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Using video clips for Pro-D

Digital Handouts: An Alternative to More Paper and Meetings
Jill Ostrow

Jill suggests that video clips can be an effective way to expose colleagues to great content. She uses Keynote and iMovie, uploading the final product to Youtube. The clips can be embedded in a webpage or sent as a link via email. Short booktalks or strategy overviews or resource presentations could all be done this way.

(snip---------EDITED VERSION OF ARTICLE------snip:

"I want to contribute, I would just rather do something different than a presentation," Jane shared with me after one of her district meetings on English language learners (ELLs).

I tried to think of an alternative way for Jane to get the information out to her staff that didn't involve paper, wouldn't take too much time away from her teachers, but would be rich in content.
"What about a video?" I asked her." I'll record you with my Flip camera while you talk about something and then you can share the video." From that initial idea, came the notion of the digital handout.

Short and Sweet
We made a commitment that these videos needed to be short. No more than three minutes long and not a link, but a video embedded within an email.

The feedback from teachers has been very positive. One teacher wrote, "These are much more accessible to classroom teachers than a handout. I copied the URL, converted it, and saved to our school share drive."

Below are the first three digital handouts we have created so far:



'Mr. 2000' - imagining the future

'Mr. 2000'
Broadcast Date: Dec. 9, 1961

This CBC radio clip from the early 60s might be a fun way to introduce a writing activity on "Mr or Ms 2050". Students could be asked to imagine life for the average person 40 years from now.

How will man look and feel in the year 2000? According to Lloyd Percival, "Mr. 2000" could be seriously out of shape. In this 1961 clip, the host of CBC Radio fitness program Sports College offers data showing that "modern-day automation and labour-saving devices" are already causing men to be weaker and fatter than they were in the past. Unless North Americans make a concerted fitness effort, says Percival, the problem will only get worse.

Formative Assessment in the Writing Workshop - preview onine

What Student Writing Teaches Us
by Mark Overmeyer
c 2009
Preview the entire book on-line

"Framed within the context of writing workshop, the book examines the reasons for reading student work and provides various methods for helping students improve as writers. Formative assessment presents teachers with multiple opportunities to read student work, with a clear focus, thereby supporting students in all stages of the writing process."

Edtech conferences - Handouts

If you are interested in exploring the topics being discussed at some of the big "educational technology" gatherings, or know teachers who are, here are links to the archives of two of the larger Edtech conferences held during the past year. There are tons of good presenter resources to comb through. (Handouts, papers, Powerpoints, links, etc.)

NECC2009 Handouts and Papers

TCEA2010 Presenter Handouts


Looking for Books to Read over the Summer?

DAWCL has over 8,000 records from 89 awards across six English-speaking countries (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, and Ireland).

Children's Picture Book Database
Our database contains abstracts of over 5000 picture books for children, preschool to grade 3. Search over 900 keywords (topics, concepts, and skills) to locate books with storylines adaptable to your curriculum or program.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials
We review Canadiana of interest to children and young adults, including publications produced in Canada, or published elsewhere but of special interest or significance to Canada, such as those having a Canadian writer, illustrator or subject. We review books and DVDs.

Bookwire features popular category pages that readers can access to get information about bestsellers and new releases, and find titles that match their discovery interests.

The Best Books for Young Adults committee each year selected and annotated a list of significant adult and young adult books, as well as chooses a list of top ten titles from the full list.

Image for eLibrary

An image we are using for the eLibrary site

Vous cherchez des titres en français?

(Places to find novel recommendations in French)

De bons sites:  pour les ados.


Libraries en ligne:
Les sites suivants offrent la possibilité de faire une recherche avancée et spécifier l'âge du lecteur.

Library of Congress - Digital Kids Books

The LOC has a number of "bookish" resources to explore, including this page with some digitized classics. (Other resources are listed in the left side navigation bar.)

"Turn the pages to explore bygone eras, time-honored tales and historical narratives. Adventure awaits in these classic books online."



Learning & Leading

L&L (Learning and Leading with Technology)  is a magazine that advocates appropriate uses of technology in K–12 and teacher education. While a subscription is needed to access all the content, there are usually half a dozen "free" articles in every issue. Some of the pieces could serve as good "discussion starters" for Pro-D days or study groups.

How Things Are Made

Here's a great site that explains (in great detail!) how many common household items are made. This would be an interesting site to visit as part of a "science in everyday life" strand.

Summer Reading at TD bank

Here's the snippet from the TD website:

"It’s easy! Here’s what they need to do:
Read 10 books this summer.
Open the Summer Reading Form from this website.
Fill in the form with the names of the books they've read.
Print the form.
Take the form to your nearest TD Bank location to get $10! One $10 offer per reader."


Studying Complex Concepts such as Courage

Studying Complex Concepts such as Beauty, Truth and Courage in Depth
"There are dozens of concepts such as beauty, courage, truth, honor and originality that are deserving of a different approach — one that deepens and extends the students' understanding so they can appreciate more fully the nuances and rich possibilities of such words. This understanding will serve them well as they ponder great works of literature as well as the challenges of their own times."

Strategies for bringing History (Socials) to life

A Focus on History, Literacies and ICT

Jamie McKenzie offers more than a dozen strategies to bring History to life. (The suggestions come after Jamie's reflections of teaching History in Australia: simply scroll down until you see the Mind Map in the article...the strategy descriptions come after the image.)
This list of strategies can be readily applied by classroom teachers. While they are not "new", it may give SS teachers some options to consider.