This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s always a good week when Ontario Educators are blogging.

This past week was no different; here’s some of what I caught.

Here’s the toolbar in my browser so I’m ready to go….

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Response to: Five Ways to Damage a Good School

Only five?

Paul McGuire focuses in on a post from another blogger and manages to use furniture and limited resources in the same thought.  Oh, and technology in another thought.

Here’s the thing. Too often, educators get caught up in the latest fad – flexible seating and the expense that comes with this is one of the newest things. In schools with limited resources (I would say most schools in Canada), the purchase of new furniture means that something else will not be bought.

He makes a good point which leads to a good discussion about priorities within a school.  I find the interesting point about all this about flexible seating and changing learning spaces to be interesting.  If it’s just about some new chair or table, then it’s just an advertisement.  If it’s about changing a philosophy with a stated purpose about why you’re doing it and the results that you’re expecting, then I can get excited.  I can’t help but throw in a golf quote here…

You drive for show; you putt for dough.

Maybe the question in these times is “Are you driving or are you putting?”

I’d like to see Paul do something like posting an online form asking everyone to add their thoughts about how to “damage a school”.  I’ll bet there would be lots of things to learn from and it would give Paul an endless resource for blogging.


Math & Identity

This post, by Deborah McCallum is guaranteed to get you thinking.

She leads us to this marriage by focusing on identity.  Perhaps this is another way for all to reflect on the message that is present in the mathematics classroom.

What is identity? It is connected to the groups that we affiliate with, the language we use, and who we learned the language from. I believe that we all have different identities depending upon the different groups that we belong to, and that this has implications in terms of the languages and discourses we use.

I’ve seen a number of suggestions about improving mathematics instruction (including some from Deborah).  This is a new and interesting take.


Training Wheels

This is a post that put me in someone else’s shoes.  Ann Marie Luce is taking on the role as a Principal of the Canadian International School of Beijing.  This is part of a series of posts talking about her nervousness in the decision and then landing in a different land with different language and different customs and GO!

I absolutely can put myself in her place as she goes about what we would consider a regular routine — shopping, going to a restaurant, going shopping, …

But she’s doing it in a land where she doesn’t speak the language!

So, many of the things that we would expect to do with our regular language have to be done with gestures just to get the message across.

Then, she turns to that new ELL student in our present classrooms.  It’s an interesting transition that will give you renewed sympathy for that new student, trying to get along in a new world, and learning how to speak the language in order to get the job done.

I hope that she continues to blog about her experience.  This could be very interesting.


Being a Temporary Teacher

We move from a discussion about the reality of China to the reality of Japan.  Deborah Weston was inspired by an article in an English language Japanese newspaper about the reality of being a temporary teacher.

I’m so fortunate that I didn’t ever have to go through the hoops of the current reality for Occasional Teachers.  I graduated from a Faculty of Education and there was a school here in Essex County that needed a Computer Science teacher.  Other than waiting annually for the seniority list and the horror of being declared redundant (which I fortunately never was), my teaching life unfolded as I wanted it to.

That’s not true for all.

It’s an interesting comparison and a similarity of realities of how long it takes before getting that permanent position.  She quotes:

  • Ontario –  6 or 7 years
  • Japan – 5.9 years

It’s an interesting look at another’s reality.


CLASSROOM DESIGN

Like everyone, Sharon Drummond is getting ready for September.  Her activity is looking and pondering classroom setup.  The floors are clean and polished and the room is empty.  It’s time to think about setup.

She shares a picture and a diagram of the room with some preliminary thoughts.  I was so impressed that green screen is built in before the furniture.  That sends a powerful message and she shouldn’t need to rearrange things later in order to take advantage of this tool for video making.

And, she’s not starting with thinking about how to control the flow or maintain classroom discipline.  She’s talking about things that she wants her students to do.

  • I WANT MY STUDENTS TO TALK MORE THAN I DO
  • I WANT MY STUDENTS TO COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER
  • I WANT MY STUDENTS TO BE COMFORTABLE
  • and more – you’ll have to click through to read her post to see them all

She’s asking for input and ideas.  If that’s your game, go over to her blog and share.

