This Week in Ontario Edublogs


First…

ETFO

Happy Valentine’s Day to ETFO members who are striking in:

  • Kawartha Pine Ridge
  • Near North
  • Rainy River School Boards.

No comment is necessary about the current situation in Ontario. If you’re a teacher in any publicly funded school, you know.

How about some great blogging from Ontario Edubloggers instead?


Payoff

Only an English teacher could be excited and motivated to use all caps.

THEY ALL HAVE PENS OR PENCILS. Every. Single. One.

What a great start to a new semester for Amanda Potts and her Grade 12 English students.

If you’re a secondary school teacher, you’ll absolutely appreciate Amanda’s observations about the difference between the enthusiasm of her Grade 12 students and those of her Grade 10s.

Her words speak to her professionalism. Only a teacher could immediately make observations about reluctant or even fake readers. The sooner this can be observed, the sooner something can be done about it.

From Day 1, she had them reading and she’s excited about that. She notes that the books are in “no discernible order”. Maybe that adds to the excitement of finding something interesting to read. You have to find it first.

Oh, and I was kidding about the pens and pencils. All teachers appreciate that. My method of encouragement to bring them was a box of golf pencils that I had on hand to lend those who forgot their own.


The Education Reform Most Needed for the New Decade

Before you click through and read this post from Anne-Marie Kee, think about what your personal answer would be to that statement.

Anne-Marie makes it clear that she is a supporter of technology and its use in her school but that wasn’t her answer.

Her answer came as a realization of the power of music and community that originated from a New Year’s concert celebration.

Her description of the service took me back to my youth at St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the big ol’ pipe organ. There’s just something special about being among the community with that one single instrument filling the church with music.


Why I Strike.

Zoe in 1980 from her blog

Teachers: Cuts hurt kids

Government: It’s all about money

If only it was that simple.

If you do nothing else, head to the bottom of Zoe Branigan-Pipe’s blog post where she gives a bit of a history of gains made by unions dealing with teacher working and student learning conditions.

Throughout the post, Zoe chronicles her various activities as a social activist.

I know that it’s easy to wax philosophy about the good ol’ days when we were in school. But, put yourself in the shoes of your old teachers and society as it was. The good ol’ days really weren’t that good. The job has evolved; society has evolved; the conditions under which teachers must work and students learn need to evolve as well.


Teacher Performance Appraisal: Advice for New Teachers

Speaking of the good ol’ days. Those of us who are long in the tooth can reflect back now about the process that we went through as we were being evaluated for the first time as really being a crap shoot. It truly was that and the TPA of today doesn’t come close to my experience.

I didn’t know what “they” would be looking for. I hoped that it was the teaching and learning that went on in the class. My Computer Science classroom was hardly a lecture hall. With limited resources, students were at various points of turning their inspiration into programs that worked. As it turned out, one of the superintendents wanted to actually see a lecture. Fortunately, I was able to turn a “history of computers” into a sit ‘n git instead of a research activity.

In this post, Laura Bottrell summarizes what is appraised during these sessions and clearly points out that it’s not a one shot, winner take all process.

Hopefully, new teachers are well schooled in the process before the it begins through their Faculty of Education, Program Departments, local administrators, and local federations.


Thank you

I really did some thinking about whether or not to include this post from Patti Henderson. Sadly, her mother passed away recently and this is a celebration of her life and the eulogy that she and her sister wrote and delivered.

Beyond their words, it’s the presentation in this blog post that is so powerful here.

Patti manages to weave a story in words and pictures of a life and story that is a tribute to her mother. It’s very well done and the collection of artifacts is amazing.

I find myself a little envious; my own mother didn’t like to have her picture taken so the few that we do have are so precious.

My condolences, Patti.


Here’s what I know about class sizes

I’m taking a lot of liberties with this one from Beth Lyons. It doesn’t appear on her blog. Rather, it’s more of an insight that she posted on Facebook. So, you’ll have to be a friend of Beth’s to read it.

I thought that, throughout this entry, she really showed some deep insights about what class numbers mean to good planning, good teaching, and good contacts. Keep in mind that Beth is a teacher-librarian so she reaches out and touches every student in the school. In the process of this post, she bounces between that and her previous life as a classroom teacher.

About determining reading level per child

Remember the class of 23 kids? Right. I’m only working with one of them. For 20 minutes. That means I need to have an interesting and compelling enough activity that the other 22 can do on their own. For 20 minutes.

A new student

Also, there’s a new student moving in on Monday. Better find a desk. And a chair. Don’t forget to buy supplies because your budget is already used up.

Concerns about well-being

Did that student you were keeping an eye on bring a lunch today? You haven’t seen them eat in a few days.

What about the other student that always wears their “favourite” sweater. Every day. And their pants are too short. And their toes are sticking out of their shoes. I wonder if they’ll have boots or mitts this winter.

And much more. Beth’s community really chimed in nicely with support and comments about this. Hopefully, we can convince her to move it to her blog so that more can enjoy and share it.


Friday Two Cents: I Fought The Good Fight

This post, from Paul Gauchi, is a little different than a story of a typical teacher striking for better working conditions in their classroom.

As readers know, Paul is an Occasional Teacher so he doesn’t have his own classroom or a permanent school. Potentially, he has every classroom in the district! Since he’s not assigned to one particular school, he has his choice as to where he would like to go and support colleagues. He makes an interesting and well-reasoned choice.

And yet, there was a nagging in his mind of another issue in another time and place where he wasn’t supported by colleagues.

It’s actually quite a sad story that he shares. Ever positive though, he recognizes that he can’t change the past but does have at least a partial say in his future.


Please take the time to click through and read all of these posts. They’ll inspire and give you some thoughts as you start your day.

And, follow them on Twitter.

  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Anne-Marie Kee – @AMKeeLCS
  • Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe
  • Laurel Bottrell – @L_Bottrell
  • Patti Henderson – @GingerPatti
  • Beth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon

This post originates on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


First off …

Today marks a day of rotating strike action by ETFO members in the following districts:

  • Peel District School Board
  • Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Details here.


