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Archive for the ‘Collaboration’


Quick Tip For Tomorrow: Snap Cube Factors 0

Posted on February 09, 2015 by Allison Dyjach

We all know that getting students to learn the factors that go into a multiplied product can be a tricky task, and simply writing out a list, reading it out loud, and trying to memorize it by rote is not going to help a student truly understand what this “factor” thing even is. This past week, I was blown away by this seemingly simple task that my mathematics curriculum professor handed to us. With only a set of snap cubes and a number line, my fellow teacher candidates and I were completely engaged in this problem solving activity.

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Phase 1 complete; all of our factors lined up!

First, each group of 4 was given a bag of snap cubes and a number line drawn out on a strip of chart paper. Then, we hear, “blue cubes represent the number 2. Put a blue cube on every number where 2 is a factor.” Simple enough. Next, we move on to green, which is 3, yellow for 4, red for 5, and so on up to 10. We stack all of the cubes on top of each other to make a bright and interactive representation of all of the factors for numbers 1-24.

Now, here is where the brain switches its function and the real application comes in. We are told to keep all of the cubes connected as they are, but shuffle them around and mix them up for a minute, and then…place them back on each correct space, just as they were. This was a little bit more difficult than anticipated, but eventually by working through each number and finding the relationships between the different colours (as well as some prompting questions from the professor…), we were able to get the model back to its original state.

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Phase 2: time for some problem solving!

After leaving class, I knew I had to share this activity. What a rich learning task for students and a great way to dissect what is actually behind a factor and a product. The only way to truly learn and understand math is to manipulate its components, apply them and problem solve with them. I could see an entire lesson being based on this activity, because if it was able to get a bunch of 20-something teacher candidates’ brains working in overdrive, I’m sure it could be just as engaging in a younger classroom.

Do you have any go-to activities when you tackle factors with your students? Would you use this activity in your class? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or send a tweet our way @RookieTeacherCA!

 

Allison Dyjach is a Faculty of Education student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @AllisonDyjach, or follow more of her Bachelor of Education experiences on Instagram @allisondyjach

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Ask a Rookie: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 14 (season 2) 0

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Natasha

rookie-logo-podcastOn today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  But this time, we are joined by Rookie Team Member Sarah Lowes to answer questions from a soon-to-be Faculty of Education student, Allison Dyjach.  She asks us everything from our time at teacher’s college to tips on grade 6 drama to keeping a work-life balance.  

If you have any questions that you would like answered – comment below, send us an email (info@therookieteacher.ca), @reply on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us over on Facebook.

Watch the episode live here, thanks to YouTube & Google On-Air Hangouts or search for the audio podcast on the iTunes Podcast directory.

Whole Class Assessment

Whole Class Assessment, A.Blake

Quick Tip for Tomorrow 

  • Allison: Silent Ball!
  • Andrew: Full class assessment (*note: laminate*)
  • Natasha: Google Drive > Documents > Tools > Research (right within the document!!)
Google Docs Tools Research

Google Docs Tools Research

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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 307 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 850 pins and 3177 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 FREE buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!

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.

Sarah: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @sarlowes.

Allison: Follow on twitter @AllisonDyjach.

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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!

About Allison:

Hi my name is Allison Dyjach and I am in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree in Child, Youth, and Family studies with a minor in Psychology at the University of Guelph. My love for working with children began when I started working at summer camp at 16 and since then I have worked with people of all ages including working as a don in residence, running extracurricular activities for English language learners at my university, and helping to run a recreational therapy program for seniors. I discovered my real passion for education when I had a 6-month practicum placement in a grade 6/7 class which led me to apply for teacher’s college. I currently work full time as a co-op teaching assistant at the Child Care and Learning Centre at the University of Guelph, which is a daycare on campus for children 16 months old to 6 years old.

Her Questions for us:

  • If you had one tip of how to make the most of teacher’s college, what would it be? What do you think is the best way to make the most of the program and experience?
  • During my school placement I always found English a difficult subject to teach. Kids would often give me their pieces that they were working on to proof read, and after reading some of them I knew they didn’t meet the standards of grade 6 writing, but I found it really challenging to essentially teach kids how to be better writers. I could tell them to expand their ideas or write in longer sentences, but that didn’t usually do the trick. Do you have any strategies that you use to improve student’s writing to meet the standards that you’re looking for?
  • From my experiences, when students start to get older in grades 6, 7, and 8 that also means that all of the drama starts in the classroom. Students gossip about each other, exclude people, are friends one day and enemies the next…how do you try to maintain a drama free classroom?
  • Do you have an ideal desk setup in your classroom? Do you always like to keep your students in groups or individual, or does it vary for every class or even for different times of the year?
  • Something I struggled with when I had my teaching placement was bringing my problems from work home with me. When I was working with a student with some serious behaviour difficulties in the class I would find myself getting stressed out about it and spending my nights racking my brain for better strategies to work with them, or if they had a bad day in class it could put me in a bad mood for the entire night. What are some ways to combat bringing that stress home with you and maintaining a proper work-life balance?
  • I always hear from people that as soon as you get into teaching you should work on getting ABQ’s right away. Are there one or two ASQ’s that you absolutely recommend or think are essential for a new teacher to get?

