This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Probably TMI, but I wore long pants and a sweat shirt for the dog walk this morning. It was so cool out there at the beginning (10 degrees) but it sure helped to work up a sweat.

For a Friday morning, here’s a look around the province at great content provided by Ontario Edubloggers.


Your Students Should Nap (and so should you)

Congratulations to Andrew Campbell for being recognized as one of the Top Canadian Educational Blogs. It says so on the link behind the badge on his landing page.

So, what does a high quality blog feature in its quest for cutting edge comments about education.

Napping.

The scientific research is clear that napping is good for us. A study showed that 10-12 year olds that took a midday nap had greater happiness, self-control, and grit; fewer behavioral problems; and higher IQ than students who didn’t.

And maybe a better command of buzzwords?

It won’t be the first study that goes ignored but it does beg a few questions.

  • If schools are struggling to get 40 desks into a classroom, where will they find the same number of cots?
  • If the kids nap, I’d want to too. We had a couch in the Business Department work area that we could flip a coin for
  • Who’s going to supervise the kids lest you have a sleepwalker?
  • Can you imagine the bad breath after wakey wakey time? Rush to the washrooms to brush?
  • Are we getting paid for this?
  • Who is going to break the news to the Ministry and the Government that this is a good idea? Or, in terms of public policy, the right wing newspapers?
  • Who would be the experts in this field? Maybe a daycare worker from down the street?

There is no STEM

I wonder how Tim King feels about STEAM then?

That’s been a hot item in education for the past few years. Keynote speakers, government grants here and there have all promoted the importance of the concept. Yet, as Tim notes in the post, there is no co-ordinated effort to make it a “thing” across the province.

Because, he notes, if it was a “thing” there would be funding, a curriculum, and recognition by universities and colleges.

Sadly, it could be taken as a slam to people that are trying their best to make it something (and some are doing great things) but it’s yet to rise to the standard of a curricular thing. The concept most certainly has value but, unlike other curriculum areas, it remains like a pickup game of baseball in elementary schools and an option in secondary schools.

It’s a shame that this pointless acronym has thrown a blanket over the grossly neglected curriculums of technology and engineering, while giving even more attention to two of the Disney princesses of academia.  To be honest with you, I think technology and engineering would be just where it is now had this STEM focus never happened, which tells you something about how this ed-fad has gone down.


The Gift of Staying Connected – Thanks Andrew and Diana

This is a heart-warming story from Diana Maliszewski about connections with students who have since graduated.

There are so many takeaways to this story other than the wonderful remembrances that Diana shares. (We now know the secret to her yearbook)

It’s a reminder that connections are constantly being made and are remembered long after graduations. Can you go back to your hometown without taking a drive past your old school or university and have fond memories flow?

For non educators who view teaching as just an assembly line for students, they need to read and see the empathy and connections made here and how Diana chose to share them with us.

And for kids – it’s just not you having memories of your teacher – it works both ways.


Three lessons on Grit and Resilience

This is another very thoughtful post from Jennifer Casa-Todd although she actually provides us with four lessons. A couple of them are kind of close so we’ll cut her some slack.

The biggest head nod that I gave Jennifer’s post was actually in her first lesson:

 Success is more likely when you work in manageable chunks

As a programmer, I set out a plan to do this, then this, then this, then this, and then put it all together. I always visualize a project as the sum of its parts. I’m not sure that I could do a more big idea approach without considering the sub-components.

It was always the way that things went in my Computer Science classes. It was easier for students to solve a problem if they worked in chunks. It also allowed them to get partial marks even if they couldn’t solve the big problem. When you’re walking around the room and asked for assistance, it was also easier to see and understand than looking at pages and pages of spaghetti code.

If there’s one piece of advice that people would be wise to consider, it’s this one. The other three are pretty good too!


HOW TO START THE SCHOOL YEAR OFF RIGHT

You know, if you could bottle that and sell it to teachers, you’d be a millionaire. Fortunately, there are all kinds of bits of wisdom about this.

This post is Kyle Pearce’s attempt at advice specifically for the mathematics classroom. I really like his ideas and concepts.

There are a couple of points that appear as statements that I think deserve to be fleshed out in greater detail.

Change their beliefs about math

Unfortunately, I see an underlying assumption here. While there are many students that don’t like mathematics, how about the kid like me that loved doing it? What would my belief change to? More importantly, just how would someone go about this – and doing so without dissing previous teachers in the process?

