Saturday, 26 November 2016

This is an exemplar for a Multimedia design task I created for Part II of Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction.  The Unit asks students to create their ultimate classroom using the principles of Universal Design.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Here is a series of Piktochart Posters Created for Part II of the Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction Course through Western University in the Fall of 2016.  Thanks go to my colleagues/group mates in the course for allowing me to post them here!Hopefully you find them useful!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Here is a link to a Piktochart Poster  I created for Prodigy.

Prodigy Math Game is  something I have been using with my students for several years now.  I love how the game adapts to the needs and abilities of the student and that it is absolutely free to use.  You can access it from any device through the internet, or you can download the free app for your tablet or phone for free.  It was created in Ontario, so it follows the math expectations and strands for the Ontario Math Curriculum.  But, it also adheres to the Common Core Curriculum if you are using it outside Ontario.  The game does have some add ons that parents can purchase, but these are basically Avatar add ons like costumes, powers, etc. But these are not necessary for students to play - they just help the creators keep the game free. The Game looks like Pokemon (which may be part of it's appeal to kids) and the students travel through multiple worlds using math to battle wizards and collect special powers. My students like the game so much that they will play it from home.  Doing math at home, for fun!  Sounds like a great way to get students engaged in math!

Here are some important links if you would like to try Prodigy yourself…

The Prodigy Game site

A Review of the Prodigy Game from Ask a

The Prodigy Game's YouTube channel - lots of great "how to videos" - Here are a few to get you started:

A Tutorial of how to play Prodigy, created by a student:

A Tutorial from one of the Game's Creators for Teachers on how to use the Reports section of the game:

A Tutorial for teachers - from the Creators on how to set up Assignments in the Game for your students:

You can find the Game on Facebook and follow the Game on Twitter too!

All images and logos are from The Prodigy Website:
Embedded videos are from the Prodigy Game YouTube Channel:

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Ah summer!  Time for golf, vacations, recharging and reading!  I did some reading this summer.  The usual pleasure reading, mindless reading and even some professional reading!  One of these professional reads that really stuck with me was The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.
(San Diego: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2015).  It drew me in right away and I read it in one sitting...just couldn't put it down.  If you have read any Growth Mindset articles or books by Carol Dueck, and found yourself nodding your head to what she is talking  about, then this book is for you!

He goes over what is and isn't innovation in today's schools.  For example....if you are using your smart board as a really expensive overhead projector to show students the same old handouts you scanned into your computer....well then folks, may not be an Innovator!  Couros tells us that innovation is not about conformity or improved test scores.  It's about teaching them to think critically, ask questions, collaborate with others worldwide to find solutions and to inspire personal growth (p.5).

He has a section on building relationships and a culture of innovation in our schools.  I think this was my favourite section.   The professional relationships in our classrooms are everything.  No student is going to risk even volunteering an answer without having the trust that they will be listened to and respected in your room.  I think my favourite line in the book is found here: " The three most important words in education are: relationships, relationships, relationships.  Without them, we have nothing." (P. 68).

The last two sections are about how to put your plans in action.  I found these to be more administration based, but they had lots of good classroom implications as well. The book also talks about using technology in a meaningful way to encourage innovation...right up my alley!

The Innovator's Mindset is full of great ideas and inspirations. I've committed many things he said to memory, and vowed to adopt an Innovator's Mindset in my classroom too.  So, if you have some time and want to be inspired yourself, read this book!

You can also follow George Couros on Twitter :   @GeorgeCouros

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Google Summit

Was given a real gift this weekend.  I was able to attend the London Google Summit at Saunders SS.  If you have never been, it is a weekend full of hour long workshops on Educatioal Tevhnology and networking with like minded colleagues.

I attended a mind blowing session led by Sylvia Duckworth on using Virtual Reality in the classroom.  We got to try out Google Cardboard and got a sneak peak at Goole Explorations (which is going to be  amazing for our students when it becomes available in Canada.)

Thanks to Kim Pollishuke for a great session on creating classroom and personal blogs using  This blog is a direct result of her session!

Jesse Lubinsky gave a great session on using the various Google tools.  I was particularly impressed by Google Culural Institute.  You can look at historical locations using 360 views, and so much more.

The demo slam at the end of day one introduced my to Bitmoij...where you can create your own Bitmoji to use in various applications. We also saw how to create our own Beatbox and then record our own lyrics over top thanks to Sylvia Duckworth, and the Incredibox app.

There was so much learning ...I'm going to need some time to digest it all.  But you can bet I've got some new routines to put in my circus!

I'm a Blogger?!

It's a momentous day for me.

I've been thinking about starting my own blog for some time now, and today it happened.  I feel like Bill Murray in "What About Bob?"  I want to shout, "Look at me, I'm blogging!  I'm a blogger!"

The title of my blog refers to the idiom, "Not my circus...not my monkeys."  In my life, I rarely have the opportunity to think this, let alone say it.  Usually it is my circus, and they are almost always my monkeys... and I love every minute with them.