Association of Teachers of English of Nova Scotia

The Student Centered ELA Classroom:  What can that Mean?

ATENS Conference 2021

Friday, October 22, 2021


Conference Registration now closed
 Receipts for conferences will be distributed electronically from NSTU Central office starting the week following the conference.
They will be emailed to the address provided during registration.


October Conferences will be 100% virtual this year.

Every year, Professional Associations begin planning for their October Conference very early in the New Year. The decision to hold virtual conferences was made in the spring of 2021 based on COVID protocol information available at that time.


On October 22nd, English teachers from around the province will gather to listen, learn and collaborate. The theme for the conference is The Student Centered ELA Classroom: What can that mean? There are many answers to this question. Presenters from across the province share their passion and insights through investigation of this question. Leading us will be educators from P -12, as well as regional consultants, coaches and community based educators. We will begin the day with a Keynote from retired NSTU teacher Jason Flinn who will speak about the importance of teachers as coaches in their classroom and how they can build safe spaces for students to take risks and grow with confidence.

Registration

Registration is online only.  Deadline is October 5, 2021. 

The fee schedule is as follows:

Conference Fee $75.00
Substitute / Retiree / Pre-Service Teacher $50.00

As per NSTU Operational Procedure 13 E. IV.: receipts of payment and attendance will not be distributed until the conference has concluded.

If you have any concerns about online registration or payment, please contact us at (atensconference@nstu.ca).

Keynote

Jason Flinn
Vault Life Coaching, Retired NSTU teacher

Jason Flinn is an educator with over 21 years experience. He has been a well respected teacher, department head, consultant and vice principal in Halifax until he recently embarked on a new journey as the owner of Vault Life Coaching.

 

 

 

 

Session A: 9:40am - 10:55am

A1: Engagement: Applying Principles of Game Design and Whole Brain Teaching
Description: The classroom learning environment requires play. The brain craves it. This session will explore ways to integrate the techniques game developers use to engage their players. We will look at how to design lessons, units or yearly plans around elements of game design and explore programs such as whole brain teaching. This session is designed around the MTSS framework and incorporates the culturally responsive pedagogy into tackling engagement through the lens of game design.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Adam Hinton CCRCE
Bio: Adam Hinton is a Regional SSP Consultant for CCRCE. His work throughout the years has centered around high-leverage strategies for engagement through play-based learning.

A2: High Leverage Instruction in the Outdoors
Description: This session will explore how to integrate high leverage literacy strategies/practices in the outdoors. The presenter will demonstrate how to create outdoor learning kits that will assist teachers while instructing within a workshop model. These cost-effective kits combined with practical amendments to high leverage strategies will motivate teachers to move the classroom to the outdoors.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Liam Timmons
Bio: Liam Timmons is a regional literacy mentor for CCRCE. His background  includes teaching jr. high ELA and previous experiences as a wilderness trip leader.

A3: TEDTalks in the Middle School Classroom
Description: This session looks at how TED talks can be used to empower students to choose a topic they are passionate about and share this passion with their classmates. Presenter Erin  Gaudet will explain how student self-reflection and self-assessment are used throughout the process of preparing ideas worth sharing. Teachers will walk away with resources to get started with their students.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Erin Gaudet AVRCE
Bio: Erin Gaudet is a grade 8 teacher in the AVRCE, where she has been teaching for 16years. She is passionate about student voice and choice, equity-centered practice, and board games, and is currently pursuing an MEd in Counselling.

A4: The Resiliency Workshop
Description: Teaching is hard and can take a toll on our well being. This workshop has been designed specifically for teachers seeking to build their own resiliency. The workshop will cover: embracing change, taking positive action, being a lifelong learner, getting enough of the right kind of rest and having a sense of purpose. The workshop is interactive .
Participants will leave the session with specific strategies for building resiliency in themselves and for their students.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Jason Flinn
Bio: Jason Flinn is an educator with over 21 years experience. He has been a well respected teacher, department head, consultant and vice principal in Halifax until he recently embarked on a new journey as the owner of Vault Life Coaching.

