Category: inquiry

Historical pinned pictures


This is absolutely brilliant.

Read on if you enjoy taking a pictorial walk back in time.  I started with the historypin website.

Screenshot 2018-02-07 at 10.51.48

I tried an experiment, fully expecting to strike out.  I asked historypin about my hometown.  I didn’t think that there would be anything about Clinton, Ontario.

I was wrong.

historypin returned an interesting split screen.  On the left of the screen was a Google map showing the town.  On the right was a small, but interesting collection of images.  The first one actually had the Google Peg that, when clicked, overlaid the current Streetview with the image that was posted.  It was an interesting display of then and now.

I did enjoy the pictures that were there but then I started to pay a little more attention.  Except for the first picture which was a sort of default generated icon, all of the other images had a reference to Western Archives, Western University.  I opened that link in a new tab before doing a little more exploring just entering random locations into the historypin search and enjoying the results.  Stratford, Goderich, Chatham, Sarnia, Windsor, Kingsville, Petrolia, …

Then, I went back to the open tab.  It was a summary of activity from the Western Archives.  They had indeed been busy with a total of 3500 pins.  As you would expect, most of the pins were from their London, ON collection.

But not all.

Screenshot 2018-02-07 at 11.08.46

And, I was off.  This is a delightful collection to explore and the positioning on Google Maps puts everything into context.

Those from Southwestern Ontario will appreciate their efforts.  I can only imagine what students would think about the history of their community displayed right before their eyes.

And, of course, that’s just the beginning.  I know that early morning readers of this blog post will come from Hamilton, Peterborough, Thunder Bay, Toronto … you won’t be disappointed.  If you’re checking in from Zug though, it’s empty.  Zurich does have some.

Why not take a digital tour with your students soon?

Advertisements

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Settle in your nice warm place and enjoy some of the blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers that I enjoyed lately.


Looking Forward

Peter McAsh shares his love for CBC Radio and listening to podcasts in this recent post on the ECOO blog.  There’s been a lot over the past year dealing with Artificial Intelligence but surprisingly little dealing with education.  So, Peter asks …

“How will AI impact education?
How will education adapt to teach students who will be part of a world with AI?”

Open ended questions, to be sure, but certainly worthy of consideration.  The thing about technology is that it can be insidious.  As such, you can’t ignore it.  Are our systems ignoring it or are they preparing for a world where it’s so available?


Upcoming Releases for Winter and Spring 2018

Because teachers and teacher-librarians want to stay on top of things and be in the know, check out this literature preview from Helen Kubiw on the CanLit for Little Canadians blog.

Month by month, see upcoming book releases in the categories of:

  • Picture Books
  • Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Non-Fiction

Is it time to start a shopping list with your school teacher-librarian?


Crowd Sourcing Math Problems through the 12 Days of Tweetmas

Ramona Meharg describes an interesting challenge the Thames Valley District School Board held before the holidays – a puzzle or mathematics challenge each day for 12 days – with the students sending out messages about the challenges via Twitter.

Now, a Special Educational Secondary School classroom might not be on the top of your list of candidates to participate but they were in Ramona’s case.  Who doesn’t like a good challenge?  (Just don’t mention that it’s educational)

Although she had some reservations, they participated and it sounded like they had a great time – including hands on with candy canes.

For those students, social media seemed to have provided a nice opportunity to level the playing field by participating with other classes throughout the district.  It’s hard to image another setting where they would be equal players.

Ramona gives a very nice description of how they handled things and is already planning on how to incorporate Google Hangouts into things in the future.

Is there a lesson here for other school districts to copy and implement themselves?


How we #Kahoot!

Whether you prefer to learn via images or text, Laura Wheeler has you covered in this post describing how she uses Kahoot!, the social gaming system, in her mathematics classes.

For Laura, it’s not just a “pick an app and do something” experience.  She describes just how many and how she has crafted the activities for her students.  It’s not a computer-y thing either; the pictures share a story of all the tools and collaboration that happens.

