Category: Libraries


This is a timely resource with the awareness and timeliness of discussions surrounding Indigenous land rights.

In particular, whose land are you or is your event currently on?

Territory acknowledgement is a way that people insert an awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life. This is often done at the beginning of ceremonies, lectures, or any public event. It can be a subtle way to recognize the history of colonialism and a need for change in settler colonial societies.

Native-Land is a very graphical presentation of Indigenous territories.

There are two major representations.

North America




The mechanics – the map you see is overlaid on a base map of the world where you can turn on modern English names.  I found that very handy so that I could get my bearings for the political world that I know.  The list of resources used for this presentation is impressive.

Like any good mapping program, you can zoom in and out and about to get to desired location.  If you get lost, and it’s easy to do, a search on the top left corner of the screen can be helpful.

The site has a blog which provides extremely interesting background about the project.  I found myself flipping between the map and the blog as I poked around.  For the classroom, there is a section devoted to education.  It also includes some very helpful questions to start the discussion.  The territory acknowledgement area goes even further to explain the “why” and how to understand things respectfully.  The first place to start, it seems to me, is to look at and understand why the territory map in no way aligns with the current political boundary maps.  That opens the door for further deep discussions.

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 10.21.37 AM

The information about the land follows your cursor as you navigate the map.

I just know that there are many people who are looking for a resource like this.  They’ll appreciate you sharing Native-Land with them.


Catching up

with my daughter.

Two Christmases ago, I thought that we had the ultimate gift for her.  Wandering through a Coles store, we saw a Trivial Pursuit version of Harry Potter.

Now, chances are, you don’t know my daughter but I’m here to tell you that she’s into everything Harry Potter.  Read the books, saw the movies, dresses as characters during the appropriate events, researches everything Harry Potter, …

She flipped when she opened the present and quickly was into doing what you should never do with Trivia Pursuit – read all the cards and then the answers.

  • that’s easy
  • everyone knows that
  • that occurred in this novel
  • saw that in the movie

Well, it kept her busy for a while.  She still goes through them periodically but doesn’t play them with her equally as obsessed friends because it’s too easy…  Well, I tried.

This morning, though, there’s another thing bound to catch her attention.  I know that it caught mine.

Google’s Arts and Culture application is featuring a Harry Potter:  History of Magic.


The collection of stories is extremely interesting.

After scrolling through the opening page, I started to plan where I’d start reading and it wasn’t top down.  This story – Ten Strange Things You Didn’t Know About the History of Magic was the clear winner.

Google Arts and Culture is an incredible resource for things and I find it indispensable when I’m waiting for things.  Instead of mindlessly scrolling my way through Instagram, I take the time to read articles and, hopefully, become smarter.

I know and fully admit that I will never “Catch up” to my daughter.  But, it’s fun trying

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

After a bizarre week of snowy and then warm and melting weather, it’s time to sit back and take a good read of some of the things that have appeared recently on the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.  There’s always good stuff to read.

And think about.


Are these trite words?

Maybe, but then David Carruthers saw this image in a social media feed.

This is a short post (two paragraphs and a sentence) but it speaks volumes.  David takes a quick look at people and the positions they hold in education.

You’ll have to read his post, but as you do, ask “Who has the people”?, “Who is really leading in education?”, “Are there people leading and don’t know it?”

Thanks, David, for a post that really had me thinking.

Modeling an Analogue Clock in Scratch

Think of the clocks that today’s students see.  How many would you think would be analogue?  How many digital?

Think of your own youth.  How many of each did you see?

In honour of the analogue clock, Jim Cash explains a Scratch project where a pair of students create an analogue clock.  As Jim points, out, it’s not a trivial activity and like so many of the projects that he shares, there’s just a whack of mathematics involved.

I can recall a similar project that my students took on much like this.  (Theirs included an alarm feature).  It’s not a quick and easy project.