Good Friday morning and the end to January. Will you be groundhogging in class today or Monday or just take a pass this year? I do have a Flipboard collection of resources here.

Check out some of the great posts from Ontario Edubloggers that I’ve enjoyed recently.


Listening to Reflections

Earlier this week, my friend Colleen Rose tagged me in a Twitter message looking for assistance…

So, sure, I shared it. The responses were amazing. It showed how powerful a learning network can be. You may wish to follow that discussion chain if you’re interested in collecting or affirming ideas.

Wouldn’t you expect the same results when working with students online?

Melanie White tried this past semester and shared some of her results from watching students reflecting on their experiences with a social justice focus. It wasn’t positive in all cases and Melanie shares at least some of the details.

Her conclusion?

It is the outcome of my work that matters. I must listen and learn and do better and repeat.

It’s sad that she had to endure this but let’s hope that she refines her approach and doesn’t give up completely. There can be so much value when it does work.


Slice of Life: Old Habits

I had to smile a bit as I read Lisa Corbett’s post about writing a paper for a course that she’s taking. I’m guessing that it’s in education and I remember some of the requirements and resources for papers that I’ve researched and had to write in the past. At times, there aren’t enough Os in boring. Such begins her story.

To assist, she turned to a tool that so many people use with students. I’ve done many a workshop on graphic organisers so it’s like second nature to me. I use an organiser here all the time for blog posts, my TWIOE show, and shopping lists among other things. I have such an exciting life. For the most part, like Lisa did, I tend to use either a Google document or a Microsoft OneNote document to do the deed. They work so well.

You’ve got to love the openness that she has for the writing/organising process and her thoughts about the hamburger approach to writing. We all learned how to write using this approach. How we’ve moved on in a digital world. Hamburger takes on a new and different meaning!

Thanks, Lisa – I needed some excuse for a graphic for this post!


Qu’est-ce qui fait d’un leader un leader ?

So, what’s your superpower?

Think for a second. We all have one or more.

Recently, Joel McLean listened to a podcast “What makes a superhero a superhero?” He then drew a parallel to leadership. “What makes a leader a leader?”

I thought it to be an interesting and appropriate comparison for Joel’s work. So often in education, leaders are appointed based upon some superhuman leadership ability. The question becomes “when was the last time that they actually used it?”

Is it a matter of increased workload that shoves this backwards or is it complacently that they’ve risen to their desired level?

But, let’s not overlook the fact that there are people who assume leadership positions and maintain or enhance their superpowers. It’s easy to identify those that don’t, but let’s also celebrate those that do well and continue to grow. Especially those who recognize those that know they can’t do it alone.


YouTube versus Text Instructions

Bottom line – I hope that Joan Vinall-Cox got her invitations for the party out in time. I didn’t get mine but wasn’t really expecting one ….

I’ve been working with getting the some of my contacts into a label so I can connect Evite to it for a future party. This led to a couple of important learning experiences.

In order to get the job done, Joan had to learn how to perform a new task with the contacts in her address book. She had a couple of options:

  • read a set of instructions
  • watch a YouTube video about how to do it

Personally, I find myself in this situation all the time. I almost always opt for a text instruction.

Why? (don’t hate me) I don’t read the entire document. I skim until I get to the salient part and then move on. I don’t opt for the video option because they can be so time consuming – advertising, attempts at jokes, fast forwarding is a challenge since you don’t know how far ahead to fast forward!

In Joan’s case, she was frustrated with text and found a perfect video that showed her exactly what she needed. I’m now wondering, based on her experience, if I need to open my mind to a new approach.

A caveat to both approaches though – some of the available stuff is outdated. The internet isn’t really good about keeping things up to date at times.


What’s in my Reading Pile?

Teacher-librarians are an amazing group of people.

Diana Maliszewski is off to the OLA Superconference this week but still managed to find time for her weekly blog post. In this case, a list of things that she’s reading.

Look for a title, ISBN number, and her rationale for why she is planning to read each book. It’s a nice collection. You might find her openness helpful in your own professional life.

I couldn’t help but note the difference in our reading styles. I like to read, yes, but I like to go cover to cover and only then on to the next book. Diana has a number on the go simultaneously.

I can’t imagine doing that myself; she obviously has a far better reading mind than I do.


Checklists and Independent Fridays

This post is an interesting approach to try and turn the tables, on the dreaded Friday, from unproductive to productive by giving Grade 8 students control over their own timeline.

Kelly McLaughlin, on the ETFO Heart and Art blog, shares an approach that makes Monday through Thursday more or less traditional in her plans and then makes Friday a day of “I.W.” or Independent Work. The concept revolves around students creating their own schedule for the day and the use of sticky notes to keep track.

I shuddered when I saw sticky notes because that’s how messages are passed around this house. But, in Kelly’s case, it’s a technique for managing productivity and effort – I couldn’t help but think it was just another form of graphic organiser.

It’s an interesting read. Would this approach work in your classroom?


Fence me in!

From Cal Armstrong’s new blogging site comes Cal’s latest revelation and it’s actually not OneNote related! It deals with a feature of the Firefox browser.

Cal has discovered and now exploited a feature that currently sets Firefox apart from the rest of the browser field in the Facebook protection game. It’s called Fences and Firefox basically promises that whatever happens on Facebook when you’re using Firefox stays in that tab. Your identity isn’t shared across any of the other tabs that you might have open. And who only has one tab open these days?

Further, Cal has discovered that Firefox comes packaged but you can create your own fenced in areas for anywhere you want.

The post is a nice read showing how he discovered this and then how he applied his new found knowledge to take the concept even further, thus taking control of things. Who doesn’t want to do that?


And, yet another terrific week of great reading.

Please take the time to enjoy all of these posts by clicking through and visitng them directly.

Then, follow these people on Twitter.

