Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Power of Yet

First grade reading - small group breakoutPhoto: Flickr by woodleywonderworks

As a fan of Carol Dweck, especially her research and books on Growth Mindset, I really enjoyed getting know who C.J. Luckey was via an e-newsletter. (Love his last name!) What a great experience to have a hip-hop artist and teacher (C.J.’s wife) combine their perspectives on growth mindsets and develop a down to earth musical extravaganza as way to reach students (and even teachers).

I had never heard of C.J., but to read about his experiences (see Mindset Works’ blog) just drew me in to his new E.P. entitled C.A.P.S. (Celebrating All Persevering Students).

The growth mindset has been a blessing to me. In many ways it has inspired me to change my perspective in life. The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice. Learning is a choice I want to be intentional about making every day. 

~ C.J. Luckey

Using his gift of music, C.J. is teaching students some powerful growth mindset concepts in the learning environment. I especially like the simplicity of the message in the first song – The Power of Yet.


What do you think of C.J.’s message? How do you think students would react to this video? Do you think that they could come up with a multimedia message themselves (audio, video, poster, GSlide presentation, dance, meme, etc.) to share what they know about a growth mindset?


Get Techy w/AR, Lingro, Keyboarding


keyboard dogCheck out a few different tools that will engage students in innovative ways will building on content knowledge.

  • Augmented reality (AR) which is the layering of data of three-dimensional spaces brings some interesting opportunities for learning. Check out Quiver Masks, a brand new app from QuiverVision that combines AR with face-tracking so that students can design and decorate their own masks and hats. Think of all the stories, ideas and connections to the curriculum that can be made with these alone! (Never mind all the other Education packs that are available as well!)

From digital literacy to taking websites and making them into a clickable dictionary (more augmentation!) with:

  • Lingro – where students type or copy/paste a web address into the text box on the Lingro website and go to that site. Lingro then instantly turns the text on that website into a clickable dictionary. Go ahead, try it!

To Type or Not to Type….that is no longer a question but a must-have in this century!

  • Keyboarding opportunities can be for early learners too. Check out the Gamify Keyboarding Skills article and then go to the TypeTastic typing platform to see for yourself.
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


How do I know that my support, research, and information is having an impact on staff/student learning?

Throughout the school year I will share on this blog:

1) my evidence from school sites

2) and how I am moving the learning forward for colleagues

I’ve already spoken briefly about it earlier this month in Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why?.

Based on draft TQS July 2016, I have chosen the following competencies and indicators:


Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge

A teacher applies a current and comprehensive repertoire of effective planning, instruction, and assessment practices to meet the learning needs of every student.

  • incorporate a range of instructional strategies, including the appropriate use(s) of digital technology, according to the context, content, desired outcomes and the learning needs of students;
  • incorporate digital technology and resources, as appropriate, to build student capacity for: – acquiring, applying and creating new knowledge; – communicating and collaborating with others, – critical-thinking; and – accessing, interpreting and evaluating information from diverse sources;
  • provide a variety of methods through which students can demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • provide accurate, constructive and timely feedback on student learning;

Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

A teacher establishes, promotes and sustains inclusive learning environments where diversity is embraced and every student is welcomed, cared for, respected and safe.

  • using appropriate universal and targeted strategies and supports to address students’ strengths, learning challenges and areas for growth;
  • recognizing and responding to specific learning needs of individual or small groups of students and, when needed, collaborating with service providers and other specialists to design and provide targeted and specialized supports to enable achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • providing opportunities for student leadership.


For both competencies, my…


  • Acknowledge the diverse needs and contributions of all
  • Access resources, services, information and collaboration opportunities
  • Hone academic, social/emotional and physical skills through knowledge-building, creativity and innovation
  • Utilize a variety of resources, technologies and spaces to support learning for teachers, leaders and students through thoughtful instructional design and collaboration as well as effective assessment of learning
  • Model and share learning experiences to empower real-world and relevant learning experiences
  • Refine instruction for essential digital literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills
  • Develop opportunities for staff learning and innovation to be demonstrated, shared and showcased
  • Build staff capacity to ensure sustainability and attainment of PSD/School Ed Plan/Tech goals
  • Advocate for the essential and effective uses of technology
  • Explore and connect personalized learning while embracing the use of digital literacies and skills to empower independent learners
  • Assist staff in taking ownership of their digital rights and responsibilities in building their digital skills