And, if you want a quick overview, check out her Sketchnote of the process.  It boils everything down into one neat overview.

If you’re looking to start with Kahoot! or are looking for a more sophisticated approach, this post will be of special interest.


Duty to Report School Violence

Deborah Weston tagged me in the announcement of this post so I had to check it out.  It’s a sobering look at school violence.

In the post, Deborah gives statistics and survey results from ETFO and OECTA.  I know that many will agree with her observations and others will be inspired to find out more.

violence

The impact on teachers should be of immediate concern to all.

Hopefully, knowing that you’re not alone, will be just the incentive for all to report issues of violence when they occur.

p.s. This post was written and scheduled Thursday morning.  During a Thursday dog walk, I got tagged in another Twitter message alerting me to this post.


2018: Hall-Dennis–Looking Back to Look Ahead

For so many in education these days, the Hall-Dennis report or Living Learning may not even be something that they’ve heard of.  And yet, it laid the groundwork for education in Ontario as it stands today.

Canada had just celebrated its Centennial when Premier Bill Davis commissioned the report.  Who could forget Expo 67 or Bobby Gimby (if you were around at the time)?

It was an opportunity for Canadians to see the future and why shouldn’t we be visioning the future of education?

Arguably, one of the most important documents to influence education in the province, the basic messages are still as applicable today as they ever were.  To quote Billy Joel, “We didn’t start the fire.”

This post from the Alpha Alternative School shows how it is influenced today by the report.

You can read the report here.  (Set aside some time, it’s not a quickie blog post)  When you hear people longing for the “good ol’ days”, they may have to go back a great deal further than Hall-Dennis.


The Half Way Mark

I had to reflect back on my own career at year 16 of teaching when I read this post from Tina Zita.

I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t counting the days/years until the end of my teaching career.  I think I was more focused on the present.  But, Tina is taking a pause to reflect on what she’s done so far and what she’s planning to do for the future.  Is this a result of us being so well connected these days?

It’s interesting to note that she’s not focused on major milestones but rather a series of “nudges”.  It’s a challenging way to look at things.

The biggest satisfaction that any teacher can have is to have students that reach out after they’ve graduated to note the things or nudges that you gave them.

Give her post a read and see if you can’t see yourself at Year 16 looking forward.


Another week and another great collection of blog posts.  Please take a few moments to click through to the original posts and give them a read and drop off a comment or two.

These authors will appreciate it.

And, follow them on Twitter.

Last week, Julie Balen’s post about OneWordOnt was featured here on the blog and has sparked a great deal of conversation and blogging from Ontario Educators.  Julie has started a Google+ community for people to share their blog posts.  You can enjoy it here.  A nice fall out form this is a number of New York state educators jumping in on the conversation and the resulting social media connections.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they crossed the Peace Bridge or the Rainbow Bridge and joined us in Niagara Falls for next November’s Bring IT, Together Conference, November 6 – 8th, 2018?  I’m cautiously optimistic that the Falls will have thawed out by then.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Week 1 winds down for most in Ontario schools.   I hope that it’s been a great one for you.  Speaking of great, here are some great posts from the blogs of Ontario Educators.


What Are Your “Why’s?”

If you need to read one post this week, it’s this one from Aviva Dunsiger.  She was inspired by another blog post and it’s worth a read too.

It may well be the missing piece in your classroom design and everything else that you do.  I can’t help but smile when I think of the number of times I asked students “Why did you do that?”  Aviva reminds us that it’s important to ask that question of ourselves.

I was doing some thinking on my car ride into school today. While I love seeing what rooms look like — and am often inspired by what I see — I also love hearing the thinking behind the decisions.


My Top 5 Defining Moments in teaching.

Kudos have to go out to Jonathan So for starting the meme #5bested.  Regular readers will know that I shared mine earlier in this week.  Jonathan is keeping track here.

I’ve read all that I can find and really enjoy the breadth of ideas.

I was pleased to find another one that he hadn’t discovered yet – from Ramona Meharg. Ramona’s post includes some interesting ones.

