This page is for Information and Ideas from PITA Whistler:

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1. Get more information and links and a brief statements of what will be available from the publishers.

3. Workshop Comments and questions for the presenters- Post them here:

Post your questions and ideas here. To start the conversation, I've posted the workshop description below.

A. You CAN Teach Everybody Math
with John Mighton
Ability in math can be nurtured in even the weakest students. Be presented with evidence and ideas of math that should be used in the successful math classroom. Also learn hands on strategies to help those students who are struggling. Gr. 4-8 John Mighton is the founder of JUMP math, a charity dedicated to improving the teaching of mathematics. He is also an adjunct professor of math at U of T and a fellow of the Fields Institute.

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This year, I used Jump Math for a student who was 'off the charts' and needed extra support. The key (and hard) part was ensuring that I did a short lesson each day so that he understood the instructions and could do the lesson. Then, gradually, the 'step by step' nature of Jump Math helped him make progress and gradually gain confidence. In a way the confidence gained was the real benefit. Once he got greater number fluency, and confidence. He engaged more and started to make real progress. Ray.

B. Use Literature Circles To Motivate All Readers
with Elaine Jaltema
Keep the focus of reading on enjoyment and discussing the big, fat, juicy issues in the book. Using very little written work and no formal roles, learn how to motivate kids to read with a literature circle format that is uncomplicated and easy to manage (even if you haven’t read all of the books). Gr. 4-8
Elaine Jaltema, a teacher in the Burnaby School District, received the first Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Literacy.

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Hi there, I really enjoyed the conference and have myself created a lit circle that I would liks to share. Is there a good place to post all the materials that I have created?? Kari-
Put Lit circle suggestions in the Language Arts section.

C. Guys Write! Nine Sure-Fire Ways to Excite Your Boys (and Girls)
with Diana Cruchley
Maybe your boys don’t want to write, write the minimum, or don’t write well. This practical workshop presents 9 simple ways to TWEAK your writing program to make it fit more with how boys learn and includes more than two dozen great ideas for writing that your boys (and girls) will love – tomorrow.
Diana Cruchley is a recipient of the Governor General’s Flight to Freedom Literacy Award and a regular Pro-D presenter.

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D. Three ways to Differentiate Instruction with Amber Flanagan
Learn how to differentiate by planning your instruction to vary the content, process and/or product to engage all of the students in your classroom. Bring some lessons or a unit you have already created. Together we will examine some sample units before we start to redesign your own unit in the afternoon for use in your classroom right away! Gr. 3-7
Amber Flanagan holds an MA in Educational Psychology with a focus on student motivation and engagement.

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April 19: Hello everyone. I am really looking forward to the workshop on the 30th and hope it will answer all of your questions and meets all of your needs. Please post any questions you have here, bring them with you to the workshop and feel free to bring any examples, ideas or lessons you have seen or done that are either already differentiated to share, or that you would like to differentiate for next time. See you all there! Amber

May 15. I decided to try using a National Geographic Unit on 'Shaping Earth's Surface' as a spin off from my grade 4/5 weather unit. The kit has varied reading levels and some good sections. The thing I liked most was using it to teach Language arts outcomes like a cause and effect essay. I worked with my lowest writers and used a couple of the BLM from the book. During the summer I'll try to post a couple that I thought of myself that might work better.
I've posted a Learning by Design (sometimes called backwards design) unit plan (NOTE its NOT complete) in the Science section if you're interested. Ray

E. Use Simple, effective strategies to Reach More Kids... Better
with Mary Moody
Approach different student learning needs with a small arsenal of simple, effective and adaptable strategies that reach most students, most of the time. By using these strategies in a planned, purposeful and consistent way in all subjects and grades, you will reach and teach more students . . . better. Gr. 4-10
This is Mary Moody’s 14th PITA workshop, and teachers keep asking for more! Her sessions are hard driving and loaded with information.
- I'm saddened to report that Mary Moody passed away in 2014. She cared for children who were having trouble with school, and creatively looked for ways to help them succeed. She had so many ideas to share. Teachers whose children were having difficulty often when up to see her after her workshops, and she was always willing to share her ideas. She will be missed.
Ray

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April 25, 2010 - I am really looking forward to seeing Mary Moody again. She is so energizing! I have used some of her math strategies and watched my students go from feeling like failures to feeling confident that they could learn math. I have even used some of her strategies to help my stepson. I was trying to explain exponents to him one day and he just wasn’t getting it. Then I remembered Mary’s simple strategy… “Exponents are clones”, i.e., 2 to the power 3 is 2 cloned 3 times or 2 x 2 x 2. As soon as I explained it that way, my stepson looked at me and said, “That makes sense!” As a learning support teacher, I am always looking for ways to help classroom teachers enable more students to be successful in their classroom. Simple things like providing written instructions for students who have difficulty with auditory processing or short term memory. How can I help classroom teachers see that these kinds of simple adaptations are necessary for some students and that we are not “babying” students by providing such supports? I know myself if a teacher asks me something in the hallway, I always ask them to write me a note. Otherwise, I will forget what they asked! (I have so much to remember every day and my brain just doesn’t retain things as well as it used to. This is my way of coping with my overloaded memory.) Why can’t we see that our students need these kinds of “crutches” as well? Rae




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