ENGAGING the DISENGAGEDZoe Branigan-Pipe @zbpipe
Narrowing down the CHOICES...
My top 10 "Go To" Strategies, Tools, Apps and Programs for designing a 21st Century Classroom

As an Itinerant Teacher for Gifted and LD students at HWDSB, I often work with students who are disengaged in the regular school program. Many of these students are experiencing strong dichotomies in their learning since they have such a wide array of strong and weak areas and often this results in poor academics, low self-esteem and disconnect socially and academically.
This centre will demonstrate 10 strategies, tools, and techniques for engaging the 'disengaged' by bringing real world issues into the classroom. While my examples focus on my experiences with students with exceptionalities, the techniques are universally designed (what is good for one, is good for all). Through discussion and sharing, this centre will give practical ideas and take-away examples in the following areas:
  • Classroom Design "The Circle Concept"
  • The Tea Party - Why this is important
  • Use of Collaborative Docs (One Note, Office and Google Doc) for SHARED and TRANSPARENT day plans
  • Use of Professional and Personal Blog
  • Using MINECRAFT and LEGO for a DESIGN tool rather then a game (Design Thinking, Problem Based Learning)
  • IEP for Everyone (Student created and monitored IEP)
  • Use of EVERNOTE OR ONENOTE for Accommodation, Parental Involvement/communication and Assessment
  • Student Directed Field Trips (NOT facilitated by tour guides)
  • Podcasting and Audio Tools (Livescribe, Soundcloud)
  • Teaching kids and their parents to use GOOGLE CALENDAR collaboratively between them
  • The importances of Hands-on Learning and Creating (Making and Design). How to do this with LIMITED SUPPLIES


In my ONE HOUR presentation,
You will be given take-away examples and strategies that can be easily implemented into any classroom at any level. Participants will walk through a few practical lessons/workshops (all focus on community and social justice) that can be easily altered depending on their students needs or school setting. You will see a simple and clear strategy on how to have students create collaborative books (or showcase their own work) based on a theme, or topic and that require minimal technology. We will use MINECRAFT to demonstrate an example of how projects and designs can be easily integrated with writing, thinking and sharing. All lessons shared have been tried and tested within a Gifted/Enrichment class, with LD students and within a Regular (homeroom) classroom setting AND with a variety of tools (iPads, Netbooks and laptops).