I’ve always wondered about the “beliefs about math” and wonder if it differs in grades 3, 6, 9 in Ontario over the other grades because of the impending year of preparing for the test. I think that would make for a great research study.

Establish expectations by painting a picture of what math class will look like

I’m curious about this one too – will all classes look the same? Will they all be functionally the same? Do you address homework while painting this picture?


“The More Strategies, the Better?”

There were three things that stood out to me in Mark Chubb’s post. He does use mathematics and a specific example for his purpose in the post.

  1. Is there value in knowing more than one way to solve a problem? I’d guess that the experienced mathematics teacher would argue yes until they’re blue in the face
  2. Mark does make reference to strategies that are “early understanding” versus those that are “sophisticated”. How does a student appreciate this? Does “sophisticated” equate to being more difficult? I had a university professor who just exuded a love for mathematics and the only word that I could think of for what he did when solving a problem was “elegance”. How do you get students so learned that their solutions become elegant?
  3. I really like the fact that Mark includes this in his post.
    “Have discussions with other math educators about the math you teach”
    Do you do that or do you just assume that you’re the teacher and there’s no room to grow and learn?

This is a wonderful post for anyone to read and understand. I can’t help but think of the teacher who is teaching mathematics for the first time. How do you bring them along and witness the wisdom and insights of experiences teachers?


Taking Old Town Road to School

Search YouTube for “Old Town Road” and sit back to see the many versions – live, karaoke, parode, etc. of the song.

Here’s another idea that’s also a great lesson for the classroom.

Then, check out the tags from this post from the Association for Media Literacy.

21st Century Literacies, association for media literacy, audience, codes and conventions, lil nas x, media literacy education, neil andersen, old town road

The post gives a wonderful lesson about how to take an original work and remix it so that it’s yours and address so many things along the way!

Need the lyrics – click here.

This whole activity just sounds like a whack of fun.


Your call to action this Friday morning —

  1. Read and enjoy the original posts
  2. Follow these bloggers on Twitter
    1. @acampbell99
    2. @mechsymp
    3. @MzMollyTL
    4. @jcasatodd
    5. @MathletePearce
    6. @MarkChubb3
    7. @A_M_L_

This post originally appeared on

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

Advertisements

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy Friday everyone. And, it’s a 13th too. And a full moon to boot. Actually a “micro” Harvest Moon. In football, we call it “piling on”. Read about it here.

But you can tough it out.

Grab a coffee and sit back to enjoy some posts from these fabulous Ontario Edubloggers.


Minding the Children

OK, I’ll confess to be guilty of doing this.

Sharing memes in June about sending kids back to their parents or in late September about parents shipping kids back to school.

In this post, Sheila Stewart suggests that doing so is not the best of ideas.

I am also not sure if such humour does much to support working relationships and respect between teachers and parents.

I guess I never saw it much more than a bit of fun poking at our profession. I’ve never really thought of them as serious; more of a look at reality in the school year.


This Blog is not Dead it’s…

I guess I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when Jennifer Aston indicated that she hadn’t abandoned things – she was just carrying through on promises to a family about not doing school work in July.

I don’t think it’s an unfair demand; after all, kids deserve family time which can be so difficult to find during the school year between working, after school professional learning, coaching, and so much more. Why not demand a little mom time during the summer.

I’m not surprised that many of her activities mirrored what my summers were like when my kids were younger – going to the beach, going to swimming lessons, potty training, but I drew the line at soccer. My kids were baseball/softball players! (Still are)

Read the post; many bloggers would have made this into a number of smaller posts but Jennifer throws her entire summer at us.

And, she’s promising to get back on the blogging scene again. Great!


L’ADN d’un leader

This is an interesting post from Joel McLean, again about leadership.

He talks about the DNA of a leader and ties in the 17 basic abilities identified by John Maxwell.

From the 17, Joel identifies three specifically and expands on them.

  • Ability to think
  • Creativity ability
  • Production capacity

The call to action is to question yourself, if you see yourself as a leader, about how you would increase these abilities.

I’m curious though about his use of the term DNA. To me, DNA is part of your make up and not something that you can change. (I watch a lot of Law & Order). To me, it begs the question. If these skills are truly DNA, can you actually change them? Maybe an idea for a future post, Joel?

