Back to School!

It’s back to school already! While the summer flew by it really was a relaxing time for my family and we are all ready to get back to routine.

While students have a week until the return teachers everywhere are working really hard to set up their rooms and have them in tip-top shape for back to school. Today was my first day this week.

I love this week. The floors are really shiny, pencil crayons are super sharp, erasers are plentiful and everything looks fresh and bright. Of course the room is a way to quiet as it’s missing they key players but it holds the promise of what is to come for the next 10 months. It’s so full of potential. A year ago I blogged about the beginning of September being New Years and it still holds true. You will not find many professions where you get a fresh start every single year. Not only is every day a different every year is as well.

I hope that my new class of grade 3’s will be excited to see their school-home for the next 10 months. This room (I’ve switched) has beautiful natural light and a view that looks out to our playground and forest. Here is a “before” shot. I’ll update as the week goes on.

Day 1 – before

Day 1 (1)

Day 1 (2)

The Night before #TLDWpeel 2014


Cannot believe #TLDWPeel is upon us! Very excited for the next two day.

Originally posted on The inner workings of a "technology" teacher:

It’s the night before this years Teaching and Learning in a Digital World Conference #TLDWPeel and I sit here with my laptop in front of me at the island in our kitchen, coffee made, music playing in the background and my wife Shivonne (@SLewisYoung) to my left as we discuss our poster sessions and prepare for the two days ahead.  We certainly find our ourselves in a familiar situation with a little night before the deadline preparation.  For myself, I find the added pressure almost energizing.  Some might say that is the coffee but its Decaf.  Nonetheless, I am again super excited to be sharing some of my experiences over the next two days and I know Shivonne is just as excited to share her experiences.  Shivonne and a colleague will be sharing  their experience with Genius Hour in primary classrooms and I will be sharing my experience with using Social Media…

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Course Work with My Little Guy

I am almost completey done my Special Ed AQ Course. I have just my action research project to finish. Phil thought it would be a great idea to take Keelyn to the splash pad today while William napped so that I could have a few hours of quiet to focus. Great plan except William decided to nap for a whopping 40 minutes today so I was left to entertain a 2.5 year old while trying to work. Let me tell you it’s much easier to do this with Keelyn. You put out a bunch of craft things and that girl will go for hours. William not so much but… he did well today. It was much messier than I expected but I kind of just let him go for it. He did some gluing and I’m pretty sure it will take 3 weeks to dry. He also played with the sensory bins. I have two bins one with chickpeas and ones with lentils that I created as busy bins for Keelyn when William was a newborn. Keelyn is like me she would use the two bins but keep them separate and there would be little on the floor. William thought it would be more fun to mix the lentils and chickpeas and he also decided that they were better suited to the floor. He added scoops and cups and eventually his baby so it could play “in the sandbox mommy.”

My quiet work/activity time with William is certainly messy and a lot more busy but I’m grateful to have the one on one time with him. Usually when I need time to do work he’s napping or Phil takes him out and it’s just me and Keelyn. And I’m proud of myself for just letting the mess happen and let him create!




1 Year Anniversary

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog. The end of the school year was extra busy this year and I had a week after school ended before my AQ (Special Education Part 1) started and I really felt the need for some down time. WordPress kindly reminded me that my 1 year anniversary of my blog happened so even though I’ve been enjoying my away from keyboard time I thought it was a good time to pop on and update. My summer has been lovely. The kids are out of daycare for the summer and they have been keeping us busy with long outdoor play time, cottage trips, movie dates, crafting, playing and cleaning. Keelyn has been doing school work in the afternoon when William naps along side me while I complete my course work. She has a journal and in the short month her writing and drawing has really progressed. She is working on sight words and loves to create patterns whenever she can. She asked a few weeks ago if she can have a “blob like you and daddy”. It took me a minute but I quickly figured out she wants a blog. I’m in the process of setting it up for her so stay tuned for awesome blog entries from my little miss!

Here’s some picture highlights of our summer so far!



Day 20: Shivonne Lewis-Young and Phil Young, Teachers (Peel District School Board)


Final thoughts on the June Peel project 184

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

That’s All for This Year, But #peel21st184 Will Be Back in September

I am writing this entry on behalf of Phil Young and myself. The purpose of this post is to wrap up the pilot of the Peel 21st 184 Project and thank all of the awesome bloggers who contributed this past June.  As mentioned in the first post this project was born from George Couros and the Parkland School Division Project 184.  George had called for presenters for the PDS project 184 and I had responded to his tweet that if he was ever taking out of district writers I would love to participate. He made a comment that he would really like to see a project started in Peel.  After discussing it over coffee and planning one evening it was born.  It really was  a team effort of tweets back and forth between Phil and…

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Day 12: Gillian Raymond, Library, ISSP and Grade 3 Teacher (Massey Street PS)


Proud of this entry! Written by one of my very own colleagues and friends. Track and Field was another great Massey event. I was proud of the staff who pulled together to make this happen!

