This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s anything but business as usual, my friends. Please stay safe.

Here are some of the latest great reading I’ve done from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers. Please help me keep the Livebinder up to date. If your blog doesn’t appear there, please consider adding it. If you have a blog there and have abandoned it, let me know so that I can take it down.


Podcasting with students

From Jennifer Casa-Todd, an interesting post about Podcasting with students. Podcasting isn’t new; as long as there was Audacity and a microphone on a computer, people have been recording themselves talking about things.

There appears to be a renewed interest lately and I’d like to think that we’re celebrating everyone’s voice more than ever. In this case, and it comes as no surprise since it’s from Jennifer, the focus here is about amplifying student voice.

Jennifer shares her experiences here and has collected resources in a Wakelet document for all to enjoy.

You can’t possibly disagree with her reasons for why you’d want to podcast with students. It’s never been as easy to do as it is today.


Teachers, Copyright, and Fair Dealing: Know your rights and know your limits!

I feel kind of bad about this but I missed Fair Dealing Week.

Thanks to Peter Beens though for raising the importance of Fair Dealing when considering classroom resources. He reminds us of the Fair Dealing Decision Tool.

Through navigation, you’re only a click or two away from advice about whether or not you can use a particular resource in your classroom.

More details about Fair Dealing can be found here.


100 Episodes: Looking Back and Learning Forward

One of the truly nice people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet on social media is Ramona Meharg. Our paths have crossed a number of times, in a number of different ways.

Obviously, I’m a fan of her blog but I’m also a fan of her Podcast series “I Wish I Knew Edu“.

Through her podcast, she introduces us to a number of educators who discuss things that they wish they’d known when they got into education. I was honoured to be #3 in her list which now has hit

Hundred Points on Google Android 10.0

Congratulations, Ramona. The first 100 are the hardest!

Check out her post for a little history of how she got there.


Getting On Board With Your Children’s Interests

Given that may people will be enjoying their family for three weeks this March, this post from the Umbrella Project couldn’t come at a better time!

There’s a suggestion there that would have been great for last summer. But, hopefully, you can remember some of the activities that children raved about from back then!

We can best support our child’s sense of purpose by noticing their sparks of interest and presenting them with a range of possibilities that align with those intrinsic interests. It’s tempting to think we know what is best for our children, but imposing these ideas on them rarely builds the purpose we were hoping for. Here are some direct tips to help you out:

Unfortunately, the infographic that is alluded to in the post was not accessible by me. But, there is a link to a Facebook page where you’ll find all kinds of great ideas.

And, for students, information about a $500 Scholarship!


Tweets of Engagement?

In Sheila Stewart’s latest post, she takes on recent changes to the way that Twitter has changed what you see when you log in after having been away for a while.

At the risk of disagreeing with Sheila, I kind of like the approach – at least when I find value in the content that Twitter shares for me.

Part of what appeals to me about social media has always been the ability to break out of whatever bubble I have surrounded myself with. It challenges my assumptions and takes me off in different directions.

On the other hand, there’s the flip side of this. There will be people that I don’t know that end up reading my stuff out of the blue for them. I wonder what they think about it – and by extension, me.

Sheila explores the concept that Twitter’s actions move your content from semi-private to more public. Therein is a reminder that we’ve known for a long time “don’t do stupid things”.

If nothing else, it’s a wakeup call to think about how you use social media and for what. Did you agree to be this open when you signed up or would you consider making all your messages private or locked only for followers like Sheila is thinking?


I know that I addressed the efforts of these two ladies on Monday’s post but I’d like to bring it forward again this Friday in case you missed it. I think it’s a great call to action for all educators during these challenging times. Rather than just sharing the efforts of some company who is providing some activities for home use, consider publishing your own list of activities and resources that are Canadian content and based on expectations from the Ontario Curriculum.

Please note that all activities don’t involved learning how to use Zoom, Skype, Meet or some other online service from scratch. There are amazing things that can be done otherwise.

Deb Weston – Stay Home Activities for Kids

Upon hearing that my students could be at home for up to 3 weeks due to an “extended March Break”, I started putting a list together of “kid” things to do. Once my students discovered I was writing this list, they gave me many more activities to keep kids busy at home.

Aviva Dunsiger – Kindergarten From Home: Here Are My Suggestions. What Are Yours?

Never would I have thought that I would need to write a post like this one, and yet, sometimes the unexpected happens. Every Friday, I start my day by reading Doug Peterson‘s This Week In Ontario Edublogs post. Just like with all of Doug’s blog posts, I know that he writes and schedules this Friday post the day before (often earlier in the day, I think). When he chose to include John Allan’s post, he wouldn’t have known that by Thursday evening we would all find out that Ontario schools would be closed for an additional two weeks following the March Break.


Please click through and enjoy all of these terrific posts.

Then, follow the authors on Twitter.

  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @JCasaTodd
  • Peter Beens – @pbeens
  • Ramona Meharg – @RamonaMeharg
  • The Umbrella Project – @umbrellapjct
  • Sheila Stewart – @SheilaSpeaking
  • Deb Weston – @DrDWestonPhD
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca

This post appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

voicEd Radio recognition


Now three years or so ago now, I received an interesting proposal from Stephen Hurley. He was starting a radio station and was inviting me to broadcast This Week in Ontario Edublogs on the station. Until that time, it was just a regular Friday morning blog post.

This seemed kind of interesting; I know that Stephen is from the GTA so I started to think about great Toronto radio stations – CFTR, CHUM, CFRB, CHFI, CHIN, Q107, and more. Would it be possible for him to fit in there?

Of course, Stephen’s vision didn’t involve an antenna on the CN Tower. In the tradition of Radio ds106, this was going to be internet radio. Visit the right website, turn on your media player and away you go. People would upload podcasts and Stephen would play them. Now, podcasting wasn’t new to me; I’d done them years ago as part of the Computers in Education Portal on the school district website. This vision had the potential to be something bigger and with a larger potential audience.