With a little tongue in cheek, maybe blood tests replace interviews?


Exploring Classroom Expectations while using WipeBook Chart Paper

Congratulations to Joe Archer…he entered a contest and won a WipeBook Flipchart. It’s part of a series of products you can find here. http://www.wipebook.ca.

Joe talks about the product, but more importantly, talks about how he uses it with his class. For me, it’s the description of the pedagogy that is exciting.

At times, and for selfish purposes, that can be overlooked when people go product bashing.

I can’t help but think about the high profile keynote speakers a few years ago who went on a rant a few years about about Interactive Whiteboards. Like anything in the classroom, they can be used well or poorly. It’s not the product itself; it’s how it’s used. “Oh, and buy my book.”

I remember years ago in my planner having a write-on cleanable whiteboard page along with the traditional paper. In my mind, the paper was good for notes that I thought would be “permanent” whereas the erasable product was more transient in how I used it. My use mirrors somewhat the classroom activity that Joe describes.

I also like the fact that Joe uses the expression “Exploring”. It conveys a message that he’s doing his own research into the product and not just following the crowd.


A Career Marked by Change: Learning the Big Lessons in Some Small Places

Debbie Donsky takes on a new role this September and uses her blog to reflect on a career – so far anyway…

I’ll confess that I was expecting something different from her title when she made reference to “small places”. I had thought that she’d be referring to the small communities that school can be in the middle of big towns or cities. But, I was wrong.

Instead, she takes the opportunity to identify 15 Big Lessons and develops each along with a picture or two.

I could identify with most of the 15 but there were three that really resonated.

  • Be where you are – reminded me of my first trips to schools as a consultant – none of them are the same and you are most effective when you recognize that
  • Be authentic – especially with kids – they have a sixth sense when you’re faking it
  • Everyone you meet can help you – and reciprocate! Together we’re better

For more Debbie Donsky, read my interview with her here.


Goodnight, World

This is the latest review of a book from the CanLit for Little Canadians blog authored by Helen Kubiw.

I’m always astounded when I talk to Language teachers or Teacher-Librarians as to how connected and insightful they are with new books or ones that have been around for a while.

The latest reviews include:

  • Goodnight, World
  • The Starlight Claim
  • Harvey Comes Home
  • Spin

Violence in Ontario Schools

There have been a number of articles released in the traditional media about a report identifying the grown of violence in Ontario schools. Sadly, the articles are not very deep except to report their sources. Then, they move on.

On the ETFO Heart and Art Blog, Deborah Weston takes a really deep dive on this. Not only does she identify the research but she shares her insights about the issue.

She notes that there are no quick and easy solutions. In particular, she addresses a couple of the techniques often given as solutions to the problem.

Self-regulation and mindfulness strategies do help some students develop their social and emotional capacity but self-regulation and mindfulness strategies do not compensate for the myriad of causes and complex intersectionality of environmental, developmental, intellectual, social, emotional, economic, and mental health needs that may be at the root of students’ behavioural outcomes.

I would encourage all teachers to read this and look at the implications. I would also suggest that the worst thing that you could do is to ignore incidents. They need to be reported so that they can be addressed, not just in your classroom, but Ontario’s school system at large.


Like any Friday, there are always wonderful thoughts and ideas shared by Ontario Educators. Please take the time to read all seven of these terrific blog posts. You’ll be glad you did.

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

  • @sheilaspeaking
  • @mme_aston
  • @jprofNB
  • @ArcherJoe
  • @DebbieDonsky
  • @HelenKubiw
  • @dr_weston_PhD

This post originally appeared on this blog:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


As we head deeper into September, there’s no doubt that autumn is on its way. From Fall Fairs to cooler nights, you can’t question it. And, of course, crickets.

It’s a wonderful time to be outside though. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. When you’re inside however, check out some of these blog posts from Ontario Educators.


A Self-Reg Look At “Preparing Kids”: Is It Time To Change The Conversation?

On the Merit Centre blog, Aviva Dunsiger shares her thoughts about the concept of preparing kids for the next grade. She takes on the role of student, teacher, and parent and builds the case about the stressors that she sees with each of these groups.

It’s an interesting concept to tackle. I would suggest, though, that our school model isn’t set up to fully embrace the concept of looking ahead. After all, every grade and every subject has expectations that need to be addressed. We’re not a big continuum from K-12.

