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Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Professional Development Network

The Association is pleased to offer a variety of PD Network workshops for our members. Explore the offerings below to determine what best suits your needs.

Our workshops are offered in a variety of subject areas, including classroom management, French, mathematics, technology and special education. The workshops explore a range of issues, such as inclusive classrooms, bullying prevention, classroom planning and management, and facilitation skills.

Requests for any network must come through your unit president.

Classroom Management
Classroom Management: Best Practices

Audience: All Grades

Effective classroom management is key to a positive and productive learning environment. This workshop will provide practical ideas for improving classroom management through classroom organization, effective planning and teaching practices and building community. Tips to support teachers with behaviour management and discipline will be shared. Teacher will come away with new ideas and strategies that can be implemented the very next day.

Classroom Management: Student Engagement and Self-Regulation through Talk

Audience: Grades 3-8

It’s all about engagement! This workshop will focus on deepening our understanding of how to incorporate purposeful talk and collaboration into our daily teaching. We will take time to explore how talk leads to engagement and supports and promotes a positive classroom environment. This is paramount to our role as educators in the classroom. We will look at curriculum and current research through Ministry monographs that focus on student voice and position our learning within a cross-curricular context. Hands on, practical examples will be used to expand our knowledge and understanding of self-regulation and student talk.

Simple Classroom Management Strategies

Audience: All Grades

In this workshop, we will identify our classroom management style and determine how to best meet the challenges in our classrooms. We will explore predictive techniques and preventative methods, and develop a repertoire of instructional and non-instructional skills and strategies that will enable us to respond to behavioural challenges. Participants will become acquainted with when and how to access various supports both as a means of preventing behaviours that detract from a healthy learning environment, and as a means of responding to disruptive or even violent incidents in our classrooms. Teachers will leave this workshop with a selection of practical predictive, preventative, and responsive strategies that can be implemented in a variety of situations so that our classrooms remain healthy places of working and learning.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI)
Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into the Classroom

Audience: Kindergarten – Grade 12

As we continue improving our capacity as teachers to reach every student and ensure they are successful it is important to understand the forces which have caused our First Nation, Metis and Inuit students to become marginalized. Understanding and incorporating learning strategies that support Indigenous students and their aspirations is essential as we continue to grow student success. By honouring Indigenous Ways of Knowing in our classrooms we foster a community of acceptance and acknowledge the importance of these first inhabitants of our country.

TRC Calls to Action and Reconciliation

Audience: Kindergarten – Grade 12

With the release of the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canadians across the country have been called to educate themselves on the true history of our country and the impact of colonization on the First Nations of this continent. As Catholics we are called to pursue social justice for all including the First Nations. Teachers will familiarize themselves with the history of our country that is not written in our textbooks and acquire some basic understanding of what it means to be an Ally in this new age of reconciling with the original peoples of this land.

French/FSL
The Beauty of French Culture

Audience: All Grades

French is more than just a beautiful language, it is a beautiful culture! Bringing the French culture alive with your students can be as simple as a story, music, art or a YouTube video. With only a short span of time to help our students fall in love with French, we are called to be creative and innovative. Join us for practical strategies, real-life examples and ideas that explore the language and the culture that helps define us as Canadians.

Inquiry-Based Learning
Run With It - Inquiry In Motion

Audience: Grades 3-12

How does inquiry-based learning weave throughout the curriculum? From theory to practice, this workshop will highlight the sights and sounds of the inquiry process. Grounded in current research, teachers will have the opportunity to design meaningful, practical lessons, connecting the Catholic Graduate Expectations and curriculum with students’ curiosity, strengths and abilities. Concrete examples and ideas will be shared regarding planning and assessment. This workshop will enable teachers to dive confidently into inquiry and cultivate a co-learning environment through provocation, questioning and critical thinking.

Mathematics
Adventures in Spiralling Math

Audience: Junior/Intermediate

Adventures with spiral teaching, a gradeless classroom, interactive notebooks, real world math, and technology. This workshop is for educators who are willing to take risks and who aren’t afraid of organized chaos. We will explore ways to engage and empower your learners in an open and creative learning environment.

