🚽 #LearningInTheLoo: Read & Write Extension s/o @deannatoxopeus

This year, I have not been on top of my game enough to make a new Learning in the Loo every week. Today I used some posters sent out by Deanna Toxopeus, our Itinerant Teacher of Assistive Technology w/ the OCDSB, to create a new poster to put up in our staff toilets.

So this week’s LITL is all about Text Help’s Read & Write extension – a quick start guide. In our board, this extension is pushed out to all student and staff accounts automatically. It’s got a lot of handy features that can help all students.

As always, all my past editions (including this one) of Learning in the Loo can be found here.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

🚽 #LearningInTheLoo: Curating Instructional Videos for Interactivity

Earlier this year I was listening to an episode of the This Week in Ontario EduBlogs podcast & they were sharing a blog post by EduGals about 10 tools for curating instructional videos. I thought it would make a good Learning in the Loo poster & decided to focus on 3 tools that would allow teachers to curate videos and have students respond in turn. So I chose to share about EdPuzzle, Google Forms/Quiz, and Pear Deck. When talking about Pear Deck I focused on Google slides since we’re a Google board, but it works with Powerpoint slides as well.

As always, all my past editions (including this one) of Learning in the Loo can be found here.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Black-Out Poetry #TLchat

Heads up: this blog post contains artwork showing nude bodies

April is poetry month and a colleague posted this to their library’s Instagram account:

Here’s what I did:

  • put out an email to our staff asking if anyone was interested to bring their classes to try it here at our school,
  • booked a few classes to come in,
  • created a slide deck with examples of black-out poetry I found online and some tips to getting started,
  • grabbed some novels we weeded based on lack of interest and used an xacto knife to cut out pages,
  • collected as many sharpies, pencil crayons & markers as I could,
  • introduced the concept to each class with the help of the slide deck, gave them each a page from the old novels and let them get started!

Here are some of my favourites so far that they gave me permission to share:

How could you incorporate black-out poetry in your classes?

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

What I’ve Been Reading this Winter 2022 #TLchat

The last 2 years I’ve kept a running thread each year of the books I’ve read on Twitter (as well as on Facebook & Instagram using #WheelsReads) based on the idea shared by Michelle Arbuckle at the OLA Super Conference. It occured to me I should share as a blog post too. At first I thought an annual round up similar to the top tweets year-end post I do. But I thought it might be nicer to spread it out through the year into several posts, so I’m going to with seasonal posts. So I’ll start with books I finished during winter (Dec. 21 – Mar. 21) 2022. I would love your thoughts on the book or book recommendations in the comments below!

What have you read & loved lately? Let me know in the comments below!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

“A good teacher is like …” … do you agree?

A short post.

In the AQ I’m taking at the moment, one of our tasks was to complete the sentence “Good teaching is like …”. I decided to google that and the related phrase “a good teacher is like…” and the entire first page of Google hits brought up this quote:

“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

And it struck me as a poor motto for teachers to live by. My immediate thought was “but you can’t pour from an empty cup!”. It is of course true that we give of ourselves to our students. And that we want to light the flame of knowledge and passion for learning in our students. But the metaphor of a candle leads to the eventuality that the candle runs down and can no longer support its own flame. And when that happens it can no longer light the flame in its students either.

I have seen too many teachers give of themselves endlessly to their students. And they burn out. We love our students. We love teaching them. But we must have balance our work and personal lives. We must take care to give ourselves time to restore our own energy levels. We must ensure we don’t come to the end of our wick.

Thoughts? Do you like this metaphor or does it strike you as not quite right like me?

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

#LearningInTheLoo: the Question Matrix

In the AQ I’m taking right now, our instructor asked us to complete a question matrix for one of our posts. I originally learned about the question matrix from a previous AQ and then used it with my BTT1O (Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Business) class. The question matrix is a great way to encourage folks to think beyond the obvious and quick questions when engaging in the inquiry process. In BTT1O I had students pick a topic for a research project and then their first task was to complete a question matrix to come up with as many possible research questions on their topic as they could. If I were redoing that activity, I would probably introduce a question matrix earlier in the course (on a different topic) that we would complete collaboratively as a group before expecting each student to complete one on their own.