I had to smile when I looked back on an experience that I had teaching Grade 9 Mathematics. There was a small collection of students that were obvious in their lacking of skills from Grade 8. Upon further research, their elementary school had a history of being weak in Mathematics. I was advised by my department head that I needed to do some catch up work with them. So, for a few weeks, they got to dine with me in an empty classroom. It was actually kind of fun to help them fill in the gaps but I can’t imagine the increased stress that they had knowing that they were behind classmates and had to give up lunch with friends for lunch with their new friend.

I like how Aviva notes that the focus should be on the child and, while she doesn’t explicitly state it, she’s talking about differentiation or customization to help each student achieve. And that, after all, is why teachers get the big bucks.


2019-20: Persistence and Possibility

If there’s a class in the province that I’d love to audit, it’s Tim King’s. Why?

Well, just read this post. He took a couple of classes over the summer including one dealing with Cyber Operations. I’m fearful that, with the lack of direction in some districts, kids are just tap, tap, tapping on their iPads and calling it technology integration. You have but to just read the technology news to know that it’s an increasingly ugly world out there. How are you supposed to keep up? Are you preparing your students for heading out into that world?

Tim is.

I can’t help but remark what a terrific learning experience Tim’s students had with a guest from IBM coming in to work with them and the Watson AI.

Check out his entire post and ask if you’re school is providing this opportunity for your students. If not, why not?


First Week of Math: Resources to help make connections & build relationships

If I had to guess what resources that teachers of MBF3C wanted, I might have guessed:

  • new textbooks
  • better worksheets
  • higher end technology

Not so, according to Heather Theijsmeijer.

They wanted ways to connect with the students and build a good learning relationship. My suggestions above would be anything but, I think.

To assist, in this post, Heather provides links to a number of resources from a who’s who in modern mathematics instruction, including Ontario educator Jon Orr.

Follow the links for some truly inspirational ideas. I’ll step out on a limb and indicate that, with a little customization, they could apply in other areas other than Mathematics.


Teachers tell stories

Confession time here … I booked this post from Albert Fong a little too quickly. I saw the August 15 part and tucked it away for the voicEd show and this post.

What I hadn’t noticed was the year! The post was from a year ago. During our live show, Stephen Hurley made a comment that the post look familiar. I guess I thought that it was as well. But, I still like the concept as a Business educator and the Entrepreneurship shown along with the teacher Q&A of a student baking cookies.

So, yeah, it’s a year old and I’ll apologize for the timeliness (actually it’s previously made this blog here). But, I won’t apologize for the content and message. It’s still as good as ever!


Snippets #1

beens.org has long been a destination for me to see what Peter Beens is doing in his classroom. Now, he’s registered beens.ca and is taking a new direction.

Welcome to the first of hopefully a series of “snippets” blog posts. I have to admit I’m poaching the idea from @dougpete with his “My Week Ending” series [example]. My life seems to be too hectic to publish “real” posts so let’s see if this works as an alternative.

I like the concept and it dovetails on my philosophy of learning nicely. If I learn something of value, why not share it in case it’s of value to someone else? If it isn’t, they can just ignore it.

I’ve got to believe though, that when Peter’s Solo EV arrives, it will generate a “real” post (whatever that is!)


New Beginnings, New Adventures

Paul McGuire has been busy this summer with his participation in the Climb for Kids and a couple of recent posts share his thoughts and images about the climb.

However, the latest post reveals a complete change in his life. He’s going back to school.

Not as a student though. He’s going to work at the University of Ottawa and in the Faculty of Education. That’s going to be an immense change.

This blog is about to get much busier. When life takes a radical change learning happens that really should be accompanied by reflection. Things now are so new I really don’t know enough to reflect, but I think that will change pretty quickly.

That’s great news for those of us who follow him on his blog. We’ll look forward to the things that he’s about to share.


No First Day Jitters This Year!

Things are about to change with Brenda Sherry as well. It’s not a return to books and other things for her…

She’s not headed back to a traditional school which she notes she has done for so many years. Instead, it’s education in a different direction.

This isn’t to say that jitters might not be coming, but from a different direction. You’ve got this, Brenda.

I wish her all the success with this very ambitious future.


Please take the time to visit these blog posts and check out the sharing from these terrific Ontario Educators.