His proposal went a bit further; instead of uploading the show strictly as a podcast, we would do it live and also record it for playback. And we were off. The first shows were short and very amateurish on my end. Stephen does have a great radio voice and presence and really carried the show. I like to think it’s got better over the years.

In fact, this whole dream of Stephen’s to have a radio station devoted to education continues to get better and better.

So good, in fact, when Diana Maliszewski suggested that Stephen’s baby be nominated for an OLA Award, it only made sense. Over the years, teacher-librarians and support for their role in education had assumed a significant support on the various shows broadcast on voicEd radio.

Diana let those of us who had supported the nomination know this past weekend that the OLA did want to honour Stephen and voicEd Radio this year with the Ontario Library Association Media and Communications Award.

The OLA Media and Communications Award was established to reward
individuals and companies that present libraries and librarians in a constructive light, breaking down stereotypical images often associated with the profession. To qualify, the coverage must appear in Canadian magazines, newspapers or journals, be heard on Canadian radio stations, be viewed on Canadian television, or be on Canadian web sites. Any OLA member may suggest a candidate for the award. The final decision rests with the OLA Board of Directors.

Past winners are listed here.

There are, in fact, a few traditional radio stations that have been recognised in the past on that list. voicEd Radio fits in nicely.

The only remaining detail was how to let Stephen know that he would be recognised this year. Doing it live on This Week in Ontario Edublogs seemed like a natural and it was done this Wednesday morning. You can listen to it from the archive here.

Over the years, Stephen has used his platform to enable various voices in education. His slogan is “Your voice is right here”. It only seemed logical to let Stephen’s voice accept the nomination live and hopefully with a little surprise.

He let the world know a little later in the day on Twitter.

voicEd radio has indeed given many educators a spot for their voice and it’s growing. The current lineup can be found here.

I’m so happy with the Ontario Library Association’s decision to recognise Stephen this year. It is a worthy recognition for a current, living, evolving innovation in education.

Congratulations, Stephen.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


This week was a time for a special edition of voicEd’s This Week in Ontario EduBlogs. In addition to a whole bunch of fun and looking at some bloopers, it was a chance for Stephen and I to identify and look at some of the blog posts that really resonated with us this past year.

I hesitate to call them the “best of” as is done in so many places. I like the posts that appear here weekly and they truly are the best thoughts that the authors have to share at the time. In this case, for the show, we tried to find really personal reasons about the posts selected.

They appear below with my original commentary from this blog at the time.

The podcast is available at this link: https://voiced.ca/podcast_episode_post/december-31-looking-back-twioe-in-2019/

I’d like to thank Paul McGuire, Aviva Dunsiger, and Lynn Thomas for being so kind as to share some of their thoughts during the show.


This post was selected by Stephen and, for him, it was a message about parenting, testing, and measuring what is really important.

This appeared on May 24.

Dear Jordan…

One of the powerful things about blogging is that, at least for now, your thoughts will be there forever. (or until you delete it or the service goes away or … well, you get my meaning)

One of the things that Patt Olivieri will have a chance to do with her son is share this post when he’s old enough to fully appreciate it.

In education, we know all about assessment, evaluation, and data points. Our system and our jobs thrive on it. It’s one of the things that separate education workers from other workers. It’s scientific, artistic, and humanist all at the same time.

It’s not as powerful as a mother’s love for her child.

You see, my love, there is no test for all of this, no grade, no level that can ever capture the everyday, ordinary stuff that accumulates to the only stuff that can ever be measured in immeasurable ways.

Wow.

If you’re a parent, you’ll be moved by this post.


Another chosen by Stephen who loves metaphores. This is the second post from Anne-Marie Kees and her thoughts about trees.

This appeared on December 13.

What do trees have to do with well-being? (Trees Part Two)

A while back, I read Part One of Anne-Marie Kee’s thoughts about trees, in particular as they apply to Lakefield College School.

This is an interesting followup as she reflects on trees and how they grow, survive, and thrive. In particular, she shares some interesting observations about community and deep or not-so-deep roots in the section dealing with myths.

Towards the end, she turns to how it is so similar to today’s teenagers. Trees help each other grow and so do teenagers. In fact, by giving them the opportunity to take on more responsibility in truly meaningful ways, you do help the process. Not surprisingly, she makes the important connection to mental health and well-being.

I know that we all think we do that. Maybe it’s time to take a second look and really focus on the “meaningful”.


My first selection is a reminder that, no matter what good we think we may have seen in society or schools, there is still work to be done. I find it sad that this post had to be written, but Matthew Morris did it.

This appeared on August 30.

I Think My Neighbors Think I’m Selling Dope

This isn’t a post that I could write but Matthew Morris could – and did.

Recently, he moved and is now a part of a condo community but, according to the post, he hasn’t been accepted into that community as of yet.

In the elevator, I try to extend my courtesies with “good mornings” and “what floor?” with folks who happen to share the space with me. I’ve been met with cold responses and void eye contact.

Beyond the fact that he’s young, a person of colour, he’s a teacher. Consequently, he doesn’t go to work during the usual times in these summer months.

It’s a very personal post describing his life as he see it currently. I hope that it makes you think. Then, he does a shift and asks you to think of those students in your classroom where perhaps you have made or will make assumptions about.

He helps by having you walk in his shoes.


Much has been said about the cuts already done in Ontario and what’s on the way. If only there was a plan but I think the term “mindless” is used at its very best in the title.

This appeared on June 7.

Mindless cuts to education puts our future at risk

Charles Pascal tagged me in this op-ed piece he wrote for the Wellington Times. He had me hooked at the first paragraph…

A growing number of Ontarians are being hurt—and our shared future placed at risk—by the moment by moment uninformed decision-making by the current government at Queen’s Park. Led by an unthinking premier and enabled by a spineless cabinet, we are in the midst of a very damaging period in our political history.

Charles’ passion for society and education come through loudly and clearly as he challenges many of the assumptions that the current government has made as it has been making the cuts that we seem to hear more and more about each day.

There is an important message that shouldn’t go unnoticed in all of this. It’s easy to see the impact of cuts on students in the classroom but Charles points out that a child’s life is more than just going to school. Cuts can have the impact at many other points.