Inspired by a colleague who sometimes leaves written notes on the Learning in the Loo posters in a certain bathroom stall, I actually invited staff to do so on this week’s poster. Our school is starting to focus on Culturally Responsive & Relevant Pedagogy in our staff meetings lately, so I invited staff to bring a pen with them & fill in some of the boxes with questions they have about CRRP. Is that going too far; asking folks to bring their pen to the loo & collaborate? I guess we’ll see if they take up the task!

As always, all my past editions (including this one) of Learning in the Loo can be found here.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Annual Reading Challenge – 2022 #TLchat

We’re already a month into 2022 but I finally got our annual reading challenge for the year set up. This is something I do for staff every year. Students of course are more than welcome to participate but I have found that staff are the ones that really engage with it.

2022 Ridgemont HS Reading Challenge

Better late than never, right?
Starting in 2017, each year, we have created a Ridgemont reading challenge of 12 books in 12 months. Since Ms. Wheeler didn’t get this out until February, we’re modifying this year to be 11 books in 11 months.
Building on the equity work we’ve been doing in our own lives, and professionally here at school, I’ve chosen to focus on a variety of author backgrounds. Some might be trickier to find than our usual fare. But the effort will be worth it I hope.
Wheeler will endeavour to make a list of books we have in our library that fit the various criteria to help you out.
Pro tip: some folks like to write the name of each book right on their bookmark to help keep track.
We hope you’ll consider participating in reading some books that fit the list, even if you don’t think you’ll complete the challenge.

The list for this year is as follows:

A book …

  • from the school library
  • by an Indigenous author
  • by a Muslim author
  • by a Syrian author
  • translated from arabic
  • by a Black author
  • by an LGBTQ+ author
  • by a Somalian author
  • by a Nepalese author
  • by a neuro-divergent author
  • featuring a prominent character with a physical disability

I make a bookmark (you can see both sides of it in the above image) to put in each staff member’s mailbox. I’m always looking for suggestions of criteria I can use to build next year’s challenge. Have a good idea? Let me know in the comments below!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

2021 Review of My Year on Twitter

Each year I try to look back at my top tweets as a way of reflecting on what I’ve shared on Twitter. Twitter analytics is a great tool for this. It uses stats of views, replies and retweets to determine your top tweets. Some I include here because they got a lot of views, others got fewer views but had a high “engagement” rate. Here we go . . .

From our first #Thinking Classroom book club meeting of the year:

Sharing out a list of Chrome extensions that might cause issues:

A new one for me, I took a thread from Twitter – replies to a great question from a teacher – and turned it into a blog post with some extra ideas & reflections from me:

This year the OLA Super Conference was virtual (along with everything else in life!):

And I say this every year but the #BFC530 daily morning 15 minute Twitter chat is where I have some of the best conversations about education and learn so much from other teachers:

… and another:

From our #ThinkingClassroom book club:

And more #BFC530 chats:

Our March Break was postponed to April due to Covid; government wanted to discourage travel as we came out of the 2nd wave. But this meant that the break fell between quadmesters when teachers are in their heaviest marking load. Ministry & board messaging was all like “teachers, relax this week! you deserve it” with no awareness that the timing of the break made that all but impossible for many:

Side note: Looking at the stats, the rates continued to rise through March when they had us stay in school & then dropped significantly at the April break. So perhaps we should have left the break back in March??? I’d be curious to analyse how much of that was due to the school break vs vaccine roll out …

In April I took part 2 of the Teacher Leadership AQ via ETFO (love them for AQs – and you don’t have to be an elementary teacher to take AQs with them). I created a sketchnote for one of our readings/postings & decided to share it on Twitter also:

I bought a shirt on Etsy that perfectly summed up how the ministry has handled the pandemic:

To finish the month, I was very thankful to get vaccinated. I teach in Ontario but live in Quebec & my province pushed teachers up the priority line before Ontario did:

(I wound up getting to move my 2nd dose up & was fully vaxxed in time for summer. Wahoo!)

