ACEE staff have decades of experience in delivering professional development workshops, from one hour workshops to multi-day sessions. We’ve presented at many ATA conventions, conferences, and professional development learning days, and have designed our own professional learning (conferences, leadership clinics, Alberta Green Schools, etc). We love working with teachers, and we’ll work with master teachers to co-present the workshops below whenever possible.
Check out our staff bios and contact either Gareth, Kathy or Christina if you are interested in any of the workshops listed below (emails are included in our bios).
Delivering on your curriculum - and increasing environmental and energy literacy - through Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Our promise: you'll leave this workshop with some good ideas - and perhaps a good plan! - to do as the title suggests. We'll review the tenets of PBL, discuss what 'increasing environmental, energy, and climate literacy' means, explore some superb projects created by teachers just like you, and help identify relevant community resources and programs - and of course we'll model best PBL instruction as we do so! Then we'll use the remaining half of the workshop to facilitate small working groups in which your colleagues will help you begin or refine your plan to deliver your curriculum using PBL.
How do we teach about climate change and give students hope?
Teaching about climate change can be challenging - there are many perspectives, students often feel overwhelmed, and it is complex. What are some strategies to help you teach this topic? We have built an education program that engages students around climate change, helping them explore concepts like interdependence and managing our global commons, and explores what they can do to combat climate change. In this hands-on workshop, you'll 'learn by doing' as many activities as possible, receive a digital copy of the draft resource, and discuss with your colleagues how to weave this topic into your classroom practice.
Fun environmental activities in your schoolyard!
This session profiles our favourite activities that you can do with your students in your schoolyard. You’ll “learn by doing” as many of these activities as possible, and discuss how to connect student learning with their familiar neighbourhood and community. We'll highlight a variety of resources to help you deepen students' connections with nature and environmental stewardship.
How to teach controversial energy/environmental issues in your classroom
"Climate change." "Getting Alberta oil to tidewater." Students hear a lot about the issues of our day. Teachers know the power of connecting student learning to current events - but what to do when the issue you've chosen is controversial and might get some parents upset? In this workshop, we'll review best teaching practices, show a few examples of powerful project-based and inquiry learning, mention some great teaching resources – and we’ll discuss classroom-ready strategies to help you 'go there' with your students.
Outdoor Play in the Early Years - Connections for learning, well-being and nature
'Play is the work of the child,' and one of our key roles as educators is to create spaces that allow unstructured play that stimulates and engages young children, allowing them to directly experience the natural world as they follow ants and smell the flowers. Research shows that children who play outside in nature in the company of a caring adult – you! - are more likely to practice responsible environmental behavior when they grow up. In this session, you will learn about the research and benefits of active outdoor nature play, see what others have done, and consider how to weave this in your teaching.
Numeracy and Literacy - using the environment as an engaging and meaningful context
The phrase “Environment as the third teacher” refers to the use of the classroom environment as teacher. This workshop will unleash the use of the outdoor learning environment to provide authentic and rich opportunities for students to engage in numeracy and literacy. We’ll explore how outdoor learning helps students make meaning of words and numbers, have authentic reasons for writing, understand the magnitude of numbers, estimate, recognize patterns, measure, and understand shapes and space. We’ll have fun doing some activities and expanding your learning environments.
Support for the Green Teacher
As Kermit the Frog once said, ‘It’s not easy being green.’ Environmentally-minded teachers sometimes suffer the ‘lone wolf syndrome,’ or encounter other obstacles. In this session, we’ll share strategies used by your fellow green teachers to survive – and thrive! - and engage fellow teachers and administrators in your impactful work.
One of the best ways to teach a lesson is to tell a story. In this workshop, you will learn simple storytelling techniques, identify important ‘teachable’ stories in your life, and craft a successful oral tale. The focus will be on telling the stories that demonstrate the positive environmental future we all want to see. Not only that – you’ll thrill to a gripping story of struggle, competition, life, and death that took place in Christina’s worm composter!
Competencies for stewardship and citizenship
Dr. David Orr tells us that “Given the vulnerable state of our natural world, we need a different approach to education” - one that develops students who are not only knowledgeable but also environmentally and socially conscious. What knowledge and competencies do Alberta students need to create a sustainable future? How can we help them develop environmental stewardship and citizenship? We’ll share the Curriculum for a Sustainable Future that you can use to enhance your own teaching, showcase inspiring classroom stories, share resources, and identify grants to help turn your ideas into actions.
‘Leap into Action’ – a free teacher’s guide to environmental action
In this hands-on workshop, we’ll help you identify links between your curriculum and action, and then do several activities from ‘Leap into Action,’ a free teacher activity guide that you’ll receive in this workshop. This guide was created for teachers and is full of lesson plans to help you prepare, inspire and support your students in conducting age-appropriate environmental action projects, including skill-building activities and tools, and real-life case studies.
Greening your curriculum
Environmental education IS excellent education! And your curriculum is full of opportunities to help students learn about the environment. You’ll leave this hands-on workshop with a plan to create more environmental learning experiences for your students that emphasize inquiry or project-based learning, real-world and community connections, integrated curricula, and opportunities for students to practice citizenship and act on what they have learned.
A new education program: Energy efficiency and climate action!
We’re developing a powerful education program to increase students' energy literacy, help the environment, feel hopeful about the future, and give them new skills they can use in school, at home - and in the workplace! We leverage new circuit meter technology that "makes energy visible" to students, with dashboards that students can use to monitor electrical circuits in their school - from the lights in the gymnasium to the photocopier in the office. Lesson plans help students understand energy, become analysts and energy efficiency experts, and even create and deliver on action plans to reduce your schools' greenhouse gas emissions, carbon tax, and utility bills. We’ll ask for your advice, and share our lesson plans and how you can participate in the program.