Why We Need to Model Skills for Students

I first heard about the idea of modelling skills for students almost a year ago on a cold Saskatoon morning in March of 2019. I was attending a Penny Kittle conference and, among being blown away by other eye-opening pedagogical practices, Kittle introduced the notion of modelling. In doing so, she tasked us, the audience,…
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Shifting the Lesson Paradigm 2: Read

“Today, we’re going to respond to a character in our novels, then we’ll discuss with the person next to us. From there, we’ll get to know the characters better by exploring elements of characterization within our texts. But before we do any of that, let’s start with a little bit of reading.” Most classes, I’ll…
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Revamping the Classroom Library

  Quickly, name five books from your classroom library. If you can’t, maybe it’s time to do away with those old, dusty books that were last picked up from before the dotcom boom. If you don’t have a classroom library, here’s why you should: The luxury of a classroom library was something I never had…
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Shifting the Lesson Paradigm 1: The Change

Show of hands: how many people have left the classroom discouraged? Disappointed by the level of student engagement, an inconsistency of reading, or a lack of skill progression. Have you ever thought to yourself ‘maybe something needs to change’? Last year I was fortunate enough to attend two professional development conferences that completely revolutionized the…
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Feedback Before the Submission

Quickly, think about three things you enjoy most about teaching. I’ll wait. Got all three? While I can’t be certain, I’d make a bet that one of those top three had something to do with engaging and interacting with students. Now, consider two aspects of your job that you enjoy the least. These probably came…
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An Alternative to Due Dates

Of the many memories I have from high school, many come from my grade 9 physical education teacher. On several occasions, he would have us run the track out back of the school as a warm-up at the start of class. If it started to rain, we would start to whinge, to which he would…
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Saturday morning PD: is it worth it?

You wake up, blurry-eyed, in the early hours of a Saturday morning in what has been a frigid and dreary November. You should be sleeping in, at least, that’s what you tell yourself. Yet, despite your need for rest, you’ve embarked on a year-long professional development, which means no sleeping-in for you this morning. ‘It’ll…
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Taking a Risk on Unit Conferencing (2/2)

“Reflect, reflect, reflect!” This is likely a phrase that my students have heard continuously since the start of the school year as I’ve been mindful of regularly giving them the chance to reflect on their own learning. Doing so was not only to help them shift their mindset from marks to skills but also to…
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Day 1 of Cohort 21

Day one of Cohort 21 in one word; woah! Tons of community building, an intro. to the Twitterverse, which literally seems to be its own universe, and an understanding of what I’m getting into for the next 9 months. Stay tuned for more about my own Cohort journey!

My best learning experience

Welcome to you Cohort 21 Blog. This journal is an integral part of your Cohort 21 experience. Here you will reflect, share , collaborate  and converse as you move through the C21 Action Plan process.  This is your first post and an opportunity to share a little bit about yourself as a learner and leader….
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