  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Joan Vinall-Cox – @joanvinallcox
  • Joel Mclean – @jprofnb
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Kelly McLaughlin
  • Cal Armstrong – @sig225

This post came from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


First off …

Today marks a day of rotating strike action by ETFO members in the following districts:

  • Bluewater District School Board
  • District School Board Ontario North East

Details here.

Despite the situation in the province with respect to collective bargaining, Ontario Educators continue their professional reflection on their own blogs.


And the journey expands…

Congratulations to Beth Lyons

As I have received news that I was successful in my bid to become the Vice President/ President Elect of the OSLA Council for 2020-2021 years, I think this is a great time to reflect on my journey thus far…

To celebrate, Beth takes the opportunity to reflect on her own professional growth as a teacher-librarian. What impresses me about this look back is just how diverse a background is required for a teacher-librarian in order to carry out the role in the year 2020.

I think that many of us read quite a bit but we’re guided by our own interests and pressures. Beth reinforces the notion that a teacher-librarian must read and understand for everyone in their charge. Follow any teacher-librarian and you’ll notice the same thing.

But learning doesn’t stop there for a contemporary leader. This post touches many bases – podcasting, presenting, action research, and more.


Students’ Research Going Beyond Their Own Classroom With Minecraft EE

On the Fair Chance Learning blog, Ryan Magill shares some work dealing with Minecraft and his students. For those who are concerned that it could be a big free for all, you need to read and understand all of the content of this post.

The focus here was driven by a unit of study dealing with animals and habitats and brought in the notion of zoos and aquariums. What an opportunity – design your own zoo!

I had to smile. This country boy knew all kinds of things about cows at an early age! But, it’s not safe to assume that everyone had that chance. Maybe they do have to do some research and build an exhibit for their zoo!

I think that the big takeaway for all is that you need to avoid boxing yourself into a corner with technology. With a playground like Minecraft, the sky really is the limit.


frozen solid; warmth in the lines

This post, from Heather Swail, could best be described as “prelude to a strike”. It was written just before a work action and is very philosophical about education and the role of the teacher.

In education, the essence of pedagogy, teachers are taught and encouraged to be flexible, to change plans mid-stream when the lesson is just not working, to moderate voice, stance, position when dealing with a nervous or reluctant child, to try to understand behaviour, resistance, background and underlying issues. A good teacher is fluid all of the time. 

Heather launches into a story that reflects the reality for many teachers. I have no doubt that just about any teacher could write and reflect on the same topics; what makes this so powerful comes from the eloquence and passion from Heather.

She closes by indicating that this will likely be the last year of a career for her. It truly is sad that she’s going through this; I think everyone would like to think they’re going to finish a career with the best year ever.


Are we willing to lose a bit of control?

I love this post from Paul McGuire. He was inspired to write as a result of a Dean Shareski blog post “I Don’t Think I’m an EdTech Guy Anymore.” I had read Dean’s post and grew angrier as I read it. I just hope that he had his tongue in cheek as he wrote it.

Substitute any subject area for “EdTech” and you’ll see the folly.

This, coming from someone whose title was, “Computers in the Classroom Teacher Consultant”. The role was framed for me by my first superintendent. I still remember his thoughts.

“I don’t want you to just learn more technical stuff. I can hire someone for half your salary with a better technical background. I need you to help people learn how to teach with technology.”

He was right, of course.

Learning new technical things was, and remains, my little side gig. And, I’ll be honest; I love it. But we’re in the teaching profession and teaching should be at the heart of everything we do.

I probably became more of a nuisance to my Teacher Consultant colleagues as I was expected to learn about good teaching and good learning throughout all curriculum areas and all grades.

Paul’s post illustrates what happens when technology is still viewed as something extra, something special, something so that you can say “I used technology today” …

Earlier this week I observed a student teacher going through a lesson with some grade 9 students. The lesson did have technology – there were Youtube videos and digital media involved in the presentation. What was missing was any level of engagement with the students. The information was conveyed using a very traditional lecture style, the students were the passive receptors of the information.

I still remember the advice from my superintendent which made so much sense to me and still drives my thinking unlike unproven schemes like SAMR.

With technology, you can…

  1. do things differently
  2. do different things

The first step, I would suggest, is where this student teacher is. And, you can’t blame that student since he/she has been in the education system for 16 or 17 years. The challenge for her/him and indeed for the teachers at the Faculty is to move to the second step. It’s not an easy step for some.


All These Certified Teachers

Everyone has a story about how they got into education and became teachers. In this post, Matthew Morris talks about his story. His was a route that I would not have been able to do.

He was good enough as a football player to get a university scholarship and he was thinking NFL. When that didn’t work out…

When I realized the professional athlete route was a wrap, I started to think about “careers”. Teaching was my back up plan. I settled on that path during my senior year of university

My personal first plan was to be independently wealthy and, when that didn’t work out, I went to university. Unlike Matthew, I didn’t have the luxury of staying with my parents but was able to rent a room with a friend for the 8 months at the Faculty. I don’t recall the cost of tuition at the time but I’m positive it wasn’t anywhere close to the six thousand that Matthew quotes.

He offers an interesting proposal for improving the profession and that is “lowering” teacher credentialing. I read it as the cost to become a teacher.

It’s not just the process of becoming a teacher that is expensive after Grade 12. The whole cost of university can be limiting to some. Are people limited in career paths like the story that Matthew shares?


A problem of zero

I love a good mathematics story and there’s a great one in this post from Melissa Dean.

Visit her post to see the graphic there. As she notes, it leads to some interesting discussions about

  • what’s a rational number?
  • what’s an irrational number?
  • Are there ‘fake’ numbers?
  • what are those weird symbols about?
  • Why isn’t zero a natural number?

I had to smile at the observation made as a result of the discussion.

Zero is not a number

How would you handle such an assertion?