I hope that there’s a subsequent post to show us all how this activity ends.


Back in the Saddle Again

If you’re a regular reader here, you know that Kristi Bishop’s blog is high on my list of favourites but had gone missing recently.  But, she’s “Back in the Saddle” and ready to blog.

I really like her rationale for blogging and sharing her thinking online.

I don’t think any blogger should apologize for being a bit selfish and using the blog primarily to get their own thinking down in one spot.  In fact, I can’t think of a better way of reflecting and geting other people to chip in with their own thoughts.

So, Kristi, it’s great to see you back and I look forward to reading many inspiring posts in the future.

How about you, reader?  Do you have a blog that’s playing possum?  How about kick starting it?


Begets

If you’re looking for a good description about what being connected and how it works, then you’ve got to look at this post from Terry Greene.

In fact, I had looked and commented here on a post that he wrote last week.  It was also one of the posts that Stephen Hurley and I talked about on our Wednesday radio show.

But, that was only a small part of the connected educator story.

In this post, Terry gives us the complete story of all the connections that surrounded his one blog post, complete with links, and it’s a testament to why we do this and how you can share the learning love around.

Great summary!

And it all started with one simple request.


Please take the time to click through and read the complete, original blog posts from these wonderful Ontario Edubloggers.  There should be a little there for everyone.  And, if you’re blogging yourself and not already in the collection, just fill out the form and you will be.

The complete collection of these Friday posts illustrating the thinking of Ontario Edubloggers can be found here.  I’d love to have you become part of it.

Birthdays


As a kid, I always liked the fact that my birthday was during the summer.  That way, I didn’t have to be the centre of a party in class and all that goes with it.  I’m not the type of person that enjoys that sort of thing.

Now, it’s kind of cool that social media knows my birthday and takes the opportunity to say “Happy Birthday”, and I appreciate that.

My quote of the year comes from my friend Tammy who had a T-Shirt with this on it.

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If you don’t get it, have a gamer explain it to you.

Anyway, the concepts of birthdays gets really interesting when you turn to birthdays and mathematics.  There’s a very famous problem; the “Birthday Problem“.  It’s pretty heady stuff involving probability and so generally doesn’t appear in mathematics until a good background has been established.

But, it’s one of those things that let you discuss mathematics without necessarily writing a proof for the problem.  It boils down to the probability or chance that two or more people in a group will have the same birthday.

It’s also the stuff that Computer Science teachers love to give out as a problem.  You can work up to it.  For example, give a program your birthday and have it determine what day of the week you were born on (don’t forget leap years).  If you’re not up to writing the code, check this out.  Even if students aren’t ready to write the code, it’s the sort of activity that inspires thinking about how a computer might be programmed to solve the problem.

Back to the Birthday Problem.  It’s something that’s quite surprising in real life.  In our department of about 30, there were three of us who had the same date for a birthday (that I knew about).  It’s still surprising when you consider that there are 365 days in a year.  Surely, there’s enough elbow room there that there would be no duplicates!   It’s a reality for teachers.  In any class, there always seems to be students who share the same birthday.  Even more interesting, because of sample size, they share the same birth year!  Stepping back, you see it again if you’re trying to ride herd on a homeroom during morning announcements which always seem to include a long list of Happy Birthday wishes.  In a school with 1,200 students, it only seems reasonable that there might be three.  That never seemed to work out!

The mathematics behind the Birthday Problem is interesting.  You can read the details here.  Or even here.  I can recall having one of those off-the-cuff discussions with a student about it and he thought that he’d write a program to simulate it.  Neil, if you’re reading this, did you ever finish it?

If not, here are a couple of online efforts …

Primes


So, I’m sitting here scanning my timeline and I see a retweet from Matthew Oldridge.

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while.

Thinking prime numbers here …

2, 3, 5, 7, 11, …

But 388879?

I checked back for the user account @_primes_.  It’s here.

