Monday, October 27, 2014

Links for Professional Learning

With the BC wide professional development day this past Friday, many of you have likely spent the last few days fully engaged in conferences, workshops or other learning opportunities around the province. In the spirit of continued learning, I’m including some links below to interesting articles, resources or tidbits of information we’ve explored recently:

·         In her article “Pre-Reading Strategies for Picture Books” from Canadian Teacher Magazine, Brenda Boreham highlights the beautiful new book Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice, by Kwakwaka’wakw author Terri Mack and Tsimshian artist Bill Helin. As Boreham points out, this story can support a variety of units of study, such as the seasons, solar system, friendship and courage, while building on aboriginal ways of knowing in the classroom.
·         The Whole Education Network, based in England, is “a partnership of like-minded schools, organisations and individuals that believe that all young people should have a fully rounded education, developing the knowledge, skills and qualities needed to help them thrive in life and work.” This school year a pilot group of 20 lead schools in England will be using the Spiral of Inquiry as the framework for their efforts to advance outcomes for all their learners.
·         At the last NOII Symposium, Richelle Ouimet and Ashley Barker shared their learning in Growing Digital and Global Citizens through Online Literature. This was a multi school inquiry project using digital technology. See their presentation here (starting from the 2nd video on the page), as well as other inquiry projects here.
·         Particularly for those that teach in a rural setting, visit and explore this “Rural Commons.” There are a wealth of resources, videos and links to innovative projects happening around the province.
·         Check out the recent Conference Board of Canada’s report How Canada Performs – A Report Card on Canada. This is a comparative study examining Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society in sixteen peer countries. British Columbia ranks third overall, after Japan and Finland, in the latest Education and Skills report card. 

Please contact us with other ideas for resources, links, articles that you think should be shared with network members.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Strong Nations opens new location!

Many of you are familiar with Terri and Ken Mack’s Strong Nations book selling and publishing business, which focuses on Indigenous literature from across Canada, and particularly supporting literacy acquisition for all learners through Indigenous texts.

One of the highlights of break time at the NOII Symposium, and many other conferences, has always been to slowly peruse the wide selection of Indigenous literature that Terri and Ken share with us through their exhibitor booths. It’s an opportunity to chat with colleagues around how they’ve incorporated different books into their classrooms, and learn about new resources, curricular ideas and publishing opportunities.  I have really valued Strong Nations, and Terri and Ken’s suggestions, as a integral part of my professional learning at these events.

That’s why it’s so exciting to announce that Strong Nations has opened a bricks and mortar location in Nanaimo, at Suite 1 – 1970 Island Diesel Way. Check out this announcement in the Nanaimo Daily News. This location will not only showcase a wide breadth of material, it will be a space for supporting and building capacity in the publishing field by providing author and illustrator workshops and events.   

We’ll certainly be visiting their new location very soon, but if you don’t have plans to be in the Nanaimo region in the short term, you can still browse their selection of books and resources through their website and order materials online.

Congratulations to the Strong Nation team!