Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Collaborative Learning Communities

Teaching is a profession that relies on a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and expertise, but often this is done in the isolation of an individual teacher’s classroom experience. Increasingly, teachers are finding that opportunities to build knowledge and expertise collectively is much more useful and rewarding.

Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) enable teachers to meet in groups to discuss mutual interests and concerns about teaching and learning. They can improvise, innovate based on research and evidence, and share their findings with their similarly interested colleagues.

For the 2016/2017 school year, the Association will be supporting 10 kindergarten CLC projects. Teams must comprise of up to three kindergarten teams (both the teacher and E.C.E in each team) to explore and share solutions to common professional dilemmas arising from the recent implementation of the revised Kindergarten Program document and/or Growing Success Kindergarten Addendum.

These CLC’s will allow teachers to explore and share solutions to common professional dilemmas through action research, by developing resources, and/or implementing new instructional strategies.

How do I form a CLC?

In order to be eligible to join or lead a group, you must be a regular full time kindergarten teacher, in either a permanent or LTO position, along with your ECE team mate, and your choice of topic and participation must reflect the project focus.

A completed team project proposal must be submitted to the Association by the group facilitator, and priority will be given to projects whose members are first time CLC participants.

What kinds of projects are funded?

For a project to be considered for funding in the 2016/2017 school year, the learning group must provide opportunities to engage in the revised Kindergarten Program document, and/or Growing Success Kindergarten Addendum, and the implications for your classroom.

How do I submit my application?

Applications are due November 30, 2016. Completed applications must include your prospective group members, the focus of your project, and treatment as to the reason for pursuing your projects focus. You must also include the prospective goals of your project, and how you plan on accomplishing those goals with your group members.

Completed applications must be forward to Lorna Pegram or Faxed to Provincial Office at: 416-925-5251. Successful project leads will be notified by December 1.

Published CLC Resources

The publication Collaborative Learning Communities was developed to assist teachers who are interested in establishing CLCs for their own professional learning. Each section provides specific guidance on the stages of developing a CLC. The adjoining appendices provide projects and resources for the group.

During the 2009-10 school year, OECTA’s Professional Development department, with Ministry of Education funds, invited applications from teachers across the province to create CLCs in differentiated instruction, early learning, French (FSL and immersion), math, media literacy, technology, social justice, and virtues. The following are some of the resources produced.

Faith in Action

Developed by: Aideen Moss, Lisa Claro, Bev Gregory and Tara Warren-Vrbanc

This series of lessons is for secondary teachers teaching the HRE 4M course. They focus on building an understanding of the links between living gospel values and affecting social change.

Teaching Student-Centred Math: The Three-Part Lesson

Developed by: Janice Smith, Ryan Ferguson, and Anthony Pappas

This project includes a video and six lesson plans designed to assit teachers of blended Grade 6 and 7 classrooms incorporate the two sets of expectations into their mathematics lessons.

Practical Applications for Handheld Devices in the Classroom

Developed by: Christopher Beacom, Robert D’Alessio, and Danik LaFleur

This resource provides three detailed lesson plans for practical applications for hand-held devices (e.g. cellphones, iPods) in the secondary English classroom. Also included is a sample letter to parents

Using Outdoor Education to Enhance Literacy and Numeracy

Developed by Christina Lucciantonio and Corrine Boudrea

This resource provides hands-on, outdoor activities related to literacy and numeracy expectations for Grades 3 and 4. The project was one of several Ministry of Education funded Collaborative Learning Communities, and was intended to promote teacher action research with practical applications to the classroom.