RVS Guest Authors: The Rainbow Creek Elementary Learning Support Team (Laura McArthur, Principal, Dawn Rife, Assistant Principal, Susan Sellan, Resource Teacher, Jill Lloyd, Early Literacy Teacher, Steffi Kynoch, Child Development, and Darcey Campbell, ESL Teacher) – This year at Rainbow Creek Elementary, our Learning Support Team (LST) brainstormed ways to bring current research, published articles, or new divisional initiatives to our staff. Should we have book clubs? Let’s try blogging! How about time at staff meetings? After much discussion, the one thing we agreed on was that staff is often motivated by free lunch! The Lunch & Learn was born…
The topics we have chosen for our monthly Lunch & Learn sessions are linked to the needs of both our staff and our student population. Invited speakers have 20-30 minutes to share an overview of their area of expertise, provide takeaway classroom strategies, or answer specific questions from classroom teachers and support staff. The Lunch & Learns are not intended to be an in-depth look at the material; instead they are an opportunity to begin a conversation, pique a curiosity, or encourage a reflection.
At our first Lunch & Learn in January, RVS Literacy Learning Specialist Melanie Yanofsky spoke to the majority of our staff about English Language Learners. She presented an overview of language acquisition and discussed the differences between students who are using Basic Interpersonal Communication (BICS) or social language, and those who have Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). This is a timely topic in our building, as we are seeing a yearly increase in our ELL student population.
Additional Lunch & Learn sessions that have been scheduled include:
- February: Melanie Yanofsky, Literacy Learning Specialist – Literacy Strategies for All Learners
- March: Josh Hill, Learning Specialist – RVS Instructional Design Framework
- April: Kyle Fehr, Intake Coordinator Addiction and Mental Health Services, – Warning Signs & Resources
- May: Janet Gibb, Occupational Therapist – Sensory Perception Awareness
- June: TBD
As we continue on our path towards the implementation of Universal Learning Environments, it is our intent that these short, to the point professional learning sessions will improve the understanding of all students in our school and build staff capacity to address a variety of student needs.