This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It looks as though Spring may finally have arrived around here.  It’s not hugely warm yet but that will come with time.  In the meantime, warm up with some inspirational thoughts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Resources for Outdoor Classroom Day

Most school districts have a program for Outdoor Education.  That’s important and provides wonderful opportunities for students.

But, what about the concept of just taking your classroom outside for some learning?  Consider thinking of things that could only be done outdoors.  Lisa Cranston reminds us this as well as providing a nice collection of resources.  I did it recently.

At the recent OTF Curriculum Forum, we paired up with a partner for an Alphabet Photowalk devised by Cameron Steltman and Peter Beens.  The idea was to find letters in the environment around us.  Off we went with our phones.

Bob and my efforts?


I originally had a word made just from the second picture.  It was a good example about how to use those devices for good…

And there was a great deal of learning…

  • actually finding something that looked like a letter
  • taking a picture that would be appropriate (not shaking and in focus)
  • cropping the picture to actually display the letter
  • finding the picture on the device once you’d saved and cropped it
  • locating the collaborate Google Slides document
  • uploading the letters
  • adjusting/aligning the letter so that it looks good
  • guessing everyone else’s word

More ideas and a place to commit to Outdoor Classroom Day are available in Lisa’s post and here.

Access & Abundance

This is a delightful post about books.  Not the e- kind.

From First Book Canada, the books absolutely had to go into the hands of children.  So, no library or book sales here.

There really is something special about the paper book.  It’s flexible; you can read it anywhere.  New ones just smell nice.  The battery doesn’t run out.  You can easily turn the pages and forward is just as functional as backwards.  Hyperlinks don’t take you away to a place where it might be a challenge to get back to the original.  They’re not all the same; you can be attracted to a book by the title or its appearance.

I do find this statement curious…

First Book Canada states on their website that 25% of Canadian households have not one book.

The balance of the post is typical Beast format with a conversation between Andrea and Kelly.  If you’re feeling overly digitized in your reading, this will definitely make you feel good.

The Importance of Contexts and Visuals

You hear this frequently, almost to the point of ignoring it completely.  People nod “wisely” as if they understand.  But do they?

Mark Chubb had me at Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup in this post.  The conversation back and forth with his wife will make you smile.  After all, the people at Lipton have spent years and years perfecting the perfect procedure for making the perfect soup, right?

Every package comes with detailed instructions; you just have to follow them to get the taste that they want.  In this case, there are even visuals to help you along.

Now, it’s not a big reach to go beyond this example to everyday classroom routines.  The post features a research report from Knowing and Teaching Mathematics.  The results that Mark pull out will get you wondering which group you would belong to.  He concludes with a number of probing questions to further your thinking about this topic.

Teachers learn to grieve

Albert Fong gives us a very sobering post about the realities that most teachers will experience at least once is their career – the passing of a student.

His memories of Madeline describe a fun, active young lady.  And, a blogger.  Albert was able to eventually bring himself back to a post to revive her memory.

It also inspired to think about this for the future.

Madi may not be with us anymore, but she will live on, through me. As I continue to work with young people, I will forever strive to be better at what I do. When I face moments of weakness, Madi will give me strength to keep getting better. That’s how I will honour her.

Character Education for May is INTEGRITY

Most school districts have a Professional Library.  I’ve yet to find one that is as open and sharing as the folks from the TDSB.

The latest post identifies a number of resources for May where the theme is Integrity.

In today’s society, I think it’s an attribute that we all are in search of for those who we deal with and to develop in ourselves.

A complete listing of titles from this school year will take you to different monthy resources.

Audio Notes in Google Keep

At #ECOOcamp Owen Sound, Emily Fitzpatrick led a pop-up session on Google stuff due to the absence of another presenters.  One of the things that she touched on was Google Keep.

In particular

In Google Keep you are able to take a voice note, this is helpful to record sound that is happening around you but it is also a quick way to write reminders.  Google Keep takes it one step further though.

There are lots of tips here including a Ninja one!

I had to smile just a bit – one of the things that I use Google Keep for is note taking while I’m in a conference session.  I think a lot of people do.  What happens when we all want to talk to our devices while we take notes?

I think of those cone things that a court stenographer uses.  Could that be the next personal device on the market?

OK, probably not, but if you’re a Google Keep user, there might be a new tip or idea in this post.

NCTM 2018 Annual Conference — and OneNote

Speaking of conference note taking, Cal Armstrong devotes a post to how he handled things at the NCTM 2018 conference.  His blog post is going to take you to a shared OneNote document here.


The best way to describe this is that Cal goes far beyond taking notes.  He curates everything here, including the Conference Program.

So, as he’s preparing his proposals for BIT 18 or any future conference, he doesn’t have to go looking through bookshelves for the original program for inspiration; it’s all in the OneNote document.

How’s that for a nice collection of blog posts for a Friday morning?

Please take some time to click through an enjoy these fine pieces of work.  There should be a little there for everyone.  Then, check out the big list of Ontario Edublogs here.

And hey, if you have a blog and haven’t written a post for a while, here’s your challenge.  Let me know on Twitter – @dougpete.

Lastly, make sure that you’re following these Twitter accounts to stay in touch with these folks.



OTR Links 05/11/2018

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