Celebrating Diversity

Conference 2018 - October 26, 2018

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. - 10:30 a.m. Session A
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break with Refreshments
11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. Session B
12:20 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch (off site)
1:30 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. Session C
3:00 p.m. Annual General Meeting
9:00 - 2:50 Session E (Full Day)

Registration Information:


Conference Fee (lunch offsite) $75.00
Substitutes / Retirees / Students $65.00

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:  Stephanie Deagle and Justin Fougere - nstall@nstu.ca

Workshop Sessions

Workshop descriptions to follow

Full Day (9:00 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.)

D1:  The Millbrook Heritage Centre
Heather Stevens  (Audience: P-12)

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.htmlParticipants 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.

D3:  Reconnecting with Nature
Cate de Vreede, Lindsay Hunt (Grade Level of Interest: Teachers of grades P-6, or high school teachers interested in youth leadership)

Looking for ways to take your class outside, and share your passion for outdoor learning and play? The Re-Connecting with Nature workshop is a hands-on day of outdoor adventure to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth. Through participation in this program, we hope you will improve your leadership skills, gain practical activity ideas, network with like-minded folks and have fun in nature. This workshop is supported by Hike Nova Scotia and Acadia University.
Location: Truro Junior High School, 445 Young Street, Truro, NS The instructors will meet you at this location (you do not need to check-in at CEC beforehand).
Lunch: Please bring your own lunch. There will not be time to fetch food during the day. A morning snack will be provided. Please BYO mug if you would like coffee.
Attire: Please wear informal clothing suited for being outside for most of the day, whatever the weather. You will be sitting on the ground and your clothes may get wet and/or dirty. Make sure you have long pants and closed toe footwear (no sandals). Please bring extra warm clothes and rain gear if there is any hint of coolness or moisture — weather can change fast in Nova Scotia.

E1:  The Values of Compassion and Loving Kindness
Audience- General
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."

Full Morning (9:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.)

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

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.
This is a double session.

Session A (9:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

A1:   PWIM . . .   Picture Word Induction Model
Phyllis Engram (Grade Level: Elementary to Middle School)

Experience an introduction to this hands-on literacy strategy using pictures containing familiar objects and actions to elicit words from children’s listening and speaking vocabularies. Incorporate student background knowledge, and encourage them to think about what they see, what they know about it and what they want to learn.
This interactive approach uses pictures and collages to develop reading and writing skills through inclusionary activities where everyone participates in discovery based learning. View clips of students as they explore and discover vocabulary concepts by manipulating words, sentences and paragraphs to develop language and build cognitive skills.
Learn how one teacher has used this effective and culturally relevant literacy approach to integrate her language arts, science, and social studies curriculum.

A2:  Lights, Camera, Action! Bringing Literature to Life Through Drama . . . for the non-drama teacher!
Eryn Sinclair (Audience: Grades 3-8)

This session will explore ways to engage students in dramatic experiences of stories. Through Reader's Theatre, dramatic interpretations of their own stories as well as both modern and classic literature from around the world, teachers will experience ways to bring stories to life in small groups, as a class or as a larger school club/group. No drama experience is necessary.

A3:  Guiding Readers, Authors and Thinkers
Betsy Jardine (Grade Levels P-2)

Small group instruction is best suited to today’s classrooms in which children read at a variety of levels. This session will discuss “conferring with” and guiding readers and writers in small group assessment. Tailoring small group sessions to the developmental needs of our students can be challenging. Responsive teaching will demonstrate how we can allow the students to lead the instruction from the miscues that they give us in both reading and writing. We will examine Joanne Serravallo’s Reading Strategies book to see how it can provide specific prompts for readers at various reading levels, showing how to use the errors and areas of difficulty for responsive teaching. Tools for conferring with students will also be discussed with an eye to developing a practice that is best suited to your class to assist authors in developing goals for writing.