Then of course, after the April break, we pivoted (they loved that term this year) to remote learning again which we all predicted would be the case. I set up shop in our loft again. And my tweets reflecting on my work from home setup – and the changes I made to it -were a hit through the month of May:

Turned those tweets, & the replies to them, into a blog post:

And that was extra fun because Doug Peterson & Stephen Hurley talked about my blog post on their weekly podcast!

The BFC530 chat in June was winding down but still brought some good conversations & sharing:

Another work from home set up tweet was popular as we finished up the school year still in a remote learning model:

To start summer break, this Canada Day July 1st tweet was popular:

Since I don’t tweet as much content in the summer, last year I started a weekly photo post summarizing what I’d been up to. Again this year they proved popular as evidenced by these 2 tweets:

This tweet did well I think because the author retweeted it:

And, as always, everyone loves a sketchnote:

September rolled in & we were back to school:

This tweet about audiobook versions of educational books seemed to ring true with a lot of folks that felt the same as me:

And not a sketchnote, but still a graphic, this tweet with a cell phone lockscreen image of material from Peter‘s Thinking Classroom book that I illustrated was a huge hit (open tweet & click image to see full image):

… and it was equally popular again 2 weeks later when I shared it as part of a morning #BFC530 chat:

This tweet calling out a rude response to a colleague’s sketchnote got a lot of engagement:

Sharing about the Thinking Classroom AND in sketchnote form is usually a recipe for a popular tweet:

Then in December came the news that a teacher in Chelsea QC, where I lived up until 3 years ago, was being removed from the classroom for wearing a hijab, in accordance with the discriminatory bill 21 in Quebec. This was my first time being confronted with the bill actually being upheld and impacting someone’s ability to keep their job. To add to the schock, my colleague recognised that the teacher, Fatemeh Anvari, had been a student at our school years ago. Ridgemont has a large muslim population and it was important that we showed our outrage over this news to our students and community. So I organised having all the students come down to the library over the course of the day that Friday to sign posters of support that I then hung on the Chelsea schoolyard fence that evening (we also sent Fatemeh scans of the posters that she could keep).

On a more cheerful note, I made a small (& what should have been obvious) change to our library shelves that had a big impact:

Of course since then we’ve had an exponential increase in Omicron variant Covid cases (including my own household!) over the holidays and a return to remote learning to start the 2022 year. Should make for another year of interesting tweets to report back at the end of 2022!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Books I read (& listened to) in 2021

In early 2020 I attended my first OLA Super Conference where I heard Michelle Arbuckle share the idea of keeping a pinned tweet thread of books you’ve read for the year. I started right away. And that meant that 2021 was my first year with a complete year in the thread. I thought it might be nice to keep a record here on my blog of all those books. So without further ado, here are all the books I read (or listened to) in 2021:

3rd (audio)book of 2021
Atomic Habits
By @JamesClear
Small changes can compound to build a better life. Focus on your systems that will get you to your goals.
This book has practical applications. I have already implemented changes to my home workspace as a result of this read.

4th book of 2021
Jonny Appleseed
By Joshua Whitehead
Book 1/5 for #CanadaReads
⚠️ Lots of explicit sexual content
Jonny is two-spirited & Indigenous. The story of Jonny working to make enough money to get home to the rez for a funeral is intertwined with his life story.

5th (audio)book of 2021
The Awakening of Malcolm X
By @ilyasahShabazz & Tiffany D. Jackson
Via @librofm educator ALC program.
The formative years of Malcolm X; surviving prison, systemic racism, becoming the kind of person he wants to be & finding his way to the Nation of Islam.

6th (audio)book of 2021
Songteller
By Dolly Parton
"I look like a show-horse but I'm a work-horse".
Recorded interview with Dolly about her many many songs over the years. The combo of music clips with her behind the scenes info is great.

7th book of 2021
Hench
By Natalie Zina Walschots
Book 2/5 for #CanadaReads
Loved this book so much! I didn't expect to, given it's about superheroes & villains (not usually my thing). It's funny, real & genuine. I immediately wanted there to be both a movie of it & a sequel book.

