Summer Learning 2018

Primary Learning

Program Focus for GRADE ONE Literacy

4 Literacy classes (74 students)

2 Blended (51 students)

The Primary Summer Learning Program for Literacy​ is a targeted, strategy-based, short term intervention program for grade one students. The three week, half-day program provides intensive strategies for students intended to boost reading comprehension and fluency skills along with communicating and presenting ideas in writing. Small group learning opportunities that leveraged daily, guided reading with components of comprehensive literacy (e.g. word work, phonemic awareness, fluency, decoding, etc.) served as the foundation for the intervention. The afternoon part of the day involved participation in a recreation program,

Program Focus for GRADE TWO Numeracy

3 Numeracy classes (53 students)

The Primary Summer Learning Program for Numeracy​ ​is a targeted, strategy-based, short term intervention program for grade two students. The three week, half-day program provides intensive strategies intended to support students’ learning in place value and in the area of addition and subtraction. Students must have the foundational pieces of more/less, number recognition, counting skills, sequencing and ordering . Small group guided math opportunities served as a foundational component of the program. Guided Math groupings (typically formations of four groupings for the class) served to support the gap closing goals for the numeracy focus (numeracy: quantity, place value and operational sense-addition facts). Teachers used the small grouping for specific, intentional teaching of concepts and follow up. This structure supported students to take risks, use manipulatives to represent their thinking that they may not have had prior experiences with and to share thinking within a small, safe group. In addition, teachers used guided groups to pre-teach concepts and use of new manipulatives in order to allow students to participate at their optimal level for other opportunities such as games. Key additions this year involved the use of Mythology resources.


  • The AMDSB Summer Learning programs continues to revise, reconsider and plan innovative and impactful approaches for connecting summer learning to the emerging school year. These considerations include school administrators, teachers and students in addition to families.
  • A consideration regarding optimal approaches for relaying specific data about student learning from summer learning to the current classroom is ongoing. A brief overview of the program highlighting the instructional foci, resources, program overview, benefits, successes and challenges, student gains and growth along with the SLP student report are essential elements.

Summer Learning Student Reports.

The reports are an opportunity for Summer Learning teachers to share insights on the students and programming directly with the receiving school administrators and teachers. Currently, copies of the Summer Learning reports written by SLP teachers will be delivered directly to the receiving school principals and or directly to the current classroom teacher by Program Department Teaching and Learning Coaches Information from the collected parent surveys will be shared.

Running record data and numeracy diagnostics will be shared at the time reports are delivered.

Primary Learning Afternoon Recreation Providers

Avon Hub

Gallery Stratford * Nell Crook, Curator of Exhibitions and Education

Maitland River

North Huron Wescast Community Complex * Rachelle Gerrie & Kim Scholl

Goderich Public School

YMCA South Western Ontario * Debbie Wingrove

Exeter Elementary

London Bridge * Shannon Vaders

Robotics Mentorship


Bee-bots are simple, two-wheeled robots with only seven controls, and no environment sensing capability. Movement is programmed using the direction buttons (forward, backward, left, right) in sequence, up to 40 movements. When the GO button is pressed, the Bee-bot executes all programmed movements. The cancel button erases programmed movements, and the pause button adds a pause to the sequence. Movement is consistent – all moves are the same speed and distance – so calculation of distance, estimation of distance, and navigation around a pre-defined course is straightforward. This gives a good introduction to robotics concepts – they have a program, they execute that program until reprogrammed – as well as how they are programmed. Bee-bots can help enforce shapes, counting, repetition and patterning skills.


Spheros – Spheros are iPad connected, spherical robots. Spheros can be programmed in many ways, each differing in complexity. Driving mode simply allows the Sphero to be controlled via the app. Speed, direction, and LED light colour can all be manipulated from the app in Driving mode. In Drawing mode, students are given a grid upon which they can draw the path they want their Sphero to travel. Speed is based on the colour drawn, and any arbitrary speed can be assigned to a colour. The last mode of control is Block Coding. Block Coding is a simple coding method designed specifically for young children. Specific functions are assigned to blocks, and multiple blocks can be arranged together. Most functions have properties that can be changed, such as the ‘roll’ function, in which you can change the direction, speed and duration of the roll. For this program, only the Drawing mode was used. Driving mode offered few opportunities to learning robotics concepts. Block coding was introduced to a few students, however, it was not continued due to the advanced concepts and time constraints. One concept that must be fully understood in order to effectively use the Spheros is that of direction and angle. Since the Spheros have no ‘front’ or ‘back’, they must be aimed in order to define the ‘front’ and ‘back’ and therefore the forward, backward, left and right directions. Failing to properly aim a Sphero results in wrong, and often difficult to predict movement. Spheros are an excellent way to teach the concept of trial and error – an essential part of robotics. Especially in Drawing mode, students must analyze what their Sphero did in relation to what they draw, and make changes in order to correct mistakes.


