Category Archives: What are You Thinking About These Days?

Curating Visible Learning in #onted

We hope you have enjoyed the work of two Ontario bloggers over the past two days, Leigh Cassell and Michelle Parrish.

After two years of promoting connected learners, OSSEMOOC is updating its blogroll to feature active education bloggers in Ontario and beyond.  You can see to the right  ——>

how we are adding ACTIVE blogs to the site, curated so that you can find what you are looking for.

Please share your blog information with us in the form below.  We will be removing links to blogs that are no longer active.

Thank you for your dedication to making your learning and thinking visible to others.

If you are not a blogger, please continue to visit this site so you might learn from your colleagues, and see examples of educators who believe in building our knowledge together.

Featured image shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-commercial license by Thomas Hawk.


It’s About the Spread: Sharing Teacher Thinking

At last year’s 21C Roundtable, there were many conversations about how to spread “best practice” around the province.

Over the past year, speakers such as Pak Tee Ng and Simon Breakspear have emphasized that learning is contextual, and a “best practice” in one setting might not translate well into another setting, but educators can adapt and adopt the ideas of others to suit their environment.

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One great way to spread “best practice” is to have educators share their work and their thinking openly on their blog.

Today we highlight the writing of Jamie Reaburn Weir, as she documents her thinking about her work.

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While I read Jamie’s blog faithfully, I was particularly drawn to her post entitled “Team Teaching“. It’s a powerful post, in that Jamie reflects on her own state of mind during this busy time, her conversations with her colleague, Andrew Bieronski, and his visit to her classroom.  But the real gem is the documentation of the student voice after the visit, and Jamie’s reflections on how team teaching might change the learning opportunities for her students.

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As leaders, how can we enable, encourage and nurture this type of open practice (team teaching, deep conversations about learning, and blogging/sharing openly)?

Take a moment to comment on one of Jamie’s rich posts, and consider how her work can inform the work of other educators in 2016.

From Brian Harrison: Fair is Fair, Or Is It?

Brian Harrison’s recent blog post begs of us to watch a video (TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson) which will challenge us to think about our “Code of Conduct” policies in schools.

“Bryan Stevenson explains how and why it doesn’t ‘work’ with much more eloquence, authority and urgency that I ever could-I won’t even try (so watch the video-please).”

Please take some time today to watch, and to read how Brian connects the video with his deep thinking about how we need to help our kids, particularly those “in the margins” to thrive in school.

Brian Harrison: Fair is Fair, or is it?:

What is Your #oneword for 2015?

Instead of a resolution, we asked what your one word would be for 2015.  What word will drive your professional practice this year?

We wondered what Ontario education leaders would answer.

Thanks to Julie Balen for collating the responses.  You can still tweet them or read them on twitter using #onewordONT



Brian Harrison: How Do We Talk To Parents About Math?

Brian Harrison is an Ontario School Leader and veteran blogger.  His blog has been shared widely through SIM (System Implementation and Montoring) in Ontario and it is followed by many educators.

Recently, Brian addressed the challenges of  communicating with parents about our practices around the teaching of mathematics in Ontario.

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One of my favourite lines is, “We can use a lot of terms to describe math, but ‘new’ is not one of them …”.  Brian provides some valuable logic about the meaning of “back to basics”.

Parents exist in a world bombarded by media reports of declining math scores.  Our work as education leaders is in helping parents understand more clearly the importance of the processes we are using to ensure students fully grasp numeracy, rather than memorizing algorithms (as many of the parents were forced to do in school).

Further learning around how we can share our understanding of math instruction can be found on this Ontario Student Achievement Resources site:  Posted on the site is a link to a recorded webinar where Dr. Chris Suurtamm discusses Confronting Myths and Challenges in Mathematics Education.

Be sure to read Brian’s full post here.

We have links to many Ontario School and System Leader blogs on this site.  Join OSSEMOOC to have your blog link added.

David Jaremy: How Do We Interact With The Digital World?

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What are you thinking about these days?  As we wind down 2014, we are following Tom Carroll’s lead and asking this question of our education leaders in Ontario.

OSSEMOOC has included links to educator blogs on this website so that they are easily accessible.

Today we are reading David Jaremy’s blog, where he writes about his first impressions of the book “The Digital Principal” by Janette Hughes and Anne Burke.

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David writes about his thinking around the read-write web and how our ability (and, perhaps, our obligation) to contribute, changes the way we need to interact with our students.

How many of us have taken the time to think about this?

Where do we share our ideas around this shift?

His post reminded me of an example we used in our “30 Days of Getting Connected” Series.  Ira David Socol writes about how change is not new, but in the Web 1.0 days, change was happening at a different level, and was not as apparent to us.  Web 2.0, the read-write web, allows the ability to create and contribute, which results in change that impacts all of us.

For an excellent overview of Web 1.0 -> Web 2.0 -> Web 3.0 and its impact on learning and teaching, refer to the work of Dr. Jackie Gerstein here.

Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial - No Derivatives licence by Dr. Jackie Gerstien.
Shared under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non-Commercial – No Derivatives licence by Dr. Jackie Gerstein.

So how does the read-write web change our dynamics as a teacher?

We look forward to reading more of David Jaremy’s thinking and reading on this topic.  In the meantime, continue the conversation by leaving comments on his blog post here.

*David Jaremy is the Principal of Hornepayne Elementary and Secondary School, a JK-12 school in a small, Northern Ontario community!