech as the focus was on the Arts within the classroom but there was some discussion on how the Arts could be brought digitally into the classroom through several avenues! Children are able to see art works from around the world with a click of a button, or watch dramatic plays and dance on YouTube.

~ Cindy Whitfield (Watson)

Today I had the opportunity to visit the Rodman Hall Arts Centre with my visual arts class. We completed analytic art activities together in one of the studios, that would be suitable for students in grades 7 and 8. We then went on a short tour of the three exhibits that were on display. Rodman Hall specializes in contemporary art, and so the three exhibits we saw were very modern. It was a very good experience to see the different types of artwork that are being produced in today’s society. It is very different from the more traditional art forms of photography, painting, and drawing. This type of contemporary artwork really made the viewer question what was being seen, and what messages the artist was trying to convey. I was glad I was able to see a place that could be a potential location for an intermediate/senior field trip, and be put through the experience the students are going to have; wonder and questioning.
Vanessa Wappel
This is a picture of me outside Rodman Hall!


Just like many of my classmates I was able to attend the arts conference. I had an incredible experience. The conference was opened by an amazing guess speaker David Booth. The name was familiar to me. I had seen his name on the art curriculum documents. It was good to meet him and place a name to a face. He spoke about the arts in the school, but also outside the school. His speech was very inspiring. He made me aware of how powerful and important the arts are in our student’s lives and education. David Booth spoke about the multiple intelligences, and the creativity that we can inspire and nurture in our students through arts. His speech was very entertaining also. His personal experiences and stories were told in a very fun way. What I loved the most was his story about being in a conference in another country where he saw a theatre put together by teacher candidates just like us, and he understood what the message of that show was, without speaking their language.

Edlira Christina Zahaj


This past week I attended the “Arts Matters” conference in Hamilton. The Arts have not been something that I have traditionally been interested in, but because I’ve had to take music, drama, and visual arts in this program, I have definitely gained an awareness of how important the arts are, and how easily they can be integrated. The picture I’ve posted is of myself and some other teacher candidates with David Booth, the keynote speaker at the conference. He spoke about the importance of the arts, and emphasized that ALL students, can participate, regardless of experience. Dr. Booth’s speech opened up a conference that showed me how easily the arts can be integrated with other subjects, and most importantly, that the arts can make learning fun.
I chose to talk about this conference because it really changed my perception of the arts. Prior to the conference, I was not comfortable in the arts, but as a result of the conference I feel much more comfortable and confident. I realize now that I don’t need to be an incredible artist or dancer to be an effective visual arts or dance teacher. The activities we completed in the workshops showed me that it is easy to integrate the arts with other subjects, to create engaging lessons.
-Kathleen Moore

I attended the Arts Conference in Hamilton where David Booth was the key-note speaker (I am standing right next to him on the left). He highlighted the importance and significance of teaching “The Arts” in the classroom. David Booth focussed on how all the subjects of the Arts (i.e., visual art, music, drama and dance) will engage all students, no matter what age group, ethnicity, background, or language. He mentioned many of his own personal experiences, giving me useful strategies and techniques that I can personally apply in the classroom. I posted a picture with David Booth because not only was his topic powerful and inspirational, but it was also very applicable to my teaching career. He emphasized the importance of using children’s books and novels to integrate The Arts with the Language Arts curriculum, and also how student’s creativity and ability comes out in a variety of ways when you teach all the arts. Most importantly, David Booth emphasized the importance of getting to know and understand your student’s background. I personally feel more inspired to teach ‘The Arts” in my own classroom, and I hope to implement these strategies that he highlighted in my classroom as well! -Ashley Van Koeveringe (Weststrate)


I had the pleasure of attending my first “professional development” workshop last week, and I loved how hands-on it was. I have picture proof (that’s me on the far right) that I was at Brock’s first annual Arts Conference, entitled Arts Matter: Integrating the Arts Across the Curriculum. The focus of this conference was on valuing the arts and their integration across the curriculum. The conference provided additional instruction in the arts through workshops in drama, music dance and visual arts. I’m here with my fellow teacher candidates and Keynote speaker David Booth, (arts advocate, international speaker) whose speech on caring for the whole child inspired me to come up with a new title for the conference— heARTS matter: integrating the arts across the curriculum. -Daphni Dremetsikas



