Exciting New Sessions for 2020/2021

In partnership with the Central Alberta Regional Consortium, Jigsaw Learning team members are facilitating various learning opportunities:


Overcoming Innumeracy: How Do We Talk about Mathematics? - Jennifer Ferguson

Oct 22, Oct 29, Nov 5, Nov 19

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

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?

Four Part Series
Session 1 - How Do We Talk to Students About Mathematics?
Session 2 - How Do We Talk to Parents About Mathematics?
Session 3 - How Do We Talk to Educator Colleagues About Mathematics?
Session 4 - How Do We Talk to School and District Leaders About Mathematics?


Parent Support Series #1 - Supporting the Emotional Needs of At-Home Learners - Barb Pears

October 22, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

During these unique times it is extremely important to attend to the social and emotional needs of children and adults alike. This session will include tips around expressing our emotions, building relationships and supporting each other as we try to process, heal and thrive in our new reality.


10 Components of Responsive Behaviour Support - Barb Pears

Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, Jan 11, Jan 18, Jan 25

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Do your classrooms or schools need help ensuring a safe and caring environment so all learners can thrive? Teachers feeling discouraged and searching for solutions for acute and chronic behaviour concerns? This series will start by providing participants with an overview of a model that focuses specifically on building a structure that identifies and organizes existing school-wide processes to ensure a safe and caring environment. Then we will focus on each of the 10 components with activities, discussions and resources.

Session 1: Introduction
Session 2: Responsive Relationships
Session 3: Social/Emotional Instruction
Session 4: Routines and Classroom Environment
Session 5: Explicit Behaviour
Session 6: Responding to Behaviour Concerns
Session 7: Responding to Re-Occurring Behaviour Concerns
Session 8: Intervention Team
Session 9: Collecting and Analyzing Data
Session 10: Behaviour Support Plans
Session 11: Crisis Management


Mindful Practice for Self Restoration - Kathleen Robertson

Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 9, Nov 16, Nov 23, Nov 30

4:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Join our community of practice to learn different mindful techniques to build consistent habits. Join our 6 week series or come for a session or two. This will be an active participatory session that will provide the pause in your week as well as provide multiple strategies to build your mindful practice.


Supporting Online Learners - Jennifer Ferguson

Oct 27, Jan 12, Mar 9, May 4

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Panelists will share lessons learned and invite questions from those who are looking to learn along with them.

Four Part Series

Session 1 - What Did We Learn About Starting the School Year in an Online School?
Session 2 - What Did We Learn That Is Shifting Practice for Second Semester?
Session 3 - What Did We Learn About Student Learning in an Online School?
Session 4 - What Did We Learn That Is Informing Planning for Next Year?


Parent Support Series #2 - How to Read with Your Child (4-6 year olds) - Kathleen Robertson

October 27, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Come and join Kathleen to learn how to read with your child. During this session, Kathleen will model and share before, during and after reading strategies that support your child learning to read.


Educational Assistant Series - Barb Pears

Oct 27, Nov 3, Nov 10, Nov 17, Nov 24, Dec 1, Dec 8, Dec 15, Dec 22, Jan 12, Jan 19, Jan 26, Feb 2, Feb 9, Feb 16, Feb 23, Mar 2

4:00 pm to 4:30 pm

We know that as educational assistants, you go above and beyond, every day, in pursuit of supporting complex needs and impacting the lives of children, families and the learning community to which you belong. You are the vital connection many students need to be successful. This requires skill, dedication and patience beyond measure! The challenges of supporting students and staff in an environment where teaching and learning needs are continually evolving is complex work. This series is designed to provide staff who are currently in this complex role as well as EA's new to the role with an overview of educational best practices in support of students and teachers. Participants will also develop an understanding of the importance of a common language and consistency in educational practices across a school or district.