The goal is to identify and post every prime number ever.  (Click through and read the bio)

There are some cool things about all this.

First, the bio includes a link to a github project so the Computer Scientist in you can look at code and the project itself.  It includes the rules of the game.

Secondly, it illustrates that it’s cool and OK to do Mathematics things just for fun and just because you can!

Thirdly, it’s interesting that Twitter will be the storage for all of the prime numbers.

Fourthly, they’re all there.  (at least the ones generated so far).  Need a prime number; just go there and grab one.

Fifthly, if you don’t follow Matthew Oldridge on Twitter with an eye towards neat Mathematics things, you need to do so now.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Well, summer is here although I read on social media of so many dedicated Ontario educators who are leading or taking AQ courses or who are on writing teams.  There are also dedicated bloggers who continue to share their thoughts.  Interestingly, not all are directly related to education.  And that’s OK too.  You should have license to write about whatever you’re thinking about.  Read on to see some of what I caught recently.


The Utterly Baffling Biker

Do you hear voices?  Tim King did.

It’s not uncommon to hear a radio from a motorcycle as it buzzes by on the road.  After all, a certain level of volume is required to make it listen-able.  But, if you’re standing on the front lawn watching them go by, it’s only there for a moment.

You’ll have to check out Tim’s thoughts when he was following someone with the radio cranked up.

Am I losing my mind? It took me several moments to realize that the three hundred pounder in beanie helmet, t-shirt and shorts on his baaiiiike in front of me had the radio so loud it was like I was in the front row of a concert, if it was a concert about carpet advertising.


Shopping For an Electric Car

I think that we all know that this will be our future.  It’s just a matter of when it happens.  Jennifer Aston shares her thoughts about shopping for an electric car.  To be honest, I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be hard to do.  I was wrong.

It was another wakeup call about values from her.  Thanks to her (and the Cheerios commercials), we didn’t put in our costly front garden plants this year but went instead for a collection of wild flowers.  Bring it on, bees.

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Perhaps in order to really make a change, we all need to invest in those things that reflect our values.

It really is nice to have a blogging friend who can serve as a social conscience at times.  I’m not ready to buy an electric car just yet but I know it’s coming.  This, from a guy who has difficulty in keeping his phone and watch charged for an entire day.


Willingness To Persevere With Learning Experiences

Rola Tibshirani did an “end of year” reflections with her Grade 6 students and took to her blog to share.

These were the leading questions…

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After sharing this, she draws some conclusions from student responses and then looks forward to next year.

What a great way to honour and respect student voice.


COURSE EVALUATION

Peter Beens also gave his students a chance for one last kick at the teacher.  He didn’t share the responses but did share the tool that he used with the students.

Knowing Peter, it’s not surprising that he used a Google Form to help collect the data.

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Just like Rola, it’s a wonderful opportunity to give students the opportunity to pay their experiences forward to the next class.

It’s also an opportunity to formally have students reflect on the course.

Presumably, in both cases, the survey was done during class to get 100% participation.  Having tried to collect evaluations from conferences and other PD events, I know how hard it is to get people to respond.


Is leadership an innovative endeavour? – Response to George Couros

I was really curious to read Paul McGuire’s thoughts on this.  In his retirement, he’s known for making some brutally frank observations via his blog.

I would suspect that, if you ask any leader in education, that they would self-identify themselves as innovative.

It’s got to be a challenge; all of the administrative details could conceivably keep you nailed to a desk doing paperwork all day long.  I’m thinking principals here, based on Paul’s background.

It begs the question – and maybe Paul will write about it some day – what does an innovating leader look like?

In the meantime …

My concern is that the urge to innovate seems to dissipate the higher people reach up the leadership ladder. There is certainly more pressure to follow the company line and as this pressure increases, the ability to innovate declines.


Three Principles for Math Teachers

Only three?

Matthew Oldridge identifies three in this post.

  • Know the Big Ideas of Mathematics that are in your Curriculum
  • Be More Interesting
  • Listen To and Talk to Kids

Each of these points are nicely fleshed out with his thoughts and some great pictures.

