This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to yet another Friday, the first one in November.  How about starting your day with these inspirational blogs from great Ontario Edubloggers.

About a Dog

You may need a tissue as you read this post from Jennifer Aston.

Jennifer takes us on a trip down memory lane with what sounds like a quirky family addition that had a wonderful fifteen years.

There are some great stories in here and I think that any dog owner will see elements of their own furry friend in there.

It always is difficult to say goodbye to a family friend and this certainly was no different.

My sympathies, Jennifer.

Self-regulation – not just for kids!

Lisa Cranston puts self-regulation to a very personal level in this post.  If you had read a post from a few years ago, you know that she has a second “temporary” home in Argentina.  In fact, the original post was filled with all kinds of pictures showing the place off.


However, a recently trip turned out to be a considerably different event.  From not being allowed inside the gated community, to a very small apartment, to a neighbourhood with no restaurants, you can feel her frustration rising.

It reads just as it must have felt to her.

But, self-regulation came to the rescue.  It’s a great testament to why we need others in our lives.

Filling my cup…..

Stephen Hurley and I talked about this post from Ann Marie Luce on our #TWIOE broadcast.  There’s nothing really different about that; we talk about a lot of great Ontario Edubloggers.  It’s just that most of them are working and can’t hear us live and hopefully catch up in the “On Demand” section.

This was a bit different.  We’ve visited Ann Marie’s blog before; she’s in China for an educational experience of a lifetime and sharing what’s happening there with us.  It’s such a brave move.

Well, as it turns out, she was listening to voicEd radio as we were talking and starting using Twitter to stay in touch.  We were talking about the things that she’s doing for herself – it’s like a lesson in mindfulness.  She jumped right in when we were talking about her learning Mandarin and enjoying Bubble Tea and how she modifies it from what you can buy around here.

It’s a great post outlining all that she’s doing for herself.  Take a read and see if you can’t do some of what she’s suggesting.

Videos Going Viral! Take-A-Seat-O

Cameron Steltman uses his classroom blog to get students thinking and writing about topics that are of interest to them.

In this particular entry, they’re exploring what makes a video viral on the internet.

1. Why do you think that videos go viral?
2. Why do you think this video was so popular and got shared so many times?
Give reasons for your answer.
3. Do you think creating videos are an effective way to create change? Why or Why not?
4. What’s your favourite viral video … post a link to it and explain why you think it was able to go viral.

There are some great insights from the students and their thoughts about what makes a video popular.  Not surprisingly, the student responses tend to lean towards the entertainment side.

Too good not to share…

Don’t just check out this post, check out a few of them.  Could you use a similar blogging approach in your own classroom?

The Messy World of Knowledge Sharing in Teams: What Helps and How to Improve it

From the KNAER-RECRAE blog, Vicky Ward takes on the topic of how to share when you’re working in groups.  The advice given takes me back to activities where we had to do a group approach to a particular topic.  The one in my mind was NTIP preparation.

Everyone around the table had things to share but voice wasn’t shared equally.

I found that all of the teams encountered some difficulties when trying to share knowledge, be it having too much knowledge and information to share

This example gives some insight to the challenges that might happen in these cases.

My take was that the target audience was adult professionals but I could easily see this being handy when observing student groups or setting the norms for those groups.

The enclosed table has some terrific questions.

Playful Symmetry

I’m sure that Deanna McLennan didn’t have me in mind when she wrote the post but it really resonated when I took out the Hallowe’en decorations.  You see, I hate putting stuff away in the attic and so the placement of things is not timed to the calendar.

In other words, I had to move the Christmas decorations to get at the Hallowe’en stuff.

As I’m moving things around, I couldn’t help but note that there was symmetry everywhere.  Whether it’s a handing ball for the tree or a pumpkin head for the front window, very careful production had happened to make the elements symmetrical.  Even carving a pumpkin or putting the lights up on the tree has a strong element of symmetry – especially when you ask “How’s that?”.

In the post, you’ll find a dozen examples of activities that she’s done with her students around the topic of symmetry.  The look on the young lady’s face when she opens her Paint Droppers example is priceless.

Targeted Instruction

Mark Chubb recently had a discussion about Entrance Slips.  When he started to dig into what they actually are and how they are used, he uncovered a number of details which he outlines in this post.

In the discussion, there was an attempt to use the slips as a way to handle differentiated instruction.  Mark reminds us that students, in order to be successful, must all students must experience all activities.  Of course, his focus is mathematics.



This isn’t a quick and easy post to read but I think it’s well worth it.  He doesn’t specifically mention it but there’s a strong message that I got that you need to totally understand any new pedagogy before putting it into use.

What another wonderful collection of blogs from people just like you.  They’ve decided to share their learning openly and invite you to learn with them.  Please click through and read their thoughts and drop them a comment or two.  They’ll appreciate it.

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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.

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at: