3 Things Schools Can Learn from Germany's World Cup Win

  "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." ~ Babe Ruth   Spain 1982 was the first World Cup that I remember being totally engrossed in. I was 12 years old at the time playing for an Italian soccer club where I was the only Canadian on the team. Every game I watched was a learning experience. I realized quickly the passion Italians had for the game and how it was entrenched in their culture. I remember our coach telling us to watch every game, picking the player that played our position and to watch only their movements. I remember watching the Italian hero Paolo Rossi score 6 goals in the tournament. But what I remember most was how Italy grew...
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Another EdCamp, Another A+

  "The smartest person in the room, is the room." ~ David Weinberger   This past weekend I attended my third EdCamp and it was another A+ experience. Every EdCamp that I've been to has had different strengths and takeaways that have moved my learning forward. EdCamp Waterloo was no different. Below is a reflection of my day in Waterloo and what I learned. It's always great to share a day of learning with friends. Saturday was no exception as a number of the EdCamp London organizing committee decided to make the hour long drive to Waterloo, not just for the day of learning but to gather more information and ideas for our own EdCamp which will be held in April. It's also great to make personal connections with those in your PLN. The first person from my PLN that I saw and had a great conversation with was Mark Carbone,...
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Thinking Time

  Thinking: The talking of the soul with itself ~ Plato   The other day my secretary and I had a conversation about the differences between men and women which culminated in her statement that "men and women just think differently". I asked her what she meant by that and her response was "when I drive to work I'm thinking about what to make for dinner, what I have waiting for me at my desk, what my daughter is doing today. My husband, when asked what he thinks about on his way to work is nothing". Needless to say that had me thinking not only about what I think about when I drive to work but about those time that I find myself thinking deeply about something.  I'm trying to be more mindful. It is something I have been working on since September as I read Mindful Leadership by Maria...
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School Based EdCamp for Professional Learning

  "Questions are the purest form of expressed curiosity." ~ Steven Katz   Have you ever read a blog post and said to yourself as you were reading it "I was just discussing that the other day"? Well it happened to me recently. Last week we began the process of planning for learning networks within our community of schools. This is an opportunity for teachers to work with like grade teachers in other schools for professional learning. This year is a little different than in the past as administrators have been given more leeway on how the money for the release time is spent. More autonomy has been given to administrators and teachers as long as the professional learning is based on Collaborative Inquiry, Differentiated Instruction and/or the use of data. This is much more open than the prescriptive directions given in the past. So with the ball in our...
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ECOO 13 ~ Reflecting on Learning

 "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo    It's been a whirlwind of professional learning for me over the last 4 days. Wednesday night I arrived in Niagara Falls for ECOO 13, ready to present on Thursday afternoon and to attend as many of the amazing sessions as I could. Then on Saturday I was back in London to attend our district's annual iCon conference where I was presenting a session on Twitter for administrators. Now it's Sunday morning and I've had a chance to rest and reflect on what was an amazing 4 days of professional learning.  There is just so much to write about that I've decided to break it into 2 blog posts. Today's post will be my thoughts on the keynote presentations from Amber MacArthur and Jaime Casap. The second post in a few days...
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Edcamp Hamilton ~ Reflections

As I made the journey to Ancaster on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning with @sbruyns, @technolit and @cordym I couldn't help but feel a sense of anticipation and eagerness about my first experience at an Edcamp. Each of us have been involved in organizing and planning conferences in our own district but going by everything I have read about Edcamp this was going to be a much different venture.  To start I must say congrats and well done to the organizing committee of Edcamp Hamilton ~ Sue Dunlop (@principaldunlop), Heidi Siwak (@heidisiwak), Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca), Michelle Horst (@michelle_horst), Cindy Lee (@dangergirl1218), Lisa Neale (@lisaneale) and Karen Wilson (@kawilson68) ~ what a great job. I'm sure I speak for everyone that attended that the hours you put into planning Edcamp are very much appreciated.  So onto Edcamp itself. From everything that I have read about Edcamps, the day started off in...
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A View into a 1:1 iPad Classroom - Part 2

"Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them." ~ Steve Jobs     After interviewing Michelle Cordy (@cordym) and visiting her classroom it's taken me a couple of weeks to reflect on what I saw in Michelle's class and to form my own opinions about the impact of a 1:1 iPad classroom. While not many teachers will have the opportunity to teach in a 1:1 environment there are lessons to be learned that can help support any method of technology use in the classroom. If you read the interview with Michelle you will note that she has experienced challenges with the implementation of a 1:1 program. This should give everyone pause for thought. Regardless of your experience with integrating technology instructional design needs to be purposeful. You can't just...
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Build on Your Strengths

"Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?" ~ Benjamin Franklin This post has been a long time coming. A year ago I was given a book called Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath which immediately went on the bookshelf to be forgotten, until I did some reorganizing a few weeks ago. I knew nothing about the book or the author other than it was a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, and I got that from the cover! With my Comparative Education Masters course finished I decided to make it my next reading, as I could tell from flipping through it that it wouldn't take long to finish.  The premise of the book and the research behind it is that almost any learning program is trying to help us become who we are not. In other words, helping us develop our weaknesses. The author Tom Rath...
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