This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Yes, it’s Friday again.  And, it’s a happy Friday too for so many in Ontario.

Before you pack up the computer for a bit, please take a moment to check out these wonderful posts from the keyboards of Ontario Edubloggers.  Oh, and if your blog isn’t listed there, please take a moment to add it.  And, there’s a tab if you consider your work “Beyond Blogging”.

Learning at Home: How to be a YouTuber

There was lots for me in this recent post from Brandon Grasley.  First, I didn’t realize that he had a YouTube channel.  It’s now added to my “Beyond Blogging” tab on the Ontario Edublogger Livebinder.

But, even more, do you remember a while back when Brandon asked “What do you learn when you’re not at school?”  He shares the learning  here with his son in this blog post.  Apparently, the 8 year old wants to be a YouTube expert.  Gaming is the thing.  If you read the post, you’ll see that he’s opened a whole slew of social media accounts to share things.

The Mitten Measurement Task

I’m a real sucker for blog posts where educators completely describe a lesson gone right.  (I like the gone wrong ones too, so don’t let that hold you back.)

This post from Deanna McLennan, a kindergarten teacher, was inspired by the book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.  Sure, kindergarten teachers read books all the time.

But, do they take to metres and metres of butcher paper, crayons, and stuffing of children into the result?

You’ll have to read the post and see the pictures to believe.

What is teaching?

Jessica Weber was inspired in this post by a few great Ontario Educational inspirers themselves.


When I read the post, my first reaction was to write this as a note to myself for this post “The content is the easy stuff.”

Read the post and you might be kept awake at night asking the question as well.

The purpose of teaching is….

So, here is Jonathon’s original post.  There’s a quote and a reflection in the post worthy of consideration by all.


We’ve all had those days.

An interesting question – if you have those days, do you return your paycheque?

Or do you double the effort to make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

March Break

Then, there was Eva Thompson’s post.

As much as I completely cringe when people state they are “lifelong” learners, I believe that every day, and in this case job change,  you will be learning. Sometimes you don’t have to go out and seek a new learning opportunity, you  are already living it.  I’d hate to find a day when I didn’t learn or experience something new, how boring!

I got a notification that she had a new post so I went over to check it out but it was gone.

Then, it was back again.  Read it quick!

Only thing I can think of is that she posted it and then learned something and went back to revisit it.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

Aren’t we all “lifelong” learners?

Japanese Multiplication? Chinese Multiplication? Line Multiplication?

This was the most difficult post for me to read this week.  It’s not that Kyle Pearce didn’t put enough effort into it.  I’d suggest that he put so much effort into it that it required full attention and a little hands-on to fully appreciate.

That didn’t make it any easier for me to understand though.

If you have thirty minutes to learn, play this video with his text.  Sure, the video is only fifteen minutes long but you’ll need to play it at least twice to understand his message.

I think the problem that I have with it is that I have way too much mathematics baggage from my past.  In my “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” show with Stephen Hurley both of us reflected on how we learned mathematics.   We were both successful (apparently me more so)

I do get Kyle’s message.  It’s out of context for me; the lowest grade that I ever taught mathematics was Grade 9 and the students had their own learning that they brought to the classroom.  If you’ve ever taught at a secondary school, you know immediately that they have varying skills brought from their elementary school experience totally depending upon the teacher they had.

What happens when one teacher uses this technique but the one across the hall uses another?

Dylan’s Story

This blog post by Colleen Rose was nominated for inclusion in my post by Lisa Noble.  As luck would have it, I already had it open in another tab and was considering it anyway.  So, two great minds…

Colleen is one of those art teachers that do amazing things that the rest of us just shake our heads at.  How could we have missed that?  The pedagogues would argue with the curriculum document in hand.

This is such a heart warming story.  Colleen has a student who wants to further his skills as a potter.  Where does he turn for advice?  How about social media and the experts there (with some help from Colleen, of course)?

Post includes stories, and video!  Colleen took a video of his work and posted it to a couple of places and he received some advice back.

People who are experts in pottery creation are just genius in my world.  There’s a fellow in Wiarton who did the thank you gifts for presenters at the RCAC Symposium that we used to hold in London, Ontario.  The products are amazing and I’m told are lifelong keepsakes by those who earned them as presenters and committee members.

Do we have another potter in the making?  This is a wonderful example of a teacher reaching out to meet a student where he needs to be met.

I hope that there are followups.


No disrespect intended but every blogger has written this post.  Now, it’s David Carruthers’ turn.

The internet has created unprecedented opportunities for educators to connect, but I believe it’s also important, when the opportunity presents itself, to connect face-to-face. When you go to a conference, and there’s an opportunity to connect with others, seize that opportunity. Meeting new people, and meeting your Twitter followers IRL (in real life), is a powerful opportunity. Consider making networking a priority and invest time in building relationships with other educators. This path will lead to exciting places.

If you believe in the “not the same way, not the same day” philosophy of learning, then you know that it’s important that this message is repeated over and over again until all have learned it.

Social media is doing what years and years of traditional professional learning and discussion have tried and failed to do.  Even Jessica Weber’s post above was found by yours truly through a seemingly random Twitter message that she sent that pinged me.

Why isn’t everyone connected?  Thames Valley is fortunate to have someone with David’s skills, insights, and energy trying to make more connections.

Shouldn’t every district have their own David Carruthers?  Does yours?

Please take a few moments to click through to these original posts.  There’s some incredible reading and learning ahead of you.

I promise.

Trust me.

4 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks, as always, for connecting me to some amazing learning and thinking, Doug. I’m so glad Colleen’s remarkable post caught both of our eyes. I want to track down the Wiarton potter now! As for the Mitten, you can imagine that the knitter in me is rather fond of that story, and I did, at one point, bring in an already-stretched hand-knit mitten for a group of kindergartens to stuff stuffed animals into as I read them that story. We were amazed at how far the fabric stretched!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing Dylan’s story ~ and thank you to Lisa for suggesting it as well! It was such a cool experience for Dylan, and the entire class benefitted from learning together. I’m starting to wonder if there is such a thing as a potter’s swagger (lol), since he’s starting to make a name for himself — how amazing is that!

    Liked by 1 person

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