The second of the four Edifide district elementary PD days for 2014 is also officially in the books. It was another great day, this time with the North Toronto District grade schools meeting together at Toronto District Christian High. Just over 100 of us explored Project Based Learning (PBL): how it honours kids as image-bearing culture makers, how it might be structured into the school program, how it relates to Differentiated Instruction and assessment, how it might look in our K-8 classrooms. Each participant worked on a project design, again with this driving question:
How can I design projects that accomplish my learning goals and engage kids in culture making?
As support for our own project designs, we leaned heavily on great resources from The Buck Institute for Education and Expeditionary Learning Schools. We also looked at a number of dynamic projects that have been highlighted from our OACS schools in the past year : an urban design project, a Special Olympics project, a water safety project, and a five senses kindergarten project. What do each of these amazing stories have in common? They were all designed by attendees at last summer’s Ontario Christian Teachers Academy. And they represent only four of the twenty three teachers who each has their own implementation story to share.
As a joint partnership among the OACS, Edifide, OCSAA, and HDCH, the Academy is in session again this coming Aug. 18-22, and the 500.00 registration fee has been subsidized by up to 50% for teachers from OACS schools. I’m convinced the Academy is one of the most dynamic (and most affordable) professional learning opportunities in North America. The stories coming out of the Academy speak for themselves. I urged the attendees this last week in Toronto to consider coming. How about you? Intrigued? Come as an individual or a small group with your colleagues to the 2014 Academy’s “PBL Essentials” or “PBL Digging Deeper” streams. You can register today on the Academy’s website.
At our PD day on Friday, we added tables for Special Education teachers and for principals, in addition to the grade groups. And with a bit more encouragement for each teacher to work on his or her own project and support each other through collaboration, we put up significantly more projects in the gallery at the end of the day, offering each other feedback with “I like” and “I wonder” statements. You can see the gallery of the projects below—click on an image to see the posters in full screen.[gallery link=”file” ids=”5712,5714,5711,5715,5716,5718,5719,5720,5721,5722,5723,5724,5725,5726,5728,5729,5730,5731,5732,5733,5734,5735,5717,5713,5727”]
Once again we hope to transfer these project ideas and great gallery feedback into digital copies of each project overview and post them in the eCurriculum groups so that the collaboration and implementation of them can continue! (If you’re a member in eCurriculum, you can access the groups here: (JK/SK, Grades 1/2, Grades 3/4, Grades 5/6, Grades 7/8. If you’re not yet a member of eCurriculum, you can request to join from our homepage).
And, in case you’re curious to see the presentation material (with minor changes from our first design day together in Hamilton), you can check out the Prezi below. I’m really looking forward to round three this coming Friday in Kingston with the Seaway District!