This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I’ve been resisting turning on the furnace this week. I will confess to wearing my Bring IT, Together jacket, a toque, and gloves while walking the dog in the morning. The promise is that this weekend is going to be great weather. I hope so as we have an outdoor wedding to attend.

Happy End of September.


More Than an Educator

As I mentioned on the voicEd Radio show, this is a concept that isn’t taught in depth at the Faculty of Education but really should be.

Every teacher wants to be the best that they can be. That goes without saying when you enter the profession.

However, Amanda’s post reminds us that you are more than that as a person. Your job is only one part of you and there’s so much more that you have going on. Teaching is a profession that will entirely eat you alive if you let it.

Amanda tells us that mindfulness is something that helped her. You’ve got to believe that it makes her that better person she wants to be and I can’t help but believe that it makes her a better teacher as well.


it can wait

I really enjoyed this post from Will. It should serve us all as a reminder that, as we rush to return to normal, what’s the rush? Is there a rush for returning too quickly?

Thank you for resisting those urges to get down to business so quickly.
It can wait.

As the teacher in the room, you’re not the only one who has been off your game for the past few years. Those kids are too. I’m reading all over the place that concentrating on work and getting the job done is so hard for students, particularly from teachers who want “normal”.

Will includes a pretty interesting list of things that would be second nature four or five years ago and now seem strangely useless in the context of this whole post.

It’s time to stop and reflect on what’s really important. Giving up a little of the hard-core academics and focusing on relationships will undoubtedly pay off in the long run.


Food for Thought

There have been a lot of reviews (thinking Michelin here) about restaurants in Toronto. Oddly, none of them have a drive-through…

Diana gives us a lovely collection of thoughts and wonders about a number of things restauranty.

  • Famous Food
  • Surprise Food (including kitchen duties)
  • Connecting over Food
  • Photographic Food

It’s a great discussion about food but there’s a deeper message here.

  • this is a terrific example of writing and then pausing to wonder about each of the writings – could you use this technique in class?
  • something that isn’t talked much about anymore is copyright infringement of images – read the post and you’ll see how she deals with that personally

I can’t help but think that her experience mirrors many elementary school throughout the province.


Creating a Sensory Wall for Children

This secondary school computer science teacher was completely out of his element here when Deanna talks about the process that she uses to create a sensory wall as the focal point in her classroom.

I enjoyed reading about how she gathered, measured, and crafted this.

Thanks, Deanna McLennan

Why?

Because it’s the right thing to do. She has students that need it.

Read the post and celebrate the success that she enjoyed and then perhaps think about the things that you’ve personally done to make things better at your own expense and efforts. Deanna and I had the same employer and I don’t recall any of this being on the bulk order list.


Wordlers rejoice! This one’s for you!

Trust Doug to write something completely off the wall.

In this case, it’s an article for/about Wordle fanatics (of which, I guess I’m one) and there’s a little editorial content from Doug here.

At least I think so.

He’s taken what’s probably a good blog post and replaced all the five-letter words with Wordle-like puzzles to solve.

I spend far too much time reading and trying to “solve” this blog. He didn’t say that all my guesses were wrong; just the one that I used six letters for.


Coding in the Classroom

I’ll confess and admit that I started typing “Derek” and probably only a Floyd or an RCAC member would understand…

So many educators throughout the province are cutting their teeth with “Coding” in the Classroom this year. Some may have never thought it would ever happen but it has.

The Floyds have created this resource on the TVO Outreach site with resources for people looking for a nice, Ontario way to get started. They address our curriculum and talk about strategies that should be part of everyone’s teaching toolkit already.

All you need to do is pick a place to start.

Coding in K-12 Education

Primary (Grades 1-3)

Junior (Grades 4-6)

Intermediate (Grades 7-8, 9)


September Leaves

Diane’s post wonderfully describes the experience that many second or more language learners have once dropped in a classroom where other languages are spoken.

I loved the reference to how important our first language is and how it helps define an identity. Through the eyes of “Farah”, she describes some classroom experiences and responses that could have happened in any classroom. When the eyes “widen”, your teacher heart has to warm up.

