Tuesday, May 9, 2017

WECDSBcodes Challenge 4: Procedural Writing Smash Up

Students will design a path, describe it using procedural writing prompts and then measure the path taken using standard and non-standard units of measure.

Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants

I have had the pleasure to sit in on some of the hangouts hosted by Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants.  As stated on their website, "The primary goal of Exploring By the Seat Of Your Pants is to knockdown classroom walls and take students anywhere in the world, never having to leave their desks.  We aim to accomplish this by connecting students with exciting guest speakers and virtual field trips from around the world.  Our focus is providing lessons related to science, adventure and conversation, but won't be limited to these areas!"

There are still camera spots available for some of their May events, you can check them out below:

The Turtle Hospital
May 15th @ 11:00am EST
Camera Spots Remaining: 5
The Turtle Hospital opened its doors 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat, 2) educate the public through outreach programs and visit local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles and 4) work toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.
YouTube Live Link: 

Len Vanderstar: Summits of Canada Expedition
May 18th @ 1:00pm EST
Camera Spots Remaining: 5
Len is an experienced adventurer and expedition coordinator with a solid safety track record. Barbeau Peak, Nunavut will be the last Canadian highpoint in the Summits of Canada quest by Len, scheduled for June 16 -29, 2017. To date, no Canadian has reached each provincial and territorial high point. Completing Canada's highpoints in 2017 times perfectly with Canada's 150th celebration, and we wish to take advantage of this unique year in further promoting Canada's diverse geography, its people and culture.
David Makepeace: Eclipse Guy
May 30th @ 1:00pm EST
Camera Spots Remaining: 5

David has witnessed 22 eclipses in 15 countries on 7 continents and he's continuously planning exotic adventures to strange and wonderful places on the Earth to stand in the shadow of the Moon! Since 1991, he has chased eclipses of all kinds to every corner of the globe – from India to Brazil, Antarctica to Libya, Mexico to China. For millions upon millions of people the eclipse in America on August 21, 2017, will be the best chance to see a Total Eclipse of the Sun in this lifetime. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Increasing Your Digital Responsibility - Protect Yourself

Increase Your Digital Responsibility - Protect Yourself

Attempts from Hackers to steal your private information are getting more and more aggressive all the time.  Our IT Department filters out thousands of email a day containing malicious files, spam, and other unwanted garbage.

No matter how good our filter is some email gets through that you need to be on the look out for.  More than 70% of emails sent are spam.

4 Main types of attacks:

1:  The Imposter: Spoofing

These messages are designed to look legitimate and almost identical to the real thing.  There are some very easy tips to identifying the fakes! Look below in "What Can I do?"

For more information click here:

2:  The Sharp Shooter: Spear Phishing

Phishing attacks and spear phishing have much in common, including the shared goal of manipulating victims into exposing sensitive information. Spear phishing attacks differ from typical phishing attacks in that they are more targeted and personalized in order to increase chances of fooling recipients. Attackers will gather publicly available information on targets prior to launching a spear phishing attack and will use those personal details to impersonate targets’ friends, relatives, coworkers or other trusted contacts.

For more information click here:

3:   The Scorch the Earther: Generic Phishing

Very general messages containing poor grammar and no real content. These are sent out through mass emailing.  Most of these are filter but they can sneak through. They may not fool you but they can fool our younger users!

For more information click here:

4:  Google Docs:

Hackers are now trying to send emails asking you to open a shared google doc. When users open the shared doc they are asked to accept the permissions.  The doc is not actually a google doc at all.  The unknowing user just gave away access to your contacts and now many other bad emails will be sent from your account.  Google has since closed this hole and added another security layer.
Click HERE:

How do you protect yourself?  Verify the address of the person sharing with you?  Do you know them?Is it a MyTool2Go.ca account?  When you share a doc with someone you don't need to accept any permissions.  Just close the tab and delete the email!


At the very minimum when dealing with unsolicited email or email from financial institutions look at the URL (link) to see where you are being pointed. Just put your mouse cursor on the link the email wants you to click on and you will see the link in the bottom left of the screen.  You can practice on any link on this blog!  

Be wary if the link does NOT have https:// or include the company name in the FIRST domain.

For example https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services or https://drive.google.com/drive

TIP: When accessing financial institutions access them using your own proven link.  

David Petro has an informative slide show from his FAKE NEWS presentation on April 28th that is also a great resource to protect yourself and spot these attacks and more!

Take the Google Security Checkup!


This will quickly walk you through all the permissions you have granted outside software and websites to use.  You can remove access and add them back later if necessary.  If you don't recognize the site REMOVE it!  You can also remove access from any Computer you may have used in the past and accidently allowed it to save your information.

Complete this check up with both your personal Gmail account and your MyTools2go.ca  account.

If you do have questions do not be hesitate to contact the IT Department for assistance!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Class Baseball - Review Activity

Are you a baseball fan?  Looking for a fun way to review in class?  Make a Copy of Class Baseball, a Google Slides review activity originally shared by Alice Keeler.

CLICK on this link to open the program.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Google Forms and the Quiz Feature

Google Forms and the Quiz Feature:

Google Forms has added a new feature which allows teachers added functionality to Forms to automatically mark a quiz and share feedback to name a few.  In the past add-ons such as Flubaroo would assist in this task.  Flubaroo is much more advanced but if you are looking for a quick hitter Google Forms is more than up to the task.

Login to MyTools2Go, 0pen up Google Drive and create a new Google Form to get started.  Choose the Gear at the top of the screen to get the menu above.  Select the Quizzes option to access the Quiz features.  You can choose what information to share with students when they have completed the quiz and what information they see.

