Proud


Unless I make a mistake and forget to schedule this post for tomorrow, I just gave away today’s Canuckle’s puzzle answer!

Playing the game has been a part of my morning gaming routine since I discovered the game (actually prompted by a Twitter message). For a while, I shared my success but then stopped because I figured I was noisy enough on social media in the mornings anyway. I don’t think I missed a day.

I really enjoy these types of word games but Canuckle was just a bit more special because the solutions had something to do with being Canadian and there was always a message explaining the answer! Dare I say you could learn something by playing the game.

Recently, I noticed that there was a countdown notice to the game and the message today revealed that this was the final round of the game. Kudos for the success.

In addition to the notice that things are now done, there’s something you won’t find in any other game. There’s a list of all the words used during its run here.

And the “fun fact” that went with each of the words is there as well. If you’d like to replay, there is an archive of all the games as well so you can go back to game 1.

It’s a great ending to a great game. Maybe. If you read the blog, we’re teased that there might be something else coming. After all, good code is too precious to let go to waste.

Stay tuned!

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


And a Good Friday morning to all readers. Check out these great posts from Ontario Edubloggers. The first five were talked about on the voicEd Radio show and the other two are bonus posts.


Does everything have to be a lesson or is everything always a lesson?

I hate that Elizabeth had to write this post. It’s happened to all of us; someone (in this case, Elizabeth) drops into a class to see some unpredictable behaviours. In this case, it was conversations happening between students and the regular teacher felt compelled to apologize for it.

She didn’t see things as out of control but, in teacher form, shares with us a list of things that were happening in the classroom from her perspective. I hope that she shared them with the teacher or that the teacher drops by her blog to read.

All of this was beside the point that got me hooked on the post. It was about a student who needed to be a helper in the library and was often there to sort the Legos. Even if the activity wasn’t necessarily needed, she would do a job on them so that there was a task for the student. That brought a smile to my face. Nothing like that appears on anyone’s job descriptor but sometimes things like that are absolutely necessary.

And sometimes, kids just need to talk to each other.


Money Saving Tips For Teachers

Who doesn’t like to save a few bucks here and there? These days, with inflation and most certainly gasoline prices, this is a post worth the read to get some inspiration from some of the fifteen ideas contained in there.

The ideas aren’t limited exclusively to teachers and, if nothing else, it will give you a chance to do a partial inventory of your spending habits and see if there’s something in there that speaks to you.

There are some smaller ideas (bringing your own bags) but then there are some big ideas that could save a whack of money – like evaluating how many paid streaming services that you have subscribed to. Sometimes getting out of commitments can be a hassle but, in the long run, if it ends up with more money in your pocket, it’s worth it.

I was pleased to see that I’d already done some of the ideas but there are a few that will take some consideration. I like extra money in my pocket.


Questioning our Current School Calendar

But we’ve always done it this way.

How many times have we heard that. In the post, Amy takes a look at three difference scenarios for timetabling a school year, taking into consideration many things but certainly driven by religious days.

  • normal
  • balanced
  • inclusive

Is it time to shake things up a bit? I found it to be a nice discussion and yet there are so many things in place that make the “normal” school year pretty difficult to change. When you have school districts sharing busing for example, that makes two of them that have to be in agreement on any change.

I thought that her demographic display and information was worth the read even if changing the entire year turns out to be difficult.

But, not impossible if there is a will…


What Blogging Can Lead to…

Magical things.

Remember my post about getting some manicotti?

The life of a teacher can be hectic. There’s working all day; being a parent before and after school; lesson planning, etc. And yet, Jen has been able to do these and to sit down in the evening to do some additional writing as a little side hustle.

The post is a nice teacher story and yet she leaves us hanging and wanting to know how this story ends. She doesn’t follow the job to a conclusion, leaving it for others.

It also brought back memories of me writing for someone else only to have editors and proofreaders go through and butcher my masterpiece.

Life is so much easier when you write for your own blog and live with the errors or go back and edit things later!

She nails the value of blogging with

Here, I just write like how I talk


The Power of “Thank You”

When I saw Melissa’s title, I thought that she was going to write about saying “thank you” to members of her educational community. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s about when people say thanks to you, personally.

Sometimes it’s vocal but other times, it can be a card or a gift. A wise person told me once to collect all those things and bring them out to look at when you feel that the world isn’t treating you properly. They can be a reminder that you definitely had a positive influence at some point.

These days, you just might want to take a look through your own portfolio and use the artifacts as a pick-me-up. It’s a simple concept but Melissa’s thoughts will make you feel pretty good.