Hope and a Groundhog

Beyond waiting for Wiarton Willie to let us know whether or not he sees his shadow (as an aside, with all the lights and television cameras, how could he not see it?), there is a message of hope that spring is on its way.

But then, Ramona Meharg takes a look around her classroom and shares the hope and good wishes that she has for her students for the future.

I hope for so many things.  I hope my students will be safe when they are not at school.  I hope they will believe in themselves.  I hope they will overcome the obstacles life puts in their way.  I hope I will find that spark in them that makes them want to come to school.  I hope they will always choose to be kind.  I hope I will continue to be a model of life long learning throughout my career and life.  I hope I and those I care about will stay healthy.  I hope for happiness, well being and a well lived life.

Her students are so fortunate that they have a loving and caring teacher who thinks about this.  Do you?

Hope is an interesting word.  It implies that you want something to happen.  By itself, to me, it gives a sense of chance.

Where does hard work and effort fit?

Is it a good deal?

I love this post by Lisa Corbett.  She had me at the opening sentence.

Perhaps the only thing worse than being a teacher’s kid, is being a teacher’s spouse.

I think of comments from my own kids when they’d ask a question and expect an answer but got a probing question instead.

“Dad, you’re such a teacher.”

Or, when I have a conversation with my wife.

“I want an answer and don’t go all teacher on me.”

I had to smile at the two images of solving a mathematics problem in Lisa’s post.  It’s a comparison of two worlds – old school and new school mathematics.

If you’re a kid, who do you go to for homework help?

Why not go? (and some ways to get there)

I like how Lisa Noble is exploring things in her self-funded leave.

This time around, she shared a presentation that she gave to the recent OLA Conference.  About knitting!

This is a conference that everyone in the province really should attend at least once.  True to the notion of the teacher-librarian having a finger in all subject areas, there’s a little something for everyone.

I attended the conference three times.  The first time as a participant; the second doing a session with a teacher-librarian colleague and the third time doing the Great OSLA Faceoff with my competitor Zoe Branigan-Pipe.  There were pictures and I still have the t-shirt.

How do you get to go to conferences like these?  In Lisa’s post, she shares a number of different strategies to make conference going affordable.

I’ll bet that Lisa never pays sticker price for anything!

Thinking about Inclusion

Jennifer Casa-Todd went to the same conference as Lisa (I hope they met up) and shares her thoughts and takeaways.  It’s a different take since Jennifer didn’t present.

Her big question that helps frame the post is…

How are we genuinely building community in our schools and helping our most vulnerable students feel welcome and included?

She shares with us three sessions and the impact that they had on her.  It’s an interesting read and she makes the connection to what she sees as a teacher-librarian day in and day out.

And, of course, she sees how social media can play a part.


From the TESL Ontario blog, comes an entry by Laura Brass.

She talks about research – even the word brings back not-so-fond university memories in the non-mathematics or computer science courses.

While the research we conduct as language teachers is not a life-and-death matter, we all strive for accuracy and need useful points of reference. In my case, research journaling kept me from getting lost in the sea of references, articles, methods, and conventions, while at the same time, it helped me connect the dots between theory and practice.

I like the process that she describes and wish that I knew about it when I last had to do research.  Gone are the little stickers and scribbled notes I used as my advanced organization tools!

Her conclusion?

Conducting research is FUN.

Please take the time to click through and read the original posts.  There’s lots of good material in these blogs.  Share them (or this post) with colleagues and just bask in the wisdom of these great Ontario educators.

And make sure to follow them on Twitter.  (You’ve already bookmarked their blogs, right?)


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Can you believe that we’re almost at the end of January?  Around here, we had a high of 11.5 degrees after suffering through some of the coldest weather.  Today, we’re back well below zero again.

How’s that for a lead-in to the first post as I take a look at great things from Ontario Edubloggers over the past while?

Oh, those pesky bugs!

It’s not often that you see someone come out and admit to being Patient Zero.  But, that’s what Ramona Meharg does in this post!