8th book of 2021
Visual Thinking
By Willemien Brand
I have a weakness for buying books about #sketchnoting. First part was good about drawing skills. 2nd part about using graphic skills in business contexts was of less interest to me (my fault) but also not well explained IMHO.

9th book of 2021
The Midnight Bargain
by C. L. Polk
Book 3/5 of #CanadaReads
Young ladies are presented at bargaining season where they match with a young man to marry. But marrying requires that young ladies give up their magical powers & Beatrice & Ysbeta are not downfor that.

10th (audio)book of 2021
All Together Now
By Alan Doyle
A fun, light set of stories of his time on the road, on the stage and home in NL as a young guy. Loved listening to him narrate the audio version. Truly like sitting in a pub as he tells you some stories.

11th (audio)book of 2021
The Day the World Came to Town
by Jim Defede
The story of the folks in Gander, NL helping 6700 airplane passengers stranded there as a result of the tragic events of 9/11. I've been keen to read this ever since seeing the Come From Away musical.

12th book of 2021
# 4/5 for #CanadaReads
Butter Honey Pig Bread
By Francesca Ekwuyasi
The story of twin sisters that have grown apart & their mother struggling with her own demons.
Set in both Nigeria & Canada.
LGBTQ2+ & BIPOC #OwnVoices

13th (audio)book of 2021
The Answer Is…
By Alex Trebek
Narrated by Ken Jennings w/ a few sections by Trebek himself.
Learned about who Trebek was as a person outside of his hosting role. Early chapters felt like they ended abruptly but this improved a bit as the book went on.

14th book of 2021
Visual Doing
By Willemien Brand
2nd in the series… Following my 8th read in this thread. Similar feel. Had some good #sketchnote tips. But the bigger picture on how to use in a work setting was not as well explained as I've seen in other books.

15th (audio)book of 2021
The Skin We're In
By @DesmondCole
Should be mandatory reading for all non-BIPOC Canadians – no exaggeration. Stories you've heard of, but don't know all the details of. Prepare to be angry, disgusted, embarrassed & humbled. A must-read!

16th book of 2021
# 5/5 finished on the day the #CanadaReads debate begins
A book about the movement of a family from China, to Taiwan, to Canada. About returning to Taiwan to search for family and history. About nature on an island nation.

17th (audio)book of 2021
me and white supremacy
By Layla F Saad
Read this book 1 chapter/day & take the time to reflect on the journal questions. Every non-BIPOC person needs to read this book. If you're saying "Not me! I'm not racist, because…", then you need to read it most!

First DNF of 2021
Extremely rare for me. Got 25 pages in and the portrayal of indigenous ppl (whom we've only encountered on TV or in mention) as "savages" etc is too much. I know it's a story set in a certain era but it's no excuse. 😔 I've loved every other book by this author.

18th book of 2021
The Art of Visual Notetaking
By @emily_a_mills
One of the better guides to #Sketchnotes that I've seen. A good overview of all the basic elements for someone starting out & good reminders & style tips for those that have tried it before like me.

19th (audio)book of 2021
Untamed
By Glenn on Doyle
⭐⭐⭐
Kept hearing about this one so gave it a listen. Interesting personal & family story. I'm personally not into all the God talk. Sometimes goes too long on various vague & clichéd self-help pep talks.

20th book of 2021
Firefly Lane
By Kristin Hannah
⭐⭐⭐⭐
It's been a while since I cried at the end of a book. Follows two friends, who meet as teens, as they grow up. A look at how their friendship lasts and evolves through the years.
A look at love, friendship & family.

21st book of 2020
I Never Liked You
by Chester Brown

Grabbed this older (1994) graphic novel off our school library shelf. Did not enjoy it. A quick read luckily. Characters not engaging. Lead character totally apathetic. Not much of a storyline. Would not recommend.

22nd (audio)book of 2021
Policing Black Lives
by Robyn Maynard
⭐⭐⭐⭐
A very thorough look at Anti-Black racism in Canada. Emphasises the many ways our institutions perpetuate systemic racism. Covers a broad range of topics from a very academic lens. Not a light read.