I chose to reflect on my experience at the Arts Matters conference. My picture was taken with David Booth, the keynote speaker to open the conference. David spoke about the importance of arts in education and provided a helpful introduction to the experience we would be having for the remainder of the day. While the leaders of the various sessions of the conference did not use technology in their presentations, their sessions were incredibly helpful in illustrating how I can viably integrate the arts in my own classroom. In both the drama and dance workshops, we looked at how to integrate social justice issues using both tableaus and movements. While I hadn’t considered introducing the arts into issues such as Remembrance Day and mourning, this conference allowed me to see how I could do this, which is why I chose to focus on this professional learning opportunity. We were also exposed to some eye-opening resources that I would recommend to everyone!
-Keaton Morrison

The 2010 Arts Conference is the workshop I chose to look at for this assignment which focused on the importance of “the arts” in the classroom. I specifically chose to look at the first day of the conference which outlined the benefits of effectively teaching dance and drama where I was able to gain valuable lesson/unit ideas for my future classrooms. The facilitators who presented the dance workshop outlined how we as teachers need to be more confident in our own abilities and focus on the act of movement and allow students to freely expressive themselves through the motion of dance. I was also able to see from the drama presenter that although drama can be fun and silly, it is also important to incorporate relevant and realistic issues that the students can connect to and see the meaning behind.

I was so impressed by their teaching strategies and goals for dance and drama in the classroom, and am now more confident in my own abilities to effectively teach these subjects in the future. I realized that although these subjects are by no means my “strong points”, if I properly facilitate a creative and constructivist classroom, I am hopeful that my students will gain meaningful skills from these subjects and make connections to their own lives.
~Kelly Van Roon~

My professional learning happened at a School Council meeting. It was a great chance to witness first hand the interaction between parents, teachers and school administration. All of these groups certainly are looking out for the students but sometimes they have very different views on what is best for students. I will use this in my classroom teaching because I realized the benefits to having supportive parents involved in the school. The school council puts on a programs entitled "Teacher Wish List" where they they provide funds to teachers to purchase items for their class. Clearly the program is well received by teachers! I chose this PLC because realistically a majority of the teachers job occurs outside of the walls of the classroom; with parents, administration and the public it. Strong relationships with all these groups are vital!
-Sheena Swierenga PLC.jpg

I attended the 2010 Arts Matters Conference over the last two day, and greatly enjoyed it. I had my picture taken with Dr. David Booth who was the keynote speaker for the conference. His speech was very engaging, full of stories of his experiences with students and as student in the Arts. What I liked most about it, though, was how personable and personal it was; I really got the sense that what Dr. Booth means the very most is that integrating the Arts into whatever you teach is important and can effect and change lives, but that if you don’t integrate yourself then it won’t matter what you teach.
I thought that I would post my picture with Dr. Booth as my official Professional Learning Communities picture. After day two of the conference, it was an absolute hands-down decision that I would post my picture with the actors of the Roseneath Theatre Company’s production of “The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh”, a play about a character with ADHD, instead. I loved this; I laughed until I cried, and I cried, too. I can’t imagine any student walking away from this show without having become emotionally involved in some way, whether their involvement touched on ADHD, divorce in the family, friendship, or bullying. It was really great that the actors of the theatre company followed the show with a question and answer period that allowed the audience to reflect on what they had just seen, something that a teacher could carry on in any number of classes, integrating drama with literacy, or with social studies, for example. Furthermore, while a production of this sort is theatre-specific rather than drama-specific, it’s still absolutely full of student-noticeable moments of drama; things that students would be able to recognize that “they do too, in class” and that a teacher could easily follow up on.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t recall the names of the four actors in this production of “The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh”. I researched the Company online and found the name of the actor who plays the part of Jamie Cavanaugh; her name is Emma Hunter and she’s the one in the yellow shirt.
Tiffany Addie with the cast of "The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh"