Set aside some time to read and understand the important message he’s crafted in this article – and then pass it along to colleagues and friends.


Every time I read a post from Deborah, I feel like saying “I’m not worthy”. More than a post, they often read like research articles. This time she takes on virtual reality and thoughts from Kyle Pearce.

This appeared on May 17.

Virtual Reality in the Math Class: Moving from Abstract to Concrete

I’ve been playing around with Virtual Reality off and on ever since I heard of the concept. Most of the applications are pretty predictable – you know – explore a world that may or may not exist in real life because you can. You might experience something unique and different.

One thing that I’ve tried every now and again with limited success is to create my own virtual reality environment. I think that would be the ultimate use of technology and the concept. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is something that I need to grow in to and to have better equipment.

But, back to this post from Deborah McCallum. Her posts are always inspirational and have me thinking about things I might not have ordinarily thought of.

She was inspired by a post from Kyle Pearce about moving from the concrete to the abstract in mathematics. She talks about the opposite – going in the other direction – from abstract to concrete. I like her thinking and it enhances the original thoughts from Kyle’s post.

I think that this may be a new frontier for exploration. In Kyle’s original post, he uses a doughnut example. I think I’d really enjoy Deborah taking on the opposite direction and perhaps show how a concrete approach could turn into consolidation. And, what sort of gear would be required.

Is there room for both Kyle and Deborah’s thinking? I think so.


It was great to look back at the year. I’ve shared the complete lists of wonderful posts over the past couple of weeks. They’re a testament to the great thinking and inspiration from Ontario Educators.

I’m looking forward to more in 2020.

BTW, you can follow these bloggers on Twitter at:

This post appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Year end at voicEd Radio


This morning, at 9:15, there will be a very special broadcast of This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio. It’s not quite Wednesday, but it is the end of the year. For Stephen Hurley and me, it was a year of getting together on Wednesday mornings to talk about a selection of blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. Except for a few weeks this summer when Stephen went off the grid, we were pretty faithful in meeting that time commitment.

If you read my blog post last Friday, I had put together a list of all of the blog posts that made my This Week in Ontario Edublogs blog post on Friday mornings. Of those, five were talked about on the radio show. Two were held back for the post. The original list featured the Friday posts; the list you’ll find below are those that were discussed on Wednesday morning.

It wasn’t something that I had kept track of; it was just when Stephen and I thought to do a special end of year show that I went to work and created the document. It was actually pretty easy. I share a Google Document with Stephen and it was just a matter of going through the document and grabbing the information. A typical entry looks like this:

During the summer, we invite guests to come on the show with us. It’s just a matter of sharing this document with them so they know the posts, where it’s located, and some of my thoughts. We had a great group join us this year.

  • July 3 – Peter Cameron
  • July 10 – The BeastEDU – Andrea Kerr, Kelly MacKay
  • August 14 – Terry Greene
  • August 21 – Lynn Thomas
  • August 27 – Beth Lyons
  • November 6 – Ramona Meharg (at the Bring IT, Together Conference)

It’s so nice to be able to reach out and have these folks join us. Of course, they’re all bloggers themselves.

At one point in the show, Stephen and I made reference to ourselves as the old guys in the balcony from The Muppets. It was Diana Maliszewski that either knew or did the research to let us know that they actually had names – Statler and Waldorf.

If people only knew!

The best part of the show happens in the 15 minutes before the show actually goes live. We do our sound check and get caught up on the week’s events.

I’m constantly amazed that we’re able to make it work. Things are so low-tech on my end. Just a computer, an external monitor, a Samsung set of earbuds, and an internet connection. All the magic happens on Stephen’s end where he sets up things and then we go live. All of the shows are posted on the voicEd site.

So, we’ve been busy putting things together for this year end show. I hate to use the term “best of 2019” because all of the blog posts that we chat about weekly are excellent and insightful. Without the regular amazing content, there would be a lot of dead air.

And, thanks to a suggestions from Sheila Stewart, there will be a blooper section although I’ll point out that it’s not really fair. We do the show live but most listeners hear it later via podcast. By that point in time, Stephen has had the opportunity to edit out any fluffs on his part. Mine remain!

And, here’s the complete list of amazing bloggers and their blog titles that we had a chance to chat about on the show. Sometimes, we even stayed on topic.

I hope that you can join us this morning at 9:15.

