Recent Posts

Effective Professional Learning: The Permanence Factor

Oct 13, 14 Effective Professional Learning: The Permanence Factor

Posted by in General Discussion

So, I have to admit that I’ve been struggling a little with the very challenge that I posed to the voicEd.ca community a couple of weeks ago. The task of recalling a moment of effective, if not outstanding, professional learning may, at first blush, seem like an easy task. After all, as educators and administrators, talk of...

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Week 4 & 5 – The Passion for Teaching

Oct 03, 14 Week 4 & 5 – The Passion for Teaching

Posted by in General Discussion

Originally posted here. As a proud Queen’s University alumnus I eventually read through all of the issues of the Queen’s Alumni Review that make it to my mailbox. I have been inspired by a couple of articles over the years about a couple of stellar professors there that are using more modern teaching styles that are...

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Blogging: A Model For Effective Professional Learning

Oct 02, 14 Blogging: A Model For Effective Professional Learning

Posted by in General Discussion

I actually shared my thoughts about this at edcampSWO/edcampLondon last year and at the Ontario Teachers’ Federation Minds on Media session in Markham this summer.  The talk was called “The Best PD”. I framed my thoughts by going in the other direction.  What was the least effective professional learning experience?  That was...

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Effective Professional Learning—A New Topic For Discussion

For many of us, the turning of the calendar from September to October will come as a bit of surprise. Isn’t it amazing how that first month of the new school year always seems to move by so quickly. We’ve just got settled and, for some, unsettled and resettled in our school lives and we’re already talking about...

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Week 3 – Students Recognize Need for Timely Feedback

Sep 22, 14 Week 3 – Students Recognize Need for Timely Feedback

Posted by in General Discussion

Originally posted here. In my Grade 11 Physics class I have had the chance to see how well they are capable of working together. I am seeing students helping each other with concepts, asking one another questions, and working through problems together. They are often asking their questions in pairs or groups – which is great....

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A Letter to a New Teacher

Aug 04, 14 A Letter to a New Teacher

Posted by in General Discussion

The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning —Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting, Prologue This is the week of the summer where most of us who are somehow aligned to the rhythm of the school year pause to reflect. For...

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Signs of Positive Growth: Connecting the Dots—and the Learners

Many thanks to those who contributed to our first round of themed conversation at voicEd.ca. During the month of July, contributors were asked to think about one Sign of Positive Growth from the newly completed school year. It’s often tempting to be overwhelmed by just how much there is to do in our own education contexts...

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‘Maker Movement’ Renews Hope for Constructionism!

We can ‘make’ constructionism happen! The upsurge of the ‘maker movement’ and ‘social networking’ brings new hopes for the systemic integration of a constructionist approach into our educational systems. This past year we have seen increased activity in ‘making’, ‘coding’, and the integration of collaborative suites like Google...

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Augmenting our reality…

Dreams and aspirations, in their common understanding, demand a change to our current reality that in some way or another does not live up to what we think ought to be.  In the context of education our dreams and aspirations spread out from a common umbrella of belief in the ability of humanity to change in a qualitatively better...

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Time For Reflection – What I Learned About Professional Learning This Year

I began this school year with both excitement and trepidation. After much soul searching, I left the classroom and took on the role of Curriculum Consultant without being entirely clear on what a Curriculum Consultant actually does. I was pretty sure that it had something to do with Professional Development though. Over the years...

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Teaching Children to Be Risktakers

As I was thinking about this blogpost and the whole issue of developing risk taking behaviour in students, two stories from my classroom this year came to mind. I believe these stories best illustrate strategies that, as educators, we can employ to foster such an important life skill.

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Collaboration

  Well when it comes to positive signs of growth in education, there is no shortage of topics. It is the greatest time to be an educator, to be in our profession at a time when so much is changing and for the better. For me, the topic that came to mind was collaboration. It is a big part of what we do at my school, Greystone...

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Patience

This moment of growth is the direct result of a collection of effort from workshops from communications, hands on session in staff meetings to inspirational keynotes sharing the why…most importantly though it is the formation of a tribe with a common passion for changing education.

I think I found my tribe.

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Differentiation Made Easy!

If we assume that one of the most important elements of differentiated instruction is to create activities that are relevant to the students at their current ability level, then who better to assess that level than the kids themselves? This may sound a little far-fetched, but let me explain with an example from my classroom.

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A Year of Positive Growth: We Can Help Kids Make Friends

A couple of quick questions: Other than physical injury, what’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you at school? If you’re a parent, what is/was the one thing, above all else, you hope/d would not happen to your child? If you’re like myself and a lot of other people, you will have answered: To not have...

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Positive Signs of Growth…

Our first voicEd.ca 2.0 discussion. It’s an invitation to reflect on a positive sign of growth from this past school year!

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Riding the 2013 Learning Curve: What Stood in the Way of Educational Change?

“What’s Standing in the Way of Educational Change?” is a fundamental question that deserves an answer.  On October 21, 2013, it was also the theme of a Canadian Education Association (CEA) Symposium held in Calgary and attended by some 300 educators, including delegates from seven ministries of education, 12 faculties of education,...

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School Leadership, Parent Engagement and Change

As I continue walking along the path of my MEd. journey, I find myself particularly excited to be taking a Leadership in Education course this semester. What’s even more exciting is that I have the opportunity to use a variety of alternatives to a traditional written essay (e.g. photographs, metaphors, models, blog, poetry, musical...

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