(Re)visiting the Topic of Equity

As “online learning” has begun in Alberta - for some as an available option for some time, for grades 7 to 12 students until Christmas, and for all students K through 12 for the first week of school in the New Year - it may be an opportune time to (re)visit the topic of equity, with a focus on the digital realm.

Social Emotional Learning Online

Students learning in the online realm benefit from the same considerations as those in brick and mortar buildings. Planning should take into account explicit opportunities for students to engage in social emotional learning in order to develop self-awareness, engage in self-management, promote responsible decision-making, enhance social awareness, and fortify relationship skills.

Overcoming Innumeracy Part 1: How Do We Talk to Students About Mathematics?

The goal of this four part blog series is to consider the following questions: What is it about the way we talk about mathematics that promotes the acceptance of "I can't do that"? What might we do to shift the conversation?

Overcoming Innumeracy Part 2: How Do We Talk to Parents About Mathematics?

This blog is written from a perspective of helping parents understand the current curriculum and inviting them into the math learning.

Overcoming Innumeracy Part 3: How Do We Talk to our Colleagues About Mathematics?

Research into mathematics teaching indicates there is anxiety among some educators that has the ability to negatively influence the success of students’ mathematics learning. Such a concern requires addressing.

Overcoming Innumeracy Part 4: How Do We Talk to Leaders About Mathematics?

In an environment that sometimes feels driven by results and accountability, how does a classroom teacher talk to school leaders (and/or district leaders) about mathematics?

A Deer in the Headlights: My Life as a Beginning Teacher

In order to feel successful, beginning teachers require intentional and focused coaching and mentorship to develop their pedagogical knowledge, skills and talents.

Triangulate That Data!

When we see a student struggling with a concept in math, what is our response?

Behaviour Expectations - Are You on the Same Page?

As educators, we are continuously reflecting on how to set high academic expectations for students and we spend a considerable amount of time thinking about how to support students in achieving their best. We need to consider if setting consistent behaviour expectations is part of the answer to student success. One of the ways to maximize consistent expectations for students is through building, teaching and maintaining a School Behaviour Matrix. The creation of a matrix essentially addresses how students and teachers treat each other in the classroom, hallways, bus, playground and more.

Literacy Assessment FAQ - Question 1: Which assessment should we use?

This is part 1 to a 4 part blog series focusing on literacy assessment. Over the years I’ve noticed that wherever I go either within, or out of province, the questions are universal. This blog will focus on the first question I’m frequently asked, and that is “Which Assessment Should I Use”?

Relationships and Clarity – Keys to Behaviour Support in September

Please note that this posting includes a variety of links to valuable resources, videos and other materials. As the 2018/ 2019 school year begins, I am receiving a lot of emails and doing workshops in a variety of schools focusing on proactively supporting students who have behaviour challenges. While it is an exciting time of year, educators are already recognizing students who require emotional and behavioural support in order to have a successful academic year. The question that I most regularly receive is, “How do I start keeping track of and figuring out what strategies and interventions that I can employ to help ALL of my students as well as the individual students who exhibit more challenging behaviours?”

Winning the Inclusive Education Lottery: Establishing Responsive Inclusive Cultures

Leading responsive inclusive cultures at the school and system levels is complex work. It requires thoughtful reflection of the local context. It requires leaders to plan for sustainable supports for students and their families that transcend their position and the position of other leaders in the organization. Having system wide structures, processes and procedures that are supported through the establishment of collaborative teams is a sustainable, effective approach to ensuring a responsive inclusive culture.

Planning with Technology in Mind: Considering the 4 Levels of Interactivity in eLearning Design

As we aim to design learning content for our students in asynchronous, synchronous, blended and/or flipped classrooms, we benefit from considering the 4 Levels of Interactivity for lesson design in elearning environments.

Leading with Grace & Ease Through a Time of Uncertainty

Leading with grace and ease through a time of uncertainty means that we do not abandon our processes and structures but that we amplify them by moving through our work with a heightened presence, thoughtfulness, and humility. This enables us to recognize the beauty inherent in knowing that regardless of the uncharted waters ahead of us, our teams will continue to collaborate as we unlock answers together.

What is Your January Do Over?!?

Since the beginning of the school year, I have been working with educators across the province of Alberta, building purpose, procedures and processes for individual school behaviour supports and interventions. The work has been focused as well as exciting, and the discussions have been in-depth.

Remember the How and the Why.

