This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I hope that everyone has recovered from the snow storm and done so safely. My right shoulder is killing me; this was the heaviest snow I think I’ve ever shoveled. But, you’re here to read great stuff from Ontario Edubloggers so here goes…


Wouldn’t you be …?

Yes, I certainly would be and I suspect that we all would.

Sheila is following the work of Dr. Naomi Fisher and contemplated an image that was posted about a mother’s anxiety about sending kids to school.

Sheila no longer has children in the Ontario school system but that doesn’t excuse her for having some concerns about kids and what they’re dealing with at school. Looking forward, there may well be grandchildren, Sheila!

I found the post pretty serious and timely as it lead nicely into Bell Let’s Talk Day. Stephen and I had a nice chat about it on the show Wednesday morning.

Will we ever get it right? Probably not because the world and society continues to change but we all need to keep our eyes open and speak out when appropriate. Sometimes, it goes unseen by those who could actually do something about it.

It always seems that we’re playing catch up.


Teachers, YOU ROCK!

I often wonder if Kelly knows that I write about the great content she shares since she doesn’t appear to have a Twitter handle.

Teaching is an interesting profession. Not everyone could do it; not everyone wants to do it. If you think you just check in at 8:30 and check out at 2:30, you better keep on moving. The job is much more than that and requires some serious commitment, both in time, dedication, empathy, and emotion.

I was sorry to read about the challenges she had in her placements – I was the exact opposite and was paired with incredibly supportive and inspirational teachers and environments. My only challenge was commuting in the GTA. There’s another layer to add onto the level of stress.

I’m glad that she’s happy with her decision to land in this profession.

More people should blog or let the world know of their great decision.

Kelly’s post would be a great inspiration.


Daily Math Talks with Young Children

I’m old enough to know the term arithmetic.

The mathematician in me just loves this post.

I still remember a university professor who talked to us about how some baseball players become good at their job. “Practice, Practice, Practice”. How do students get good at mathematics? “They do the odd numbered questions on page 37 and then go outside and play baseball.” What if they could experience the joy of mathematics?

That’s not how it works in Deanna’s class. Absolutely, they “do” mathematics, whatever that means but they actively talk about it. In the post, she describes how the students sit and talk inspired by her. Here’s an example

From mrsmclennan.blogspot.com

I’m just inspired by her super neat printing! Numeracy is important but it shows up in many different ways in this example. I can just picture myself sitting on the floor eating this up.

This is an insightful post and composed of a lot of pictures of chart paper and activities.

I’ll bet that she has a computer and access to a data projector but there’s something extra special about hand written content like this.


Growing Age Gap

As I said in the promotion for the voicEd Radio show, the older you get, the older you get.

It’s a fact of life.

Matthew is starting to realize this.

Every September he welcomes kids of a certain age into his class. They’re always the same age. However, he’s just another year older.

And that is the realization that teaching suspends time. Halfway. I mean, only one side.
– Matthew Morris

I wish I could offer you a rap version of this, Matthew. But, I grew old. Rod Stewart offers some advice.


Leading by Example or What’s Good for the Goose…

Last week, I attended my wife’s aunt’s funeral.

If there ever was a setting where you have collection of people who might be at risk of getting Covid, this has to be it. Lots of elderly friends paying last respects in a small location and who knows what kind of ventilation there was. I’ll give credit to the funeral home; they had masks beside the hand sanitizer. We brought our own. I can tell you that we were definitely in the minority wearing it though.

But, wait! There’s another setting – schools.

Marie is the voice of safety and yet the closest to ensuring that everyone is safe is this sign.

From apuffofabsurdity.blogspot.com

If you follow the Kitchener news (I do and it drives my daughter nuts), there isn’t agreement there any more than there is anywhere else. Folks, Covid is not over. We’re just not reporting about it.

Marie takes a look at the set of rules at the Davos World Economic Forum where there is a three page document outlining Covid rules and regulations. That doesn’t play out the same way in her schools.

We seem to be all over the map on this. How will we ever kick it?


#LearningInTheLoo: Feedback w/ Voice Notes feat. @DeannaToxopeus

This was a little different from the regular things from Laura’s blog.

It’s a “Learning in the Loo” created by Deanna. A guest blogger!

Here’s a snippet.

Of course, you’ll have to click through to get the whole document!


But…I Just Want Checkmarks

I’ll just leave this here. I did read her post and tagged it for this post.

