This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s always a good week reading the great thinking of Ontario Educators.  It’s even better when you find a couple new blogs to follow.

Just last night, I had the opportunity to score two Kindergarten blogs to the list of Ontario Edublogs.

Snowflake Surprises

You know that it’s going to happen even though you hope it doesn’t.  That dreaded four letter word “SNOW”.  Of course, Early Years’ teachers can take anything and turn it into a teachable moment.  Joanne Marie Babalis’ kindergarten class certainly did that and documented the process this week.  Wind and snow turned into a picture taking, story reading, critical thinking activity.

There are lots of pictures there to document the fun.  Even more, I think this is an absolutely perfect way to demonstrate safe blogging with kids for those who are all concerned about privacy.  As I’ve mentioned many times, take pictures of the activity; not of the kids.  The activity was all about snow and there’s no doubt that there are students there but the images are all of the snow – not head and shoulder student shots.

What a great post to add to the “What Can You See?” project!

I made my own What Can You See book!

Another class that’s participating in the “What Can You See?” project is Jocelyn Schmidt’s Kindergarten Class.  In the most recent post from here, she shares a book that was created talking about what can be seen from their classroom.

It sounds like a neat environment.  You’ll have to check out the entire post to see the BBQ and the pavement!

School Life with No Connectivity

David Fife shares a school community story.  They lost connectivity to the internet at the school.  Wha?

That must have been the longest two days in everyone’s life!  Imagine not connection to the outside world?

Or, that might have been the best two days.  Imagine no email from the board office for two days.

Imagine taking attendance by writing names on a sheet of paper.  Imagine announcements on a sheet of paper distributed to teacher mailboxes and a request to read them in the morning!

When you think of it, it might actually be an opportunity to evaluate the amount of electronic waste/trivia that you deal with on a daily basis.  What would the kid miss?  David shares their list.


That doesn’t look like an insurmountable list.  I wonder if every school shouldn’t take a break from technology for a day and shift to Plan B.

Of course, I’m sure that Mr. Fife took one for the team and tethered the school to his smartphone for the second day.

The Social World of Midsummer Night’s Dream

Richard Farmer actually has a series of posts.  He’s giving Shakespeare up to social media.  He gives credit for the idea to Danika Barker’s Hamlet experiment.

You’ve got to love it.  Instead of using Twitter, his class is using Facebook.  It didn’t start flawlessly but it’s nice to see that the challenges are shared so that others who would want to try this get a heads up.


You’ve got to love these attempts to meet the students at least half way.  I suspect that the students are learning more about their favourite social network than they ever dreamed might happen in school.  It sounds like Richard is learning a great deal about the experience.

This will be very interesting to follow in subsequent posts to see how this play ends.

Breaking Ground With Senator Pamela Wallin

I really like Heidi Siwak’s line in her latest blog post.

 How does someone score an interview with such a prominent Canadian? Ask!  I contacted Ms. Wallin’s office. Her executive assistant, Renee Montpellier forwarded our request to Ms. Wallin who was delighted to be asked. Nothing like this had been done before, so it was a learning experience for those in Ottawa and us. Because the communication was with a high profile member of the government, we couldn’t use Skype. A secure line was required and Peter Feltham set this up for us from Ottawa using WebX.

What a great opportunity for the students.  In this post, Heidi goes through the entire process and you’ve got to like the fact that she put the students to work researching the background and accomplishments of Ms. Wallin.  Why didn’t stuff like this happen when I was in school.

The students seem to be very appreciative of the efforts.

“That was amazing!”
“I learned so much.”
“I can’t believe we got to speak with someone so high up.”
“That was so interesting.”
“When can we do this again.”

Not only did the students have a great opportunity, I’m sure that Ms. Wallin enjoyed it as well.  I guess the takeaway from this is  “Ask!”


I hope that you get a chance to read these entire posts.  Such interesting content.  Thanks everyone so much.

You can read the entire list of Ontario Edublogs here.  If you’re blogging or Twittering and you’re not on the list … just fill out the form and you will be.


OTR Links 12/07/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.