A4:  Simply Spellbound!
Erna Fraser (Audience: Grades 3-6)

While most students in these grades have developed the important skills of reading grade-appropriate texts and representing their ideas in writing, many of them struggle with spelling.  Spelling roadblocks can cause writers to simplify their ideas when attempting to express their thoughts in writing, or more concerning, may result in them becoming extremely reluctant writers.  Simply Spellbound! offers a series of spelling modules to help students become more competent spellers in an effort to support them in transferring these spelling skills to their writing.  Specific modules have been developed for:
-      vowel sounds and combinations (short, long, r-controlled and diphthongs)
-      common reliable patterns (i.e., rimes)
-      beginning and ending consonant blends and digraphs
-      prefixes, suffixes and roots
-      plurals
All Simply Spellbound! modules include:
-      before-learning assessment to guide teachers’ decision-making about the specific spelling concepts that their students need
-      fully designed and ready-to-teach lessons (components of each lesson include explicit instruction and multiple practice/reinforcement activities)
-      after-learning assessment to determine the progress students have made since the initial assessment
In this workshop, teachers will have an opportunity to solidify their understanding of the five spelling concepts listed above as well as explore how these concepts can be divided over these grades.  Sample lessons will be demonstrated for each of the spelling concepts listed above and teachers will leave with one complete module

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

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:  Making the Shift to Environmental Inquiry
Martin, Lynn (Grade Levels of Interest: P-3)

How do teachers nurture children’s sense of wonder and how do teachers empower children to contribute to their own learning and development?
Inquiry-based Learning, Integrated Learning, Experiential Learning, and Stewardship are a combined approach to teaching which cumulates into Environmental Inquiry.
This session will explore what kinds of skills and practices are necessary for
a shift like this to occur. The resource, ‘Natural Curiosity’ will be used in part to examine classrooms that are currently successfully using Environmental Inquiry as part of their daily practice.

A8:  Strength in Diversity
Nanda Shirke (Grade level of Interest : P-3, 4-6, General etc. P-9)

It has been two years since Canada welcomed Syrian newcomer families into our schools and communities. Come share your story and listen to mine. 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. You will also learn about some resources that have worked for me and share the ones that have worked for you.

A9:  Acting Out:  Story Centered Pedagogy
Alasdair Lanyon (Grade Levels- Primary and One)

A workshop exploring how a “story centred pedagogy” can be the keystone of a child led, integrated, play based curriculum.  We will explore storytelling, listening to and scribing children’s stories, story directing/acting and the place of these activities in early literacy. The workshop is based on Vivian Gussin Paley’s “story curriculum”. Participants will scribe, and facilitate/direct acting out stories and should be prepared to be princesses, cheetahs, monsters, trees and more. The technique would be useful in any early years classroom but will be of particular interest to Early Childhood Educators and Teachers of grades primary and one.

A10:  Persuade Me
Glenna Griffith 

A hands on approach to integrating language arts, social studies, health, art and information technology through the genre of persuasive writing. Participants will engage in targeted activities to create a components of a presentation that they will give to an audience of classmates, or parents

A13:  Count on Estimation:  How to help students train their eyes and brain to become better estimators
January Jackman (Grade Level of Interest: Primary to Grade 3)

Estimation is one of those math skills that can be confusing for both students and teacher. This session will provide fresh and interactive ways to promote spatial estimation abilities using a variety resources, helping students make the connection with real world problem solving.

A17:  "The Restorative Classroom"
Bonnie M. Moore (Grade level:Grades 2-6.)

The Restorative Approach is not just for when things go wrong! This session will give you plenty of practical ideas that will help you introduce the philosophy of restorative approach into every aspect of your classroom to help build a more positive, supportive and student-centred learning environment.

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

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:  Digital Posters
Paul Butler

Teachers will create an interactive digital poster using card stock, a makey makey circuit board and alligators clips. Up to five audio 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 will be provided. Teachers should create a Scratch username and password in advance and come with a great idea to create their exemplar.

A20:  Mi'kmaw Hieroglyphic Poetry
Michelle Sylliboy
This  workshop session engages interested  teachers in developing a  Mi’kmaq hieroglyphic curriculum.It will also help teachers who want to include more culturally relevant pedagogy through art.  Michelle has done workshops at the Inverness Arts Centre and in various schools with students, planting seeds of interest in her work. She will talk briefly about the history of the language and her PHD research  as an artist who is on a quest to revitalize our komqwej’wikasikl language. She will show the participants what has been done so far in communities and what has been published. Each participant will create a komqwej’wikasikl phrase or sentence on birch bark  or a rock that they select to  bring to the conference. Paints will be provided for the creativity portion.