4:45

I think Aviva Dunsiger and I are kindred souls. At least in terms of being active in the morning! As you know, my daily blog post appears at 5:00. It’s not that I’m writing at that time but I am connected and reading and it’s nice to get a notification that the post scheduled for that time has indeed gone live. If I ever mess up, Aviva is there to let me know. (and it’s happened more than once)

I can imagine that this would be a difficult post for her to write, first at an emotional level and secondly when you’re putting yourself out there via her popular blog.

As we know, ETFO members are currently involved with a work action and Aviva has had her schedule interrupted as a result. When you’re up at 4:45, it should come as no surprise that she’s into school working at setting things up for the upcoming day.

In the post, she describes a typical day and

I am always at school between 6:45 and 6:50

It’s interesting to picture her setting up for the day. As an Early Years’ teacher, I can only imagine how much preparation goes into making sure that all the areas are ready to go.

There are a couple of lessons here…

  • first of all, to the federations, there is a lesson about how their members are affected when rules are applied to everyone
  • secondly, to parents and the general public, quality learning doesn’t happen by accident. All teachers have their own planning and implementation of lessons each and every day. It doesn’t happen by magic

Aviva has lots of friends and supporters – when you visit the blog post, also make sure that you check out the replies to her post.


Please keep you colleagues who are on strike today in your mind.

And, also think of the professionalism of these bloggers. Follow them on Twitter.

  • @mrslyonslibrary
  • @mrmagill1
  • @hbswail
  • @mcguirp
  • @callmemrmorris
  • @Dean_of_math
  • @avivaloca

This post appeared first at:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Because of the holidays, I had accumulated a collection of great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. Now, it’s time to get caught up!


New Wheels

I don’t know about you but I love shopping for a new vehicle. There’s so much to be learned from figuring out what’s on the market and doing a vehicle comparison to comparison and then the biggy – what’s my trade-in worth.

Before Christmas, Diana Maliszewski went through the process and bought herself a brand new car.

If you’ve ever been through the process, you’ll love this post. It’s got it all…

  • memories of old cars
  • advice from friends and colleagues
  • doing the footwork going in
  • comparing products (Diana uses a Google document to do that – every car salesperson’s worst nightmare)
  • narrowing the field

and then buying! Read the post to check out what she bought and how she haggled.

p.s. her new vehicle squints


Learning from Strangers Online

As Jennifer Casa-Todd notes, we’ve all passed along the advice about “Stranger Danger” and given the warning about what could happen when you friend the wrong person.

The problem, though, is that connecting with the “right stranger” can be one of the more powerful things that you can do in the classroom. So, where’s the magic moment when this can happen?

In this post, Jennifer shares her thoughts including an example of another teacher trying to make meaningful connections for his class. In particular, individuals were in search of mentors.

It’s a nice testament to just what can happen and you might just land yourself in a position of making an important connection.

I couldn’t miss the irony that Jennifer had me do some proofreading online of her book and that was before we had ever met face to face. It wasn’t an entirely random event; I like to think that she chose wisely.


Konmaring* Relationships

In this post, Debbie Donsky brings in a connection between relationships and Marie Kondo’s philosophy of getting rid of things that don’t bring you joy.

In this, “things” might also include relationships. As Debbie notes in this rather long post/story, not all friendships are for a lifetime.

I guess that makes a great deal of sense although I hadn’t thought about it in this way before. She notes that, at times, maintaining the relationships and friendships can be a challenge. Given her history and movement through education channels, I can completely understand.

She suggests some things

  1. Commit yourself to think about the relationships/friendships you have in your life.
  2. Imagine what an ideal relationship/friendship would feel like, sound like.(For example if it is a coach, a mentor, a colleague)
  3. Sincerely thank the person for the relationship/friendship you have had with them.
  4. Consider if this is a professional or personal relationship/friendship and what boundaries you might need to create to maintain or grow the relationship.
  5. Ask yourself if this relationship/friendship sparks joy.

If it doesn’t spark joy, then there are things that need to be done.

If those relationships are maintained via social media, there are quick and easy ways to remove those that don’t spark joy for you. I think there is another element to be considered; people often do take actions in a harsh manner. Are you prepared for the consequences?


One Word x 12

It’s the new year and one thing that you often notice in blogging and other social media is people identifying and presumably acting on their One Word for 2020. You can follow the discussion in Ontario with the hashtag @OneWordONT. Donna Fry is trying to push the concept Canada wide here.

Beth Lyons is taking a interesting and non-standard (if there is something standard…) approach. She’s not committed to one word for twelve months. Instead, she’s looking for one word per month. In her post, there are no rules against using the same word more than once so that’s an opportunity to continue or reuse.

She builds a good case for what she’s proposing. I wonder if those who read her blog might jump the traditional approach in favour of this. She doesn’t offer 12 words yet – but has a good start.

The good thing is that she’s planning to commit a blog post to each over the year so blog readers (and people who write or podcast about others’ blog posts) will be the big winners.


What is the purpose of a bulletin board?

From my year at the Faculty of Education, it was drilled into us to have bulletin boards that looked great so that when you got inspected and evaluated, whoever was the classroom guest would be impressed. Oh, and also, make sure that they are changed before your second inspection. Why, oh why, do I remember stuff like that?

Deborah Weston gives a nice discussion about the various ways that bulletin boards can be handled. The rationale I gave above isn’t one of them!

I always used bulletin boards but they were created by students as part of their research and assessment. It kept them fresh and allowed students to do something unique and different. They absolutely did a better job than what I could have done.

There was a move a few years ago to display all kinds of achievement data there; thank goodness we’ve gone beyond that.

Deborah gives a nice list of ideas; they’re well worth reading and considering. They’re not all on the same train of thought and that can only be a good thing.

I really like this piece of advice.

For me, in the end what matters is that the students feel like the classroom belongs to them as they have designed it – like an extension of their home space.


THE RECLINER AND MY READING APORIA

I thought that, after reading the first paragraph of this post from Alanna King, that we were going to really get into the concept of recliner chairs. For me, it’s my very best working space. Period. End of Concept.

