This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I’ve been resisting turning on the furnace this week. I will confess to wearing my Bring IT, Together jacket, a toque, and gloves while walking the dog in the morning. The promise is that this weekend is going to be great weather. I hope so as we have an outdoor wedding to attend.

Happy End of September.


More Than an Educator

As I mentioned on the voicEd Radio show, this is a concept that isn’t taught in depth at the Faculty of Education but really should be.

Every teacher wants to be the best that they can be. That goes without saying when you enter the profession.

However, Amanda’s post reminds us that you are more than that as a person. Your job is only one part of you and there’s so much more that you have going on. Teaching is a profession that will entirely eat you alive if you let it.

Amanda tells us that mindfulness is something that helped her. You’ve got to believe that it makes her that better person she wants to be and I can’t help but believe that it makes her a better teacher as well.


it can wait

I really enjoyed this post from Will. It should serve us all as a reminder that, as we rush to return to normal, what’s the rush? Is there a rush for returning too quickly?

Thank you for resisting those urges to get down to business so quickly.
It can wait.

As the teacher in the room, you’re not the only one who has been off your game for the past few years. Those kids are too. I’m reading all over the place that concentrating on work and getting the job done is so hard for students, particularly from teachers who want “normal”.

Will includes a pretty interesting list of things that would be second nature four or five years ago and now seem strangely useless in the context of this whole post.

It’s time to stop and reflect on what’s really important. Giving up a little of the hard-core academics and focusing on relationships will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.


Food for Thought

There have been a lot of reviews (thinking Michelin here) about restaurants in Toronto. Oddly, none of them have a drive-through…

Diana gives us a lovely collection of thoughts and wonders about a number of things restauranty.

  • Famous Food
  • Surprise Food (including kitchen duties)
  • Connecting over Food
  • Photographic Food

It’s a great discussion about food but there’s a deeper message here.

  • this is a terrific example of writing and then pausing to wonder about each of the writings – could you use this technique in class?
  • something that isn’t talked much about anymore is copyright infringement of images – read the post and you’ll see how she deals with that personally

I can’t help but think that her experience mirrors many elementary school throughout the province.


Creating a Sensory Wall for Children

This secondary school computer science teacher was completely out of his element here when Deanna talks about the process that she uses to create a sensory wall as the focal point in her classroom.

I enjoyed reading about how she gathered, measured, and crafted this.

Thanks, Deanna McLennan

Why?

Because it’s the right thing to do. She has students that need it.

Read the post and celebrate the success that she enjoyed and then perhaps think about the things that you’ve personally done to make things better at your own expense and efforts. Deanna and I had the same employer and I don’t recall any of this being on the bulk order list.


Wordlers rejoice! This one’s for you!

Trust Doug to write something completely off the wall.

In this case, it’s an article for/about Wordle fanatics (of which, I guess I’m one) and there’s a little editorial content from Doug here.

At least I think so.

He’s taken what’s probably a good blog post and replaced all the five-letter words with Wordle-like puzzles to solve.

I spend far too much time reading and trying to “solve” this blog. He didn’t say that all my guesses were wrong; just the one that I used six letters for.


Coding in the Classroom

I’ll confess and admit that I started typing “Derek” and probably only a Floyd or an RCAC member would understand…

So many educators throughout the province are cutting their teeth with “Coding” in the Classroom this year. Some may have never thought it would ever happen but it has.

The Floyds have created this resource on the TVO Outreach site with resources for people looking for a nice, Ontario way to get started. They address our curriculum and talk about strategies that should be part of everyone’s teaching toolkit already.

All you need to do is pick a place to start.

Coding in K-12 Education

Primary (Grades 1-3)

Junior (Grades 4-6)

Intermediate (Grades 7-8, 9)


September Leaves

Diane’s post wonderfully describes the experience that many second or more language learners have once dropped in a classroom where other languages are spoken.

I loved the reference to how important our first language is and how it helps define an identity. Through the eyes of “Farah”, she describes some classroom experiences and responses that could have happened in any classroom. When the eyes “widen”, your teacher heart has to warm up.

There’s a wonderful description of the process of moving from an “English-only school environment to a framework of multilingualism”.

The blank leaves are a powerful point in this whole post.

Click through, read, and enjoy.


I hope that you can find some time this weekend to click through and enjoy all these terrific posts. Drop them a comment and then follow them on Twitter. Also, follow their blogs in your blog reader.

  • Amanda Hardy
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1
  • Lisa Anne Floyd – @lisaannefloyd
  • Steven Floyd – @stevenpfloyd
  • Diane Kim

This Week in Ontario Edublogs
Wednesday mornings on voicEd Radio

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OTR Links 09/30/2022


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

Making a design


There are all kinds of utilities that will allow you to create graphics. Quick and easy is always nice. Recently, I played around with StickerMule and found it so easy to put something together in a manner of minutes.

The development environment is very friendly and you’ll probably find it pretty familiar if you’ve ever done any design work. I’ve worked with a number of professional programs and there definitely is a time and a place for them.

But, for the quick and dirty or as an environment for work with students, I think that StickerMule certainly has a place. From templates to doing your own, it’s got you covered. If you’re looking for images, there’s a search feature that will take you to Unsplash for public domain images.

And, there’s no signup required. The site does offer the opportunity to purchase prints if that’s appealing.

Click through and give it a shot to see if it fits a need that you might have.

OTR Links 09/29/2022


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

All kinds of music


Warning – this link will take you down the ultimate sinkhole if you’re a music lover.

You’ve been warned.

I remember when it was popular to create a “big list” of things. I was probably as guilty of this as anyone.

The resource that I’m going to share today will be of interest to most everyone.

I know that, in my classes, listening to music was always a request when students were busy working on projects or homework. The mode ranged from headphones to those small computer speakers that were part of the programming deal. As long as it didn’t interfere with the work, I was in favour. Even as I write this post, I have Coolradio on in the background. It helps me focus.

At the time, music from the 80s was in vogue. There definitely was good stuff by my standards but there was a lot that wasn’t. Some of the cool kids would play music from the 60s and 70s and that always went in their favour with the teacher.

But, if you wanted “it all”, you were kind of limited. That’s where Every Noise at Once comes in! Here’s a random picture from a screen shot.

I found switching to the “List” where everything is listed – almost 6 000 categories. Find what you want and you’re in for a short music clip with a link to a Spotify playlist. Or, just go nuts and get the BIG list in a single Spotify playlist.

Of use, perhaps, this week in the Canadian Indigenous playlist.

Or Classic Canadian Rock

And that kept me going and going – playing and exploring. I definitely could think of all kinds of uses for this website. It’s always a bonus when someone else does all the heavy lifting.

Now, back to my music.