My PLC occured in my placement school when all the Junior and Intermediate teachers gathered with the literacy consultant to discuss test results and how they would incorporate that into their TLCP of improving literacy. They grouped students according to these assessment results and decided on what group to focus on and the tools showed what concepts needed work on. This will shape classroom instruction, especially in the literacy block, as the teacher now has targeted resources for these and all students. I selected this PLC for the assignment because it is a current andPLC_Eising.JPG relevant issue in all schools (literacy) and will affect me when I am in my block for this class. Technology was not used specifically in this presentation, but could be integrated into different tasks that come about from this process. I do see a need for the focus of the PLC because literacy is very important in all aspects and focusing on the basics will help students move forward to the next level of skill.
Karina Eising

We had a guest speaker in our cohort who has been a teacher, principal and arts consultant for a variety of school boards. She came to speak to us about behaviour management or what she called behaviour training. She gave us some useful tips and suggestions that may not work as well in our placements but would definitely work when we get our own classrooms. We need to offer students opportunities to practice good behaviour and teach them what it feels and looks like. I selected this presentation, not because of the technology used, but because it was very relevant as we are all beginning to have to manage our own class and any tips and suggestions that we can gather are beneficial. - Jessica Belaire


Behaviour Management:
On 25 October 2010, a guest lecturer came into cohort 7 to speak about behaviour management. Her suggestions included having consistent routines, clear expectations, and having a purpose for a punishment. She strongly suggested practicing routines with the students throughout the year and to use positive reinforcement to direct behaviour. She said the biggest challenge of teaching these skills to children is not only for them to behave while you are present, but to have them act properly when you are not present. I chose this presentation because she gave good advice and suggested practical resources that I can use while teaching in the future.
Jaclyn MacKenzie

This is Msgr. Leo from St. Albert’s parish in St. Catharines. I meet with him once a month for spiritual direction. Each meeting is half an hour long, and I can talk with him about anything. He always gives good advice. Spiritual direction is a great way for Catholic school teachers to build a prayer life, work through personal problems, and manage the stress of teaching.
I have a great picture but the wiki isn't letting me upload it. I'll post it on Isaac and see if I can solve the problem in class next week.
David Gonzalez

I recently attended "Arts Matter" conference at the Hamilton campus on October 28 and 29th. Overall, I would say that this was a great first professional development experience for me in that I was given some practical ideas for classroom management, teaching drama and dance, how to use art to really speak to students, and how to integrate the arts into other subjects.
The picture above is from my second day where I participated in a music workshop with Lori Moccio. She showed us how to use the foundational elements of rhythm, beat, and note value in teaching poetry. She gave us a very brief introduction to some of the instruments that are available to use and some advice on building up our collection of musical instruments.
I think music class is so beneficial to students--if they don't get even the basic musical education in elementary school, where else will they get it? Our society has lost it's connection with regular music and we depend on those who are "experts" to create it for us. What a loss! Having a solid music program may be what a lot of students need to show them that they too can create music!

- ErikaLyn Rempel

Last week my cohort had a teacher, Sara Farrar, who had graduated from Brock 9 years ago, come in and give us tips on unit planning. I really appreciate her coming in and showing us the importance of good, efficient unit planning. One of the reasons why I chose to do my PLC reflection on this professional development session was because we are starting to get ready for our block and many of us in the program will be creating a unit or two. One of the suggestions Sarah had that I am definitely going to use is the Ten-Step Unit Planning Sequence. I will not go into detail about this because Candace has asked that we only post 5 sentences and there are ten steps, but if other teacher candidates would like to hear about it, I am happy to talk to you before class!
- Athena Edgar

I attended the PD day at my internship school in October, Glynn A Green. The vice principle, Jen Currie, led the session which focused on the new "Progress Report" that was being handed out in mid November. This information was very helpful for me, as once I become a teacher, I will need to prepare comments and marks for my class. A lot of time and effort was put into making the comments "parent friendly", so that parents can easily understand the comment and how their child is progressing.
- Adam Janssen