BloggerBlog post title
Alanna King – @banana29Leaping with no net: autism for teens in Ontario
How to coddle a volunteer
UX/UI Design with Canada Learning Code
Albert Fong – @albertfongTeachers tell stories
Amanda Potts – @AhpottsWhy he comes to class
He may be right; I may be crazy
He talks about me at home
Exam
When friendship lasts
Enough
For Mrs. Barkman
Amy Bowker – @amyebowkerGoal Setting in the Classroom
Andrea Haefele – @andreahaefeleDear Other Mom
Andrew Campbell – @acampbell99An Alternative To A School Cellphone Ban
Ann Marie Luce – @turnmeluceThe value of the Exit Interview
#EdcampBeijing
Morale Compass
#oneword2019
Anna Bartosik – @ambartosikCitation practices, using databases, and literature reviews #MyResearch
Anne Shillolo – @anneshilloloOnline Pre-School
Anne-Marie Kee – @AMKeeLCSShould schools ban cell-phones?
What do trees have to do with well-being? (Trees Part Two)
Focus on Trees – Part One
Arianna Lambert – @MsALambertHour of Code Is Coming…
Association for Media Literacy – @A_M_LTaking Old Town Road to School
Aviva Dunsiger – @avivalocaMy Look At The Holidays: What Are Your Stories?
Back To The Map Of Canada: What Do You Do With That 2%?
Wondering About WHMIS: When Compliance Training Makes You Reflect On Assessment & Evaluation
What Makes A Partnership Work?
What Do You Do On A Perfect Day?
How Do We Use Our Powerful Words For Good?
Educating Grayson: How Do We Make Inclusion Work?
Beate Planche – @bmplancheMomentum and the positive side of constraints
Beth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrarySharing the LLC Space- An Advocate’s Infographic
Maker. Space. Inquiry. Place. What might be the connection?
What the Librarian Read Part 1
On Being a “Teacher-Librarian”
Preserving the Cup
Podcast PD?
Social Media- What is it good for?
Bonnie Stewart – @bonstewartExperience Required: Walking the Talk in Digital Teaching & Learning
The #UWinToolParade: Open Pedagogy as #OER
Brenda Sherry – @brendasherryExploring By The Seat of Your Pants
Cal Armstrong – @sig225The structure of the Interstitial App, or, Observations & Conversations – Part 2
Charles Pascal – @CEPascalMindless cuts to education puts our future at risk
Colleen Rose – @ColleenKRTake 10 Minutes
A Stitch in Time
David Carruthers – @dcarrutherseduGo Magic! Let’s do this! 🙂
Do You Have A Safety Net?
Reflections from the Tech Guy
David Petro – @davidpetro314Math Links for Week Ending Jan 25th, 2019
Deanna McLennan – @McLennan1977Autumn Math Walk
What does the equal sign really mean?
Deb Weston – @dr_weston_PhDClass Size and Composition Matters
Why students walked out today – April 4th, 2019
Debbie Donsky – @DebbieDonskyFrom Compliance to Commitment Takes Personal Accountability
A Career Marked by Change: Learning the Big Lessons in Some Small Places
“You aren’t what I was expecting…”
The Fear of Writing: Finding Your Voice When Writing within an Organization
Deborah McCallum – @BigideasineduLeadership & Goal Setting for Math Learning
Guided Reading for Math?
Virtual Reality in the Math Class: Moving from Abstract to Concrete
Guided Reading with Adolescent Readers
Derek Tangredi – @dtangredWorking with Children in Makerspaces
Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTLFirst Day Back
Reconnecting with my cultural roots
Making Kindergarten Media Projects with Meaning
The Gift of Staying Connected – Thanks Andrew and Diana
Further Reflections after Faith in the System Podcast
Reflections on NAMLE Part 1
Happy 40th Anniversary AML!
Diana Maliszewski and Neil Andersen – @MzMollyTLBaby It’s Cold Outside: The Saga of a Song
Fair Chance Learning – @FCLEduIndigenous Institute Blends Tradition & Tech to Preserve Anishinaabe Teachings
Using Technology to Drive Language Skills and Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities
Fleming College Learning Design and Support Team Blog – @FlemingLDSWeek 4, Winter 2019
Heather Swail – @hbswailTMB Withdrawal
Heather Theijsmeijer – @HTheijsmeijerFirst Week of Math: Resources to help make connections & build relationships
Making the Shift Toward Tracking Observations
Heidi Solway – @hsolwayRoll Out The Red Carpet
Helen DeWaard – @hj_dewaardThinking about Feedback
Ian McTavish – @ianmctClass size changes – my perspective. #ontedannouncement
Indygo Arscott – @decolonizeontOntario Students Hold Walkouts in Protest of Progressive Conservative Party’s Policy Proposals
Irene Stewart – @IrenequStewartIrene learns about teaching: Part 1a
Irene learns about teaching – Part 1b
Interviewing My Domain
James M Skidmore – @JamesMSkidmoreA MODEST SOTL PLAN: WORKING WITH LITERARY PASSAGES
Jamey Byers – @mrJameyByersBOOKMARKS ON TWITTER
Jay DuBois – @Jay__DuboisThe Grade 3 ‘Travelling Genius Bar’
Jen Giffen – @virtualGiffAnother Day another EdTech conference! #ECOOCamp 2019
Jennifer Aston – @mme_astonThis Blog is not Dead it’s…
Another One Bites the Dust?
Parlons Minecraft BIT2019
Building a Google Site and Relationships with Parents
A Tale That Endures
Jennifer Brown – @JennMacBrownReflection and Self-indulgence
Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatoddThree lessons on Grit and Resilience
My device. My terms. 3 strategies for finding balance.
No Wifi: Pretend it’s 1993
What school and Curling have in common
Jessica O’Reilly – @Cambrian_JessSo Why SoTL?
Sidney Helped
Finding Middle Ground
Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutramMoccasin Flowers: A Work-in-Progress
Jim Cash – @cashjimWhy do you want kids to code?
Mathland Actually
Scratch 3.0 is Here!
Joe Archer – @ArcherJoeExploring Classroom Expectations while using WipeBook Chart Paper
Swimming with my fish! Do it ALL!!
Joel McLean – @jprofNBThe DNA of a leader
“I Don’t Have Time For That”
R.E.A.L. Leadership
Find A Vision
A Positive Climate For A Culture Of Growth
John Allan – @mrpottzSTUDENT INFOGRAPHICS
TESOL’S ELECTRONIC VILLAGE ONLINE
Jonathan So – @MrSoClassroomPerseverance, struggle and a little grit: How running a 53km race relates to Education
Judy Redknine, Toby Molouba – @redknine and @tmoloubaIt’s a Matter of Relationships
Karaline Vlahopoulos – @KaralineVla99 Needs and They’re All Student Related
Kelly McLaughlinSchool year start up
Kyle Pearce – @MathletePearceHOW TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR OFF RIGHT
Kyleen Gray – @TCHevolutionThe problem(s) with mandatory e-learning…
