Creating a dialogue about what it’s like to be a new teacher.

The Rookie Teacher


Archive for the ‘Blog’


Technology in the Classroom: The Lounge: Episode 13 0

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  This episode features conversations about technology in the classroom…apps, tech tools, and using technology safely!  Listen in to hear about tips, tricks, must-do activities, and more!  Read the show notes below and don’t forget to download & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes today!

photo: flickrcc.net / aperturismo

photo: flickrcc.net / aperturismo

SHOW NOTES
Each episode features three segments:

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

Topic: Technology in the Classroom

photo: flickrcc.net / LEOL30

photo: flickrcc.net / LEOL30

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: Create a culture of learning/Kids involved with programming 
  • Natasha: Classroom Twitter Account

The Rookie Resource Bank:

photo: flickrcc.net / Spree2010

photo: flickrcc.net / Spree2010

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 want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 12,500 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs - on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ESTJoin me at New Teacher Chat #ntchat
  3. Please join us and 261 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) - we are up to 2881 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!
  6. Watch for our Lounge Express Series – starting soon!

Would you like a BUTTON? Email us and we will send you one :)

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca

RookieTeacher 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!

 

 

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Invitation 0

Posted on July 04, 2013 by Natasha
Truth is revealed as darkness descends

via Flickrcc.net, cindy_k

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer …
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

Shel Silverstein

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Teaching a Combination Class: The Lounge: Episode 12 0

Posted on May 07, 2013 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha join up for the long awaited return of The Lounge Podcast.  It has been a while, but as many of you know, life as a teacher is hard work…and can be quite busy too!  This episode features conversations about life as a combination/split grade teacher.  Listen in to hear about tips, tricks, must-do activities, and more!  Read the show notes below and don’t forget to download & subscribe to the podcast on iTunes today!

Photo via: Sanya Khetani, articles.businessinsider.com

SHOW NOTES
Each episode features three segments:

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

Topic: Teaching a Combination Class

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: Inside/Outside Circles or Concentric Circles
  • Natasha: Food Bin

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.

  • Andrew: Ontario Curriculum Unit Planners (link)
  • Natasha: Knowing What Counts Series (Anne Davies)

Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 10,000 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST
  3. Please join us and 248 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 2742 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!
  6. Watch for our Lounge Express Series – starting soon!

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca

RookieTeacher 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!

 

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Natasha joins Lisa Dabbs for Classroom 2.0 Live Webinar 0

Posted on April 15, 2013 by Natasha

webinar set upThis past Saturday (April 13/13), Natasha [@yoMsDunn] joined New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) founder Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul), and co-moderators Jamie Vandergrift (@JamieVanderG) & Dean Mantz (@dmantz7) to discuss the benefits of building a PLN and participating in Twitter chats (like the ever popular, #ntchat).

If you missed joining us on Saturday, you can listen to iTunes Audio ow.ly/k5J9j & watch iTunes Video ow.ly/k5JaV.

Thanks to Classroom 2.0 Live for allowing us to participate.

 

 

 

 

Webinar Screen Shot

From Classroom 2.0 Live‘s website:

Join us for this show where Lisa Dabbs and a couple of teachers from her New Teacher Team will share their experiences mentoring new teachers in the New Teacher Community and weekly Twitter Chat (#ntchat). About Lisa: Lisa is an Education Consultant, Speaker, Presenter, Resident Blogger/Social Media Marketing Support/Group Moderator for Edutopia.org. ( Also a wife and a mom.) She was a former Elementary School Principal with a B.A. in Child Development and a M.Ed in Educational Administration. She started her career as a Kindergarten teacher then was promoted to Project Director of a Language and Literacy program. She served as an elementary school principal for 14 years…a challenging position that she really loved! During that time she recruited, hired, trained and mentored over 200 new and veteran teachers at her school sites where she observed the power of mentorship in teaching success. She is a recent employee for Kaplan K-12 Educational Corporation as a Middle School Instructional Literacy Coach in Los Angeles Unified and was newly appointed as Vice President for Literacy on her local non-profit board. Lisa blogs at http://teachingwithsoul.com She founded (and moderates) a chat for New and Pre-Service Teachers on Twitter: #ntchat. The chat occurs every Wednesday at 5PM PDT/8PM EDT. It’s supportive and practitioner-focused with discussions that resonate with new teachers in the field. Classroom 2.0 LIVE is an opportunity to gather with other member of the community in regular “live” web meetings. Special thanks for this go to our sponsor, Blackboard Collaborate, for providing the service that allows us to do this! Details to join the webinar: http://live.classroom20.com Follow us on Twitter: #liveclass20 Thanks so much for being a part of this community!

