This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Friday morning and time for a good read or seven.

Turn to the latest from Ontario Edubloggers.

Pumpkin Time-Bomb Activity

Implode or explode?  Who knows?  Jon Orr uses both to describe this timely activity.

It’s simple enough – get a pumpkin and start wrapping elastic bands around it until something happens.  That’s interesting enough and the video from Jimmy Kimmel is interesting to watch.

It gets more interesting when you collect and analyze the data involved in this experiment.  Jon claims over 90 schools all over North America have participated, contributing their results via Google Form.

Then, the ways that mathematics can allow for curiosity and deep insights kicks in.


This activity looks like fun to do and certainly all kinds of mathematics can fall from it.

Coding a “Catch The Pumpkins” Game!

Coding and pumpkins for the fall.  What a great combination and Brian Aspinall has you covered with the activity included in this post.

It’s an orange-ish reverse take on the Space Invaders concept except here you’re catching falling pumpkins.

In the post, if you follow it through, you’ll soon be up and playing your game.

Like any open ended activity, it just begs for enhancements – a background, multiple pumpkins, sounds, etc. – and that’s always the challenge for young coders.

It’s an opportunity to talk about the Scratch repositories and the ability to view and remix other ideas to work on your project.

Soft Eyes

Every parent will identify with the story related by Jonathan So in this post.

You know – that child that wakes in the middle of the night knowing that something isn’t right and responds in the only way that a child can.  Loudly.

In the post, he describes a well reasoned self-regulation approach to the situation.

I really liked how he uses the concept of “Soft Eyes” to remedy his situation.

It’s great parenting advice, borrowed from the classroom and applies just as nicely.

All parents will, I’m sure, identify with the compassion behind this story.

The Kindergarten Chronicles

Karaline Vlahopoulos is realistic enough to recognize that, as a new teacher, while she’s in a kindergarten classroom this year, she might be in Grade 6 in the future.

For now, she took a break at the end of September to write a post and focused on three things.

  • Life Outside the Classroom – Does It Exist?
  • Stop Comparing Yourself
  • Final Reflective Note

I think it’s a great collections of areas for reflection.

I can’t help but think about the middle one though.  We’ve all been there as new teachers.  You know – in the staff room there are people that just have things nailed, always have great ideas and advice, and they just come across as naturals in the profession.

To make things worse, now you can turn to Social Media and read about all the successes that others are having and you wonder why not me?

Seldom do these stories focus on the challenges and growth that has been experienced to help them get that far.  I think that all new teachers look at the success stories and wonder if they’ll ever, ever get there.

But, most teachers eventually will.  And, maybe they’ll do bigger and better things.

So, hang in there Karaline.  You’re still in early days.

Extending by Failing

I really like reading the learning that’s shared openly by educators participating in the Extend Ontario initiative and the 9x9x25 challenge.

This time, the reflection comes from Steven Secord and this post focuses on the notion of failing and Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset.

I find it interesting having watched K-12 educators address the same thing.  The danger in not digging deeper has been addressed by Dweck herself.

Carol Dweck Explains The ‘False’ Growth Mindset That Worries Her –

It’s important to realize that this is a journey and there may be all kinds of bumps in the road and detours but the destination remains.

Blog posts like this are helpful in the reflection and growth that comes from them.  Steven includes the expression “I am not a great blogger”.  I may take that on as a blog post of my own.  I don’t agree with his statement.

Transitioning to Mental Models for Thinking

I had another interesting experience while listening to a student thinking about math today.  This time I had the opportunity to listen to a grade 4 student’s thinking on the following question:

“I am reading a book with 207 pages in it.  I have read 188 pages so far.  How many more pages do I need to read to finish the book?”

And this starts a post about thinking about and following students as they learn mathematics concepts.

What follows next, in this post from Melissa Peddle is an interesting walk through of how the student solves the problems using manipulatives and Melissa’s thoughts about what next steps would be necessary along the path to being a fluent thinker of mathematics.

When was the last time you did something like this?

Not Your Grandmother’s Digital Citizenship

I’m not sure that my grandmother had much to do with digital so I headed over to Tina Zita’s post to see what she missed.

It started…


Mentally I did and then started scrolling.

There’s an interesting reference in the post to Nine Themes to Digital Citizenship which serves as a support for reflecting on your answers.

Tina’s conclusion?

You’ll have to click through and enjoy her post yourself.

Please take a few moments to click through and enjoy these posts.  I think you’ll find them an inspirational way to start your day.

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This post is part of a regular Friday post celebrating blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  You can read them all here.

OTR Links 10/26/2018

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