Why (as a teacher and parent) I Value Standardized Testing
Arguments for Teacher Performance Pay in Ontario
Laura Bottrell – @L_BottrellRethinking End of Year Countdowns
Laura Elliott – @lauraelliottPhDStandardized bodies < Accepting & Celebrating Difference
My ‘Why?’ …
Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261This week we did…something
MATH, NUMBER SENSE & NUMERATION, NUMBER TALKS, PATTERNING & ALGEBRA
Update: Assessment
Slice is of Life: Who Needs Me?
Day 3: Relax
Summer Math:Counting and Subitizing
Lisa Cranston – @lisacranWe teach students not just content
Beyond Behaviour Charts
Lisa Floyd – @lisaannefloydText to Speech and Translation Blocks in Scratch 3.0
Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101H is for Happy
F is for Frankenstein, Focus & Future Ready
D is for Debate
B is for Brainy, Bold & Beautiful
Q is for Questions and Not Getting Caught in the Quagmire
P is for Patience
O is for Outside the Box
L is for light
Mark Chubb – @MarkChubb3Strategies vs Models
One-Hole Punch Puzzle Templates
The More Strategies, the Better?
Martina Fasano – @RokStarTeacherWhy Caring Adults Matter: An Ode To My Alma Mater
Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorrisCell Phone Ban in Classrooms
Does Black History Month still hold meaning in 2019
5 School Ideas for Black History Month
Detentions
I Think My Neighbors Think I’m Selling Dope
Matthew Oldridge – @matthewoldridgeUsing Play to Teach Math
Too Random, Or Not Random Enough: Student Misunderstandings About Probability In Coin Flipping
Melanie Lefebvre – @ProfvocateMelWHY FRUSTRATED STUDENTS MADE MY DAY TODAY
An Oscar-esque thank you speech type of blog post
I DON’T USE TEXTBOOKS
Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadioNurturing Guilt
Merit Centre – @Self_RegA Self-Reg Look At “Preparing Kids”: Is It Time To Change The Conversation?
No Such Thing as a Bad Kid
Michelle Fenn – @toadmummyThe Gender Gap in Technology
Coding with Microbits
Mike Washburn – @misterwashburnWHEN LAST PLACE FEELS LIKE FIRST PLACE
Nancy DrewReckless Abandon!
Noa Daniel – @noasbobsPitch Day 2019
Elevate your Audience
My River, My Mountain- A Day of Learning with Jennifer Abrams
Patt Olivieri – @pattolivieriDear Jordan…
Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalconFriday Two Cents: Positive Thoughts For The New Year
Friday Two Cents: Honour Our Past To Understand Our Present
Paul McGuire – @mcguirpWhen your plan is no longer the plan
Tour de Mont Blanc – Day Eight for Climb for Kids
When it comes to mental health in Canada, the gap is still too wide
“What Do You Say When Our Social Institutions Are Under Attack?”
Trolls Creep Into the Education Debate in Ontario
Self-Regulation and Evangelism in Education
Class Sizes Really Matter
Has inclusive education gone too far? – The Globe and Mail debate
Naming and Shaming
Walking in a New Way – the Ottawa Indigenous Walk
Peter Beens – @pbeensSnippets #1
Students’ Favourite Affinity Designer Tutorials
Peter Cameron – @cherandpeteGO! Explore!
Find your inner explorer
A Day (or three) in the Life of this Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
For Water: Learn. Adopt. Protect. Walk.
Our Kids’ Spelling is Atrocious
Peter Skillen – @peterskillenDear Ontario Educators,
Ramona Meharg – @ramonameharg#ECOOCamp Owen Sound
50th Episode – I Wish I Knew EDU learning
Snow Day Chaos – the Lament is over!
Fill Your Own Cup With Gratitude
Rebecca Chambers – @MrsRChambersAnother Year and The Unlearning Continues
Dreams do come true if you persevere, my vision of an experiential passion based classroom have come true.
Rob Cannone – @mr_robcannoneIf not now, then when?
Designing the Learning Environment : Why students, pedagogy and critical reflection should come first
On cultivating curiosity in the classroom
Rola Tibshirani – @rolatHow To Self Engineer A Learning Community?
When Students Shine!
Rolland Chidiac – @rchidsEsports with Primary Students – Part 1: Jumping In
Esports in Primary – Part 2: Next Steps
Ruthie Sloan – @RoosloanSecret Truths of Empathy While Learning to Advocate
Context is Key
Sean Monteith – @KPDSB_SchoolsA New Year, Perspective From Experience
It’s “Time”
Sheila Stewart – @sheilaspeakingMinding the Children
Chocolate by Trial and Error
Good Tree Stories
Shelly Vohra – @raspberryberet3Inquiry, Social Justice, & the SDGs
Digital Breakouts Using Google Forms
ETFO Innovate 2019
Shyama Sunder – @ssunderaswaraFinal Thoughts
STAO Blog – @staoapsoExperiment of The Week – Homemade Projector by Steve Spangler
KEEPING BIRDS SAFE INQUIRY – GRADE 1
Stepan Pruchnicky – @stepanpruchReader’s Theatre = Experiential Learning
Canada’s New Food Guide
Sue Bruyns – @sbruynsHere’s to Paving New Ground
Adjust the Tuning
Proofreader or Instructional Leader?
Sue Dunlop – @Dunlop_SueWhy Summer is a Perfect Time for Reflection
Are You Caught in the Whirlwind?
Just Stop Using “You Guys”
T.J. Hoogsteen – @marexdad21st Century Skills: What Students Need Now or Just More of the Same Bad Ideas?
TDSB Professional Library – @ProfLibraryTDSBNew books: take an eReading March break!
Terry Greene – @greeneterrySo Long and Thanks For All of This
The Open Learner Patchbook Went To The PressEd Conference
Hatching a PLN
Reset, Reboot, RemOOC
Thanks Milan – Lessons Learned at #OEGlobal19
Feeling the Ground by Getting Some Air
What’s With All The Sharing?
TESLOntario Blog – @TESLontarioWHO HAS THE FINAL SAY ABOUT STUDENT MARKS?
The Beast – @thebeasteduA Guy Walks into a Bar
I Am Right Here
Keys to a Rocket Ship
Recess is as Real Life as it Gets
The Merit Centre – @self_regWords Matter. But Sometimes the Interbrain Matters More.
Tim King – @mechsympStretched Thin
Tim King – @tk1ngPrivilege Masquerading as Superiority
Class Caps are a Low Resolution Solution to a High Resolution Problem
Cyber Dissonance: The Struggle for Access, Privacy & Control in our Networked World
2019-20: Persistence and Possibility
Tina Zita – @tina_zitaA Journey with Sketchnotes
Will Gourley – @WillGourleyShoulders of giants
Undercover Boss
Beyond
Be Strong in the Face of Poor Government
Back in the day was better (because now is often unbearable)
The best present is one you can give year round
Zelia Tavares‏ – @zeliamctSkype-A-Thon 2019
EdTechTeam Ontario Summit 2019
Hack the Classroom 2018

