This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Please join me in a digital walk around the province and check out some recent great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  No tricks here even though it’s Friday the 13th.

I’m really looking forward to heading north later this morning to set up for the first #ECOOcamp in Owen Sound.  Registration is still open if you’re interested in joining me.


Character Crossovers!

Student bloggers are Ontario Edubloggers too.  In Cameron Steltman’s grade 5 class, he takes on an interesting approach to learning and blogging.  The topic this time around is the use of quotation marks.  The activity is to borrow a character from another student in the class and incorporate it in the story.

To summarize your task once again, please choose at least one other character from one of your classmate’s story. Read their profile and their flaws / faults. Once you feel like you know that character, create a story that includes their character and yours and have a conflict come between them.

He starts with a provocation and the students are inspired to write by replying to it.  Interestingly, students from a previous year’s class have also stepped in to provide some advice.


Chicken or Egg?

I know that, as a child, I used to stay awake at night trying to reason this out.

Stepan Pruchnicky does a modern take on this concept with respect to teaching.

I wonder when it makes the most sense to teach then play. I wonder when it makes more sense to play then teach.

My thought is that it depends upon the activity and the students involved.  Not one solution fits all the time.  Your professional judgement is used to determine which and when.

Your thoughts?


Looking for Real Space Between…

This has rolled around within us for the last week.  Blog 10 seemed like the exact spot to gut check all of it.  We reread, well I reread and Andrea reread and created a sketch note which was an incredible road map.  She texted me and said, “this is our thinking from all 9 and yesterday bumped up against Carlina.  I’m going back in with Allan, Vivian and Lynn to find what’s frustrating and left unanswered.”  

The concepts behind Sketchnoting can take on different forms depending upon the people drawing them.  I see as:

  • Sketchnoting to share ideas
  • Sketchnoting to build ideas

It’s the second that I think is more organic and a real development tool.  The Beast shares a post about how to build a post and involve others.  Truth be known, I had a bit of insight on this inclusion part with a recent contributor to The Beast efforts.  Branching away from a comfort zone can be a difficult thing for some people and a fresh perspective can be helpful.

I snagged a piece of the action and share it below.  You’ll have to click through for the entire picture (and story behind it)

2018-04-12_0700


Visualizing Integer Multiplication

I follow these examples of teaching mathematics with a great deal of interest.  Like most, I grew up in a world where we listened, memorized, and then did a million (or so) questions until we learned it.  Or at least got it well enough for a test.

In my world, I learned the mathematics and it was later that I appreciated the joy and beauty of it.

In examples like this, Kyle Pearce shows us the joy and beauty of mathematics as it’s being learned.

People who learned in another world like me often have real difficulties with this.

Now, I get it, I understand it, and I appreciate it.

It would be interesting to do a time on task comparison between the older way of learning by practicing over and over until it’s understood versus taking the much longer route of learning but appreciating it all along.


One Set of Infinity

Aw, the humble GIF.  The advantage to writing about it is that you don’t have to get into that dirty war about how to pronounce it.  Topic previously covered.

I’m old enough to remember when GIF was the only way that you exchanged graphic files.  Then, we found true religion and JPEGs were everywhere but we missed the transparency option.  Then, we moved to PNG.

Now, we’re back to the world of GIF and it’s used for many things including cutesy ways to enhance a message (Giphy is everywhere).

In this post, Terry Greene made me smile with the connection to learning but, seriously, do people still wear those outfits to work out?


Pulling Together in the Same Direction

This is something that I don’t do often enough.  I write, publish, and them mostly move on.

But, Anna Bartosik has a nice reminder that repurposing, revisiting, and learning can be helpful.

As a preamble to my upcoming keynote at TESL Durham next Saturday, I thought I’d resurrect this piece that I wrote for Sheridan’s Alchemy newsletter a while back on connecting with our Indigenous Centre for Learning and Support.

If you believe that writing and reflecting is a good indicator of growth, then acknowledging and learning from them is a good idea.


The Walking Dead…at a School Near You?

I hope not.

This post from Lynn Thomas might give you a bit of a pause to think.

Our children are being turned into veritable zombies everyday that they sit and do uninspired work at school or are expected to fit into a one-size fits all cookie cutter style of education.

That’s a pretty wide sweeping statement and I can’t get 100% behind it.  There are many “inspirational” speakers who use that premise in their presentations.  Personally, I can’t support it as a universal commentary on education.

Reading Ontario bloggers and their content let you know that there are those who really are doing their best to change this notion and are doing a pretty good job at it.  They’re not in the 100% either so the truth value lies somewhere in between.

Curriculum and courses of study need to be reviewed periodically to make sure that they’re addressing the needs that are required.  If this isn’t done, there is a danger of a malaise setting it.

How about your classroom?  Where would it fit?


I hope that you agree with me that’s there’s a great deal of inspiration to be drawn from these blog posts.  Please click through and read them in their entirety.  If you’re blogging and aren’t in the big list above, please add yourself.

Finally, make sure that you’re following these educators on Twitter.

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