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The Rookie Teacher


Archive for the ‘AQ course’


Summer Break and Pinterest: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 8 1

Posted on July 16, 2012 by Natasha

Welcome back to The Lounge – we know it’s been a while, but that is the price we pay for being rookies.  Now that the summer is here, it will be our goal to deliver more content, including blogs, podcasts, and interactions on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

For those of you who are reading or listening for the first time…The Lounge is a biweekly podcast brought to you by TheRookieTeacher[dot]ca.

photo: Summer with no Boundaries [Explored!], by: Brandon Christopher Warren, flicrkcc.net

Welcome to our Lounge Summer Series.  On this episode, two RookieTeachers discuss Summer Break and Pinterest.com. We wanted to take a moment to recognize the benefits or summer break and talk about the variety of things teachers (new and experienced) do over the summer months.  It was clear that many teachers rest, relax, rejuvenate, plan, organize, read, spend time with loved ones, take AQ courses, collaborate, and prepare for September.

This week we were happy to hear from our readers and followers of twitter.  We asked: “What do you do with your summer break?” Thank you to all of you who answered – listen in to hear what everyone had to say.

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Summer Break & Pinterest.com

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.  This episode we are focusing on what we do for ourselves, how we prepare for back to school (yes, even in the second week of July).

  • Andrew: Picture note frame (via Pinterest)
  • Natasha: No Name Clips: non-verbal way to get names on those no-name papers (via Pinterest)
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. We will be working this summer to develop some content – what would you like to read about?
  2. Please join our discussions on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  3. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins)
Rookie Teacher Online

We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

Thanks for listening. Join us for our Summer Podcast Series. Topics included will be: More about AQs, Classroom set up, the first day of school, Long Range/Annual Plans, Applying for Jobs, Setting up your Day Book, Developing classroom routines for your first month of school.


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What is Literacy? 1

Posted on July 09, 2012 by Andrew

I am taking the AQ Reading Part 1 over the summer and have decided to blog some of my ideas and the discussion questions being addressed in the course. Our first discussion question was:  Define literacy. Comment on how literacy has changed in the 21st Century and what we as teachers need to consider to be effective literacy instructors due to that change.

Here’s what I think…

I strongly believe that in the traditional sense, literacy can be defined within the realm of reading and writing. However, I believe in the 21st Century we must adopt a more generalized sense of the term, as the mode of literacy changes. I believe in a definition that encompasses the interpretation and creation of communication. We hear of Media Literacy, Critical Literacy, and Technological Literacy. It is the ability to absorb and internalize a message someone is creating (reading) and it is then interpreting that message and creating a response in a variety of forms (writing, oral communication, texting, slogans, etc). In that sense we see Literacy as the ability to infer and interpret images as well as text. In fact Literacy in the broadest sense could be defined as the intake of information, images, signals and then the production of more or new information to be passed on to others.

When we were sitting at my staff meeting yesterday and examining our strategic goal we spent a lot of time discussing a general goal we could apply to JKs to Grade 8s and the connection between image and text as all literacy comes from an image.

clicking away! by eirikso

Clicking away! by eirikso, flickrcc.net

One change in the mode of communication in the 21st Century is the accessibility to a variety of modes of writing.  The Internet and other technology has allowed millions of ideas to be published on a second by second basis with little to supervision or accountability. Even 30 years ago if I had an idea I wanted to write down and show other people I would have to go through the publishing process with countless edits, re-writes and the potential for rejection. In 2012, I can, in less than 10 minutes, share my ideas with the world regardless of validity, quality and restraint. I am by no means criticizing the ability for people to publish their creative, genuine ideas which are truly incredible when you think of all of the things we see on YouTube, Blogs, Facebook on a daily basis. I applaud the accessibility to publish information. However, the concern can exist that we as educators need to teach our students the ability to think critically when looking for information and asking themselves questions like who wrote this, what is their message, which voices are heard or not being heard. We have to teach on the basic level the ability to distinguish fact and opinion in order to ensure our students are able to successfully navigate the massive resources at their digital fingertips. We have to teach children to read for the deeper meaning, which is a daunting task at best.

What is your definition of Literacy?  Comment below, join the discussion on Facebook, or send us a tweet @RookieTeacherCA.

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Being a Rookie means Being Busy 1

Posted on May 03, 2012 by Natasha

3 février 1975 ...  flickr: Môsieur J. [version 7.0.1]

"3 février 1975 ..." || flickr.com: Môsieur J.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

When you’re a Rookie with your 1st class…you’re awfully busy!

<wait for it>

..BUT…

In my opinion – it’s a good thing.

It means you’ve done at least 3 things:

  1. You worked really hard to get a Long Term Occasional or Permanent job (university, more university, AQ courses, resume building, interview prep, volunteering, networking, etc…)
  2. You’re working really hard to engage students in rich learning tasks, foster a love of lifetime learning, build community in your classroom, motivate students to be leaders and collaborate in a variety of subject areas, and reflecting on your practices as a teacher (this lesson worked, this one could have used ____, next time I’ll probably leave out _____, etc…)
  3. You’re maintaining your reputation, building new professional learning networks, and getting involved in your school community

So, if things are a little slow around TheRookieTeacher.ca … you know why… we’re busy little beavers.

We would love to hear your stories…How do you find the new workload? How are you preparing for a new job? Let us know in the comment section below.

ps. please feel free to pass this blog post along to your friends/family members who haven’t seen you in a while (maybe they’ll better understand life as a new teacher)

<See you in The Lounge>

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BEd Alternatives: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 5 5

Posted on January 16, 2012 by Natasha

The Lounge is a biweekly podcast brought to you by TheRookieTeacher[dot]ca.

On this episode, four RookieTeachers discuss Bachelor of Education Alternatives: How are you using your BEd outside the classroom? With special guests Rebecca Jess and Rob Kempson, Natasha and Andrew investigate how Bachelor of Education graduates spend their time working outside of the classroom.  Listen in to learn how Rob manages his time between Occasional Teaching and working in the drama communities in Toronto and how Rebecca’s interest in the arts and summer camping has led her to a full time job as a Summer Camp Director.

Rob Kempson and Rebecca Jess

Guest: Rob Kempson and Rebecca Jess

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Bachelor of Education Alternatives: How are you using your BEd outside the classroom?

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Procedural Writing using Origami
  • Rob: Super Sonic Simon Says
  • Rebecca: Grabbing Attention with Jingles (i.e., Sleep Country; Justin Bieber’s song Baby)
  • Natasha: WallWisher.com
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. Happy New Year! 2012 is going to be a great year for TheRookieTeacher.ca.  Stay tuned, we have LOTS of amazing things planned.
  2. We reached our goal of 100 Likes (and counting) on Facebook.  Thank you for helping us spread the word about our page.  Please continue to share and post questions.
  3. Don’t forget about the great discussions happening on Twitter.  Edutopia with Lisa Dabbs host the #ntchat every Wednesday night from 8-9pm EST on twitter.

Rookie Teacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, Facebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

Thanks again so much to our guests:

Thanks for listening. Join us for our next episode when we discuss Life as a Prep/Rotary/”drop in” Teacher: When you only have 40-60 minutes.

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Professional Development: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 4 0

Posted on January 01, 2012 by Natasha

The Lounge is a biweekly podcast brought to you by TheRookieTeacher[dot]ca.

Pen and Paper note taking

photo: N.Dunn

On this episode, two RookieTeachers discuss professional development. Being a Rookie is exactly what it sounds like – being new – meaning we have lots of energy, fresh ideas, and looking forward to hit a homerun!  Sometimes it helps to put a name or philosophy behind our ideas to help explain ourselves in interviews or during collaboration projects (so that we are using common language), or to provide a foundation/research for what we are doing in the classroom.  After the overwhelming response we had to Marsha’s previous post about AQs, we knew that this topic had to be discussed on The Lounge.

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Professional Development

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Reading Beads
  • Natasha: Partner/Group making strategies (avoid getting left out)
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. Really exciting news – earlier this month we had our first 200+ views/day.  We want to thank everyone who is showing support for our new project.  Thank you for spreading the word and please continue to drop by our site and join in on the discussion.  We look forward to hearing from you soon
  2. Thank you for Liking us on Facebook – we are almost at our 100 person goal!
  3. We want to be your New Teacher Resource – Facebook poll – what are you looking for in a new-teacher website?

Thanks for listening. Join us for our next episode when we discuss BACHELOR OF EDUCATION ALTERNATIVES: How are you using your B.Ed outside the classroom?

We want to hear from you, please comment on the blog, follow us on twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us on Facebook, or send us an email to info@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

Find Natasha (@yoMsDunn) and Andrew (@ABlakeTeach) on Twitter.

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The AQ Race 9

Posted on December 11, 2011 by Marsha

A - alone on the wall  by Eva the Weaver, FlickrCC.nettypewriter key letter Q  by Leo Reynolds

Whether you are a teacher candidate, new to the profession or even a veteran teacher, you probably know, what I call, the “AQ race”. I remember when the push to take AQ (additional qualification) courses began early in my practicum experience.  If you spoke to a new teacher they would tell you that getting your Special Education Part 1 was the key to getting a job, while others began to push the ESL course as a way to market yourself, and still others would promote Reading Part 1.  It wasn’t until talking to a mentor of mine that I was able to step back from “the race” and consider what AQ courses meant to me.

Now, without a boring description of self discovery, I’d love to share my perspective with you in short.  AQ courses are a wonderful way that teachers can become life long learners!  These course offer us an introduction to some of the latest classroom strategies, and better yet a support community.  To rush through a course with the sole intent of using it as a marketing tactic on a resume or point of conversation in an interview simply diminishes the golden value that AQs have to offer.

I look forward to one day enrolling in an AQ course like Reading Part 1 or Technology in the Classroom, when I can take my new learning from one session and apply it the next day to my classroom.  With a community around me that shares in my learning, I’ll seek support, advice and of course share my stories of success and failure.

Coin Question Mark by Sandro PereiraSo, this leads me to asking… What do AQ courses mean to you?  What value do they offer?  Or maybe, you have questions about AQ courses (as I had in teacher’s college, and still have today) and wish to ask them now!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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