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

  • @Self_Reg (@avivaloca)
  • @tk1ng
  • @HTheijsmeijer
  • @albertfong
  • @pbeens
  • @mcguirp
  • @brendasherry

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s still summer time and reading blogs is a nice break from the heat. Check out some of the things that I’ve been reading from Ontario Edubloggers lately


Why Summer is a Perfect Time for Reflection

Summer is an interesting beast. Even when you go into your favourite stores, there’s no guarantee that it’s business as usual. Your favourite workers may not be there and instead are away on holiday.

Of course, as Sue Dunlop notes, don’t drop into a school and look for the regular crew.

They’re away doing things that aren’t connected to specific time slots and specific places. They’re on their own time and in their own place. Sue points out some great reasons why this “break from the bell” makes it a perfect time to reflect.

It’s not advice for others – she’s doing a bit of reflection on her own.


Experiment of The Week – Homemade Projector by Steve Spangler

After you’re done reflecting and you want to create something, the STAO blog has this little gem.

How about creating your own projector?

Is this a project for your makerspace in the future?


ETFO Innovate 2019

I really enjoy reading conference reports and this one from Shelly Vohra is no difference.

Lots of activities and learning seemed to be the theme coming from her in the post. She provides a complete and detailed report on her various activities.

Of real interest was a quote that she attributes to Debbie Donsky (see my interview with Debbie here) about her keynote. It surrounds the word Ubuntu. It’s a philosophy on many levels – including an operating system! But, its roots go back to connecting people…

She also talked about the term “Ubuntu” –  “I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” How are we sharing in a way that connects us all? How are we leading and connecting from the heart?

Doesn’t that describe the human teaching condition?


Tour de Mont Blanc – Day Eight for Climb for Kids

Paul McGuire may be on the other side of the Atlantic climbing for kids but if you’re connected to Paul, you’ve been seeing some spectacular pictures of his summer adventure.

So far, he’s provided one blog post of “how I spent my summer holidays” and check out the scenery.

On top of this, he’s raising money for kids. Talk about the best of both worlds.


Friday Two Cents: Honour Our Past To Understand Our Present

Like Paul Gauchi, one of my favourite places to visit while in Ottawa is the Canadian War Museum. Even visiting the local cenotaph can be a humbling experience.

I attribute it to a vet that I had as a teacher. He walked with a permanent limp and would often share personal stories when there were those 10-15 minutes of dead time at the the end of class.

Sadly, there are fewer and fewer people who have this sort of experience and memories. The Museum helps ensure that we continue to remember and to honour.

Yet I say, “To truly understand our present we must first understand our past”; the good, bad and ugly sides. I cannot tell you how many adults do not know or understand the current Canadian issues that we face today, started many years if not decades ago. But they keep on complaining and in my opinion whining about these issues without knowing the history of them.


Have you ever put a tooth in the microwave?

Well, Anne-Marie Kee, no I haven’t. Although now that I’ve read the title to this post, I am curious…

tldr; You won’t find the answer in this post.

However, you will find a summer reflection from a principal. In a private school, in addition to the sorts of things that you might expect anywhere, there are additional things to think about. Concerns about sustainability would be among them although that appears to be under control.

The final thought is something that I think so many are thinking and wondering about this summer. It’s important and the answer might make for a better school year.

How can we prioritize student voice in our programs?


Highlights of the National Association of Media Literacy Educators Conference

Finally, from the Association for Media Literacy blog, another conference summary and reflect by Neil Andersen.

Wow!

What a collection of sessions that he shares some notes and thinking about.

  • Teaching About Genocide Through A Media Literacy Frame • Jad Melki
  • Refugees creating documentaries in Greece using visual ethnography • Evanna Ratner
  • Eco Media Literacy • Antonio Lopez
  • Criminal minds and Looney Tunes: portrayals of mental illness and therapy on television
  • Pushing against online hate: MediaSmarts • Kara Brisson-Boivin
  • Media Literacy Pedagogical Practices With Children: Engagement, Learning And Home-School Community Knowledge Exchange • Vitor Tomé
  • Critiquing advertisements with teens and their families: video literacy intervention in Jamaica • Rachel Powell
  • The United States Institute of Peace Thinktank
  • Visualizing Media Literacy • Theresa Redmond
  • On The Air: Elementary Student Adventures In Podcasting And Radio Broadcasting • Diana Maliszewski
  • What Does The Internet Know About You? • Julie Nilsson Smith
  • Panel: Media Literacy And The Tech Industry: Exploring Collaborative Ways To Navigate Rapid Technological Growth
  • Panel: Trust, Journalism, And Media Literacy
  • The Future Of Media Literacy Requires Starting Early: “Ulla” The Little Owl In Kindergarten • Eveline Hipeli
  • Media Literacy Across The Pacific: What’s Happening In Australia • Amy Nelson

I hope that you can find some time to click through and read all of these posts at their original source. There’s great thinking there.