  • 4 Years of Supply Teaching
  • Twitterpated – Twitterpated?

You’ll have to click through to read all five including finding out what Twitterpated means.


Community Response to Five Ways to Damage a Good School

You may recall my challenge to Paul McGuire to extend his thinking about ways to damage a good school in a blog post from Greg Ashman.

And he did.

He put up a Google Form and asked people for input.

This post from Paul focuses on one of the responses.  This quote is from his blog which is from a quote from someone who had responded.

Build a community & relationships. If you don’t have positive relationships with your students, then nothing you do in class really matters. The same applies to admin. If you don’t take the time to build relationships with your staff, then it will be difficult to get staff buy in for positive changes.

That’s great advice for all.  Particularly in the first few weeks, it’s so easy to get sucked into the black hole that is administrivia.

Andrew Campbell shares one of the ways he does it in his class to Twitter.

Bingo isn’t just for staff meetings.


Test Scores Reflect What We Think About Math

Speaking of Andrew Campbell, check out the case that he builds here.

I really like his story about his sons going for their driving test.  Even back in the day, I followed the same route.  We had sit ‘n git classes but the important part was getting out in the “real world” and driving the streets of our town.

We learned from the experience just as today’s students learn elements of mathematics by exploration and inquiry.  Yet, they’re tested in a 1:1 situation with themselves and the paper test.

Most certainly, those of us who drive did it in the real world.  We didn’t revert to a pen and pencil test to prove we knew how to drive.

The good news is that, since Andrew’s post, there’s news that the Ministry of Education will be doing a rethink of things.  Hopefully, this is part of it.  There are so many groups that would like to see a change.


WAYS TO REFLECT ON YOUR TEACHING – A PRACTICAL APPROACH

From the TESL Blog, Michelle Wardman offers eight suggestions for how to reflect on your teaching.

I felt pretty good going through the list.  I had done many of them.  One of the most powerful ones, particularly if you get to teach the same grade or same students again, is the START/STOP/CONTINUE approach.  In all my lessons plans, I always had a reflection area that starts as a big blank spot that encouraged me to fill it with something.

She also talks about forming a Teacher Development Group.  I know that there are often attempts to have a forced PLC event but this is different.  This is driven by you.  It reminds me of the tenants of Peer Coaching which I found to be so powerful for me.

Click through to read all eight.


Is It Possible to Create a Culture of Feedback?

The blogger in me wonders.  After all, there is room for comments and feedback below but very few of you will take the time to give me feedback.

But, Sue Dunlop isn’t talking about blogging here.

She’s talking about feedback in general and the observation that “they won’t do anything anyway”.  I think that there’s a fine line between productive feedback and bitching at times but, if you ask for it, you need to be able to accept both.

She makes an interesting observation that any changes based upon that feedback might not necessarily happen immediately.  I think that’s a real reality in education.  I have to smiled when I think about all the “21st Century School” stuff that I’ve read this week.  We’re going to milk that one as long as we can, I guess.

It seems to me that, in addition to creating the culture of feedback, you need to have a culture of recognition of that feedback.  So, when you adopt an idea, send a note of thanks or appreciation to the person, invite that person to help you make any changes, and announce it in front of an audience and give credit where it’s due.


REFLECTIONS ON CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY – CREATING UNITY IN DIVERSITY

For this entry, I’d like to return to the TESL Ontario blog and a post from Marcella Jager.

This summer, it was 150 this and 150 that, and we generally enjoyed ourselves.  Although, here in Amherstburg, we had issues in inflating the duck.

There were also a lot of revelations about our history that came to light that didn’t paint a picture of everything being all that rose at times.

The post offers hope for the next 150 years.

Canada’s best years are not behind us, they are before us. There are cracks in our social fabric that a shared double-double cannot seem to heal.

You can’t help but think of a better Canada after reading this post.  What will you do to contribute?


Once again, I hope that you find this collection of Ontario Edublogs inspirational.  I can’t do them justice in my comments; you need to click through and read the richness and wonderful thinking that happened on each and every one of these posts.

