Head to the ONLINE Library – Learn a new language

The Hamilton Public Library has been my saving grace during this isolation period (due to Covid-19 spread). Fortunately, I have been working with the library through my job and partnerships between the HWDSB Enrichment and Innovation Centre and the HPL and have benefited greatly (especially now).   While my favourite tool is the Libby App (I can download dozens of books), my family and I have agreed to all learn a new language using the HPL provided a license for Mango Language. We spend about one hour per day going through the lessons (I’ve chosen Japanese). Go to: HPL ONLINE (found on the sidebar) 2.  It will be hard not to explore all of the options found on the HPL Continue reading Head to the ONLINE Library – Learn a new language

Why I Strike.

I am an ETFO teacher in Ontario. I strike because I am committed to equity and social justice, not just in schools, but in life. I am proud to be part of the Ontario Teacher’s Federation (ETFO)  whose mandate is to ensure that all people have access to fair, safe and quality learning and working environments. As an educator (I can’t help it) I see this as a teachable moment for the thousands of citizens – children and adults alike – that we must never stay silent to injustices. As educators, it is our job to teach our citizens to work toward a world where all people have opportunities to learn, strive, be healthy and have joy in our Continue reading Why I Strike.

Update your NETWORK (it’s your best resource):

I just celebrated my 10th anniversary on Twitter. While my participation and involvement in Twitter has changed some in the last few years, I still find it one of the most useful and supportive resources for activism, learning and sharing. In fact, my Twitter feed is my first “go-to” each morning (News, Trending, Specific Lists).  Yes, I am conscious and deliberate about what I am reading (and who is publishing) and I try to ensure my feed is diverse (even when I do not agree with every opinion). I am CERTAIN that my life has been enriched through these tools. I have also lost “friends/followers” due to my own opinions which I make clear “are my own and not Continue reading Update your NETWORK (it’s your best resource):

The Beauty of Collaboration and Co-Creation:

In my Junior Additional Qualification course, I have my students/participants gather, discuss and unpack a variety of online resources which they (we all) see as effective for instruction in a Junior or Middle school classroom. I try to encourage folks to find current tools and to share why/how these tools can help students engage with content and learning.  More importantly, I always recommend that my students post the collaborative collection on their blogs and website. What a beautiful way to learn, share and find something new for our classrooms and schools. These are some great resources – Enjoy! – Zoe

Gifted and Learning Disabled – The dichotomy in learning

I have students attend my After School Program (STEM focused Makerspace)  every Wednesday who struggle in their regular school. Many of these students struggle academically and socially. Yet, these same students, at the Makerspace,  perform skills and engage in social and academic activities that demonstrate knowledge of math, science, engineering and ARTs  with a proficiency beyond their age and grade level and with a strong level of motivation and confidence. It is often confusing for them for their parents. It got me thinking about the amount of Learning Disabled and Gifted students we see on a regular basis. Students that struggle to find and demonstrate ways that show what they know. I had a conversation with two students this Continue reading Gifted and Learning Disabled – The dichotomy in learning

Teaching – Not a Profession? Something to think about…

I participated in an Elluminate session with Guest – Linda Darling-Hammond, moderated by Steve Hargadon tonight. An Engaging discussion – it was. In particular, I found it interesting how Linda described the teaching field as “not a profession’. In this, she provided the three main characteristics of a “Profession” – 1) There is a moral commitment to do what is best for clients and make decisions, ie: Doctors make a pledge to do no harm or Engineers insist on safe standards (regardless of government cutting costs). 2) There is a common knowledge base – shared by all members of the profession. She gave the example that you can count on the fact that all doctors, engineers, and accountants will Continue reading Teaching – Not a Profession? Something to think about…

The Kitchen Table

Bring the Home into the Classroom – Literally! What is one artifact or symbol that can literally make students feel “at home” in the classroom? An artifact that can ease stress, encourage conversations,  build relationships, have no limitations of age or ability and be completely  diverse in nature? A KITCHEN TABLE! In our home, The Kitchen Table is not just where we gather for meals but where we gather to talk about our day. It is the first stop when getting up in the morning, returning from a walk or coming home from work.  Where we throw down our keys, where we pile up our books and add to the week’s worth of newspapers. It is where we charge Continue reading The Kitchen Table

Are students Accountable for their I.E.P’s?

Each student in my class has an I.E.P…..  It varies how long the students have had a formal identification and it varies what type of identification, although all of them are identified as “Gifted”.  During the first week of school, I began reviewing their files and updating their IEP’s, however, I struggled with this daunting task, since I barely knew the students. In fact, most of their IEP’s looked closely to the same – the same modification (s) , the same accommodation (s), the same test results, the same strength and weaknesses. I How could this be that they were all the same?  These documents, created on templates, with drop down menus were not telling of who these children are. Continue reading Are students Accountable for their I.E.P’s?

To Bring “IT” Together 2018 – with Love, Zoe

2018 will mark my 15th ECOO “BIT” Conference. Once again, I leave feeling inspired, recharged and committed to being a strong, caring and innovative teacher.  LOVE was a dominant theme – woven through the presentations and conversations. LOVE. I had an opportunity to view the film, To the Orcas,  with Love (LINK)   by a local filmmaker, Natalie Lucia.  In her film, Natalie emphasizes her goal – to inspire children and adults to fall in love with the world or some part of it, at least. She shares her journey (and passion) of working and living amongst the Orcas in British Colombia, Canada and how it changed her. Her motivation to inspire all people to reflect on our own role Continue reading To Bring “IT” Together 2018 – with Love, Zoe