Sadly, the site seems to be down. Maybe it will come back with time. Daphne is at FETC so undoubtedly busy doing something else.


Please find some time today or on the weekend to click through and enjoy these blog posts.

Drop off a comment if you’re inspired.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Sheila Stewart – @sheilaspeaking
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • Daphne McMenemy – @McMenemyTweets

This is a regular Friday morning post around here, celebrating the best in Ontario blogging. You can find all of the past posts here.

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This Week in Ontario Edublogs


There was no voicEd Radio show this week. Those that know, know why.

That didn’t stop the curation of great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers though. Read on!


How to help older students learn how to read:

I found this interesting as it combines the work of a great thinker (Deborah) and ChatGPT to address this topic. My first thoughts when I read the title was:

  • how could this possibly happen that someone slips through the system and
  • how big is this problem

I found the discussion really interesting and the two of them discussed

  • Explicit instruction
  • Guided reading
  • Reading aloud
  • Independent reading
  • Collaborative reading
  • Vocabulary instruction
  • Assisting with text decoding
  • Promoting a love of reading

The descriptions above really didn’t provide new information for me; your mileage may vary.

The discussion gets deeper with the research from The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. There are some ideas to dig into there.

The post is presented so you don’t really know who is writing it – Deborah or ChatGPT but I liked her approach. Sure, you could sit back and let ChatGPT write the post but I liked her use of the topic and the tool to help her with the writing.

This is one of the best, practical leading by example posts that I’ve seen to date. If she hadn’t been open and honest about it, you’d never know that it was a partnership.


#OneWord2023

A post NOT from Mark as he counts down the top 500 songs. It was a nice and interesting diversion.

In the past, he’s used the one words Revitalize, Mindfulness, Cultivate, Persist, Discomfort, Ameliorate & Appreciate.

This year, he has chosen Vitality and has been very open about how he plans to address it. I got tired and hungry just reading them!

Not only is he open about his plans but he shares a lesson that he uses with students to encourage each of them to find their own one word. We’ve all seen the concept of SMART goals – this is his spin on how to get students to set meaningful goals.


Slice of (21st Century) Life

Lisa’s post hit a little too close to home for me.

I’ve had a number of dear friends and colleagues pass or fall incredibly ill recently. I’ll admit that I got a call from a dear friend notifying me of another dear friend last night while in the park walking the dog. I did not take the news well.

In this post, Lisa shares her story that had her “transported 40 years into the past”. Lisa does give us a personal insight into her thoughts and the process of a virtual funeral. Likewise, I had to attend a virtual funeral of a best friend from high school and room mate from university. Funerals are hard at the best of times but when you do it virtually, I find it even worse. At a regular funeral, there is an opportunity to gather with family and friends. At the end of a virtual funeral, there’s just nothing. It just stops.

She closes philosophically about virtual funerals but it’s just not the same and surely there’s got to be a better way to handle them.

In the meantime, I’m sending you a big hug, Lisa.


The Best way to start the New Year with your class!

I suspect that everyone was expecting the return to face to face teaching as being an opportunity for teachers and students to shed the awfulness of Covid and get back to being their best in a classroom situation.

I’m hearing stories all over the place about how that hasn’t happened.

A couple of years ago, Amy had created this product for sale through her personal store and has updated it for 2022 and the new reality.

If you’re interested in a little support about hoe to “Be Your Best Self Now”, this might just be what you’re looking for.


Top Gun: Maverick and Authentic School Leadership

I had to smile a bit as I write this.

I almost didn’t read to the end of this post because it read like a movie review. But, I’m glad that I did stick because the concept of school leadership does come up!

As I think about it, I can think of some who became school leaders and it was all about them. It seemed that getting that leadership role was the ultimate goal.

Then I think of so many who became school leaders and did it well. People would apply to change schools to have this person for a leader. Or, if they were leading a workshop, their sessions were always full and a waiting list. The others, not so much.

A common theme among educators is that 2023 is a year like no other. Strong leadership is needed everywhere if everyone is going to succeed. If you see yourself as a leader or you aspire to be a leader, this is a beautiful read that will make you feel good and will inspire you to do better.


What an interesting collection this week. I loved reading them all and they all inspired various emotions in me. Please click through and see how you feel.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Deborah McCallum @Bigideasinedu
  • Mark Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker
  • Anthony Perrotta – @aperrottatweets

This is a regular Friday post on doug — off the record. You can check them all out here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It was great getting back to the microphone for the radio show / podcast this week. After two weeks, the boom arm on my microphone was dusty and Stephen caught me cleaning it during the show…

Here’s what we talked about and a couple of bonus posts.


