This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Friday! You know what that means.  Here’s a sampling of the great things I read from Ontario Edubloggers this past week.


#OneWordONT – Our Collective Focus for 2016

There have been a number of blog posts and other sharings about one word that might be a focus for the year 2016.  While I don’t necessarily think that one word does it for such a complicated environment, it is good for professionals to reflect on their practice.  There have been some interesting words shared.  I think, that put together, there’s a certain power, richness, and sense of purpose.

That’s what you’ll find in a recent post to the OSSEMOOC blog.  All of the one words that could be found were put together in graphic format.


10 days – 10 posts

Sometimes, you just need a push.  And, to be pushed with friends can be extra helpful.

To that end, Tina Zita has challenged educators to make an attempt to be more active in some sort of social media.  An immediate thought might be blogging (and that would be my personal preference) but she doesn’t narrow it to that.  So, you could be just as active on Google + or Facebook.  The key to being connected is to be, well, connected.  It goes in both directions so share and share alike.

She shares a huge list of things that can get in the road of being connected and has made a personal vow to continue despite the excuses.  Good for her.  We all win when there are more voices sharing the learning.

Will you join her?


What a Difference a Mentor Makes!

Cathy Beach shares a wonderful post that I think we all should consider writing.

It goes to the question – to whom do we owe sincere thanks for support and feeding our passions?  In her case, it was Chuck Hopkins.  What a wonderful reflection on the impact that he’s had on her.

It’s a lovely post and sounds like a wonderful opportunity for this university student.

We need more of this; we didn’t get where we are now by ourselves.


Taking Pride in Your Work

You may just want to take your students on a field trip to a grocery store as David Fife lays the groundwork for this post.  It’s a terrific story that he tells that leads into the big message.

I can absolutely see this happening.

Not only can I see it happening, but as David notes, it should be happening a great deal more.

I think that it goes even further.  I don’t think that you can take sufficient pride in doing the same thing over and over again.  For this to work, you really and truly need to be doing something pride-worthy.  To me, that translates into change in routine.  When change and growth happens, and you’re proud of it, you also grow as a professional.  This is a post to share with your staff and others within your sphere of influence.  (I just did)

It reminds me of another proverb that I heard somewhere and cannot attribute the source – “Autograph your work with pride”.


Voice Controlled Ball

When I saw this title on a post from Brian Aspinall, I thought that he’d found a way to control his Spheros via voice.

It wasn’t, but it’s still interesting all the same.

Instead, it’s a project written in Scratch and uploaded to the Scratch Project collection.  In these days of voice assistants on your phone, it’s an interesting project for students to take and use voice input in their own coding.  Hopefully, there will be some interesting remixes that Brian shares with us.


Looking At Classroom Management Through A Self-Regulation Lens

There are many years difference between the age of the students that Aviva Dunsiger teaches and those that I taught.  But, we both could have had the same university professor and associates talking about classroom management.

I had a variety of placements while at the Faculty of Education.  There definitely were a couple of control freak placements but there was one that stuck with me.  The students came in noisily as teenagers do, looked at the blackboard for directions, and then headed off to do their work.  There was no formal “sit down and listen to me” moment.  I remember asking about the technique and marvelled at the response.  It was the first “who owns the learning” discussion that I’d formally had although it wasn’t in those terms.

When I got my first job, I fell into the control freak mode.  It was easier and, with students coming from different backgrounds and not on the same page, it was just efficient.  But, it wasn’t satisfying and it sure tired you out.  But, I had had the influence of that one teacher who really took self-regulation into action and eventually, I “got it”.   Each year, you do need to go into full management mode if for no other reason than to take attendance.  Once you impress upon the students just who owns the learning, it gets better.

Of course, that was with teenagers who generally can be reached.  It’s interesting to try and imagine kindergarten students with an even more diverse background in the same situation but it’s an important concept and I think one worth sharing.  They’ll have to be set up to succeed but it’s a good move.  Like they say, “everything I really need to know, I learned in kindergarten”.

Ultimately, it’s the best life skill.


How to Write Report Cards

I have no idea who wrote this post.  But, since so many people are in the process of reporting, it’s at least worth a smile.

Now, I’ve written many a report card in my day, led many report card workshops, and supported many others writing their own report cards.  By the way, I don’t do that any more so quit sending me questions and requests!  You have “people” who do that and I can’t really help that they “don’t get back to me”.

Anyway, having read this post, I realize that I was doing it all wrong.

If you need a smile, give it a read.

Of course, none of my blog readers would procrastinate.


Please take a moment to drop by the blog posts above and bump up their number of visits and share a comment or two.  I’m sure that they would appreciate it.  Then, head over to the big list of Ontario Edubloggers for even more.  If you’re blogging and haven’t been included in that list, please fill out the form and I’ll see that you’re added.

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