Early Childhood Education
Our Early Childhood Education Consultant, Miranda Bernard, visited all of our MK Communities and provided resources for their K4 Classrooms. She also has two Professional Development days booked for November. She has coordinated two separate workshops for the ECE Teachers on the following dates: Saturday, November 7, 2020 9 am – 12 noon – Assessment on Quality Improvement by Krista Wardrope, Communication Disorders Technician & Child and Youth Advisor, from the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and Saturday, November 14, 2020 9 am -11 am – Zoo Phonics, Jolly Phonics and Learning without Tears by Helen Bernard-Ward, Mi’kmaq Family Support, from North Shore Micmac District Council. Both of these workshops will be through Zoom. Please contact Miranda – ac.unik@adnariM for more information.
Kyla Bernard, our Elementary Numeracy Consultant/Coach, has been very busy with organizing math materials and working with teachers at Eskasoni Elementary and Middle School and ESK Immersion. Some of the favourites are the magnetic giant number visual boards, and magnetic base ten blocks. Each student in grade two & three got their own individual wipe off boards for daily math practice. They include bar model, number bonds and creates space for them practice number sentences. It’s really exciting to see teachers and students enjoy the visual aids to enhance student learning and engagement. Grade three teacher Ashley Lahey is enjoying the Daily Math Journal in her class. So far the students enjoy their own daily booklets to practice in at school, and the good thing is, they practice at home as well. Some math manipulatives have also been delivered to Bear River Elementary School. Over the next couple weeks more math resources will be delivered to our other communities as well.
ELA teachers across MK have been adjusting well to the various situations within their boards. While some are 100% in-class, others are working under a hybrid system where students are completing the work in-class as well as at-home.
Professional development has been taking place mostly online, but also in person. Teachers are being provided with choices in their PD related to online learning and other topics. Meetings are taking place via Google Meet and teachers are using Google Classroom to share lesson plans and resources that they have found to be effective. Technical support is being provided for teachers who are unfamiliar with the features of G Suite for Education, as well as other educational tools.
Teachers have received professional development regarding two screen casting/screen recording options. Screencast-O-Matic and Screencastify are screen recorders and video editors that allow teachers to capture up to fifteen minutes of free content and share it directly with their Google Classrooms. Both programs work seamlessly within the Google platform. They are both great options to deliver content, especially for those working under a hybrid system. Some teachers are using these tools to model read-alouds and to create “How To” videos for their students. Both platforms also have the capacity to work as a tool for students. Students can use the programs to record themselves reading aloud, giving a presentation, or delivering a speech as part of their assessment.
Another great tool that some ELA teachers are exploring is Writable. Writable is a digital writing program that provides over 600 customizable lessons and guides the writing, feedback, and revision process. It is designed to work well with in-person, online, and hybrid learning. Because Google Docs and Google suite for education integrate with Writable, students can write in embedded Google Docs, everything is automatically saved to drive for portfolios, and exporting to Docs or Sheets is easy. Teachers have attended a webinar and have done extensive reading about the program and are excited to begin using it with their students.
ELA 7-12 teachers are also receiving PD on creating Digital Literature Circles. The focus here is to take the literature circles they have developed and delivered in a classroom setting and take it all online. There are a few more steps involved, but it makes the process a worthwhile one. The digital platforms that teachers and students get to use and interact with include Google Classroom, Google Forms, Google Slides, and Google Sheets to name a few. Students will also have the opportunity to upload images and interact with group members in a digital, interactive forum. This process is beneficial for everyone involved as it allows students to work at their own pace, but still affords them the ability to cooperate and collaborate with fellow classmates. Teachers are able to monitor the process via Google Classroom and provide input and guidance to students at any point in time.
Teachers are looking forward to implementing what they are learning at their PD sessions and seeing the benefits of utilizing a variety of digital platforms and interfaces to enhance their student’s educational experience during these unprecedented times.
Annapolis Valley First Nation started their language classes on the first of October. Each student received a set of flash cards and they are looking forward to another year of learning Mi’kmaw online with Beverly Jeddore. In Bear River, “Awakening our Talk” is starting in November with language sessions on Thursday evenings with Beverly as well.
During the month of October, teachers had an opportunity to take L’nuimk training. These training sessions can serve as a refresher course for those who already have the training, or for new teachers who have never learned about our assessment before. This opportunity was provided through an online session and will be available again in the future for all teachers who are interested.
The next session of the Mentor Apprentice program will be getting underway in the coming weeks. The groups have been selected and have been contacted about their successful application.
Our Annual General Assembly was held in late October in Dartmouth. It looked quite different this year because we were only able to accommodate small groups because of restrictions on gathering sizes. Our annual report was presented to our Board of Directors and was streamed for our community Education Directors. There is a link available to view the presentations on our website – www.kinu.ca.
Our Executive Director Blaire Gould has spent the past month visiting the Education Director and Chief of many of our communities. The purpose of these visits is to ensure that our strategic goals are aligned with community goals and that we are meeting the needs of each of our communities. These meetings have been quite productive so far and should be completed in all communities by the end of November.