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.
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When it is time to drop your lesson and talk about world events….

What is your lens? Maureen Wilson, from Hamilton, Ontario shares her experiences at the Women’s March of Washington We had to be ready to change our pre-planned lesson…Students wanted to talk about what was happening in the world. The following posts describes why we altered our plan and shares the alternate lesson! Critical literacies involve people using language to exercise power, to enhance everyday life in schools and communities, and to question practices of privilege and injustice. (Comber, 2017) Huge events unfolded across the world over the past two weeks which prompted our teaching team to change a “pre-planned lesson” to focus on current issues of Social Activism – locally and globally.  On January 20th, Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration took Continue reading When it is time to drop your lesson and talk about world events….

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Design Thinking ~ Make Urban ReDevelopment a Reality in Minecraft

The purpose of this lesson is to inspire and engage students to use creative and critical thinking skills to make decisions and designs that impact an urban area. This cross-curricular approach to Design Thinking, allows students the freedom to use and connect  their inquires to real examples. The activity is intended for group or collaborative learning and uses a combination of whole class and small group facilitation with access to a variety of tools. The final product is a Design and proposal of a chosen Urban Landscape in their own community. Minecraft (and lego) are ideal platforms for students to use resources and tools collaborative to display their concepts.  The example lesson (below)  was facilitated with a group of Continue reading Design Thinking ~ Make Urban ReDevelopment a Reality in Minecraft

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MY TOP 10 LEARNING SPACES – A Universal Design, in a Gifted Classroom

The learning environment is what will help create community. Before anything, students need to feel safe. Not just physically safe, but safe to learn how they learn, safe to think “outside the box”, safe to ask questions, safe to make mistakes, safe to be who they are.  I recently read a post by Jackie Gerstein, a friend and mentor who talks passionately about the importance of community in the classroom (It’s About Connections Not Content). Below, I talk about the learning spaces to honour all learners.  It is my intention to help these students find their passions, their gifts, and their understanding of themselves. The Circle Each day, we start off in a large circle. We might play a game, Continue reading MY TOP 10 LEARNING SPACES – A Universal Design, in a Gifted Classroom

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Ultimate Learning Space

Today, I had the wonderful experience of meeting Paul Takala (Diretor of Digital Technology), from the Hamilton Public Library. It is he, that prompted this post and the pencast interview that follows. The story starts last January when I walked into the Hamilton Public Library and wept. My two boys, were stunned. “Mom, don’t cry, they fixed it…”. But, I was so choked up because the new space was such a great example (in my opinion) of a rich, diverse, and connected learning space and with a variety of tools (a teachers dream come true). Standing in one spot, with the ceiling to floor window giving me natural light, I could see by boys playing on the touch screen Continue reading Ultimate Learning Space

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