This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Friday and time for a walk around Ontario visiting some great recent blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. Here goes.

I just saw a Coyote

This was a strange title coming from Jennifer Casa-Todd’s blog so I immediately had to check it out. Coyotes have actually been in the news recently.

So, I clicked through not knowing what to expect. Nothing bad, I hoped. As it turns out, she thought she saw a coyote. After a discussion with her husband, she went back to make sure.

You’ll have to visit the post to see what happens next and how Jennifer turns it into the sort of message that we’ve come to expect from her blog.

All in all, it’s an interesting experience to live through with her and a good lesson/reminder to be learned by all.

Slice of Life: When to call

Lisa Corbett gives us a personal look at this question.

When do you call home when something happens with a child at school? It’s probably a sign of our litigious times that she’s asking the question. I’m guessing that there was a time where the determining factor might have been whether blood was flowing or not.

At the secondary school level, I don’t ever recall it being an issue. If a student felt he/she needed attention, they would visit the nurse’s office. Not that there was a nurse there but someone in Guidance would be there to help.

When I coached football, the EMS always sent a truck and some of their workers to enjoy the game and be there in case they were needed.

I had to smile as Lisa talked about her “magic ice” because that could be taken a couple of different ways!

In these days of COVID, what amount of coughing leads to a call home?

Lisa poses a good question and I’m sure would appreciate your insights.

Historical Thinking for the Common Good

Paul McGuire’s recent post had me doing something I’ve never done before. I devoted a whole blog post to it on Wednesday in advance of discussing it on This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio.

There were so many angles to the whole thing that I just needed to get straight in my mind. I love history these days but certainly not when I was in school.

There were two major things that drove my thinking:

  • why did my remembrance of school history remind me of memorizing names, dates, places, etc. Why didn’t it try to put things into context like – why did John A. Macdonald do what he did? What was happening at the time that was so significant?
  • why don’t we have the best history teachers teaching introductory courses? They could make history come alive and encourage further studies in history
  • I very much appreciate living in such a history rich community

If you look beyond the simple discussion of History as a discipline, Paul will have you looking and asking questions about education in general and that’s a really good thing.

Junior Kindergarten Online – Journal – Days 6, 7, 8 & 9

From the picture at the top of Terry Whitmell’s post to her rather long observations of a week in the life of a junior kindergarten student, this is a true life journal. I’ve got to believe that her observations would apply to many more people than you might expect.

There are lessons to be learned by those people who make blanket statements like teaching on line is a simple pivot from a regular classroom.

  • Technology isn’t always a 100% positive partner in learning.
  • While teachers are always looking at terrific ideas in their mind about how to engage students, they don’t always work.

I’ve been in Terry’s position and I will vouch that she’s not making any of this stuff up. It’s a faithful discussion at things from the home side of learning from home. The one thing that she didn’t mention that happened here is a series of visits to the snack cupboard.

Your heart has to go out to the junior kindergarten student who is living this as their first experience in education. People are doing their best so it’s not a lash out at any one or any thing. It’s a sign of our reality.

In her call to action at the bottom of her post, Terry has some very good recommendations for how things might go better from her perspective at home. Take a look; there just might be some inspiration there for you.

Virtual Debt #SOL2021

This post, from Melanie White, came on the heels of me reading a post about the amount of money that a teacher is personally spending for the privilege of teaching at home.

I didn’t understand her title completely until I got right into the post. Reading an email from a colleague who had a breakdown opened my eyes to another type of debt.

“virtual emotional debt wracking up expenses beyond calculation”

It’s a tough read when you plunk yourself into that environment. Melanie is always incredibly descriptive in her writing.

There’s also a wonderful message in her post for these who are living with teachers these days.

Listen to the Poets: Leadership Reflections from the Inaugural Day (with a very personal ending)

Amanda Gorman’s contribution to the recent inauguration set the stage for Charles Pascal’s recent reflection about poetry.

He opens up and shares about poetry in his life – Robert Frost, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, …

Reading his post and his love for poetry reminded me of watching the inauguration. My wife and I were blown away from Gorman’s part in the event. We both agreed that she indeed was the hit of the show.

I remember saying to my wife – that’s not poetry as I remember it. Probably my worst experience was in grade 8 where we had to memorize a poem and rewrite it from memory, including the punctuation. I remember the poem experience to this day – “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I never understood the poem or his name.

I also don’t ever recall enjoying someone reading poetry like I did here; she did such an over the top job. Charles also takes us back to previous poets and inaugurations.

And, it’s not just Charles that noticed; Ms. Gorman will be at the Super Bowl as well.

Final assessment ideas: Physics/Science BINGO!

Lest you think choice boards only have a place in the elementary school, you need to check out these ideas from Andrea McPhee.

Her science department decided not to use final exams after they went to online teaching. I think that most people would agree that this is a significant and important decision.

But education lives and dies by assessment. Something had to be done. I don’t know how many science teachers read this blog but it seems to me that science doesn’t have a monopoly on this. I felt that Andrea goes through and describes the process of setting this up well enough that you could apply it in any discipline. This was a refreshing and indepth discussion well worth the read.

She includes a link to a planner template as a Google document so that you can easily make it yours. You really need to know your curriculum inside and out to be most effective.

What’s next? EQAO as a choice board?

The content discussed here comes from these great bloggers. Of course, you’re going to want to follow them on Twitter.

  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Andrea McPhee – @ms_mcphee

Click through and enjoy all of their great blog posts.

OTR Links 01/29/2021

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