  • Session 1 - Introduction
  • Session 2 - Roles and Responsibilities
  • Session 3 - Supporting Students with Medical and Disability Needs
  • Session 4 - Connecting with Community and Parents
  • Session 5 - Responsive Relationships
  • Session 6 - Professional Communication and Interactions
  • Session 7 - Overview-Continuum of Supports
  • Session 8 - Tier 1 Toolbox - (Part 1)
  • Session 9 - Tier 1 Toolbox - (Part 2)
  • Session 10 - Tier 2 Toolbox - (Part 1)
  • Session 11 - Tier 2 Toolbox - (Part 2)
  • Session 12 - Supporting Learning in the Classroom (Part 1)
  • Session 13 - Supporting Learning in the Classroom (Part 2)
  • Session 14 - Supporting Learning in the Classroom (Part 3)
  • Session 15 - Responsive Behaviour Supports
  • Session 16 - Understanding Support Plans
  • Session 17 - Connecting the Pieces

Establishing Collaborative Structures for Leadership in First Nation Educational Authorities - Amber Hester

October 29, 2020 - 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

First Nations School Authorities are unique and responsive to their local contexts. This session shares samples of the structures and processes established with a variety of schools and system leaders as they leverage teams to support building staff capacity and student learning. Leadership structures and processes required are also unique and responsive. In this session, we will be sharing a variety of processes being used by First Nations Leaders that were established for their unique contexts as they supported teachers and embedded the learning agenda, student services and language and culture into their school structures.


Co-regulation: Balancing Each Other - Lorna Hewson and Kathleen Robertson

Oct 29, Nov 19, Nov 26, Dec 3

4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

How can we support ourselves and one another in coming into a balanced state of being? Considerations for developing strategies to assist each other in regulating and providing support to regulate those around us. Join Kathleen and Lorna in exploring ways that we can support ourselves and one another.


BLAST: A Multi-Grade Literacy Intervention - Nancy MacLellan

Nov 3 and 5, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 6:00

How can a school develop and implement a comprehensive literacy intervention block to support the skill development for all primary students? This two part series will highlight how one K-3 school implements a school wide intervention block to improve literacy levels for all students. In our BLAST (Basic Literacy Acquisition Skills Time) program, each student’s phonemic awareness and phonics skills are assessed and students are placed in small, flexible groups to receive instruction on a specific reading or pre-reading skill (such as rhyming, letter sounds, blends, long vowels, etc.). For a half hour every day, students travel to their assigned meeting place and work with a member of the school staff. Come learn about this locally-developed program, with numerous samples and resources shared.


Planning for Technology Implementation - Jennifer Ferguson

Nov 3 and 24, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Information Technology and Educational Technology were once seen as separate entities. As the two branches continue to merge in operating in a synergystic way, how are districts demonstrating the symbiotic relationship during the technology implementation process?

Session 1 - What IT Departments Want Educators to Know About the Process
Session 2 - What Educators Want IT Departments to Know About the Process


Supports for Students with Complex Needs Series for Teacher/EA Team - Lana Nogue and Aaron Block

Nov 3, Feb 9, May 4
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Supporting students with complex needs can be overwhelming. Join Aaron and Lana for an interactive series of session that will guide you through the planning process for your student. This session is intended for teacher and EA teams. Please bring your program plans and any documentation that will help to describe your student's needs.


Supporting our Students (SOS): Understanding Autism - Lana Nogue

Nov 5, Dec 10, Jan 12, Mar 25
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

How do we best support our students with autism? Teachers and educational assistants play an integral role in designing programming that will attend to the needs of students with autism. Through intentional opportunities for communication, providing choice while engaging in meaningful tasks, and creating consistent routines are all essential components of learning for a child with autism. Come learn together, engage in case studies, explore effective practices, discover resources and design supports that will meet your student's needs.


Thriving, not Just Surviving, in the First Year! - Jennifer Ferguson

Nov 9, Nov 17, Dec 15, Jan 19, Feb 16, Mar 16, Apr 20, May 18
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Beginning teachers face a steep learning curve as they transition from the role of student to the role of educator. Much of the first year of teaching (or the second or third!) may feel like there is more to learn as a teacher than there is to be a teacher! This year is exceptional given the circumstances of school re-entry...

Join this cohort to ask questions that have arisen in your new role, to learn with others who are also beginning their careers, and to build your professional learning network as we explore best practices in areas such as planning expectations, assessment and reporting, parent-teacher interviews, classroom management, inclusion, collaboration, and more! Each month, take away new wisdom, tools, and/or resources and return the next month to share your experiences.


Parent Support Series #3 - Using Schedules to Support Children with Diverse Needs - Lana Nogue

November 9, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Creating consistent and predictable schedules is an important part of supporting children with diverse needs. This session will share a variety of examples and tools to build schedules to support your child.


Aspiring Leaders Community of Practice - Marilyn Schmitke

Nov 16, Jan 18, Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

This series is designed for those who are already in a leadership role and who aspire to the role of principal. Join this small cohort for an opportunity to network with other aspiring leaders; to share practices that are leading to success within their current roles; and to explore how these successes might support or translate into the role of principal.


