This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to the first Friday of summer and another look at some great offerings from Ontario Edubloggers.  If you’re from Ontario Education and blogging, please make sure that you’re on that list.  The landing page has a link to a form to let me know your desire.

As always, there’s some interesting reading and thinking that you need to enjoy!


It’s Time To Change My Supply Plans!

This post, from Aviva Dunsiger, was totally beyond by familiarity zone.  All educators get calls to cover other classes, subject to collective agreement language, but my experience was totally at the secondary school level.

Screenshot 2017-06-22 at 06.22.42

Every educator takes their profession seriously and so many don’t like leaving their class to others for coverage as often lesson planning is difficult since it’s completely out of context for others.

This raised my understanding to a new level!


Kids Thinking About Infinity

This post from Matthew Oldridge is worth checking out if only to watch the wonderful video about how to get to infinity.

Screenshot 2017-06-22 at 06.26.08.png

Infinity is such an interesting concept.  It truly is a concept and not an actual number.  I liked the thinking about this and how “infinity + 1” seals the deal that it’s not a number.  Yet, in mathematics, it has a special place.

When you really start to think deeply about it, it’s the sort of thing that keeps you up nights wondering.


Teaching and Assessment with Math Processes

Mathematics really seems to be the “whipping boy” in education and there’s so much written about it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just stop the world for a year so that everyone could get up to speed?

Of course, that’s not practical, but this post from Deborah McCallum certainly is.

  • problem solving
  • reasoning and proving
  • reflecting
  • selecting tools and computational strategies
  • connecting
  • representing
  • communicating

In the post, she does a wonderful job of addressing the processes and then bringing in the sorts of activities that you would expect to see in a mathematics class.

Share this around the staff room.


Introducing coding to students

We need more posts like this one from Jim Cash.

In it, he addresses the reasons why we should be teaching coding to students and lists a set of expectations that should guide the process.

Then, he takes on the actual implementation and gives us four levels.

  • Most outcomes are NOT evident or VERY WEAK
  • Outcomes that are in evidence are WEAK
  • Most outcomes are in evidence and STRONG
  • Most outcomes are STRONGLY in evidence and ROBUST

As I read the post, I preferred to thing as these as descriptors along a continuum rather than four distinct levels of a rubric.  It’s particularly evident when he describes what each look like.  I think it would be very difficult to be entirely in one of his levels.

I think that, upon reflection on your work in the classroom, you would see that a continuum best describes them rather than a hurdle required to jump from one to the next.


Epic FAIL

If all that you expected was 100% success, then the online activity that Peter Cameron’s class had planned for Monday would certainly be a fail.

After all, a number of classes from the province were in a Google Hangout along with Peter’s class.  Stephen Hurley and I were invited since we had discussed the Shut the Box concept the previous week.

So there we were, and a simply delightful young lady from Peter’s class gave us the rules and an admonishment not to cheat….  Geee.  We just met.

We were good to go and then his class dropped out of the picture.  The rest of us were nice and polite expecting them to reappear but it wasn’t to happen.  So, we played by ourselves.  I was too lazy to go and get some physical dice so just wrote a routine in a spreadsheet to roll the dice for me on my computer.

The biggest takeaway and a message that his kids really get it come in their reflection of the experience.


INTERVIEW WITH EDUCATION WEEK: BLOGGING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

I think it’s powerful when bloggers leave their home space and venture into amazing new areas.  In this case, it was Rusul Alrubail who was interviewed by Larry Ferlazzo for Education Week.

I had a similar opportunity and my interview with her is available here.

Both will give you insights about her life, arriving in Canada, not speaking English and now a very proficient blogger, speaker and advocate.

From the interview, here’s your motivation for why working with English Language Learners is so important.

Screenshot 2017-06-22 at 06.41.18.png


The Importance of Being Civil to Others Part II

Paul McGuire follows up on his original post about being civil with more thoughts and a personal detail about civility.

Several times, mainly on Facebook, I have been called naive and simplistic and people have expressed ‘surprise’ about my posts, especially regarding Catholic Education in Ontario. On Twitter, I have actually been blocked by a member of the senior administration from my former Catholic board.

I’m totally taken by surprise with this particular action.

There is a time and a place for blocking people – typically, it’s because they’re a scammer or spammer or other evil-doer.

But, I think it speaks volumes if you block a person just because you disagree with their thoughts.

I hope that the person involved reconsiders and engages in a productive conversation.  With so many voices asking this question, it’s time to step up and be responsible for your actions and existence.


I know that I say it every week but there’s some powerful reading and writing happening here.  Please take a moment and click through to the original blog posts and read them in their entirety.  They’ll appreciate the numbers and your thoughts.

Live, usually at 9:15 on Wednesday mornings, Stephen Hurley and I take a few minutes on Voiced Radio to chat about the great things happening in Ontario Edublogs.  If you’re free, please join us.  The shows are also rebroadcast frequently and there’s an on demand section where you can listen according to your schedule.

Speaking of on demand, all of the TWIOE posts are available from here.

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