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

  • @Dunlop_Sue
  • @staoapso
  • @raspberryberet3
  • @mcguirp
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @AMKeeLCS
  • @mediasee

This is part of a regular Friday feature here. It was originally posted to

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

@voicEd #twioe Playlist – Weeks 131-135


The voicEd radio This Week in Ontario Edublogs summary continues with Week 131. This picks up on June 12, 2019.

Week 131

voicEd Radio Show:  http://soundcloud.com/voiced-radio/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-with-doug-peterson-june-12

twioe Blog Post: https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-363/

Featured posts by:  Ann Marie Luce, Terry Greene, Peter Cameron, Lynn Thomas, Beth Lyons, Debbie Donsky, Sheila Stewart


Week 132

voicEd Radio Show:  http://soundcloud.com/voiced-radio/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-june-26

twioe Blog Post:  https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/the-week-in-ontario-edublogs-3/

Featured posts by:  Laurel Bottrell, Jim Cash, David Carruthers, Stepan Pruchnicky, Ruthie Sloan, Joel McLean, Cal Armstrong


Week 133

voicEd Radio Show: http://soundcloud.com/voiced-radio/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-with-doug-peterson-july-3-2019-07-03-340-pm

twioe Blog Post:  https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-365/

Featured posts by:  Peter Cameron, Amanda Potts, Diana Maliszewski, Deanna McLennan, Lisa Corbett, Anna Bartosik, Robert Hunking


Week 134

voicEd Radio Show:  No show this week

twioe Blog Post:  https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-366/

Featured posts by:  Paul McGuire, Paul Gauchi, Aviva Dunsiger, Heather Lye, Diana Maliszewski


Week 135

voicEd Radio Show:  http://soundcloud.com/voiced-radio/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-july-17

twioe Blog Post: https://dougpete.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/this-week-in-ontario-edublogs-367/

Featured posts by: The Beast EDU, Andrea Haefele, Alanna King, Will Gourley, Terry Greene, Arianna Lambert, Fair Chance Learning

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


How about some cool reading as you head into a warm weekend? Well, at least it’s supposed to be warm around here. From the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers, here’s some of my recent reading.


The Fear of Writing: Finding Your Voice When Writing within an Organization

This past week, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Debbie Donsky and also read a terrific post from here. It’s your digital daily double.

Writing and publishing has never been easier with social media tools. This may put you in a spot at times. Debbie shares this bit of advice including the resource from her district.

At this point, every board will have Social Media Guidelines for Staff. Here are the guidelines for my board. These guidelines stress that there is no personal vs professional social media accounts. As educators, as cited from the Ontario College of Teachers guidelines, we are always held to the highest moral standard. We will always represent our school, board, and system when we post. We must be mindful of board polices as they relate to human rights, equity and inclusivity as well as character education. We must reflect the board’s mission, vision and values.

There are so many angles to all of this. As always, the high road should be the road sought but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. By promoting some progressive thought, others might see that as a professional slam against them. Only in education would you write potentially for an audience who does professional judgement and assessment for a living.

Another area that has always had me wondering was the writing of textbooks and other resources to make a few extra bucks. I know the standard answer is to do 100% of it on your own time which only makes sense – you’re working while at work. And yet, there are the resources and learning that you’ve had from your day job. Should your employer get a piece of the action?

That strays away from the original premise of Debbie’s well reasoned and presented thoughts. They definitely are great advice.


K is for Knowledge

As we know, Lynn Thomas is blogging her way through the alphabet and this post finds her at the letter K – for knowledge.

I was really interested in here thoughts about this. In many circles, “Knowledge” is a four letter word with some.

Firstly, we have too often thought that knowledge is somehow inferior to critical skills or creativity. This notion is reinforced in the minds of so many teachers by the lazy, but ubiquitous, use of Bloom’s taxonomy pyramid in teacher training, where knowledge is at the bottom of the pyramid.

