New Resource for Teachers: Ontario Elementary Social Studies Teachers Association

Byron Stevenson (Instructional Leader – Toronto District School Board – West Region) has shared a new website created by the Ontario Elementary Social Studies Teachers Association (OESSTA).

“OESSTA (Ontario Elementary Social Studies Teachers Association) is composed of teachers and educators from public and Catholic School Boards, private institutions and faculties of education. We have members from different regions in the province. Our goal is to support educators who teach Social Studies (grades 1-6) and Geography and History (grades 7&8).”

“The resources on the OESSTA webpage are designed to support job-embedded professional learning for teachers using evidence–based instructional strategies and practices that improve student achievement and support the development of informed citizens (e.g. problem-based global learning, higher order thinking skills, communication, use of disciplinary thinking, spatial skills.)

The webpage is:

  • A site where educators can connect with colleagues who have similar interests, challenges and/or questions about the implementation of the Ontario Social Studies/History/Geography Curriculum.
  • A site where educators can share ideas, resources and/or ask questions about SSHG document.
  • A site where educators can exchange ideas and suggestions regarding planning, implementation and assessment of the Ontario curriculum.”

I encourage you to visit this excellent new resource at:

School registration is now open for the 2016 Durham Regional Heritage Fair

We are now accepting school registration for this year’s Durham Regional Heritage Fair.

As in previous years, schools are asked to run their own fairs during the months of February and March so that your top students can be registered in the Regional Fair, which will be hosted at the Education Centre.

We are asking that schools who will be running Fairs please register on the DRHF website no later than Friday, January 29. The registration form link is available on the School Registration page. Once registered, we will send more details regarding this year’s Fair.

The date for the DRHF Adjudication is Wednesday, April 27 beginning at 4 PM. The full day learning opportunity will be held the following day, Thursday, April 28. A reminder that a staff member will be required to attend with their students. Supply coverage is not provided by DRHF Committee nor the DDSB. Release must be covered by home schools.

Below, you will find a rubric which may assist in your assessment of your Heritage Fair submissions. This rubric is also used at the Regional Fair. Also find information on Creating a Great Heritage Fair Project from the Ontario Heritage Fairs Association:

Should you have any questions please contact members of the Durham Region Heritage Fair Committee.

Stories of Canada’s History earn national award for 26 students, including Kirsten Rowe of Ajax

Ajax student Kirsten Rowe, from Southwood Park Public School, is the recipient of the 2015 Young Citizens Award. Kirsten and twenty-five other young Canadians are recipient of this year’s award which is presented annually by Canada’s History Society. The students, aged 10 to 15, have won a trip to Ottawa to participate in the Canada’s History Youth Forum.

During the last school year, more than 55,000 students researched stories of Canadian heroes, legends and key events, and presented the results at heritage fairs across the country. Canada’s History identified students with the best projects and encouraged them to record a short video showcasing the research in Canada’s past.

“The Young Citizens program encourages Canadian youth to explore the stories of Canada’s history from the perspectives of their own hometown, province and country,” says Janet Walker, Canada’s History President & CEO. “The 26 student winners exemplify the passion of Canada’s youth who are actively discovering their past and its significance to their lives today.”

Some 170 videos were posted online and reviewed by a panel of judges for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend Canada’s History Youth Forum. The judges decided half of the students’ scores, while online voting made up the other half. Two winners were selected from each province and territory.

Topics of the winning videos included Chinese immigration to Canada, the music of New France, and a Nova Scotia privateer.

The Young Citizens program is generously supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Youth Take Charge Program, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, and the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Table on Culture and Heritage.

Click here to view Kirsten’s award winning video on the James Bay Treaty.