Ozobots are an introduction to the concept of code. Different combinations of colours are read by the Ozobots as they drive over them. Each code triggers a different action from the Ozobot. Ozobots come with markers in specific colours, which allow the creation of custom ‘tracks’ (see included documents). The markers can be used to fill in the blank sections with code. Using the Ozobots to test codes provides instant feedback for the student. There are different types of codes: simple codes tell the Ozobot to go a certain speed (fast, slow), do special movements (tornado, spin, etc), or make decisions (left at the next intersection). More advanced codes will start timers and count points. In this program, advanced codes were not used. Ozobots, along with custom tracks, teaches students about order (codes are order-dependent), decision making (what do they want the robot to do at any given intersection), and problem solving (why a code may not work, how to get the Ozobot to follow a specific path around a track).

Collaborating with Bee Bots

Colour coding with Ozbots

Collaborating with Shereos

Intermediate Learning

Literacy - Media Mania
  • 13 participants from grade 6-8 during July 2-6 at SCSS
  • 12 participants from grade 6-8 during July 9-13 at SCSS

This learning opportunity was designed to have students walk away from this camp knowing how to create digital stories from their own imagination or to demonstrate their understanding of anything they have read or learned about in any subject area.

Learning Goals

  • Students will recognize the features and and stylistic elements of narrative, persuasive, expository and descriptive writing.
  • Students will follow the writing process to create a digital story.
  • Students will be able to articulate their strengths, weaknesses and set goals for improvement in their writing and media publishing for next year.
  • Students will learn a variety of new tools to enhance digital storytelling.

Digital Storytelling Road Map

Students started the day with a Breakout Box to build on collaboration, critical thinking and creativity

They are given a series of clues that they need to solve in order to unlock a series of locks within a 45 minute time limit.

Paper 53 was used to foster sketchnoting and storyboarding.

Students created their own original soundtracks to add create mood and tone in their digital stories.

Students used Stickbots with a greens screens to tell digital stories

Students editing their Green screen by Do Ink work.

Students creating their own Animations with Animations by DoInk.

Students went for walks and talked about the importance of taking a break from screens in their lives.

Here's what the students had to say when asked how they will use what they learned at camp:

I will used what I have learned next year at school by knowing how to work together, knowing how to be more creative, and knowing how to use all of the “media making” apps.
I will make my projects better by using the apps and websites that we looked in to this week.
I will be able to create notes that I will be able to understand better, and I will be able to create different types of projects for my teachers.
I will use my new knowledge about media making tools to create movies and projects to bump up my mark on projects at school.
Math & Science - Maker Madness

14 grade 6-8 students participated from July 16-20 at GDCI

Maker Madness was an exciting, four-day summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering, and math. Grade 7 and 8 Students explored the wonderful world of design, creation and innovation to find solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating hands-on activities.

Secondary Summer Learning

Co-op Placements Across the District

HAP Plumbing and Heating

Baes Holsteins

Pinnacle Transportation

Ramseyer Earthworks

JE Witschi Construction

Greenwood Court

Perth East Pool

Camp Bimini

RV construction

Jim Watt Stables

Clinton Foodland

Family Paradise Camping Park

Point Farms

Seaforth Lions Pool

Goderich Public Library

International Students

Capture Canada Summer Camp 2018

What an adventure!

  • 18 Chinese students from Kunshan Tonghai
  • Experiential Middle School and two chaperones visited
  • Home base was Stratford Northwestern Secondary School from July 7th to July 21st Students were engaged in English as a Second Language classes and immersed in the language as they explored and learned more about Canada
  • Highlights of their trip to Canada included Niagara Falls, Canada’s Wonderland, CN Tower, Universities of Toronto and Waterloo
  • Workshops at the school included creating their own Canada hockey jerseys, and construction of a wood shelf to take home

Staff Learning

PD Offered by the Program Department

Early Numeracy - Understanding and Developing Student Thinking with Lawson’s Continuum - 20 participants

Target: Grade 1-3 teachers of mathematics, with applicability to Junior teachers looking for strategies to help students struggling with number and operations

Curriculum Connections: specifically addresses the Operational Sense expectations in Grades 1-4 (solve problems involving addition & subtraction in Grades 1-2, extending to include multiplication and division in Grades 3 and 4)

This session will focus on the continuum of numeracy skills developed by Dr. Alex Lawson in her book, What to Look For, (2016). Participants will engage in activities and discussion designed to help them fully understand the stages of the continuum, so that they can identify the strategies their students are using to work with numbers, as well as the key concepts that they are developing. In addition, we will explore ideas and specific activities for moving students along the continuum, helping them to develop more sophisticated and efficient strategies for solving computations and performing operations with numbers.

