Edvance Annual Gathering 2021 - Friday | Edvance Christian Schools Association
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Edvance Annual Gathering 2021 - Friday

October 29th, 2021

Edvance Annual Gathering - Specialist Conferences

Friday, October 29, 2021

Research reveals that the best professional learning opportunities are active, collaborative, role-specific, and build in time for ongoing support during implementation.

With this aim, day two of the Edvance Annual Gathering provides interactive, role-specific specialist conferences led by experts in a variety of topics. Read on for information about the specialist conferences offered.

Registration Fee

Cost for Edvance Affiliate School educators = $100 +HST per participant

Cost for educators in non-affiliate schools = $150 +HST per participant

Conference Topics

Choose from one of the following specialist conferences, facilitated by expert educators:

  • Great math tasks, effective instructional strategies, and the new math curriculum – let’s put it all together!!
  • Student Support Services (Resource & Special Education)
  • Shared Agency and Classroom Culture: Equipping Students to Speak Into Their Own and Others' Learning
  • Physical Education Workshops
  • God’s Great Story: Reading the Bible with Hope and Wonder
  • Introduction to Critical Pedagogy      

Please note that the agenda and schedule may vary between sessions. See below for details.

Great math tasks, effective instructional strategies, and the new math curriculum – let’s put it all together!!

This session will focus on some fundamental mathematical ideas and provide sample tasks for all grades that are engaging and provide multiple entry points for all students. We will incorporate a discussion of effective instructional and assessment strategies to provide students opportunities to develop deep understanding when engaged in these tasks. All of this work will make connections to the new math curriculum for students in K – 9! Teachers will walk away with ideas and materials to use in their classrooms.


9:00 am – 10:15 am        Session 1

10:15 am – 10:30 am      Break

10:30 am – 11:45 pm       Session 2

11:45 pm – 12:15 pm     Break for Lunch

12:15 pm – 1:10 pm        Session 3

1:10 pm – 1:15 pm          Break

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm          Session 4

Facilitator: Christine Suutamm

Dr. Christine Suurtamm is a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Ottawa and began her career as a secondary math teacher and department head. Her research focuses on the complexity of mathematics teaching. She has been Lead Researcher on several large-scale research projects and has won many awards for both research and teaching. Most recently she was the Adviser to the Ontario Ministry of Education for the new elementary mathematics curriculum and the Grade 9 destreamed curriculum.

Student Support Services (Resource & Special Education)

Join us Friday, October 29 for a morning of Check-in, Challenge, and Cheer. Connect and learn from other student support educators and learn from visiting experts. Whether you are a seasoned staff person or new to your role, this will be time well spent to offer your own wisdom and glean new ideas from others. Our time together will include an opening address, breakout rooms with specific topics, and presentations on assessment and specific student support tips. Registered attendees will be encouraged to submit questions ahead of time to help shape the presentations and breakout room topics. We want this time to be helpful and encouraging.


9:00 am – 10:15 am        Session 1: After Assessment: What’s the Next Step? Dr. Kimberly Maich and Dr. Carmen Hall

When a student is assessed, the recommendations and insight offered may be overwhelming to both the school and family. Dr. Kimberly Maich and Dr. Carmen Hall will share next steps on how to implement assessments into the learning environment. They welcome questions, and there will be time built into their presentation for engagement and discussion.  

10:15 am – 10:30 am      Break

10:30 am– 11:45 pm       Session 2: Paraeducator Training: Guidelines and Recommendations All Belong Centre for Inclusive Education

Providing support for our students through paraeducators (includes EAs and PSWs) is a wonderful way to build connection between students, their learning and their peers. All Belong Centre for Inclusive Education will provide a mini-training session for paraeducators and student support services staff. This will also include time for schools to share best practices with each other.  

11:45 pm – 12:30 pm     Break for Lunch

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm        Session 3: Round Table: How Can We Help Each Other? Tips, Tools and Suggestions

We invite all student support services staff to a virtual round table with the intention of both offering and asking for insight & ideas. Whether you are a seasoned educator or brand-new to your position, this will be a time to connect and learn from each other. When we collaborate, our students are the ones who ultimately benefit – and it is our collective desire to see our students flourish according to their capacity and capability.

Facilitator: Sara Pot

Read Sara's bio

Shared Agency and Classroom Culture: Equipping Students to Speak Into Their Own and Others' Learning

Teachers want their students to feel a sense of belonging and empowerment in their classes. How do we foster a collective commitment to engagement and empathy? What does a "we" classroom look like? What are some classroom practices that can equip students with a shared language so that all students are able to offer meaningful, kind, helpful, specific feedback? This workshop will offer teachers an experience with a mini project that will serve as a model for how to use strategies like learning teams, success criteria, and exemplars to foster a classroom culture of care.