Hurting? Ask For Help!

I’m a big fan of how Cameron uses his blog as inspiration for students to write. And, because they’re writing on the blog, they’re truly writing for an audience.

This time, the topic was bullying and anti-bullying. Of course, he used the opportunity to remind students of http://ww1.kidshelphone.ca/

After setting the stage, the students had a choice of two ways to respond…

For your blog post this week you have two choices: 
1. I want you to imagine a student in grade five who is struggling with anxiety, stress, or bullying and write them a letter that you think could help them get through the tough times. 
2. Write a paragraph that explains your strategies or ways that you deal with stressful situations or tough times. 

The responses are honest and open and I thought really rich for a Grade 5 class. This is well worth checking out and maybe replicating in your class.


The Many Benefits of Mud Play

I remember, as a kid, playing in the mud and catching all kinds of heck when I got home. Things would be wild if I had been in Deanna’s classroom.

It didn’t come out in the post but parents are so supportive of students playing in the mud that they chipped in and bought a class set of boots. How’s that for support?

Deanna gives us a lovely description of what she’s expecting as teacher when the kids get muddy.

  • Playing with natural materials like mud and water help children build a relationship with nature.
  • Mud play encourages problem-solving and innovation.
  • Children explore many math concepts authentically through mud play
  • Mud play bolsters children’s oral communication.
  • Playing with dirt and mud strengthens children’s fine and gross motor skills.
  • Mud play appeals to sensory learners and can be a calming and enjoyable activity for many
  • Research shows that playing in the dirt can strengthen children’s health and immunity.

Each bullet point has a detailed description and pictures to show what it looks like in real life. Fun!

Deanna is so devoted to the concept that she’s written a book about it  Muddy Math: See, Think and Wonder.

Despite all this, there was room to grow. During the show, I got this message from Colleen Rose.

Mud = clay = ART CLASS!!!


Routine. Familiar. Customary. Methodical.

Elizabeth continues to find ways to attract my attention and wanting to read her blog posts. This time, it’s a series of four words all punctuated with periods.

I thought this was a very brave post to put out in the open. It’s one thing to talk about great things happening in your class but quite another to talk about challenges that you’re having. And, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have thought that her challenges would be where she identifies them, coming from a library position.

First of all, in the subject area where many people have challenges – mathematics – she seems to have wrapped it nicely into a routine fo the students.

  • Monday “Minds on”
  • Tuesday and Thursday “Roll and Write”
  • Wednesday “Number Talks”
  • Friday “Esti-Mysteries” from Steve Wybourney’s blog from Oregon

As an aside, the Esti-Mysteries was a real sinkhole for me. Great stuff!

The area where she identifies challenges is Literacy. That surprised me but here we are.

She’s working on building a framework for that class. I really love the openness in this post.


Icky But Interesting Facts About Poop

This is an incredibly important topic and everyone should be aware of it. Kudos to STAO for posting it to their blog.

Just the other night on the evening news, I saw a report about the growth in the number of cases of colorectal cancer. It’s scary.

Do yourself a favour and read this – https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/types-of-cancer/colorectal

As noted in the blog, your body can tell you a lot about what’s going on and all that you have to do is look.

The post gives a short description of things to look for – what’s normal – and what could be happening.


Meet the PhDs

The podcast this week comes from Vicky Loras. Vicky is on her own way to earning a PhD and along the way she’s interviewing others who have already completed that journey.

This episode was with Dr. Thanassis Godelitsas.

I found his story very interesting. I guess, coming from education, I see most PhDs as those who completed a Bachelors’s and Masters’s degree and continuing in education. There was no straight path for Dr. Godelitsas and his bio as you’ll see on Vicky’s website shows studies in so many areas.

Beyond the content, it was interesting to listen to Vicky conduct the interview. She’s constantly prompting to keep the conversation alive. Unlike a few others, she doesn’t just give us a pat set of questions; she adjusts based on the conversation. It’s a nice style and if you’re a podcaster who interviews others, you could learn a lot just by listening.


NU#17 – Leading Teams These Days…

One of my superintendents was big in leadership and he did so many professional activities with us – because he wanted us to become leaders in our own rights.

He was always talking about change and how we need to evolve with the realities that are happening in schools and society. Nothing stands still.

That was the strong message coming from this post from Jen.