For students to become powerful learners, their teachers must engage in powerful learning themselves. Yet the professional learning many teachers experience is often disconnected from the curriculum, disconnected from specific students and their learning needs, and disconnected from their daily work. What’s needed is a tightly-connected systems focus, aimed at continually increasing the knowledge and skills of teachers in their context and with their colleagues, as central to improving student learning. At its heart, this is an equity issue, ensuring that all students in a system have equal access to rich, high-quality learning.

Indra’s Net: The Story of Interconnectedness

Regardless of our job title, in a community we are all leaders if we choose to own it. We are jewels in Indra’s net and through intentional choices, we are creators of our community.

Cats, Puppies and Goldfish: You are Doing This!

How do you put your heart out there and maintain your composure while you are dealing with unprecedented times? Wouldn’t it be easier if this was preplanned, if there were classes piloting this, if our kids were all in stable places? It is the relationships you have built that will see everyone through this.

Creating a Clear Picture of Community

When we examine the concept of community, we immediately have a picture in our mind of a group of individuals with common values working together towards a common purpose, supporting each other, and making sure everyone is looked after. A thriving community works towards a purpose that is greater than what one person can accomplish alone.

Navigating the Bridge: A Framework for Creating Community

We would like to open a discussion about a framework for developing thriving communities. This framework is based on the premise that caring for and understanding ourselves is critical but our capacity to support is enhanced when we consider what we can do together and even better what we can do as a community.

What Leaders Can Do to Support the Emotional Well-Being of their Team Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Leaders are accustomed to guiding their teams through the ongoing shifts and changes of their organizations; however, the past few weeks have challenged many leaders in unprecedented ways when attempting to navigate the tumultuous waters of responding to the impacts of COVID-19. This BLOG post provides a few considerations for leaders of organizations, whether small or large, to help maintain a sense of connectivity while their workplace has been disrupted.

Seeking Staff Buy In? Ask the Right Questions!

One of the questions I am most frequently asked when working with schools across the province centers around visionary and change leadership and that is, “How do I obtain staff buy in”? I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this question through my leadership experiences and the lessons I have learned as principal in two different schools. I’ve come to a realization that the issue isn’t in relation to is related to a fundamental problem with the question!

Responsive Behaviour Support: Crisis Management

Having a predetermined set of strategies and supports in place in the event of severe behaviour situations is critical when a student is out of control, potentially harmful to others or possibly self-injurious. Understanding your school’s processes and procedures is critical when a student crisis occurs as it typically involves a team approach to respond in the most appropriate manner.

Responsive Behaviour Support: Behaviour Support Plan

Whether you are a parent/guardian, administrator, teacher or educational assistant, working collaboratively with your student's support team to create a plan will help a student make improvements in their behaviour.

Responsive Behaviour Supports: Collecting and Analyzing Data

Effective data collection allows teachers and intervention team members to pinpoint and respond to student’s needs and make decisions about interventions and support based upon that data.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Intervention en cas de crise

La gestion de crise est une composante importante pour la création d’un environnement scolaire sécuritaire, positif et bienveillant. Les écoles développent des procédures pour gérer efficacement les crises existantes et potentielles. Ces procédures permettent de réagir de façon ponctuelle et efficace. De plus, elles permettent de mettre en place des mesures proactives et d'orienter l'élève, le personnel et la famille vers les services d’appui les plus appropriés pour eux.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Plan d’intervention

Bien que les éléments clés pour un soutien proactif du comportement soient mis en place au sein d’une salle de classe ou d’une école, certains élèves ont besoin d’un soutien plus intensif et personnalisé. Le plan d’intervention s’avère un outil important pour répondre efficacement aux besoins de ces élèves et pour assurer un suivi tout au long de l'année scolaire.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Collecte et analyse des données

Pour bien orienter et enrichir les discussions lors des rencontres touchant les besoins des élèves, il est important d’avoir des données comportementales. La collecte de données permet de cerner les besoins des élèves et de prendre des décisions éclairées par rapport aux interventions les plus appropriées à mettre en place pour assurer la réussite de ceux-ci. Ce billet offre des pistes, des outils et des ressources pour assurer cette collecte de données.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: L’équipe d’intervention

Ce billet aborde l'importance de mettre en place des mesures de soutien proactives et de gérer les défis comportementaux en équipe! Cet élément est le septième des 10 éléments clés pour un soutien proactif du comportement.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Intervenir face aux écarts de conduite majeurs

Dans le billet blog précédent, il a été question des interventions face aux écarts de conduite mineurs, donc d’interventions de niveau 2 du continuum de soutiens. Ce billet aborde les interventions face aux écarts de conduite majeurs, le sixième des 10 éléments clés pour un soutien proactif du comportement.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Intervenir face aux écarts de conduite mineurs

Bien que des interventions préventives, telles que l’établissement de relations positives, l'environnement de la classe, la mise en place de routines et l’enseignement explicite d’habiletés sociales et des attentes comportementales soient mises en oeuvre dans l’environnement scolaire de l'élève, des écarts de conduite peuvent tout de même survenir régulièrement en salle de classe. Il est important d’intervenir face à ces écarts de conduite, mais comment le faire de façon efficace?

