This Week in Ontario Edublogs

One week down, how many more to go?

The best thing is that the heat has eased up making the classroom experience bearable. I hope that everyone had a terrific first week. It’s time to take a look at my weekly collection from around the province.

The Christie Lake Climb for Kids

There were a couple of posts about this climb from Heather Swail and Paul McGuire.  They landed at the same time and talk about this terrific activity and fun raiser.  What struck me was how they were about the same thing but, due to the writing styles of Heather and Paul, they came across completely differently.

As Heather said on Twitter…

Climb for Kids – Linking People, Adventure and a Great Cause

From Paul McGuire, a post about everything that you’d probably ever want to know about the climb. All kinds of links are available so that you can learn about the nuts and bolts of making it happen and how it did.  There are some wonderful pictures to complete the story.  I’m really impressed with the “chain” of climbers people.

It’s a real keeper, Paul.


This is a link to Heather’s post.  I read an article recently that said that “skimming is the new reading”.  I know that it’s a routine for me plus I took a speed reading course once that teaches you how to read quickly.

But, I couldn’t skim or speed read Heather’s post when I first took a look at it.

  • it was really engaging.  I wanted to devour it right from the start
  • she obviously took the time to write this post as a short story using all kinds of writing conventions.  These conventions made speed reading impossible.

Interestingly, I think if you only read one of these posts, you’re missing out.   Because of their style and content, you need to read both to fully understand.

And, the best part was raising $25 000 for their charity in the process.

Social Issues in Ontario will always have a home in English Class!

If anyone ever questions that the teaching is a profession guided by the professional judgement of an educator, you need to send them to Kyleen Gray’s post.  We know that Ontario Health and Physical Education has taken the brunt of a great deal of attacks this summer.

Kyleen reminds us that other subject areas are equally as fitting ways to address issues of the day.  She uses the word “vague”, but in a good way, as a way to describe the license given to English teachers to determine classroom activities.

  • Articles of the Week
  • Persuasive Writing and Speaking
  • Independent Reading
  • Journal Writing
  • Media Trend Analysis and Infographic

In one sentence, she lends this advice…

Use the English Curriculum to your Advantage!

This was the first time I’ve read and included Kyleen’s blog on TWIOE.  I’m looking for much more in the future.

5 Things To Do On The First Day Of School

Well, maybe the timing isn’t right but this post from Matthew Morris could serve as a checklist for the future or, perhaps, that you did things well on Tuesday.

Or, if you get “re-organized” because of student numbers, you may get a do-over with a second set of students.

Here is his list of things

  • The Name Game
  • Let your students pick their own seats
  • Get your students up and moving around the room
  • Share stories, orally!
  • Your Core Rules

These are good pieces of advice, particularly the last one.  I remember advice given to me once…

If you’re going to play by the rules, you have to play by all the rules

So, how many are “all” the rules?  I would suggest it should be enough to get the job done but not so many that you’re activity policing everything all day long.  There will be those that are indeed “core” but a little latitude given in other areas can result in amazing things, not previously predicted.

Dessert vs. Main Course

I’ve seen these terms used interchangeably.

  • Projects
  • Project Based Learning

When done that way, obviously the speaker or writer isn’t up to speed.

They need to read this post from Jamie Mitchell.

TLDR; it boils down to where the learning takes place.

But, click through and enjoy a good discussion.  You’ll either feel confirmed or be inspired to change your practice.


This is a term that is used in a number of ways and Stephen Hurley and I talked about it on This Week in Ontario Edublogs and Diana Maliszewski was listening.

Whatever you call it, Diana did three of them last week.

I was honoured that she agreed to come on to This Week in Ontario Edublogs as the last  of a summer of guests.

She also did some work on Library Land Loves and I Wish I Knew Edu: Looking Back and Learning Forward.

The second two were recorded and may be edited and then broadcast in the future.  TWIOE is done live; there are no do-overs.  But, the recording is available for download just as a traditional podcast.

While the concepts are the same (you’re speaking to your computer and hope that nobody is watching), the organization behind each is different.  Diana nicely describes the three approaches in her post.  If you’re interested in podcasting or live broadcasting, this is good reading.

voicEd Radio: Building a Multi-Lane Highway on the Education Landscape

Who doesn’t think of the 401 when you read this title?  They seem to be building and reconstructing forever over this past summer.

Using the analogy of building capacity, Stephen Hurley shares with us his vision for voicEd Radio in the future.

I like that he’s actively looking for new voices for the show.  Matthew Morris raised his hand in a tweet…

Will this be another new voice?

From the post, look for a couple of new voices that will appear – Jen Cort and Munazzah Shirwani.  Each has provided a short teaser to get your attention.

There are always great things coming from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  Make sure that you check them out.  And, if you’re from Ontario and are a blogger yourself, fill out the form and you’ll be added to the collection.

There’s always something new, thoughtful and original to push your thinking.

You can follow the above bloggers on Twitter.


OTR Links 09/07/2018

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