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Black Friday, if you observe. There’s nothing discounted about the great posts coming from Ontario Edubloggers. You get full value for your reading.


Good Tree Stories

This week starts off with a post from Sheila Stewart. Maybe it’s a little less “education” than normal but it might make you look at your Christmas tree in a different way. She was inspired by a story about Halifax donating a tree to Boston which led her to thinking about trees in Kenora.

It got me thinking about Christmas trees in my life. As a kid growing up, it was always down to the trees sold by the Kinsmen and Kinettes. The tree had to be the perfect height with the perfect amount of symmetry. Lots of mathematics to consider when you’re freezing…

In our town, there’s always a big show as our natural tree is lit. The mayor, town crier, shooting of the town cannon, fireworks, hot chocolate, and of course the RiverLights.

These days, we’ve found the perfect solution for our rec room – an artificial tree which is absolutely symmetric. It makes the perfect backdrop for our Christmas picture.


If not now, then when?

From Rob Cannone, the best wisdom for professional learning.

With students, they learn something and immediately put it into practice. Can you imagine the disaster if you taught something and then didn’t get into projects, assessments, or any of that good stuff until a month or two later?

So, why as teachers, do you attend professional learning events and then not implement things right away?

Rob notes some steps that he feels should be done.

  • One thing at a time
  • Open the box
  • Share learning with others
  • Practice makes progress (accept it won’t be perfect)

His third point is even more important in this day and age. There was a time when you might learning something and then share it with a colleague in your school. With social media and its power, your best new learning partner just might be online.


Q is for Questions and Not Getting Caught in the Quagmire

From Lynn Thomas, another post that I thought moved nicely from kids to yourself in the argument that she builds.

We all remember our days at the Faculty of Education and the advice that we got about questioning – never ask a question that can be answered with a “Yes” or “No”. Aim for something deeper and richer so that the student can provide evidence of learning.

Then, for me, the post took a turn.

When we ask questions of ourselves, do we aim for the richer questions or are we happy being able to respond “Yes” or “No” or ticked off on a to-do list? Or, updated to 2019, anything that can be answered quickly by a search engine.

Other than the fact that Quagmire also starts with a “Q”, I like her logic of avoiding getting stuck.


KEEPING BIRDS SAFE INQUIRY – GRADE 1

From the STAO blog, something a little different from Laura Collins. It’s actually a unit of study about birds and safety.

We have a couple of bird feeders in the back yard. We know that you have to reliably fill the feeder. We’ve learned about ways to avoid birds flying into windows. We’ve learned how to keep the squirrels off the pole. There’s so much more in this unit including the CN Tower.

And we get so excited to see Blue Jay, Cardinals, Woodpeckers. Squirrels, not so much.

There’s a real wealth of activities, literature, and learning opportunities here. Wow!

Most definitely shareworthy.


Guided Reading with Adolescent Readers

I thought that I was going to be like a fish out of water with the post from Deborah McCallum. After all, I didn’t teach reading. That’s for the younger years; by the time we got them in secondary school, they should know how to read, right?

But, are they all really accomplished readers?

Deborah points to a lack of extensive research in this area. In our voicEd Radio show, Stephen shared some of the challenges that he had as an adolescent reader. Do we make the assumption that because they’re older, they just are all natural readers or have at least mastered the skill successfully?

Deborah offers a few things to think about. Good for beginning readers but certainly worth keeping in mind for the older ones.

  • Low knowledge of vocabulary
  • Inadequate word recognition strategies
  • Lack of schemata or background knowledge to interpret text
  • Poor use of strategies to comprehend what they are reading

HTML/CSS with Canada Learning Code

My neck snapped when I read the title to this post from Alanna King. Then, I thought, we’ll turn her into a programming geek yet.

In a previous post, she mentioned how he was excited about learning about design and interface but now she’s rolled up her sleeves and is digging into code.

Her description of the activity matches the activities that we used to set up in our “Women in Technology” workshops for Grade 7/8 girls. There is something magical about looking behind the scenes to see exactly what’s going one. You might remember the inspirational “a pixel here, a pixel there”.

These days, there isn’t a huge need to be able to code many things from scratch since we have such great, purposeful editors to work with. And yet, there is the odd time when you need to look behind the scenes because something isn’t working just right. I can’t imagine how long it would take to write a blog post without an editor.

But, I still maintain, that’s not the ultimate goal. To be sure, the power behind programming and coding is knowing that you can absolutely be in charge of that page, that site, that device, that electronic thingy. Once you know, realise, and understand that, you can’t be pushed around by a wannabe or a particular device.

Learn and take charge – Alanna’s on a wonderful trip.


Equity Tech’quity

There’s real frustration in this post from Matthew Morris.

the kids in my classroom were in the middle of completing their short stories and the laptops they had been writing short stories on were booked – for the entire week. 

In his school, the supply doesn’t meet demand when it comes to technology and that’s the TLDR;

It’s the sort of thing that legitimately turns teachers off using technology in a meaningful, reliable way. Imagine any subject area where you can only do what you need to do every other Thursday if you remember to book things.

“We are teaching students born in the 21st century. We need to meet them on their plane.” Round of applause.

How many times have we heard this? Some self-important speaker on the speaking route commanding a fee that could otherwise have bought maybe 10 Chromebooks. Or, in Matthew’s case looking at a neighbouring board where a commitment to the concept has resulted in every student being given a device. I can understand the frustration.

Somewhere along the line, the people who allocate the dollars have to decide whether they’re prepared to fund a significant program or be happy with periodic low-level activities.


Thanks, once again, to these wonderful Ontario educators for blogging and sharing their thoughts. Please take the time to click through and read these posts in their entirety. And, make a blogger happy – leave them a comment.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • @SheilaSpeaking
  • @mr_robcannone
  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @staoapso
  • @Bigideasinedu
  • @banana29
  • @callmemrmorris

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


There never seems to be any shortage of good blog pieces from Ontario Edubloggers. Friday is my opportunity to share what I’ve read recently.