Number Talks -23 participants

Target Audience: Grade 4-10 teachers of mathematics.

Curriculum Connections: specifically addresses the Operational Sense expectations in Grades 4-8 (solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals, extending to fractions and integers in Grades 7 & 8)

Why Number Talks? Have you ever lamented your students’ lack of understanding of key concepts in math? Are you looking for ways to help them develop mathematical understanding that goes beyond the rote application of memorized procedures? Number Talks are an excellent strategy that promote not only mathematical thinking and sense-making, but also equity and inclusion, by providing access points for all learners. Participants will explore how Number Talks help students to make sense of the math, by engaging in reasoning and proving, and communicating their thinking. We will discuss how to facilitate the Math Talk Routine so that “students will develop a strong sense of the meaning of quantities and operations while gaining proficiency with mathematical practices” (Making Number Talks Matter, 2015, p. 1)

Addition and Subtraction Across the Grades - 10 participants

Target audience: Grade 2-6 teachers of mathematics.

Curriculum Connections: specifically addresses the Operational Sense expectations

Participants will explore how to develop a flexible understanding of addition and subtraction using 4 task types to move in a progression from conceptual understanding to procedural fluency across the grades. The strategies and models used to support student thinking will be examined in depth from grades 2 through 6. The development of math learning walls for operational sense with co-developed success criteria will be an integral part of this day.

Connecting the Parts: Comprehensive Literacy Program - 15 participants

Target Audience: Elementary teachers of Literacy grades 1-6

Curriculum Connections: Specifically targets Reading Overall Expectations 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, as well as Writing Overall Expectations, Oral Language. Learning Goals and Success Criteria for tasks will be addressed.

In this session, participants will explore components of a comprehensive literacy program using current resources that will anchor planning for literacy experiences that engage students and reflect curriculum expectations. Read aloud, shared reading, guided reading, word work, oral language and writing will be explored.

What to do after NAP (K - Grade 2) - 15 participants

Target Audience: K-2 teachers

In this session, participants will explore the fundamental concepts that are embedded within the Numeracy Assessment Portfolio (NAP). Participants will learn about the concepts in more depth and engage in games or activities to support this learning.

PD offered by Student Success

Microplastics Outreach Project - Growing Community Water Advocates to Protect our Great Lakes - 20 participants

Target Audience: Grades 4-6 with a Science and Social Studies Focus

This session will provide curriculum resources with training for a Junior division focused environmental education module. Cross-curricular connections include: microplastics, waste management, water systems and Lake Huron, biodiversity, with community and FMNI connections. Experiential learning opportunities and locations for individual school sites will be reviewed.

PD offered by Learning Services

Grand River Pow Wow - July 28 - 9 participants

AMDSB educators attended the annual Grand River Pow Wow held on the Six Nations Reserve. The teachers interacted with vendors who displayed cultural crafts, arts and literature they also took in the dance competitions and listened to the talented drumming groups who had gathered from across the province. Many of the teachers who attended were overwhelmed with the beauty of the event and the cultural display much of which did match the negative stereotypes they had been given growing up. The following is a teacher reflection from the day: “I learned so much and also realized just how much I need to learn... which I look forward to doing with my students this coming year and with my friends and family in the time to come. It is strange how in some ways I wish that I was at the beginning of my career as opposed to the end. This is an incredible awakening time for teachers.”

Social Thinking - August 20 & 21

Zooming In: Strategies for Concrete Learners (Aug 20th) - 38 participants

This course focused on developing rule-based social learning activities for students who are described as Challenged Social Communicators or Emerging Social Communicators on the Social Thinking-Social Communication Profile.

Zooming In: Strategies for Individuals with Subtle but Significant Social Problems (Aug 21st) - 37 participants

Educators who attended this course explored how to work with students who struggle with self-regulation, social anxiety, and depression, also described as Nuance-Challenged Social Communicators on our Social Thinking–Social Communication Profile.

UDL - August 23 - 10 participants

Educators who attended this session focused on the design aspect of UDL, using a framework developed by Shelley Moore. Participants engaged in activities and discussions designed to consolidate our understanding of the Learning for All document (2013).

Attendees explored the steps of planning for all students in the classroom. This included a strengths-based approach to creating student profiles, identification of appropriate learning goals for all students, and strategies to assess and teach with choice and flexibility. Participants had a chance to see examples and to practise designing for their own learners.

