This Week in Ontario Edublogs

My partner Stephen took a well deserved break from me and the rest of voicEd Radio this week which left me all alone on Wednesday morning and no show. Of course, the blog must go on and here we are. Look for us back on the radio next Wednesday with another guest host.

Street Stories #SOL2022

This is such a sad post from Melanie.

It’s about a crossing of two lives – one in Toronto and the other in Ottawa.

I found it a reminder that not everyone is as fortunate or as privileged as we are with out lives. There’s always a story behind things like these and I’m appreciative of her sharing her side of the story. Of course, there would be more if you were to stop and talk to the buskers and panhandlers.

I couldn’t help but think that not just anyone could write this post. As teachers, one of our superpowers is to look at human beings and try to figure out what their story is, with a bent toward making it better is whatever way we can.

Everyone has a story if we care to take the time to listen. They’re not all happy stories.

I love the fact that she’s open and willing to share stories like this. Not everyone would be able to do that.

To Website or Not to Website?

Jennifer is thinking out loud in this post. As a teacher-librarian, should she have a website. To me, it’s a no-brainer. YES!

I know that a lot of people have turned to Instagram or Facebook or some other social media resource. I don’t think it’s a bad idea but there are better ones. The “problem” that I see is that these have to conform to the rules for creation and sharing and you may or may not feel the need to control who has access to read it. Particularly for students who are accessing from at home, mom and dad may have house rules that come in to play.

For a website, I see the advantages being:

  • you have complete control over content
  • you can conscript librarian helpers to work with the content
  • if there’s a problem with a link, you can easily change it
  • school pictures and video are at your control and the sharing features that other services provide aren’t there or easily available depending upon how you control things
  • if you’re trying to cultivate a maker mentality, demonstrating it is a great way to go
  • it looks good for your profile and the school’s profile that you’re creating something original and unique to the school
  • and I could go on and on but Jennifer will make the ultimate decision – we’ll wait and see

Wrapping Up The Year

My original thought was that this is kind of late, although it still was July when I read and bookmarked Arianna’s post on the ETFO Heart and Art Blog.

There are three topics that she addresses:

  • Students, Students, Students
  • Take Time to Recharge 
  • Hear or See Something? Disrupt Publically!

I think that the first two things are pretty easy to see if you are a teacher or you know one. (or as my wife would say, if you’re married to one…)

 Many of us know the lingo to add to our bios or to say in interviews – diversity, inclusion, equity, disrupting, dismantling, etc. – and yet, I wonder how many of us know what they actually mean within the school setting.

This was a fascinating section of the post. I suppose that it’s pretty easy to arrive to work, park your car, go to your classroom, do your thing and then head home.

A school is much more than that and could be the first place that many students have the opportunity see and become activists and do good. They do it when teachers model it.

There are a lot of things to think about in that last section from Arianna.

Food Literacy Project – Review Project Advisor

On the STAO blog, Michael shares an announcement about the resource that’s coming to support the new food literacy expectations in the Grade 1-9 Science and Technology curriculum. The link will take you to a listing of the expectations.

The second part of this post is a call for an advisor to the project. There’s a listing of what skills the successful applicant will have and a call to see if anyone is interested in helping.

Could that be you?


This post is the show notes to go along with a recent blog post from the gals. (I hate using that term but it’s one that they use.)

The podcast itself is about 30 minutes and worth the listen to hear their passion about the topic but I can’t help but think of the poor person who listens while they’re walking the dog and don’t have a pen and paper with them!

That’s where the show notes come into play. I appreciate the fact that they know that their podcast is so rich and needs this type of support.

They address:

  • Use of Images
  • Academic Language vs Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Read&Write Extension
  • Evaluation Terminology Dual Language Placemat
  • Asking Questions
  • How Students Demonstrate Their Learning

It’s a great discussion and collection of resources. In an integrated classroom, it’s also nice to use the same tools with all students so that nobody feels like they’re treated differently. I love this collection of technology suggestions.

  • Sentence starters
  • Word banks
  • Fill-in-the-blanks
  • Exemplars
  • Modelling expected tasks and formats (I do, we do, you do)
  • Graphic organizers
  • Note-taking (cornell notes, mind maps, dot jots, etc.)

Personally, I use graphic organizers all the time – it’s one of the very best things that I ever did for myself. Depending upon the task at hand, I’ll use a different organizer.

If you’re looking for a little personal PD, I highly recommend this.

Building TLs Together

While many people use the summer vacation to walk away from the profession for a bit, Diana steps to the plate supporting her passion for school libraries by teaching the AQ course.

I really like the fact that she’s humble enough to recognize that she doesn’t feel the need to go it alone. When you think about it, how may library spaces are exactly the same? If one size doesn’t fit all in practice, it follows that a single voice teaching the course isn’t enough. She acknowledges the power of having other voices in her class.

To that end, Diana has brought in voices from around the province.

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall?


Confession time here – I learned something about my own learning today and also reinforced a skill that I use all the time but never formally thought about it.

In the post, Setareh talks about the technique of skimming and scanning.

In high school, I had trouble reading and retaining information and wondered about myself. I ended up buying a book at Coles about how to Speed Read. I know it maybe doesn’t make sense but the skills that I learned from that book have lasted a lifetime.

But like most things, it’s one thing that doesn’t fit all. In the post, Setareh shares thoughts about learning styles and how you need to try and try again until you get it right. For the most part, speedreading which follow the scanning part well, does indeed serve me well. But, it’s not 100% so I do have to do some reflection and find another strategy at times.

If nothing else, this is a wonderful post that should remind everyone that there isn’t just one solution.

Please take the time to read all of these wonderful blog posts. There’s so much there. You can check out all of them from the past at this link.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Melanie White – @whiteroomradio
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert
  • Michael Frankfort @mfrank_76
  • The EduGals – @EduGals
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL

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