Building Thinking Classrooms in K-12 Math

Audience: Grades 3-12

Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces (VNPS)? Visibly Random Groups (VRG)? Flow? Student thinking is visible and actionable, where teachers can react in real time to help keep individuals and groups in a state of flow. Participants will be led through a series of rich math activities that model these powerful research ideas from Dr. Peter Liljedahl, as well as share video of classroom episodes that we will critically unpack and analyze.

Engaging and Innovative Math Instruction: Elementary & The Early Year

Audience: Kindergarten – Grade 2, and Grades 3-6

Based on the Vision of the Mathematical Learner and the Pedagogical System shared in the Ministry of Education’s Renewed Math Strategy, this session would focus on how to develop a math community to engage learners from K - 2 in mathematics. Using a content focus in the strand of Number Sense and Numeration, strategies to be highlighted would be:

  • Use of open and parallel questions
  • Use of manipulatives (concrete and digital) to promote understanding and make thinking visible
  • Math talks and Number Talks
  • Use of games for purposeful practice
“I Can’t Wait for Math Class Today!” Creating Engaging & Innovative Math Instruction with Technology

Audience: Grades 6-10

Tired of the textbook? Want your students to have a vested interest in their mathematics learning? This workshop will focus on how to engage students in mathematics class using a variety of digital tools that capture students’ interest, leverage technology and integrate concepts and strands the mathematics curriculum.

A toolkit of rich mathematical tasks will be created and shared. This includes innovative ways to assess learning such as screencasts, QR Codes and online games. The participants will be active contributors and invited to share their knowledge. The workshop is a balanced mix of theory and application with an emphasis on take-away activities that can easily be implemented into a mathematics program.

Let’s Do Some REAL Math: Engaging and Innovative Math Instruction/Technology Tools

Audience: Grades K-10

This workshop aims to get teachers thinking outside of the textbook and realize that opportunities for making math learning REAL are all around them.

There will be many tech and “no tech” tips, tricks, resources and student exemplars shared. Participants will be learn how they can leverage a wide variety of technologies and everyday items in their own classrooms to make math learning and teaching fun, exciting and relevant while effectively and efficiently covering the Ontario Math curriculum expectations. Participants will have the opportunity to develop and share their own lessons. The results will amaze you!

Mathemagical Ideas!

Audience: Grades K-10

Enchant your students with a balanced math program that maximizes learning! This half-day workshop will feature a variety of free web-based supports and excellent resources which are easy to implement immediately in your classroom. We will also focus on research-based methods for increasing content knowledge while building mathematical fluency in the four basic operations using a variety of children’s literature and math games. Your students become increasingly “spellbound” with activities that enhance growth mindset in mathematics while decreasing anxiety. You will come away with practical ideas to make math magical in your classroom!

Occasional Teaching
Getting Ready for the Job Interview

Audience: Occasional Teachers

This workshop will focus on key elements to help you prepare for the interview process. Beginning with tips for creating an effective cover letter and resume, through to how to respond effectively to interview questions. This workshop will provide opportunities to review and discuss effective responses to questions about classroom management, special education, and what it means to teach in a Catholic school. Put the time and effort into preparing so that you are ready to walk into an interview with knowledge and confidence.

Surviving First Year

Audience: Occasional Teachers

I’m hired! Now what? The first year of teaching can be a challenging time for educators and it is not uncommon for new teachers to question themselves and their career choice amid the intense workload and the responsibility of educating a full classroom of students. In this workshop, we will look at some of the challenges and opportunities of first year educators including supply teaching, the first few day of class, and surviving the first two months. The goal is to get you to see your first year not as a time to survive, but as an opportunity to thrive.

Outdoor Education
Be an Insider in Outdoor Education

Audience: All Grades

What kind of world do you want? A timeless question, perhaps no more so than today. Much of what resonates with students and teachers - the desire to contribute, to change things for the better, to receive by giving first, to be still, to live with wonder and awe - is found in care for our planet. Central to our faith and to our curriculum, outdoor education is for everyone.

This workshop will help participants explore the worlds of environmental science and outdoor education. Using straightforward and thoughtful examples, participants will build upon their framework of understanding. Participants will also be introduced to programs, ideas and resources which can assist them in sharing meaningful outdoor education experiences with their students.