23rd (audio)book of 2021
Quiet
By Susan Cain
⭐⭐⭐⭐
Super interesting to read as a person who presents outwardly as a raging extrovert, but in truth I have so many introverted traits too. I need alone time & quiet at home to recharge. I'm friendly but I have few close friends.

24th (audio)book
The Trauma Cleaner
By Sarah Krasnostein
Weaves together the life story of a woman who runs a trauma cleaning business & what that work entails with her story of childhood abuse, marriage & kids, & transitioning genders in an era when to do so could be dangerous.

25th book of 2021
Crow Winter
By Karen McBride
A story about Indigenous lands, coming home to the reservation, Indian agents of the past, colonisation, grieving the loss of a loved one, & Nanabush Trickster.
Set in the author's homelands of the Timiskaming First Nation.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

26th (audio)book of 2021
Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
By Mary Roach
Very interesting historical and current look at our views and practices around dead human bodies. Not for the queasy. I often listened while cooking but don't recommend!
⭐⭐⭐⭐

27th (audio)book of 2021
So You Want To Talk About Race
Ijeoma Oluo
"If you live in this system of white supremacy, you are either fighting the system or you are complicit. There is no neutrality to be had towards systems of injustice, it is not something you can just opt out of"

28th (audio)book of 2021
Just Mercy
Bryan Stevenson
Innocent people on death row. 13 year old children, failed by the system, getting life in prison. Systemic anti-Black racism.
Lawyer Bryan Stevenson works tirelessly to help these people & fix the wrongs of a broken system.

29th book of 2021
Murmures (Les chroniques de Virgin River #3)
by Robyn Carr
A light read. Started reading the books after watching season 1 on Netflix. I think I'll donate this to the school library even though I haven't read the second volume (#4) in it yet.

30th (audio)book of 2021
Crossing the Line
"…  the barn was safer, better, than home—an island in the middle of all the trouble that we couldn't escape otherwise."
Black brothers join an inner city Work to Ride program, learning to play (& eventually win at) polo.

31st (audio)book of 2021
$2.00 a Day; Living on Almost Nothing in America
by H. Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin
How families come to find themselves in extreme poverty (hint: it's not for lack of work ethic) & what they do to survive & provide their children with the bare minimum.

32nd book of 2021
Return of the Trickster
By Eden Robinson
The final book in the trilogy. Jared deals with the full ramifications of learning he is a Trickster; what that means for him and the danger it imposes on his loved ones. Plus bad-ass magical grannies & a sasquatch.

33rd (audio)book of 2021
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy
By Emmanuel Acho
Young listeners edition of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man inspired by the author's YouTube video series with the same title.
Via the @librofm educator ALC program.

34th book of 2021
Amari and the Night Brothers
By B. B. Alston
Pitched to me as a #ReadAlike for Harry Potter fans (which I am) but with a Black female protagonist. A simpler read than the HP books.
Also #OwnVoices.
Really fun, quick read with a movie & book sequels coming.

35th (audio)book of 2021
Better Boys, Better Men: The New Masculinity That Creates Greater Courage and Emotional Resiliency
By Andrew Reiner
Via @librofm's Educator ALC program
A thorough overview of society's expectations of "manliness" and how boys and men navigate them.

36th (audio)book of 2021
The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation
by Anna Malaika Tubbs
"Their lives did not begin with motherhood; . . . each woman had her own passions, dreams, and identity."

37th (audio)book of 2021
My Mother's Daughter: A Memoir of Struggle and Triumph
by @perditafelicien
Picked on the recommendation of @clarahughes on IG. Great story about immigration, poverty, housing insecurity, sports, resilience,…
Would be a great read w/ students!

38th (audio)book of 2021
21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality
by Bob Joseph
A very important read if you're beginning your own learning on this topic.

39th book of 2021
The Barren Grounds
By David A. Robertson
Two indigenous teens in Foster care step through a portal into a world with never-ending winter where the people are dying. With two walking, talking animals, they embark on a journey to bring the Green Time season back.

40th (audio)book of 2021
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
by David Epstein
Sort of same style as Gladwell's books but I found it meandering at times. Some chapters I was unclear what the take-home point was meant to be. Interesting idea to explore.

