Ross River is a small Kaska Dene First Nations Community in Yukon located 410 km North-East of Whitehorse. Ross River School is a k-10 school with a student population of 70 students. All classes are taught in English and students attend daily Kaska language and culture classes.
From September 2009 to June 2013 I taught a split grade 5/6 class at Ross River School, in Ross River, Yukon. During this teaching assignment I:
- Provided daily delivery of instruction and evaluation of grade 5/6 areas of study (English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Health and Personal Development, Physical Education, Music
- Developed and edited instructional materials, such as books, experiments, lesson plans, and tests to meet learner needs.
- Planed and conducted activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provided students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Integrated instructional technology (Promethian Board, SMART Board, Wow!Board, Web 2.0, digital storytelling, animation, video production, gamification, augmented reality and mobile learning) cross-curricular to promote and support active-learning.
- In association with learning specialists assessed educational needs of students for the development of individualized learning plans.
- Adapted instructional content or delivery methods for different levels or types of learners.
- Modified teaching methods and materials to accommodate student needs.
- Observed and evaluated students’ academic performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Maintained accurate, complete, and correct student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Met and corresponded with parents or guardians to discuss children’s progress and to determine priorities and resource needs.
- Provided technical advice on the use of current instructional technologies, including computer-based training, desktop videoconferencing, multimedia, and distance learning technologies.
- Managed and maintained all classroom computers, 20 seat instructional lab, and 8 seat iPad lab as ICT lead. Attended a variety of training sessions on literacy and mathematics education to develop and maintain professional knowledge.
As the main grade 5/6 teacher, I was responsible for the day to day instruction, adaptation and modification of curriculum content to meet the varying educational needs of the students in my classroom. This often required creating differentiated projects for students to choose from where they could engage in hands-on learning activities that allowed students to observe, question, and investigate phenomena.
Incorporating Technology in the Classroom
As an educational technology specialist, I incorporated a variety of technological tools that enhanced the learning environment and experiences of my students. I employed a variety of Web 2.0 tools such as Wordle,Gloster,bubbl and Ed Canvas, mobile iPad based tools such as Voice recording software, Dragon Dictate, ,as well as traditional computer based tools such as Power Point, Comic Life, KidSpiration, Inspiration, and iMovie to allow my students to visually display their understanding and comprehension of materials. Often when introducing new topics to students, lessons began with short video(s) (Youtube, BrainPop or GoAnimate) to spark interest and discussion amongst the class.
In my last two years of teaching at Ross River, I incorporated the use of an interactive whiteboard (Now!Board) as well as the ActivSlate into my daily teaching to add an additional layer of interactivity. Students were able to control and manipulate objects on the whiteboard (ie: write answers, move objects around, manipulate maps..) and interact with the computer at the same time. The overall reaction of my students was positive and they highly enjoyed the added layer of interactivity.
Incorporating STEAM in the Classroom
During my last year at Ross River School I incorporated weekly coding / maker sessions into my classroom schedule on Wednesday afternoons. During this time my class participated in a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) related activities through the Destination Imagination program, sponsored by Yukon Education.