I know that, around here, the news is reporting that the hospitals are well over 100% occupancy with the latest round of the flu putting things over the top.

But, it’s only a teacher that could stop coughing and spitting at their computer screen long enough to blog about it and try to turn viruses into something positive.

Driving home on Friday, after having to send two more students home midway through the day with flu symptoms, I got to thinking, it’s too bad I couldn’t viralize other things to infect them with. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if I could infect them with a love of reading or learning in general? I’d love to give them a bug that would get them to believe in themselves and their abilities, instead of listening to the negative comments of others, or their own negative self talk. What if I could infect them with resilience, so that they could take the lemons life hands them and make the most refreshing lemonade out of them every time? How about a virus that reminds them to be kind to each other, at every opportunity, in every exchange? Or a bug that gives them the courage to take risks, to try new things, to be open to new experiences? I really should have paid more attention in Chemistry and Biology class – I might have gained the ability to create these “super-bugs.”

I feel like a lesser person.  I don’t think I ever had thoughts like that when I was driving home sick.

Looking BACK to Look FORWARD.

Peter Cameron had me hooked in the introduction to this blog post – it’s really a letter to his students – when he addressed them like this:

Dear Difference Makers

Yes, in Mr. Cameron’s class, you are indeed a somebody.

Peter describes to us an exercise where the students reflect back on the fall and what they’ve accomplished in class with a look to planning for the future.  It’s all documented in their Writer’s Notebook.

He even includes a number of images to jog student memories.  In the post, he honours the pathes that the students have taken and acknowledges that it hasn’t been the same or easy for everyone.

If you steal only one educational idea today, make it this one.

Do Kids See With Their Hands?

It’s an interesting question that Aviva Dunsiger asks.

Literally, the answer would be no, they don’t see with their hands.

But, change the question just a bit.

Do Kids See the Big Picture When They Use their Hands?

Then, I’d say the answer would be yes, undoubtedly.  We have five senses (some argue of a sixth) and why wouldn’t students be able to use them all to fully understand a situation.

The only time I can recall not being able to use all my senses was in a science experiment in elementary school where we could reach into a paper bag and could only feel what we could touch inside and had to describe it.

We’d be less understanding of our world if we couldn’t use all our senses.


In a longish string of One Words for 2018, Will Gourley offers “Better”.  To support his choice of a word, he includes some very nice descriptions.

Whether written, spoken, or withheld on purpose my words will be better in 2018.
They will edify not nullify.
They will appreciate not devastate.
They will lead not supersede.

It’s nicely done but what makes this approach unique to me is that he offers a way to quantify “better”.

It’s just a matter of being 1% better every day.

I wonder if you would even realize it when someone is 1% kinder from one day to the next, but after a month 30% increase would be difficult to ignore.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health in the World of Education

Paul McGuire offers an insight that many of us have never seen.  It’s from his position as a former administrator and he says that he has often viewed mental health issues – teachers, students, parents.

I easily saw more people in distress as an administrator than I ever saw as a counsellor. At least I knew what these people were going through. Most administrators do not and that is not a good situation.

It’s a telling observation.  I can’t believe that Paul is alone.  What’s disturbing is that the system doesn’t prepare him for this.

As luck would have it, Lisa Noble had blogged about an initiative in her district on this very topic.  Is this enough?

Compromise, Crisis and Collaboration

From The Beast Blog, comes a discussion inspired by the actions of Sarah Silverman earlier this year.

There are some great questions and discussions in this back and forth between Andrea  and Kelly

  • What happens when we bump into someone who is absolute in their beliefs and they don’t buy what we are selling?
  • Is the purpose of learning to come to a consensus?
  • Can you purposely enter a crisis with someone you don’t trust?

How would you answer those questions? – then click through and see how their discussion went.

Encourage Parents to Read with their Children During Family Literacy Month

From the Toronto District School Board Professional Library comes this reminder.