41st (audio)book of 2021
Breath: the New Science of a Lost Art
By James Nestor
😤💨🫁🌬️
Close your mouth
Breathe through your nose
More slowly
Breathe less
Exhale more
Chew real foods
+ Breathe more on occassion

42nd (audio)book of 2021
A Walking Life: Reclaiming Our Health and Our Freedom One Step at a Time
by Antonia Malchik
Good look at how we design the world for cars & driving instead of walking. Some sections, like protesting, didn't feel closely enough linked to walking per se.

43rd (audio)book of 2021
In Praise of Walking: The New Science of how We Walk & why It’s Good for Us
by Shane O'Mara
“Walking a city is the best way to get to know it. You can't get to know the mood of a place, its energy and pace, when you're driving”
Heavy on history & research

44th book of 2021
Greenwood: A Novel of a Family Tree in a Dying Forest
by Michael Christie
A story of nature & family, across 4 generations & time periods. Starting in a dystopian 2034 & working back to 1934 where we spend the most time before coming back to 2034 again.

45th book of 2021
The River
by Peter Heller
An à propos book for a canoe camping trip; about two guys in their 20s paddling a river towards Hudson Bay, rescuing a woman left for dead by her husband and he's now hunting them. A quick, easy read.

46th book of 2021
The Book of Awesome
by @NeilPasricha
This has been my bathroom book for the last year or so. I read & loved the author's 1000 Awesome Things blog over 10 years ago now. This book is a collection of those posts. I read one "post" each morning.

47th (audio)book of 2021
The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy and Sleep Well Every Night
by Satchin Panda
How we should light our surroundings to better support our circadian rhythms. How we can time our eating, sleep & exercise to best support health.

48th book of 2021
Normal People
by Sally Rooney
Didn't love this book. I kept seeing it & hearing about it so had high expectations. I didn't like the main characters much… Couldn't sympathize with their feelings and actions. The ending was unsatisfying.

49th (audio)book of 2021
Wildflower
By Drew Barrymore
Interesting insight into her life. Narrated herself… Could have done without some of the screams. Memoir rather than autobiography. Certainly influenced my decision to watch Ever After last night w/ my new Disney+ membership

50th (audio)book of 2021
This I Know: Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence
by Terry O'Reilly
Amazing story telling just like his podcast. So many insights into human nature through the lens of marketing. Narrated by Terry himself which of course then is perfection!

51st audio/book of 2021
The Chromebook Infused Classroom: Using Blended Learning to Create Engaging Student-Centered Classroom
by Holly Clark
Started as part of board-wide book club. Struggled to keep up w/ it last year.
A great overview, but for me it was not new info.

52nd (audio)book of 2021
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
by Eric Klinenberg
A good mix of anecdotal interview-based evidenced & data from academic studies. Looks at the topic across age ranges to get a fuller picture. Interesting stuff.

53rd (audio)book of 2021
Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir
by Mark Critch
Hilarious of course. Perfect to listen with his own narration. A great slice of Newfoundland life & childhood through the 80s.

54th book of 2021
Firekeeper's Daughter
by Angeline Boulley
I loved this YA mystery/thriller so much! Can't wait for the Netflix series to come.
"It gnaws at me, the way they want bad stuff without knowing the good stuff too." It's like… you haven't earned our stories," I say."

55th (audio)book of 2021
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
by Beverly Daniel Tatum
"Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy?"
A very thorough, academic exploration of this question.
I read the revised 2017 edition.

55.5th book of 2021
DNF
Virgins (Outlander 0.5)
By Diana Gabaldon
The way the novel speaks about /focuses on the Jewish heritage of 2 characters didn't sit right. Then Jamie & Ian seem to justify/defend the rape of a prostitute and I just couldn't continue.

56th (audio)book of 2021
Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL's First Treaty Indigenous Player
by Fred Sasakamoose
The true memoir from the man that inspired the famous Indian Horse novel… without even knowing he'd done so.

