Science and early childhood development

The May 2107 issue of Young Children from the NAEYC is a theme issue all about brain science. One of the articles is titled Breakthrough impacts: What science tells us about supporting early childhood development (pp. 8-16) where the article is based on From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts: A Science-Based Approach to Building a More Promising Future for Young Children and Families.. (from the Center of the Developing Child, Harvard U.).

Page 12 lists 8 things to remember about child development:

  1. Even infant and young children are affected adversely when significant stresses threaten their family and caregiving environments.
  2. Development is a highly interactive process and life outcomes are not determined solely by genes.
  3. While attachments to their parents are primary, young children can also benefit significantly from relationships with other responsive caregivers both from within and outside the family.
  4. A great deal of brain architecture is shaped during the first three years after birth, but the window for opportunity for its development does not close on a child’s third birthday.
  5. Severe neglect appears to be at least as great a threat to health and development as physical abuse -possibly even greater.
  6. Young children who have been exposed to adversity or violence do not invariably develop stress-related disorders or grow up to be violent adults.
  7. Simply removing a child from a dangerous environment will not automatically reverse the negative impacts of the experience.
  8. Resilience requires relationships , not rugged individualism

TDSB teachers may contact the Professional Library to obtain a copy of this article – or any other from this issue, PH(416) 395-8289 or EM

Check it out! Rowan

May 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

French teacher? Check out IDELLO (free French resource for Ontario teachers)

The following ad for Idello appears in the June 2017 issue of Professionally Speaking, page 7.  Did you know through a partnership between the MoE and TFO, all the teachers in Ontario English language school boards can create their own account in Idello using their board email address?









From Idello about “Groupe Média TFO presents IDÉLLO, a dynamic multilevel digital platform designed to cater and adapt to different types of learning. IDÉLLO brings teachers, early childhood educators, students and parents an array of resources and functions that satisfy the desire for new ways to learn. IDÉLLO offers thousands of rich, up-to-date educational resources in French, as well as functions and a workspace that encourage communication between communities of users with common interests.”



May 26, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Photovoice in the classroom

The April 2017 issue of JOPERD (Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance) includes an interesting article titled PE in Pictures: Using Photovoice to promote middle school students’ reflections on physical activity during free time by Treadwell and Taylor.

From the abstract “The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how physical educators can use Photovoice to examine their students’ perceptions of physical activity and healthy living, and ultimately advocate for change in both their school and community. As a result of student participation in a physical education class project that utilized Photovoice, seventh-grade students made a presentation to their local school board regarding their perceived barriers to physical activity in their community.”

Regardless of your subject area, Photovoice is an active/reflective activity that supports inquiry, social justice, media literacy, student voice (and more). It has students taking pix of the ordinary in their lives/community (whatever), selecting the best/most telling, looking at things critically, considering what can be learned and changed.

TDSB teachers may request the article from the Professional Library (416) 395-8289 or

Here are a couple of selected sites (in no order):

  1. Wikipedia
  3. Community Tool Box. Implementing Photovoice in your Community

Check it out! Rowan

May 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Check out our guide to Ministry (& other Ontario) webpages and resources

Finding stuff on the Ministry website can be a challenge on a good day, and frankly, what you find on the Ministry website may not be as current as what you can find on EduGains or the Learning Exchange – why is that? And there are other sites that also contain important information for Ontario teachers – like EQAO.

So where do you begin? The TDSB Professional Library has updated its list of key Ontario websites and resources. You can access it here [OntEdSites ], or as a Google document [here]. We’ve opened the document to anyone who has the link – not just TDSB employees).

Let me know if you come across a glitch or if you think I missed a gotta-have-it site. Rowan

May 25, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Bike to School Week – May 29 – June 2, 2017

From May 29th to June 2nd, 2017, school boards, public health offices, municipalities, regions and non-government organizations across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) will be celebrating Bike to School Week.  Schools can participate in Bike to School Week by encouraging their students to walk and roll to school, and by holding events both inside and outside the classroom to promote the benefits of active transportation. Here are some resources to share with your schools and communities.


Schools can register their events and access additional resources by visiting

For more resources, TDSB teachers should check out the Eco-Schools web page

May 24, 2017 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

PISA 2015 report on Students’ Financial Literacy (incl Canada country report)

ON May 24, the OECD,  in a news release titled Many Teenagers Struggle to Understand Money Matters,  announced the release of a report on student financial literacy.

From the release: “Around one in four students in the 15 countries and economies* that took part in the latest OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of financial literacy are unable to make even simple decisions on everyday spending, while only one in ten can understand complex issues, such as income tax.”

Canada, whose students generally scored higher than the average, gets its own country report ” Some 22% of students in the participating Canadian provinces are top performers in financial literacy [Table IV.3.2], meaning that they are proficient at Level 5 (compared to 33% in Beijing Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong [China] and 12% on average across the participating OECD countries and economies). These students can analyse complex financial products, solve non-routine financial problems and show an understanding of the wider financial landscape.”

You too can take the test [sample questions only] 

Read the blog Dollars and sense? Financial literacy among 15-year-olds.

Check it out! Rowan


May 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm Leave a comment

Great new books for TDSB teachers

Here are some funky (action-based) new books NOW available in our catalogue:

TDSB teachers can reserve the books in the catalogue (on the Virtual Library – remember to login) or by contacting the library ate (416) 295-8289 or

May 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

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