What else ya got Alanna?

Actually, she’s got a great deal more than that and the topic has nothing to do with recliners! I really enjoyed her walk through authors and concepts. She openly identifies and shares what she considers her biases – we all have them so we shouldn’t feel too badly about that – but I think it’s different from the mind of a teacher-librarian.

As a human, we know what we like to read and naturally gravitate to it. We know when we feel we should be pushed and we might do so at times. But, when you’re crafting a literacy resource for an entire school, it’s an entirely different ball game. You need to not only consider yourself but everyone else.

My immediate thought was about schools who don’t have teacher-librarians championing the acquisition of resources and understanding a school of a thousand or so with differing needs. How can they even presume to play on the same field? A teacher-librarian is so crucial.

I also did have a bit of a smile; I don’t know if Alanna gave us a quick tour of her school’s library or of the books that you could see from sitting in that new recliner.


Tears Now, Acceptance Later

Eva Thompson’s back at the keyboard! Yay!

Good teachers observe and this is what she’s seeing…

More and more I see students stressed out, succumbing to anxiety, feeling isolated and struggling with self esteem.  Part of these issues are tied into school performance and acceptance. I need to address it in my programming. I must.

As a teacher of the gifted, Eva’s students would be an interesting collection. Academically, they may well not have been challenged at the same level as others. It’s easy to understand because there are lots of other students in the regular classroom that would be seemingly needing more attention.

As a result, Eva is working hard to challenge her students and providing situations where they WILL fail. (Emphasis hers)

It’s an interesting read and works as a reminder that not all students are the same and they shouldn’t be treated or even challenged in the same way.


It’s a great blogging start to 2020. Please take the time to visit these terrific posts and drop off a comment or two.

Then, make sure that you’re following these folks on Twitter.

  • @MzMollyTL
  • @jcasatodd
  • @DebbieDonsky
  • @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • @DrDWestonPhD
  • @banana29
  • @leftyeva

This post appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Year in Ontario Edublogs


Yes, you read that correctly and it’s not a typo. The normal post for a Friday morning around here is “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” but this is a bit different.

I’ve been doing that post for a long time now. Using WordPress’ duplicate title feature, that title has appeared 389 times. There are actually a few more because I’ve made typos and called it “The Week in Ontario Edublogs” a few times. So, if there are 52 weeks in a year, 52 goes into more than 389

a whole bunch of times. Actually, that’s a post a day for a year and then some.

So, why did I start to do this?

It goes back a while (I’m still doing the math). Blogging was kind of young and there were blogging recommendations that people would share. The problem this Ontarian realized, was there were a lot of blogs written right here in the province – why aren’t we shouting from the rooftops the amazing things we’re doing here? dougpete.wordpress.com was my rooftop.

I stored, and continue to store, Ontario Educational blogs here. Some remain and others have come and gone; if nothing else, it’s a collection of professionals who have shared their thinking for the world to read.

This week, I’ve done something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Next week during our weekly podcast, Stephen Hurley and I will be doing a year-end summary so I wanted to create a document of all of the blog posts that we talked about on a weekly basis. Now, that document which I’ve since shared with him doesn’t include all of the posts that I write for my blog post. Typically, we talk about five on the show; then there’s a couple extra I add just for here. I don’t want him stealing all my readers!

It took a while but I went through all of the posts on this blog that I use to celebrate great Ontario blogging on Fridays. I really hope I captured them all. You’ll understand if I say that my eyes got crossed a few times. Of course, there are people who have been featured numerous times here. They obviously love to blog and share their ideas and I love to read them. There was a time when I would leave comments on their blogs. But, by putting them here, I’m in control and can sometimes offer more than just words.

Before I share the list from you, let me step back from the rooftop and go to street level and look up at these people. As I was working this document, I was just in so much awe as I revisited their titles and what I had written about them at the time. There is absolutely so much great writing and reflection. I am truly, truly humbled by looking at it. I hope that you don’t skip past this. Please take some time and look at the titles and the wide variety of content and wisdom that was shared.

I’m already having blogger’s remorse as I look at the finished product. There were some things that I could have done better. This was originally not going to go beyond the two of us but it was too impressive not to share.

But, there’s always next year.

Please enjoy and appreciate the absolute genius in the content that has been shared with the world this past year. Ontario bloggers are a terrific example of what people who are serious about their profession do. They share successes, outline next steps, and then push themselves to higher levels. I can think of no higher praise for both their efforts as bloggers or their dedication to learning and their profession.

