This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to the first day of a well-deserved rest.  Enjoy a summer morning beverage and dig into some of the great things that have appeared recently on the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.

How Do You Capture The Essence Of Each Child?

By the time that you read this post from Aviva Dunsiger, you’ve probably already wrestled with this issue.  At the end of the year, you pass students along to the next teacher and they’re busy prepping for the fall.  Well, maybe a little later this summer…

I think this post dovetails nicely on a previous post from Lisa Cranston about the sort of things that can be shared in the staff room at this time of the year where the conversation isn’t always necessarily positive.

So, how do you capture the essence of each child?  There’s report cards, to be sure, but they’re not designed specifically for that purpose; they have a different audience.  Can it be done objectively and positively?  It’s a good question to ask and there may not be a definitive answer.

If you follow Aviva on social media, you know that she takes so many pictures during the course of a day showing the activities and inquiries of her students.  That may be the best way to document the academic inquiries of the students and may put her ahead in this game.

BTW, check out the photo in this post for an idea of what she does and I always find it interesting to see how different people decorate and arrange their classrooms.

Farewell Rituals – Required or Not?

It’s the thing of the season.  The nice thing about teaching is that there’s always a changeover and both teacher and student can start anew each fall.  The down side is that the people involved may well change.  Such was the focus of this post by Diana Maliszewski.

I have definite opinions about this.  I think that it’s important to celebrate that year (or collection of years) that go into efforts and graduations.  People have poured their hearts and souls into making good things happen.

I just hate it when I am the focus of the celebration.

Even if I’m involved in the planning and delivery of a celebration for someone else, you’d find me in a corner just people watching at the event.

Diana shares some of her thoughts about graduations and celebrations in the first part of the post and concludes with a tribute to a co-worker who obviously inspired her deeply.

Competitive Urges: Skills Canada National Finals in Edmonton, 2018

Tim King kind of beats himself up in this post.

You see, he was the proud coach of a team that competed well in the Ontario Skills Canada competition, winning nicely, and then going to Edmonton to compete nationally.  Unfortunately, they didn’t do as well there.

Throughout the post, Tim tries to analyze the reasons why, including looking inwardly in the process.  As a result, he thinks he’ll be a better coach in the future.  Of that, I have no doubt.

It’s too bad that we use this quote so often…

Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. – Vince Lombardi

In this case, the format is like old time schooling where one final exam makes or breaks things.  Schools have recognized this and have changed.  Even to win the Stanley Cup, you have to win four games.  It’s not the result of a single competition.  “On any given day…”

In Tim’s post, there’s a link to a story in Tim’s local newspaper showing a couple of students.  I marvel at the areas they competed in “skilled trades entrepreneurship” and “IT network administration”.  When I went to school, the “shops” were dirty – auto, welding, carpentry but all that’s changed.  And, it’s starting younger and younger.

Well That’s Fantastic!

So, this is Sue Bruyns’ take on WTF and it’s a good one.

What do you do, as a principal, when you have an occasional teacher that refuses to take on some of what they’re asked to.

You retreat to your office and play with chess pieces.

Then, the fantastic happens.

History Lives

I love this post from The Beast.

First, it shows how modern technology can be used in classes – in this case, it’s a History class.

Secondly, it shows how history can be and should be more than the text that’s written in a text book.

Thirdly, it shows how amazing things happen when you open your eyes and look at the community resources that are available to you should you wish to use them.

Kudos to the teachers, students, and George for making this event happen.

George who?  Click through to get the complete story.

Indoor Voice

If you don’t think that people are watching (and listening), then you need to read this post from new teacher Karaline Vlahopoulos.


Self-reg proponents, please step up.

Yelling is a human response, it seems, in some situations.  How do you channel that?

I dare say we’ve all seen it in action.  I dare say we’ll all done it ourselves.

Is it an effective strategy?  Is there a better strategy?  Think it through; your vocal chords will thank you.

Candy Math

I’ve done this.  I’ve brought candy into class to work with probability.  I always figured that the bulk food store was a teacher’s best and most affordable friend for moments like this.

Not for Lisa Corbett.

She went for the branded, packaged, more expensive stuff – Sour Patch Kids.

Here’s the tasty setup…


Read Lisa’s complete post to see the process and interpretation of results.  Personally, I’d leave the red and take the green.

And, you’ll get a smile when Lisa reveals that she had to deal with broken candy!

I hope that you get a chance to click through and read all these wonderful posts.  I enjoyed reading them and I’m sure that you will as well.

If you’re an Ontario Blogger and not in here, please add yourself so that I can enjoy your writing.

Make sure to follow these bloggers on Twitter.

And, have a wonderful summer.

Author: 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:

2 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Thanks for the mention here, Doug! I do love how you connect Ontario edubloggers each week through your blog, and it’s always interesting to hear your perspective on different blog posts. Your comment about report cards on my post has me thinking. I wonder if Communications of Learning (the reports in Kindergarten) address this. This positive piece is a key component to them, and they really are made to create the essence of each child: with personalized comments which really reflect where each child is at academically, as well as socially and emotionally. I wonder though, would teachers read them in this way? This is not how we view report cards, and to be honest, I’ve rarely read new students’ report cards in their entirety. A Communication of Learning could be helpful in this way. Kindergarten educators may know this, but do we need to inform grade teachers of the difference?

    As for the bias component, I think that might always exist. Can we really see any child objectively? Even as we work at observing children, we then have to interpret these observations. This is where the bias comes to play. But maybe if educators talk to multiple educators about kids, hear some different perspectives, but also form their own, this will help. The problem is, do our own biases then cloud how every other educator has then viewed these children? I think this again links with Lisa’s post from last week.


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