This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to the last Friday in August.  This summer, This Week in Ontario Edublogs had a guest for each show on voicEd Radio.  I’d like to thank the following and you can click any of these to enjoy their show.

It was a real hoot to have these people engage with some of the best from Ontario Edubloggers.  It only made sense to include a blog post from each of them. Of course, a special thanks to Stephen Hurley for allowing me to engage in this flight of fancy.

For your Friday, here are some wonderful posts from the past while.


MEMORIZATION VS. AUTOMATICITY: BACK TO BASICS OR BEYOND THE BASICS?

I had previously shared this blog post from Kyle Pearce.  First thing on Wednesday morning, Aviva Dunsiger reminded me of that fact!

But, having a teacher-librarian like Diana Maliszewski on the radio show, there were a couple of questions that I wanted to ask her.

  1. We’re all aware of the move and talk about going “back to the basics”.  I wanted to hear Diana’s thoughts about why the same logic doesn’t apply to school libraries.  After all, if today’s mathematics classroom is different, most assuredly today’s school libraries have changed.  The answer?  Because EQAO gives measurable results.
  2. Since a teacher-librarian sees students in all grades, I was curious to hear her thoughts about when students develop the “I hate math” mentality.  Of course, it’s a very subjective question and Diana pointed me to the survey results from the EQAO testing of Grade 3 and Grade 6.

About a week ago, Kyle let me know of a project that he was developing with Jon Orr to help teachers with the instruction of mathematics.  Follow either of them for details.


A Love of Reading: Then and Now

I would never have guessed this.

Jennifer Casa-Todd shares a story of a little girl who comes to Canada, doesn’t speak English going to school, and grows up in a household that doesn’t value reading as something that should be pursued.  So discouraged from reading in fact, that any reading this little girl does has to be done on the sly.

Who would know that that little girl would write a book of her own and become a teacher-librarian where part of the craft is to encourage others to read?

It’s a wonderful story and I have even more respect for Jennifer.

Just wow.

Just wiped back a tear.


Thinking More Flexibly About Flexible Seating

Jennifer Aston is getting ready for Year 2 back in her own classroom, affectionately known as “home”.  Teaching “home”, of course.

Having served as a coach for a school district and now having a Grade 6 class, there probably was a little bit extra pressure to do well on the testing.  Jennifer tells a story about working with a pretty traditional setup to make sure that things went well.

It’s a new year and things are changing.  In her words, she’s “warming up”

2018-08-30_1022

And she’s not done.  The post also includes her wish list for the future.

I know that we all wish her the best for Year 2.


CC Certification – use and create

Until I read Helen DeWaard’s blog post, I didn’t know that you could take a course in Creative Commons.  I thought that the concept was something that you learned from looking through the website, looking at the various licenses, respecting the message behind them all, and perhaps licensing your own works.  I know that I have.

There’s much more.

Helen takes us through her work and thinking on the fourth unit.  It’s nicely done and I found it very interesting.

Of particular value, Helen shares some additional places to look for copyright friendly resources.  This is a definite bookmarking opportunity for you.


Work Environments

There are all kinds of places where you might go for a vacation.  You might think a trip to a coal mine is a little off the beaten path but I do recall visiting the mine at the Big Nickel and a family outing to a gold mine tour.

Diana Maliszewski’s description of her tour of a coal mine in Pittsburgh was very descriptive and visual and brought back my own memories and one word  – claustrophobia!

She shares some pictures and a highlight of the discussion with their tour guide to help you visualize.

Then, in an interesting turn, she creates a T-Chart comparing and contrasting the job of a miner and teacher!  She has a renewed perspective on what happens when thinks her library isn’t running at 100%.


Change Your Mind

I wasn’t going to include this post from Matthew Oldridge but then …

2018-08-30_1038

… if I hadn’t changed my mind, I’d have to confess to not being a critical thinker!

As I often do, I look at the opposite side of things.  What if you didn’t give yourself permission to change your mind?  I worked with such a person once.  It was a nightmare.

That only served to convince me that Matthew was absolutely correct in this post.


Dear Colleagues……….. You are Amazing!

Here’s your back to school inspiration in these days of challenges.

Jonathan So writes a post for all educators who will be headed back to school and opening welcoming classrooms next week.

I think it should serve as a message to all that you need to step back from the moment-to-moment gritty details which can take over at times.  Look at the big picture.

You are amazing.


When The Perfect Packer Of The Freezer Space Still Says, “I’m Bad At Math” …

You never know where your next moment of inspiration to write a blog post will come from.

In Aviva Dunsiger’s case, it was a back and forth with me early Wednesday morning when she wanted to remind me that I’d already talked about Kyle Pearce’s post.

Very early this morning — at a time when most of the population was still sleeping 🙂 — I was having a private conversation on Twitter with Doug Peterson about math. I happened to read Doug’s blog today about the posts that he would be discussing with Stephen Hurley and Diana Maliszewski on VoicEd Radio, and I noticed that the first post was one that he had discussed before. Doug mentioned that he wanted to hear Diana’s thoughts about when students start to “hate” math, and when they start to think that they are not “good” at math. In our discussion, I said, “It’s not in Kindergarten,” and while my initial intention was just to blog about why not, listening to the VoicEd radio recording, has me thinking beyond this.

This is an interesting story and only serves to highlight for me that

  • Mathematics is everywhere
  • Mathematics is more than numeracy
  • We ruin Mathematics when we make it so academic – you know with tests and homework and stuff
  • Practical examples where people succeed despite the underlying Mathematics concepts are awesome – how do we get students to understand and celebrate these?

On this last August Friday, there are yet again some terrific posts to read.  I hope that you can find a few moments to enjoy them.

There are some terrific people to follow on Twitter mentioned in this post.

Past editions of this regular Friday series can be checked out here.

OTR Links 08/31/2018


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