57th book of 2021
Modifying Your #ThinkingClassroom for Different Settings
By @pgliljedahl
With my illustrations again ☺
How to do it with:
✅ Desks in rows for social distancing
✅ Small classes
✅ Asynchronous virtual class
✅ Hybrid classes
✅ One-on-one teaching
& more

58th (audio)book of 2021
Nudge : the Final Edition
by Cass R. Sunstein and Richard H. Thaler
"Nudge for good!"
"People have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option" so how can choice architects arrange choices so that people benefit from the default?

59th book of 2021
The Midnight Library
By Matt Haig
I'm struggling with my rating for this one. Am I just disappointed that it fell short of all the hype & my expectations to really love it? Or was it actually just average?
Neat idea. It just didn't grab me; storywise or writing.

60th book of 2021
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Loved this one!
Realistic high school gay love story without being cheesy or tropey.
Watched the movie last night but it wasn't nearly as good as the book.

61st (audio)book of 2021
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
by Stephanie Land
Read the hype when the Netflix show arrived but wanted to read the book first. It was just ok. Writing was so-so. General issue of poverty & unlivable minimum wages is important.

62nd (audio)book of 2021
Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism
by @SarahFiarman & @DrTraceyBenson
Dont let the boring cover fool you. Every educator doing equity & anti-racism work should read this.
Thanks @librofm & @TantorAudio

63rd book of 2021
Dancing at the Pity Party: a Dead Mom Graphic Memoir
by Tyler Feder
My book light died & while I await my new one I've been using my iPad to read a graphic novel in bed at night.
At 18, Tyler's mum dies of cancer. Her story of grieving.

DNF book of 2021
Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9)
By Diana Gabaldon
150 pages in (of 888) and the story hasn't gone anywhere yet. Finding myself picky about her writing which I haven't been with the rest of the series. So putting it aside for now. May return to it?

64th book of 2021
Pumpkinheads
by Rainbow Rowell
Graphic novel
Wanted to like this more than I did. Predictable ending. I did like the realistic characters. Loved the artwork. Dialogue was just so-so for me at times.

65th (audio)book of 2021
Unapologetic Eating: Make Peace with Food and Transform Your Life
by Alissa Rumsey
Denounces diet culture & advocates for intuitive eating. At 16 hours, it's too long & overuses quotation marks. Great points wrt how we think & talk about food & nutrition.

65 books read in 2021:
24 books
38 audiobooks
3 graphic novels
+ 3 books started that I chose not to finish reading

Originally tweeted by Laura Wheeler (@wheeler_laura) on January 16, 2021.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

🚽 #LearningInTheLoo: Bullet Journalling

Late in 2018 I stumbled onto the practice of Bullet Journalling. I’ve always been an organized person. My high school agendas were well used (as well decorated with all sorts of magazine cut-outs and photos of my friends). I’ve always been a list person. As a kid I made a 2D model of my bedroom and the furniture in it to test out various furniture configurations before moving anything.

I’m pretty A-type if you haven’t guessed yet … haha!

So when I heard about Bullet Journals (BuJo for short) it sounded like just what I needed! I had been making use of digital calendars for a while but I missed putting pen to paper to plan my days. I don’t even remember how I first came across the idea of BuJo so I apologise that I can’t give credit to whoever inspired me. I started to read up on it online, watch videos and eventually read the book The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll who came up with this method.

Then I got started right away – in the middle of November. In a small notebook I had on hand. With whatever pen I had on hand too. I blogged about it once I’d been at it for a few weeks; you can read that here. [edit: in putting in the hyperlink for that blog post I realised I did say in the post where I first heard about BuJo!] And while I’m due for a new blog post on the topic to update how I’ve used it & how my BuJo practice has evolved over the last 3 years, I decided to make a Learning in the Loo poster on the topic. I’ve been sharing about BuJos in my Time Management workshop I’ve given to a few classes this semester and it’s been so fun to see a few students and teachers really dive into using Bullet Journals too.

So here’s my latest Learning in the Loo poster:

Have you tried Bullet Journalling or something similar? Let me know in the comments below.

As always, all my past editions (including this one) of Learning in the Loo can be found here.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)