Category Archives: Uncategorized

PBS – U.S. Election Central

“Turn news coverage into learning opportunities with new content including the history of presidential elections, the local impact of national issues, how the Electoral college works, fast facts, and more.”

Teachers and Students can Sign-up to access more of the resources available on this site. (Not all resources require sign-in for access.)

PBS has created a rich resourced-based go to site for teachers about the U.S. election process: Election Central. You have access to lesson plans with video links and extensive online resources.

  • Election 2016 News
  • Election 2016 Lesson Plans
  • The Election Process
  • Debating in the Classroom
  • Elections Through History
  • Inaugural Address
  • 60-Second Presidents Videos
  • Presidents Day Puzzles and Storyboards
  • Election Collection
    • Inside the voting booth
    • You’re the Campaign Manager – What are the characteristics of a good president?
    • Personality or Politics Activity
    • Working for the party
    • U.S. Presidential Elections: 1992-2012 | Historical Photo Collection
    • Campaign Strategy
    • Getting the Nomination
    • Public Speaking and Persuasion – Improve Your School
    • The History of the Iowa Caucuses
    • Meet the Presidential Candidates in Election 2016- Lesson Plan
    • What is Social Media’s Role in Election 2016? – Lesson Play
    • Hosting a Presidential Debate- Lesson Plan
    • How Has Technology Changed the Way Candidates Run for President? – Lesson Plan
    • What are the Primaries and the Caucuses? – Lesson Plan
    • Woodrow Wilson – Win the Election of 1912
    • The Elections of 1896 and 1900: Interactive Map | A Biography of America
    • Lesson Plan | Making Civics Real: Electoral Politics
    • Presidential Power | Crash Course Government and Politics
    • Presidential Power 2 | Crash Course Government and Politics
    • Elections: The Maintenance of Democracy in America

More Resources:

  • Inside The Debates
  • Interactive Map – follow the candidates
  • The Election Process – fast paced short videos
    • How Presidents Get Elected
    • Election Process Basics
    • Political Campaign Basics
    • Roles of Political Parties in the Election Process
    • Election Foundations
    • The General Election

Virtual Field Trips

  • An Inside Look at Wahington DC
  • Exploring Mount Vernon
  • Our Nation’s Capital
  • Congressional Record – Students will need to download The Congressional Record App at the iTunes store to participate in this activity.
  • Presidential Powers and the Constitution

Teachers Get your PD at home

OTF connects you to online learning of current teaching ideas from practicing classroom teachers through their Learning Connects.

If you have missed past webinars and resources visit their Archive. You will have to have the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher downloaded  on your computer to replay the webinars that are available. You will  be prompted to do so when you click on the link for webinars. Some webinars and resources are accessible for all teachers, not just Ontario teachers. A great resource for your Professional Development.

Created for teachers by teachers, OTF Connects webinars address a wide variety of topics across grade levels. Our easy-to-use webinar technology provides you and your colleagues with free, effective PD accessible from home or your mobile device. Join colleagues from across the province to learn and share together. OTF Connects adds new webinars regularly – please keep checking the calendar for new sessions.


Feb. 29

Moving Forward with OTF Planboard

Andrew Bieronski

Mar. 1

Gamifying Formative Assessment With Knowledgehook Gameshow

Kyle Pearce

Mar. 2

The Re-imagined School: Digitally-enhanced learning

Garfield Gini-Newman

Mar. 7

The Problem Of “Time”

Aviva Dunsinger

Mar. 8

Drawing Kids into Mathematics: Using Turtle Art and Scratch (K-8)

Peter Skillen & Brenda Sherry

Mar. 9

Thinking Like a Mathematician (Gr. 4-8)

Maria Vamvalis, TC2

Mar. 10

Making Space for the Makerspace Movement in Your Classroom/Learning Commons

Mary-Kay Goindi

Mar. 21

Growth Mindset in Mathematics (K-8)

Crystal Lake

Mar. 22

The Paperless Classroom

Andrew Bieronski

Mar. 23

Math?! Where do I begin?  Part 2: Assessment (Jr.)

Cathy Griffin

Mar. 24

Engaging Students through Environmental Filmmaking

Alessandra Cannito

Mar. 29

Using Assessment Tools to Document Learning

Becky Kennedy

Mar. 30

Creating a Thinking Math Classroom – Part 1 (Gr. 7-10)

Laura Gini-Newman,TC2

Mar. 31

Redefining the Math Classroom with Technology Part 2 – Plan, Teach and Assess Using Web 2.0 Tools (Jr./Int.)

Sandra Chow

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Teachers are very familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy. This Common Sense Media video explains its revision over time and the adaptation of the technology to include technology resources to transform their learning opportunities.

Are you integrating technology effectively in your classroom?

Watch this short video that explains the SAMR Model. You can use SAMR to reflect upon how you are integrating technology into your classroom. Is it an act of Substitution? Augmentation? Modification? Or Redefinition?