There’s a wonderful description of the process of moving from an “English-only school environment to a framework of multilingualism”.

The blank leaves are a powerful point in this whole post.

Click through, read, and enjoy.


I hope that you can find some time this weekend to click through and enjoy all these terrific posts. Drop them a comment and then follow them on Twitter. Also, follow their blogs in your blog reader.

  • Amanda Hardy
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1
  • Lisa Anne Floyd – @lisaannefloyd
  • Steven Floyd – @stevenpfloyd
  • Diane Kim

This Week in Ontario Edublogs
Wednesday mornings on voicEd Radio

Advertisement

Association for Media Literacy Fall Additional Qualifications Course


AML’S FALL AQ PART ONE COURSE IS COMING!

“. . . an excellent foundational course on teaching media. The explanations and applications of the key concepts and media triangle alone are worth taking the course! Along with guest speakers and insightful material to support the ideas presented, the course is interesting, engaging and valuable.”

“An excellent introduction [to] Media literacy …”

“. . . it reached beyond what most people think of as media literacy . . .”

“ I quickly learned that the definition of media is much broader than I ever knew and that formed [a] refreshing new lens for my learning through the rest of the course.”

“The course was very insightful and provided a practical and realistic approach to teaching media literacy [across the curriculum]…”.

-participant comments from our Spring Part One Media AQ

The Association for Media Literacy’s course provides lively, enjoyable discourse and rigorous examination of contemporary media environments to support K-12 media literacy practice. We seek out and collaborate with global scholars and classroom teachers on the cutting edge of media literacy education, combining pedagogical theory and its grounding practice.


Dates: October 13 to December 15, 2022
Cost: $685.00CAD
Details: Synchronous and asynchronous, including weekly synchronous Thursday evening classes from 7 – 9:30 PM EST. Open to all K-12 educators across Ontario and beyond. Successful OCT members will have Additional Qualification Media, Part 1 added to their teaching qualifications. Non-OCT members will receive AML certificates. (Registrants must have wi-fi, software and hardware to operate Google Meet.)

Even if you have not decided whether to register at this time, please take our very brief survey (less than a minute) so that you may pre-register with no obligation, or advise us otherwise: https://forms.gle/Hsjz1LwBrUVDHRjW7

Learn more: https://aml.ca/professional-development/additional-qualifications/

Questions? Contact us at associationformedialiteracy@gmail.com

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Another Friday, another TWIOE blogpost. Can you ever get enough of this?

By the way, I am always looking for new bloggers to add to my collection. Are you one or do you know one? If so, please reach out.


Welcome to 5-1; I promise to …

I’m a big fan of Cameron’s approach. Simply, he has a class blog and he writes a provocation and the students respond in the comments. Genius. I don’t know why others don’t do this. It’s a great use of technology, does something easily accessed by mom and dad and can address so many curriculum expectations.

This is the first one of the year – it’s not too late for you to start your own class blog – and the first activity is to have students lay out three promises for the year.

To show what it looks like, Cameron shares his promises to the class.

  • Give 110%
  • Listen to you
  • Expect amazing things

You know you’ve made an impact when a former student chimes in.


First Impressions

If you’ve ever had kids go to high school, you’ve lived through this. Inspection by mom and dad before you’re allowed to leave the house is like a rite of passage. My mom did it to my brother and me and I felt compelled to do the same for my kids. Apparently, Amanda is the same way.

She shares a nice story which I’m sure that most parents will agree with. I totally agree with her observation of sweatpants. I’d also throw sleep pants and slippers into the same category.

And, there’s the wisdom of youth. While buying into the concept of “you only make a first impression once”, it applies only to the first day of school!


What improv has taught me about instructional coaching

I thought that this was a very vulnerable, lovely story that I suspect that so many of us could identify with. I know that I could.

As a teenager, Alexandra shares some of the challenges getting involved with a number of things in school and ended up, by luck, getting involved with improv. She beats herself up a bit by indicating that she had trouble with punchlines.

