Why Innovate West?

-by Erin Piper As a charter school, it is one of our mandates and goals to connect and learn with other teachers and school jurisdictions. Innovate West, most recently held May 23-25, 2014, is one of the ways we facilitate in bringing together a growing community of innovative educators to celebrate the many great things happening in education today. We believe that this event, and the people involved, truly reflects the vision and values of Inspiring Education. This short video depicts how this experience resonated with participants: For more information on the most recent conference, see this blog post. Continue reading Why Innovate West?

Innovate West Wrap Up

by Dan McWilliamOur school is still reverberating from the energy and ideas at Innovate West this past weekend (May 23-25, 2014). This was our third year hosting a connected group of innovative educators from Western Canada and beyond. These educators are the ‘grassroots’ who have developed a social support network online and Innovate West provides the physical meet up of the social network. The Conference celebrates people and provides them the time and space to share, discuss and develop innovative ideas for education. The conference format begins with a tour of Connect Charter School classrooms on an operational school day … Continue reading Innovate West Wrap Up

Learning Freedom



-by Carly DeBoice   (Connect Charter School Student-teacher Alumni and Substitute Teacher) Occasionally, how students articulate an idea is much more eloquent than that of the teacher. So, I’ll use their words to help me explain the concept they coined today, “Learning Freedom.”
 This arose out of a request for each class to nominate two students to join a team who will help visitors during the upcoming Innovate West conference. Choosing a few students can be a tricky task for teachers. To find a handful of students who were genuinely up for the task, students were asked answer the following question, … Continue reading Learning Freedom



Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 3: Sorting Out)

-by Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly Through their guided research, students have compiled a wealth of information on an important element of Alberta’s history. So, now what? Determining what information is important is a valuable research skill and this is what students are now doing. By giving students the challenge of creating songs, they must make some thoughtful decisions about what information is included in the lyrics. The success of their song hinges on their ability to extract the information that matters most, so sorting it all out is a crucial step in the process. Students are beginning the song … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 3: Sorting Out)

Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 2: Finding Out)

by Heather Fawcett and Jessica Kelly  In Part 1 of “Making Alberta’s History Sing”, students were tuning in to topics for their folk song projects. Part 2 of the project challenges students to assert their research and questioning skills by compiling information on a chosen historical topic. After a full day of exploring the various exhibits at the Glenbow, students had a variety of observations and questions about what they experienced. Through a teacher-led class brainstorm, everyone shared the topics that they found particularly interesting. The next step was to conduct some research into each of their options to see … Continue reading Grade 4 Folk Song Unit: Making Alberta’s History Sing (Part 2: Finding Out)