Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Building Futures

The workshops that were put on by the Ministry of Education were very valuable in that they not only reinforced what I am learning in my classes but also provided more depth related to topics that I chose to learn about.

I found the presentation on Effective Instruction in Literacy very valuable in that I got a better sense of what literacy and literacy instruction really encompasses. I found this quote really resonated with me: "Ultimately, we want students to think critically, feel deeply and act wisely." I find these words very powerful and at the same time they really sum up what we would like to transfer as teachers. One of the pieces that I found really useful is the Model to differentiated instruction presented by Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm, which has a huge influence on student achievement.

I also found the Special Education presentation very interesting and comprehensive. Some of the statistics that were presented were quite shocking - like the fact that in 2006 - 30,000 of students that were formally identified as "exceptional" did not have IEPs. Another interesting point is that an IPRC decision is only valid in the jurisdiction that it is written. This information makes me really think about the impacts that this has on families and children.