Inquiry and Outdoor Education in Kindergarten

Audience: Kindergarten

Young children are born with an innate desire to explore and experience everything that surrounds them. They are curious, capable, competent and rich in potential. They ask questions and learn by doing. Nature based and outdoor programming is successful when the Kindergarten educators model enthusiasm for nature play and encourage all learners to participate, making sure the entire group is physically active and safe as well as comfortable. This “hands-on” indoor/outdoor workshop will deepen your understanding of the possibilities of learning outside in nature and with found and natural materials. During this workshop, ideas will be shared on how to create and support open-ended experiences and inquires. Through experience, obstacles and successes, Kindergarten educator teams can create a very naturally stimulating learning environment both indoors and outdoors meeting board, ministry and safety guidelines. Educators will also discuss and share ideas of how teams can bring the outdoors in to support the Four Frames of the Kindergarten document if outdoor exploration and inquiry is limited in your school yard or surrounding area.

Improving Student Wellness and Achievement Through Experiential Based Outdoor Learning

Audience: All Grades

Can you get your students to fully immerse themselves in the learning experience, instead of only doing what they feel is required of them? This interactive workshop will provide new insights into why teaching outdoors creates such positive outcomes for your students. Highlights of the workshop will include:

  • Benefits of experiential based outdoor learning
  • How to get started
  • How to implement your strategies (learning outcomes)
  • How to develop different assessment strategies that work
  • How student reflection deepens their new learning
  • Understanding OPHEA and creating a safe environment for learning

This half or full day workshop should have you leaving more confident about engaging your students more meaningfully in your outdoor classroom.

Outdoor Learning in Kindergarten

Audience: Kindergarten

The full day session can include the presentation along with interactive opportunities to experience “Walks with God,” meditation, sit spots, and make and take outdoor provocations. This workshop can be combined with the “Mindfulness in the Kindergarten Classroom” workshop into one full day workshop.

"Where is God?" Together, we will discover how The Kindergarten Program can be a source of faith-filled experiences, as we nourish the hearts of the very young in their search for the presence of God in their lives. The workshop will offer kindergarten educators inspirational outdoor provocations to help nurture the awareness of God’s presence. Many ideas, resources, and documentation will be shared, in hopes of inspiring educators to see the outdoor learning environment as the third teacher. The workshop will focus on aligning the Kindergarten Program document through a Catholic lens. The four frames in Kindergarten are designed to reflect the integrated ways of how learning happens in a play-based inquiry classroom. The workshop will centre on how Belonging and Contributing, Self-Regulating and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematical Behaviours and Problem Solving and Innovations can be embraced and fostered in the Early Years through faith-filled outdoor experiences.

Religious Education
Footprints

Audience: Grades K-12

As Catholic teachers, we are called to inspire our students to leave a lasting impression that echoes Christ’s teachings ALL OVER THE INTERNET! Is that what you’re doing in your classroom? Introducing Footprints, a resource for Catholic teachers.

It’s far too easy to remind students that whatever goes on the web stays on the web, but this is only the beginning. Come and be inspired yourself! Re-discover your calling to be a Catholic teacher and leave your own lasting footprint on the web for the world to see. Experience a presentation that will delve deeply into what it means to leave a Catholic Digital Footprint online that exemplifies the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations and what it truly means to be a Catholic Teacher.

Outdoor Learning in Kindergarten

Audience: Kindergarten

The full day session can include the presentation along with interactive opportunities to experience “Walks with God,” meditation, sit spots, and make and take outdoor provocations. This workshop can be combined with the “Mindfulness in the Kindergarten Classroom” workshop into one full day workshop.

"Where is God?" Together, we will discover how The Kindergarten Program can be a source of faith-filled experiences, as we nourish the hearts of the very young in their search for the presence of God in their lives. The workshop will offer kindergarten educators inspirational outdoor provocations to help nurture the awareness of God’s presence. Many ideas, resources, and documentation will be shared, in hopes of inspiring educators to see the outdoor learning environment as the third teacher. The workshop will focus on aligning the Kindergarten Program document through a Catholic lens. The four frames in Kindergarten are designed to reflect the integrated ways of how learning happens in a play-based inquiry classroom. The workshop will centre on how Belonging and Contributing, Self-Regulating and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematical Behaviours and Problem Solving and Innovations can be embraced and fostered in the Early Years through faith-filled outdoor experiences.