The ideas don’t have to be unique and earth shattering.  I think that the middle point is good advice for anyone; not just teachers of mathematics.

Like this … who hasn’t seen this problem?

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I remember this being the basis for a computer science problem – it went something like – position a chess knight in the top left square.  From there, it will make three moves.  Where could it possibly end up?

Sometimes, great things can emerge from the traditional.


Lessons from a Try A Tri

I’ll confess – this was a great title for a blog post.  Not that I wouldn’t want to read Jen Giffen’s stuff anyway, but I just had to know what she was talking about.

In this case, it was a mini-triathlon that she and a number of colleagues did before work.  With all the concern about student inactivity, why wouldn’t it work for teachers as well?  The effort that they had was pretty intensive.

We ran 2.5KM, biked 8.75KM and swam 400m

Now, that’s a morning wakeup call.

You’ll have to read the entire post as she ties in thoughts about teamwork but there’s one sentence that affirms that Royan Lee is the gentleman that we know him to be.

How’s that for “outside the box”.  While Stephen Hurley and I were discussing this on VoiceED Radio, Derek Rhodenizer talked about a PD event where he took his staff fishing.


I was concerned that the first week of summer holidays might bring a shortage of great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  I’m glad that those above proved me wrong.

If you’re a blogger yourself, keep at it.  I hope to catch your thoughts online.

Each week, I share some of these posts with Stephen Hurley on VoiceED radio.  They’re all archived here.  You can check out our weekly program live Wednesday mornings at 9:15.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Here we are.  The last collection of awesome reading from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers for this school year.  It’s another inspirational collection.


Flip or Flop? – Student Perceptions of Flipped Teaching

I wouldn’t normally include a post that is just a slideshow presentation.  But, I was really intrigued by the information here from Camille Rutherford.  It’s a very nice summary of attitudes and observations about the various components of a flipped classroom environment.  There’s lots to think about in this collection of Student Perceptions.

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I don’t have the greatest of Internet access speeds so could really identify with the thoughts about video.  Short and concise works.  Great advice if you’re thinking of exploring this concept.


I am still in a silo.

This post, from Chris Cluff hit a little close to home with me.  I’ll bet that it does with you too.  Our silos are our comfort zones and it really takes a strong person to break out of that silo and see what is in other’s silos.  I found that when I would do presentations to particular groups, that I’d have to think my way through their silo and what was in there to be effective.

For Chris, it wasn’t a huge leap from a personal silo to reflect upon the silo that comes from building one’s brand and how that springs from having a book deal hit social media.

I hadn’t thought about it; but when you’ve put your thoughts into book form, it’s pretty permanent and you need to be true to that.  I know that, for this blog, I’ve given myself license to change my mind depending upon what I’m currently thinking/exploring.  If I’m wrong or change my mind, I can just delete the offending post or offer a correction.  If it was in permanent form, I’d have to say “Buy my new, improved book”.


My not-polished list of signals to think through

This is an older post from Brandon Grasley.  When I first read it, I didn’t know what to do with the content.  As we approach summer holidays, I revisited it and can see some interesting spins on his not-polished list.

In particular, I cherry picked these…

  • Analog renaissance
  • Quiet
  • mental health awareness
  • Inefficient activities

They sounds like a pretty good plan for the summer as teachers re-charge.  Check out his post where he addresses each with specific examples.


How do you define success?

Answer that question in your mind before you go any further.

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You probably came up with at least some of the first three ideas from this blog post from Joel McLean.

  • Learning
  • Failing
  • Inspiring someone

With apologies to Joel, those are pretty standard fare.  Good concepts but I suspect you can see them easily.

It’s actually the fourth point that he makes that really got me thinking.  The message is even stronger when you look at the graphic that goes with it.

  • You are not a leader until you have produced another leader who can produce another leader

If you pause and think this through, it’s a pretty powerful and yet tough order.  How would you even measure that?  Perhaps he’ll flesh that out in a future post.


