Dabbing into Literacy

Conference 2017 - October 27, 2017

Cobequid Educational Centre
34 Lorne Street
Truro, Nova Scotia

Click here to access map and directions.


8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. Welcome, Announcements
9:10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. Session A
10:20 a.m. - 10:50 a.m. Break with Refreshments
10:50 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Session B
12:00 p.m. - 1:10 p.m. Lunch (on site)
1:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Session C
2:30 p.m. Annual General Meeting
9:00 - 2:20 Session E (Full Day)
9:00 - 12:00 Session D (Half Day, Milbrook Heritage Centre)

Registration Information:

Fees (includes lunch on-site)

Conference Fee (lunch included) $85.00
Students / Substitutes / Retirees: $??

As per NSTU Operational Procedure 14(e)(iii): receipts of payment and attendance will not be distributed until the conference has concluded.

In order to receive an online confirmation you must include a correct email address.




Conference Information:  Betsy Jardine and Justin Fougere - nstall@nstu.ca

Registration:  Tami Cox Jardine - nstall@nstu.ca

Workshop Sessions

Session E (Full Day:  9:10 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.)

FD1:  The Millbrook Heritage Centre
(Grade Level: P-12)
Presenter:  Heather Stevens
Experience a cultural session at the Millbrook Heritage Centre & Mi’kmaw Museum.  You will learn how the Mi’kmaw peoples lived for hundreds of years and how they have adapted their traditional cultural practices to adopt new materials, techniques and styles to reflect contemporary trends. You will learn how to play Waltes, You will learn about Waltes, a traditional Mi’kmaw game, a Medicine wheel,  talking circles and play a scavenger hunt.  Language is the heart of a people's heritage. If you lose your language you lose the most vital part of your culture.” http://millbrookheritagecentre.ca/programs-and-exhibits.html
Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the Museum. Snacks, lunch and the conference receipts will be provided on site at the Millbrook Heritage Centre.

FD2:  The Values of Compassion and Loving Kindness  CANCELLED
(Audience- General)
Presenter:  Chris Gillam
In this day long, practice oriented, and highly self-reflective session, participants will engage in mindfulness practices, learn about the impacts of mindfulness on both educators and students, and rediscover and rejuvenate the values of compassion, loving kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

FD3:  Reconnecting with Nature Workshop
(Grade Level:  Grades P-8) 
Cate De Vreede
This is a one-day, hands-on workshop will be held mostly outdoors  in Victoria Park. Participants will meet at CEC to get their lunches and dress to spend the day outdoors to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth.The aim of the Re-Connecting with Nature  is to increase and strengthen the number adult leaders in NS who can help children and youth to spend more time appreciating, understanding and acting for the natural world while being physically active in the outdoors. It is offered  with additional support of Hike Nova Scotia with support from Acadia University.

Session D (Full Morning:  9:10 a.m. - 12:00 noon)

FM1: Differentiating Instruction with Apps
(Grades 3-12)
Justin Fougere and Deanna Martell

Differentiated instruction has been a hot topic in education for years and strategies are constantly evolving. This workshop explores differentiated instruction using Apps available on smart phones and tablets. Participants will learn about and have an opportunity to work hands on with various apps. You do not need to be an expert on technology to attend this session; all are welcome. Apps to be explored are as follows: QR Code Reader, Text to Speech, Speech to Text, Numbers, Pages, Zip Grade, Socrative, and Book Creator. iPads will be provided, but participants can bring personal devices with these apps installed if preferred.

FM2:  Creating a Digital Poster
(Grade level 3 - 12)
Paul Butler

Teachers will create a unique 8.5 x 11 poster and use a makeymakey circuit board (www.makeymakey.com)  usb cable and alligators clips to make it digitally interactive. Up to six responses will be recorded using Scratch. The strength of this lesson is that it can be used to address many curriculum outcomes in ELA, Social Studies, Science and Health to name a few. All materials needed will be provided. Teacher should create a Scratch username and password in advance and have a great idea for their poster.

Session A (9:10 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.)

A1:  Picturing Writing: A Proven Best Practice Approach to Literacy Learning
(Grade level:  )
Presenter:  Phyllis Engram
Experience an introduction to Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art®, a visual approach to literacy learning that uses simple crayon resist art techniques and quality picture books to teach writing and strengthen reading skills. This innovative approach has won the enthusiastic support of teachers and students of all ages across Nunavut, Canada, and throughout the United States.
Visit several classrooms to view the process in action via lively video, and participate in an engaging hands-on activity in order to experience the power of writing to an image. Find out how one teacher has integrated this approach into her language arts, science, and social studies curriculum.