Family Literacy Day is celebrated every year on January 27th to promote the important role parents can play in fostering their children’s literacy skills and encouraging a love of lifelong learning for the whole family.

The site provides a place for both parents and students to submit book reviews.

It seems to me that this would be an exciting option for all school districts to offer.

As always, I hope that you do take the time to click through and read each of these original blog posts.

There’s so much there to help you grow professionally.

Way to go, Ontario Edubloggers.

Inspired by the above?  Here are some great educators to add to your learning network:


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s time for our weekly wander around Ontario and see what great Ontario Edubloggers have been up to.  There’s always something great going on and this week is no exception.

Read on …

BYOD. It’s not about the device until it’s the device.

Cal Armstrong builds a case for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) but under certain conditions.

Left unchecked, he sees a world of increased stress for teachers who have to support a multitude of platforms and issues.  Things like what application should be used could be crucial to this without careful planning.  Of course, a concerted effort to put everything in the cloud could solve at least part of this.

At Appleby College, all students have the same device in the classroom so one instruction like moving to tablet mode is similar for all students.  He points to how easily he was able to solve problems like a lost stylus or a discharged computer.  It was relatively easy to solve since the “D” was the same in all classes.

It’s a post that should give planners some thought.  Could Appleby’s solution fit into other schools by taking the “YO” out of “BYOD”?

The quick and easy answer is no – the big reason being financial – but the post is still worthy of a read and a way to think about how to change the way that you’re working with what you have.  Is there a middle ground?

Make sure that you keep the “B” though.


This is a very timely post from ECOO Past-President Mark Carbone as we’re on the eve of Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code.  There will be many people taking on coding next week and the school’s Sphero(s) may get a great workout.

Mark tells a story of two different Sphero challenges and explains why he likes how the process has evolved.

What I like is the mindset behind this.

For many, the activity could be “one and done”.  This whole process shows how people are rethinking things and making the challenge better.  There appears to be more rigor in the second version (don’t tell the students) and they’re up for the challenge.

Can you say that you’ve raised the bar in your Hour of Code activities?

The End of School Resource Officers in Toronto District Public Schools

Paul McGuire isn’t afraid to share his opinion on the issues of the day.  The current issue is around the Toronto District School Board’s decision to remove School Resource Officers from their schools.

Paul’s logic is based upon his experience of using the officers for what he sees as a positive experience, giving examples.

There is another side to the issue, of course.  Not everyone sees the presence of the officers in the schools as positive.  TDSB surveyed their clientele to find opinions to find that there were concerns that the program had an adverse effect on certain students.  If we want to see all students succeed, we must make sure that all students feel safe and supported in their school and recommendations were made.

Now that the program has been cancelled, the challenge will be for students to act responsibly and prove that the decision made was correct.

The whole thing has been an exercise in media literacy as well.  Search the contents of Toronto newspapers and you will find differing opinions.  It’s an opportunity to bring this into the classroom and talk about perspectives and perhaps even writing letters to the editors to provide things from a student rather than an administrative perspective.

Conversations about culturally responsive pedagogy

Deborah McCallum, who has been featured regularly on #TWIOE, was the inspiration for this post from the TDSB Professional Library.

Deborah McCallum writes, “I question whether I, as a White, female, Canadian, English-speaking person, can adequately facilitate the increase of assessment scores in math for students who have different identities and cultural groups.

The response?

A collection of resources to help answer the question.


Are these books available in your own district’s or school’s professional library?

It’s Conference Time!

It certainly is.  The fall is the perfect time for some professional learning that you can take back to your classroom with an eye towards improving classroom practice.

Arianna Lambert agrees and uses this post to elaborate.

In it, she identifies three things from her perspective as both a presenter and as an attendee.

  1. The Power of Story
  2. Being Open to New Learning
  3. Network, Network, and Network

This time, I get to agree with her.

