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Communities

By Target Audience By Level of Study By Alignment Themes

Elementary Student Focus (46)
General (All Levels) (60)
High School Student Focus (41)
Middle Levels Student Focus (36)
Multi-Level Student Focus (9)
Staff Development Focus (19)
        

Elementary Student Focus

Title Description Info
Whole Brain Teaching www.wholebrainteaching.com behaviour management tool Learning and using the techniques from www.wholebrainteaching.com to increase student engagement and participation, and to assist in behaviour management of challenging kids.
Collaborating as a French Immersion Community Inquiry/Focus Questions - What teaching strategies best support second language acquisition in French Immersion? What resources are accessible to develop literacy skills for all learners in a French Immersion classroom? How can technology be infused into teaching to promote reading, writing, speaking and listening in a second language? Big Ideas – To create an accessible document for all teachers in the division to use and add to. The document could include: literacy activities, numeracy activities, assessments, ULE supports, unit plans, long range plans, ideas to integrate technology in daily learning, Apps, etc. Goal – To improve instruction and increase student achievement by creating a collection of resources to be shared and accessible to the RVS French Immersion community of teachers to broaden our ability to reach all students. Target Participants – RVS French Immersion teachers 21st Century Competencies to be Investigated – Self-directed learner, critical thinker, communicator, and collaborator in teachers and students. CofP Creators - Alanna Berger & Tori Page
Connecting Kids to Nature How do we get kids to connect to nature? How can we create meaningful, outdoor learning experiences for our students? We want to foster environmental stewardship within our school community.
COSL Commenting You Can Bank On!
Focus Question:
How can we make reporting and communicating of student learning more efficient and effective for the teacher? How can we make the COSL more accessible and easily comprehended by parents and other stakeholders?

Big Ideas:
improving efficiency during report card building, making current education jargon more accessible to all, developing a consistent understanding of various reporting categories of the COSL across the division, etc.

Goals:
clear, concise, adaptable to be personalized, and user friendly comment banks reflective of current assessment practices, support for those teachers that face difficulties formulating their ideas into clear and concise comments, possible templates for new teachers to the division / profession to help them better understand the expectations of the COSL specifically as it relates to comment creation

Target Participants:
Elementary and Middle School Teachers across the division dedicated to collaborating and contributing to the group goals (no freeloaders, please), Elementary and Middle School Administration Interested in producing a document(s) that could be used to provide consistency in reporting COSL among their staff members