A2:  'My Blue Print'.
(Audience: General)
Presenter: Jason Carmichael

This is a new program being piloted to foster resume building, portfolio construction and post secondary and career exploration at a variety of grade levels.

A3:  I Wonder, Can it be done?  Guided Reading, Inquiry and Integration. Shrinking a TALL order down to size!
(Grade Level:  P-5)
Presenter:  Betsy Jardine
This workshop shows  how we can manage to get time alone with students to teach small group guided reading or conferring in writing all the while incorporating inquiry learning and integrating language arts, social studies, science and Math. One tall order! Let’s look at how to tackle it. From building a Wonder Wall to Genius Hour, children become motivated to work on  their passions while learning to read and write independently and developing higher order thinking skills.

A4:  Explicit Reading Comprehension Instruction in Grades 4 – 6
(Grade Level:  4-6)
Erna Fraser
Using the Reading Workshop framework for teaching/learning, this session will provide teachers with ideas of how to build on the reading comprehension strategies taught in grades P-3 (specifically predicting, making connections, visualizing, determining importance and some work with inferring).  Deeper reading comprehension strategies (including questioning, synthesizing, inferring and analyzing) will be emphasized.   Picture books will be features as a key tool for explicit instruction during Time to Teach, and how to encourage students to apply those understandings to their own independent reading during Time to Practice, as well as how to personalize their own learning during Time to Reflect/Share will be modeled.  Effective practices such as modeling, turn and talk, and anchor charts will be incorporated.  Teachers will leave with a reference tool about deeper comprehension strategies as well as suggested picture book titles and authors.  

A5:  Yoga Anyone?
(Audience: All Teachers)
Presenter:  Kelli Cruikshank

This session will be an all levels yoga class. A relaxing space for participants to comfortably begin, or enhance their practice. Ninety minutes to relax, and build confidence with your abilities. For those with varied tightness, injuries, or beginner's, modifications for poses will be offered and demonstrated. Please wear comfortable clothing, and bring a yoga mat if you have one. Some mats will be available.

A6:  Improving Literacy Skills for the Boys in Your Classroom
(Grade Level:  P-3)
Presenter:  Lynn Martin

This workshop will offer a perspective (based on the work of Dr. Leonard Sax and the educator Ralph Fletcher) as to why boys may be disengaged in our classrooms. Suggestions as to what we may do to improve literacy for the boys in our classroom will be part of the discussion.
This workshop will also touch upon the pedagogical philosophy of inquiry-based learning and how that may positively impact literacy skills for all learners within our classrooms

A7:  Experiencing the Spectrum from Inside
(Audience: General Interest)
Presenter: Ivan Willis

A presentation of what I have experienced both in school and outside of school that has helped or not helped me get where I am today. I will talk about my early life on the spectrum, give examples of strategies I have used and show some visuals of what I have accomplished. Being non-verbal until shortly before I started school and having enormous difficulty learning to read and communicate in any way brought many huge challenges.  I want people to understand that  people like me learn differently from other people but we ARE capable of learning. It is important for teachers and others to know that learning IS possible for us. Working very hard through my challenges and never giving up hope is what this presentation is about.

A8:  Supporting Diversity
(Grade level: P-3, 4-6, General  etc.P-9)
Nanda Shirke

This year has been a learning curve for all of us with the newcomer Syrian families in our schools and communities.  After a brief introduction to culture shock, this presentation, will further discuss and elaborate on the importance of keeping your English Language learner engaged, involved and learning.   We will look at some reasons to welcome home language into the classrooms and look at some practical ways to do it.  I also look forward to share some of my experiences with my newcomer students and their families with you.​

A9:  Play on Words!
(Grade Level:  P-2)
Kimberly Nadasdi

This session will explore how educators can use play to develop relationships with each child.Oral language is at the heart of thinking and learning. Without a strong oral language, students will struggle with both reading and writing. This presentation examines types of play,  the teacher’s role in the playroom to advance  play,  and vocabulary development.  Dickenson’s approach  on the importance of reciprocal conversation and how to extend vocabulary and learning through play will be demonstrated. 