  1.  I’m always impressed when a speaker takes me on a ride with her/him as relevant stories are used to deliver the message
  2. I always try to seek out sessions that I suspect will challenge me and push my thinking.  I can’t see going to a conference to attend a session that delivers a message that I’m already confident in
  3. In 2017, networking is key.  The value of a conference today goes far beyond sitting and listening to one or two people.  It’s about making those connections with others.  It’s almost a shame to go home without expanding your network and then make it work for you far beyond the two or three days of the conference

Important People, Disembodied Participants and Fun in the Sun

For some reason, Diana Maliszewski decided to go to warm and sunny Phoenix instead of joining us in blustery Niagara Falls to attend a library conference.

Her post affirms Arianna’s point number 3 above and shares with us some of the connections that she made while she was there.

The Ontario connection though is heart-warming.  She takes the opportunity to give shout-outs to the best of Ontario Educators that came across during this conference experience.

Great stuff.

Are you on Diana’s list?

Learning is Social

In time to affirm the messages from Arianna and Diana, comes this post from Jennifer Casa-Todd.

In a course that she’s taking, she’s had to do some reading and reflecting on some articles.

She does this nicely in this blog post.

Social media connections serve to complement in-class connections as well. Students’ shared experience connecting with others can bring a class together. I have seen this happen on several occasions especially when time is given to reflect on the process.

The post wasn’t hard for me to read since I am totally onside with her message.

But I had to give a bit of a smile as I read.  What would happen if we changed every reference to “teacher” to “administrator” or “professional developer” and every reference to “student” to “teacher”?  Does the post now become a blueprint for more effective professional learning?

If it does, what doesn’t it happen?

Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers above.  Click through to their original posts and read their wisdom in their entirety.  You’ll be glad you did.

And, why not follow these people on Twitter?

If you can, join Stephen Hurley and me on voicEd Radio on Wednesday mornings or repeated through the week where we use some of these posts as a launching point for discussions.


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Friday!  And another chance to take a wander around the province looking at the great things that have appeared on the blogs of great Ontario Edubloggers.  I hope that you can find time today or on the weekend to check these out.

Un système d’excellence, pas une brosse à poissons

I thought that I had read every possible angle to professional learning until I read this post from Joel McLean.  I understand, and actually live, his description about keeping dandelions off my lawn.  The lawn does indeed look good when it’s freshly cut.  But then, they come back.  <grrrr>

I think that most professional learning facilitators can see their world in this way.  For that moment during the cutting/learning session or immediately afterwards, things look good.  But then, the dandelions come back.  It takes a bigger, systemic approach to really make the change to your lawn that you want.

I’d actually seen this analogy before.

But, what I hadn’t seen was the discussion of cleaning the fish tank.  Read it and see if it doesn’t bring to mind professional learning sessions you’ve attended.

You’ll smile; I’m sure you’ll nod; and you’ll now have a great analogy for change.


Andy Forgrave jumped in with a post in response to my post bemoaning the lack of formal keyboarding instruction.  And, I think he agrees with me judging by his concluding sentence.

Touch-typing/copy-typing remains a valuable skill in 2017, and kids should learn it early on, to supplement the continually improving methods of voice-input.

But, in getting there, be prepared for a history of keyboarding efforts in the province.

  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
  • Almena
  • Dragon Natural Speaking
  • Read and Write for Google Chrome

We saw eye to eye on the hunter and pecker approach but he offered a new mode – the Columbus method.

The bottom line is that we need to find some way to have students acquire these skills.  In the past, we’ve learned to print and then learned cursive.  Cursive is all but gone.  If we think the natural transition is printing to keyboarding, there has to be a way to support it.

Our discussion turned to programming where you use brackets and parentheses quite a bit and Andy shared this resource if you’re going to use Siri for dictation.

Defining Moments

The meme continues!

This time from Tina Zita who apologizes for not having five.  That’s OK; the three that she offers could easily be expanded to five if meeting quota was a requirement for posting.  Fortunately, it isn’t.

Check out her thoughts about

  • Wait
  • Community

and the other one.

