This year has certainly been full of unknowns. We are working with an expired contract. Reorganization happens with my board late in September. Just as I successfully created a smooth flow and eager learning with my students, my assignment was jostled around. As a teacher, I’m flexible with changes. As a human I struggle with change.
As my grade 7/8 class finished handing in their Cell and Ecosystem models, I was moved to a different teaching assignment. The Cell and Ecosystem unit was completed after students learned how to complete timelines, flow charts and word webs. These graphic organizers were used as the research component for building their models.
Barrie Bennett has conducted some thorough research about different types of graphic organizers and written the resource, “Graphic Organizers”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVasHWQo28c This is a useful tool to help students develop their research skills and present their understanding in an organized in depth way. Many of my science ideas were gathered from teachers at ETFO’s Summer Academy and NSTA annual presentations. Some of the resources I gathered and continue to draw my instructional ideas from, are designed and written by ETFO teachers. “Take a Closer Look, A Media Literacy Resource” and “The Power of Story” are both excellent resources with lessons which can be easily adapted for todays quickly changing world.
I am now using my mental health and wellness skills and knowledge to provide support in other areas of the school population. One of the wonderful resources I am using is the fiction story, “Blue Gold” by Elizabeth Stewart. This story brings many areas of social justice to the forefront. While introducing curriculum content of Language Arts and Health, research and discussions are easier when students can connect to life stories of youth from around the world.
To compliment this with local stories, I have introduced, “Speaking the Truth. A Journey of Reconciliation”. http://orcabook.com/speakingourtruth/ While I am becoming educated around indigenous issues I have found myself reflecting and relating to many important issues. Monique Gray Smith presents a fantastic tool for these learning purposes. The joy of teaching for me is also learning and adapting my lessons in an engaging way.