Family Day

Happy Family Day holiday if you’re from a jurisdiction that celebrates it.

Or is it such a happy day?  It certainly was chosen well in the middle of winter to give an extra day of sunlight for those who go to work in the dark and return in the same. Educators know this all too well.

I was fortunate, as a teacher, to have this as a recognized holiday.  Some school districts also negotiate for a professional day on the Friday before to make for a four day stretch of no students in class.  My wife, being employed in an essential service, didn’t always have the day to spend with us.

I’m sure that, if you looked, there would be a story like this for your community.

That sort of shoots down the theory that this is a holiday.  In fact, it’s only a holiday for some.  When you think about it, many of these places will be open and operated by secondary school students and others making goodness knows how little.  On top of that, add the essential services – police, firefighters, nurses, heath care providers, snow plough drivers if it snows, etc.  Then there are the homeless; I don’t think that you’ll find them taking a day to be with family.  In addition, there will be those that have negotiated with their employer for a different day in lieu of this one.

What does family mean anymore?  In this day and age, it’s hardly a consistent mother, father, 2.4 children, and a dog.  You know all the various permutations because, as an educator, you see them all enter your classroom daily.

And, they’ll be back on Tuesday.

Just like the return from the winter holidays, it’s important to recognize that not everyone will have had the wonderful “Family Day” that was the original goal of the holiday.  In fact, the return to your classroom may be the best thing to happen to them since last week.

Remembrance Day

This is a “Post from the Past”.  It’s very powerful and worth a revisit and a click to the link provided in the post.

Today is Remembrance Day and it means so much to us and our way of life.

Photo Credit: Matthieu Luna via Compfight cc

We all will wear a poppy to show that we remember.

My friend Sheila sent me this link.

I think it’s worthy of display in classroom and at assemblies.  We focus on just what November 11 means and that’s important.  There’s another side and that’s one of hope for the future.

Visit the site and you’ll see images from 1944.

Move your cursor over the image and hold down the left mouse button and move your cursor to the right.

You’ll see a more modern picture taken from the same location.

Scroll down for even more.

The message?  There is hope going forward.  It can help to put things in perspective.

In the classroom, this easily turns into an exercise of discussion, writing, and a deeper understanding and appreciation for the day and why we are so passionate as a society to remember.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all doug — off the record visitors.  The fact that you’re here regularly make me so appreciative that you took the time.  So, thank you so much.

For today, it’s been here before and will be again, but it’s only the greatest Thanksgiving television clip ever.  Heck, it may be the best bit ever from television.

From the show WKRP in Cincinnati, the Turkey Drop.

Have a wonderful day.

Weather is personal …

… until it’s not.

The stories of the devastation in the Ottawa area keep rolling in.  With friends and family in the area, we’re making contact – after the fact.

Many of us in the province were under wind warnings during that time period.  I was sitting outside much of the afternoon watching the wind just beat away at the maple and poplar trees in the back yard and was just so impressed that the leaves remained attached.

At one point, I took a look at a digital representation of the wind on my laptop using an application that I’d reviewed before on this blog.  The name has actually changed just slightly.  At the time of the post, it was called WindyTV.  Now, it’s just called Windy.  The original name resolves to the new one.

So, it is personal.  At the time, I wasn’t particularly curious about anything other than what was affecting me at the time.  I actually had the application open in a tab as I had been curious about the hurricane in the Carolinas.  For me, it was just a matter of scrolling around to get to Essex County.

Like many people, I found out about the news from Eastern Ontario later.

I’m writing this on Sunday morning and so did zoom out to check out the province.

Screenshot 2018-09-23 at 06.49.14

It was a reminder that it’s a big world out there and weather can have huge differences based on location.  For this Sunday, things look pretty clear here but not so looking north.

My original post about WindyTV can be found here

It remains a wonderful and very helpful resource to have.

@voicEd #twioe Playlist – Weeks 6-10

This is a continuation of a series that I started last Saturday.  I’m reviewing This Week in Ontario Edublogs posts from this blog and the corresponding show from voicEd Radio.  I hope that you enjoy a look back and taking a look at the thinking that great Ontario bloggers had at the time.

This week – shows 6-10.