Once again, I’ll bet that you see elements of yourself in her post.  This meme has been great for reflection and further thinking.

If you haven’t written a post of your own, please consider doing it.

Appreciating My Circumstances

I love this post and its honesty from Eva Thompson.  I made myself a note – everyone should be able to write a post like this.

And, if you can’t, you should consider getting a different job.


Experience is always priceless in teaching.  Oh, and the ability to see the future.

Regardless of how difficult or challenging the current moment might be, good teachers always see the best on the horizon.

Take a moment and reflect on how you appreciate your current circumstances.  You may not put it to a blog post like Eva did, but I’ll bet that there are so many things that you value.

Conferences Long Ago and Coming Up as Practical PD

Diana Maliszewski takes us on a trip of her professional learning experiences for this fall.  I think it’s exciting that she and her daughter will be headed to Phoenix.

This is why I decided that for this school year (2017-2018) the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) conference in Phoenix would be my only big library conference. I am paying all the expenses associated with attending AASL myself (flight, registration in ALA, registration for the conference, accommodations, and food). That’s a lot of money, especially considering that my daughter will be accompanying me as a co-presenter!

Is Phoenix ready for them? What costumes will they wear?

I recall a NACOL Conference that I attended there years ago.  It’s hot!  But, I had to visit the University of Phoenix Stadium to see the grass.  We were lucky; it was outside when we visited.

What’s even more interesting is that Diana dug up a conference report from a long time ago and has scanned the pages and shared them with us.  It’s actually quite interesting reading.

Do you ever wonder if the principal, union, or superintendent that you submit these to actually reads them themselves?

Make Your Students Love Books As Much As You Do

Stepan Pruchnicky had a learning experience as a LTO “Teacher Librarian”.

The job was “Teacher Librarian”, and I had no idea what I was doing. I remember confiding my fears to my principal. Her advice: “make kids love books as much as you do.” The advice stuck. I have kept it in mind for the past twelve years.

Of course, this is premised on the fact that he loved books.  And, what educator would not agree?

The balance of the post lists six suggestions that he offers to help the process.  They’re all good advice and the very best education will definitely make #6 happen.

How does this happen?

And, we close on a sad note.

Aviva Dunsiger’s father passed away and she took to her blog to let us know about it.  It’s not something that I would do but does illustrate another way that people use the blogging space.

She offers some advice from the experience.

Today’s heart-breaking experience has reminded me of something important: savour the small moments.

My sympathies go out to Aviva.

Please take a moment and click through and enjoy this collection of blog posts from Ontario Educators.  There’s some great content and reflect there.


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Another week comes to an end and offers an opportunity for me to share some of the great reading that I encountered this past while from Ontario Edubloggers.

Journey to El Salvador for Teacher Candidates

I guess I’m going to have to file this post from Paul McGuire under “Fake News”.

It’s too bad.  I had all kinds of notes about my own practice teaching experiences, social justice, added value to the curriculum, the relative low costs of the program, and so much more.

I made a point of making sure that it was on the radio show This Week in Ontario Edublogs so that Stephen Hurley and I could talk about it.  Just into our discussion, we got a Twitter message from Paul that the program had been scrapped.

Bummer.  We had so much time allotted to talk about it!

The post is still a good read and example of great planning and learning possibilities.  I’m disappointed that it didn’t come to fruition.


I had a new follower this week from Brock so I checked out her blog which Meg Schned has posted to Weebly.  There was a section dealing with TECHKNOWTEACH which sounded intriguing so I checked it out.

The section is a collection of posts about topics – I don’t know if it’s a class assignment or not – but I found them interesting from someone who will soon enter the profession.  One of the posts dealt with Understanding Copyright.  All right!  How many faculties deal with this, and in particular, Creative Commons?

With technology right at our fingertips, in the form of laptops, cellphones and tablets, accessing information and resources is easier than ever before, however there are rules in place that allow us to take advantage of this properly.