Online Schools - Community of Practice for Online Educators - Jennifer Ferguson

Nov 16, Dec 14, Jan 18, Feb 18, Mar 15, Apr 19, May 17
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Across Alberta, many school divisions have worked quickly to establish online learning options to meet the emerging needs from families for their students to be engaging in virtual classrooms. In this community of practice, online educators will have a chance to connect and network with other online teachers to delve into practices that are leading to success for students.

As part of the community of practice, online teachers will identify intentional actions they will take to support students. Each month, participants will return to the community to share the results of their actions as Online Learning evolves in their school.

The goals of this community of practice are to:
- Deepen an understanding of Online Learning as it relates to meeting the needs of students.
- Network with a variety of schools and develop a community of practice that can extend beyond the scope of this learning opportunity.
- Connect to literature related to Online Learning to initiate further discussion and exploration.
- Collectively develop and share resources to support Online Learning that honour staff and student diversity in a variety of school contexts.

This community of practice a year long series focused on growing and refining Online Learning practices in schools and classrooms.


Beginning Principal Community of Practice - Marilyn Schmitke

Nov 17, Jan 19, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

All the things you need to know as a principal but are too afraid to ask...Beginning principals face a steep learning curve as they transition into this critical role. These first two years in the role as principal are exciting but can sometimes seem overwhelming. Join this small cohort for an opportunity to network with other beginning principals; share practices that are leading to success; and to ask questions of one another in a safe, supportive environment.

This session is part of a year long series and will be co-created to match the evolving and timely needs of the cohort.


Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers - Cheryl Gascoyne

November 19, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

"Table the Labels" as Harvey & Ward suggest in order to craft targeted instruction that enables striving (not struggling) readers to do what they need above all - to find books they love and provide opportunities for them to engage in voluminous reading. Learn how to leverage Tier 1 instruction to provide a solid base for your striving readers to grow. This session is based on the work Stephanie Harvey & Annie Ward Striving to Thriving: How to Grow Confident, Capable Readers and the content is applicable for in person or remote learning contexts.


Establishing Team Structures for First Nation Schools - Amber Hester

November 19, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

This session will focus on sharing samples of team structures that have been established with a variety of First Nations. It will focus on sharing the valuable learning acquired through networking and connecting with First Nations schools to support the development of their team structures to best support staff as they collaborate to support students across a continuum of learning.


School-Based Inclusive Education Community of Practice - Lana Nogue

Nov 24, Jan 19, Mar 9, Apr 15

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

The role of the inclusion coach, learning support teacher, instructional coach and/or learning coach can sometimes be a challenging role with a wide range of expectations. This session will provide the foundations for understanding your role and exploring how to effectively coach others while supporting the needs of staff and students in the building. These coaching partnerships promote reflection on student evidence and data and establish a continuum of supports for learners. During the first session of the community of practice, participants will create a list of possible areas of support to explore throughout this cohort.


Supporting At-Home Learning in First Nation Communities - Amber Hester

November 24, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

This session will explore how the COVID -19 move to at home learning was embraced and supported at some First Nations Schools. Establishing teachers teams, creation of essential outcomes, building learning kits and supporting at-home learning in a First Nations Community has different realities and considerations. The journey of how this reality was navigated and the impact on teacher planning and practice will be shared.


Coaching and Leading: Community of Practice - Lana Nogue

Nov 26, Feb 16, Mar 30, Apr 22

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Are you a teacher leader, coach or mentor? This series will start with the importance of building positive relationships and how you can leverage those relationships to positively support and lead. Coaching questions, modeling, engaging in professional diaglogue, and examining data and evidence will be explored as ways to impact practice.


Three Part Literacy Assessment Series: Engaging in Literacy Assessment - Cheryl Gascoyne

Nov 26, Jan 28, Mar 25
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Three Part Literacy Assessment Series: Engaging in Literacy Assessment:

1. Strategies for Assessing Readers & Writers Remotely & In Person

2. I've Assessed; Now What?

3. It's Assessment Time Again!

You're wanting to keep up on your students' progress, as well as establish baseline data, but how do you do this when you're in a remote learning environment or do not see your students in person as regularly as you typically would? Learn how to obtain beginning of the year literacy data, and how to analyse and utilize the data during collaborative team meetings to get universal and targeted supports in place quickly. This 3 part series will take you through the assessment cycle with suggestions for this year's unique circumstances.


