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By Rachel Collishaw

Spring has finally sprung in most of the province. As I watch the last chunks of ice melt away, I feel renewed and energized and like I have been hibernating all winter. However, when I think about what we’ve been up to with OHASSTA, incubation seems a more appropriate word. We have been working on quite a few projects since we last saw each other in November, and I’m excited to tell you all about them.

For our fall conference this year, we are going to be at McMaster University in Hamilton on November 1-2. We are excited to share the work that we have been doing with two partnerships out of McMaster - the Wilson Institute for Canadian History and The Collaborative, both of whom aim to connect teachers and academics in meaningful ways. This opportunity moves our main conference day to Saturday, November 2, with a social and bonus event on Friday November 1st. We know that despite what happens with contract talks, supply teacher shortages, or whatever new thing the provincial government throws at us, we will continue to support our students, and seek support from each other. The theme for this year’s conference is Thinking Classrooms: Thinking Citizens, and I am sure that we will have lots to talk about! Watch for workshop submissions coming soon.

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By George Janeteas

 

It is an absolute pleasure to be working with Zoe as co-editor on The Rapport blog this year. I have been with the TDSB teaching English, History and Social Sciences for almost 5 years.  Much of my work has been dedicated to supporting deep learning with technology and literacy development.  I also had the pleasure of co-writing and facilitating the Cultivating Resilience workshop at the OSSTF Regional Conferences last year.  I’m excited to share with all of you how that learning has shown up in my classes in a future post.  On a side note, my learning taught me that increased class sizes does not, in fact, build resilience in our learners.

I have learned that it takes a great deal of courage to be a History and Social Science teacher. Every day, we have to approach very challenging topics with sensitivity, perspective, and compassion.  It’s no wonder that emerging work in global competencies and culturally responsive pedagogy doesn’t necessarily feel new to us.  What’s Civics without deep learning around Global Citizenship and Character?  What is Equity and Social Justice without Critical Thinking and Problem Solving?  The teaching and learning in our courses naturally prepare students to become effective change agents in their communities. 

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By John Myers

As a result of “playing with” technology based on a model for investigation (FAB +D), a rough standard for judging effectiveness, and the experiences of 200+ TCs (grades 4-12) teaching in 200+ schools in the GTA and surrounding areas we have a sense of what is happening and why.

The work was done between 2011-17. As you read further is this perspective outdated or are the issues the same?

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Source: Press Progress

By Zoe Flatman

I have been teaching grade 12 Economics for over 25 years and as curriculum has changed and we have moved to actually Analysing Economic Issues, in combination with the rise of digital media in the last decade and a half, the skill of assessing sources has become absolutely critical.  I used to use a great assessing sources activity originally found on the CFEE website, but it had aged in both content, and its focus on traditional newspaper format.  I decided to revamp it in order to introduce more current content and bring in the digital media component.  I have used a variety of sources (including Youtube videos, Tweets and on-line news articles) to build a scaffold for fact checking.  While I have used this in my Economics classes, it could easily be done in any Social Science or History class by just substituting the topic/sources.  The point is to use curriculum, in this case looking at the question, "Are Canadians taxed at an appropriate rate?" to develop the critical 21st century competencies that students will need. So how do my students do this?

Please send your ideas, activities, and helpful reflections to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  The next Rapport deadline is May 20, 2019

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Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/thought-idea-innovation-imagination-2123970/

By: Thomas Adamson

When I was fifteen, I took a Canadian History class with a teacher who invested very little energy in designing engaging lesson plans. As a result, I think, of this teacher's shortcomings, I remember very little about the class and I've retained very little of the subject material—a problem I'm now confronting as I train to become a high school history teacher. I remember most of the class being textbook-based, with significant portions of class time devoted to independently answering questions taken directly from the textbook's pages, and I also remember several bizarre details about the teacher himself—how he always wore sunglasses inside and how he would erase a tally mark on the chalkboard for every day that brought him closer to his imminent retirement.

One lesson, however, sticks out in my memory. Near the end of the semester, as the tally marks on the board were nearing extinction and the class had virtually devolved into a series of tangentially relevant DVD screenings, we entered the class to find the teacher sitting on his desk and declaring that he'd be giving an “old fashioned lecture” on the NAFTA agreement that day. “Old fashioned lectures”, he proclaimed, are the kind of classroom learning we'd be expected to do when we went on to university. He then instructed us to “take out a pen and paper” and try to keep up with his lecture, reminding us that we couldn't expect university lecturers to “slow down” their material for students with slow handwriting.