Wild About Vancouver is a celebration of the outdoors being held from April 18-25, 2018. Activities are planned by individuals, schools, sports organizations and community groups and centres. All activities planned during the week are free to participants. The goal for the week is to generate lots of energy, ideas and momentum for participation in outdoor learning, activities and fun that continues well beyond the week long celebration. There are lots of opportunities to participate.
- Get ideas and register on the Wild About Vancouver website. Tweet out lesson ideas, activities, events and blog links. Be sure to include @WildAboutVan so we can retweet and generate some excitement!
Hashtags #getoutside #getoutdoors #outdoorlearning #outdoorclassroom #natureschool
3. Email blog posts to email@example.com
4. Encourage a friend to participate in an outdoor activity.
- Ideas from University Hill Elementary School for the 2018 Wild About Vancouver
- scheduled weekly nature school / outdoor learning experiences
- Hatch butterflies in the classroom
- Create a butterfly garden for them to live in when they are released
- Create an Outdoor Classroom
- Start a leadership group to teach playground games
- Plant Potatoes.
- Start Worm Composting
- Raise salmon fry and release them into the wild
- Read Gillian Judson’s new book, A Walking Curriculum with your staff or community group and try out a few of the walks or ALL 60!
- Host an Earth Day Barbeque
For those interested outdoor enthusiasts outside the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, British Columbia, consider of the continuing the movement in your community!
PechaKucha, Ignite and Edvent presentations have various rules to govern the format. They have one basic elements in common, to engage the audience and communicate a message within a fast paced presentation.
PechaKucha Nights (PKNs) are a Japanese innovation to allow presentations from multiple presenters throughout the night. 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total) hence the name “PechaKucha” or “chitchat”. How To Make a Petcha Kutcha is a YouTube “meta-kutcha” created by Marcus Weaver Hightower from The University of North Dakota. He goes through all of the essential elements to consider, including slide show suggestions in the preparation. Rosa Fazio @collabtime used Spark Video for her Ignite at The British Columbia Principals’ Vice Principals’ Association Friday Forum which was very powerful.
Ignite sessions are similar. 20 slides are advanced at intervals of 15 seconds for a total 5 minute presentations. The 1st Ignite took place in Seattle in 2006 and the presentation format has spread exponentially to cities all over the world to multiple disciplines.
EDvents are less formal in form for educators coming together to “chitchat” about educational issues. The inspirational quality of the 5 minute is presentation is at a premium to stimulate educational discourse between speakers at the event. There could be one slide, There could be props. There could be an adherence to pechakucha or ignite format. There could be a theme. I presented on a “Menu for Meaningful Learning” in keeping with the food theme at EDvent 2017 in Burnaby, British Columbia.
The challenge of all of these formats is to remove all of the extraneous detail, to make the message succinct and content engaging. My first “EDvent” was extremely stressful. My ability to ad lib by reading the audience was stripped away by the need to follow a well-practiced script to ensure my presentation was coordinated with the timed slides. It was different from any other presentation I had done, albeit not quite as stressful as my 9th Grade oral report on the tomato plant. Fortunately I was surrounded by like-minded educators who were proud of me for being brave enough to take the risk.
I have been asked to do another ignite and I’m starting to think about how to improve on my last performance. I’ve gone to two respected colleagues who have taken the “edvent” to an art form. Gillian Judson @perfinker responded that a good ignite session “comes from a position of engagement and connects with the heart of the listener.” Rosa Fazio @collabtime also shared similar wisdom: “When I write an ignite, my goal is to make a connection between the head and the heart.” There you have it! The aspiration to connect and inspire the listener is what dictates the power of the presentation.
On April 17th, I will be attending another Edvent 2018 #tunEDin organized by Gabriel Pillay @GabrielPillay1 with the effervescent enthusiasm of his sister, Rose Pillay @RosePillay1 aka CandyBarQueen. I am looking forward to connecting with other colleagues in Education, being inspired by the signature EDvent format and to glean helpful hints for my next ignite session. I hope to see you there.
