This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Well, that was a short week!  But, it didn’t stop Ontario Edubloggers from some great blogging though.  Here’s some of the great reading I enjoyed from the past week.


4 Ways I Like to Spend My Summer

This was a puzzle – at first.  The URL includes the words – things-for-educators-to-try-outside-of-education – and the title talks about ways to spend the summer.  Both are admirable topics but once you read Rusul Alrubail’s post, she appears to combine the two of them nicely. It was appropriate here – the temperature was 31 degrees yesterday and we were exploring the Lake Erie shoreline from Kingsville to Wheatley and the Hillman Marsh along the way.

Her first topic is of interest to me:

Writing Join a local writing shop to write with others and get feedback on your writing. If you’re a teacher blogger this can help you improve your writing, but also motivate you to be consistent in writing.

I did look into the public library in town.  The closest I could find was a group of adult colourers who meet periodically.  Click through and find out the other 4 ways she spends her summer!


Creating an Ojibwe Keyboard Layout for Mac

This is just the type of activity that I love to read about.  We all know that you have a choice for keyboard layouts when you set up a computer.  I remember my old Radio Shack 100 where I taught myself how to use a Dvorak keyboard.  I had read at the time how the QWERTY keyboard was designed to slow down typers on a typewriter to avoid keys getting caught and that there were more efficient layouts.  I actually did this for a while and it worked very nicely.  But, the reality that every other keyboard that I used at work was traditional pretty much put that project to bed.

This post, from Mike Filipetti, not only talks about “how” but “why”

I just took a look at the language options here in Ubuntu and see nothing specific for Ojibwe or other terms.  I did find a fascinating read here though.  “Welcome to the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary“.  I love it when people force my learning.


OAME sketchnotes

It’s too bad that Laura Wheeler didn’t enjoy the food at the OAME conference.  But, she more than made up with that for us, by creating and sharing some sketchnotes of the Ignite and other sessions she attended.

You’ll have to check them all out to enjoy.  What a nice way to record your thoughts of a conference attendance.

My efforts would probably discourage people from ever attending again.  I’m so impressed with people that can do this and do it so well.


[Updated Post] Does Memorizing Multiplication Tables Hurt More Than Help?

The discussion about the best way to learn mathematics will never end until every child in the province scores 100% on EQAO tests.  Then, we’ll move on and find something else to complain about.

Kyle Pearce takes to a revision of a post to talk about the concept of memorization and mathematics.

When I read about this discussion, I think back to how I learned multiplication.  It was absolutely by memorization.  We would have tests and quizzes where we had to reproduce those big matrices.  You probably remember them as well.  If not, Kyle as one in this post.

If memory serves me correctly, it was in a 5/6 split class and we worked our way to 10×10 one number per week.  I did well, I guess, until we got to 9.  For some reason, I couldn’t memorize those.  Then, I remember the aha! moment.  9 was almost 10.  So, if I did the 10x and just adjusted the answer, it was easy.  And you could double check by adding the digits and getting 9.  9 was a magical number.  Once I had that mastered, the 11x was easy.  12 was also easy but by that time, I’d stopped memorizing and viewed everything in mathematics as a puzzle to be solved.

It seems to me that part of the problem these days is that the people with the advice learned by memorization and have a problem with learning any other way.  Maybe they should sit in a classroom, take the test, and see just how far pure memorization without context got them.

Just a silly question – is there anyone who went through school without being exposed to the “New Math” of the time?


#BIT16Reads: Multiple entry points

If book clubs are your thing, and especially educational books, check out Alanna King’s plan for the BIT16 Book Club.

It’s a book a month from June to October.

It’s ideas and great thinking like this that makes the Bring IT, Together conference so unique and innovative.  Why not forward the titles now to your school’s teacher-librarian so that they can purchase them for the school’s professional library?  (and then you can be the first to check them out)


iPads, Worms and Non Standard Measurement

I’ll give the kids a break here.  It’s been a while since it rained so maybe they’ve forgotten how long a worm can be.

Kristen Wideen describes a lesson involving reading, measurement, estimation, technology, and worms.

It’s definitely a bit off the beaten track but still sounds like a great deal of fun.

There’s also a French version available via link from her blog, nicely stored on Google Drive.

In the handout provided, there is a checklist of “I can”s that seem to focus on the use of Pic Collage.  It would be nice to add the mathematics skills to that list as well.


Learning with Spheros

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”  This quote, from Yogi Berra, describes the meat and potatoes of Mark Carbone’s recent post.

Programmable robots are so useful in coding, mathematics, story telling – in this case Mark describes a couple of activities using the Sphero.  There are times when activities are difficult to tie to curriculum expectations.  This isn’t one of them.


What a great collection of educational blogs again this week.  Please take the time to click through, read the entire posts, and drop the authors a comment.  They’ll appreciate it!  And, if you’re blogging yourself and not on this list, please consider filling out the form and adding yourself.

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