Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weather is frightful


Canadian Weather | Hurricanes | Miami Museum of Science | Canadian Weather Map | Parliament Hill Weather Camera | Teacher resources | Ontario Science Centre | Weather Here and Now | CBC Weather | Weather Dude | What is Weather? | Weather | Sun and Moon Data for One Day | Wind Chill Fact Sheet | Ontario Weather Conditions

Wind Chill
Barometric Presssure
Warm Front
Relative Humidity
Daylight Saving Time
Wind Direction
High Pressure Centre
Low Pressure Centre
Air Pressure
Coastal Fog
Wind Speed
Aurora Borealis
Cold Front

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Election unit

Ontario Municipal Election

The 2011 Municipal Elections in Ontario will elect mayors, councillors, school board trustees and all other elected officials in all of Ontario's municipalities. 

1. CheckTo begin: a) Create a title page and a table of contents. Create a KWL chartKWL What do you already know about the election and the electoral province?
 View this Powerpoint introduction to voting in Canada, an overview - based on the book:Canada Votes.
Can you add any information to your chart now? Do you have any more questions?
c) Here are some photos of my bulletin boards: these are the resources we have used in the classroom.
2. L.A.a) What are the qualifications for nomination?
b) What is a 'nomination'?
c) What does it mean to be acclaimed?

3. L.A. VOCABULARYSpelling activity sheet | My Wordsearch Puzzle | My Crossword Puzzle | Glossary of special terms.

c) Here are some vocabulary words you should know:
City Hall
polling station
political party

electoral officer
returning officer
electoral reform
campaign manager
polling agencies

ballot box

d) Using the Municipality e-Guide, what is the purview of municipalites? What can you find out about YOUR municipality? Here is the Ontario Municipalities website.
e) What do you think should be done to resolve these issues. If you were a candidate what would your platform be like?
f) Which of the issues concern you?
4. a) What is the gender ratio of candidates running in this election?

5. Facts and Figures about Canada and voters. This page includes historical facts and a timeline.
7. a) Many newspapers, and other media, have been printing polling information.

i) Do you think that this information is reliable or accurate? ii) Do you think it has a direct effect on the election, rather than reporting news? iii) Does taking a poll change the election results?

Use this organizer for your note taking.<

b) Do you know which rules apply to the Media on Election Day?
Key DatesKey Dates
8. Research on the Election:
You should be aware of the candidates in your riding. Go to Elections Canada and put in your postal code. (If you do not remember your postal code put in the school's postal code: K2E 6M7.)
A) Elector information:Election Process
Am I on the list of electors?
What information do you have on the election?
Where is my local returning office?

B) The voting process:
Where do I vote?
Is there level access at my polling station?
When is my polling station open on election day?
When can I vote in advance?
How do I vote by special ballot?

Visit the on-line, user-friendly guide (for Jr./Intermediates) on voting in Canada hosted by NALD called: "I Can Vote!."

C) Candidates
Who are the candidates in my electoral district?
What do you notice about gender ratios? Compare  the predicted number of women in cabinet federally .
Equal Voice says that few women are running in winnable ridings. Write an essay or present a logical argument on your findings.

What has been happening during the election campaign? Create a timeline of the process.
D) Research a history of democracy (from Wikipedia).
D) Write a 5-paragraph essay on one topic or aspect of the election. It could be a biography, it could be about the slogans, corruption, comparing the platforms of the different candidates, compare voting practices in other countries.
9. History:

b) "Voting in Canada: How a Privilege Became a Right" -CBC Documentary on Equity Issues in the Canadian electoralprocess. How minority groups won the right to vote across history.
10. a) Craig Marlatt's History/Geography work
Explore different Provincial Responsibilitieslevels of government.
AreasAreas of Government
The Government by region
11. The Vote by Mail Process
12. a) Can you answer any of the Poll FAQs?
b) Check out Wikipedia information. Write a report based on this information.
c) What is the difference between municipal, provincial and federal politics? Write a 4-paragraph essay explaining the differences.  and a gr. 8 rubric in .pdf file.
15. Find out what the bloggers and those on twitter (look for hashtags like #onpoli) are saying about the election!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Media literacy - fit for a princess?