Week 6

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Colleen Rose, Lisa Cranston, David Carruthers, Western Education Library, Rola Tibshirani, Diana Maliszewski, Jennifer CasaTodd

Week 7

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured Posts by:  Doug Peterson, Matthew Oldridge, Laura Wheeler, Sue Bruyns, Zelia Capitao-Tavares, Larissa Aradj, Paul McGuire

Week 8

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured Posts by: Aviva Dunsiger, Lisa Noble, Mark Chubb, Andrew Forgrave, David Carruthers, Alanna King, Paul McGuire

Week 9

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured Posts by:  Matthew Oldridge, Stepan Pruchnicky, Jonathan So (two posts), Sue Dunlop, Eva Thompson, Jennifer Casa-Todd

Week 10

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured Posts by:  Paul McGuire, Aviva Dunsiger, Peter Cameron, Rusul Alrubail, Diana Maliszewski, Debbie Donsky, Tim King

@voicEd #twioe Playlist – Weeks 1-5

This has been something that’s been bouncing around in my mind for some time now.  Recently, Stephen Hurley and I celebrated over one year of “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” on voicEd Radio.

This partnership started with a Twitter message where Stephen pitched the idea to me.  It sounded interesting so we agreed to do the show once and see how it went.  Internet access around here isn’t the best in the evenings and so we agreed to do our show in the morning.  It takes guts to do an educational show in the morning when educators are actually working.  Well, if worst came to worst, nobody would hear it and, if it worked well, it could be played back on demand.

Stephen asked me to choose a music piece to start the show and I did.  The first show started with Bruce Springsteen’s “Growin’ Up” which I consider my most favourite tune of all time.  When we decided to do a Week 2, he wanted a different song.  That led to the habit of having a new song every week.  I get to choose and eventually used a song that had some sort of connection, and I’ll admit some are very loose, to one of the blog posts.  We did start very Springsteen-ish!  But it does change.

So, when I decided to create a Playlist, I was going to put together a listing of all the songs we’d used in the introduction.  Then, I started to think about the definition of Playlist.  Traditionally, we think of music but what about other things.  I hope that this gains some favour with you, dear reader.  I’m expanding the notion of the Playlist to include “Posts from the Past” which would be the “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” post to correspond with the show and a link to the show itself.  For those blog posts that are featured during that issue, I hope that it’s a chance for people to revisit some of the great writing they’ve done.  For others, hopefully, it’s an opportunity to catch up.

Here goes.

Week 1


voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Jennifer Aston, Debbie Donsky, Enzo Ciardelli, Brandon Grasley, Kyle Pearce, Jennifer Casa-Todd, Bill Ferguson, Fleming College

Week 2


voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Sue Dunlop, Rusul Alrubail, Zoe Branigan-Pipe, Heidi Solway, Peter Beens, Colleen Rose, Donna Fry

Week 3


voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Aviva Dunsiger, Andrew Campbell, Cal Armstrong, Peter Cameron, Mark Chubb, Megan Valois, Annette Gilbert, Camille Rutherford

Week 4

voicEd Radio Show:  No voicEd show

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Brandon Grasley, Deanna McLennan, Jessica Weber, Jonathon So, Eva Thompson, Kyle Pearce, Colleen Rose, David Carruthers

Week 5

voicEd Radio Show:

twioe Blog Post:

Featured posts by:  Rusul Alrubail, Cal Armstrong, Matthew Morris, Donna Fry, Melanie White, Sarah Sanders, Greg Pearson

March 14

It comes every year on this day.  March 14.  It’s better known as Pi Day.

I can remember first learning about Pi.  3.14 or 22/7 was good enough to solve the problems presented in class.  And, beyond that, why would you want to learn more?

Then, I had a real mathematics geek who got us more excited and encouraged us to learn more about Pi and to memorize more than just two digits of decimal places.  So, I went as far as 3.1415926.

The game changed with the calculator and this magic button.


And, of course, your favourite programming language has a value of pi built into it.  Have you ever wondered to how many digits of accuracy?

The worlds best URL is located at “

The website is called Pi to 1,000,000 places.  Visiting and actually finding the million digits are two different things but hey…

Or, cheat and visit this site.

And get a poster here.

Or, write your own program.

I’ve been keeping track of interesting things about Pi for a long time.  The current collection is here.  I supposed collecting links for this is irrational but it keeps me occupied and I enjoy solving the challenges and read that there are so many mathematicians fascinated by documenting their experiences.


It’s a shame that Pi Day appears during the March Break.  But, you could always celebrate when the students come back or, get ahead of the game, like Alice Aspinall did.

Update 2018 

Kyle Pearce spent some time at Walkerville Collegiate before the March Break to celebrate.

And, of course, I’ve tucked away even more stories about Pi in the Flipboard references to above.  Knowing me, I’ll probably continue to do so all day today.  You can’t have enough of this stuff.  22/7 indeed.