A10:  Zines:  Print is Not Dead!
(Grade Levels: 6-12, multi-subject)
Deanna Martell

In this session, participants will be introduced to the process of zine creation. A zine is an independently created publication that reflects the interests, passions and idiosyncrasies of the individual who creates it. Zines often represent the voices of those marginalized in society and are meant to be photocopied and shared. In a digital age, zines provide the opportunity to appreciate the value of the printed word. 

A11:  "Safe, Positive and Queering Spaces for Youth"
Laura-Lee Bellehumeur-Kearns, PhD

How might we provoke the curriculum to include LGBTQ, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, Two-Spirited, Queer or Questioning youth, colleagues, and families in our schools? When does the school curriculum acknowledge gender and sexual identities?
When did we become aware of such diversity? When and how do our students learn about these realities? What literary texts might we use to support learning about the diversity of the human condition? This workshop will focus on the use of stories, children’s literature, popular culture, and music to begin sharing ideas and resources based on the Positive Space Program.
Laura-Lee Bellehumeur-Kearns, PhD is an associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at St. FX. Prior to working at St.Fx., Laura-Lee taught English, French, History, Philosophy and Family Studies in Ontario for 10 years, as well as ESL and FSL in the Czech Republic for 3 years. Her research publications include articles in the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. Her research interests focus on social justice issues, with regard to marginalized youth, including LGBTQ, and Indigenous people and decolonization. Her latest co-authored essay (with Joanne Tompkins and Jennifer Mitton-Kükner), “Transphobia and cis-gender privilege: Pre-service teachers recognizing and challenging gender rigidity in schools,” may be found in the Canadian Journal of Education.

A12:  Discovering Proper Research Skills in the 21st Century ELA High School Classroom
(Grade Level:  High School)
Linsday MacInnis

During the session we will be exploring topic construction, research methods including algorithm, validity of sources and citation.  An entire research essay unit will be provided and demonstrated.  

A13:  Enriching Numeracy Through Literacy
(Grade Level:  P - 3)
January Schurman

This session will take a closer look at a collection of literacy resources (Greg Tang, Number Talks, etc.) that can be used to enrich and extend students number and operation sense and enhance their verbal ability to describe personal strategies. These resources integrate a variety of language and math outcomes to provide cross curricular opportunities. 

A14:  Building Environmental Literacy in our Youngest Citizens
(Audience- P-10)
Shannon Harding

Environmental Literacy is critical learning for children and youth in today’s world. In this session, being hosted by Shannon Harding, Manager of EnviroEd at Clean Foundation, learn about the importance of an empathetic connection as well as climate and energy literacy. See how Clean talks about the tough and scary stuff with children of all ages. Examine how existing curriculum outcomes in areas such as language and math can be achieved while instilling empathy and responsibility in our youngest citizens.

A15:  Scratch Coding for Literacy
(Grade Level:  4-6)
Jerry Delorey

Hands on learning of scratch coding basics will be taught in an manner that shows how they can be integrated into literacy learning. focusing on ways to creatively apply the technology in grades 4-6 language arts.

A16:  Digging Deeper to promote Engagement for Struggling Learners
(Grade Level:  General)
Greg Nix

Participants  in this session will learn about recent research and sample classroom practice.  Small group interactive experiences will illustrate the power of the best of inquiry-based strategies.

A17:  Google Site for Education
(Grade 4-12)
Peter Oldrieve

For sure!  Just imagine a website that is used to develop a portfolio for the students. Come learn some innovative ways that Google Apps can be used in your classroom. Whether you have access to a single computer, or an ipad your classroom can still get Googley! Let’s see how students can publish work to make a professional portfolio to carry  into their future! 

A18:  Meeting the Curriculum Outcomes Through Play
(Grade Level:  Primary)
Viki MacEachern

Play is a very important activity in a child's life. Research shows children play naturally and develop communication, engage socially and make sense of the world through play. Play is invaluable to children's learning, and as such, should be incorporated into our curriculum. This session will focus on meeting key curriculum outcomes in Primary through play based learning. We will discuss how to capture/create intentional and unintentional opportunities to meet outcomes through structured and unstructured play. We will view videos and pictures of children engaged in play based learning activities in the classroom and share ideas of how to create materials for your classroom.