BloggerPost
Alanna King – @banana29Leaping with no net: autism for teens in Ontario
How to coddle a volunteer
UX/UI Design with Canada Learning Code
HTML/CSS with Canada Learning Code
When Political Penny-Pinchers Pilfer Your PD
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
Your Students Should Nap (and so should you)
Ann Marie Luce – @turnmeluceThe value of the Exit Interview
#EdcampBeijing
Morale Compass
#oneword2019
Anna Bartosik – @ambartosikCitation practices, using databases, and literature reviews #MyResearch
Independent Reading and Research, Week 1: Data Tool Analysis #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
Have you ever put a tooth in the microwave?
Arianna Lambert – @MsALambertHour of Code Is Coming…
Podcasts for Students
Long-Range Plans
The Heart and Art of Teaching and Learning Resource
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?
Do We Need A Scaffolded Approach to Bullying
A Lot More Good …
How Do You Define Beauty?
When “Dear Other Mom” Becomes “Dear Educators And Parents”
Can Kids Understand Equity?
This is WHY I Speak Up. Why Do You?
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?
Preserving the Cup
Bonnie Stewart – @bonstewartExperience Required: Walking the Talk in Digital Teaching & Learning
The #UWinToolParade: Open Pedagogy as #OER
bringing back the participatory: a story of the #ProSocialWeb
Brenda Sherry – @brendasherryExploring By The Seat of Your Pants
No First Day Jitters This Year!
Cal Armstrong – @sig225The structure of the Interstitial App, or, Observations & Conversations – Part 2
Observations & Conversations: Part 1 of many?
Choose your own… PD.
Charles Pascal – @CEPascalMindless cuts to education puts our future at risk
Colleen Rose – @ColleenKRTake 10 Minutes
A Stitch in Time
Keep it Simple. (thanks, Rachel)
Conrad Glogowski – @teachandlearnPodcasts on Youth Development
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
Math Links for Week Ending Oct. 25th, 2019
Math Links for Week Ending May 3rd, 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
Did you get your flu shot yet?
Violence in Ontario Schools
Evaluating e-learning
The Courage to Teach
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
The Caterpillar Math Problem: Is it possible to be unbiased in our assessment?
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
Make your Feedback more Productive
Supporting Struggling Students in Math
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!
Hit By A Car
Reflections on NAMLE Part 2
Reflections on NAMLE Part 3
Happy #DLweekTO
Full STEAM ahead with Blue Spruce Books
My Many Microaggressions
Diana Maliszewski and Neil Andersen – @MzMollyTL and @mediaseeBaby It’s Cold Outside: The Saga of a Song
ECOO – @ecooorgECOOcamp Owen Sound 2019
Fair Chance Learning – @FCLEduIndigenous Institute Blends Tradition & Tech to Preserve Anishinaabe Teachings
Using Technology to Drive Language Skills and Create Meaningful Learning Opportunities
Implementing Survivor Mode into Student Learning in MinecraftEE
HP Maker Challenge
Fleming College Learning Design and Support Team Blog – @FlemingLDSWeek 4, Winter 2019
Harnessing Assessment – @HarnessingADescriptive Feedback: The Engine that Powers Learning
Hatch Coding – @hatchcodingSpending time with professional teachers
Heather Lye – @MsHLyeBittersweet Year End
Heather Swail – @hbswailTMB Withdrawal
Heather Theijsmeijer – @HTheijsmeijerFirst Week of Math: Resources to help make connections & build relationships
Making the Shift Toward Tracking Observations
When a Drawing is Not Just a Drawing
Heidi Solway – @hsolwayRoll Out The Red Carpet
30 Days of Gratitude: Day 26 – The Perfection in Imperfection
Helen DeWaard – @hj_dewaardThinking about Feedback
Helen Kubiw – @HelenKubiwGoodnight, World
Ian McTavish – @ianmctClass size changes – my perspective. #ontedannouncement
Indigenous Awareness – @indigenousawrns‼️‼️ELECTION DAY‼️‼️
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
ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES
Jamey Byers – @mrJameyByersBOOKMARKS ON TWITTER
Jay DuBois – @Jay__DuboisThe Grade 3 ‘Travelling Genius Bar’
Reset?
Jen Apgar – @jenapgarDesign Thinking and 3D printing challenges
Jen Giffen – @virtualGiffAnother Day another EdTech conference! #ECOOCamp 2019
Twitter – To Reply or Reply All?
Jennifer Arp – @Jennifer_ArpFull-Day Kindergarten at it’s best: awesome things are happening in Room 102
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
The risk of digital leadership
Help! My child wants a YouTube channel
Five reasons why banning cellphones is a bad idea
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!
Joanne Babalis – @joannebabalisSebby Dee turns 3!
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
If we want our students to (insert word) it starts with us
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
Krista McCracken – @kristamccrackenCommunity Archives and Identity
Preserving and Listening to Soundscapes
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?’ …
Helping our Girls Reframe Anxiety – it’s not all bad!
Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_lauraLearning in the Loo: Collaborative Kahoot Quiz
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
Slice of Life: Published
A little of this, a little of that
Writer’s Self-Regulations Project
Addition of double digit numbers
Lisa Cranston – @lisacranWe teach students not just content
Beyond Behaviour Charts
Self-Care for Writers
#HandsOffFDK
Lisa Floyd – @lisaannefloydText to Speech and Translation Blocks in Scratch 3.0
Lisa Munro – @LisaMunro11New Journeys
Liv Rondreau – @MissORondeauTHE MEDICINE WHEEL VS MASLOWS’S HIERACHY OF NEEDS
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
K is for Knowledge
Maggie Fay – @maggiefay_Hallway Connections: Autism and Coding via @maggiefay_
Mark Chubb – @MarkChubb3Strategies vs Models
One-Hole Punch Puzzle Templates
The More Strategies, the Better?
Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_TeacherThe 500 – #452 – John Prine – Debut
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
Equity Tech’quity
Speaking on and about black male students
Matthew Oldridge – @matthewoldridgeUsing Play to Teach Math
Too Random, Or Not Random Enough: Student Misunderstandings About Probability In Coin Flipping
The Playful Approach to Math
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!
Neil Anderson – @mediaseeHighlights of the National Association of Media Literacy Educators Conference
Noa Daniel – @noasbobsPitch Day 2019
Elevate your Audience
My River, My Mountain- A Day of Learning with Jennifer Abrams
TTalks for Impact 2019
This Week in Ontario Playlists – Doug Peterson’s P3
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
Friday Two Cents: The Language of Art
Comic Strips: School’s Out for Summer
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
History in the Making – Creating Digital History Techbooks
New Beginnings, New Adventures
Your Professional Life is Declining and It’s About Time
Peter Beens – @pbeensSnippets #1
Students’ Favourite Affinity Designer Tutorials
100DaysofCode
Snowbirds
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
K Cups Math Resource Page
Water Walking
Ideal PD?
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
#RememberingLeanne
#BIT19 Call for Proposals is OPEN!
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.
Introduction to Unlearning June 23 – August 17
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
Robert Hunking – @yesknownoWhen The Dust Settles?
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
Sarah Lalonde -@sarahlalondeeThirty one days – my social media detox
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
Web Intentions
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
5 Things That Make You a Mosquito Magnet – YouTube
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?
Cultivating the Culture Code
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!
National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21
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?
Dreaming is Free
Where am I in the #ExtendmOOC Conversation?
A New Year, A New Semester
TESLOntario Blog – @TESLontarioWHO HAS THE FINAL SAY ABOUT STUDENT MARKS?
ENCOURAGING REFLECTIVE PRACTICE FOR OURSELVES AND OUR STUDENTS
TESOL’S ELECTRONIC VILLAGE ONLINE
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
There is no STEM
Good Will: it’s what holds the education system together
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
Easy Money
Elearning: How to make the inevitable more than a cash grab
Tina Zita – @tina_zitaA Journey with Sketchnotes
Saying Goodbye – A Consistent Journey
A Modern ‘Who Came First’ Debate
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