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

What I learned today

Today I learned something that I keep learning, and then forgetting, and re-learning. Today I learned that sometimes we all need to just play together and have fun, and it’s more than OK to do this at school. It’s necessary to build community and develop relationships with people we may not talk to every day, even though we all share a common space for 6 or more hours each day.

We had our annual Massey Track and Field day today, and it was a blast, like it always is! Students were so excited to have the opportunity to excel in areas outside of their classrooms, and we were all happy to be outside enjoying our gorgeous schoolyard. I was helping out at the sprinting events, and the number of time we had false starts was incredible, now that I think of it, but sharing a laugh…

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Day 10: Hazel Mason, Superintendent (Central Peel, Judith Nyman & Turner Fenton Families)


I can relate to this in so many ways! I love to teach with technology and I’m always willing to try new things but when it comes right down to it I have no idea what I’m doing :)

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

What Did I Learn Today?

I learned today that even when your printer looks like it is broken, it might just need to a maintenance check run on it.

My home printer has been acting up and because I am the 21st Century Teaching and Learning lead, everyone just assumes that I know everything there is to know about technology. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am what Fullan would call a “Lead Learner.” Every day I am constantly learning more about technology and what it can do.

I complained to my oldest daughter, who is much more of a tech wiz than I, that I was having trouble with my printer. She asked if I had run a maintenance check on it and I think I just got a glazed look. Right now she is on Mat leave and goes over to my house…

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Day 5: Neil Lyons, Teacher-Librarian (Homelands Senior Public)


Change – although scary is a great way to push ourselves professionally

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

After teaching for almost 10 years in one school, I will be moving to a new school in September.  And so throughout the hustle-and-bustle of June, a large part of my thinking has been dominated by “the unknown”.  And another part of my brain has become very acutely aware of “the known”.  There are layers and layers of “knowing” how things work in a school.  Attendance. Yard Duty. Parking Lot. Timetables. Washrooms.  Air Conditioning (hopefully). Storage Rooms.  Ordering Supplies.  Budget.  And on, and on, and on.

It’s a very different feeling than when I started in this building, as a new teacher.  There was no comparisons to be made.  The way the school was organized wasn’t “a way”, it was “the way”.  But, of course, throughout the years at my school things changed that made me aware that what I thought was “the way” was really only “a way”.  It…

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Day 3: Debbie Axiak, Grade 2 Teacher (Whiteoaks Public School)


Amazing Day 3 Entry to the Peel 21st Project 184. Highlights the importance of sometimes just going for it with your students!

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

What Did I Learn Today?

It would have been easier to say no.

It would have been easier to say “no”. To say “leave it outside”. To stick to the lesson plan. To avoid the swirling wave of emotions that I knew would spread through the classroom. To avoid the questions that I knew would come & knew I would not be able to answer.  But when I saw a student beaming with pride and carrying this 6.5 cm, jumping caterpillar…


Instead of saying “no”, I said “That is SO creepy!” and the student’s smile grew even bigger and he strutted into the school and into the classroom.

We watched it jump around, looked at it with a magnifying glass to look for details and some students were brave enough to smell it. We brainstormed a great list of words to describe the caterpillar, we talked about the emotions and…

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Day 1: Shivonne Lewis-Young, Teacher (Massey Street Public School)


Reblogging a blog post that I wrote. It’s for a Project 184 that we are piloting for the Peel District School board. You can follow along

Originally posted on Peel21st Project 184:

What Did I Learn Today?

I have a blog.  My Grade three students blog and when the project 184 for Peel was born I knew writing for the project was something I had to do.  So here I am.  It is my day to blog for the project and I am feeling a tremendous amount of pressure.  What should I write about and share?  Does my submission need to be thought provoking, innovative and profound?  The answer is no.  It can just be me sharing a day in the life of Class 3B.  So here goes nothing.

This afternoon for Social Studies I told my class that they were going to learn about The Three Sisters and how they were important to Aboriginal peoples and how they introduced the Three Sisters to the European Settlers. First, I had my students brainstorm who they thought the Three Sisters were and here’s…

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