If you’re a blogger and aren’t in my collectionplease consider adding your URL.  There’s a form available at this site for just this purpose.

Every Wednesday morning at 9:15 on voicEd Radio, Stephen Hurley and I talk about some of the great posts that appear from Ontario Edubloggers.  The shows are also archived and you can revisit them here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Can you believe that we’re approaching the end of July already?  Where did the month go?  It’s going to be a nice weekend around here: Explore the Shore, and the Car Crazy Show.

It’s always a great week when there is lots of thinking from Ontario Educators.  Here’s some of what I caught.


#WeLeadBy Student Digital Leadership at its best

I had the honour of helping review Jennifer Casa-Todd’s book as she was writing it.  I do remember one disagreement that we had, albeit friendly, when I challenged her on some concept she wanted to include.  I remember my comment “Haven’t we got past that?”.  Her comment was that we hadn’t in some districts.  So sad.

On the other hand, there are some incredible things that are happening and Jennifer uses social media to showcase the best of it.  In this post, she illustrates how she practices what she preaches and tweets.  It’s all about the process for a province wide student Twitter chat.  There are interesting reflections on her process, background work, and the people that she’s met.

This is well worth the time to read and affirm to yourself that the kids are alright.

I’ve always been a social media and leadership fanatic. I’m honored to be able to combine the two and show my student digital leadership! What an amazing experience I know’ll known I’ll never forget.


IBL and learning

When was the last time that you seriously thought about what learning truly means.  All of us who have ever been in a classroom will think that we know.  As I read this post from Julie Balen, I can’t help but wonder if what we think might be too narrow.

Watt and Coyler tell us that IBL is influenced by constructivism (page 4), and they also acknowledge that IBL is only one pedagogy amongst many that we decide to use based on our knowledge of how our students learn. This point is important, and it is why I have begun the book study by thinking about what learning means.

As noted in the title, she’s focusing on Inquiry Based Learning and her observations will have you thinking.

The concluding paragraph of questions is set in the context of students in Grade 9 and 10.  I can’t help but think that it’s too late by that time but that can be reality for many.  It’s one of the few places where you pull together students from so many disparate backgrounds.


Hubbub! Coding a First Nations’ Game of Chance

Have you read any good code lately?  If the answer is no or you’re just curious, check out this project from Brian Aspinall.

The game is based upon a dice game and there’s a link to the background of the game in Brian’s post.

But then, follow the link in the post, and you’ll be playing.  After a moment, you’ll want to look behind the scenes to see how things are actually coded.

2017-07-27_1020

But don’t stop there.  The power of Scratch lies in the ability for you to remix his work.


Part1: Summers are for resting, recharging and retooling

Read this first.

This process really does take a week-and-a-half, or two. My body doesn’t recognize vacation mode until 7 days have passed…otherwise my body things it might just be a long weekend, or Spring Break. Once I’m grounded, present, and connected…I can move forward to reading and other intentional activities that make me feel alive, and help me to RECHARGE ! That’s for next time!
Thanks for joining me.

That’s at the bottom of Heidi Solway’s post of July 20.

It does take a while for summer holiday mode to kick in!  I loved reading about her summer routine.

Any bets on when Part 2 will be posted?


MUSLIM GIRLS MAKING CHANGE

One of the joys about reading blogs is going places where you’d never go other wise.  This post, from Rusul Alrubail, is one of them.

Thanks to her wonderful blog, I now know about MGMC.

Muslim Girls Making Change, or MGMC, is a youth based slam poetry group that started over a little more than a year ago. As a group (us being four teens in high school), we often felt that our voices weren’t being heard or that they weren’t important.

And now so do you!

The post is an interview that will give you some insights about the why and how of this group.

Could the concept be replicated in your school?


Minecraft and Stop Motion Animation

I enjoy reading what teachers are doing with Minecraft in the classroom.  Scott Renaud shares what’s going on in his classroom and where he intends to take it.

It’s an interesting read and also a call for collaborators.

