By Jim Pedrech

Scanning History 1For the past few years, I’ve been working with classes from Holy Cross Secondary School and Standing Stone of the Oneida Nation to create 3D models of historical artifacts. We have placed these models in an interactive 3D museum called the Scanning History Project. You and your students can explore an early version of the museum by downloading the file onto a PC, unzipping the download, and launching the program. If you are intrigued by this project, please feel free to join us: we’d love to dedicate new rooms in our museum to classes from around the world.

Whether you want to join our museum project or wish to explore 3D scanning for different projects, there are several things you need to know before you get started.

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By: Amy Leask

Here we are a decade into the 21st century, and the list of thinking skills that learners need to develop in order to thrive seems to be getting longer. These skills play into a student’s academic success, but also their personal growth, and in the not-so-distant future, their careers. Critical thinking, inquiry, social-emotional learning, and other 21st century skills may be key to getting learners future-ready, but they’re also some of the most challenging to teach, assess, and evaluate.

Enter P4C, or philosophy for kids! Philosophy is, admittedly, not part of the regular curriculum in Ontario schools, but with a little planning and practice, it can become part of the regular drumbeat of classroom activities. Practicing it with young learners is a straightforward and effective way to bolster thinking skills.

What is philosophy, anyway?

For anyone who has never given philosophy a try, it’s basically the practice of asking big questions. The type of questions covered by philosophy are often of the “why” variety, and they’re the type of questions that don’t’ have only one answer. Philosophy leads us to ask questions about ourselves, our relationships with other humans, the nature of reality, right and wrong, truth and knowledge, beauty and, much more. Philosophy is also a way of thinking and runs on a set of rules for being rational.


By Leigh Macdonald  OJEN

Did you know that OJEN has over 200 classroom resources available? Some classroom resources are short lesson plans and student handouts, while others are in-depth multi-module resources on a specific area of law. All OJEN classroom resources are linked to the curriculum and available for free download in English or French.  OJEN modifies and adapts some of our classroom resources and justice education projects for specific youth audiences such as English Language Learners.  In addition, OJEN also has many experiential opportunities. Teachers can book class visits to an Ontario courthouse using the online Courthouse Visit request form.  Teachers can organize a lawyer or paralegal speak about a specific area of law with a class by completing an online Book a Speaker form. If you are interested in a mock trial or mock appeal, please check out the OBA-OJEN Competitive Mock Trial or OJEN’s Charter Challenge. Both programs are available province-wide and provide a rich educational experience for high school students.



By: Joanna Zapior

The first semester with the new GLC20 curriculum is wrapping up. It includes a large financial literacy component (Strand C2). Rapport has talked about teaching financial literacy with:

  • Joanna Zapior, co-founder of FinStart, a new financial literacy resource for students and teachers.
  • Katherine Welsh, teacher at Chelmsford Valley District Composite School who has started teaching a financial literacy lesson once a week during her GLC20 course this semester and decided to give FinStart a try.
  • Leanne Kirsch, occasional teacher in the Toronto District School Board who piloted FinStart in the classroom this October as a component of GLC20.

Why is achieving financial literacy so challenging?

JZ: There are several reasons.

  1. Money is both abstract and emotional. It can be difficult to talk about, even amongst family and friends.
  2. The scope of what is considered financial literacy is well defined but vast. Many skills need to be mastered: banking and payments, borrowing, saving and investing, choosing insurance, filing taxes and using registered accounts, budgeting and multi-year financial planning (like funding post-secondary education).
  3. Personal finance is both a way of thinking and a set of practical skills. One needs to learn how to make astute financial decisions as well as how to effectively gather information about financial products. Teaching personal finance may be more like teaching culinary arts, shop, or how to fly an airplane than teaching math or English.
  4. To be useful in real life, financial literacy needs to incorporate knowledge of real-life financial products. There will be some financial jargon to deal with, product advertising to drill through, and a fast rate of change in products and services to adapt to.

The curriculum defines financial literacy as competence and confidence. We couldn’t agree more. ‘Competence’ in personal finance means ‘the ability to get it done’. And that competence breeds confidence.



By Rachel Collishaw

Welcome back to another school year! I have already heard from many of our members who are excited to put their summer learning to work. I am also excited for all of the new relationships that you are going to build with your students and colleagues this year. If we support each other, we can better support our students’ learning. I hope that OHASSTA can be a haven of support and learning for you in what promises to be a challenging school year ahead.

It’s been a busy summer for OHASSTA! We started off with the Wilson Institute Retreat for Teachers in July at McMaster University. Thanks to Mike Clare and John Piper for putting this new event on and taking care of the details. There was a lot of food for thought about teaching and learning of history from both academic and practical perspectives. There was also a lot of time for great meals and conversations and relationship-building!

As your president, I have been continuing to work with The Collaborative, a not-for-profit organization that aims to connect teachers and post-secondary educators through an innovative online platform. The goal is to bring experts in the social sciences into your classroom to support your students’ inquiry. The Collaborative is supporting our fall conference this year in so many ways, and you’ll be able to find out more about how you can get involved in this emerging project at our conference November 1-2 at McMaster University.