This Week in Ontario Edublogs

You know that the end of the school year is approaching when Victoria Day is in the crosshairs. But, the holiday on the horizon didn’t stop some great thinking from Ontario Edubloggers. Catch up by reading on…

#MADPD What’s Next?

From the accounts on this blog post from Peter Cameron, the #MADPD event was successful.  It certainly does sound like a successful event.  Now, it’s a time for reflection and planning.

Work on the website – this goes without saying.  Everyone has this notion that, no matter what you’ve got, it can be better!

60 recordings from educators – I think this sounds exciting – all of the recordings will be placed online and made available for ongoing learning and for the benefit of those who couldn’t attend.

#MADPDchat – Online Twitter chats are great ways to continue the discussion.

Another event in 2018  – apparently, success breeds success and planning is ongoing for another event in 2018.

Congratulations to all those involved.

Growing Up Royan 3: First Day of School

The Royan Lee story continues with a drawing of his first day of school.  You’ve got to love the haircut and the first impression of his teacher.

He asks readers to reflect back on their first day of school.  It was memorable for me but not in a good way.  I was escorted to school by some older kids who kept talking about “the strap” and how the principal used it on everyone.  Once I got dropped off, I ran out of the school and straight home!  Looking back, I’m impressed that I knew the way.

Check out Royan’s thoughts and his drawing — and what he’s standing in.

Is It Time To Institute A “Sleep On It” Rule?

Does your Personal Professional Learning Review include comments like:

  • short fuse
  • quick to pull the trigger

then read on.

I like it when a post of mine inspires a post from someone else.  This time it was Aviva Dunsiger who took on a link from last week’s TWIOE post that lead her to Jonathan So’s recent post about Fidget Spinner.  As I was told recently, it’s this week’s Pet Rock or Pokemon or Rubik’s Cube or Water Bottle or…

I think she nails it when she asks “is every problem really a problem”?

In a desire for that “perfect classroom”, it’s easy to jump on every bit of an outstep.  Is it really necessary?  What would happen if you did indeed sleep on it?  Of course, if there is a change of immediate danger, you need to step in.  Always though?

Seeing the Math in the World

I love a good math post and Mishaal Surti delivers here. There have been a lot of great posts to support the recent OAME conference and this is one of them.

I like the concept of estimation that’s shown in the change in a ziplock bag as he trades in for a new car.  The key is to develop a plan.

And, in terms of approximation, there’s the gas pump with a digit edited out and you have to determine what should go in there.

I’ll add a picture to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday from the King’s Navy Yard in Amherstburg.

How many tulips?


I’d go and count for an absolute answer but the parks people are replanting today.

The Why of Urgent vs Important (via Seth Godin)

Lisa Munro was inspired by thoughts from Seth Godin about the difference between “urgent” and “important”.  I think it’s a really important concept in education as teachers are constantly bombarded with issues that fall into one of these categories.

What is the answer for striking the right balance?

If anyone could bottle that, they’d make a fortune, I suspect.  I used to use the training from Franklin-Covey to help me prioritize things.  But, as educators, there’s that other element.  It’s one thing to talk urgent/important in the classroom or where you might be.  It’s equally as important to remember that you have urgent/important in your personal, family life.

Living in the ‘urgent’ often involves being reactive. It can be a response to a crisis and may involve putting out fires. There is absolutely a time and a place for urgent work. But, if urgent work is always the priority then how are learning, relationships and progress sustained and nurtured? This is done by investing time in the important work. I have come to realize that the important work really IS the urgent work.

In the post, she offers a very nice description.  It’s good to read and then to reflect on your personal situation.

How do we negotiate learning with children?

One of the strengths of social media comes from the interaction and learning from professional educators.  In this post, Sandra Rosekat took inspiration from a post from Aviva Dunsiger.  Hopefully, by reposting here, the links get stronger and richer.

The post addresses two issues:

How do you find that your focused materials, discussion, and documentation varies from your free play ones?

How do you use the “free play” that’s happening to inspire this other learning?

The discussion between two kindergarten teachers, both in the post and Aviva’s comment to the post is an interesting read.

But, I wonder if the discussion could be extended further.  Could the words “free play” be substituted with “genius hour”?

The Role of the Administrator – Support your Teachers

Earlier this week, I had written a post titled “In their shoes” where I talked about the difference between school and adult learner/teacher professional learning events.  Colleen Rose had her students read and comment on it.  There’s some great thoughts there from her students.  One, in particular, is in Grade 12 and talked about time in the classroom.  I couldn’t help but wonder; if a class is supposed to be 75 minutes and you don’t get the full time but still have to sit still, how many minutes over an educational career was spent sitting and wasting time?  That post inspired another that talked about change not always having to cost money and I talked about principals.

That was enough to get Paul McGuire going.  He reflected on his thoughts of the principal and the relationships between students, teachers, and the board administration.  I think any principal would benefit from a read and reflection.  Those principals going to a new school or someone who will be a new principal in September have a change to make a clean start.  Read this immediately.

What if all administrators worked like this?

Paul doesn’t allow comments on his blog so I’ll use this as my way to acknowledge his great thinking.

Please take a moment to visit the blogs above and read the author thoughts at their source. All of the posts go deep into their topic. And, drop a reply, or even better, write a blog post of your own inspired by their thoughts.

Let’s keep the thinking and learning going.

Every week, Stephen Hurley and I talk a bit about the upcoming posts to be featured in this post. We go way off track at times but that’s ok. It’s broadcast live here and, technology willing, archived here.

6 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks for connecting so many Ontario edubloggers this week! Your radio show inspired a follow up to the post that I shared here. I’ll be writing it this weekend. Your post from yesterday, and Paul’s post here, may also have inspired a follow up. I’m glad I have a long weekend to do some blogging. 🙂

    Thanks, as always, for the Friday morning reading!


  2. Thanks Doug – really glad you liked the post – didn’t know I didn’t allow comments – do you know how I can change this – great posts by you this week! Thanks again for the support.


  3. Thanks, Aviva and Paul for checking in. Paul, I was wrong about the comments. I took a really close look at your post and there is a spot for comments. It’s in the header of the post and not at the footer where I had expected to find it. You’re good to go. I guess I just need to pay more attention!


  4. Doug, I’m not sure how, but somehow I missed your mention of Sandra’s post and the comment that I made on it. Your question about “genius hour” is an interesting one. I think that this could maybe be equitable to “free play,” depending on how “free” educators make it. Can students explore anything? Will “noticing and naming” of learning (and ultimately, expectations) occur, much as they do during “free play?” What are the expectations, and how many of them are teacher-directed vs. student-directed? I used to think that I followed the lead of the child. Then, after two years in FDK, I realized how much I didn’t and how much more learning I had to do. I’m curious what others think here. I do hope that your mention of Sandra’s post results in some more discussion on it. Thanks again for connecting Ontario edubloggers!



  5. Thanks for this mention. I completely agree with you. The opportunities to connect with educators outside of our school, our district, our country serves to enrich all of us. Thank you for helping to strengthen this connection.


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