Kudos to her for sticking with it and it serves her well today is a world where she identifies

Fissures between teachers, coaches, departments, and schools

It’s always a tough time for coaches to go into classrooms because we all know the only person who truly appreciates a change. (got that punchline, Alexandra?)

But I’ve got to believe that it’s harder than ever these days given the unique situation that we all find ourselves living in. I’m glad to read that she’s not going it along and has a group of teammates to fall back on.


Long Range Planning as a Teacher Librarian

As I mentioned on the voicEd Radio show and I’ll repeat it here. Elizabeth didn’t have to write this post.

She’s shifted away from the teacher-librarian position to having a class of her own. She really could have just shut the library door and moved on. Most teacher-librarians can’t do that. They recognize that their position is unique in the school, needing to know all curricula to be supportive to all teachers and students.

In this post, she shares some of her thoughts for long-range planning for all who might assume this role. She’s also not so egotistic to let on that it’s all her original thinking; she gives a shoutout to a fellow teacher-librarian.

It’s a reminder that they can’t and don’t do it along; there’s a whole network of teacher-librarians who need to meet however they can – these days online – to help encourage each other on to bigger and better things.


Serendipity?

You have to feel for David going on an Alaska cruise – it’s a lovely cruise, by the way – and then end up contracting Covid and being locked in a cabin onboard and then even longer in a hotel in British Columbia before being released.

Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash

In the meantime, his wife who tested negative, gets to go home and remain in contact via networking. I think I would expect my wife to send me some food that wouldn’t be available in the hotel.

In this case, she sends him some goodies that turn into the serendipity that he alludes to in the title of the post. You’ll have to read his post to find out what it is but a bit of a spoiler here – we could all benefit.


Friday Two Cents: Two Ears to Listen Twice as Much 

It’s the sign of the times although podcasting has been around for years and years. More people are starting to listen to them and I think that’s awesome. I listen to Crime Junkie often when I’m out for a walk.

Paul offers three of his favourites:

  • The Bridge 
  • The Rest is History
  • We Didn’t Start The Fire: The History Podcast

I think I’ll tune in and listen to these. They sound interesting and Paul gives a nice review for each.

Oh, and I do listen to TWIOE on Thursdays to see how badly my mannerisms come through on live radio. I need to be more like Peter Mansbridge in that aspect.


Handling #SOL2022

I’m a sucker for one-word blog post titles. It goes against every bit of advice that I’ve ever had about blogging and yet when I see one, I quickly click and get to it.

I thought that perhaps the topic was going to be something to do with “hands” from the introductory sentence.

Again with the hook.

But no, it gets a little philosophical and appreciative of a neighbour who is handling life’s difficulties so well.

I feel for Melanie who wants to be in that situation. Here’s a person who needs a hug; you can’t do that but you can click through and read her post.


Please enjoy these wonderful blog posts and then follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alexandra Woods – @XanWoods
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • David Garlick – @dgarlick13
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I always hated this particular week since it’s the middle of August. Educators know that it’s the beginning of the end. It’s time to whip out that summer to-do list that’s been on hold while relaxing in July.


Recently, Ontario lost an outstanding teacher-librarian. While I never was a teacher-librarian, we had one of the best when I started teaching. He would listen to my needs as I struggled to fill those gaps that you never know about at Teachers’ College. He always seemed to have a book or other resource to fill that. I was constantly amazed that he had it, not being a computer guy. I’ve come to appreciate over the year that teacher-librarians network and learn with people all over the province and they are smarter together than they are apart. They have no qualms about reaching out to a colleague when needed.

This past week, two regulars here wrote blog posts as tributes to Caroline Freibauer. Both are powerful posts but I had a sense that they could provide something more personal and reached out to each to provide an audio clip to extend the message from their blogs. There was no question and it was done almost immediately after my request. I used them on my voicEd Radio show and I know enough of my own emotional limitations to not lead but rather close the show with them. I’m honoured to featured them both here at the top of this post.

For Caroline… Thank you.

