About Me

I am an Ontario Certified Teacher who is currently an Assistive Technology Resource Teacher.

In the past, I have taught French, ESL, special education, computer science, math, social sciences and more at both the high school and elementary levels.

I am currently interested in and actively exploring:

  • assistive and adaptive devices to give all students access to technology to reach their full potential
  • strength-based education (vs deficit based)
  • effective methods of coaching and leading professional development
  • non-traditional classroom environments
  • technology as a tool for personalized learning, self-reflection and intrinsic motivation
  • self-regulation and the use of digital badges for self-directed learning
  • YouTube, video production and live streaming
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4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Melanie Beckmann says:

    Hi Erica! I’m Melanie Beckmann and I teach FSL in high school. I was looking at your long range planning and I was wondering if you do this every year with every grade and just have them become more proficient at those tasks, or is it for a specific grade? I’m desperately trying to find something that will keep kids in French beyond grade 9. I feel like it is an uphill battle that I am losing.
    I was also looking at your list above of things you are interested in exploring further. I’m also looking into a non-traditional model as an option. What is a digital badge? I’m going to start working with this wheel (http://www.dsb1.edu.on.ca/boardinfo/files/fslac/Oral-Self-Assessment-Wheels.pdf) to have students working at their own pace based on their own personal goals. It will be set up like learning centres.
    Anyway, I’m glad I found your page! I’ve added you on my twitter feed too! 🙂

    • Erica Armstrong says:

      Re: long range plans – my goal is to have students proficient in all those things by the end of grade 8. Becoming proficient means that students need opportunities to practice those things in multiple grades; however, there is too much on that plan to hit all those things in just one year. I see it as building a foundation at first, then adding a layer and improving upon it later.

      Keeping students in FSL beyond grade 9 is a tricky thing, for sure. I have taught grade 10 and 11 Core in the past and I’m not gonna lie, I dangled a trip to France as a carrot. I think having that tangible reason to learn was helpful. Besides that, another factor is definitely students’ perceived success/frustration with learning FSL. I was a straight A student growing up but I hated French because even though I was getting decent marks, I felt completely incompetent.

      A digital badge is a way to recognize small (or large) milestones in learning. I use them as the way in which I enable students to choose their own adventure in my class. I know that there are so many ways students can practice reading, writing, listening and speaking, so as long as my students are actively doing one (or more) of those things, they’re making progress. I created http://www.frenchquest.ca as the way I manage creating, organizing and displaying badge choices for students – and then students browse, submit evidence, get feedback and collect their badges on it as well. I think what you’ve mentioned about learning centres is very similar in philosophy & I love that.

  2. Penny says:

    I am wondering which resources are you using for your long range plans. I’m finding myself creating activities for grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. It is not sustainable. Do you have any materials that you can share with us?

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