The Feelings Part of Feedback

Eva Thompson gives a think through about feedback and its importance.  If there’s one thing to take away from her post, it’s this.

My point is feedback elicits an emotional response.

I immediately thought of an experience that struck me emotionally.  It was first year university in one of those big classes.  You write the final exam and the professor or teaching assistant let me know that I can get a marked copy of my exam outside the professor’s office on such and such a date.

Well, it turns out that that date was after the marks were submitted to the registrar.  I did go to get my copy and there were big cardboard boxes outside the professor’s office.  I had to find my section and then look for the Ps.  They were wrapped in an elastic band.  Fortunately, it didn’t take too long to get to the Pets but I saw a lot of other names and marks on the way.  When I finally got mine, there was one mark on the outside and a couple of dash marks on the inside.  There’s my feedback.

When you consider that new teachers go from university to the classroom, there really is a need for professional learning about the importance of feedback and how best to do it.  Eva’s got a great post to get them thinking…


Ontario Math Links

David Petro gives us a neat collection of mathematics links.  Yes, I know, as you read this you don’t have any students to enjoy them with.

So, enjoy them by yourself!

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Check out this graph showing super heros at the box office.

Can you tell who is:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Suicide Squad
  • Batman v Superman
  • Man of Steel

I won’t spoil it … you’ll have to click through to the original post to see the answers.


Putting others first can cost lives in emergencies

It’s never like this in the movies.  In the movies, the hero throws caution to the wind and fights the elements and the environment to be the saviour.

This research from the University of Waterloo suggests that’s not the best way to handle emergencies.

The study, which used computer modeling of a flooded subway station

I hope that you’re never in a situation where you’re called upon to choose.

It’s an interesting read and may not be quite what you would predict.


Please take the time to click though and read the posts in their entirety.  There’s some great thinking and writing there; all originating in Ontario.

Check out the complete collection of Ontario Educational Blogs.  There’s always some great stuff there.  If you start a blog over the summer, make sure that you fill out the form and get it added to the Livebinder.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to the first Friday of summer and another look at some great offerings from Ontario Edubloggers.  If you’re from Ontario Education and blogging, please make sure that you’re on that list.  The landing page has a link to a form to let me know your desire.

As always, there’s some interesting reading and thinking that you need to enjoy!


It’s Time To Change My Supply Plans!

This post, from Aviva Dunsiger, was totally beyond by familiarity zone.  All educators get calls to cover other classes, subject to collective agreement language, but my experience was totally at the secondary school level.

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Every educator takes their profession seriously and so many don’t like leaving their class to others for coverage as often lesson planning is difficult since it’s completely out of context for others.

This raised my understanding to a new level!


Kids Thinking About Infinity

This post from Matthew Oldridge is worth checking out if only to watch the wonderful video about how to get to infinity.

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Infinity is such an interesting concept.  It truly is a concept and not an actual number.  I liked the thinking about this and how “infinity + 1” seals the deal that it’s not a number.  Yet, in mathematics, it has a special place.

When you really start to think deeply about it, it’s the sort of thing that keeps you up nights wondering.


Teaching and Assessment with Math Processes

Mathematics really seems to be the “whipping boy” in education and there’s so much written about it.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just stop the world for a year so that everyone could get up to speed?

Of course, that’s not practical, but this post from Deborah McCallum certainly is.

  • problem solving
  • reasoning and proving
  • reflecting
  • selecting tools and computational strategies
  • connecting
  • representing
  • communicating

In the post, she does a wonderful job of addressing the processes and then bringing in the sorts of activities that you would expect to see in a mathematics class.

Share this around the staff room.


Introducing coding to students

We need more posts like this one from Jim Cash.

In it, he addresses the reasons why we should be teaching coding to students and lists a set of expectations that should guide the process.

Then, he takes on the actual implementation and gives us four levels.