Real Cinema: Why Reading Popular Film Through the Catholic Lens Matters

Audience: All Grades

From the enormous popularity of comic books films such as Wonder Woman to the reimagining of horror cinema with the socially and politically charged Get Out, and the rise of “streaming culture,” popular cinema and media plays an increasingly important role in the lives of our students and provides us with an opportunity to understand who we are as individuals and importantly as a global community. In this workshop, teachers will engage in rich conversation about why reading popular film through Catholic Social Teaching matters and will be provided with a classroom ready resource to integrate popular film with meaning.

Special Education
Learning Enabled: Hurdles, Not Barriers

Audience: Grades K-9

“I don’t really see the hurdles. I sense them like a memory.”
(Edwin Moses, champion hurdler)

Imagine a world where being different is regarded as a gift and every child in every classroom sees himself as God’s perfect creation. Come to this session to learn how such a world is possible today. Find out how practice, commitment and mindset shifts help students hurdle, rather than be stymied by barriers to learning. Learn the secret to helping students overcome the barriers that arise from the stigma, shame and learned helplessness associated with having a learning disability. See the way that awareness leads to personal growth, self-acceptance, student empowerment, and gains in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Plan to leave this session with (a) a greater awareness of barriers to learning, (b) practical strategies for helping your students turn such barriers into hurdles, and (c) specific techniques that foster self-advocacy and self-regulation.

Planning for the Special Education Classroom

Audience: Grades K-8

Want to make IEP writing quicker and easier? Want to know the key programming tips for students with an exceptionality? In this workshop you'll apply a simple framework for programming that focuses on the students' needs and uses your long-range plans. You'll receive plenty of grade-appropriate examples that can be copied-pasted and tweaked to develop your students' IEPs.

Make IEP writing a snap! This full-day workshop will delve into understanding your classroom composition by developing student-learner profiles. You’ll learn to identify patterns in Literacy and Mathematics using classroom or standardized assessment tools. Participants will delve into reviewing key characteristics of the most frequently occurring exceptionalities (LD, Autism, Behaviour). Using your classroom composition and your long-range plans we will explore how to accommodate students with various exceptionalities. The presenter will provide an easy-to-use framework that will allow you to quickly develop modified program goals and corresponding culminating tasks. Alternative goals will also be addressed. Last, we will touch upon how easy it will be to assess and report when following the framework. Your take-away will be a bank of SMART goals, corresponding culminating activities and sample report card comments for students who have a modified or alternative program.

You, Me and Identity - Building Community Through Special Education

Audience: Grades 3-12

As today's classroom reflects an ever changing landscape, how do we meet the individual needs of our students? This workshop is designed to help teachers gain a deeper understanding of inclusive education, identity vs identification, and how the Individual Education Plan is implemented, honoured and optimized in the classroom setting. Following a brief overview of Ontario’s current supporting documents, focus will shift towards equity and inclusion through a Catholic framework and the practical application of accommodations and/or modifications for instruction and assessment. Teachers will be provided with a variety of tools and strategies to customize learning, increase student engagement, to help build a thriving community of learners.

Teaching Combined Grades
Teaching Combined Grades

Audience: All Grades

Being assigned to a combined grade can be stressful – This workshop aims to provide de‐stress by preparing teachers with practical ideas for how to begin planning for a combine grade class. Beginning with a discussion of differentiated instruction and high yield instructional strategies, this workshop will provide teachers with an opportunity to discover curricular links between grades and be introduced to resources available to support planning in a combined grade classroom.

Teaching English Language Learners
Knowing the Learner

Audience: All Grades

This interactive session invites participants to deeply know their English Language Learner (ELL). English learners are adding English to their repertoire of skills and need to recognized as students bringing many gifts to their learning space (particularly bilingualism/multilingualism). We will explore who the EL is, as well as look at strategies for accommodating and perhaps modifying curriculum to meet their needs. This session can be catered to the group's learning desires so that other areas can be explored.