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From all of us on The Rookie Teacher Team 0

Posted on December 23, 2012 by Natasha

We Wish You A Very Happy Holidays!

Scout and Lucy by the Tree

Happy Holidays from Scout & Lucy

We would like to take this time to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.  For some this is known as ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’  Last week on #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul), we spoke about what it meant to be #grateful at this time of year (archives).  The Rookie Team would like to take this time to thank everyone for reading the blog, listening to The Lounge Podcast, joining the discussion on Twitter & Facebook, and Following our Pins on Pinterest.

Our readers have made 2012 a great year!

Thank you, we are humbled and grateful for your support.

We couldn’t leave you without some food for thought over the break…here are  3 Quick Tips for rookies and veteran teachers alike:

  1. Rest up & Rejuvenate: you don’t have to pay big money to rest & relax…have a nap, find a good book, sleep in, spend time with family and friends, have another nap, catch up over a beverage or two, sleep, nap, sleep, and nap
  2. Read a book for PD: as Rookies, it’s tough to catch a break, we are always so eager to continue learning and developing our strategies and classroom routines – if you must think about work over the break – grab an EDU, children’s, or young adult book (we recommend: Words That Start With B by Vikki VanSickle, Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith, Tribes by Seth Godin, The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, Guiding Readers: Making the Most of the 18-minutes Guided Reading Lesson by Lori Jamison Rog …)
  3. Recharge: this may seem a lot like #1…but it is so critical for new teachers to keep up the energy we give off at school.  Sleep, rest, and gather new energy to make 2013 the best it can be!
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Bits From Books: A Thought Experiment 0

Posted on November 25, 2012 by Sarah

“Can a stable, fair, and peaceful world be created in practice — and in time? Can people change their thinking and behavior from today’s selfish and self-centered material-gain and power-oriented wats to cooperative and sustainable ways? The answer is yes: through conscious change by a critical mass. But can conscious change be embraced by a critical mass before current trends and problems become intractable? The answer is still yes: by accelerating the spread of the consciousness that’s already emerging at society’s creative edge. The rapid spread of an evolved consciousness is a basic precondition of moving toward and effective and timely WorldShift.”

Ervin Laszlo, WorldShift 2012, p.71

“A handbook for conscious change that could transform the current world crisis into planetary renewal.”

 

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Earth Charter Chats 0

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Sarah

Have you seen the Earth Charter?

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

photo by: digital_trash, via flickrcc.net

How are you discussing global citizenship in your class? The charter is available in many languages, please consider using it in literacy, science, social sciences, art. Even in math we can calculate how much waste we are making, how much populations are growing, the decline of resources. Ecology must be embedded within our teaching, we can’t wait for it to be mandated in the curriculum. We will need future generations to think creatively about upcoming problems. As mass media and globalization connect people, we still must maintain our preserve our diversity in the web of life.

Never underestimate the difference one person can make. Always be open to be surprised by the possibilities of your students.

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Bits from Books: Trans-local learning 0

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Sarah

“Suppose that there are no universal solutions to global problems — like poverty, hunger, or environmental destruction. Suppose that the kind of large-scale systems change that many of us have been yearning for emerges when local actions get connected globally — while preserving their deeply local culture, flavor and form. What if people working at the local level were able to learn from one another, practice together, and share their knowledge — freely and fluidly — with communities anywhere? This is the nature of trans-local learning, and it happens when separate, local efforts connect with each other, then grow and transform as people exchange ideas that together give rise to new systems with greater impact and influence.”