  • Most outcomes are NOT evident or VERY WEAK
  • Outcomes that are in evidence are WEAK
  • Most outcomes are in evidence and STRONG
  • Most outcomes are STRONGLY in evidence and ROBUST

As I read the post, I preferred to thing as these as descriptors along a continuum rather than four distinct levels of a rubric.  It’s particularly evident when he describes what each look like.  I think it would be very difficult to be entirely in one of his levels.

I think that, upon reflection on your work in the classroom, you would see that a continuum best describes them rather than a hurdle required to jump from one to the next.


Epic FAIL

If all that you expected was 100% success, then the online activity that Peter Cameron’s class had planned for Monday would certainly be a fail.

After all, a number of classes from the province were in a Google Hangout along with Peter’s class.  Stephen Hurley and I were invited since we had discussed the Shut the Box concept the previous week.

So there we were, and a simply delightful young lady from Peter’s class gave us the rules and an admonishment not to cheat….  Geee.  We just met.

We were good to go and then his class dropped out of the picture.  The rest of us were nice and polite expecting them to reappear but it wasn’t to happen.  So, we played by ourselves.  I was too lazy to go and get some physical dice so just wrote a routine in a spreadsheet to roll the dice for me on my computer.

The biggest takeaway and a message that his kids really get it come in their reflection of the experience.


INTERVIEW WITH EDUCATION WEEK: BLOGGING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

I think it’s powerful when bloggers leave their home space and venture into amazing new areas.  In this case, it was Rusul Alrubail who was interviewed by Larry Ferlazzo for Education Week.

I had a similar opportunity and my interview with her is available here.

Both will give you insights about her life, arriving in Canada, not speaking English and now a very proficient blogger, speaker and advocate.

From the interview, here’s your motivation for why working with English Language Learners is so important.

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The Importance of Being Civil to Others Part II

Paul McGuire follows up on his original post about being civil with more thoughts and a personal detail about civility.

Several times, mainly on Facebook, I have been called naive and simplistic and people have expressed ‘surprise’ about my posts, especially regarding Catholic Education in Ontario. On Twitter, I have actually been blocked by a member of the senior administration from my former Catholic board.

I’m totally taken by surprise with this particular action.

There is a time and a place for blocking people – typically, it’s because they’re a scammer or spammer or other evil-doer.

But, I think it speaks volumes if you block a person just because you disagree with their thoughts.

I hope that the person involved reconsiders and engages in a productive conversation.  With so many voices asking this question, it’s time to step up and be responsible for your actions and existence.


I know that I say it every week but there’s some powerful reading and writing happening here.  Please take a moment and click through to the original blog posts and read them in their entirety.  They’ll appreciate the numbers and your thoughts.

Live, usually at 9:15 on Wednesday mornings, Stephen Hurley and I take a few minutes on Voiced Radio to chat about the great things happening in Ontario Edublogs.  If you’re free, please join us.  The shows are also rebroadcast frequently and there’s an on demand section where you can listen according to your schedule.

Speaking of on demand, all of the TWIOE posts are available from here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Ontario Edubloggers are a special type of type of people.  There’s always some great learning, sharing, and story telling happening.  Check out what I ran into lately.


Recognizing Stressors

Lisa Cranston is back at analysing things that cause her stress.  As shown earlier, she’s using a graphic organizer to put her thoughts in order.  She’s re-organized things in this Popplet and expanded on her original analysis.  Notice that she has them colour coded!

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I’m overly curious about this because I recognize many of these things in my own life although I’m not quite sure of when annoyance rises to the level of stressor.  I’m hoping that future posts from her will help expand on this.


Page 5: The Night Shift

I’m finding this “picture book” of Royan Lee strangely addictive.  Sure, I know Royan and our paths have crossed every now and again.  But, do you ever really “know” someone under those circumstances?

He’s revealing a great deal about his thoughts and conceptions as he grows up.  In this post, he describes his thoughts of his mother going to work and includes some prompts very suitable for classroom discussion.

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I think we all, at times, ask the last question as we struggle to get out of bed at some early hour.