  • Learning Services  and IT Teams
  • Senior Exec
  • Admin Teams
  • Inclusive Education Leads
  • Collaborative Teaching Partners
  • Frameworks: Fierce Conversations, Cognitive Coaching, Bucket Filling, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking, Universal Design for Learning
  • Listservs: QIAT, ATLE, ORC
  • Alberta Education, School Technology Branch
  • PLN
  • ERLC Advisory Committees
  • ATLE and ATLE ProLearn
  • ISTE and TCEA
  • Frameworks: TPACK, SAMR, UDL, DI, RTI, SETT, LTPF
  • Twitter feeds and weekly chats (#edchat, #atchat, #edtech)
  • Blogs
  • 2Learn
  • GSuite Apps for Education


  • Ongoing
  • Monthly meetings: Lead Team, ERLC CoP, Inclusive Education Leads, Learning Services Team


Indicators of Success

  • Contribution to Learning Services work is recognized
  • Learning Services Team work plan is moving PSD Vision, Mission and Commitment Statements forward as per Admin meetings, PSD Voice, Student Advisory Committee
  • Learning Services Team incorporate the LTPF throughout their work with staff
  • Staff utilizing, documenting success and sharing how they are using technology in learning, for efficiency, etc.
  • Marked improvement between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 ET/IT survey with Admin
  • Well attended training, PL and PD sessions with follow up work with staff




Design Challenge: Create an Inclusive Playground/Theme Park


“Children with disabilities are often excluded from, or restrained in, play activities because of the physical barriers of play structures and the surrounding environment” (Ripat & Becker, 2012).  According to the United Nations, 10% of the world’s population has a disability.  Canada and the United States report the rate of disability closer to 20%.  It was reported that only 17 parks and playgrounds in British Columbia were identified as being fully accessible (Accessible Playgrounds, 2014).


Design Rationale

Canada is often described as being a civil society.  We pride ourselves in our inclusion of others and our respect of diversity.  However, 1 in 7 Canadians are excluded from enjoying our playgrounds and municipal parks.  We need to revisit the notion of accessibility and ensure our play areas are inclusive for all users, including the disabled and the elderly.  


Problem Scenario

Your team has been selected to develop a prototype of a structural element or component of a playground that is inclusive, safe, fun, and engaging.  It needs to foster fitness, flexibility, and a joy of play.  Your team needs to consider issues of mobility, access, sensory challenges, etc.


Your playground structure must be a small-scaled prototype of a structural element or component that could be found in a playground or theme park. It must satisfy two of the following identified concerns:

  • Be accessible for someone with mobility issues
  • Be accessible for users of variable heights / sizes
  • Be accessible for someone with sensory issues
  • Be accessible for someone with cognitive challenges
  • Enjoyable for users of all ages

Success will be determined by

  • Uniqueness
  • Alignment of the prototype with the design sketch
  • Ability of your item to help the user enjoy play
  • Ergonomic design
  • Colorfulness to match environment and attract users
  • Intriguing enough to hold users’ attention
  • Degree to which it Is intuitive to all users
  • Functionality
  • Ease of long term maintenance
  • Alignment to design motto: “Make it smaller, stronger, do more, be easier to use, be cheaper, be clean, be greener”


  • You must use some of all the items in tool kit in some way  
  • You must consider how to make your prototype colourful, intriguing and ergonomic.
  • You must prepare a group display which includes your design notes, your design thinking sketches and your prototype.

For teacher’s please read through the Facilitator Guide.

And here is the Napkin handout, the Placemat handout. (These resources were accessed from Innovative Learning Centre’s Taking Making into Classrooms.)

BELOW is an ingenious theme park, this video may be shown before the challenge or after. Is this theme park inclusive?


Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why

In May of this year, I wrote about The Elusive Why: Yours and Theirs, and today I continue this stream of thought with looking at the HOW but really to need to KNOW YOUR WHY. Whether this wny is personal or professional there are some important pieces that we need in place in order to find our “calling”, our “passion” or the reason why we get up in the morning every day.

Just taking time throughout the week to look at the upcoming personal/professional activities is important. Yet, having some sort of growth plan will allow for these weekly overviews to connect and make sense with your BIG goals. With this “big picture” plan of personal/professional life in place, we can begin to make incremental changes in our daily habits and routines, and our life will start to change. If you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, definitely check it out!

As well, watch Michael Jr’s short video clip on this topic. It’s a video definitely worth showing your colleagues, family, friends and even students.