Agenda: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, with breaks

Audience: Grades 4-12 teachers

Facilitator: Karin Boonstra

Karin Boonstra has been a high school English teacher for over 25 years. She is currently teaching at Hamilton District Christian High and is working to complete her Master's Degree in Classroom Innovation at the Institute for Christian Studies.

Physical Education Workshops

Agenda: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Workshop 1: Physical Literacy: Physical Education classes are important places for students to develop the physical competence, so they feel competent to move in life, and with that confidence develop the motivation to further develop their physical competence... We will be using videos and explanation to demonstrate activities that help develop skills involving manipulative sending, manipulative receiving, and manipulative retention skills.

Workshop 2: Teaching Games for Understanding: Recent approaches to TGfU have advocated for a thematic approach to teaching games. Rather than teaching sport-specific units (e.g., volleyball unit, soccer unit), children and youth gain skills and knowledge to apply to different sports by playing a variety of games associated with 4 game categories. We will be using videos and explanations to demonstrate activities in the four TGfU areas:

  • Target Games in which the participant propels an object, preferably with a high degree of accuracy, at a target.
  • Net/Wall Games in which the participant propels an object into space trying to make it difficult for an opponent to return it.
  • Striking/Fielding Games in which the participant strikes an object so it is placed away from defenders in the field.
  • Territory Games in which participants invade an opponent's territory to score.

Workshop 3: Integrating Other Subject Areas in Physical Education: Physical Education has its own curricular expectations. However, some of these expectations can be met or reinforced through other curricular areas, and other curricular areas can have some of their expectations met or reinforced in Physical Education Classes. We will be using videos and explanations to demonstrate some of these activities, with a significant emphasis on mathematics.

Facilitator: John Byl

John Byl, PhD, is the Canadian Gopher Sport Educational Consultant, was president of CIRA Ontario (2003-2018), and a professor of Physical Education at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario (1986-2014). Dr. Byl has authored or coauthored over 30 books and is the winner of several professional awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for promoting physical activity across Canada. He is a regular workshop leader and has a special interest in promoting fun, active participation for all children and developing and maintaining personal wellness.

God’s Great Story: Reading the Bible with Hope and Wonder

This conference aims to support teachers in the unique challenges and opportunities to Bible instruction. How do we share the Bible with a diverse student population? How do we engage students who feel they have heard it all? How can we invite students into a vibrant understanding of the grand narrative of scripture? What skills will my students need to continue their learning when they leave my classroom?

Join us as we discuss the theory and practices of teaching the Bible as literature, developing curiosity, close reading, and connecting the diverse stories in the Bible into the big story that leads to Jesus. There will be a lot to think about AND protocols and activities that you can do with your Bible students right away.

Agenda: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, with breaks

Co-Facilitator: David Grills

David Grills has been a teacher in Ontario Christian schools for 15 years. He is currently a Bible teacher at Hamilton District Christian High, and has worked for Christian Schools International as a lead teacher and coach for the Bible Symposium. David uses technology like Google Classroom, Edpuzzle, Twitter, Gather, and more to enhance the learning of his students. He is an MAEL candidate at the Institute of Christian Studies.

Co-Facilitator: Heidi Dean

The creative challenge of finding new ways to bring concepts to life in students’ hearts and minds is what Heidi Dean truly enjoys about teaching. As CSI's Curriculum and Instruction Bible Specialist, Heidi is motivated to collaborate with teachers who are seeking further professional development in Bible instruction.

Heidi was the lead writer for the second editions of CSI’s high school Bible curriculum, God’s Unfolding Kingdom and Hope of the Kingdom. In her role at CSI, she answers pedagogical questions regarding the K–12 CSI Bible Curriculum, as well as providing training on features, benefits, and best practices.

Introduction to Critical Pedagogy

Events in the last few years have brought difficult, polarizing issues to the forefront of the news media. We hear about atrocities committed at Residential schools, police brutality, and hate crimes. As educators, what do we do? Together, we will take a hard journey to examine ourselves and learn more about critical pedagogy. We will learn ways to work towards restorative justice by representing our students, representing others, and having hard discussions. As Christian educators seeking to prepare our students to be neighbours to all, critical pedagogy can help us reach that goal.

Agenda: 9:00 am - 12:30 pm, with breaks

Co-facilitator: Melissa Semplonius

Melissa has worked as an educator as JKCS Oakville for the past 14 years. A brief stint as a language learner and recent work in the Language and Literacies Education department at OISE inspired a passion for critical pedagogy. She sees it as a way to hear all voices and the best way to show God’s love to those outside of our school communities.

Co-facilitator: Stacey Voorberg

Stacey has worked within the Christian school system for the past 13 years and is currently at JKCS Oakville. Over the past 9 years she has volunteered on a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario running a summer camp and youth leadership program. As she developed a passion for indigenous voices to be heard and journeyed through her master’s program, she saw critical pedagogy as a way to build diversity of all cultures throughout the curriculum so every voice can be heard.