Today is a good day to try something new

As long as I’ve known Diana Maliszewski, I didn’t notice that she didn’t wear makeup.  Even if I had, it’s not really any of my business anyway.  In this post, though, things have changed as she helps her daughter take the plunge with a trip to the mall.  As the father of two daughters, I’m reminded of why dad needs to have his own bathroom.  My needs are meagre; just a spot for my razor and shaving cream.  You’d think that would be easy enough.

While trying new things, Diana was prompted to a singing gig in a Flipgrid available here.  You’ll recognize many of the Ontario names on this rockstar list but may not recognize all the songs!  For her turn, Diana does a cover of Meatloaf’s “I’d do anything for love”.  At least, I think she’s covering his original.  Perhaps she’s covering someone else’s cover of the tune.

https://flipgrid.com/9c1cc0

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Diana’s post inspired Aviva Dunsiger to dig into the concept of trying something new.


My Incredible Journey

A shoutout needs to go to Jennifer Aston for alerting me to this first post by Beverley Moss documenting her growth in technology skills as part of her TLLP. (Teacher Learning and Leadership Program)

In the post, she does a wonderful job of sharing her learning.  There’s also a lesson there for those of us who use words like tweeting, blogging, Googling without thinking.  Once you embrace these things, it’s easy to become part of your language and it may just make things more of a challenge for those who are just starting to learn.  Doesn’t everyone tweet?

Actually, thanks, to Beverley, there’s one more who learned from sitting next to this emerging master!

As a step in her growing, Beverley has created a blog and this is her first post.

Now, as we know, starting a blog and making a first post is relatively easy.  The hard part comes with thinking of a second post and then continuing.  I’m happy to note that there is a second post to the blog so perhaps we’re onto something good here.

I was happy to add it to the Livebinder of Ontario Edubloggers and hope that she continues to document her growth and learning.


The Great Canadian Flag

I had blogged about the Great Canadian Flag that was raised in downtown Windsor just in time for Victoria Day.  It, and the Sculpture Park are definitely things to see when you visit Windsor.

Kyle Pearce has turned the flag into one of his three act math tasks.  Out he went, from the board office to the site which is only a few blocks away, with his camera to take some pictures of himself and the flag and part of the Detroit skyline in the background.

There’s lots of estimation, prediction, and perspective to wonder about in this activity.  It’s all part of the Canada 150 Math Challenge.


Almost There

It’s not secret that I really enjoy Eva Thompson’s writing.  She writes from the heart and tells it as it is.  There’s no sense other than this is just one authentic teacher sharing her thoughts and sometimes her struggles with her profession.

In this post, she’s wrestling with providing wellness activities for enrichment students.  The challenge?

The main excuse was, “I’m too stressed to miss class to learn how to deal with my stress”.

But, even in this statement and her thoughts around it, you just know that she’s on the right track.

I had to smile when she reported on a survey of what the students wanted more of – wellness activities.

I’m sighing with you, Eva!


Seeing the Water

Debbie Donsky addresses a group of principals and vice-principals about a topic that we should be very aware of but notes that often white educators don’t see.  It’s because of the water that we swim in.

As she notes, there has been much published about equity in the province but, as we know, those are often just words printed on paper.  How should the issue be addressed in real life?

Here’s a key message she delivered

I urge the participants to suspend reality and see the water while recognizing that the water is actually the white privilege we swim in each day. We don’t see it because we are taught not to see it. We are taught to believe that everything we achieved is because of hard work and that there were no forces working on our behalf to ensure we go there. It is not to say that we didn’t work hard — it’s just that for some, working hard will never be enough.

This is a wonderfully insightful post that you need to read and understand from beginning to end.


Are you inspired?

I know that I was when I read these posts for the first time.  Please click through and read them in their entirety and drop off a comment if you’re so inclined.

Live, usually at 9:15 on Wednesday mornings, Stephen Hurley and I take a few minutes on Voiced Radio to chat about the great things happening in Ontario Edublogs.  If you’re free, please join us.  The shows are also rebroadcast frequently and there’s an on demand section where you can listen according to your schedule.

Speaking of on demand, all of the TWIOE posts are available from here.