A5:  Letters of Resilience
Description: In this workshop I am hoping to give educators tools to peak interest in spoken word poetry and creative writing. I will share the letter to my past self exercise which reminds youth that they are resilient whether  they know it or not. Within this session, there will be other writing  tips, tricks and activities that can be useful in classroom  settings.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Andre Fenton, Community Based Educator
Bio:Andre Fenton is an award-winning author, spoken-word artist, and arts educator. He is an author of two YA novels, Worthy of Love and ANNAKA. Andre has facilitated workshops at schools across Nova Scotia, helping young writers. He is currently working on his third novel, The Summer Between Us.

A6: Exploring Jann Richardson and Michelle Dufresne's The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics 6
Description: Do you find yourself strapped for time in guided reading especially when doing the word study portion? Literacy Consultant Katrina Mood will share her experience using The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics by Jan Richardson and Michele Dufresne. This session focuses on making word study more effective, learning how to assess students, organizing materials, how to navigate the text and offers access to a Jamboard and a weekly spelling program (P-8).
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenters: Katrina Mood, TCRCE
Bio: Katrina Mood is a Literacy Consultant with TCRCE. She has been a Reading Recovery Teacher, Early Literacy Interventionist, Literacy Coach (P-6), and a Grade 4-12 ELA teacher. She has a Masters in Curriculum, Leadership and a Diploma in Technology Education. She is passionate about all things literacy.

A7: Tier One Supports for Students with Learning Disabilities
Description: How do learning disabilities impact student achievement? This session will focus on effective Tier 1 support for students with learning disabilities at the secondary level. Topics will include: understanding what a Learning Disability is and how it may impact reading and writing, effective literacy instructional strategies, and relevant adaptations for students with a learning disability.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Melissa Trenbirth and Scott Craig
Bio: Melissa Trenbirth is a literacy consultant 7-12 for HRCE who works with literacy coaches, literacy support teachers, principals and teachers.  Her background includes teaching English at the junior and senior high level, literacy coaching and department head.  Scott Craig is a Program Planning Specialist for HRCE who works with a variety of educators supporting student learning. His background includes teaching math, resource, learning centre and Vice Principal at the junior/senior high school level.

A8:  Using Stop and Jot for Assessment
Description: The Stop and Jot strategy can be used to monitor comprehension, show students how to improve, and inform next steps and small group instruction. The flexibility of this strategy means it can be used as a pre- or post-assessment, on paper or on computers, in ELA or other subjects, and with fiction and nonfiction text.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Janine MacAulay
Bio: Over her career, Janine MacAulay has taught English and several other subjects from grades 4-12.  She is currently a literacy mentor for grades 6-8 in CBVRCE.

Session B: 11:10am - 12:25pm

B1:  Taking ELA Outdoors!
Description: This session will introduce teachers to Physically Active Learning (PAL) and the NS ASK Project. PAL consists of lessons that combine physical activity with the review of academic content. PAL lessons are delivered by classroom teachers and happen primarily outdoors. In this panel, we will explore the documented educational benefits of PAL, and learn from teachers who have been using PAL to review ELA outcomes with their classes at the elementary and Jr High level.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Britt Vegsund and NS ASK /PAL Teachers
Bio: Britt Vegsund a health promoter and outdoor educator who specializes in group facilitation and adult education modules on outdoor play and learning. Britt is the Project Lead for the Nova Scotia Active Smarter Kids (ASK) Project, a province-wide, multi-sector initiative to support the implementation of physically active learning in elementary and junior high schools.

B2: Treaty Education and Friendship in the ELA Classroom
Description: This session will look at ELA through the lens of peace and friendship treaty principles.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Alex O’Leary
Bio: Alex is a substitute teacher in the HRCE.  She is in the process of completing her M.Ed in Indigenous Education and is researching settler solidarity among teachers in K-12 schools. She is also passionate about equity and is often involved in gender and sexuality initiatives in schools.