I heard an author interviewed the other day.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter': Are Princesses Bad for Girls' Self ...

26 Jan 2011 ... Can pink frilly dresses and magic wands really harm young girls? The author of a new book thinks so.

'An intelligent, candid, and often personal work, Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers an important exploration of the burgeoning girlie-girl culture and what it could mean for our daughters’ identities and their futures.'

I think this family needs to read books like:
The Paper Bag Princess 

Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch ... “Some of the best children's books ever written have been about girls—like THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS.”

For my daughter, M.Sc. and a hydrogeologist, mother of two adorable girls on maternity leave, we talked about media messages.

She scored in the top 13 in her region in the high school Euclid in uWaterloo math contest. She came home from middle school one year with a flyer for a science conference to encourage girls to go into science, and she explained that she already liked science and really didn't need to attend!
Isabelle (a year old) plays with the front loader, but she also plays with a pretend cell phone!
We play in the grass and on the ground!

When raising my daughter, in the days of the naming of the glass ceiling, when women had access to birth control, jobs outside the home, and an education, I knew that she had the world in front of her.

We dress up:
sometimes a princess,
sometimes a knight!
Ontario curriculum includes media studies. I used to integrate media studies, and educate the kids in being wise consumers. We'd watch some TV ads, in class or at home, and discuss target audiencetalent, language, slogans, being wise consumers, being wise internet users.

Media literacy explores the impact and influence of mass media and popular culture by examining texts such as films, songs, video games, action figures, advertisements, CD covers, clothing, billboards, television shows, magazines, newspapers, photographs, and websites.


The Ontario Curriculum, Grade 1– 8: Language, in the elementary grades, they do more than master the basic skills. ... variety of media, will help students to thrive in the world beyond school. ...... Their studies in the different subject areas help students develop their

Caitlin reads to Jofee
Media Advertising and Media Literacy task

Compare 3 magazine or TV ads:

Service/Product being sold:
Target audience:
Language/Slogan: casual, slang?
Visual Images: sexist, ageist, ethnic or racial bias?
People/talent/Animals: Who is featured?
Rating: 1 - 10 
Conclusion: (So What?) 
Would you buy this product? 
Does it tell anything about the product or service?
Is it free from  bias?
Does it stereotype a group?

The Media Literacy strand has four overall expectations, as follows;
Students will:
1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;
2. identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated
with them are used to create meaning;
3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate
forms, conventions, and techniques;
4. reflect on and identify their strengths, areas for improvement, and the strategies they
found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.
This strand focuses on helping students develop the skills required to understand, create,
and critically interpret media texts. It examines how images (both moving and still), sound,
and words are used, independently and in combination, to create meaning. It explores the
use and significance of particular conventions and techniques in the media and considers
the roles of the viewer and the producer in constructing meaning in media texts. Students
apply the knowledge and skills gained through analysis of media texts as they create
their own texts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teachers advised not to tweet with students

THis is wise advice. For example, I was communicating with students, parents, and they were picking up homework, and getting information by e-mail.
One student started sending me the jokes her friends were sending her. They were risky jokes, some had explicit visual content, and while I found it offensive, I knew that my employer monitors e-mail.

I could have been charged with sending child porn if this e-mail had been intercepted. The employer, is you are using their internet and intranet, have the right to examine your e-mail and judge it as to its content.

Ont. teachers advised not to tweet with students

Social media may be the new frontier of communication but not between teachers and students.
The Ontario College of Teachers says teachers should avoid connecting with their students on Facebook or Twitter. They are also told to avoid contacting them on LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and MySpace.
The college issued an advisory to maintain professional boundaries, saying it's vital to the public trust.
It also says some members have groomed a student for sexual purposes, using electronic messages to win their confidence.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Day Activity

Collect garbage, you can graph the results, counting the different kinds of garbage. Gloves are a must.

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