Le soutien proactif du comportement: l’enseignement explicite des attentes comportementales

L’enseignement explicite des comportements est le quatrième des 10 éléments clés pour un soutien proactif du comportement.

Responding to Reoccurring Behaviour Concerns: An Examination of Tier 3 and Tier 4 Supports

How do we respond to students when they continue to experience difficulties and exhibit challenging behaviours? Tier 3 and Tier 4 supports may be required and involve more intensive supports from a trained team as well as professional external supports.

Responding to Behaviour Concerns: An Examination of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Supports

Classroom teachers are the ones ultimately responsible for responding to behaviour concerns so we want to be sure that we are equipped with a solid tier 1 and tier 2 toolbox.

Responsive Behaviour Supports: Creating Explicit Behaviour Expectations

Creating explicit behaviour expectations is the fourth of the 10 Key Components to Responsive Behaviour Support. Behaviour expectations work to ensure that all staff and students consistently understand the importance of commonly established expectations and are committed to respecting these across the entire student community. They serve as guidelines for behaviour and apply to all children and adults across all settings in the school.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: L’environnement et les routines

L’environnement de la salle de classe et l’établissement de routines sont le troisième élément afin de favoriser un soutien proactif du comportement. Lorsque l’on développe un continuum de soutiens ou une pyramide d’interventions pour une gestion efficace des comportements, l’environnement de la salle de classe ainsi que l’établissement de routines s'avèrent être des pratiques efficaces de niveau universel (niveau 1). Ces pratiques sont essentielles afin de minimiser les écarts de conduite et favoriser l'engagement des élèves.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: L'enseignement des habiletés socio-émotionnelles

Pour assurer un environnement scolaire bienveillant et sécuritaire, et permettre l’apprentissage des compétences scolaires, l'enseignement des habiletés socio-émotionnelles est un élément incontournable. Le rôle d'éducateur consiste également à enseigner, à modeler et à mettre en pratique les compétences sociales et émotionnelles des élèves.

Le soutien proactif du comportement: Entretenir des relations positives

Lorsque l'on s’attarde aux composantes clés pour favoriser un soutien proactif du comportement , le premier élément sur lequel il faut se concentrer est celui des relations positives.

Responsive Behaviour Supports: Routines and Classroom Environment

Creating positive routines and examining the classroom environment is the third of the 10 Key Components to Responsive Behaviour Support.

Responsive Behaviour Supports: Engaging Social Emotional Instruction

Creating a structure of safety and support in the classroom by using social/emotional instruction is as important to teach as academic skills and is the second of the 10 Key Components to Responsive Behaviour Support in the classroom.

Responsive Behaviour Support: Exploring Responsive Relationships

When examining Responsive Behaviour Support, the first component to focus upon is Responsive Relationships. Learning Associate, Barb Pears, discusses the 4 important relationships formed within the school setting that have a direct impact on collaborative structures.

Responsive Behaviour Support - Understanding the 10 Components

This posting is an introduction to a series of blog postings that will examine and dig deeper into each of the 10 Key Components of a Responsive Behaviour Support structure.

Considering Building a Behaviour Pyramid of Intervention?

As identified in the Collaborative Response Model, the pyramid of interventions allows school personnel to answer the question “So now what do we do?” by providing a visual framework of interventions, accommodations and strategies to support students at different levels of behaviour. A four-tiered Behavioural Pyramid of Intervention is a model for behavioural intervention supports provided at different levels to assist educators in identifying the needs of ALL students, match the level of support to severity, and then assess and respond with the most appropriate supports. The four tier model addresses the supports offered to students who are not only struggling with behaviour but those students whose academic progress may be being delayed due to the social, emotional, and behavioural challenges that are interfering with their success. The pyramid of behaviour interventions works to address the student’s needs that are foundational and essential to ensure that the students are available and ready for learning in the classroom.