Teacher testimonial: "Our group was very engaged in discussions about UDL throughout the day. We had representation from K-12, but more than half were from secondary schools. Participants liked the strategies presented for planning for the "outside pins" (Shelley Moore) and thinking of layers of complexity for learning goals. They reflected on a shift in mindset about how to approach instructional planning. The practical examples were appreciated and some asked for even more examples.There was a definite sense that the strategies would be used in the classroom this year."

Here's what the educators had to say:

I will definitely try implementing this in my class.
I would love to come again once I have a class, to work together on planning.

BMS Full Cert - August 28 - 24 partipants

Educators earned their BMS certification. This training highlighted the importance of positive relationships as a protective factor for students to be successful in school and life. Participants learned how environment influences development and behaviour, and acquired the skills and strategies educators can use to support positive behaviour and to manage challenging behaviours at school.

ABA Workshop - August 30 - 12 participants

Participants registered to learn about the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to support students with challenging behaviours in the classroom. Topics covered included Prompting, Reinforcement, Data Collection and Transition Planning.

The feedback from the participants who attended was positive. They indicated that the information covered was relevant to the work they do in the classroom. There were participants from various grades- primary to secondary and they shared that the concepts and activities in the workshop applied to all grade levels.

PD Offered By IT Services

Google Read and Write - 17 participants

Wonderfully intuitive and easy-to-use, Read&Write provides personalized support to make documents, web pages and common file types in Google Drive (including: Google Docs, PDF & ePub) more accessible. It’s designed to help everyone engage with digital content in a way that suits his/her abilities and learning styles. Learn how to best support diverse learning styles with the powerful tool.

Snapverter - 12 participants

Snapverter quickly transforms classroom papers, images, and Bookshare eBooks into accessible, Google Drive-friendly files. Make every single word in your classroom truly accessible for every student. Snapverter is an add-on for Read&Write for Google that converts printed documents and inaccessible digital files into readable PDF files for easy sharing and reading aloud in Google Drive.

Effective Google Search - 12 participants

Be smart when you search the web. How to know a "good" website. Learn to go beyond "Googling it" using advanced search strategies, searching by copyright, file type region, reading level, searching in Maps, Trends, News. How to create Search Challenge for students. See what the Explore Tool can offer you and your students in Docs, Sheets & Slides.

Interactive Google - 12 participants

Learn how to create Hyperdocs in Google Docs, Choose your Own Adventure in Google Forms. Learn how to use Google Tour Builder, Cultural Institute, and Google Maps to create your own class field trips without ever leaving the class.

School Messenger for Secretaries and Administrators - 4 participants

Every parent has different communication preferences. With SchoolMessenger, you can reach parents in the way they want to receive messages. Send school notifications via voice, text, email, social media, web, and push notifications - and do so quickly and easily with this simple interface. School emergency alerts are the most important type of message a school administrator must send – and when a crisis situation hits your school, you need the technology that facilitates rapid parent notification.

AODA Compliance - 14 participants

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires us to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Learn about the standards you need to follow in documents and presentations. We will provide easy to use guidelines to help you ensure your communication is accessible to your staff, students and community.

School Messenger for Staff - 7 participants

Staff can easily send home classroom assignments, permission slips, and other files through the SchoolMessenger app. Using one-to-one messaging, teachers and parents can privately and securely discuss individual students. And through group chats, teachers can start discussions around classroom events, topics students are learning about, and more.

G Suite Tips, Tricks and Best Practices - 18 participants

Can’t find anything in your Google Drive? Is your mailbox a mess? G Suite can make your life easier if you just take a bit of time to learn the tips and tricks to organize your drive. Learn how to effectively search through your files and your mail. Learn how to share your files and folders

Google Docs, Sheets and Forms - 14 participants

Oh my! - G Suite is a wonderful collection of tools that can save you time and work. This workshop follows up from G Suite Tips, Tricks and Best Practices to show you the features of Google Docs, Sheets and Forms.

Google Sheets and Google Forms for documentation and assessment - 7 participants

Use the power of Google Sheets and Forms to analyze and interpret your student data. Learn how to create an assessment starting from a Google Sheet and see the results organized in your Google Sheet. Learn how to format Google Sheets to help you quickly interpret class and student results. Learn about the variety of assessment features available in Google Forms.

PQP 1 Summary

By Kathy Boyd, PQP instructor

10 PQP candidates and I met over 9 days during the first 2 weeks of July. This was offered through Brock University. This was a very intensive course with 7 assignments, plus the practicum proposal, full days in class and 35 hours of on-line readings and assignments packed into the 9 days. One of the participants commented on the last day that she was “physically drained but intellectually full.”