21st C Competencies Being Investigated:
All in context with our goals as described above
Creating a Classroom of Social Thinkers: More than just Social Skills Based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner, we will be sharing resources, pooling ideas, and discussing the concept of how we make impressions on others as a springboard to develop deeper thinking. We will be creating a detailed guide in order to translate ideas into action. Problem Solving, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration will be the 21st Century Competencies that we will focus on.
Daily Five & CAFE For Grade 5 Our goal will be to collaboratively develop instructional strategies and resources which follow the Daily 5 and CAFE frameworks to suit student need of the newly implemented fifth grade level at our school. We will focus on strengthening literacy development across curricular content areas through a balanced approach to literacy instruction by combining and creating meaningful language and literature-rich learning opportunities for our students.
Data collection and management How do we take accurate data in an inclusive classroom? How much data do we need? What do we do with it once it has been collected? How do we define mastery?
Design Team Planning How do we create a culture of curiosity, creativity and collaboration?
Elementary Music How do we expand and enhance music learning opportunities for the 21st century learner? Areas of focus will be to build and continue to develop a resource inventory with new materials and extend expertise in specific elementary music concepts/skills.
Elementary Portfolios to showcase student learning using Google During this CofP, participants will explore the following: How can using digital portfolios, specifically the use of google drive effectively showcase student learning? What other tools are going to best and effectively meet the needs of the teachers and the students?
Enhancing problem solving skills utilizing alternative technologies with a focus on early literacy and early CTS skills. As the intent is to provide a space to work through implantation of novel teaching practices, educators interested in joining this COP should have a working knowledge of the particular technological piece that they are interested in integrating into their teaching practice. This will not be a place to explore pedagogical implications of a technology that you are completely unfamiliar with, but rather a place to refine and implement current areas of interest and growth. As a group, we will review, discuss, and work through the implementation of this piece with a focus on early literacy and/or CTS skills (for higher grades).
Envisioning a Collaborative Response Model Reading/Book study on "Envisioning a Collaborative Response Model" by Kurtis Hewson, Lorna Hewson and Jim Parsons. Looking at the Three Essential Components identified in the book and working collaboratively on beginning to develop some ideas on possible 'pyramid of interventions' strategies that would be applicable at each of the specific grade levels (K-4).
Exploring the Literacy Framework How can we improve the quality of our literacy instruction and student learning through the implementation of the new Rocky View Literacy Framework at Glenbow (K-5)? In this Community of Practice we will be taking time to explore the Literacy Framework in a cross-graded and collaborative space in order to better understand how we can develop our professional practices to meet the needs of our students as they develop key foundational skills. Working collaboratively will enable us identify expectations and develop more consistency as students advance through grade levels.
Grade 1 - Health And Leader in Me Long Range Plans We will be looking at developing a long range plan for Grade 1 Health while integrating Leader in Me themes. We will be gathering resources, creating tasks and activities to align with the Grade 1 Health curriculum.
Grade 2 - Implementation of Gradebook - Making Learning Visible We will be exploring how to make learning visible to parents through our implementation of using gradebook. As this is a very new concept for some of us in lower elementary, we will explore and discuss ways to authentically post in Gradebook and how to change our practice of sharing the learning that occurs in our classrooms so that it can be shared in this format. We will beginning our focus with literacy.
Grade 2 Science Experiments and Inquiry Look at the grade 2 science curriculum and make it more inquiry based, investigative and engaging for students so they can begin to build a foundation of experience and understanding towards their learning outcomes.
Grade 3-5 Inquiry Project We will be working toward creating a Div II cross-grade, cross-curricular inquiry project with a focus on Science and Social Studies. The potential over-arching essential question we are hoping to explore is, "How are we all connected?" We will tie together global citizenship in Grade 3, Alberta past and present in Grade 4 and what it means to be Canadian in Grade 5.
Growing Learners! We will be helping children grow! If you are interested in gardening and growing plants with your students, then this C of P is for you. This intercurricular study will help us understand how to use the school grounds as a learning tool. We will devise plans for designing, building and growing a vegetable garden with our students. Using quarter metre square gardening, we will discover how we may engage and inspire students to become cultivators of their own food. We will design and build garden boxes and discover how the environment, location and the ecosystem helps support living things.