Now it’s my time to work on my annual Teacher Professional Growth Plan. As per my teacher organization (Alberta Teacher’s Association), “developing the plan is a professional function through which teachers demonstrate their commitment to lifelong professional learning while fulfilling their regulatory requirement pertaining to continuing education. The key components of developing the plan found in the policy governing growth plans states a teacher’s annual growth plan shall:

  • Reflect goals and objectives based on an assessment of learning needs by the individual teacher
  • Show a demonstrable relationship to the Teaching Quality Standard
  • Take into consideration the educational plans for the school, school board and Alberta Education”

I hope this inspired some conversation on your part!


My #oneword for 2017


Pop-up Polyhedrons with Quiver Lesson

Students love to interact with their learning environment and getting them to use the Quiver iOS app with some polyhedron pages is just the thing to get them excited about Math solids.



Quiver iOS app installed on iPads/iPods for student use

Print off one copy of the Platonic Solids Starter and color the solids. Print off several copies of each of the polyhedrons (enough for your class with extras) from Quivervision Platonic Solids.

Crayons and/or markers.

Ability to video students.



Alberta Curriculum – Mathematics grades 3-6

Describe the characteristics of 3D objects and 2D shapes and analyze the relationships, position and motion of these objects and shapes.


U.S. Common Core Math Standards

Geometry – grades 3-6


Guiding Questions

  • What do I want my students to learn?
  • What can my students currently understand and do?
  • What do I want my students to understand and be able to do, based on the Big Ideas and specific outcomes/standards?


Big Ideas between Shapes and Objects

  • 3-D objects and 2-D shapes can be analyzed according to their attributes.
  • 3-D objects and 2-D shapes with similar attributes can be grouped together into classes of shapes.
  • 3-D objects can be analyzed, grouped and defined based on the number and shape of faces and the number of edges and vertices.
  • There are relationships between the number and shape of the faces of a 3-D object, and the number of its edges and vertices.
  • By thinking about the particular attributes of a class of 2-D shapes and the relationships between those attributes, students begin to generalize about shapes, assign shapes to particular classes and construct definitions of classes of shapes.
  • There are mathematical conventions that govern how 2-D shapes are classified and named. One important attribute by which 2-D shapes are classified is the number of sides.
  • Congruency and symmetry are geometric properties. These properties can be used to determine what makes some shapes alike and different.


Achievement Indicators

The following indicators may be used to determine whether or not students have met this outcome. Can students:

  • identify the faces, edges and vertices of polyhedrons?
  • identify the shape of the faces of a polyhedron?
  • determine the number of faces, edges and vertices of a polyhedron?
  • color a skeleton of a polyhedron, and use the Quiver iOS app to describe how the skeleton relates to the polyhedron?
  • sort the Quivervision Platonic Solids according to the number of faces, edges or vertices?
  • classify the Quivervision Platonic Solids according to the number of sides?


Time: 90 minutes or 2 lessons of 45 minutes each.


Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

  • Teacher colors the Platonics Solids Starter sheet ahead of time and uses the Quiver iOS app to augment the solids on the sheet to show students. (5 mins.)
  • Have students write or discuss orally what is different about each polyhedron prior to coloring and augmenting them. (15 mins.)


Instructional Strategy – Time to Play!

  • Have enough sheets printed off so that students can choose at least one polyhedron to color of their choice.
  • If possible, have students move together into groups of three, each with a different polyhedron.
  • In their small group, each student can read aloud about their polyhedron which is printed on their sheet. (15 mins.)
  • Coloring of the actual polyhedron begins! (15-25 mins.)
  • Ideally at least one iPad/iPod with the Quiver iOS app installed should be available for each small group to use to augment their colored polyhedron and make it come to life. (5 mins.)



Using another device, video the student speaking about their polyhedron and using the Quiver app to make it 3D. (25 mins.) Post to the student’s eportfolio, GDrive, or blog.

  • Ask the student to show you an example of a face on their polyhedron.
  • Ask the student to show you an example of a vertex on their polyhedron.
  • Ask the student to show you an example of an edge on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to describe the shape of a face on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to count the number of vertices on their polyhedron.
  • Prompt the student to count the number of edges on their polyhedron.
  • Choose two polyhedrons (one from a classmate) and ask the student to tell you something the same and something different about the shape of some of the faces of the polyhedrons.
  • Choose two objects and ask the student to tell you something the same and something different about the number of vertices or edges of the polyhedrons.


Key Vocabulary

3-D objects

2-D shapes











By sight (not for spelling)








Have students research their polyhedron even further. Where is it found in nature? What is its significance? Some great sites to use: WolframAlpha, Instagrok, Math is Fun, Mathigon