You then can easily adapt your current learning activities to a more transformational use of technology to promote higher-order thinking skills for your students.

Teachers are familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy from their training. Dr. Puentedura compares Bloom’s Taxonomy with his SAMR Model.

Non-Fiction online resource

The Nonfiction Minute provides teachers with an online resource to use with students.  Dr. Myra Zarnowski is Professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Queens College, City University of New York. She lists some teaching ideas to get you started using this resource. Use them as a mini-lesson to start your language block. Meet the authors of the ” Nonfiction Minutes”.

Safer Internet Day

Today is the day… Happy Safer Internet Day!
 Safer Internet Day is an internationally-recognized day that investigates and provides insight on how youth can stay up-to-date on online issues.
Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world.
Access Resources to use with your students to reinforce Internet Saftey. Resources are from around the world in many languages. Apps such as: Sanpchat, Facebook, and Instagram have provided teacher-friendly activities and information. You will find posters and booklets to use with young students to our teens.
Use the tip sheet Be Respectful, Patient and Kind: How Youth are Building a Better World Online.  This resource was produced in partnership with Facebook, Encounters with Canada, and ICTC.

Thinking Historically

Canada’s History site offers good examples of how to teach students to Think Historically. The content on the site is aimed at upper junior, intermediate and senior students. Teachers of primary grades can use the information as a guide to adapt lessons for their youngers students. These 6 concepts are:

  1. Using primary source evidence
  2. Establishing historical significance
  3. Taking a historical perspective
  4. Understanding the ethical dimension in history
  5. Identifying continuity and change
  6. Cause and consequence

Summer Institute and Battlefield Tour: Juno Beach, Normandy, France


A Professional Development Tour for Educators with a Passion for Canadian Military History
Application Deadline: Feb. 27, 2015

I participated in this professional in July 2007. It was a trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend that you take this opportunity to go on this trip. This is a trip that every Canadian should take. You will not be sorry.

During this 10-day tour, participants visit Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel, Dieppe, the Juno Beach Centre, the D-Day landing beaches and various other sites in Normandy. Some highlights of the tour include meeting locals who lived through D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, enjoying the kind hospitality in Normandy, and sharing teaching ideas with colleagues from across Canada.

Each year, in August, the Juno Beach Centre Association offers Canadian history teachers the opportunity to tour First and Second World War battlefields in France, and participate in the Juno Beach Centre’s Summer Institute on the historic landing beaches of Normandy, France.

Educators from across Canada now have the opportunity to apply to take part in our 2015 professional development program from July 25 to August 5. Participants will travel to Northern France via Paris to gain first-hand knowledge of Canada’s participation in the First and Second World Wars. The 10-day tour includes visits to Canadian battlefields at Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel, the D-Day landing beaches, the Falaise Gap, and of course, spend time at the Juno Beach Centre!

In addition, participants gain a better understanding of Canadian sacrifices through visits to the Abbaye d’Ardenne, the town of Authie and Canadian War Cemeteries at Bény-sur-Mer, Bretteville-sur-Laize, and Dieppe

A Canadian historian is on hand to provide in-depth historical content to participants throughout the tour. This expertise and historical perspective will provide informative and practical knowledge for classroom application. A full-day professional development session at the Juno Beach Centre will help participants connect these experiences with their provincial curricula, incorporating the Historical Thinking Concepts and commemorative work in their teaching.

“More and more each day of this tour I come to see how those of us who are here today are the witnesses of what others did yesterday and that as teachers we have an almost sacred obligation to ensure those deeds are never forgotten but will live on now and tomorrow.” – Scott Powers, 2014 Participant

To learn more about this professional development opportunity, as well as access the application forms and guidelines, please visit our website. Space is limited – apply soon! The deadline for applications is February 27, 2015.

National Sweater Day – Feb. 5


Brrrr, if you are in Ontario today, it is cold outside.  We have all been bundling up for the past few weeks to try to keep warm. Keep  your favourite sweater handy to wear on Thurs. Feb. 5 to participate in the  WWFs National Sweater Day. What will your school do to make everyone think about our daily energy use? There is some time to plan for this event.

By participating, you will be helping to raise awareness about renewable energy and change behaviours around energy consumption in Canada. Did you know? If all Canadians lowered their thermostats by just two degrees Celsius, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about four megatons — equivalent to taking nearly 700,000 cars off the road. Teachers can access teaching ideas for this event by clicking Register, top right hand side of the page and complete the form.

Check out some teaching ideas here.



Newslea is a non-fiction resource featuring current news articles for your students. This online resource offers each article at 5 different reading levels. What a great way for all students in your class to read the same content. The levels range from approximately 500-1200+ (Approx. Grade 3+). Many of the article topics have an American focus but there are enough international topics for non-U.S. classes. Teachers can register for free with the site to enable them with the ability to assign articles to classes. There is a pay for use version for added student tracking features but the free version is worth a visit.