This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Friday!  Are you looking for some great thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers?  Look no further; here’s what I caught recently.


“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?

Royan Lee offers his thoughts about mental health.  His personal history on the topic I’ll bet mirrors most everyone’s.

He concludes with a powerful promise to his kids.

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On perhaps a less serious bent, is it a coincidence that Ontario report cards are done during the “Let’s Talk” event?  It is a stressful time for educators and sacrifices are made to get this task done.  Aviva Dunsiger notes her compromises in this post “My Blogging Break Is Over … And It Will Not Be Happening Again!”  It’s a thoughtful post with an additional thoughtful reply.


The Case for Teaching Integrated Skills vs Separate Subjects

Deborah McCallum writes an interesting essay on this topic.  It’s not a quick and easy read but will get you thinking.  A common message is “we do it for the kids”.  We do it for success in “real life”.

How much of “real life” is presented in distinct topics.  A well rounded citizen takes everything on and not just having a focus on a particular thing before moving on to the next.

There is a strong message when you look at a school timetable where each separate subject is given the same amount of time.  Does this honour the fact that some students need differing times to understand?

For many, the current focus is on specialist teachers for subjects like mathematics.  This post may help you frame a different approach.


Safer Internet Day – what will you do?

Helen DeWaard reached out to me to help promote the concept of a Safer Internet Day in Canada.

So, here it is.

To support the cause, she’s asking us to use the hashtag #SaferInternetDayCA.

If you want to get involved, and who wouldn’t, this post provides a large number of resources to help the cause.  There’s some great stuff there.

What are you doing for Safer Internet Day on February 7?


From Grade 8 to Grade 9

I’ll blame Heather Theijsmeijer for a sleepless night after reading her post itemizing everything that is “new” when a students moves from Grade 8 to Grade 9.

It brought back so many nightmares for me.  We had a Grade 8 teacher who told us that we were going to have problems when we went to “collegiate” even though our secondary school hadn’t been a collegiate for years.

I also remembered Initiation Day where we had to wear our mother’s nightgown and were forced to do the bidding of the Grade 12s and 13s if we were caught in the halls between classes.  A valuable lesson learned was that classrooms were safe havens!

Her post addresses so many of the concerns students have or shortly will have.  Are schools and school districts addressing them?  Sure, there are Grade 8 nights but does that do the trick?

School realities extend beyond that as well.  What about schools where Grade 7s and 8s are already members of the secondary school for accommodation issues?  Or schools where students go from Kindergarten to Grade 12?    Or IB programs?  Or even a choice of schools?

It’s not easy being a kid these days.  I guess we had it so much easier.


RESOURCES TO TEACH ABOUT THE #MUSLIMBAN

Many educators are often afraid of discussing “controversial” issues in the classroom. The word “controversial” here puts a shroud on many relevant topics, such as politics, daily events, history, social justice issues, equality, and many others.

This quote, from Rusul Alrubail, should be the motivation if required to talk about the current reality falling from the executive order from the United States president last weekend.

I’ll confess; I never really paid all that much attention to the fact that things like this can be done without going through regular government channels.  It did bring back a memory of the Canadian War Measures Act.

Living near the border makes it a frequent news story here.  So many people need to cross the border just to get to work.

In the post, Rusul provides a nice collection of resources if you’re looking for somewhere to start.  Obviously, I can’t guarantee this, but I’ve always found her open and responsive to questions.


Au Restaurant: Menus

Thanks to Jennifer Aston, I was recently made aware of this blog from Bruce Emmerton.

He presents an interesting approach to authentic learning – restaurant menus.

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What wonderful opportunities we have in our connected world.  I can’t remember the last time that I went to a new restaurant without checking them out online first.  Why not turn the process into a learning experience.

How’s this for the inspiration to learn “Read and understand or go hungry”.


TED Ed in the Classroom

Have you ever used TED in the classroom?  I know that many of us have learned so much and have been so inspired by watching a TED video on a particular topic.  It’s been a terrific platform for so many who have a message or lesson to share.

Will Gourley writes about how to use TED Ed in the classroom in this post.

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Separate sections devoted to TED Ed Clubs and TED Ed Lessons are sure to give you background to think about working in this realm.  A link to the TED lesson editor will be of great value.


Free images done right

This is a post that appeared on this blog.  It introduces readers to an image search and attribution service that I think would work nicely for some students to do so properly and as an introduction to referencing properly.

While I think it’s a great concept for the classroom, Stephen Downes doesn’t. He calls it “free images done wrong“.

You’ll have to be the judge.


Yet another wonderful week of great thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Please take a moment or two to click through and read the entire messages and drop them a comment or two to let them know that you appreciate their work.

OTR Links 02/03/2017


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