A19:  Let Your Voice be Heard for Change
(General Audience)
Sonya Purdy

During this interactive session, all participants will contribute to the update of the Public School Program, with a particular focus on education at the secondary level. Participants will work in small groups to discuss key questions including:
- high school diplomas
- high school graduation requirements
- different pathways
- credit system
- structure and programming at the secondary level 

Session B (10:50 a.m. - 12:00 noon)

B1:  Picturing Writing:  A Proven Best Practice Approach to Literacy Learning
See A1 for description

B2:  'My Blue Print'.
See A2 for description

B3:  I Wonder, Can it be done?  Guided Reading, Inquiry and Integration. Shrinking a TALL order down to size!
See A3 for description

B4:  Explicit Reading Comprehension Instruction in Grades 4 – 6
See A4 for description

B5:  Yoga Anyone?
See A5 for description

B6:  Improving Literacy Skills for the Boys in Your Classroom
See A6 for description

B7:  Experiencing the Spectrum from Inside
See A7 for description

B8:  Supporting Diversity
See A8 for description

B9:  Play on Words!
See A9 for description

B10:  Zines:  Print is Not Dead!
See A10 for description

B11:  "Safe, Positive and Queering Spaces for Youth"
See A11 for description

B12:  Discovering Proper Research Skills in the 21st Century ELA High School Classroom
See A12 for description

B13:  Enriching Numeracy Through Literacy
See A13 for description

B14:  Building Environmental Literacy in our Youngest Citizens
See A14 for description

B15:  Scratch Coding for Literacy
See A615for description

B16:  Digging Deeper to promote Engagement for Struggling Learners
See A16 for description

B17:  Google Site for Education
See A17 for description

B18:  Meeting the Curriculum Outcomes Through Play
See A18 for description

B19:  Let Your Voice be Heard for Change
See A19 for description

Session C (1:10 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.)

C1:  Picturing Writing:  A Proven Best Practice Approach to Literacy Learning  CANCELLED
See A1 for description

C2:  'My Blue Print'.
See A2 for description

C3:  Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
(Grade Level:  5-9)
Presenter: Betsy Jardine

This workshop examines culturally relevant practice by delving  below the level of simple engagement strategies to developing independent learners with deeper intellective and problem solving and critically literate practices.  Strategies of classroom practice that help welcome divergent cultures in your classroom will be discussed with examples given. Zarretta’s Hammond’s work on brain based pedagogy demonstrates how students can become more engaged and take ownership of their learning when they seem themselves reflected in the product.Authentic classroom practice that encourages  critical thinking skills and higher order thinking will be demonstrated.

C4:  Explicit Reading Comprehension Instruction in Grades 4 – 6
See A4 for description

C5:  Yoga Anyone?
See A5 for description

C6:  Improving Literacy Skills for the Boys in Your Classroom
See A6 for description

C7:  Experiencing the Spectrum from Inside
See A7 for description

C8:  Supporting Diversity
See A8 for description

C9:  Play on Words!
See A9 for description

C10:  Challenge Based Learning
Justin Fougere and Deanna Martell
This workshop reveals an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching.  Challenge based learning is a collaborative, hands on experience that requires students to work with peers, teachers and experts in their community to develop deep subject area knowledge. Students identify / solve challenges, take action and share their experiences with others.  In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to incorporate a challenge based learning approach into their everyday classes and use it as a backbone for their curriculum across multiple subjects.

C11:  "Safe, Positive and Queering Spaces for Youth"
See A11 for description

C12:  Discovering Proper Research Skills in the 21st Century ELA High School Classroom
See A12 for description

C13:  Enriching Numeracy Through Literacy
See A13 for description

C14:  Building Environmental Literacy in our Youngest Citizens
See A14 for description

C15:  Scratch Coding for Literacy
See A615for description

C16:  Digging Deeper to promote Engagement for Struggling Learners
See A16 for description

C17:  Teachers Guide to Using QR Coes in the Classroom
Paul Bulter
Teachers will learn how to create a digital read aloud picture book, save it to their Google Drive and then share it out via QR code for students to view at home or in a listening centre. Google Drawings will be used to create an authentic book tag. ​

C18:  Google Site for Education
See A17 for description

C19:  Meeting the Curriculum Outcomes Through Play
See A18 for description

C20:  Let Your Voice be Heard for Change
See A19 for description

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