Elizabeth’s was the first post that I had read. As the current President of the Ontario Schools Teacher-Librarian Association, she used her post to inform us all of the passing.

The post contains so much information in the teacher-librarian context but, to tell the truth, it’s great advice for anywhere in the profession.

I lost it at the end of Elizabeth’s audio clip when you could hear that she was struggling to finish.

Elizabeth’s Audio Clip

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zlxVUk_CQSFNKzOP_EkT49Y6qjG0NHhe/view?usp=sharing

Remembering Caroline

Then, I read Diana’s message. She talks about a panel discussion for something called “TLLP @ your LLC”. No buzzwords here; but buzz abbreviations but when your audience understands, …

Diana reflects on a number of achievements that involved Caroline. It was always good for the province. The impact from across the province is captured and shared in Twitter messages at the bottom of the post.

I lost it at:

One of the final gifts Caroline gave to us, posthumously, was the reason for us to reconnect in-person. COVID and circumstances had separated us, but Caroline got many of us back together again.

Thanks, Diana

Diana’s Audio Clip

Diana’s reflections –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pGuNrcv3V5ZCpEmKfN88R5aL0FiAHftT/view


Life Long Learning with Stephen Hurley

David’s latest effort was the penning of The Principal Chronicles. I’ve mentioned this effort before and I bought the digital version when it became available because I couldn’t wait for the print one. If you go to the bottom of the link above, you’ll find reference to where you can obtain your own copy.

During the voicEd Radio show, I just sat back and listened to David and Stephen talk about the learning that went into the latest spin from the book. With Stephen’s guidance (and editing), David is recording the stories and making them available as podcasts. All of the podcasts are available here.

David admits that he’s catching up on the technology creation side of things but appears to be doing nicely. He’s purchased some new gear and is doing a great job of recording those podcasts. I like the way that they’ve broken them down into easily listened to morsels.


On Anti-Racist Educating Provoking Bullying of White Kids

Bullying is an ugly thing. I can speak from this with experience. In elementary school, there was a guy who would wait for me at lunch just off the school property and we would physically go at it. It did have a happy ending though and we became close friends at secondary school for some reason. But I went for a while just dreading the bell.

After a bit of bullying history from Marie, she describes an activity that I can absolutely see happening. Someone goes to a workshop and they do the activity on a Friday with the intent to replicate it on Monday. The privilege walk is intended to separate students rather than bring them together. You’ve just got to believe that it would amplify any differences outside the classroom and that’s not a good thing.

What I found particularly depressing was Marie’s reporting of how marks for the exact same assignment differed because of the white-ness sounding of a child’s name. Think about that for a second. This is not new. It did take me back to a course I was taking at the Faculty of Education. We don’t seem to be getting better at it as a profession.

This is a powerful read and will hopefully help you adjust your practice a bit before school resumes next month.


Endurance Project: Democratizing Space

This is another of those “Damn, they never had that when I was in school”. I’m old enough to remember gathering around a small television to watch space travel events. That’s so antiquated to what’s going on here!

Marc, his school, and Fair Chance Learning along with IBM Space, SpaceX provide a simulation experience for students that is second to none. I found this to be a fascinating read. And, this is Grade 11 and 12 students.

Anyone who might be getting set to provide a conference message whether it be a session, day long workshop, or keynote address needs to take a look at this. Hearing about this real experience makes you think that it could be replicable for more classrooms and that’s always a good thing.


Twitter Through The Ages — Is It Time To Go Back To The Days Of Old?

I loved reading this post from Aviva. It brought back so many good memories.

She takes us back to a different time and a different type of Twitter. There was far fewer people involved and there seemed to be a great deal less noise at those times. My involvement predates Aviva and I bought the definitive book, Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts book and we had Will speak at the Western RCAC Symposium plus do a full day workshop for us the following day. You can stop laughing now at the concept of buying a book for social media. Hey, it was in early times.

Once, I got the IT Department to unblock Twitter, it became my go-to for advice and daily learnings about education and technology. It remains that way today. I’ll joke to anyone that I’m very noisy between 5 and 6am. But, I’m all alone doing some self-directed reading and learning.

