This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Canada Day.

Enjoy some Ontario Edublogs before you head out to the festivities and fireworks in your community.


Taking The Time To Reflect

Aviva Dunsiger took me up on the challenge to do a Top Ten reflection post.  I did challenge her but she was already thinking/writing when she read the challenge.

Here’s her #1.

As I commented on her blog, I found that it was interesting that all of the items in her Top Ten list revolved around her connections with others.  Click through and read her other nine.


Questions for Reflection (June or September)

Joe Restoute General provides some questions for reflection as well.

I thought it was of interest that they could be used as a summative bit, in June, or as a formative, in September.

  • What were your successes and challenges last year?

  • What were the periods in which you felt you and your students achieved the most connection?

  • What did you learn from the difficulties you faced?

And, of course, you’ll have to visit his blog to see his complete list.

I think that point #6 could be a separate blog post in itself.


Too honest for EQAO

You can never have enough stories about integrity.  It’s especially powerful when they come from a student and that was the case in this post from Brandon Grasley about a student writing the EQAO test for mathematics.

Check out this conversation with a young lady in his class.

The rest of his post puts it all in context.  It reminds us that education can be a game and can be gamed at times.  How many times do our students or we, in an educational setting, write an answer knowing darn well that it’s wrong but we were hoping for at least partial marks?

I think it’s a good ethical question for the first of the year – what’s better – getting a zero or getting a bit of marks just for an attempt to put something to paper.

In the “real world”, whatever that is, you would turn to get help via resource or talking to a colleague.  You don’t always go it alone and have to have it done within a certain time period.  That reality only exists on tests.


My Kids’ Digital World

Good grief, they start to learn young, don’t they?

The rest of the post from Jennifer Aston is fun to read and brought more than a quick smile here.  I don’t ascribe to the concept of the digital native but I will fully admit that there are, and always have been, differences between the generations.

While we may not be vested in today’s technology at the same level that youngters are, we can certainly be there to protect and install a sense of right and wrong.  And, as Jennifer notes, we can learn from them if we only take the time to do so.


Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 74 #KindergartenBioBlitz June Edition

Hosted three times a year, Early Years teachers all over the world should give this a look to see if they can participate.

From Rob Ridley’s blog, he reflects a bit on the project, its beginnings, and how it’s expanded to include countries all over the globe.

This really reinforces the concept that learning doesn’t necessarily have to be enclosed within the walls of your classroom or the fences of your school.


Know Thy Impact

Lisa Cranston describes nicely one of the challenges of being a resource teacher with a central assignment.  I worked along with her and I know that it’s always hard to tell if you’ve made a difference or even been noticed.  Even though we had one of the smallest geographic regions in the province, it still was tough to make sure that you made the connections.

I had the luxury of bringing school representatives together every other month for some shared learning and I also kept a checklist where I recorded all of the school visits that I made.  I much more enjoyed visits to the Hillman Marsh than sitting in a windowless office.

But still, there aren’t enough hours in the year to visit everyone.  How do you know if you make an impact?

A colleague and I were chatting the other day about how it can be challenging for central office staff like coaches and consultants to be able to see the impact our work has on educators, administrators and students.  As a classroom teacher I think it seemed easier to gauge our impact, especially since I mostly taught primary grades.  As a kindergarten teacher, students might arrive with no pencil grip and by October they were printing their name!

When I wasn’t physically visiting with people, I was updating information on our FirstClass server and my own wikis.

But you still wonder – how much of a difference did it make?  Now that I’m not there, it’s all been erased.  (I still have most of it backed up here though)

I had the honour of being at Lisa’s retirement celebration recently.  There certainly were many there to celebrate with her so I don’t think there’s any question that she reached so many in her career.

Like Lisa concludes in her post, it’s nice to get that note from people just acknowledging the contribution that she made.


ANOTHER ORR IN MY BOAT

Reaching every student and making a difference is a challenge for every teacher.  Joe Caruso shares his experience and learning from a school district visit from Jon Orr.

Students do most of the work.  The multimedia aspect can be engaging for the students.  In fact, as a culminating activity near the end of the course, Jon has the students create their own 3 Act videos.  Students learn best when they’re engaged and create their own understanding.  By coming up with their own questions, they create ownership in the process and are more likely to follow through.  Also, watching the rest of the video to see what happens, can peak the students’ interest to see if their solution is correct.

I wish that I’d had the technology to do the 3 Act video when I taught Grade 9 mathematics.  I can see the power in it.  Another Ontario Education who is big into the 3 Act Mathematics is Kyle Pearce and his excellent Tap into Teen Minds blog.


How’s that for a quick leap into Summer.  I hope that you enjoyed these posts and take the time to click through and read the originals.

Then, enjoy the fireworks.

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