 If you choose to have Google collect student email address through MyTools2Go you can choose to email out their results when everyone has completed the quiz or give them immediate feedback as shown below.

Google allows teachers to select the correct answer and include not only the correct answer to the student but also provide links and feedback as to why the answer is correct or false!

Click on the Video below for a quick overview of Google Forms and the Quiz Feature.

Click on the YOUTUBE button inside the video for a better view.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coding/Robotics Challenge #2 - So Many Choices, Which Way Will You Go?

Robotics Coding Challenge #2: 

So Many Choices: Which Way Will You Go?

Students will create a coordinate grid, place objects on that grid and then program Dash, Sphero or Sprites (Scratch Jr.) to gather objects and finished at a desired location. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Coding/Robotics Challenge: It's Hip Not To Be Square

Robotics Challenge #1:



Challenge your students to demonstrate their understanding of two-dimensional shapes using any of the following: Dash, Sphero, Makey Makey and/or Scratch Coding.  

Check out the video below for instructions and examples.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stoodle: A Collaborative Whiteboard

I'm a big fan of student collaboration and so when I see tools that allow that collaboration to happen in different ways then that's a good thing. Stoodle is not a new app (it's just new to me) as it has been around in it's current form since 2014. There are two things that I like about this. Firstly, when it was developed, two of the main developers were high school students and the third was a freshman at Stanford. Secondly, its simplicity make it easy to use (not to mention that it works on multiple platforms since it is web based). this video):
Check out my video to see how easily it works (for more of a tutorial you can watch
When I tested it out all of the features seemed to work on most devices. I did notice that importing media on an iPad didn't seem to go so well but no problems on a laptop or Chromebook. You can try out the shared whiteboard I used in the above video at this link or go to http://stoodle.ck12.org/ and start your own. So try this out and share your screens

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Class Pet - Sphero +SPRK

Shout out to Mrs. Brooks, Grade 6 teacher at St. Bernard's Catholic Elementary School, for allowing us to share her blog post.
NEW Class Pet
The students were introduced to our school's adorable addition which has lit up our lives since we met yesterday.  There were "oohs" and "aahs" when he (?) performed a trick or listened to commands.  The kids spent the better part of the morning chasing him around the gym, picking him up and carrying him around. He has lots of energy for about 60 minutes but then needs a nap to "recharge".   

The kids want him to become our class pet even though he belongs to the whole school. They're even thinking of teaching him some new tricks like delivering attendance to the office.

His name is *Sphero® and we met at a Tech Summit hosted by our neighbouring high school, FJ Brennan.

*I am in no way affiliated with the Sphero® company or founders and am not being compensated for this post.  I'm just blogging the observations I had, as an educator of 12 year olds, on the particular day that they were introduced to this technology genius.  Sorry!  I'm trying to present an unbiased view...maybe failing?

Although Sphero® is a robotic toy, he seemed to provide many of the same benefits as an actual pet.

1.  Builds Family Bonds:  We often refer to our class as a family.  When working with Sphero®, the kids were focused on activities they could do together.  They collaborated and shared creative ideas.  Towards the end of the day, a group of 5-6 kids revisited Sphero® in the hopes of programming him using MakeyMakey®.  That was taking everything they had learned at the Tech Summit and bringing it to the next level!

2.  Helps with Learning:  Enough said!  Like a pet with paws, Sphero® is non-judgemental and this is encouraging to students.  Every student had an entry level into the technology of this robot.  How it performed was limited only by their imagination.

3.  Encourages more Physical Activity:  Kids are using a computer device to make Sphero® go.  When first introduced to him, they wanted to see how fast he could move and so, spent time, chasing him around the gym.  Like "pet parents" in the dog parks, while running around after their own Sphero®, these kids did ask about other groups' Sphero® so it was a bridge between less social students because they were communicating!

*added bonus?  no clean-up required!

After exploring with Sphero®, yesterday, one of the students is trying to spark a movement to convince our principal that a 12-pack of Sphero® ($1700 CDN) would make a top notch investment.  I see persuasive writing, campaign writing, poster propaganda, ads written for announcements as an attempt to win her over!

Are your students on the ball?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Canadian Geographic Challenge

What better way to gear up for an exciting year and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with your students than by participating in the Canadian Geographic Challenge?

Here are four reasons why teachers across Canada like participating in the Challenge.
  • Choice: You can select from three different methods on how they want to give students the quiz. You can let students take the test online, project questions on a screen, or download.
  • Flexible timelines: We understand that you have busy schedules. This is why we let you select when to give students the quiz for both the classroom and school level. You can do one question a day, a round a week or take the test all at once. Just remember that teachers have until March 1, 2017 to name their school winner.
  • Inspiring questions: All questions are written by Canadian geography teachers and cover a broad range of geography topics to inspire students and show them just how diverse the subject really is.
  • Student Recognition: The Challenge offers teachers the opportunity to recognize students who have gone above and beyond. All school winners will receive a medal, a certificate and a one year subscription to Canadian Geographic Magazine.

Friday, January 13, 2017

MAKEY MAKEY, It Is Only the Beginning!

Today I had the pleasure to visit St. Rose Catholic Elementary school today and was able to participate in some of their class work using Makey Makey.  Makey Makey is a program board that allows our students to interact with a computer in a very simple but creative way.  In no time students are bringing to life their own creations by adding audio to their own instruments, or sound effects to personal works of art for example.

Rather than write about it I created a quick video to show you some of the really exciting activities going on at St. Rose in a grade 3 class!  Thank you, Mrs Sidi for allow me to visit and Mrs Clement for the invite.

This is only the beginning....

More from Makey Makey

Grade 3 classes that have chosen to participate in the Board Robotics program will be receiving a Makey Makey for their school!