My inspiration from those days was Rodd Lucier who reminded us to be creators and not just consumers of information to make it the best of learning experiences. He was so wise. Thanks to his encouragement, I started this blog and keep hacking away at it.

Aviva takes us back a bit and celebrates the learning and the way that we used social media then and gives a present day example. It definitely has changed by today’s use and I’m not convinced that it’s for the better. I think that we need to remember that it’s an educational platform for us but a business platform for the Twitter company.


Sports Books for Middle School

Man, Kristy’s post takes me back.

In what we would call Middle School today, our library had a difficult time keeping sports books on the shelves. There were so many of us that wanted to read them and maybe a dozen that were actually available. (Doug’s memory may not be completely accurate.)

I do remember desperately wanting to read The Jim Thorpe Story. It was never on the shelves to borrow. It wasn’t at the town library either. I was fortunate enough to complain loudly enough that my parents bought me a copy for a Christmas present one year. I think I might have it around here somewhere still. Maybe finding this is a weekend project.

In Kristy’s post, she shares a list of books that you might helpful. There are affiliate links involved.


It was another great week of good reading for me. I hope that you can find the time to click through and read these blogs in their entirety.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • David Garlick – @garlickd23 
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Fair Chance Learning@FCLEdu
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Kristy – @2peasandadog

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

The New Dawn


Today, I’m honoured to feature a guest blog post. This is from a good friend, former ECOO President and retired Computer Science educator Peter McAsh, and touchingly features the spectacular talent of a mutual friend.


Colleen Rose, Doug Peterson, and I are close friends despite our physical distance.  The last time we were together was when Colleen made her first conference keynote at an OSSTF Event. Doug had written this blog post about it at the time.

Of course, it was a moment for a picture of the three of us. (Colleen is the Queen of Selfies)

As a thank you for the small part that Doug and I contributed, Colleen crafted two paintings.

My painting is on the left; Doug’s is on the right. Colleen’s genius idea was that the two of them would be touching to show the continuity of our friendships. For the purpose of this post, we weren’t together so they were taken with two different cameras and set side by side with WordPress.

Not only is Colleen an excellent educator and all-around wonderful person, but she is also an exceptionally talented artist. I have two of her limited edition prints and knew that someday I would get a Colleen original.

I was moved by a social media post Colleen made:

In December,  Colleen posted that “The New Dawn” was available for purchase.  It didn’t last long – I bought it.  I now own a Colleen original!

The plan was for me to visit Colleen and her family to pick up the painting.  For a variety of reasons, that didn’t happen so earlier this month it was decided to have the painting shipped to me.  I inquired about framing since this was the first original oil painting I’d ever purchased.  Colleen recommended a floating frame and arranged to have it framed for me.  It turned out to be an excellent decision.

Colleen requests that her clients send her a photo of her painting in their home.  My photo was Colleen approved and has started a trend.

Colleen’s limited edition prints and cards are great but having an original takes it to a whole different level.

This painting changes as the light conditions vary. It’s difficult for me, being colour blind, to explain it but the painting has light and dark areas and colours that come to life with the changing light. The painting’s location will allow the morning light to shine on the painting which is appropriate since it is “The New Dawn.”

When I was 12 I visited Maud Lewis’ home and had the opportunity to purchase a painting.  I did not.  I was not going to make the same mistake twice and now I have a Colleen Rose painting.  I’m looking forward to the day that one of Colleen’s paintings is featured on the Twitter feed @CanadianPaintings

Thank you, Doug, for letting me guest post on your blog.  I was struggling with a post for social media.  When I was recently chatting online with Colleen, I warned her something would be coming!  

Colleen is someone that everyone should have in their social network.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artemisiapratt
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenkr
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleenkr/
Website: https://www.colleenrose.ca/

Addendum by Doug after post has gone live:

I didn’t realize that posting your Colleen artwork was a thing so I took a picture this morning. (it’s still dark so I used a flash) You’ll see that it’s in my workspace and I get to see it every day. It’s calming and inspirational.