Heart Math / Art Expression Explore the use of Heart Math and art expression as strategies for supporting students struggling with identifying and appropriately expressing their emotions. Heart Math - includes both the morning of Friday, October 7 (PL-Personal) and the full day of Tuesday, October 11 (PL - CoP). Art Expression - Monday, April 24 (PL - CoP)
How to use Gradebook as an ongoing assessment/reporting tool for Kindergarten To create easy-to use/understand rubrics and activities for Kindergarten assesment. Thinking of parent-use down the road - transparency of assesment Breaking down the curriculum into tasks and rubrics that we can consistently use throughout the year
IB Self Study: Reflecting on Pedagogical Practices A full year, in-depth collection and analysis of evidence of the pedagogical standards and practices implemented at Prairie Waters over the course of the past 4 years.
Inquiry in Grade 1/2 Setting This group will design and implement inquiry projects based on school initiatives which will suit students in Grade 1-2.
Integrating Flexible Learning Spaces and Inquiry for Grade 3 To explore student centered learning through flexible learning spaces and the inquiry processes.
Integrating Inquiry Work and Use of e-Portfolios in a Grade Three Learning Environment Using the essential question "What's the Story?" we will investigate storytelling with the use of artifacts to engage students in the inquiry process. Students will learn the art of curation to create their own student-run museum. We will use the e-Portfolio as a showcase and assessment/evidence tool of student learning throughout the project.
Jump Math Grade Two To create, implement and reflect using the Jump Math Program.
Kindergarten Jolly Phonics/Handwriting Without Tears How can we build an effective kindergarten program with a focus on literacy? Kindergarten teachers will be exploring how to effectively integrate Jolly Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears into the kindergarten classroom, possibly within a Daily 5 framework. Teachers will bring student assessments, questions, ideas, and research to the community of practice.
Mental Wellness, Stress Reduction and Work-Life Balance This community of practice will look at work life balance. We will be looking at the small and large ideas that will help colleagues develop strategies to deal with the stresses of the work day through exercise, healthy eating. This will also work on connecting with environment and bringing that to students. There will be two sites: Elbow Valley Elementary - Hosted by Lindsay Leptich Glenbow School - Hosted by Colleen Heschl-Ball and Sandra Cursely
Multiple Paths To Literacy Book Study Identify what literacy practices are working and build on them. Determine high-yield strategies for teaching literacy. Miriam Trehearne's book offers fourteen research-based yet practical chapters that shares what we know about excellent early literacy teaching and learning.
NEW _ Benchmarking Time will be spent creating and compiling levelled book kits for benchmarking purposes.
NEW _ Development of FI Writing Activities We want to create a bank/database of writing expectations, examples and activities to enhance the writing output of FI students. Our goal is to see an improvement in writing quality and in output. We want our student to be meeting the writing standards for the FI curriculum.
NEW-Effective literacy assessment Focus on integrating Empowering Writers into a Daily 5 structure and effective assessment protocols. 21st Century competencies involved will be: collaborator, communicator, problem solver.
NEW-The Zones of Regulation The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum designed to foster skills in self-regulation, including emotional control, sensory regulation, and executive functions. It is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach that uses four colors to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in the moment given their emotions and state of alertness. The model incorporates Social Thinking® concepts to help students use perspective taking, to identify how they are thinking and feeling, and understand how their thoughts and behavior impact those around them. Through using the curriculum individuals become more self-aware and learn tools they can use to regulate to a more expected state. The Zones of Regulation presentation provides hands-on knowledge on the nature of self-regulation and strategies for improving self-regulation and emotional control in individuals of all ages. Participants will learn an explicit, stair-stepped method and tools to guide students in utilizing The Zones framework across situations and environments to regulate sensory needs, impulses, and emotional states to social demands. Visuals and student work samples are highlighted to illustrate numerous learning activities. A variety of tools (sensory supports, calming techniques, and thinking strategies) are explored to help students recognize their internal emotions, sensory needs, and thinking patterns in each zone, when shifting from one zone to another, and then to self-regulate within zones. Participants explore ideas on how to teach, when, why, and how to use tools effectively.
Physical Literacy Inquiry Question: How can we develop physical literacy to apply to lifelong activity? Big Ideas: Fundamental movement skills, application, cooperative/independent games and activities, outdoor/indoor integration, scheduling/sequencing/time management, assessment CofP Goals: To develop year long physical literacy plans and to implement them Target Participants: Physical education educators 21st Century Competencies: Collaborator, self-directed