That is where we are going and what our plan is, we would love to connect and work with like minded educators from around the world, if this sounds like something you may be interested in please reach out to me and join our team.


A SUMMERTIME TEACHING ADVENTURE

From the TESL Ontario blog, here’s an interesting insight to teaching overseas.

I found teaching overseas enabled me to be far more vulnerable since nobody knew me. There was simply less reason to worry. After all, in two weeks, I would likely never see these students again. It was a very different perspective to approach the class with. To be honest, it was kind of fun and sometimes scary at the same time.

This was another concept that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to even think about and so enjoyed reading about the whole process.

The post concludes with four tips about things to consider if this appeals to you.


Thanks to all of the above for continuing to blog, post, and share their thoughts over the summer.  It’s appreciated.  How about YOU?  Have you blogged recently?

Please take a moment to show your appreciation to them by clicking through and sharing a comment on their posts.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It was a little strange this week not doing the weekly radio show with Stephen Hurley to give an advance look at what would be in This Week in Ontario Edublogs.  Unfortunately, we were not able to connect on a time on Wednesday so you get to see them all here first! Great stuff from Ontario Edubloggers.

Don’t forget – if you’re an Ontario Educational blogger or you know of one, go to the landing back at the link above and add the link to the blog.  If you’re just looking to find new people to follow, I have the link to my Ontario Educator Twitter lists there as well.


Language, Culture & Math

Deborah McCallum is always good for providing a thought provoking post and this one doesn’t disappoint.  It’s a really powerful reminder that teachers are there for the entire package and not to cherry pick topics.

With so much emphasis on improving mathematics test scores, it’s easy to overlook this.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.01.43


‘Limited Pedagogy’ in the Past? I Don’t Think So!

I was thinking that maybe Peter Skillen had finally lost it.  Hadn’t he already blogged about this before?

Well, maybe, probably, yeah, definitely, …

But it’s a topic well worth repeating.

We didn’t have ‘limited pedagogy’. We had a robust and vibrant movement and approach based on the work of Jean PiagetJerome BrunerSeymour PapertFrank SmithLev VygotskyIvan IllichPaulo FreireA.S. Neill and countless others who promoted discovery learning, constructivism, student-centred approaches, open classrooms, active learning, multi-age learning groups, etc.

Check out Ontario’s Hall-Dennis Report (Living and Learning) of 1968.

The bizarre thing is that we didn’t have limited pedagogy in the past, in the past we had limited technology!  I can remember when the Ministry of Education provided three Icon computers per school.  Various sources were used to increase access to technology for students but the environment wasn’t perfect for a harmonious and easy use of technology in the classroom.  When you have to “take the kids to the lab”, it could easily be assumed that it was a special event that had nothing to do with regular teaching and the excellent pedagogy that was understood.

But those excuses lie in a past limited by funding and access.  We now have access and a marriage with good pedagogical practice should deliver on the promise.

Holy cow, it has generated a lot of discussion though.


I Packed. I Came. I Shared. And Now I’m Left Wondering.

If you’re a reader of Aviva Dunsiger’s work, you won’t be surprised about the wondering work.  I think that her “wondering” makes for an improved environment for her students.  We talk about inquiry and wonder being essential for students; why not for teachers?

This time, she’s wondering about people leaving her session early.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.15.55

These are good questions to search for answers.  There may well have been other circumstances.  Perhaps it was just the fact that it’s summer and it was nice outside.  Perhaps people could connect the dots and didn’t feel they needed the hands-on time.

There could be a million other reasons but I’m sure that Aviva’s wondering will result in a different approach in the future.

Perhaps do the “play” first and then tie the big concepts together afterwards?  We live in a PD environment where people are encouraged to “learn with their feet” and to move on if their needs aren’t being met.  That’s great in theory but how do you know where the session is ultimately headed?


#Iceland: Getting our bearings

Alanna King’s on holidays in Iceland with family.  This is one in a series of posts about a summer exploration there.

There’s a great description of what’s happening to the family as they take a look here and there.

I’m just surprised that Tim didn’t rent a motorcycle and leave it to Alanna and Max to catch up later.