After all, teachers do good things and sometimes it’s really appreciated by others.


The Arts

Art is powerful. Whether through music, dance, drama, or visual arts, it has the ability to take us to other worlds, giving us a glimpse into the experiences of others.

I couldn’t agree more with this statement from Arianna. Even geeky old me has dabbled into the arts to the level that I have the ability for. There is just something motivatingly different about picking up a guitar and noodling around.

In the post, Arianna shares with us two upcoming opportunities for classrooms.


ETEC544: GAME DESIGN REFLECTION

We all know that reflection is good at the end of any task. Often, it can be personal and something that you and your inner self come to grips with.

In this case, Mike shares his thoughts openly in a blog post. It wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on any of his thoughts since reflections are meant to be personal. But they are interesting.

There is a deeper message that affects all of us and that’s taking on something new and innovative over the past couple of years hasn’t been easy. Somehow, that needs to be factored into any reflection and, in Mike’s case, it’s more than just COVID.


Please take some time to read and enjoy these posts. Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Kristy – @twopeasandadog
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker 
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert
  • Mike Washburn – @misterwashburn

The voicEd Radio show can be listened to here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to a Friday morning, the first one back from the Break, and I hope that everyone is well and looking for some great reads. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.


How Bout Now

A title like that calls for a music intro…

I wonder just how many people feel the way that Matthew does in this post. He talks about kids with their technology competing for value with the paper and other types of projects and assessment that Matthew keeps and distributes to students at the end of the school year. He indicates that he fears that they don’t see the value and they go as far as the recycle bin. It’s a sad and interesting observation.

That brought back memories of my first end of year when we held home rooms on the last day with garbage cans placed in the hall and we were to encourage students to get rid of what they didn’t want. I thought it was a noble idea until the drive home and then I got it. With some students, opening the bus windows and throwing papers out to cover the road and the ditches as a celebration of the end of the year.

His observation extends to frustration in that the tools in his toolkit don’t get him to the end of the school year any more. I think we’ve all been there; when the students see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s tough to keep things going. It’s an interesting read and I would bet that Matthew would appreciate your insights and suggestions.

I totally see his assertion that it’s amplified with the lack of “normal” in the past couple of years.


Friday Two Cents: Multitasking Can Kill You 

Right off top, I’m glad to hear that the COVID challenge has been met and overcome.

Oh, and I hope that you sold your house.

If those two items aren’t enough to get you to click through, it’s worth reading to see Paul’s reflections about mental and physical health. Teaching is an interesting profession in that you can work 24 hours a day if you want to and you let yourself do so. I’m in the same boat as Paul; I can absolutely pinpoint the sickest that I ever got as a teacher and I can tell you that I did feel like everything was ganging up on me at the time.

He also shares an interesting viewpoint about why students recover quicker than teachers.


ETEC 544: INTELLECTUAL PRODUCTION #8: GAME DESIGN 101

I enjoyed reading this post from Mike and the questions that he posed about game design. My complete answers are too long to include so I’ll give you one from each.

  • Your Life as a Game: List five areas of your life that could be games.
    • Going from Point A to B. I don’t typically follow the instructions from my GPS but opt instead for a longer, more interesting, less 401 path
  • Your Childhood: List ten games you played as a child, for example, hide and seek, four square, and tag.
    • Baseball is my first response but I have many more
  • List five games, and in one sentence per game, describe the objective in each game
    • Doom. Gather resources, map the playing area and shoot anything that moves and growls
  • Name three games that you find particularly challenging and describe why
    • Chess! It’s always portrayed in the media as such a quick and easy game
  • List ten of your favorite games and name the objective for each
    • Current one is http://www.crazyphrase.com and the objective is to guess the phrase as you work your way selectively through the alphabet

Digital History Tools: Making Timelines

There’s so much for me to love about this post. The background was that Krista applied for and got a grant, succeeded, and then needed to find a way to meet the goals in the grant. In this case, Krista was looking for someway to create a digital timeline.

Now, we all have created Timelines in schools, typically in history class, although there was a topic in Computer Studies about the history of computers. It was illustrated nicely with a timeline.

The post goes through the problem solving and evaluation process for a software solution and the thinking was just like the type of thinking that I go through.

The solution is amazing and is free and you’re halfway there if you know how to use Google Sheets and who doesn’t these days? This is a solution ideal for the single teacher, a group of collaborators, or for students assigned a timeline project. When I clicked through to the Timeline maker page, it was featuring a Women in Computing timeline. Awesome.