Quick Tip

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Growing & Supporting PLNs 0

Posted on April 18, 2013 by Natasha

**note: this is based on US research**

Recently, I was contacted by Erika Phyall, a member of community relations at USC, who was able to pass along some great research and fantastic #infographic called How to Save Our Educators: The Teacher Turnover Problem.  Here’s what she had to say:

We offer teachers and aspiring educators the opportunity to earn an online Master’s degree in Teaching or Education. My team and I recently launched an infographic, How To Save Our Educators, which gives an overview of the teacher attrition rate problem and possible solutions that can be explored. We understand that having great teachers in the classroom is as much about retaining them as it is about hiring and training them.

What I particularly liked about this was:

1) It was an infographic! [I really need to get the kids making these – what an informative and visually appealing way to share research!]
2) It provides teachers with *solutions* – something that is often missed in research.

Besides the obvious solution….funding…collaboration, mentoring, and professional development are all viable solutions on this list.  If you’re reading this blog, you’re already participating in all three!  The Rookie Team is always here for you.  We will try our best to answer your questions or connect you with the right folks to help.  I also encourage you to continue building your PLN.  It’s so easy to do online (Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, Facebook, and more!) Above all, I would recommend checking out the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) that happens every Wednesday night between 8:00-9:00pm EST.  You can follow this chat two ways: (1) join twitter and the discussion by following the hashtag #ntchat, (2) point your browser to Twitter Chat’s #ntchat feed and read along (this option restricts you from commenting live).

If you would like to get in touch with Erika – visit her blog post and watch for her on #edchat on Twitter.

Natasha Dunn, OCT [@yoMsDunn]
The Rookie Teacher, co-founder 

Special thanks to our friend & mentor Lisa Dabbs for connecting Erika with the Rookie Team.

via: http://rossieronline.usc.edu/how-to-save-our-educators-infographic

via: http://rossieronline.usc.edu/how-to-save-our-educators-infographic

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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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Win a Rookie Teacher.ca Button! [#swag] 0

Posted on March 21, 2013 by Natasha

Rookie Buttons

#SWAG

Our Rookie Teacher Buttons and business cards have arrived! 

Because I’m a sucker for humour…share a funny story from your first few years of teaching and WIN a Rookie Teacher Pin!  Comment below, on our Facebook Page, or send us an @RookieTeacherCA message on Twitter.

Winners will be announced on Monday, March 25, 2013!

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Rookie Team now on Teachers Pay Teachers 1

Posted on February 06, 2013 by Natasha

Yesterday – Rookie co-founder Natasha posted our very first PDF on TeachersPayTeachers.  We are going to give TPT a shot in the hopes to bring collaboration to the next level.

Have you downloaded any good freebies lately?  Or have you made a purchase you are proud of?

Post a comment below and share your TPT site, one you follow, or just a great tidbit!

Teacher Pay Teachers - Screen shot

Teacher Pay Teachers – Screen shot

DOWNLOAD SCIENCE LAB REPORTS FOR KIDS (Grade 4+) today! (for free)

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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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Scratching the Surface of Online Collaboration 2

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Natasha

Online collaboration is such a vast subject that I’m having difficulty beginning this blog post.  I supposed I should start with the social media I use most often in education: twitter & pinterest.  Here we go…

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

1. Twitter: Wow, what a powerful form of social media and online collaboration!

I was first introduced to twitter back in ’09 when my friend @zoic suggested it.  At the time, I had no idea just how engaging twitter would become.  I learned the lingo pretty quickly: following, follower, 140Characters, @reply, #hashtag, #FF, DM, HootSuite, TweetDeck, etc.  Then I started my year at the faculty of education where all BEd students were encouraged to sign up for Twitter (actually, it was a prerequisite for the course, thanks to @zbpipe & #brocktechies).  We started following other educators, administrators, boards of education, like minded people who believed in the same philosophies of education as we did.  I experimented with Twitter Chats and watched in on some live web presentations.

Since then I have been able to collaborate with some great educators, we share resources, articles, a friendly hello, and I still participate in some useful chats…such as #ntchat.  This past Wednesday was my first co-mod with host Lisa Dabbs (who may be familiar thanks to The Lounge Episode 9: Long Range Planning) and Remind101.com.  Here’s what Remind101 had to say about the experience: Until You Try a Twitter Chat, You Haven’t Lived.

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

2. Pinterest: This year I found myself checking Pinterest before Google when searching for lesson plan ideas.  There are so many creative and talented teachers who are very willing to share their ideas and support new teachers.  I was able to come across some fantastic ideas to enhance my lessons on inferencing.  There were several anchor charts and activities – and all of them extremely creative (which helps to get my creative juices flowing).

Check out my pinboards and our Rookie Teacher Collab board (where, at the time of this post we sit at 1607 followers and 294 pins).

 

What about you? What are your favourite online collaboration sites? Tools? Let us know – comment below or join the discussion on facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher and twitter.com/TheRookieTeacher.

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