Planning for Reflective Practice in the Early Years What is the balance between guided practice and explicit instruction in the early years classroom? We are required to meet provincial and divisional curricular and assessment requirements. How do we achieve these goals without hindering inquiries? Curricular expectations need to be carefully and thoughtfully integrated of into the many aspects of our day in order for this to seamlessly happen. How do we do this? What does planning look like? What is the shape of a day and are the children involved in the planning?
PUF Assistants As each year, students needs are diverse, we will research and plan as a group, how to best meet the unique needs of the students we are working with.
Social Thinking and Classroom Practice This is an opportunity for like-minded teachers, to meet and discuss, practical step-by-step methods for teaching social-cognitive and -communicative skills, to students who have these challenges that affect their school and home life. $86.00 USD (participants are responsible to purchase their own book) The format will follow a read (Think Social by Michelle Garcia Winner), discuss, implement and reflect on classroom experiences.
Taking Learning Outdoors How can generalist classes utilize local and easy to access natural and man made areas for learning outdoors?
Tasks Galore Creative ideas for staff working with exceptional children that are applicable to any early education or learning environment. This C of P will be based off of the book "Tasks Galore" and we will be sharing ideas as well as offering time to make resources. Occupational Therapist, Shelley Armitage will be discussing the advantages/ practical uses within the classroom. Please check out the website www.tasksgalore.com to familiarize yourself with all the multi- sensory tasks that are available.
Teaching Social Studies Though Role Playing Games (Gamification) We will be looking at teaching Social Studies through the Tabletop Role Playing Game (RPG) system. We will discuss how to adapt the game system to fit a classroom and how to teach outcomes through the game. This is being used/tested this year in a grade 4 classroom, but this framework could be adapted and used for other grade levels in upper elementary and middle school. We will discuss and adapt some of the work of Csenge V. Zalka in his Master's Thesis "Adventures in the Classroom: Creating Role-Playing Games Based on Traditional Stories for the High School Curriculum." "Games encourage “learning by doing” (Adams, 1973; Bowman, 2010; Hertel & Millis, 2002; Heyman, 1975; Maidment & Bronstein, 1973; Zemliansky & Wilcox, 2010). Simulations require participants to apply their freshly gained knowledge right away instead of learning it and storing it for later. They learn through active participation, and thus the information gained is ingrained through immediate practice and application, which leads to a more permanent form of knowledge. This is also true in the case of role-playing games: By shaping the narrative and experiencing the imaginary setting and background of their adventures (e.g. exploring mythical Hellas) participants will remember their experiences as if they have happened to them, and store them as part of their own memories in a form of personal storytelling." (Csenge V. Zalka, Adventures in the Classroom Creating Role-Playing Games Based on Traditional Stories for the High School Curriculum, p. 28)
The Magic of Google Drive - gr 1 - 3 Utilizing Google Drive with grade 1-3 students to develop an online presence. Focus will be on literacy and numeracy. Students will develop self-directed strategies to assist them in creating a timeline of their academic growth.
The Power of Play “Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” ~ O. Fred Donaldson There is no shortage of research demonstrating the importance of play as the primary vehicle for learning. Opportunities for play contribute to brain development, supporting children's cognitive, physical, and social-emotional learning. While the research is clear in terms of the benefits of play, pressure still exists for teachers to introduce skills that will have students reading and writing at an earlier and earlier age. In this community of practice, we will reflect upon our own personal beliefs and experiences in relation to play-based learning, examine the current research and discuss best-practices for the development of rich environments that focus on learning through play.
Using Social Thinking to Develop a School Culture When we encounter students engaged in a challenging behaviors or patterns of thinking, how can we use the principles of Social Thinking (Michelle Garcia Winner) and Unresolved Problems (Ross Green) to de-escalate students and focus on problem solving.
Ways to create a culture of character within family groupings. Based on The Virtues Project by Linda Kavelin Popov, we will be exploring a variety of ways to incorporate virtues into our school culture. Through research, discussion and brainstorming, we will create activities to enhance a further understanding of the targeted virtues.
What is physical literacy and how can it improve engagement and learning, while building teacher capacity? How do we improve the wellness of children through physical literacy and fundamental movement skills within multiple elementary sites within a community? How do we develop the capacity of elementary educators with community partners?
Word Press (student blogs/Easy Blog Jr.) How can using student e-portfolios(Word Press) enhance students' ability to reflect and showcase learning?
Y Read? Pam Rinehart, our Rocky View Reads Literacy Coach will lead this Community of Practice and explore why and how to support young people to read with pleasure and purpose.