Tagged: 21st Century Learning

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Image result for flipgrid png

Prior to this completing this week’s assignment, I had never used Flipgrid. And…to be completely honest, it took me waaayyy out of my comfort zone.

For whatever reason, I really dislike filming myself. I find I get really nervous and lose my ability to speak when on camera. Irrational, I know, but the thought of completing this week’s tasks almost brought me to tears as I had worked myself up in my head. For me personally, I would have really valued having had the option to express my thoughts in another way – writing, creating visuals, etc. 


“Your message is only as good as your ability to share it.”

When watching this video, titled The Value of Data Visualization, it was this final statement that stood out to me: “Your message is only as good as your ability to share it.”

Throughout all aspects of my life, it has always been important for me that things look nice. From graphic organizers for students to my own wedding invitations, I am a very meticulous creator. 

For the past four years, I have been teaching in a way that is unique to most. I have often struggled to succinctly explain what it is I do exactly. I have found this especially difficult in conversations with friends and family back home who lack context around how education is evolving.

“You work with 88 students in one room? Sounds like a free for all…” 

“You work with 4 other teachers all the time? How does that even work?”

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to create an infographic to help me with those conversations in the future. I believe this tool could be beneficial not only for myself, but for others as well. My colleagues, the school’s leadership team, admissions team, and marketing team could all use this tool when sharing our collaborative model with others. 

Grade 5 at ISD – Collaborative Teaching Model, by Caitlin Howald

65 students. 4 teachers. 1 flexible learning environment.

Collaboration is my reality. Day in and day out. We plan collaboratively. We teach collaboratively. So developing these skills in our students has become a huge focus of ours over the years.

Going into this year, as a team of 4 teachers, we were feeling a little underwhelmed. For three of us, this was our fourth year working together in a collaborative teaching model, and our third year in the space. We knew we wanted to change things up a bit. 

We are lucky to have a beautifully designed learning environment – designed by FNI and completed in August 2017. When finished, the designers put everything where they felt it was supposed to be, and it has just sort of stayed “in its spot” since then. 

So, to start this year…we did this…


Course 2 Final Project: Healthy Community Unit Plan

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

Over the past little while, my grade 5 teaching team has been discussing the creation of a new unit that will span this full year. We want it to be a “Who We Are” unit with a focus on developing and maintaining a healthy grade 5 community. While we had not specifically discussed it, I felt that Digital Citizenship fit nicely into this idea and so chose this task for the final project. I am really excited to be able to take this plan to my team, and hopefully put it into action at the start of the new school year!


Let them be amazing

Check out The Show About Science on Soundcloud

As I listened to Scott McLeod’s TEDx Talk about empowered young people my mind immediately went to Nate. At the age of 5 years old, Nate Butkus turned his passion for science (I mean it had been his “favourite topic since [he] was 3!) into a podcast in order to share this passion with the world! The Show About Science has been running for four years now, and Nate is still creating new episodes. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s definitely worth a listen! His episodes feature interviews with scientists and experts from around the world. He has even branched out and has recently created a new podcast about politics.