Connecting Through Literacy and Learning

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.

Conference 2021 - October 22, 2021

Registration Information:


Conference Fee $75.00
Substitutes / Retirees  $50.00
Pre-Service Teachers $40.00

As per NSTU Operational Procedure 13 E. IV.: 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 - or

Keynote - 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
FAITH IN OUR OWN VOICES:  The Stories We Live, the Work We Love, the Challenges We Rise To

Through story and poetry Sheree Fitch will take us on a journey that includes the joys
and challenges of being literacy educators. She believes we are all creators and
storytellers, holders of wisdom, and yes, given all that has taken place in recent
years, we are more adaptable and stronger than we ever knew. She will offer guided
exercises for our own journals and suggest ideas for creative circles of learning in
our classrooms.


Sheree Fitch is a poet, storyteller and literacy educator who makes rural coastal
Nova Scotia her home. A published author of books in many genres and for all
ages, she has worked in literacy programs around the globe for over 33 years. She
believes teaching is a calling as well as a profession and teachers are
superheroes, and caretakers of souls. Her website is


Workshop Sessions

Session A (10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)

A1 Grade 9 Guys Group
Presenter: Robert MacDonald has been a teacher and boys hockey and softball coach in the Strait Regional Centre for Education for the last eighteen years. In 2016, he completed his Masters in Administration with a concentration in Mental Health from St. Francis Xavier University. Between the classroom and the rink/ball field, spending so much time with the young men in his school, showed him that something more was needed to support the boys at school and give them an avenue to talk in a safe environment about issues that they face in their everyday lives. In the fall of 2018, Robert began the “guys group” at Richmond Education Centre/Academy with support from Morris Green who is retired from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness where he worked as the Coordinator of Youth Health.

A2 Getting Started with Padlet and 8 lesson ideas to share with your students.
Padlet allows your students to curate information onto virtual boards. It's interface, design and purpose allow you to create engaging lessons and activities that your students will enjoy. It's now a full multi-media presentation tool with endless possibilities. In this tutorial, we will explore getting set up, how to share, adjust privacy settings and develop lesson ideas for each one of the different types of Padlets.
Presenter: Paul Butler: An educator for the past 35 years with Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education. I have been a Technology Integration Specialist since 2004-05.

A3 Supporting EAL Students (P-12)
As classrooms become increasingly diverse across Nova Scotia, it has become imperative for us to embrace and welcome cultural diversity into our classrooms. Let's focus on the opportunities that can enable us to create enriched learning experiences for our students. Culturally responsive instruction aims to teach students that differences in viewpoint and culture are to be cherished and appreciated rather than judged and feared. We will also explore the community resources available and how we can use
them to benefit all our students and schools.
Presenter: Millie George and Nanda Shirke
Millie lives with her husband of 42 years. Their daughter, a literacy coach and granddaughter live in Halifax. Presently she teaches EAL/ESL in five schools (SPEC, Whitney Pier Memorial Middle School, Malcolm Munroe Middle School, Riverview High, and Sydney Academy). Her students consist of Nova Scotia International students and newcomers. She started her teaching career in 2001. Earlier she worked for the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board as a library technician for 7 years and secretary for 7 years. Millie has taught English in South Korea and Mexico.
Nanda Shirke has been an EAL teacher with the Chignecto Central Regional Centre of Education for 10 years. Besides being a teacher of English as an Additional Language, she is an active member of her community. She co-chairs and volunteers with the Multicultural Association of Pictou County. She has lived and worked in India, Oman, Toronto before making Pictou County her home. She lives in New Glasgow with her husband and their cat. Their son lives and works in Halifax.

A4 Hard to teach? Not for you! How to Accelerate Literacy Learning for all Reading Recovery Students
Marie Clay acknowledges the following predicament: “To say that the slow-progress child who cannot be pushed or placed under stress should now learn at an accelerated rate seems to be a puzzling contradiction” LLDI 19. This session will begin by looking into some of the factors that contribute to why some children do not appear to make accelerated progress during their Reading Recovery lessons. Participants will then take a deep dive into the conditions and teaching needed to get around these roadblocks in order to put every child back on track to accelerated literacy learning.
Presenters: Jana Logue Arbou, AVRCE Literacy Intervention Consultant and Lisa Hoover, CCRCE, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader
Intended Audience - Reading Recovery Teachers 

A5 Gamification in the Classroom
This workshop looks at how you can gamify your lessons and turn your classroom into a leaderboard. Combining strategies from whole brain teaching and the UDL framework, gamification keeps students engaged, rewards positivity, and promotes teamwork. This is aimed at middle school teachers, but the concepts can be adapted to fit any grade level.
Presenter: Kyle Cormier (He/Him)
Grade 6 ELA Teacher & Instructional Lead at Redcliff Middle School, M.Ed. Supporting Learners with Diverse Needs & Exceptionalities, M.Ed. Technology Integration