All of these future administrators are women -- 5 are from the secondary panel; 4 are elementary and one works as a lead at the board office.

This is the outline of the course, which is based on the Ontario Leadership Framework:

Module 1: Setting Directions

The principal builds a shared vision, fosters the acceptance of group goals and identifies and communicates high performance expectations.Candidates will be provided opportunities to:

• initiate, facilitate and manage change and operate successfully in a dynamic environment that is characterized by increasing complexity.

Module 2: Relationships and Capacity Building:

The principal strives to foster genuine trusting relationships with students, staff, families, caregivers and communities, guided by inclusive and respectful practices. The principal affirms and empowers others to work in the best interests of all students.

Candidates will be provided opportunities to:

  • build and sustain learning communities
  • support diversity and promote excellence, accountability, anti-racism, equity, partnerships and innovation
  • exercise ethical leadership in relationships with educational stakeholders.

Module 3: Developing the Organization to Support Desired Practices:

The principal builds collaborative cultures, structures a safe organization for success and connects the school to its community through shared leadership practices Candidates will be provided opportunities to:

  • understand and apply education and student-related legislation in Ontario and district school board policies that have an impact on the school, students, staff and communite
  • manage and direct the human, material, financial and technological resources for efficient and effective schools.

Module 4: Improving the Instructional Program:

The principal sets high expectations for learning outcomes and monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of instruction. The principal manages and leads the school effectively to promote learning. Candidates will be provided opportunities to:

  • align, develop and monitor programs, structures, processes, resources and staff to support student achievement and well-being.

Module 5: Securing Accountability:

The principal is responsible for creating conditions for student success and is accountable to students, families, caregivers, the community, supervisors and to the board for ensuring that students benefit from a high quality education.

The principal is specifically accountable for the goals set out in the “School Improvement Plan”. Candidates will be provided opportunities to:

  • create a safe learning environment
  • understand the concept accountability and its consequences for the achievement and well-being of all students
  • acquire the tools to facilitate student success and lifelong learning in partnership with educators, families, caregivers and the community.

Module 6: Personal Leadership Resources

The principal utilizes a variety of personal leadership resources such as:

  • Cognitive Resources • Physical Resources
  • Social Resources • Emotional Resources
  • Psychological Resources • Cultural Resources
  • Spiritual Resources

Practicum proposals have been sent to Brock and OCT for approval. These will form the basis of the practicum requirements for Part 2. The topics of these proposals include Collaborative Inquiry, Improving eLearning, Mindfulness project (in secondary school), building experiential learning, transitions teacher development, increasing engagement for students and parents, DI and UDL in action, attracting students to stay in our public school system, and medically prevalent conditions.

All of the candidates expressed interest in continuing on with PQP 2. PQP2 dates haven’t been worked out yet, but the plan is that these will take place over this school year (likely starting early spring).

At the end of every day and at the end of the course I sent the candidates an exit slip to help me plan for the next day. These are some comments from the last day:

“What did you love about this course?”

All of the different administrators that came to share their expertise - I also loved this group to learn with - great people that will make great leaders :)
"The way the group has grown both intellectually and cohesively. I will miss this group!!

"What will you take away from this course?”

all the new learning about what a principal needs to be able to do, the networking with people, conversations that we had.
All of the different administrators that came to share their expertise - I also loved this group to learn with - great people that will make great leaders :)
The way the group has grown both intellectually and cohesively. I will miss this group!!

“What will you do/think differently now?”

I will look at things more system level. I can't wait to apply again (for VP pool).
I will not be afraid to take on more leadership roles in my building
I will try to process all the info from the last 8 days
I will take the learning and the greater respect for administrators forward into my work


Digital Image Credits

Digital image. Openness in Research. Boxcar Studio, n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.

Paint a Picture with Your Words. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 July 2017.

Storyboarding. Digital image. Redirect Notice. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2017.

Created By
J Jackson


Created with images by TeroVesalainen - "idea innovation imagination" • ReadyElements - "abc academic alphabet" • fotoblend - "pay numbers digits" • omourya - "park bench sitting seat wooden abandoned wood" • Scozzy - "bb8 bb-8 darth" • FirmBee - "macbook ipad office computer tablet apple screen" • Stefan Cosma - "Diorama city!" • Kai Dörner - "Rural Bavarian countryside sunset" • chuttersnap - "untitled image" • NeONBRAND - "untitled image" • Good Free Photos - "Sunrise over Lake Michigan" • Hal Gatewood - "untitled image" • Marvin Meyer - "untitled image" • Jordan Madrid - "untitled image"

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