Leadership needs to look a lot different these days. It’s the people around us that matter most – now more than ever- and I think we’re all just trying to figure it out as best we can, as we go along.

Over my career, I worked for many leaders. Each of them was strong and powerful in their own way but no two were the same.

As I read Jen’s post, I could easily see that they would fail as leaders in our world today if they continued to use what worked for them back then.

If you’re a leader or you aspire to be a leader and wonder what might work, you will find this an interesting read.


Phone home

This is one of the most difficult things for teachers to do – make that call home because something has gone amiss at school. This has a nice ending to it.

“I’ll call again and let you know how it’s going,” I said.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she replied.

Amanda is short of specific details and that’s a good thing for the privacy of the student. I think we’ve all had that moment when we know that we need to make the call and dread it. Nobody likes to be the bearer of anything but very positive news.

I can’t help but think that this is one of those very powerful reasons why we blog. We anguish, over-think, fret, worry, … and blogging is a release. You can talk to a spouse but, unless they’re an educator, they don’t really get it.

Amanda shares her thoughts with her blog and with us if we care to read. If you’re like me, you’re going to want to send her a virtual hug and celebrate a happy ending that came unexpectedly.


Please take the time to click though and read all these wonderful posts. Dropping a comment while you’re there is always appreciated.

Then, follow them on Twitter

  • Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Elizabeth Lyons@mrslyonslibrary
  • Claire Zuliani & Michael Frankfort @MsZuliani @mfrank_76
  • Vicky Loras – @vickyloras
  • Jen Shirley – @jen_shirley
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This is a regular Friday morning post around here and a live radio show appears Wednesday mornings at 8:45 and available as a podcast later.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I can’t help but think that we’ve been so lucky with the warm weather and that things are going to catch up with us. I had to be in Windsor this morning (yesterday morning as you read this on Friday) and had a long walk along the waterfront trail at the foot of Ouellette Avenue and took a couple of pictures.

http://www.greatcanadianflag.com/

But, this post isn’t about me. You’re here to great some great content from Ontario Edubloggers. Read on.


The deafening silence of university presidents

At times, those of us from K-12 kind of forget about universities and the leadership potential that they have. Yes, we know of the Faculties of Education but the reach is obviously so much greater. Thanks to Charles for writing this post and sharing his outrage that their voices were quiet during the recent episode with CUPE.

As luck would have it, they might have a chance to speak up next week. Hopefully, they’ve read Charles’ blog post and are rethinking their silence.

To emphasize the point, Charles reminds us of this poem.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

https://www.paih.org/first-they-came-the-poem-of-protest

TRAUMA IN THE CLASSROOM

From the TESL Ontario blog, this is a powerful couple of blog posts about trauma in the classroom as non-English speakers arrive ready to learn.

I think we’ve all had that student that comes in and has challenges with the language. However, in most cases, they knew that they were coming to Canada and had hopefully worked on language development.

With what’s happening these days, there are people that are just getting up and leaving and don’t have the preparation. That presents a whole new experience.

The first post talks about the children:

  • What we know 
  • What we learned
  • What we think

It’s not easy but, as educators, you do get to go home at night and recalibrate. The second post brought out the emotion in me as it talks about the effects on teachers – I’d never heard of the expression “vicarious trauma” but I sure have now:

  • How can vicarious trauma be addressed?
  • Where can I learn more?

If you find yourself in this position or you have a colleague who is, this pair of posts is worth the time to read. After all, you can still go home at night but it is difficult to recalibrate when you’re the one with the issues.


The Sound of Paper #SOL2022

This was so my life in the classroom. There was paper for every lousy stinking thing that was going on. As I mentioned in the voicEd Radio show, we had every colour of paper that you could have stuff duplicated on. Boring me opted for white because supposedly, it was a bit cheaper.

The colour blue though was reserved for the principal and every Friday at noon, we got the “Blue Memo” which outlined everything scheduled to happen in the next week. The rule around the school was “if it’s not on the Blue Memo, it doesn’t happen”.

There’s a mindset that goes with publishing to paper. Darn it, if I’ve taken the time to put my thoughts and inspiration to paper, you need to read it. As Melanie points out, if you try to stay on top of things, that pile can get pretty big.

But, paper isn’t just paper anymore!

We’ve embraced the notion of ePaper and email as a proxy for paper because it’s cheaper and, quite frankly, can be edited before distribution and, at times, makes the concept of proofreading a lost art.