B3: TEDTalks in the Middle School Classroom
Description: See A3

B4:  Using Stop and Jot for Assessment
Description: See A8

B5:  Letters of Resilience
Description: See A5

B6: Exploring Jann Richardson and Michelle Dufresne's The Next Step Forward in Word Study and Phonics 6
Description: See A6

B7: Using Children's Picture Books as part of a Multi-Genre Unit Exploring Complex Issues in Middle and High School ELA Classrooms
Description: This workshop will provide an insight into how teachers in grades 7-12 might incorporate children's books in units which explore current/complex issues. Our sample learning experience using All Because You Matter by Tami Charles provides students with opportunities to explore an essential question while collaborating with other students and the teacher. This multi-genre approach contains elements for in person, blended, and online learning.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Christopher MacKinnon and Sheila MacDonald
Bio: Chris MacKinnon has been a school administrator and has taught English Language Arts, as well as several other subjects from grades 6-9. He is currently a literacy mentor for grades 6-8 in CBVRCE. Sheila MacDonald has taught English Language Arts from grades 9-12 and was a long time English department head at one of the largest junior high schools in Sydney. She has lent her expertise to many provincial initiatives throughout her career. She is currently a literacy mentor for grades 9-12 in CBVRCE.

B8:  Going Beyond the Traditional Whole Class Text Using an Inquiry and Student Centered Approach
Description: In this session we will share our story of rethinking a whole class novel study through the lens of inquiry and universal design.The result is a unit which enables all learners to experience success. Participants will have access to our unit as a model for their own future work with students.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenters: Sonya MacKinnon and Harriet Johnston
Bio: Sonya MacKinnon is currently a high school literacy coach for the HRCE. Prior to this, she taught a variety of English and Social Studies courses at the senior high level for 17 years. She is passionate about fostering literacy through independent reading.
Harriet Johnston is a high school English teacher for the HRCE with an eclectic nine years of teaching at both private and public schools. She emphasizes student voice and engagement through inquiry, connection, and choice.

Session C: 1:30pm - 2:45pm

C1:  See You in the Funny Pages!
Description: “Not every kid loves to read, but every kid loves to laugh.” That’s the idea behind Funny Pages, Canada’s only festival dedicated to books that crack kids up. Join author Vicki Grant as she interviews some of Canada’s funniest writers about how laughter can promote literacy – and for a sneak peak into their Funny Pages presentations.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Vicki Grant
Bio: Vicki Grant has been called “a superb storyteller” (The Canadian Children’s Book Centre) and “one of the funniest writers working today” (The Vancouver Sun). Her novels have won The Red Maple, The Arthur Ellis Award and CBC’s Young Canada Reads as well as been shortlisted for The Edgar, CLA Children’s Book of the Year and numerous Forest of Reading awards. She is a founding member of The Funny Pages Festival, taking place April 22, 2022 in Halifax.

C2: Going Beyond the Traditional Whole Class Text Using an Inquiry and Student Centered Approach
Description: See B8

C3:  Treaty Education and Friendship in the ELA Classroom
Description: See B2

C4:  High Leverage Instruction in the Outdoors
Description: See A2

C5:  Tier One Supports for Students with Learning Disabilities
Description: See A7

C6:  Using Hyperdocs for Blended Learning
Description: This session will introduce teachers to HyperDocs.  A well designed HyperDoc can become a hub of learning which pulls together all components of a learning cycle or mini-unit. Within a single document, students are provided with hyperlinks to all of the resources they need to achieve the goals. HyperDocs can be used in a class to supplement teacher-directed instruction, or as a tool for flipped work.  Hyperdoc examples will be shared with session participants.
Workshop Capacity: 30
Presenter: Erin Connors
Bio: Erin Connors has been a literacy coach with the CBVRCE for the past eight years.  Prior to that, she taught high school English and Social Studies, and served as a department head in both disciplines.  She is excited to be teaching a course for aspiring teachers in the Bachelor of Education program at Cape Breton University this semester.

C7:  Using Children's Picture Books as part of a Multi-Genre Unit Exploring Complex Issues in Middle and High School ELA Classrooms
Description: See B7


Registration Closed


< back to NSTU Professional Association Conferences