Technology
BYOD in K-5? Yes You Can!

Audience: Grades: K-6

Are you a primary or Junior teacher looking for ways to integrate technology into your classrooms? Learn firsthand from a primary grade teacher how to effectively integrate BYOD. Hear about best practices, explore tools, connect to curriculum areas and document student learning in authentic ways. We will explore challenges and issues around digital equity and management of devices. Find resources to help you create a classroom of next generation learners!

Coding Unplugged

Audience: Grades: K-6

Coding doesn’t always need a computer. If you are new to programming, why not start with some “unplugged” activities? In this session, you will learn what programming terms like algorithm, program, loop, and event mean, as well as exercises that you and your students can try in the classroom. We will also discuss how you can apply these tasks in your math classroom. Teaching this vocabulary will prepare your class to code with a variety of applications like Kodable, Scratch, or Lego Robotics.

Deep Integration of Technology

Audience: All Grades

Are you interested in using technology to redesign and reimagine the classroom experience? Do you want to find ways to increase engagement and develop a classroom based on creativity and exploration? This session will focus on how technology can be used to foster a learning environment that embraces inquiry based learning, global competencies and citizenship, and encourages opportunities for student voice. Technology will be modelled to show digital tools which encourage pedagogical documentation and reflection. Classroom ideas will be developed around global connectivity, creative classrooms, and construction of modern learning environments using technology.

Digital Assessment Strategies in the Modern Classroom

Audience: All Grades

Are you interested in using assessment strategies, other than the traditional pen and paper? Would you like to learn how to use this type of assessment using digital media? This workshop will provide educators with an opportunity to discuss assessment using digital media and take part in hands-on activities to learn how to use this type of assessment in the classroom. Participants will also engage in discussions regarding project based learning and a renewed focus on learning goals and success criteria.

Learning the Coding Language

Audience: Grades 5-12

Help your students become the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Coding in the Classroom 101 introduces the basic concepts of computer programing using HTML and CSS. It’s easy to learn and simple to teach. Best suited for students from grades 5 to 12. Students will be learning math concepts without even knowing it. The seminar is divided into many small hands-on activities. Amazing free online resources will also be featured. Bring a laptop and download Notepad++ prior to the event (free download). Become part of “The Hour of Code” which is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.

Moonshot Mindset - Integration of Technology to Enhance Deeper Learning

Audience: All Grades

Shoot for the moon! Moonshot thinking was inspired by President John F. Kennedy-”We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” This approach continues to inspire many, including educators. By focusing on innovative solutions to meaningful problems, we will explore advanced techniques for integration of technology into the classroom. Using a framework for design thinking, teachers will have the opportunity to design solutions for tasks involving workflow, documentation, creation and interactivity. This session aims to empower you to create the future you would like to see in your learning environment. Moonshot thinking: meaningful, innovative and fun!

Story-Mapping Activities for The Classroom Using ArcGIS Software

Audience: Grades 7-12

Would your students like to use mapping software to communicate information and solve real-world problems? This workshop focuses on features of effective project based-learning and GIS technology in the classroom. Through hands-on activities, teachers will examine various story maps available to Ontario students in different subject areas. We will discuss ArcGIS software and the production of story maps. Teachers in our session use an educational account on the cloud-based ArcGIS software to create a story-map combining GIS locations, routes, images and text, publishing work online. Participants will learn to develop an open-ended, real-world driving question that is aligned with the learning goals of students. For Canadian Studies teachers 7-12 and other subject areas.

Technology 101 – Digital Tools

Audience: All Grades

Are you interested in learning how to integrate Digital tools in your class? Do you want to get started using GSuite, Office365 or Desire2Learn? Interested in learning about using safe approved Ministry of Education tools such as Mindomo or Pixton Comic Creator? This workshop is for educators who want to learn the basics on how to use these tools to communicate and collaborate with students in innovative ways and enable them to use technology to be creative in their assignments. Educators will learn how to link technology with effective pedagogical principles in order to change instruction to align with 21st Century fluencies in the classroom. Educators will have the opportunity to try a variety of engaging tools with the goal of finding a few to integrate in their class immediately. .