A6 Infuse making into your literacy program (P-8)
Students learn by doing, so let's give them the opportunity to design, create, and solve problems directly related to texts in your literacy program! This presentation will share examples, resources and details to help teachers integrate hands-on and digital making to help students to engage and thrive in inclusive literacy activities.
Presenter: Jeff Hennigar is an HRCE teacher, currently working with Brilliant Labs supporting teachers across Nova Scotia to integrate STEM and hands-on learning into their everyday teaching. Twitter: @MrHennigar

A7  Project-Based Integrated Curriculum
Presenting a curriculum model to guide upper elementary teachers through planning choices for integrated curriculum blocks. Participants will explore a sample unit which combines content area topics and outcomes for more efficient use of integrated learning time. Topics will come from content areas of Visual Arts, Health, ICT, Science and Social Studies. The integrated unit will focus on higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills while maintaining a connection with foundational math and literacy skills.
Grade level: 4-6
Presenter: Gale Doyle
I have been teaching for just over 15 years now with HRCE. I am currently assigned to a 4/5 combined class. My background includes journalism, public relations, film & television production, educational technology and curriculum studies. I will be pursuing the Masters in Educational Technology program at MSVU starting in Sept. 2021.

A8  Music, Multimodality, and Multiliteracy
This workshop will focus specifically on the contribution to multiliteracy made by music, using online tools as illustrations. The sonic properties of music, when latched onto by children and young people in online multimodal interactions, produce moments of deep learning. As such, student understanding is strengthened across disciplines. A background in music is not needed to participate in this workshop, and teachers will emerge from the session with ideas ready for use in the classroom.
Presenter: Dr. Verne Hélène Lorway
Verne has been an adjunct professor at Cape Breton University since 2015 where she has been teaching methods courses in Fine Arts and French Second Language. Verne is also co-located in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Center for Education as a permanent teacher of music, French, and social studies. Although a classroom educator, Verne has produced scholarly, peer-reviewed publications in the form book chapters with the Canadian Music Educators Association (CMEA), and in music education journals. She has spoken and produced conference papers in music education, social theory, psychology, and aesthetic philosophy in regional, national, and international conferences including the Canadian International Conference on Education (CICE), Canadian Society for Studies in Education (CSSE), the Atlantic Education Conference (AEC), and the NSTU Nova Scotia Music Education Conference (NSMEA). Verne believes passionately in the potential for arts education to empower children and youth. For this, she was nominated for the Pat Clifford Award for Early Career Research in Education through the Canadian Education Association (CEA) in 2015. Verne’s areas of expertise include music and arts education, French second language education, critical pedagogy, art-based and arts-infused methods and methodologies, music and art therapies.

A9  Yoga
Kelli Cruikshank is back, and will be offering a yoga practice that is a mingling of yoga, candlelight, essential oils, meditation, and mindfulness. Let the stress melt away as you unwind and reconnect with your body and mind in a meaningful way. This practice is for all skill levels; support and guidance will be offered for any modifications you may need. Beginners are welcome and encouraged
Presenter: Kelli Cruikshank, is a local yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast, wife, and a mother of three. Loving all things powerful and strong, she is drawn to guiding others to unleash the warrior within.

A10  OUT-LANDISH! Re-Connecting Kids, Learning and Nature
This webinar presents the whys, whats and hows of outdoor environmental learning in which children spend time in nature and learn from these experiences. It includes key strategies to facilitate learning in nature and example activities and further resources for developing nature experiences. The focus is largely for primary to grade 8 although some high school examples are included. This webinar should be of interest to classroom teachers, curriculum developers and principals.
Presenter:  Dr. Alan Warner, Professor Emeritus, Acadia University on behalf of Hike Nova Scotia
Alan Warner is leading a Nova Scotia provincial strategy to train leaders to help children and youth to re-connect with nature. He has designed numerous award-winning experiential environmental education programs in partnership with the HRM Adventure Earth Centre, involving more than 60,000 children and youth. Alan has twice been the Canadian Environmental Educator of the Year. He spends a lot of time in nature with his grandkids discovering the magic in nature through their eyes.

A11 Engagement: Applying Principles of Game Design and Whole Brain Teaching
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.
Presenter: Adam Hinton serves as a Regional SSP Consultant for CCRCE. His work throughout his time as an educator has centered around increasing student engagement through high leverage instructional strategies.

A12  Ways of Solving Words for Writing (P-3)
Participants will dive into hands-on ways to support students to learn multiple ways of solving words when writing. It is key to successful growth as a writer to be able to write known words quickly and to be confident to solve those words that are new or unknown. We will explore ways to solidify the known and solve the unknown within individual, small group and whole class literacy experiences.
Presenter: Eryn Sinclair is a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader with many years of classroom, small group and individual instruction experience. Experience facilitating experiential learning as well as literacy learning in many different parts of Canada as well as abroad have helped to gain valuable perspectives, approaches and experiences to share.