It does stack up and Melanie gives us a real visual of her life with paper of all sorts. I had to smile when she talks about turning to a podcast – is that the next new paper? At this point, you can multitask by working and listening to a podcast but will that evolve too? Imagine your next staff meeting as a podcast …


Fluent in Math

It pained me to read this post. Diane does a good analysis and I appreciate that. But, I’ve always loved Mathematics and I suppose that I’d be one of the people that might talk about Mathematics as being a universal language. As a Mathematics graduate from Waterloo, I had a richness of classmates and professors from all over the world and so it flowed nicely for me. It’s not like I was a genius; I had to work my butt off but it was work that I enjoyed. While I’ve long cleaned out my bookshelves of textbooks from my university days, I still have some Mathematics books. I love this one and still pull it out every now and again just to read and work my way through a problem.

Diane challenges the notion that Mathematics is universal and makes a good discussion about each.

  • Vocabulary
  • Multiple Meaning Words (this one had me laughing because it is absolutely true)
  • Word problems (this one had be uncontrollably laughing on the voicEd show as I visualized this)
  • Different algorithms and notations
  • Different expectations of student role
  • Culturally-embedded word problems
  • Exhaustion

Old Fellas New Music Episode 34

Paul and Bob Kennedy do a nice job with this podcast. 9 songs, 1 hour and a great bit of conversation and insight between the songs.

They share their thoughts on the music (apparently this episode had Paul at the cottage – great internet access I might add) You can listen to the show at the second link above.

If that’s not enough, there’s a supporting blog post at the first link so all your modalities are addressed. I don’t always enjoy all the songs that they feature but if I wanted only my own likes, I’d do my own podcast. But, there’s always something to like and walk away with. I like that they do the heavy lifting and I just get to listen and enjoy.

This week, for me it was this collaboration from Allison Russell /Brandi Carlile – You Are Not Alone that stood out. Of course, we’ve all heard of Brandi Carlile and she’s with Elton John in his concert this weekend on his last tour. But, Allison Russell was new to me and what a beautiful voice and in both official languages.

Enjoy.


Bonding Over Basketball

Aviva shares a bit of her teaching history from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and has been at it long enough to know that there are some students that you bond with immediately and others that take a little work. She gives a shoutout to her friend Paula who she acknowledges has the gift.

I think that we all would confess that all (or at least mostly all) students can be reached out to and have a bit of a bond although education is definitely not a one size fits all.

I thoroughly enjoyed her story about her experience trying to reach them all and that there were some that were a real challenge for her. If they only would enjoy a good book with her!

Good teachers don’t give up and write them off; they continue to look for the road that leads to connection. We all do that.

One of the things that worked for me was the computer lab – when students were working, I always allowed them to play music which seemed to soothe the teenage mind well. To be inclusive, I needed to give everyone a chance to determine what we would listen to. It wasn’t always pleasant but we do what we need to do at times.

I think this is a great read for all educators but might also have a special place for those teacher candidates going on a practice teaching placement as a reminder that connections aren’t always easy and yet they’re so important.


#LearningInTheLoo: Cycles 1 & 2 of Implementing a #ThinkingClassroom

I’ve missed Laura’s Loo-worthy material. I had to check if I’d just missed them or she was busier on TikTok instead! As she notes, life gets in the road frequently of best intentions.

This is a two-parter about thoughts of the environment that leads to success for Thinking Classrooms. There’s great stuff there. I wonder if principals outside her school download and print these for staff (not in Blue and be mindful that Melanie might not get to it immediately).

These are one-page materials – it reminded me of creating what I called “One Page Wonders” and respects the audience by not delivering a book when a single page will do.


Do yourself a professional favour and read all of these terrific posts and then check out these awesome writers on Twitter.

  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s going to be a cooler Friday than most over the past while. So, warm yourself up by your computer and enjoy these terrific blog posts.


Entangled Pedagogy

As Peter notes in this post, there are often two sides to the discussion about technology in the classroom and how it’s implemented.

  • It’s all about the pedagogy
  • It’s all about the technology

I mentioned on the TWIOE show on Wednesday that it find it interesting and frustrating – how many times do you have the discussion in music or hard technology classes? It’s a matter that those pieces of technology exist and we just appreciate it.

So, why does it come up when we talk about computer technology? Is it truly a discussion or is it a way to avoid using the technology to its fullest? I’ve mentioned it many times; one of the frustrating things for me is watching a child type out the Great Canadian Novel, two fingers at a time, and call it an effective use of the technology.