Focus on Team in Turbulent Times - Amber Hester and Lana Nogue

November 30, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Leadership teams both school and system have been taxed with the demands of COVID-19. So many teams are focused on getting everything done and may not be attending to the health of their team. Team development and support may seem like something that is not essential with all the urgent items BUT it is crucial to the health, wellness and productivity of leadership teams. This session will focus on how to tend to teams intentionally so everyone stays well enough to support each other through this unprecedented time.


Early Years: Infusing Literacy Joy - Cheryl Gascoyne

November 30, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

You know you've done it right when they don't even know they're learning! Literacy in the Early Year's Classroom should be a joyful, engaging experience for children where they learn through play in a stimulating environment. Come and explore some fun strategies and ideas to implement with your children either remotely or in person.


Parent Support Series #4 - Supporting Positive Behaviours at Home - Barb Pears

December 9, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Positive behaviour support at home does not cost money, need special equipment or formal training. Join Barb for a general list of strategies to consider trying at home to increase positive behaviours.


Ramping up Structures and Processes - Kathleen Robertson

December 10, 2020 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

What does it look like to ramp up collaborative structures and processes during a pandemic? Join Kathleen as she shares her experience in supporting a number of teams in establishing increased levels of collaboration, collective response and the importance of doing so.


Parent Support Series #6 - Using Positive Reinforcements to Support Children with Diverse Needs - Lana Nogue

January 14, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Positive reinforcement is a powerful strategy for supporting children with diverse needs. This session will share a variety of examples and strategies for parents to focus on what their child is doing well and encourage positive choices through using specific language and natural rewards.


Fluency Fun ... Goodbye Skill & Drill! - Cheryl Gascoyne

January 21, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Maybe fluency isn't what you thought it was? Maybe it's more than just reading fast? This session will explore what fluency is and what it is not; with ideas for interactive, engaging strategies woven throughout to employ with your students.


Parent Support Series #5 - Attention and Memory Supports - Kathleen Robertson

January 21, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Does your child have trouble attending to tasks and remembering what to do? In this session, you will explore strategies that will help your child focus and attend to tasks at hand.


Examining a Framework for Thriving Communities - Lorna Hewson and Kathleen Robertson

Jan 28, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 15
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Do you sometimes feel that something is missing in your building? Join Kathleen and Lorna in exploring different aspects of community that take individuals and groups at all levels from disregulated to thriving. Explore a framework for reflection as well as design strategies to build your thriving community.


Parent Support Series #7 - Handling Meltdowns and Stages of Escalation - Barb Pears

January 28, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

Do you know the difference between a temper tantrum and a meltdown or outburst? This session will examine 6 powerful tools for handling meltdowns and which techniques work best during each stage of escalation.


Parent Support Series #8 - Making Math Fun - Kathleen Robertson

February 16, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

What can you do with a deck of cards and a pair of dice? Come and learn many games and strategies for practicing basic facts and number operations that will support your child's numeracy skills as well as provide a fun learning opportunity.


Parent Support Series #9 - Importance of Language to a Child's Success - Lana Nogue

February 23, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

This session will focus on the critical importance of language and speech on a child's success in reading and academics. This session will provide a basic understanding of communicating through reciprocal conversations which leads to increased language development. A number of games and strategies will be shared to support your child at home.


Parent Support Series #10 - Questions and Answers - Lana Nogue, Kathleen Robertson, Barb Pears

March 2, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm

As a final session for the Parent Learning Series, parents are encouraged to bring their questions related to supporting at-home learning for discussion with other parents and the learning series facilitators.


Read Alouds - Make them Count! - Cheryl Gascoyne

March 2, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

If you could do one thing to elevate your literacy teaching expertise this would be it. The art and joy of the read aloud has been longstanding in the literacy classroom and with some intentional focus and planning you can take it to the next level! Join Cheryl to explore how language development, knowledge, literacy skills, and thinking critically can all be addressed through an engaging and interactive read aloud experience.


Interactive Writing - Cheryl Gascoyne

April 29, 2021 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Ever wondered what interactive writing is all about? Join this session to learn more about the writing process most often used with our youngest learners. Writing is a complex process and interactive writing is just the vehicle to begin the journey. This session will explore the purpose of interactive writing, how the process works, and organization of space & materials. Everything you need to know so that you can begin to engage your children in this important component of a balanced and comprehensive literacy program.


Author: Nadine Wood