Does familiarity breed illiteracy?

My wife’s birthday is upcoming and so my fashion advisor (youngest daughter) and I went shopping yesterday. We had success in our gift purchase and a little disagreement about literacy along the way.

When it comes to buying clothes, I always stop at The Bay first for two reasons – one to see what is selling and secondly, to see if there are some pricing deals. (add cheap to my attributes) There were lots of markdowns so we took note of some potential gifts. The information about the discounts was very professionally printed and displayed, maybe from the head office or from the store itself. There was no way to tell.

From there, we hit a number of other stores. It was at a small store that I saw the sign that included this handwritten on a sheet of cardboard

Pant’s 30% off

While we weren’t in search of these things, I just had to point it out to her. What I didn’t realize while we were talking and I was getting the “Daaaad, you’re such a teacher” warning for the umpteenth time, the store manager was listening to us.

He was helpful. “Can I help you?”

Of course, the teacher in me kicked in. “It’s about the sign” and I pointed to it.

“Is there a problem? Those are pants and they are on sale.”

Now, I’m sure that he would have walked by the sign so many times and obviously didn’t notice. Or maybe he thought it was correct. Or who knows?

Eventually, we both were on the same page and had a chuckle over it. He removed the sign to fix things. I’m mindful and thankful for those who proofread this blog for me and point out errors.

As luck would have it, last night we were enjoying Kim’s Convenience, one of the very best shows on the CBC.

I’ve always been a fan of the show and totally understand why it gets nominated for so many awards. The timing of this episode was so appropriate and I enjoyed this week’s show so much. It really was us earlier that day!

But, I wonder…

Do we see misspelled words so frequently in public that, after a while, they seem to be normal? What can we do about that? Should we use a computer with spell check and not rely on our memory for spelling accuracy?

More importantly, what do you do when you see spelling errors, dear teacher? Do you point it out to someone who can change it or do you just smile and move on? I’d love to read your thoughts. Do you agree with me or my daughter?

As an aside, in the opening few minutes, there’s room for another award for Kim’s Convenience – strategic blocking so that you can still televise your show in prime time!


OTR Links 02/28/2019

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

Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week

This is indeed Fair Use/ Fair Dealing Week. How will you celebrate?

It’s a concept that should be core to every educator. The concept of copyright has always been at the heart of what we do. Everyone wants to be able to use the best resources that they can for their classroom.

It’s easier than ever to quickly grab or download resources … but can you use them or how can you use them. That’s the question and what makes this so important.

There is a home for Fair Use and Fair Dealing here. If you poke around the website, you’ll find resources and some interesting blog posts to read.

For Ontario teachers, a useful tool that helps cut through the decision making and choices is the Fair Dealing Decision Tool.

Unlike the screen capture above, the real tool is interactive. Work your way through the questions to get the required advice.

On a personal note, this blog is still being scraped post by post as they happen. When I remember, I put a note at the bottom of the posts letting people know where the content originally came from. It’s sad to see but this individual is also scraping another blogger’s post and they appear in the middle of mine. I’ve let her know but there doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done.

Originally, this blog posts appeared on:

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original post. Please don’t support this scraper.

OTR Links 02/27/2019

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

Challenge your students

In 5 clues…

This is a resource created by Michael Soskil and I’ll warn you right now, from personal experience, it’s a rabbit hole. A very nice rabbit hole!

It uses technology but it isn’t about technology. In fact, I could think of various ways to include technology but I think that would take away from the experience.

He calls it the “5 Clue Challenge“.

The rules?

If you are playing, simply pick a video and play it for your students.  After each clue, pause the video so that students can do a little research.  After the research, have each student take a guess.  At the end of the fifth clue, students can see how quickly they got the correct answer. The larger our collection of videos grows, the more opportunity you’ll have to expose your students to the world. 

So, the “technology” is that the videos included are done in YouTube. All that you need to do is press play and then pause after each clue. He does give you a bit of a pause but it’s not very long so keep your finger next to your mouse or trackpad. Ideally, you’ll have your computer connected to a display device and speakers for the audio.

The “real technology” involves students doing the research and the conversation that would be inspired by each of the videos and the clues contained within.

My personal rabbit hole was Animals.

Play just one and I’m sure that you’ll be hooked on the concept.

But it doesn’t have to stop there. In fact, it can really scaffold nicely; Michael encourages others to create their own 5 Clue Challenge video and share it back with him.

Imagine the power and the potential collection if classes just created and shared one video to help grow this collection.