In the show, we talked about the meshing of roots from trees and likened it to the meshing of things in the classroom. It’s stronger because of the mesh (and more difficult to separate).

Peter takes on a journey to a discussion and a recent book by Tim Fawns and the concept of entangling technology. I love Peter’s recommendation that we step back and then zoom in on what’s happening.

This is a short post but Peter promises that it will be featured in a future Minds on Media event – whenever or wherever it happens.


September in the Classroom

Slow down and read to really consume the content from Elizabeth as she shares her September with us. I have no option as I find her style really does grind me to a halt!

There’s a bit of an apology here – so many of us are curious as to the transition for her from the Library to her own classroom. She had promised to blog about it in September and she did blog and it came out in October!

As she notes in the post, she was reorganized and now has a different assignment than what she had previously. Many teachers have told me that they wait until re-organization day before they get serious anyway. I can see why.

I like the fact that she acknowledges that it’s different for students after coming back to the classroom after some different realities in the past couple of years and is spending time and organizing the student day around building community.

I really like the fact that she’s enjoying teaching Mathematics. I can’t help but think that many would have passed that off until later.

It’s interesting to read her approach to this year and there are lots of pictures here and way, way more on Instagram.


Confronting uncertainty with Truth OR Why use metaphors?

Ever since there were teachers, there were people looking for that magic bullet to make it all good. Stick with a job in education and you’re bound to work your way through the next big thing. Stick for it a long time and you’ll be exposed to many of these bullets.

I had to smile when Dave said that this was going to be a reply to a Twitter message that ended up being a blog post.

It was a fascinating response that he generates and he takes a look down the hallway at his colleagues.

I found the post to be interesting and very thoughtful. He makes reference to Martin Weller’s book about Metaphors of Edtech which you can purchase or read online as PDF.

This really should be a good read for all and provoke some thoughtful reflection by all.

How about you? Do you follow the latest “myth” because everyone else does?


A Multi-pronged Approach to SEL

A lot of people pay lip service to social-emotion learning (SEL) but Lynn takes it all on here with a rather long post.

The core competencies are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Self-management
  • Responsible decision-making

She goes in-depth with this and discusses the structure, policy, check-ins, community building, targeted teaching, and teaching methods.

The one big takeaway for me was the use of technology in this. Lynn uses Microsoft Teams and the Reflect Together application for students to check in.

Thanks, Lynn Thomas

I’d never seen this before and so was particularly interested in it and how she uses it.


S4E8: “Global Legends – The Manananggal”

Stephen and I have added a podcast for the radio show and this week, we took a listen to this relatively short (7 minutes) recording from a Grade 9 class at Mary Ward Secondary School.

There were a couple of things that leapt at me as I listened to it…

First, it’s the content as created by 14-year-old students as only they could create it. Informally, it might have been more disjointed but knowing that you’re going to be picked up by who knows who makes you want it to be perfect. I didn’t find any mannerisms but enjoyed the story and the sound effects. They performed well for this audience.

Secondly, I know how much goes into the creation of something like this from a concept to brainstorming ideas to sequencing and all that before you ever get near a microphone. Then, there’s the production value and desire to make it perfect. Where else do you assign a piece of work where students demand perfection from themselves?

It makes you wonder why this format isn’t used more often.


4 Ways to Welcome Students from Refugee Situations

I found this post really interesting because I was never in the situation of having a refugee student in my classroom. There’s so much to consider – background in the subject area, emotional mindset, desire to work, communication with parents or caregivers, the ideas go on and on.

I thought that Colleen did a marvellous job of identifying four things to consider;

  • Learn the Background of the Student
  • Support Learning Across Languages
  • Be Trauma Informed
  • Use the Steps to English Proficiency (STEP) Continua to Provide Appropriate Program Adaptations

Each of these is fleshed out nicely and I’d heartedly recommend anyone who finds themselves in this situation read this post among all of the things that need to be addressed.


Math Links for Week Ending Oct 7th, 2022

I’m a fan of David’s blog and enjoy his math links summary and it’s a launching point for a bit of recreational mathematics for me. It’s nice to be alone in my room by myself and work through them. In this case, what got me thinking and smiling was these two videos.

And, I’d echo one of the replies … I’d wear a shirt like that. Would you?


I hope that you enjoy these resources.

Now, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Peter Skillen – @peterskillen
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Dave Cormier – @davecormier
  • Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101
  • David Petro – @davidpetro314

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This is a regular Friday morning post around here. You can check them all out here.