This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Week 1 winds down for most in Ontario schools.   I hope that it’s been a great one for you.  Speaking of great, here are some great posts from the blogs of Ontario Educators.


What Are Your “Why’s?”

If you need to read one post this week, it’s this one from Aviva Dunsiger.  She was inspired by another blog post and it’s worth a read too.

It may well be the missing piece in your classroom design and everything else that you do.  I can’t help but smile when I think of the number of times I asked students “Why did you do that?”  Aviva reminds us that it’s important to ask that question of ourselves.

I was doing some thinking on my car ride into school today. While I love seeing what rooms look like — and am often inspired by what I see — I also love hearing the thinking behind the decisions.


My Top 5 Defining Moments in teaching.

Kudos have to go out to Jonathan So for starting the meme #5bested.  Regular readers will know that I shared mine earlier in this week.  Jonathan is keeping track here.

I’ve read all that I can find and really enjoy the breadth of ideas.

I was pleased to find another one that he hadn’t discovered yet – from Ramona Meharg. Ramona’s post includes some interesting ones.

  • 4 Years of Supply Teaching
  • Twitterpated – Twitterpated?

You’ll have to click through to read all five including finding out what Twitterpated means.


Community Response to Five Ways to Damage a Good School

You may recall my challenge to Paul McGuire to extend his thinking about ways to damage a good school in a blog post from Greg Ashman.

And he did.

He put up a Google Form and asked people for input.

This post from Paul focuses on one of the responses.  This quote is from his blog which is from a quote from someone who had responded.

Build a community & relationships. If you don’t have positive relationships with your students, then nothing you do in class really matters. The same applies to admin. If you don’t take the time to build relationships with your staff, then it will be difficult to get staff buy in for positive changes.

That’s great advice for all.  Particularly in the first few weeks, it’s so easy to get sucked into the black hole that is administrivia.

Andrew Campbell shares one of the ways he does it in his class to Twitter.

Bingo isn’t just for staff meetings.


Test Scores Reflect What We Think About Math

Speaking of Andrew Campbell, check out the case that he builds here.

I really like his story about his sons going for their driving test.  Even back in the day, I followed the same route.  We had sit ‘n git classes but the important part was getting out in the “real world” and driving the streets of our town.

We learned from the experience just as today’s students learn elements of mathematics by exploration and inquiry.  Yet, they’re tested in a 1:1 situation with themselves and the paper test.

Most certainly, those of us who drive did it in the real world.  We didn’t revert to a pen and pencil test to prove we knew how to drive.

The good news is that, since Andrew’s post, there’s news that the Ministry of Education will be doing a rethink of things.  Hopefully, this is part of it.  There are so many groups that would like to see a change.


WAYS TO REFLECT ON YOUR TEACHING – A PRACTICAL APPROACH

From the TESL Blog, Michelle Wardman offers eight suggestions for how to reflect on your teaching.

I felt pretty good going through the list.  I had done many of them.  One of the most powerful ones, particularly if you get to teach the same grade or same students again, is the START/STOP/CONTINUE approach.  In all my lessons plans, I always had a reflection area that starts as a big blank spot that encouraged me to fill it with something.

She also talks about forming a Teacher Development Group.  I know that there are often attempts to have a forced PLC event but this is different.  This is driven by you.  It reminds me of the tenants of Peer Coaching which I found to be so powerful for me.

Click through to read all eight.


Is It Possible to Create a Culture of Feedback?

The blogger in me wonders.  After all, there is room for comments and feedback below but very few of you will take the time to give me feedback.

But, Sue Dunlop isn’t talking about blogging here.

She’s talking about feedback in general and the observation that “they won’t do anything anyway”.  I think that there’s a fine line between productive feedback and bitching at times but, if you ask for it, you need to be able to accept both.

She makes an interesting observation that any changes based upon that feedback might not necessarily happen immediately.  I think that’s a real reality in education.  I have to smiled when I think about all the “21st Century School” stuff that I’ve read this week.  We’re going to milk that one as long as we can, I guess.

It seems to me that, in addition to creating the culture of feedback, you need to have a culture of recognition of that feedback.  So, when you adopt an idea, send a note of thanks or appreciation to the person, invite that person to help you make any changes, and announce it in front of an audience and give credit where it’s due.


REFLECTIONS ON CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY – CREATING UNITY IN DIVERSITY

For this entry, I’d like to return to the TESL Ontario blog and a post from Marcella Jager.

This summer, it was 150 this and 150 that, and we generally enjoyed ourselves.  Although, here in Amherstburg, we had issues in inflating the duck.

There were also a lot of revelations about our history that came to light that didn’t paint a picture of everything being all that rose at times.

The post offers hope for the next 150 years.

Canada’s best years are not behind us, they are before us. There are cracks in our social fabric that a shared double-double cannot seem to heal.

You can’t help but think of a better Canada after reading this post.  What will you do to contribute?


Once again, I hope that you find this collection of Ontario Edublogs inspirational.  I can’t do them justice in my comments; you need to click through and read the richness and wonderful thinking that happened on each and every one of these posts.

If you’re a blogger and aren’t in my collectionplease consider adding your URL.  There’s a form available at this site for just this purpose.

Every Wednesday morning at 9:15 on voicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley and I talk about some of the great posts that appear from Ontario Edubloggers.  The shows are also archived and you can revisit them here.

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OTR Links 09/08/2017


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