I almost did it again.  Instead of “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”, I started to type the title as “The Week in Ontario Edublogs”.  I’ve done it before and that’s why this post’s numbering doesn’t reflect the actual number of times I’ve written this post.  Sigh.  Let’s just say I’ve written it a lot.

And here’s what I was excited to read this week.


An Alternative To A School Cellphone Ban

After a bit of a dry spell, Andrew Campbell is back blogging.  What caught my eye about this post was that he claimed that the Premier made reference to it on social media.

As Andrew notes, this isn’t a problem that schools have created, it’s one that parents and students have brought into schools with them.  So, Andrew offers the simplistic solution – have parents make students keep the devices at home.

I suppose that such a simplistic approach is doable.  After all, there are other things that are not allowed in schools and there are heavy handed consequences for doing so.  The same could apply to cellphones.

I think back to my schooling and we actually had to purchase a sliderule for use in school.  One of the wealthier kids in the class came with an electronic calculator and was absolutely forbidden to use this device which gave exact answers in favour of using a device that approximated the answer.

Calculators were introduced with some folks screaming about the demise of civilization (at least the Mathematics part of it) and yet these devices are just taken for granted these days.

I suspect that years from now, people will look back and laugh at how we anguished over the issue of BYOD and bringing powerful and enabling devices into the classroom.  The issue they might be debating could be about whether reading about Einstein or interacting with a holograph is more educationally sound.


Back To The Map Of Canada: What Do You Do With That 2%?

This post from Aviva Dunsiger brought me back nightmares about quicky PD sessions given in staff meetings.  Often they’re about 15 minutes long, totally out of context for me at least and ultimately we wrote them off as filler.

As you read Aviva’s post, you can visualize her heart rate climbing as a result of anxiety.  I’m surprised that she didn’t bring in something to do with self-regulation.

Personally, I can recall such PD sessions where I got my colours done in that 15 minutes to tell me that my learning style was something other than what I thought.  Then, there was the time we all had to sing and, believe me, you don’t want to hear me sing.  After the meeting I approached the superintendent and offered to lead a session to have everyone create a program and was turned down.  I guess there are priorities.

It seems to me that doing something in a staff meeting with teachers from various grades and subject areas is actually a very hard task.  It needs to be generic enough to be meaningful enough to everyone and yet valuable enough to justify the time devoted to it.

Not an easy task.


This week we did…something

It’s the time of year for Progress Reports – the things that go home in advance of Report Cards.  There was a time when these were a quick glimpse about socialization and a status report on work habits.  Now, they’re substantially more than that.

This post from Lisa Corbett paints an interesting picture of the challenge of making something worthwhile at this time of year, given her approach to the teaching and learning done in her class so far.

Because of the work I’m doing to spiral in math this year I am feeling like I don’t have a lot of things to use for comments on progress reports. I’ve decided to focus my commenting on some of the mathematical process skills.

I think that, when you read it, you’ll empathize with her plight.

Perhaps for the Mathematics subject area, she could just put a link to this post in the student progress report and have the parents read what’s going on here.


Focus on Trees – Part One

Absolutely every now and again, it’s really important to take a look at the learning environment and that’s what Ann-Marie Kee does here.  In particular, she identifying various trees and their significance on her school property.

Could you do that?

I think to some of the new builds where a bulldozer comes in and flattens everything and a boxy school building appears.  A little later, perhaps some grass and a few trees as part of a planting or community partnership.

You’d never be able to say this with that approach.

I think of our trees as keepers of our culture.

And, I just have to include this.


Preserving the Cup

Skip to the end and Beth Lyons says it well.

But our educators can not pour from an empty cup.

One of the things that Beth has observed is that this year is a bit different from others.  She claims to be an optimist but is struggling to have optimistic thoughts these days.

She sees teachers stretched thin already.  Herself included.  And, it’s only October.

Who better than a teacher-librarian who has interactions with every staff member in the school to make that observation?

Is there a magic potion that can be taken to turn this around?  I think we all know that the answer is no.  I can’t help but wonder if the recent election hasn’t contributed heavily to this – we live in a time when positive messages take a back seat to the negative.  It has to take a toll.

Caring for others is important but Beth notes many times that it’s also important to take care of yourself.  It’s not being selfish.

We need to get beyond that.


100DaysofCode

Peter Beens is participating in very active pieces of personal learning.  Earlier this week, I noted that he was part of the WordCamp in the Niagara Region?  This is different.

When you click through, you’ll see that this whole project is very comprehensive. Much like other challenges like the 30 days of photography challenges, Peter has to work on something every day. He’s doing so and documenting it.

You’ll also click through to see the activities and Peter sharing his notes on his work.

Wow!


‼️‼️ELECTION DAY‼️‼️

And, finally, a new Ontario Blogger. This is from Indigenous Awareness.

Essentially, this post is a summary of positions about Indigenous issues from the major political parties in Canada. When I first read it, I was feeling badly that I hadn’t read it in advance of the election.

And yet, now that we have a minority government in place, perhaps the messages and positions from the parties are even more important. Will they be held accountable?

By themselves, each of the parties have shared their positions. But, since no one party will be able to pass legislation without assistance from another, looking for common threads or close to common threads might be a good indication of what might happen.


As I say every week, please take the time to click through and read these posts in their original form. There is great thinking and sharing of ideas there.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter to stay on top of their future thinking.

