This Week in Ontario Edublogs


This week was marred by the sad news that my first principal had passed away.  I’ve made reference to some of the happy points of my computer science teaching on this blog and much was made available by this man, Peter Mudry.  If any of us could have a fraction of the impact that he had on his educational community, we’d really be doing something.


My Not-So-Perfect Classroom

Earlier in the week, I had evaluated my computer science classroom in a blog post after reading an article about the “Perfect Classroom“.  It inspired a number of comments about classrooms from around the networked Twitter community.  Of course, Mr. Mudry was my principal at the time.  In this post, Aviva Dunsiger reflected upon the various attributes in the article and confessed to having a number of different schools in her history.  I knew of two but there are more! 

How does your classroom stack up to hers?


We are not algorithms!

I wasn’t the only person inspired by an article to create a blog post.  Heather DeWaard shares some thoughts on various points raised in this article from The Atlantic. 

In responding to some controversial concepts in an article by Michael Godsey written in The Atlantic, I can confirm that there are many roles teachers are asked to take on – sage, guide, facilitator, model, coach, designer, developer, promoter, supporter and activator to name a few.

She presents a well reasoned argument and I recommend it as a good read and, certainly, at a Faculty of Education, fodder for the discussion about just what it means to be a teacher.

After all, if the human condition was just an algorithm, then anyone could be a teacher.  You’d just need the teacher guide, some powerpoint presentations, a few standardized tests and then just proceed through the curriculum in an even paced manner.  There’s no need for individualization, personalization, revisiting difficult topics, or looking for items of motivation.

I guarantee that you’ll feel good about your professionalism after reading this post.


Fractions, baking and lowest terms: real-world math

The winner in the category “having kids eat up math” has to be this post from Heather Pennie.

The blog reads like an exciting episode of Masterchef Canada.  Give the basics and let the cooks figure out the rest.

When broken out ingredient by ingredient as done in this post, it’s amazing to see how much mathematics goes into cooking.

If you’re looking for a recipe for “Bread in a Bag”, you’ll find it in this post.


Explain Everything Math Learning Journey
Explain Everything Angle & Triangle Journey (Part 2)

There’s nothing like having to teach something in order to deeply learn the concepts.

Take it one step further than your classroom.  Try to teach everyone connected to the internet a concept.  That’s what Kyle Pearce is trying to do with Grade 9 Geometry.  Using Explain Everything, he’s created some videos with the concepts embedded.

The challenge with doing something like this is that you have to be very precise in your efforts.

And, of course, when you shift the creation to the students, deep learning happens.

Explain Everything isn’t the only game in town.  I’m partial to ScreenChomp.  Another player that I haven’t worked with yet is Explain3D.


The Problem with Deeply Held Ideas

Heidi Siwak is always good for a post that makes you extend your thinking.  I think we all think of positive experiences when we think about the concept of “Prior Learning”.

What happens when that Prior Learning is flawed?

Heidi takes on this concept in the blog post.  I wonder how many classroom problems could be solved if we truly thought about this when things don’t go exactly as planned and you just can’t “get through” to her/him.


Please take a moment and follow the link to these great blog posts.  Make them part of your moment of learning for today.  I so value the fact that these Ontario Educators continue to share their thoughts and insights.  Then, check out the list of Ontario Edubloggers here for even more.  If you’re blogging and not on the list, use the form to add yourself and you will soon be.

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OTR Links 04/10/2015


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