Here goes…


Arguments for Teacher Performance Pay in Ontario

This wasn’t the first time that Kyleen Gray has blogged about the merits of Performance pay for teachers. See the older post here. In this post, she argues five areas where she feels how performance pay would improve the profession.

  • Will support retention of effective teachers
  • Improve teacher performance
  • Positively impact student learning
  • Public perception of teacher professionalism
  • Vet poor teachers from the teaching profession

Personally, I have a difficult time seeing how it would play out in the long run.

  • Who would make the judgement about who is effective and who isn’t?
  • What is the baseline against which performance would be judged?
  • Particularly in her fifth point, would there be an opportunity for a “poor teacher”, however that is defined, to improve?
  • Are some subject areas more valuable than others?
  • How do you compare performance across grades, across subject areas, across a school district, indeed across a province so that there is a consistent standard?
  • Do we place higher value on coaching than we do on a person upgrading their qualifications or the experience and wisdom that comes from longevity?

There are so many issues that I just can’t see a solution to with this premise. The value of teacher federations goes beyond pay – it also involves security, benefits, social activism, collegiality, pension … How does that survive?

Stephen Hurley also blogged about the issue here.


Slice is of Life: Who Needs Me?

I would argue that teachers work all year long to get to the point that Lisa Corbett describes in this post.

In a mathematics class, she found herself on the outside looking in. But in a good way!

No student needed her assistance and yet all of them were engaged with whatever activity they were assigned. (See the image with the smiley faces in her post)

My first note on Lisa’s post was “this doesn’t happen by accident”. It’s the result of a great deal of hard work creating the environment, developing the skill set, and finding engaging activities to have the students working in this manner.

I suppose that she could have left and got herself a coffee but she found other equally valuable things to do in the classroom. What’s not to like?


WHEN LAST PLACE FEELS LIKE FIRST PLACE

In the first sentence in this blog post from Mike Washburn, I had to open a tab and find out just what he was talking about when he claims to have finished a race on Zwift.

Then, I was able to read on and put things in context. I had already had my eyes drawn to the spreadsheet-like construct that appeared in the post. So, Zwift allows him to compete against others in a MOOC for cycling and running. He was competing against people from who knows where and who cares where with the goal of pushing himself to do better things.

It’s an interesting concept and he admits that he had some pretty strict competition but it was a fellow competitor by the name of Lisa that kept him going. A lesser person might have just given up.

So, he stuck with it. Then, he turns his eyes towards the classroom. Is there personal learning that he could take from his experience to get the same results from his own students?

It’s an interesting read. I think it is a good reminder that we all need others to support us in our endeavours. As adults, we hopefully can realize this. How can we set the table so that students get the same understanding?


Find A Vision

Joel McLean offers a video well worth the time watching.

We can’t all be visionaries. I think we all know that.

But, how do you work for/with/along with someone who is.

Joel offers three suggestions…

  • Ask questions
  • Put on a different pair of glasses
  • Have faith

And, there’s another piece of advice that a visionary that I worked with told me once which was one of his attributions of success.

Surround yourself with smart people

I think we should all learn that we just might be that smart person that they want with them. If we use Joel’s advice, you just might be able to make them better.


Perseverance, struggle and a little grit: How running a 53km race relates to Education

Seriously? 53km?

Even biking that distance is an edurance. Jonathan So did this race and it took him 06:16:49.

The numbers and the distance just blow me away.

So, what does it mean in education? I like his quote

if we want our students to _____ than we need to show it.

He shows endurance, grit, partnerships, and all those things that we value in education. What a great testimonial about how he undertakes these things in personally.

It would take a brave student to refuse to do a lap of the track or gym in Mr. So’s classroom after this.

And that smile!


Do We Need A Scaffolded Approach To Bullying?

Coming from an educator in Hamilton, Aviva Dunsiger, served to put a great deal of context to her thoughts about bullying, particularly at this time.

On the eve of a bullying prevention assembly, she’s musing about ways to get a suitable message across. It’s NOT an easy topic. If it was, we would have solutions in place already.

Maybe this message is a utopian ideal. Maybe it won’t work in every grade. I wonder though if there needs to be a scaffolded approach to bullying. Would a book like this one be a good start in kindergarten, and what might the impact be as the kids progress along the grades?

I’d love to see a Language teacher or a teacher-librarian take a read of Aviva’s post and provide a continuum of books for students to help the cause.

While we may not have the ultimate answer, I love the fact that teachers are thinking, talking, and through this blog post, advocating for the cause.


New Journeys

This blog post, from Lisa Munro, gives us an insight into education that we don’t always see. She’s a Superintendent of Education and blogging. As she notes:

I have hesitated to blog too much in this system role because, misguided or not, I sometimes feel people expect me to be the expert and that is not a great feeling.  If you have ever blogged you know there is a certain vulnerability in putting your ideas into a public space; a vulnerability and a commitment.

There absolutely is a vulnerability when you’re blogging. It’s something that I think that we all come to wrestle with the concept periodically. In Lisa’s case, she’s only two months into this new role so can be justified to be feeling that way a bit.

I can’t help though, but think that there’s real value in pairing this post with Joel’s post above. Nobody is in the position of being the all-knowing expert. But you can surround yourself with supportive and wise people and what better platform than a blog to make this happen?

Lisa does invite you to converse with her via blog and Twitter. Why not take her up on that?


So, absolutely, there is another wonderful collection of blog post for this week. Please do take the opportunity to read their thoughts in their entirety.

Then, make sure you follow them on Twitter.

  • @TCHevolution
  • @LisaCorbett0261
  • @misterwashburn
  • @jprofnb
  • @MrSoClassroom
  • @avivaloca
  • @LisaMunro11

This post originates from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Crickets!

That’s the big sign for me that summer is coming to an end. Around here, they’re doing their thing 24/7.