It’s sad to read this; obviously the comment comes from someone who hasn’t thought enough of Bloom’s work to understand it well.

Read Lynn’s post to understand her interpretation (which I agree with and I think was Bloom’s original intent) about foundations and not rankings and you’ll be off to a good start.

As for Google, it’s not the answer to everything. Just this morning, I went into the back of my memory for some reason and wanted to know the context for “Conquistador Boots”. Think I could find it? I was sure that it came from WKRP in Cincinnati. And, I was wrong. Even 10 pages into Google, I couldn’t find it.

p.s. dog walking helped bring it forward

p.p.s. of course, once I remember, I had forgotten why I wanted to know this in the first place


ENCOURAGING REFLECTIVE PRACTICE FOR OURSELVES AND OUR STUDENTS

This is something that’s very near and dear to my heart. I’m almost positive that it wasn’t termed that when I was going to the Faculty of Education or in my first few years of teaching.

But, at some point in my career, I took a course on Peer Coaching and that may well have been the very first time that I heard the term and began practicing it.

This was the topic of a Twitter chat by some educators lead by TESL Ontario. The conversation is captured here in this Wakelet.

https://wke.lt/w/s/3hudfv


Elearning: How to make the inevitable more than a cash grab

Tim King provides a nice list of ways to make Elearning work and are at the bottom of the post which chronicles his experience with learning at a distance. Some of the examples that Tim includes like Correspondence Education, I don’t put in the same category as Elearning. My own experience in this field was being called in and out to organize and support things with my old district.

We had our own collaborative that used the Ministry’s LMS of the day but were able to offer our own professional learning opportunities differently because we were smaller. Reading Tim’s summary, I wonder if we happened to be in the same room at the same time with this.

Tim does give a reasoned approach to his logic but it fails when you try to think it through. Plain and simple, his plan is too expensive. The stated goal by the Ministry is increased class sizes rather than face to face and the method of delivery is still open to speculation.

He offers some great suggestions but I don’t see them happening in my crystal ball. I hope that I’m wrong.

Actually, we could start by all agreeing to use Elearning, eLearning, e-Learning, E-learning as the name for this beast. Then, make sure that it’s implemented correctly.

Maybe the powers that be will read Tim’s post for inspiration.


Cultivating the Culture Code

One of the things that I really enjoy when reading the musings from Sue Bruyns is that they’re often a reflection of the culture of her school and those who surround her.

She takes us on a trip through the book “Culture Code” and shares some examples from the book and some of the actions that she’s taken this summer as a result.

Page after page, I was drawn to the stories of leaders, who throughout history all found themselves at a turning point where they needed to create, cultivate or change culture.  I found myself filling the margins with notes, exclamation marks and/or question marks.  Phrases and sentences became underlined once and in some cases twice.  So much of what Coyle penned resonated with my current practice.

It’s nice to read a professional journal/book that agrees with your current practice but the value comes when the examples push you on to bigger and better things.

Sue’s school is experiencing a growth in population; at EdCampLDN, she shared that the portable classrooms were on the way.

I like the way that she views this as a challenge to “get into this together”. Hopefully, there will be inspirational moments from this book to help her and staff move along with this.


Friday Two Cents: The Language Of Art

Congratulations to Paul Gauchi for completing another Additional Qualifications course. This one was in Visual Arts.

I had to smile when he talked about the language of Visual Arts. We all have our own collection of buzzwords. As Paul notes, word walls are common in Mathematics and Language.

On behalf of Computer Science teachers, we don’t hold a back seat to any subject area when it comes to buzzwords.

But, back to Paul.

He shares a couple of Word Wall graphics for Visual Arts that he created (and watermarked). Could this set a trend for this and other subjects?


How Do You Define Beauty?

Isn’t Beauty in the eye of the beholder?

In the eyes of Aviva Dunsiger, it appears to be evidence of learning.

If you follow Aviva, you know that she’s forever taking and posting pictures. In this case, she went back into her Instagram account and leads us through a series of photos of read kids doing real things.

Before you skim and say “ya, ya, kids…”, check out her running commentary. Aviva asks probing questions to get you to see and appreciate what she, as the teacher, saw.

It was a very interesting and much fun activity. Indulge yourself.


I hope that you can take a few moments and work your way through the original posts. There is a nice collection of good thinking and reflecting.