  • @acampbell99
  • @avivaloca
  • @LisaCorbett0261
  • @AMKeeLCS
  • @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • @pbeens
  • @indigenousawrns

This post appeared originally on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s nice to be able to write this blog post knowing that the voicEd show actually worked yesterday unlike last week.

As always, some great thinking from Ontario Edubloggers.

Read on to enjoy.


When your plan is no longer the plan

From Paul McGuire, a post that could well have been titled “The Essence of Teaching”.  In this post, Paul shares with us an incident that happened in his university class.

A student wanted to time to share an issue that he was passionate about with the class and asked for the opportunity to share his insights.

Paul could have said “Sorry, we don’t have time for that” but that wasn’t the right answer.  Issues of the day, lives of students, and in this case, the future for these educators was more relevant and important than any teacher delivered lesson could be.  We talk so often about honouring student voice; here’s a great example.

Sometimes when something is bubbling just under the surface, a teacher has to know it is time to throw the lesson out the window and just let the learning happen.


WHO HAS THE FINAL SAY ABOUT STUDENT MARKS?

Big learning for me this week happened on this post from Stacey Vandenberg on the TESLOntario blog.

The inspiration for the post was a discussion about student marks and whether the teacher or the administrator should have the last say on what mark is assigned.  The context was the PBLA assessment for newcomers to Canada learning English.  I’d never heard of PBLA so did a lot of reading to get caught up to speed.

There is no argument that the instructor is in the class for the duration and is able to assess the ongoing progress and abilities of the students.  The instructor should be in the best possible position to determine the final grade.  And yet, it’s the administrator whose signature vouches for the result.

As noted in the post, it would be a very rare situation when the teacher’s professional judgement should be overruled.  Not only is it educationally sound not to do so, I can’t imagine the lack of enthusiasm for going into work the next day knowing that your abilities have been challenged or overruled.

In this case, I find it interesting that a mark would be assigned.  It seems to me that this is one case where PASS/FAIL would be the best way to report the results.


Another Year and The Unlearning Continues

If I had to go back to high school and take the Humanities, I’d want to be in Rebecca Chambers’ class.  Musty old history books have no place here.  The approach and the topics covered are very progressive and currently relevant.

Just look at a typical week.

  • Mondays – Get Organized
  • Tuesdays – Content Day
  • Wednesdays – Community Outreach
  • Thursdays & Fridays – Passion Project Days

You’ll have to click through and read the details which she fleshes out very nicely.  Of interest to this geeky person is how the use of current technologies is weaved through things.


I DON’T USE TEXTBOOKS

Oh, Melanie Lefebvre, where were you when I was in post secondary school?

It wasn’t until third year that I realized that many of the recommended books and readings that I had accumulated were sitting on my bookshelf largely unused.  The tutorial books, yes.  But the textbooks, nope.

I then realized late in my educational career that the books were available at the library or the bookstore had a used textbook sale where you could buy at the fraction of the cost.

Things definitely could be different today.  So many resources are available online; it’s almost criminal to pay for a textbook.  Not only that, but how dated would that textbook be – factor in the research, writing, publishing, and delivery times.  Melanie is able to use resources that might have been updated yesterday with her approach.

She talks about being accountable for the money that students would pay for textbooks but I think the accountability goes much further in the use of current resources and having students knowing how to access them.

After all, when they graduate and work in the “real world”, there is no textbook available.


Building a Google Site and Relationships with Parents

My admiration and edu-worship for Jennifer Aston went up another notch after reading this post from her.

The post describes an approach that she takes for a Meet the Teacher night.  There are so many ways that this night can be attacked.  Her approach was to create a collection of Centres using Google Sites for the teachers to explore.

It seems to me that this goes beyond “Meet the Teacher”.

  • It shows an approach that could be described as “Meet the Classroom”
  • It shows a level of sophistication in computer use that lets parents know that it will be used in a meaningful way
  • A followup with parents to help inform her direction for communication
  • And, of course, the thing that all parents dread “Kids these days are doing so much more than what we did in our day”

Preserving the Cup

It’s Beth Lyons week around here!  Read the interview with her that I posted yesterday here.

In addition to completing the interview, Beth had time to write a blog post in her thoughtful manner – this time the topic was about self-care.  It’s particularly timely since today (Thursday as I write this) is Mental Health Awareness Day.

A regular school year is always hard for teachers.  With its ups and downs, as Beth notes, you can feel particularly stretched.  And, if you’re feeling that way in the first part of October, what’s it going to be like later in the year?

This fall, of course, is particularly stressful for teachers and education workers with the expiry of collective agreements and the posturing that’s taking place on a daily basis.

Teachers do need to take care of themselves and their colleagues.  After all, you’re together for 8 or more hours a day and should be able to see things and provide the best supports.


THE MEDICINE WHEEL VS MASLOW’S HIERACHY OF NEEDS

As I was monitoring my Twitter network yesterday, the name Liv Rondeau popped by.  This was a new educator for me so I added her to an Ontario Educator list and noticed that she had a blog and web presence so I took it all in.

This post really caught my interest.  I know that it’s over a year old but it was the first time that I had seen it so it was new to me!

The description of the Medicine Wheel and the doors was new to me and so I read it with deep interest.  Liv ties it to Maslow’s Needs which I certainly am well aware of.

Her explanations were well crafted and ultimately brought us into the classroom and servicing the needs of children.

At points, I felt like I was learning Maslow all over again; it was such a different context for me.

Take a poke around the website when you get there.  There is an interesting collection of resources and lesson plans for Grades 5 and 6 available.


Please take some time to click through and enjoy all of these posts at their original site.  Like all weeks, there’s some awesome learning to be had.

And, follow these educators on Twitter.

  • @mcguirp
  • @TESLontario
  • @MrsRChambers
  • @ProfvocateMel
  • @mme_aston
  • @mrslyonslibrary
  • @MissORondeau

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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