Technology 101 - Practice and Implementation

Audience: All Grades

Technology...what role does it play in your classroom? Are you interested in implementing technology into your curriculum but not sure how to? In this workshop, educators will learn about the past, present, and future of technology and the role that it plays in education. Educators will also be introduced to current tech tools that are being utilized in classrooms. More importantly, educators will have an opportunity to take part in hand-on activities, as well as have discussions about the potential implementation of technology in their practice.

Unlocking the Code: Bringing Coding into the Elementary Classroom (K-8)

Audience: Grades K-8

Coding— you’ve heard about it, but what is it? Should everyone really learn how to code? Coding can stem from fundamental problem solving strategies to complex and advanced algorithm development. Regardless of what our students plan to do in the future, coding allows them to practice inquiry, think deeply and work through problems while thinking in a way they never have before. Not all of our students will become programmers—but all of our students can benefit from learning how to program. In this workshop, teachers will be shown the basics of how to bring coding into the elementary classroom, and shown free, easy to use websites and apps that will allow them to engage their students with coding. This half day workshop focuses on hands-on student problem solving.

Footnote: if a lab is not available for presentation, teachers should be asked to bring their own devices (Chromebooks/tablets/iPads/laptops).

Using Smartphones to Build Literacy and Student Engagement

Audience: Grades 7-12

How often do you demand your students to “Put that cell away!”? We fight technology only to realize that it is a losing battle. Using the philosophy of old judo masters to use your opponent’s strength in your favour, this means using smartphones to engage students in class. Dialogue which start in class can continue after hours and eventually spill into various social media. Students are learning and taking ownership of their education, and your role is more of a facilitator. You will be able to create a safe space for your students, build a sense of trust, and offer choices which will ultimately empower them to create a responsible digital footprint. This workshop offers hands-on activities so please bring your smartphone to class!

Wellness-Health
Mental Health Wellness: Mindfulness for the Modern Teacher

Audience: All Grades

'When we know who we are, we know what we are meant to do.' The focus of this workshop is Mindfulness into Practise, where we explore and deconstruct having a FULL mind to being Mindful. Mindfulness is about deepening our ability to pay attention to the present moment, just as it is. Much of our stress, anxiety and pain is caused by our regrets of the past, our worries of the future and our judgements about the present. We will put into practise several health and wellness strategies, experience mind/body connection and workshop a few techniques which will help us to build healthier more resilient ways of investing and responding to life's challenges, both on a personal and professional level. Be ready to restore, reclaim and reignite. Ready...set...breathe deeply ... as you press pause.

Mindfulness in the Kindergarten Classroom

Audience: Kindergarten

This workshop can be tailored to fit either a half day or full day session. The full day session can include the presentation along with interactive opportunities to experience breathing techniques, brain break activities, meditation, stretching and relaxation, and make and take self-regulation tool kits. This workshop can be combined with the “Outdoor Learning in Kindergarten” workshop.

MINDFUL or MIND FULL? We will explore how we can best support the development of self-regulation and well-being within our Kindergarten children. Our Kindergarten classrooms can be a source of mindful experiences that can nurture our minds and hearts, as we search for the presence of God in our lives. A variety of strategies will be offered to help cultivate kindness, empathy, and acceptance of oneself and others. We will explore breathing exercises, participate in “brain break” activities, and learn ways to calm our minds. We will look at how to cultivate a social emotional learning environment that will instill the foundations of self-regulation skills, mindfulness, and meditation. Belonging & Contributing and Self-Regulation & Well-Being frames will be the primary focus. Together, we will learn how mindfulness can guide children in the cultivation of presence; presence of body, presence of mind, presence of heart and the presence of God in our lives.

You’ve Got To Move It, Move It!!

Audience: Grades K-6

Physical movement in the everyday classroom helps students to stay focused, and it’s fun. Using online tools like GoNoodle, getting up for some structured stretches, beginning the day with Circle, teaching using Lego Serious Play for the Classroom, and using the MindUP Curriculum to help students to understand why movement is so important for the brain are some of the tools and strategies we will try out and talk about for your use in the everyday classroom. Move It!!

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