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


  • @DebbieDonsky
  • @THOMLYNN101
  • @teslontario
  • @tk1ng
  • @sbruyns
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @avivaloca

This is part of a regular Friday series of great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. You can read them all here.

This post came from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

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

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


And this version appears on Saturday. Friday was a travel day for me and I figured that I’d get time when I returned home to write the post. But, we were on the tarmac at Sky Harbour Airport and that sure takes the energy out of you. Plus, I was in the second to last row on the airplane and everyone seemed to want to take use of the washroom. A laptop on a dinner tray doesn’t work well for me.

But, I managed to get this written on Friday to appear this morning. Enjoy the latest from Ontario Edubloggers.


Your Professional Life is Declining and It’s About Time

I think that many educators who have called it a career at the end of the June by their own decision or externally would benefit from this post from Paul McGuire.

There comes a time for all of us to close off the teaching gig and then move on.

Some people

  • just finally relax
  • take on another job
  • become supply teachers
  • climb mountains
  • or other things

There’s lots to think about. What do you plan to do with life after teaching?

This is wonderful advice…

This is OK if you realize you need to make a transition to another stage of life. You can’t be like the man on the plane or Charles Darwin lamenting that your best years are behind you. You have to remake yourself.


Comic Strips: School’s Out For Summer

How many of you can relate to Paul Gauchi with this? This is only part of the comic.

There’s a deeper meaning – it involves recharging engines…

Philosophically, I wonder about the recharge and the length of vacation time in various professions. Does this say more about teachers or students?


When “Dear Other Mom” Becomes “Dear Educators And Parents”

Aviva Dunsiger was inspired by another blog post to dig into this topic.

As a secondary school teacher, I’m unable to empathize with the actual details and the process that Aviva describes with her younger students. I can tell you though that there are moments with teenagers where you go through the same situation.

I think most educators could identify with a moment like that.

It’s how you respond and handle it that will mark the successful resolution to a situation.

I’m also mindful of the power that we have as educators. Recently, I flew back and forth from Detroit to Phoenix to the CSTA Conference. In both cases, I had the honour of sitting across the aisle with children that were having a tough time. I’ll be honest; sitting for 4 hours and then 6 hours made me squeamish as well. And, I knew what to expect in terms of the noise and ear popping, etc. Not so, my travel mates.

It was interesting to see how the parents handled it with their escalating techniques which, as escalating towards the end, would have landed a teacher in trouble.

But, ever the educator, I had a few fun/younger applications on my iPad that I could share and give the parent a break for maybe 15-20 minutes. I found the struggles described in Aviva and Andrea’s posts interesting. In all cases, we were constrained somehow. One of the young ladies on the plane had some developmental challenges as well. There was nowhere else to go so it had to be handled en route.


Bittersweet Year End

Heather Lye describes an end of year thought process that I think many can identify with.

In the classroom, there really isn’t any coasting. You’ve got your foot on the pedal the whole time and then it’s the end of the year and everything stops.

Heather notes that this year is different.

It is hard for me to admit that I am struggling with the idea of summer this year.

While the end of the school year goodbyes are typically, “Goodbye and see you in September”, for many this year it won’t be. Because of what’s happening provincially, the “deck” will be substantially shrunk and shuffled way more than in any other year.

You absolutely should visit her blog and respond to this comment.

Today we watched the first graduating class of our school cross the stage. But we also watched the system, as we currently know it, walk out the door at the end of the day.


Reflections on NAMLE Part 2
Reflections on NAMLE Part 3

I had to nip back to Diana Maliszewski’s blog because I had read and written about Part 1 before. I had to see how the story ended.

And, the story was much the same as her first post.

There are lots of reflections, pictures, and social media artifacts.

But, there was one section that stood out for me and I’m just jealous that she had this opportunity. I haven’t.

No, not that she got a chance to get a picture with John Oliver (which is impressive in itself) but she visited the Newseum. If you’ve been following the news, it’s been purchased and will be closing.

This has been a major part of non-fake news for so long. I really how that it continues to operate in some sort of new incarnation.


So, I apologize for being a day late with this post but please cut me some slack and check out these great posts.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • @mcguirp
  • @PCMalteseFalcon
  • @avivaloca
  • @MsHLye
  • @MzMollyTL

This post originally appears on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, you didn’t read the original.