I liked her thoughts and carrying this into her profession will do her well.  I did look at the entire Weebly site and didn’t see a spot where she’s identified her own level of copyright.  I think that, in addition to respecting others copyright and permission that everyone should let others know how they expect their content to be used.

Kindness – It Starts with Us

Lisa Cranston’s recent post shows a great deal of wisdom and perhaps a reminder for everyone about the importance of being kind.

In the post, she shares many personal experiences but one really resonated with me.

We’re all taught to be aware of the student who sits in the cafeteria alon eating lunch with no friends or interactions.  Lisa describes a personal experience as a supply teacher being alone in the staff room.  Should there be any difference?

With reorganization day in everyone’s future, along with the daily flow of occasional teachers, new students, and teacher candidates, this is a powerful reminder that it never hurts to be kind.


My #5BestEd decisions

Lisa Noble tagged me in the announcement of this post in response to a challenge issued by Jonathan So.  The challenge was to identify five moments that made an impact on your teaching.

Lisa follows up with her five and it’s great to see that family remains part of the discussion.  She said I was in the post somewhere, but quickly frankly, I couldn’t find it.  I had clicked the embedded video and had it playing while I was reading the content.  My big mistake was not watching the video…

Anyway, it’s a nice collection and there were two acronyms in her five decisions that stood out to me.

  • AIM
  • PLP

It’s a nice summary and I can see just in my interactions with her online, how they have helped frame her to be the educator that she is today.

I would encourage you to click through and see all five.

Sarah’s Back-To-School Story

How many times this late August have your heard from teachers who have that back to school nightmare with no lesson plans, or being late, or not wearing clothes in front of your class….?

Sarah Lalonde shares a back to school story of her own.  She doesn’t have her own classroom yet and so instead reminisced about going back to school as a student.

It’s somehow comforting to know that it’s not just teachers who are nervous but so are the students.  That may appear to be obvious but I thought that a teacher candidate identifying as a student was something special.

It brought back things that I hadn’t thought of in years.

  • clothes – what to wear
  • bus route – will it be different
  • teachers – will they be different
  • how to set up your locker to make it yours

It inspired great memories for me.  Give it a read and see if it doesn’t do the same for you.

Breakout EDU for the Win!

The concept of Breakout EDU is very popular right now.

What really impresses me is when educators go beyond the box and come up with original and new ways of designing their own challenges.  Earlier, I had been impressed with how Cal Armstrong had used OneNote to create a challenge.

In this post, Jennifer Casa-Todd describes how she sets up a Breakout session as orientation to her library.

Introduce students to the services and resources I offer in the Library by allowing them to DISCOVER these through fun, interactive challenges. So I hid puzzles in books, created posters with hidden clues and got them to answer questions on a Google Form which revealed their word-combination when they submitted the form. It was a really nice mix of traditional and digital Breakout components. I am not going to lie, I was super nervous. You see, unlike a classroom teacher, I have no real rapport with these students coming into the Library. I don’t know their names or their learning needs.

It sounds like a winning combination.  Check out her entire post to get all the details.

Is there room in your classroom for an activity like this?

Caretaker of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt

Kristi Keery Bishop shares an interesting story about administrators’ orientation.

At our system Administrator’s meeting, we were welcomed and educated by the board’s Indigenous Education team. We were then each offered a Dish with One Spoon wampum belt to be used in our schools. This wasn’t our typical “go get in line to take these new resources for your school” kind of giveaway but a ceremony; we had to thoughtfully and publicly acknowledge our willingness to accept the responsibility of using the wampum for school education and community building but also to accept it as a treaty of friendship.

My first thought was a remembrance of so many meetings that I attended and we “got stuff”.  Sometimes a little overview to go along with it or a handout, but a ceremony?

To me, this adds addition value to the resource and makes everyone think just a little harder about the message from the meeting and how it will be used when returned to the school.

Take some time to read the post.  When was the last time that you had an educational moment that was as meaningful as this one?

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