Episode 7 – Home Improvement


In this episode, we interview Erica Armstrong, who is currently an Assistive Technology Resource Teacher in Peel District School Board. She shares how she made improvements in her classroom to promote a positive Learning Environment for her students, and how by creating a safe space, students were more inclined to take risks.

What’s New in the World of EML?

Jim shared the work he is doing with a teacher who is striving to make improvements to her learning environment, and he made mention of the Ministry of Ontario Monograph on the The Third Teacher.

Amit shared the work the Humberview Secondary School students are doing to create their own Podcast entitled “The Howl” and played a clip from the introduction of the show. Students are highlighting the amazing things happening at the school by interviewing teachers and students.

Amit also shared the work he was doing with the Castlebrooke Secondary School History teachers on Learning Maps. He mentioned a Google Sheet that has Learning Maps that people have created and are sharing, and talked about how creating Learning Maps can be a long process, but it helps to make improvements to student learning and empowers them by allowing them to be part of their Informative Assessment.

Links from the Interview with Erica Armstrong

Shares for the Week

Jim shared a recent post he made in his blog called 5 ways to turn the hour of code into the year of learning. In his post, he recommends five ideas that might help extend the initial experience student have with the Hour of Code:

  1. Learn to code by starting your own coding project
  2. Think of coding as a literacy
  3. Plan a design-thinking, project-based learning activity
  4. Use programmable robots or controller boards
  5. Offer challenges but maintain student voice & choice

In #5, he shared a Scratch studio that contains (currently) 28 mathland challenges many of which connect directly to the Ontario Curriculum:

mathland chall

Amit shared the idea of putting together a Google Doodle as a challenge entering into the Hour of Code that is approaching. This is something that is connected to Google’s CS First Program. You can watch the video that explains the challenge and then follow along in Amit’s screencast below.

Amit also mentioned the upcoming Peel STEAM Conference that will take place on April 19th, 2018 at John Fraser Secondary School. If you are interested in applying you can click here.




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