A13  Développer un fondement solide en littératie : créer des textes personnalisés
Note : La session sera offerte en français.
Marie Clay nous dit que « l’écriture joue un rôle important au niveau des progrès précoces en lecture ». La création de textes personnalisés offre aux enfants des occasions d’utiliser leurs connaissances et de solidifier les concepts reliés à l’écrit, d’internaliser les structures grammaticales et d’élargir leur vocabulaire de lecture et d’écriture. Le développement de ces compétences en écriture améliorera leur lecture.
Cette session portera principalement sur la création de textes personnalisés afin de développer un fondement solide en littératie qui aidera les enfants à lire des histoires de niveau C. 
Presenter:  Lisa Harvey
Lisa Harvey est directrice nationale à la formation en intervention préventive en lecture-écriture responsable de la mise en œuvre du programme au Canada. Elle est une éducatrice chevronnée avec plus de 15 ans d’expérience en enseignement dans des salles de classe d’immersion française pour les premières années de l’élémentaire et dans des postes de spécialiste, y compris enseignante-ressource et enseignante spécialisée en littératie chez les jeunes enfants. Elle a contribué à l’apprentissage professionnel des enseignants au niveau des écoles et des centres régionaux pour l’éducation et conseils scolaires. Lisa se passionne de l’enseignement du français et de la réussite des élèves.

A14  Google Slides - Everything You Need to Know and 10% Extra
Pick your Own PD:
In this session teachers will be offered a choice board of PD topics and given the opportunity to collectively choose what they want to learn. The board will offer a variety of short professional development opportunities and will cover a range of concepts, topics and ideas. The majority of the topics are adaptable to all grade and curriculum levels.
Google slides are often thought of as just a presentation tool, but it can be used for so much more from posters and Brochures to Create your own adventures, drag and drop pages and interactive choice boards. This session will cover many of the features available,. Allowing teachers and students to use google slides more effectively.
Check out  our eLearning Support Site:
Presenter:  Louise Haycocks

A15  Podcasting in the Classroom- Using Speaking and Listening to improve reading and writing
This session will look at podcasts and how they can be used in the ELA classroom to improve literacy- notably how listening to podcasts can be an UDL approach to tackling reading outcomes and how creating podcasts can address writing outcomes. It will also discuss tech suggestions for creating podcasts in the classroom with your students and resources for using podcasts with your students. 
PresenterKathleen L. Creelman

A 16   Google Apps Re-Invented
Kick Google Apps up a notch! This presentation will show you how you can take the Apps you and your students already know and love, and easily repurpose and reinvent how they are used. How- to instructions, and resources will be available.
Presenter:  Kate English is a Technology Integration Learning Specialist with CCRCE. She has taught everything from grade 3 to 12, in-person, online, and in China. She is not only eager to share, but also to learn. 

Session B (1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.)

B1:  See A1

B2 : Explore how Google forms Choice Eliminator works and how you can use it to think outside the box in your classroom.
In this session teachers and administrators will learn numerous ways in which Google forms choice
eliminator can be used to set up parent-teacher meetings as well as numerous other functions.
Presenter: Paul Butler: An educator for the past 35 years with Chignecto Central Regional Centre for
Education. I have been a Technology Integration Specialist since 2004-05.

B3:  See A3

B4 Why Don’t We Ever Read Books When We’re Having Guided Reading? Bringing Reading Back to the Guided Reading Table-Intended Audience – P/1 Classroom Teachers and Early Literacy Support Teachers
Small Group instruction is the most effective way to teach literacy in the early years. This session will explore the necessity of teaching responsively while using READING as the vehicle for learning. It is intended to provide participants with a different way of planning and implementing small group lessons with a focus on Literacy Processing, using I can statements, understanding Reading Behaviors, and ways to connect learning about letters and words. Emphasis will be placed on thinking about what the learner CAN do and designing instruction responsively and explicitly to move them toward more independence. Handouts will be provided.
Presenters: Jana Logue Arbou, AVRCE Literacy Intervention Consultant and Lisa Hoover, CCRCE, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader.
Jana has been an educator for over 35 years. She has spent more than 25 of those years as an Early Elementary Classroom Teacher. She has a passion for literacy that keeps her from retiring! In her role as Literacy Intervention Consultant, she is able to work with classroom teachers, Reading Recovery teachers, Early Literacy Teachers and children!
Lisa Hoover began her teaching career in Toronto as an elementary teacher over 25 years ago. Feeling the pull of the ocean, Lisa moved to Nova Scotia 9 years ago, where she fell in love with the rugged landscape, beautiful people and met with a life-changing professional opportunity to train as a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader. Lisa is thankful for the exceptional educators near and far who travel with her on a continuous professional journey with endless opportunities to discover what’s possible.

B5:  See A5
B6:  See A6
B7:  See A7
B8:  See A8
B9:  See A9
B10:  See A10
B11: See A11
B12:  See A12
B13:  See A13
B14:  See A14

B15 Technology, Literacy, and the Social Studies Classroom
This session will examine the renewed 7&8 SS curriculum through a cross curricular approach of achieving ELA/literacy outcomes within the context of the SS curriculum and a lens of technology integration. It provides an overview of the renewed curriculum and inquiry based learning and then discusses various ways technology can be integrated with the SS content in relation to meeting SS and ELA outcomes. 
Presenter: Kathleen L. Creelman

B16  See A16

CONFERENCE FULL - Registration Closed

< back to NSTU Professional Association Conferences