After facilitating a workshop for teachers in one part of the suburbs, I found myself with a few hours the next day before I had to fly back to Toronto, and so I decided to visit a colleague whom I had met online a few years ago, while working on a math and technology project. His school was located in a completely different suburb!
Interestingly, the student population is in some ways quite similar to those I have taught in my own board, and it was fun to spend some time in a neighbouring board and see how much we have in common with other schools across the province.
One thing I really like about visiting other classrooms is picking up a few tips and tricks by "walking the walls". In Wendler's classroom, I picked up an idea about using Plasticine to create models in Science and was reminded of the effectiveness of using scaffolds and sentence stems, even with classroom management procedures like having students write letters to explain behaviour. I also noticed that Wendler had a list posted of several math partners -- some with similar ability groupings, some with more heterogeneous groupings, so that depending on the task, he could say "Okay, today you are going to work with your 'S1' partner", for example. (Today's task dealt with probability, so he used a random partner generator on the Smart Board while I drooled over his overhead mount projector that stayed put while he and the students moved around it, and cast far less shadow on the screen than the ones Trinder and I had had to contend with last year!)
Riding the bus afforded me the opportunity to enjoy Ottawa's treasure of greenery along the river outside the city. I had not realized how lush the greater-Ottawa-area was.
Eventually, I arrived on Sparks Street, where I enjoyed a late lunch before visiting some of my favourite sites in our nation's capital:
Almost as impressive as the parliament buildings themselves is the large Chateau Laurier next door, which forms part of the historic Fairmont (formerly CP) hotel chain, and which overlooks the Rideau Canal.
But I suddenly felt very tired and run down. So, I headed back to my hotel room -- this time by taxi -- ate some dinner, and found a photo of the National Gallery online in the commons instead! :)