The BC Literacy Council of the International Reading Association (BCLCIRA), commonly known as ReadingBC, has long been committed to improving student engagement in books and proficiency in literacy. Members read journals such as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, attend conferences and get together to discuss things they have tried in their classrooms and communities and the things they’d like to try. Coming together with people with like minds is an energizing experience and lends itself to reflecting on practices that are tried and true and substantiated with research in the field. Members have readily embraced The International Literacy Association’s quest to start a worldwide Literacy Movement.
For the 2015-2016 year, Reading BC (BCLCIRA) is trying to broaden participation and the diversity of ways that literacy leaders in British Columbia can engage with other literacy educators both in person and online.
While it is increasingly difficult to organize and facilitate larger scale meetings due to high costs and increasing demands on our time, the ReadingBC executive committee has come up with some exciting opportunities to develop a variety of possibilities to engage in professional development and engage in community focused projects to advocate for literacy.
- Join a ReadingBC Book Club. Choose one of the books selected by members. Form a book club with peers.
- Participate in the discussion about a Book Club selection with colleagues via a TWITTERCHAT.
- Read Spirals of Inquiry (Judy Halbert & Linda Kaser) and decide on an inquiry question to pursue with a group of colleagues.
- Form a ReadingBC Community action focus to encourage children to engage in literacy activities or educate parents.
- Form a Literacy Committee if you have a well established group wanting to commit to regular professional development and advocacy in your area.
Check out the link below for ideas BCLCILA Projects.final (3) copy and opportunities to join the International Literacy Association . If you are a member of the International Literacy Association and live in British Columbia, you currently have a free membership to the provincial chapter, BCLCIRA / ReadingBC. We have designated funding to help members get started from a grant from the Lower Mainland Council of The International Association (LOMCIRA), a local chapter before it went into dormancy. Please check out the opportunities and send applications for funding or questions to the provincial coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the other contacts on the website.
Hopefully this will forge some of the connections to continue building a community of literacy learners in British Columbia, and perhaps beyond.
Gabriel and Rose Pillay pull off another stellar event for educators At Moderne Burger on Broadway. One Word. An Ignite Night with a bit of a twist. Created by twitter or popularized by it? Not too sure. Participants are the presenters. An Educational Paradigm. A personal philosophy. All good as long as you can nail it down to one word and explain it in 120 seconds or less. I didn’t quite get mine out in the 2 minute time frame so here it is.
Initially choosing one word seemed to be impossible. Then it was abundantly clear to me that there really was only one word. Some of my most amazing learning has come out of doing things that terrified me:
- Travelling by myself
- Doing a French Immersion Program at Laval when my French was SO bad
- Going to my first interview for a teaching position in a peach suit when everyone else in the waiting room was wearing black
- My first speech in a professional capacity at a retirement function
- Changing grades
- Changing schools
- Giving birth
- Defending my thesis
- Doing a mini triathlon
- Changing school districts
- Ziplining upside down
- Going to teach in China for the summer
- Doing my first online meeting with Distributed Learning Administrators
The list could go. Both personally and professionally, it’s the stretch that pushes me to the thrill of new learning. I suppose we all fall into comfortable spaces where we feel safe and successful. Venturing out of that comfort zone risks failure. I have discovered that the definition of failure is largely a set up dependent on my own expectations of myself. The sting of failure may be personally humiliating. The embarrassment daunting. The injustice palpable. However the advantage of experiencing failure is you realize that it won’t kill you.
The advantage of the risk is that you push yourself to do something that you never quite imagined. I loved the first school I worked at in Abbotsford. A little primary school with a tight knit staff that worked closely on literacy initiatives and song experience games, hands on Science and supported each other personally. When I left that school for the first 6 months, my friend’s husband would say “Dormick Park”, and I’d cry on cue. However I also learned that with every change to a bigger fish pond, I learned new things personally and professionally. Teaching in China taught me to pay more attention to cultural differences and a healthy respect for my students struggling to learn English. Entering the world of technology taught me very quickly that I needed to move beyond texting “y” for “yes”. “N” for “No” and “P” for “Phone me right now.” I don’t get bored. I just try something new. Today – One Word Burger. I wish the same kind of risk taking and the same thrill of new learning for my colleagues and my students. My word – RISK.
