Understanding Learning Disabilities

“Students with learning disabilities are smart. With careful planning and instruction they can be successful. Giving them the support they need and helping them understand how they learn best, teaches them skills for life.”

~YRDSB. (2016, December 21). York Waterfall Chart: Understanding Learning Disabilities – How Processing Affects Learning. Retrieved March 31, 2017, from https://www.ldatschool.ca/educator-supports/york-waterfall-chart/

I attended a meeting last week led by the Learning4All Team and the focus of our morning discussion was how we can better understand learning disabilities, and how processing affects learning. I was given a new resource that explores how we plan and support programming in response to a student’s assessed area(s) of strength and/ or need that I wanted to share with you.


Understanding Learning Disabilities YRDSB

Waterfall Chart LD

If you haven’t seen these resources in your schools yet, I would encourage you to spend some time reviewing them! This is a powerful framework to help teachers, support staff, admin, and coaches better understand how to support all learners in our system.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, or connect with your Learning4All Coach!

A Kids’ Guide to Canada is Coming to AMDSB 01/2017

A Kids’ Guide to Canada – By Kids, For Kids

Un guide du Canada – par des enfants, pour des enfants


AKGTCanada is a national teacher-led initiative being organized by elementary teachers from across the country, and sponsored by the Canadian Education Association, Esri Canada, the Digital Human Library, ihub Niagara, Orion Network, Contact North, Canadian Geographic Education, ABEL Program at York University, MediaSmarts Canada, and ECOO (the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario)…

Beginning on January 1st, 2017, every elementary student in Canada from JK to Grade 8 is invited to mark the year of Canada’s 150th birthday by helping to write a new chapter in Canada’s story. 

We’re asking students to collaborate and help create the first interactive and multilingual guide to Canada which has been produced by kids and for kids!

img_3090We’re challenging students in every corner of the country to investigate, honour, and introduce the land and people of their local home community to their 5 million peers who live across Canada’s vast physical and multicultural landscape – and to do so in their own native language wherever possible.

With a special focus on connecting students in marginalized, remote, minority language, and Indigenous communities, the project provides students with an exciting opportunity to use their choice of tools, old and new, to meet and start to truly get to know their multi-cultured peers, from sea to shining sea to shining sea.clhp9hhwaaanvib

Peer-to-peer connections, inquiry, and deeper learning are at this project’s heart and soul. In this historic 150th birthday collaboration, the youngest members of our Canadian, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities have a very real opportunity to contribute to a new culture of mutual understanding, empathy, and respect.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Registration for AKGTCanada will open in the late fall all of 2016.

Participation is completely voluntary!

For information and updates, please sign up for the AKGTC Mailing List

For a summary of the project, please see the FAST FACTS. 

And for a more detailed understanding of the project, please read through the DETAILS.

Leigh  Cassell
National Co-ordinator
A Kids’ Guide to Canada – Un Guide du Canada

Mistakes are Important: Kjo nuk është në anglisht

I am well aware that the title of this post may seem a little odd. Stay with me.

If all goes according to plan, you will see a lot of information on my Grade 2 class blog this year about having a growth mindset.  For a Grade 2 learner, having a growth mindset boils down to three key understandings, one of which is “Mistakes are Important”.  I don’t often blog on weekends, but this has been on my mind. You see, I owe an explanation about something I shared earlier in the year.

Mistakes are Important

I made a mistake at the very end of the first post I wrote for my 2016-2017 class.  I inserted a google doc about blogging.  The document is not in English.   It is in Albanian. This was an important mistake, so important that I didn’t translate it back. When I finish an English version of the letters that go home with most of Team 2, I use Google Translate to make a version for families that do not speak English.  When I wrote that blog post, somehow I managed to insert the wrong version.  This was an important mistake.

All of the Grade 2 families in my class have access to my blog. However, not all of these families speak or read English at home. Imagine what it would be like to try to figure out what the Team 2 blog was all about if everything you saw there was as confusing as my title today (and my Google Doc).  I left this mistake because it was an eye-opener for me, and I thought it would be an eye-opener for some of my readers as well.

The other piece of this mistake that is important is that it made me aware of how uncomfortable my audience is with the mistakes of others. I have had a document on my blog published in another language for almost 3 weeks, and no one (besides my father – thanks for continuing to read everything I write Dad!) pointed it out or asked me if this was intentional.  The counter I keep on my blog indicates that many people saw it.   What made everyone hesitate to point out such an obvious anomaly?

I plan to blog in English for the rest of the year.  If you notice another language periodically, do what the families who do not speak English have to do.  Translate it.  Hint: Click here

Becky Versteeg
Grade 2, Listowel Eastdale