Concept-Based Instruction in a Colony Focused Multi-Grade Classroom
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Concept-Based Instruction in a Colony Focused Multi-Grade Classroom
Presented by: Nathalie Lauriault
Thursday, September 24, 2020 | 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Session Location:
About the Session:

Innovators don’t invent without a deep understanding of how the world works. With this foundation, they apply conceptual understanding to solve new problems. This workshop provides tools for how to help students uncover conceptual relationships and transfer them to new situations.  With a focus on the unique teaching environment of the colony school setting most frequently presenting cross-graded scenarios Gr 1 – 3 and 4 – 8 with little to know access to technology in the classroom.

This workshop demonstrates practical ways teachers can begin to build the schema in students’ brains that facilitates deeper understanding and the ability to unlock complex problems through learning transfer.

  • Investigate the role of conceptual understanding in the retrieval of information, depth of understanding and transfer of learning  
  • Understand that transfer is both a means and an end  
  • Examine the importance of quality thinking and metacognition in the transfer of learning  

Examples from classroom lessons and projects are used to support understanding throughout the session.   

Targeted Outcomes for teachers at the end of the day:   

  • I can compose transferable conceptual relationships and corresponding questions that build both breadth and depth of understanding.   
  • I can build understanding of single concepts and teach students how to make connections between concepts.    
  • I can use multiple, fact-rich contexts that illuminate conceptual relationships.  
  • I can provide opportunities for students to transfer their understanding and provide solutions to problems.   
  • I can teach the language of conceptual learning explicitly to students.   
  • I can make the goals visible using rubrics, success criteria, examples, think-alongs and more. 
  • I can leverage this work in a cross-graded classroom using the Alberta Curriculum as it presently exists and will be in a position to adapt it moving forward in any curriculum.
Colony teachers
Grade Level:
Colony teachers
About the Presenter(s):
Nathalie Lauriault

Nathalie Lauriault is a teacher in Ontario, Canada. Having taught for 30 years, she has specialized in teaching young children in mostly bilingual classroom settings. Recently she was awarded a grant for the Teacher Learning Leadership Program from the Ministry of Education to do research on Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction in her classroom. Previously, she served as the Primary Years Programme Coordinator at the Toronto French School and was very involved with the International Baccalaureate of America as a presenter and consultant. She is certified in Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction by H. Lynn Erickson. She has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Guelph and a bachelor of education from Queen’s University in Canada.  Nathalie has experience in teaching multi-graded classrooms and will draw on that experience to support the Colony educators in their exploration of teaching through a Concept-Based approach to teaching in their classrooms. 

Photography Release:
This is a public event with the likeliness of photo/video throughout the day. By attending, participants understand they may be captured in photo or video for future presentations or promotional material development. Please see conference hosts if you prefer to not be photographed.

Registration Fee:


Registration Deadline:

September 23, 2020

Registration Notes:

Particpants are expected to bring a copy of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary by Julie Stern.