From Walk  Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now - Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze

photo by: Stuck in Customs, via flickrcc.net

Each one of us in our classrooms, schools, neighbourhoods, communities, nations can make such a difference. We may not know the answers, a plan, an end goal, but we will figure it out, together. Assumptions like the experts have the answers, we mustn’t fail, there’s no time for experimenting, we need power and governments to change, have been internalized by a dominant worldview that sees people as parts of a working machine. Power in this system is unquestioned. But we need creativity, pleasure, laughter, trial and error, growth. We need to learn and relearn our responsibilities to each other and to the Earth. Walk Out Walk On explores communities from Mexico to India, from Columbus, Ohio to Johannesburg, South Africa who are inventively creating healthy and resilient communities that bring people together with love, care and play. Refreshing examples, encouraging words and a positive, inspiring book to help motivate us all. No one is coming to help, we are part of the solution.

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Setting up a Solid Literacy Program: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 10 2

Posted on August 17, 2012 by Natasha
"Gumby Reader" photo by N.Dunn

“Gumby Reader” photo by N.Dunn

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha are joined by a talented teacher and wise educator, Lisa Harkness.  Lisa teaches grade 1 in SW Ontario, Canada.  She attended teachers college in Scotland and taught there for three years before returning home.  She has her Reading Specialist, and is passionate about literacy, providing her students with authentic learning experiences and differentiated instruction.  Her passion for literacy is just one of the many reasons we asked her to join us today on The Lounge.  Listen in to hear about what a solid literacy program looks like, tips to get started, and creative ways to integrate cross-curricular connections.

Oh yeah, and Lisa is an expert in Read Aloud books!  Tweet her if you’re looking for a great book (based on subject, interest, topic, or grade level).

Many thanks to our guest Lisa Harkness who took time out of a nice summer day to Skype in with us.  Your wisdom and openness to collaborate with new teachers is very much appreciated by The Rookie Team, our readers, and our listeners.  We wish you the very best in teaching.  Read On!

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

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

Topic: Setting up a Solid Literacy Program

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: Schedule wisely: plan ‘downtime’ for you & your students
  • Natasha: Pencil bins>”sharp/dull” (similar to this pin) (*note* searching “sharp pencils” on Pinterest will find multiple creative ways to display your pencil bins)
  • Lisa: Magnet clips to display student writing (also, see these ideas 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
"Kookaburra on the line" photo by: aussiegall

“Kookaburra on the line” photo by: aussiegall

  1. Natasha has been asked to co-moderate the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs - Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST (watch the @RookieTeacherCA twitter feed or follow @teachingwthsoul & @yoMsDunn for more information)
  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) - we are up to 1688 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

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!

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Summer Learning Loss 0

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Lauren

A Canadian study has revealed that summer learning loss is not an equal opportunity issue. According to the research, kids from high income families experience increased reading levels while kids from low income families experience decreased reading levels over the summer months.

I strongly encourage you to check out the entire article: Summer Widens Rich/Poor Learning Gap

photo credit: besteducationapossible.blogspot.com

These results may seem obvious at first, but the research is valuable because it raises the questions WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT? and WHAT CAN WE DO DIFFERENTLY IN SEPTEMBER TO EVEN OUT THE PLAYING FIELD?

Considerations: summer program availability/ cost, support for parents, school/school board/community/private initiatives, neighbourhood demographics.

The Toronto Star article cites summer literacy camps as an effective way to reduce the summer loss of children from low income families. Unfortunately it seems as though access to these programs is limited and inequitable. For example, in the Halton region I have not heard of any free/low cost summer literacy programs for students; even after a bit of digging I came up with nothing. It is very possible that such programs do exist, but if they are not widely known or easy to find then I would suggest that they are ineffective. Other regions have excellent programs. The Brantford Public Library has been running a 100% free math and literacy program for over 20 years. The library hires university students to provide 1:1 summer tutoring. Each region has it’s own programs; what is available for students in your area?

The Rookie Teacher would love to hear from you. Please join the discussion by adding your comment. Let us know – What will you be doing in the 2012/2013 school year to overcome summer learning loss? How can teachers support low income families to increase literacy skills in our students? What programs are available in your school/school board/community?

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