Greg Smith, Assistant Curriculum Leader at Harbord Collegiate Institute with Tara Silver, Director of Academic Advising and Admissions at Linden.
Linden faculty spent a busy week before the official beginning of the school year in various professional development activities initiated by our new Principal, Janice Gladstone. One of the highlights of the week was a workshop led by Greg Smith, Assistant Curriculum Leader at Harbord Collegiate Institute and an expert in differentiated instruction.
Greg shared his experience with a variety of cross-curricular approaches to classroom teaching, including how to set assignments that integrate both the arts and the sciences. At Harbord Collegiate, and across the TDSB, the percentage of students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) is on the rise. While discussing various accommodations needed for such students, Greg emphasized that most of these accommodations are grounded in sound teaching practices that should be followed for all students.
Some strategies essential for all students include clear communication and providing information in more than one way, such as breaking down assignments into clearly defined steps, and explaining the purpose of each lesson at the beginning of the class, and providing a summary at the end of the class. Since Linden places strong emphasis on student engagement, ensuring each classroom activity is tailored to girls’ learning styles is an integral component of our program.
Faculty thoroughly enjoyed the interactive workshop and had the opportunity to share best practices and personal examples of successful teaching strategies that they have developed at Linden.