A21:  GoNoodle Gets Kids Ready to Learn
Angela Wylie, Audience: P-6

Looking to improve focus? Foster student engagement or help relieve anxiety? To remove distractions and improve classroom culture as a whole? Come learn how and why to Noodle, exploring GoNoodle for yourself in a fun, lighthearted and interactive workshop.
Some GoNoodle uses:
Supporting differentiated, whole class practice and development
Dynamic, digital fun that bolsters language skills and engage reluctant learners
Helpful introduction to incorporating mindfulness
Brain breaks
Body breaks
Reward time|
Mastering transition time
Transforming DPA and indoor recess
You will have the opportunity to create, explore and customize a class account with step by step assistance. Please bring technology, a sense of fun and wear clothes you can move in. Please note that active participation will be encouraged, but is not forced or required :)

A22:  Using Open Tasks to Foster Mathematical Understanding and a Growth Mindset in Grades 1-3
Kerry Pemberton, Shelley Muttart

Do you want to strengthen your students' mathematical understanding, independence, and develop a growth mindset? When we engage students with tasks that are open-ended, it allows our students to engage with the math at their own level. It also promotes the use of a variety of math tools, personal strategies, and rich math discussions that cultivate reasoning and critical thinking. Participants will explore “open” tasks in the following areas; patterning, geometry and number sense.

A23:  Positive Space 1 and 2 Promoting LGBTQ Education in schools
Joanne Tompkins

Positive Space 1 will focus on how homophobia, transphobia and genderism oppress students and their families and impact schooling. Participants will become familiar with language and terminology as it relates to the LGBTQ+ community and also engage in an experiential activity that attempts to understand LGBTQ oppression more deeply. Positive Space 2 focuses on learning ADRT (Anti-Discrimination Response Techniques) that educators (and students) can learn to interrupt LGBTQ oppression when and wherever it occurs.  In this session educators will engage in role playing scenarios which enable them to be stronger advocates and allies for LGBTQ+ students and their families.

A24:  Treaty Education
Jaime Battiste

Treaty Education Nova Scotia was developed in collaboration with Elders, Leaders, Youth, Educators, and Government. Treaty Education refers to the development and implementation of a greater understanding of Mi’kmaw inherent Aboriginal rights and the Mi’kmaw treaties as both historical and living agreements, which have ongoing rights, responsibilities and implications. It is an inclusive term referring to the education of all citizens of Nova Scotia on the existence of Treaties, their importance as the foundation of relationship building between Mi’kmaw and non-Mi’kmaw Nova Scotians, and their value to society in both historical and contemporary contexts. Learning from best practices in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Treaty Education Nova Scotia presentation will show how partnerships with the Province and School Boards has resulted in a shift in attitude within the schools. The presentation will also show how language, culture, and history are now being embedded within the provincial schools.

Session B (11:00 a.m. 12:20 p.m.)

B1:  See A1
B2:  See A2
B3:  See A3
B4:  See A4
B5:  See A5
B6:  See A6
B8:  See A8
B9:  See A9
B10:  See A10

B12:  Excited Learners are Engaged Leaders!
Mikel Legere  (Grade Levels of Interest: P-9)

What steps does one take to make this happen in the classroom?  This workshop is on active learning and whole brain teaching. Discussion will explain how explicit teaching in my class can improve engagement and motivation to learn. Figurative language is so fun and can be even more fun when adults remember how to play with words!

B13:  See A13
B17:  See A17
B18:  See A18

B19:  Hyper Docs
Paul Butler

New to HyperDocs? The concept has been around for awhile, however with GAFE tools you can easily engage students and get them involved as creators of content learning as opposed to simply being consumers. HyperDocs allows teachers a unique way of creating authentic learning experiences for their students. Teachers will see first hand a Sphero Lesson turned into a HyperDoc so that the learning is student driven. Tips on how to make your first HyperDoc will be shared along with templates, resources and which apps to use.

B20:  See A20
B21:  See A21
B22:  See A22
B23:  See A23
B24:  See A24

Session C (1:30 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.)

C3:  See A3
C4:  See A4
C5:  See A5
C6:  See A6
C8:  See A8
C9:  See A9

C10:  Differentiating Instruction with Apps
Justin Fougere (Grades 3-12)

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.

C12:  See B12
C13:  See A13
C17:  See A19
C18:  See A17
C19:  See A18

C20:  Save your bookmarks in a Cloud
Paul Butler

Looking for a great way to organize your educational websites for your students. Look no further than cloud bookmarking via “Symbaloo” It’s a personal startpage that you can share with your students. All your favorite educational sites all in one visual interface, easily organized and accessible by your students from anywhere on any device. Some time will be alloted so that teachers can create their own Webmixes, bring all your favorites and let’s get them in the cloud.

C21:  See A20
C22:  See A21
C23:  See A22
C24:  See A23
C25:  See A24

While we encourage members to have an NSTU web account, one is NOT REQUIRED to register for a conference.
You may register utilizing any email account.


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