The best part is the beautiful pictures that she’s sharing.

img_3065


Making a Positive Impact

I’m not going to say much except to highlight this last line from Jennifer Casa-Todd’s post.

How might you make someone’s world brighter today?

It’s not always easy.

On my recent trip to Baltimore, I spent a lot of time in airports (I live in fear of missing my flight) and so I’ll try to strike up a conversation with people.  In one case, I offered my iPad to play a game on to a child who was a little wild.

Airport people like being left alone, I guess.

Attempting isn’t always appreciated but I hope that I never stop trying.


What Does an Innovating Leader Look Like?

I taunted Paul McGuire to write a post so I guess that I should include it here.

So, what does an innovating leader look like?

I would hope that you say “like me”.  I would also hope that you say “I lead by example” instead of “I lead by telling people what to do”.

I always see red flags when people use the term(s) “leader”, “innovator”, or “innovating leader” in their own bio or other places where they describe themselves.  That is indeed the lowest of the low hanging fruit.  Wind fall, perhaps.  It’s more impressive when others use that term to describe them.  Then, I sit up and notice.

Screenshot 2017-07-13 at 07.33.00

The best piece of advice I ever received came from my father.

Be humble.  You look good when you make others look better.


A long-overdue tribute

I’m always a sucker for a well-crafted blog post title and that’s what this was from Diana Maliszewski.

I started to read and got interested when she made reference to the Maker Festival in Toronto.  Then, somehow the topic turned to a special trip to Toronto.

img_4183

Pictures and stories about an anniversary are really few and far between so I did read to the end.

Congratulations, you two.


There’s always something to love from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  Please take the time to click through and read the entire posts and drop off a comment or two.  They’ll really appreciate it.

Time flies


I had forgotten about this activity until I checked into this infographic.

Selection_003

The complete infographic and the story behind it is available at

How the Average Working Adult Spends Days.

So, check it out to see where all those hours (days) went.

The activity?  In an elementary or secondary school, it would just be a guess since students have a lot of living to do yet.  Part of that living should be spent mastering spreadsheets and the features that they include.  Certainly, one of the more helpful is to take data and visualise it.

Data?  What data?

Each of the individuals in your class has a story to tell about their time.  In the activity, we would create a column for the activity and then columns for the week.  Data is entered daily in terms of hours/minutes.  Just be consistent.

Selection_006

At the end of the week, it’s just a matter of tallying the rows to get a weekly summary.  Then the fun begins.  Are there any trends?  Can we convert each activity to a percentage?  Where do we spend most of our time?  Can we adjust our lives to change the time?  Can we collect to the data for the entire class to see where we stand in comparison?  Are there any activities that are out of whack with a happy life?  The list goes on and one.

Even more powerful that looking at the raw data is converting it to a graphic form.  Your spreadsheet application has you covered nicely there.

Google Sheets

From the Insert Menu, select your data, select Chart, and then decide what type of chart would be represent this data.

Selection_004

Excel Online

The Insert menu flies out a number of options.  Don’t forget that, under each type, there are a number of additional options.

Selection_007

The possibilities and options are almost endless.

In addition to a discussion about things that students do and how they spend their time, there’s a wealth of spreadsheet understanding embedded.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s Friday and a time for a blogging tour of the province.  You don’t have to look any further for the good stuff than that created by Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I read and had stick lately.


Letting Go Again

We often hear that “students own the learning” and adjust the classroom to honour that.  It’s great to read about those who now respect that philosophy and adjust things accordingly.  But, the learning is the only thing that happens in the classroom community.  There are all kinds of other things that make for a smooth running environment.  Aviva Dunsiger itemizes some of the things that come to her mind in this post and then, in Aviva fashion, asks questions and wonders…

I can’t help but wonder (now she’s got me doing it) if this isn’t a good activity for everyone to do with their own classroom.  Sure, the students own the learning but who owns every other element for success?  Isn’t that part of the learning as well?  Why not treat it as such?  If there ever was a “call to action” post to refine your classroom, this is it.