Deported #SOL22 20/31

Amanda had me at “guns”, “beer”, and “tears”!

I’ve never been to Europe so to put myself in her shoes, I thought about the movie “Murder on the Orient Express“.

This post is a wonderful recant of a trip through Europe with friends, one who is a Canadian, and crossing into a new country and being “deported”. I won’t spoil the whole story but it’s an engaging read and I’m glad that Amanda felt the pressure to write it.

It’s another testament to blogging – get your thoughts and memories out there before you totally forget. I do know that I wouldn’t have been as calm and cool as she comes across in the post


Thoughts about Motivation

It was great to see Jonathan taking a break from marathon running to sit at the keyboard and blogging again.

In the post, he takes an analytic and medical approach about how to motivate that student and we’ve all had them at one point or another.

So, what do you do when your wit and personality isn’t getting the job done? Jonathan openly admits having ADHD and so can give a more first person approach to motivation for others.

Motivation is about creating experiences for students so that their brains create those dopamine patterns and in the end even create dopamine in anticipation. So how do we do this? 

He shares an interesting experience with a cartwheeling student and how that student was reached and that leads into four things to think about. It’s good consideration for planning learning experiences and reaching all students.


Dairy of a Disenfranchised Coder

I’ll confess up front that I’m a sucker for blog posts that deal with programming and computer science. In this post, Tim traces his route from starting with a VIC-20 to getting certified to teach “computers” this summer. I don’t know what that means, whether it’s Computer Science or Computers Across the Curriculum.

I can empathize with Tim; we didn’t have access to computers in high school at all. I pre-date him in that we had a keypunch and we’d send card decks to London to be run on an IBM 1130 at Althouse College overnight and we’re get the results next day.

I don’t know about Tim but we thought that we had the world by the tail simply because we didn’t know any other reality. These days, we’re all living in a different world, at least at home. Some school settings have ideal setups and others are still sharing these things as precious resources.

If you search my OCT profile, you’ll see that I have qualifications in both Data Processing and Computer Science. Nowhere does it say that computers should be programmed to solely solve mathematics problems and Tim describes his frustration when required to do so.

I wish him well in his endeavour and hope that he can engage students that might otherwise get turned off like he did. They can do amazing things when you help them with the skills and see them take off.


There’s a wonderful collection of writing from Ontario Edubloggers again this week. I hope that you can find some time to click through, read them all, and drop off some of your thoughts.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Mike Washburn – @misterwashburn
  • Krista McCracken – @kristamccracken
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Jonathan So – @MrSoClassroom
  • Tim King – @tk1ng

Lots more than one


Is there anyone left in the connected world that doesn’t know about Wordle yet? Among my circle of connected friends, it’s a very popular game. Lots of people share their scores and their successes. Others don’t, and that’s OK.

People seem to fall into two camps – one camp loves the game and the other camp refuses to play it for whatever reason. Maybe because it only offers one chance per day? Or they’re not on the bandwagon.

Personally, I probably play it more days than I don’t. I do allow myself a few moments in the morning for game playing and it’s usually been Words with Friends, Boggle, and 7 Little Words. They’re all applications on my phone and so it’s difficult to miss. Wordle needs a visit in the browser and I typically don’t think about it until I notice someone else playing and sharing a score!

We know the history of the program (and if you don’t, there’s no shortages of articles about that) and that it’s been acquired by the New York Times where it continues to be freely available. If you haven’t noticed, the original United Kingdom URL now redirects to the New York Times. The big fear among many is that it may ultiimately end up behind a paywall. There are no shortages of suggestions about how to download the entire game to your hard drive to avoid this. Most of the Wordle posts talk about how to play the game so I’ll avoid that as well.

Recently, it’s been hard to noticed that there are all kinds of other implementations of the game available freely on the web. It was Lisa Cranston who first took me down this rabbit hole when she shared a like to Wordle2. Then, yesterday, another friend Linda Willson shared a score from Brydle and that got me even further down the rabbit hole and I went looking for others. That’s what you’ll find below. We all have the original Wordle to thank for the inspiration and perhaps the fear of the New York Times making it pay for play to have people come out with their own.

Here’s what I was able to find. I did limit myself to things that could be played in a browser so that I could easily check them out and not have to download. No guarantees about any of them but it was just an interesting collection to build. Given the special topic of words, I hope that I get them all in alphabetical order correctly!

Wordle – the original – https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html


Do you know of any others? Please add to the list via comment below.

I’ve created this Wakelet as a place to bring all this together.