Teams were pulled up the the mic to present together. Clarity was for those of us with names starting with “C”. Sense of team was foraged quickly! Fun event. The only thing I’d do differently would be to hold people to the 2 minute time limit. Perhaps a big horn or my hand bell 🙂 Great group of people. Great collection of ideas. Great burgers and milkshakes – Thanks Moderne Burger!
The International Reading Association, like many organizations, is experiencing challenges due to retirement of baby boomers, the downturn in many economies, and competing interests for the time of literacy educators. Although the name is changing to The International Literacy Association, reading remains at the core of the mission and purpose. The broader term “literacy” has the advantage of being less reductive and reflects the reality that literacy professionals deal with a cluster of skills that also include speaking, listening, writing, and presenting.
The mission of the International Reading Association is to promote reading by continuously advancing the quality of literacy instruction and research worldwide.
- Enhance the professional development of reading educators worldwide
- Organize and support IRA Councils and Affiliates as networks of reading educators
- Promote a broad view of literacy
- Help educators to improve the quality of literacy instruction through publications and conferences
- Prepare educators to assume different roles as reading professionals
- Provide leadership in the continuously changing nature of reading in a digital age
Advocate for research, policy, and practices that support the best interests of all learners and reading professionals
- Foster life-long literacy habits
- Promote high quality teacher and student learning to improve reading instruction
- Keep policy makers informed about IRA’s positions
- Develop policy and position statements
- Provide members with background information and resources
- Collaborate with national and international policy makers
- Establish and strengthen national and international alliances with a wide range of organizations
- Work with governmental, nongovernmental, and community agencies; businesses, industries, and donors
- Develop and support IRA councils and affiliates around the world
- Collaborate with a range of partners on long-term efforts to improve literacy
The British Columbia Literacy Council of IRA (BCLCIRA, more commonly known as Readingbc) has just passed a slate of dedicated International Reading Association members to carry on the work in British Columbia from the ranks of public schools, private schools and retired teachers. We’re particularly pleased to welcome Mike Bowden, to bring the voice of teachers in Central BC to our provincial council. The latest coup of this IRA council has been to secure the commitment of Kristen Ziemke, co-author of Connecting Comprehension & Technology: Adapt and Extend Toolkit Practices to present at our fall conference on Oct. 24th, 2014 – provincial professional development day in British Columbia. Her presentation & book, co-authored by Stephanie Harvey, Anne Goudvis and Katie Muhtaris, was very well received at the IRA AGM this past May.
In my capacity as provincial coordinator, I will be attending an intensive multi-day program in Tampa from July 10-13, which is designed to provide Council Leaders with training in the areas of governance, finance, advocacy and strategic planning.
LOMCIRA has always been synonymous with “committed literacy educators”. Over the years, many people have come together to talk books (for old and young), kids and classroom environments. Many of you may have attended meetings at Schou in Burnaby, sharing sessions at VSB schools or conferences in hotels. This past year, LOMCIRA has gone into dormancy. Although there are still a wealth of committed literacy educators in the Lower Mainland, a group of people have not stepped into the existing International Reading Association group structure.
A unique opportunity exists for a group of like-minded individuals to step forward and create a new literacy group that meshes with their needs and goals. In the past, LOMCIRA took on large projects and invited researchers and published authors to stimulate discussion about applications of research into the classroom. A new group may decide to meet periodically throughout the year to discuss the latest ReadWriteThink ideas or invite an author to talk about their writing process.
BC Literacy Council members could also be invited to support the group and share their wealth of knowledge. In my capacity as provincial coordinator, I’d be more than happy to work with International Reading Association members to familiarize them with the opportunities in the IRA or ways to organize sharing sessions or meetings. Certainly all of us can tell you about the amazing opportunity of going the IRA Annual General Meetings like the one coming up in New Orleans. I presented with The Canadian contingent at an AGM in New Orleans. The Jazz Festival, the food, especially the beignes were as amazing as participating in symposiums and meetings with the people have written the books we love to discuss.
Please let me know if you would be willing to work with educators in the Lower Mainland in meeting the goals of bringing current research and quality literature into our classrooms.