Bringing Back 10 Posts

Speaking of calls to action, check out Tina Zita’s latest.  If you need that shove to get consistent with your blogging or even starting, consider opting in to her 10 posts in 10 days challenge.

It may sound daunting but it really shouldn’t be.  She’s not asking you to write the next great epic novel.

Just jot down 10 things and turn them into 10 posts and away you go.  You don’t even have to commit 10 days if you are busy.  You could write 10 posts in one sitting or spread them out a bit and schedule them to appear for 10 days in a row.

The key is just to do it.  It will make you grow as a thinker and blogger.  You have that special genius that makes things work in your classroom or you have observed 10 things that you’d like to write about.  Why not do it?

It might just be the start of something beautiful.


Equation Strips

David Petro shares a very interesting lesson plan for Grade 7s involving a method to visualize linear equations.

In Ontario our grade 7 students are introduced to solving simple equations in the form ax + b = c where the values of a, b and c are whole numbers. We think it’s a good idea for them to start by having some sort of visual representation of each equation. In this activity, students are given 16 cards that correspond to 16 equations represented as strips (the top and bottom of the strips represent the left and right sides of the equations). Students solve for x given the strips and then rewrite the algebraic form equation.

I’ll bet that so many use a graph as the first option when dealing with this topic.  This is an alternative that might well turn into a quicker understanding of the concept.

Resources included!

I like the concept for classrooms and it’s a terrific example for all as to how to share resources via Google Drive and FirstClass.


Listen and Be Honest

Powerful advice is included in this post from Sue Dunlop.  She’s honest and open about her position in life.

The post will hopefully give you pause to think about this topic.

Sue provides a nice collection of relevant links to support her position.


REFLECTIONS ON #YRDSBQUEST

From the KNAER-RECRAE blog, a look at the YRDSBQUEST event through the eyes of Melinda Phuong, an intern with the organization.

If you weren’t able to attend, check out what caught her attention.

  • RECONCILIATION WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF CANADA
  • A STUDENT MESSAGE ON REFUGEES
  • REFUGEE EDUCATION
  • A CULTURE OF “YES” TO BRING BACK THE JOY OF LEARNING
  • ISSUE + GIFT = CHANGE
  • DEEP LEARNING ON AN INTERNATIONAL SCALE
  • ACCESSIBLE LEARNING
  • LEADERS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW

Do Cuts Hurt?

Unlike Matthew Morris, there were times when I did get cut from a particular sporting team.

I do remember the teams that I did make though and, if I think hard about it, some of the ones that I didn’t.  There were also teams that I just didn’t try out for.  They were just not for me.  I specifically remember football and the irony that I ended up coaching it at secondary school.  It’s a unique sport; I don’t think we ever cut anyone.  It’s nice to have big numbers for practices.  Where the real issue kicks in is when you realize that you really have to work hard at getting everyone in to play during the season.  There are other sports that never existed when I was in school as well.  I’m thinking about skipping in particular.  A friend of mine has a son who really excels at competitive skipping.

Some sports will take every body that shows up and that’s great for inclusion.  But, as Matthew notes, there are some sports where only a limited number make the team.  His observations of watching students come to see if they “made it” are a real POV for educators.  I’ll bet that he’d appreciate comments about how you handle the situation in your reality.


Do students think we should be using social media in school?

Jennifer Casa-Todd finishes off a post that she’d started earlier.  It was about the use of social media in school.  She admits that her sample may be skewed but that’s OK.  It was interesting to see her statistics and analysis of it.  I thought that the comments were interesting.

As I read the responses, I can’t help but wonder if these are original thoughts from students or are they parroting when they hear from their teachers or parents or other media.

There’s a link in the post that is supposed to go to a summary but does go instead to her questionnaire.  It’s worth clicking through to see what was asked and, if Jennifer reads this post, hopefully, she’s share the link to results with us.


Yet again, this has been for me another wonderful collection illustrating the great thinking that goes on throughout the province.  Please click through and show each some blogging love with a comment or two.