It’s Thursday morning as I write this and considerably cooler so all the windows and patio doors are open. And, the crickets are chirping in harmony.

Read on for some great posts from Ontario Edubloggers.


L is for Light

Lynn Thomas was a special guest host on This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio this week. We had a great discussion with her and then dug into this post from her.

As regular readers know, Lynn is working her way through the alphabet on her blog and is up to L. She saw that as light and took a shine to the various phases of an educator’s day.

As you read it, I’m sure that you’ll empathize with just how long an educator’s day can be.

The thing about daylight made me smile as a former football coach. When you start football season, daylight isn’t an issue. But, towards the end of the season, you’re playing under the lights.


A Guy Walks into a Bar

This post from The Beast was a very difficult one to include. It’s a hard post to read with a sharing about privilege that will make you stop and think. It’s even harder to read when you do recognize and admit to your own privilege.

I recognize my own and it’s all the clearer when you go through inspection before boarding a flight. I almost felt relief when I was pulled aside and patted down going through security in Phoenix. I looked over my shoulder and saw the “area of concern” which was in my hip pocket. It was my new wallet that has RFID protection and that messed with the scanning device.

Back to the post, I think that you can’t help but feel empathy as part of this discussion that indeed takes place in a bar. If you’re like me, reading the post once doesn’t do it justice.

I wonder if educators are more sensitive to things as we’re paid to observe and to try and level the playing field.

Nothing, and I mean nothing works people up into their defense mode like a big ol’ chat about their place in the world and how hard they had to work for it so therefore they do not have privilege but rather they have earned everything that has ever happened to them


Further Reflections after Faith in the System Podcast

For all the blogging that I’ve done, I don’t know that I could write something as eye opening and candidly honest as Diana Maliszewski does in this post.

It was a personal reflection after having appeared on the voicEd radio show “Faith in the System”. In the podcast, Diana opens up and shares her thoughts about her own faith and devotion to her religion. The post also includes photos of younger Diana which I’d never seen before.

I’ve known Diana for a number of years and I know many things about her professionally. I was astounded by the number of things that she said that she wish she’d said on the show.

  • Teacher Librarian integrating technology
  • her teaching schedule
  • maker culture vs maker movement
  • Minecraft
  • her children

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a conversation with her that didn’t include one or more of these topics. I can’t believe that she didn’t mention them on the show.

But, what she did focus on is included in this rather lengthy post and I now know far more about the life of Diana than I did before reading it.


TMB Withdrawal

I’ve been waiting to read about and see the pictures from the Climb for Kids. Heather Swail and Paul McGuire participated in and it was Heather that was first to the gate with the images.

This post is more than just a collection of pictures from the climb through the Alps which I kind of expected.

Instead, she shares the story of long days, steep climbs, comradery, and a bonding with not only the mountain and the climb but with those she was climbing with.

Her descriptions that go along with the pictures are rich.

Sharp, powerful joints of rock piercing the sky, massive white-gray glaciers glaring in the sun, velvet-green descents from sky to valley, stitched by rock. I miss the sound of cowbells from far-off and nearby meadows, ascending through trails in the forest with mountain larches caressing your face.

It’s a post that will make you tired just by reading it.


Using Technology to Drive Language Skills and Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities

From the Fair Chance Learning blog, a guest post from Kurtis Hartnell about an experience dealing with Minecraft in a Grade 3 setting. The setting was designed for students in a French Immersion classroom.

That was the wrinkle with this post.

There are many posts that talk of the virtues of collaboration and the amazing things that kids can do with Minecraft. They don’t really catch my attention any more because they are, well, about Minecraft.

That’s not the case here. The students were building Francoville and the post showed the typical engagement that comes from using Minecraft. Then, there’s the lesson for educators. As Kurtis observed, the students not only were immersed in the environments that they were creating, they were immersed in French as the language of conversation. The experience became more than just doing something cool with Minecraft. I was blown away by that notion.

And, there was a loaner 3D printer involved which is always interesting (I can watch them for hours) lent by HP and Fair Chance Learning.

There are also some interesting high resolution pictures of the classroom and kids using the technology. That’s always of interest to me.


How To Self Engineer A Learning Community?

I can still remember when social networking was young. Those that got there first described learning communities as something that was akin to magic. You just needed a Twitter account and miracles happened.

Well, maybe for them. I somehow missed out on the magic part.

I found that, for the long run and durability, for me it was a lot of work. It had promises of being something powerful on one day and turned out to be a massive waste of time the next. For me, I was truly building the ladder as I was climbing it.

I read Rola Tibshirani’s summary and thoughts about a year with students and their journey with great interest. It’s not a short post and the mixed media makes it a bit of a challenge to read. But, it’s worth the effort.

I like the collection of student observations; they add to the message that Rola is delivering. Not only can you see their thoughts working globally, but you get a sense of what it means to them locally.

I’d recommend this post to anyone who is considering working with kids and this social media thing. You’ll find out that it’s far more than just magic happening. It’s hard work, meaningful, and works best when it’s purposeful.


Reckless Abandon!

I had coffee recently with a friend who worked in the IT Department when I was in the Program Department. He had been going through his archives and found a sound file that he had created just for me. He knew that I was a big Law and Order fan, we were using FirstClass for an email system at that time and so he crafted this file as my notification sound.

Now, at the time, the neighbour in the office next to me was Nancy Drew. I always had music playing when I was working; that’s how I work best. My choice of country music wasn’t her favourite and so I did my best to keep it low but every email notification seemed so much louder. Anyway, he got me thinking about my friend Nancy. We’re friends on Facebook and I had read that she had started a blog. Cool! That’s right up my alley.

When I visited it, she has chosen to marry two things she’s quite passionate about – knitting and literacy.

So far, there are a couple of posts about her knitting and a promise of books to come. Let’s give her some blog lovin’ and drop by to read her thoughts and see what she’s making. She claims to be self-taught.


Please take the time to click through and read these posts in their entirety. I think you’ll enjoy what you see.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @theBeastEDU
  • @MzMollyTL
  • @FCLEdu
  • @hbswail
  • @rolat

This posting originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.