Tag Archives: learning

For the Love of Reading

Like any other part of the school, I see how important it is to have the library up and running as soon as possible when I got a chance to work in one for a few days.

From a two-month summer vacation, students were looking forward to set foot in the library to borrow books, from Guinness Book of World Records to Smile to Amulet to Peppa, to name a few of them that they’d asked me. Yes, we can search and read almost everything online but the library in each school provides the opportunity for all the students to get hold of the latest graphic novel, read a collection of Franklin books without spending a single dime.

Call me old fashion but I still like to get a book, hold it and flip the pages. No dog-ear for me please.



When you are surrounded with positive people that believe in each other’s strength, you have no way of going but moving forward.

Here’s my takeaway after the 3-day of learning and networking with wonderful educators, #peel21st.

For all the educators that helped me out along the way and spent the time to listen to what I had to say, a BIG THANK YOU! All kinds of exciting things are on our way as we begin a new journey of learning together with our students.

Tips and Tricks of Using Seesaw From Our #SeesawChat

#SeesawChat: 12th May 2016

“There are so many new things out there about what technology and how to use it in the classroom. I am not really comfortable using it.” This is a common statement among educators who are not comfortable infusing technology into the classroom. Very true. It can really be overwhelming. If I ask a couple of teachers, they will come up with at least 5 different apps they use in class.

This is what I tell them, “I am quite comfortable using technology in the classroom but will never catch up with every new tool out there. I remind myself, use one as it fits.”

Here’s one that caught my attention last summer and was able to delve into it more a few days ago by taking the training to be a Seesaw Ambassador.

My first #SeesawChat with fellow educators brought saw many ideas that I would like to share in this post. Both teachers and students are capturing and documenting the learning that takes place in school.

Spelling via Mrs. St. John’s Class

Capturing progress on IEP Goals via Heather Gauck

Genius Hour via Miss Zeisler

Reader’s Response via Jess Ische

Math via Miss Elikwu

Assessment via Traci Piltz

Text Features via Joni Quintavalle

Math via myself courtesy of Mrs. S MathTechLearnCentre class

Health via Traci Wood

Oral Reporting via Jennifer Sanders

Interactive QR Code via Emily Corrigan

Retelling via Miss Knutson’s Class

Word Connections via Mrs. Gadtke

Science via Ryan Wiggins

Expect more collections on how to enhance students learning through the use of Seesaw and other apps as I continue to explore this digital road.

At one point, I read a line that somehow goes like this, “If you’re doing something great that no one knows, then, there’s not much greatness in what you’re doing.” Share the love. Feel free to add to this list below.









A slice of Twitter for the Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 30.

I didn’t make it back on my desk last night to finish this. My head was spinning and just couldn’t get up from bed. Below is how I started it.

We are a day away from finishing this blogging challenge. What I have been thinking about is losing the connection that we have made here for a month. I learned so much from reading everyone’s blog that I was able to get into, time permitting.

Before I got myself into blogging, I have been learning and growing personally and professionally by being connected through Twitter. My #PLN has inspired me to get out of my comfort zone, be more open to learning and mistakes, and challenge my thinking.

In random order, here is my Top 10 people that I follow that you may want to consider following.

  1. Jonathan So
  2. Aviva Dunsiger
  3. Jason Wigmore
  4. Tina Zita
  5. George Couros
  6. Phillip Cowell
  7. Doug Peterson
  8. Craig Kemp
  9. Brian Aspinall
  10. Andrew Campbell

One way or the other, you’ll pickup something from them. Better yet, you’ll share a laugh together.

Feel free to leave your Twitter account in the comment section. I am also just a tweet away: Vilma Manahan. This challenge is about to end but let’s continue the connectedness we have built around in a month’s time.


Easter Celebration

A slice of Easter for the Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 27.

This is one of the many celebrations that we look forward to every year, both kids and adults.  There are three families that take turn each year hosting it since they do have children.

Aside from the Easter egg hunt and other egg-related games, the highlight of today was the eggceptionally decorated egg. One entry per family. It’s a first for this kind of challenge this year.

Rules of the contest:

Five families, five entries. Three winners: first, second, third.

Second Place


Third Place (This one moves around.)




First Place

My entry, Niagara EGGSplosion, won the first place. Winning was a bonus. But more of what we are capable of doing when we push ourselves to meet the criteria. Not all entries can be in first place but we were impressed with what all of us came up with.

It just made me think. The same is in the classroom. Our students are in different levels of their learning. We don’t lower the bar.

Instead, we meet them from where they are and provide the support they need in order to help them meet the goals.


Beyond Numbers

A reflection for A Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 3.

There are a lot of talk about numeracy in the classroom for the past few years now. Do we get away from the worksheets? Do we get away from asking our students to memorize the multiplication facts? How effective is the Mad Minute practice?

I am a product of these old school of learning and mastering math. Probably, most of us are. If I think about it now, there’s not much access to technology during those times. Maybe, that’s why. Most lessons depended on textbooks and workbooks. Not even worksheets.

Slowly, I am veering towards that direction of number talk, asking students the proper questions that would lead to deeper thinking and understanding, providing more real life word problems in order for them to make connections, focusing on the process rather than getting the correct answer. Instead of giving the students worksheets that would give the same answers to all 20+ of them, games are doing the trick to master the basics.

Not knowing that they are trying to master some facts, they are into it. As I see it happening more, what really is clicking to me beyond numbers during these types of activities is human interaction. This is like hitting two birds with one stone.

With technology within their reach, they can do things without face-to-face interaction with their peers but with these exercises, one requirement is to be there physically. Through board games, dice, playing cards, dominoes, to name a few, they are also learning how to play fair, accept defeat but value the fun, cooperate, be honest and inclusive, and resolve problems on their own. They are learning how to interact with humans who have emotions that can get hurt, who know how to appreciate and who are capable to care for each other.

All the academics that we are trying to teach, at the end of them all, we would like these young citizens to grow as responsible and caring people of our society. That they do not just sympathize but empathize.

Any new skill that requires the mind can be learned at any point in time. What the heart requires should start while its young.

Thank YOU… Each and Every Day

Dust bunnies everywhere on my writing. It’s been 5 months since I published something. I have been pushing myself and yet, the drive is not reaching the point for me to keep going.

Until I came across the Slice of Life Story Challenge a few days before its kick off. Yes, it would only require a slice of your thinking every day for the whole month of March but its every day. But then, this may be the path for me to get back to writing. I love to write. Friends have asked me to proofread written work, create speeches for weddings and other occasions for them that were remarkable in their lives. One day, I dream of publishing my own children’s book. One day… But in order to do this, I need to continue to write, right?

With this, I would like to begin this challenge by expressing my gratefulness to people that I have made connections with every day, virtually or face-to-face. Somehow, you made a difference in me. You’ve answered my questions. You’ve made me smile when you asked me how I am doing. You continue to help me grow professionally because you continue to share your wisdom. You made me feel welcome in your community. You recognized the efforts that I put in my work. You let me know that I have been missed. You spent a few minutes of your valuable time to read this.

When I walk in the classroom and see those pairs of eyes waiting to learn every day,  you give me reasons to be there. When I feel that the school is a place where you can feel safe and have the love and care that you need, you touch my heart. When I see the progress that you’re making even with the tiny steps you’re taking, you make me feel that it’s all worth it.

All of us have good days and not-so-good days. For all my good days, they became better because of all of you. For all my not-so-good days, I was able to overcome them because you stayed with me.

Thank you for making each and every day a learning opportunity personally and professionally…