Hallowe’en playlist

Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

On Wednesday mornings on @voicEd Radio I’m proud to be part of the This Week in Ontario Edublogs almost live broadcast. For Hallowe’en, did you see what I just did there.

Because voicEd Radio has a SOCAN license, we’re allowed to play some music as introduction to the show. In the past, we typically would play one song and that’s it. But, for the month of October to celebrate, we opened and closed with a song related to (at least in my mind) Hallowe’en.

For your listening pleasure, here they are.

October 7

October 14

October 21

October 28

Monster Mash is an anthem if there ever was one.

How about you?

What are you listening to on this scariest of days?

What would you add to my playlist?


OTR Links 10/31/2020

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Happy Hallowe’en Weekend. Recommendation from the province for many is to modify your routine. That’s so sad. On the other hand, you have an extra hour to read these terrific blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Toxic Positivity in a Brave New World

From Michelle Fenn, writing on the ETFO Heart and Art of Teaching Blog is this thought provoker. She’s done her research and found a definition for Toxic Positivity that reads

“the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. The process of toxic positivity results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience.” 

It’s interesting to see her interpretation about what this means at this point in time. It’s part of the job to be positive with students as it’s the best way to be supportive of their efforts.

She identifies a number of people that you might recognize in your staff room. Well, if you were able to go to your staffroom.

Click through for an interesting read and see what she intends to do personally.

“The Daily” ~ Daily exercise for the brain, body, heart and spirit.

This post from Zoe Branigan-Pipe is something that you might see provided by your subject association. Some definitely are doing this; others not so much. So, you might want to dip into what Zoe shares.

She has curated a number of different collection of “dailies” with access to things like French Word of the Day, THIS day in History – Canada, a bunch of others, and the one that hooked me Daily Brain Teasers.

The resources are collected in Powerpoint Online format which makes them so easy to use if you can broadcast over your network, over the Internet, or to a data projector.

For the price of an email message, she’ll even send you the answers …

The Posturing and Performance of Antiracism Work: The Power of Words and Ways We Abuse Them

Debbie Donsky correctly talks about things in education that swing like a pendulum.

We are used to the pendulum swings from traditional to creative, from rote to inquiry, from the basics to critical thinking.

The “thing” she identifies for us right now is antiracism. I think that we all recognize this and hope that no pendulum swings backwards. My old secondary school, for example, had a racial image as its mascot. I’m ashamed to confess that we saw nothing wrong with it at the time. I’m happy to report that it has changed.

As Debbie correctly notes, we can work on things but

Know that even if your intention, as a White person, is to let go of your power and privilege, that it is still intact. 

The thing about today though is that we are starting to seriously recognize these things and actively challenge them. In education, we have some very active guides that are helpful – she specifically identifies Pamala Agawa.

To Stand on the Family Rock

I haven’t been as moved to thinking and action for a long time as I was with this work from Jessica Outram. Who would have thought that a lighthouse would do this?

I wrote an entire post yesterday with my thoughts about lighthouses. I don’t know that I’m a fanatic about it but they are wonderful landmarks to see when you’re out and about.

Despite the wonderful pictures that Jessica shares in the post, that’s not the point of the post!

Her adventure took her to Gereaux Island Lighthouse to personally witness the footsteps of her grandfather. Her visit was extremely personal with a desire to see things that her grandfather would have seen years ago. Instead of a row boat, she had a boat with a motor! With her words, she describes the experience and you just may get a sense that you’re there with her.

John Teaches the Turtle!

From Peter Skillen, this isn’t a long blog post but the real gold is in the YouTube video interview

The mind blower here lies, not in the content (although that’s pretty impressive) but in the confidence and ability of the student to explain just what it is that he’s made the computer do as a result of a summer workshop.

Those of us who remember programming in the Logo programming language will admire the text coding that appears on the screen as opposed to dragging and dropping as is so vogue these days.

Is The Loss Of Halloween Really A Loss?

I disagreed with Aviva Dunsiger in this post. She gives reasons why she doesn’t like school celebrations for Hallowe’en…

  1. The disruption to a regular routine,
  2. the numerous sugary treats,
  3. the scary costumes (I scare easily when I see horror in person),
  4. the loud parties,
  5. and the light effects (which tend to include a lot of brightness),

I shared my thoughts in a reply to her post based on my own elementary school experience and later, as a secondary school teacher. As a kid and as a teacher, I guess the biggest thing was that it was a one day break in the regular routine. And, it’s an opportunity to do some Hallowe’en based educational activities.

All of this is moot since she’s living the dream nightmare of COVID this year and everything is different.


I enjoyed reading this post from Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna. Peer feedback can be a very powerful technique. I’m always believed that and I thought that I knew everything about it.

After reading Cecilia’s post, I realized that my approach would have been what would best described as “The Sandwich Approach”. With the description in this post, there is an element of “yeah, but” to it.

Her description of “The Sunny-Side-Up Approach” is a nice pause and a look at a different approach to peer feedback.

I do strongly agree with the premise that the processor should provide a learning opportunity for both the giver and receiver.

It’s a nice read to think about when working on your pedagogy. (Just don’t read the one comment to the post)

Put that extra hour to good use this weekend and enjoy all of these posts. If you’re a blogger and I don’t know about you, there’s a submit form at the Ontario Edublogger’s page. It would be great to add you to the collection.

Follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Michelle Fenn – @toadmummy
  • Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe
  • Debbie Donsky – @DebbieDonsky
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Peter Skillen – @peterskillen
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna @capontedehanna

This post originated at:


If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

OTR Links 10/30/2020

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


Recently, Jessica Outram wrote a blog post about the Gereaux Island Lighthouse on the shores of Georgian Bay. I found it a fascinating post and loved all the pictures that she shared of a visit there. I used her blog post as a discussion point for the voicEd Radio “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” show and will write a bit more about it tomorrow morning.

This was one of those blog posts that tugged on my memory. Actually, it tugged quite hard on it. You see, except for my university years, I’ve always lived around a Great Lake, specifically Huron and Erie. With my parents and now with my wife, we enjoy trips along coast lines and, of course, you can’t help but come across lighthouses. At one point in time, they would be absolutely critical to water navigation in the province.

Today, they’re often a nicely restored place to visit. Some remain functional and working.

As a consequence of my read of Jessica’s post, I did a dive into my memory of some of the lighthouses that I can remember. That’s a disclaimer that this list is not inclusive.

Even wandering my way around the two Great Lakes led me to realize that there are some lighthouses that I didn’t even know about! When we get to travel again …

Most recently, and this would have been pre-COVID, we took a trip to Lighthouse Cove and I took some personal photos…

The water from the Thames River emptying into Lake St. Clair was so high on this date as you can see from the pictures. The other big interest from a historical aspect were the stories that came from the War of 1812. If you are familiar with the area, on the border between Essex and Kent counties, it is located just north of Highway 2 which turns into Tecumseh Parkway through Chatham-Kent.

Jessica’s post goes much further than that. Her interest in Gereaux Island is based on her inquiry of her grandfather’s involvement and devotion to the lighthouse.

I think therein lies the difference in her approach and mine. Mine, no doubt, is touristy and an interest in the historical aspect to the lighthouse, some which are still working. Her interest was family and the stories that she saw on her visit. At that point, I’ll confess that I did get a bit emotional about things. After all, there is a technical document about Gereaux Island but it pales in comparison with a real life person talking real life stories.

Thank you, Jessica, for taking the time to write the post and share some of your personal thoughts. I was really moved.