This Week in Ontario Edublogs

As I begin this post, I look longingly at my bathing suit.  Maybe a last dip this weekend?  In the meantime, some terrific thoughts from the blogs of Ontario Educators.

Our Plan For Social Success

Last week, I had dug into a “Post from the Past” which dealt with the concept of using Social Media to amplify and report on activities in the classroom.  As I wrote it originally, I pictured Aviva Dunsiger and her process.  She is religious about documenting classroom happenings on a daily basis.

She took my recycled post and ran with it to create one of her own.  When I had written the original post, Storify took a centre position in her reporting.  Now, it doesn’t, but that doesn’t stop her documenting efforts.

If you’re looking for something that’s broadcast quality and not some goofy attempt hidden behind a district firewall, this is worth looking.  Of course, there are all kinds of privacy considerations and parent/district/school/principal approvals that need to fall into place but Aviva appears to have navigated them all.

Speaking of navigation, all that’s missing here is a flowchart to illustrate her process.

Fixing or Fighting Public Education?

I must have been on a roll because another one of my posts inspired another reply – this time from Sheila Stewart.  I had originally shared my thoughts on a Huffington Post article about 7 things that could fix public education in Ontario.  I had to smile as I wrote the post because handyman Doug tends to break other things when he attempts to fix something.

In this case, Sheila took a look at the getting rid of school districts point and focused on the trustee connection.  The role of the trustee isn’t a desirable one for me.  So much budget, so many demands on all sides from all kinds of people and not necessarily having access to all of the information.


The concepts in the original article aren’t about tinkering; they’re about massive changes.

We’re starting to see some movement by the current government – will there be more?

Sheila does invite you to comment on her thoughts.

Teachers tell stories

Albert Fong offers the teacher inspiration story of the week.

It’s all about a bit of entrepreneurship in the classroom involving chocolate chip cookies, pricing, and planning.

Now, a lesser teacher would have immediately seen the flaw in the student plan and dictated a solution.  But, where’s the fun, er, learning in that…

I then peeked through the doorway to see if the seed that I planted would sprout.

Inquiry into Indigenous Education in Kindergarten and the Primary Grades 1-3

Follow this link and Command-D or Control-D it immediately.

The amazing Michelle Cordy has written a post which includes so much value for kindergarten and primary aged students and the topics surrounding Indigenous Education topics in the classroom.

Just one of her sections would have made an excellent blog post but she goes far beyond that.  It’s really a three parter…

  • context
  • resources
  • a plan for inquiry

If you don’t internally say “Wow” and immediately share it with your colleagues, I don’t know what type of post would illicit that response from you.

Finally, words of advice from Michelle.


Consent in the Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum in the Age of #MeToo

Debbie Donsky sets the stage for this post from the perspective of a parent, herself personally, and as a teaching professional.

Resources, our history as a society in the media that we’ve created (and made millions in the process) all form the basis for her argument and then…

Debbie rips apart the 2015 Health and Physical Education document and pulls out relevant expectations for each of the elementary school grades, 1-8 dealing with consent.

Beyond the efforts that Debbie has done composing this post and digging through the curriculum, there’s another purpose.

I think we’ve all heard how inappropriate the expectations are from that document. Expectations from Grade 7 or 8 are pulled out with the message “This is what is being taught” with the implication that it’s taught in all grades.  Those message senders should take a look at Debbie’s work and see exactly what is taught at the various grade levels and then try to build the case that it’s age-inappropriate.

Personal Playlist Podcast With Noa Daniel (Radiothon) – Ramona Meharg

From the voicEd Radiothon comes this podcast from Noa Daniel.  In it, she interviewed Ramona Meharg and put her to the 3P test – Nostalgia, Personal, Inspirational.

Both Ramona and Noa have their own dedicated shows on voicEd so I wanted to hear them arm wrestle for the microphone.  I’ll say right here that they did a terrific job.  I was also curious to see if Ramona would choose “Ramona” as one of her songs.  She did.  I only knew of the Jim Reeves version but this song has been well covered.

It was an interesting show but I was a little disappointed not to see the blog version like Noa so often does for her shows.  As it turns out, she does do that and it just needs to be ported over to the voicEd Radio site.  In the process, I did find her blog here and have added it to my Ontario Educator Collection and to the voicED Radio Blogroll.

“6 take away 6 is 5” – Listening for Understanding

From my youth, two things from this title:

  • no, it isn’t
  • we were always forbidden to use the expression “take away” which I always thought was poorly taught – if we aren’t supposed to use it, why introduce us to it and tell us that it’s bad?  Huh?

I was interested in the premise for the post from Melissa Peddie.

I had the opportunity to be in several classes during the first week of class as teachers from NNDSB were implementing a program my colleague Jane Rutledge (@MathJane) and I wrote called the “The First X Days”.  It provides teachers with 9 lessons for the first 2 weeks of school to support the development of a non-threatening classroom environment, along with important norms and routines to set the stage for a great year of math learning.

So, of course, the topic goes much deeper than just getting the right answer.  The post takes us on a math walk and offers suggestions about what to do when a student confidently responds as above.  (it doesn’t involve a raspberry buzzer)

Student Voice: Why Framing Their Stories is Important for our Future!

There are two important things to take away from this post.

  1. Lisa Munro very nicely reinforces the importance of Student Voice.  I think that it’s pretty easy to pull in examples of people extolling the value.  There’s never much of an argument.  Lisa goes deeper though and lets us know when the process can go off the rails.

    Often, student voice is heard with good intentions but converting their words into meaningful actions is where there is much room for growth.  Our realities often get in the way and daily actions are impacted by mood, bias, multiple demands for time, urgent needs, deadlines, events from our personal lives, quality of sleep or even the weather to name a few.

  2. Secondly, Sue Bruyns chimes in via comment and expresses a confirmation for the points that Lisa raises.  Then, she takes it in a little different direction and offers some suggestions where student voice might be just as important and used well but isn’t often used or even invited.

Please take a few minutes to click through and read these posts in all their glorious originality.  There’s so much inspirational content there.  If you find value, so will your colleagues.  Share it with them.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a weekly post from this blog.  You can see them all here.

OTR Links 09/14/2018

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