Featured Activity Kit: Yikerz!

Looking for a fun game that lets students experience the effects of magnetism? Try the Yikerz! magnet game.

This kit contains 4 triangular-shaped mats that can be arranged into a variety of configurations – configurations that can affect the difficulty of the game. The instructions contain suggestions, but players can also invent their own.

The Yikerz! game is played using powerful magnetic stones, divided between up to 4 players. The players take turns placing their stones onto the game board, with the goal of getting rid of all of their stones. However, if a player places a stone and the forces of magnetism cause two or more stones to come together, that player has to pick up all of the stones that came together. Removing these stones can have further consequences as well: if removing the stones causes stones still on the board to come together, then the player has to take back those stones as well! Magnetism also affects gameplay in other ways. For example, although players cannot touch any of the stones already on the board, they can use the magnetic field produced by the stone in their hand to “push” other pieces around on the board.

The game includes suggestions for a variety of other game modes, including a solitaire game, a speed game, and a game that continues after the first person has placed all of their stones. Please note that because of the strength of the magnets used, this game is recommended for ages 14+.

The Yikerz! magnet game is currently on display on the ground floor of the OISE Library, next to the Circulation Desk. For more activity kits aimed at developing an understanding of magnetism, try the Magnet Magic activity kit, the Magnetic Wand activity kit, the Iron Fillings activity kit, or check out the OISE Library K-12 Manipulatives Database for still more ideas.

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National Indigenous History Month

Join OISE Library as we celebrate National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)  and National Indigenous History Month. In June, we recognize the rich contributions First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have made to Canada and the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. The OISE Library Ground Floor Display for June highlights Indigenous children’s books and scholarly material inviting readers to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture. Materials in the display are available for borrowing!

Bones in the Basket: Native Stories of the Origin of People by C.J. Taylor

Bones in the Basket is a collection of seven stories from the peoples of Chuckee, Cree, Mandan, Modoc, Mohawk, Osage, and Zuni Nations. Each story is written by Mohawk writer and artist C.J. Taylor and was inspired by the creation of the Earth and how humankind came to inhabit it. Taylor notes in the introduction that while each story focuses on different aspects they all have a related theme in which the Earth is a gift given to us and that all life is interrelated, recognizing the obligation to protect it. Each story is retold by Taylor with an accompanying full page illustration. The last page of the book provides brief information about each Indigenous group. The legends told by the seven Indigenous groups inspired the author and she hopes that this book will too open the eyes of readers.

The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story About Generosity by Leah Marie Dorion and Michif translation by Norman Fleury

The Diamond Willow Walking Stick is a dual language Michif-English book by Métis storyteller and author Leah Marie Dorion. Comprised of traditional teachings about generosity remembered by a Métis Elder, the story begins with a recollection of living in a log cabin as a young boy with his grandparents. This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book takes the reader and listener through a journey of lifelong lessons imparted by Métis Senators, honouring the special bond between Métis children and their grandparents. This book includes an accompanying narration CD in English and Michif-Cree. The ending of the story also provides the reader with a chart explaining the traditional Métis uses for willow trees (lii sool nipisiya) and a glossary.

Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk and illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

Written by Celina Kalluk, Inuktitut Language Specialist and Cultural Arts teacher at Qarmartalik School in Resolute Bay, Sweetest Kulu is a bedtime poem that describes the natural gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Kalluk’s rhythmic text and Neonakis’ beautiful illustrations brings together a visually captivating book celebrating Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animals.

Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: Philosophies of Iethi’nihstenha Ohwentsia’kekha (Land) by Sandra D. Styres

Pathways for Remembering and Recognizing Indigenous Thought in Education is a culmination of author and OISE CTL Faculty Member Sandra D. Styres’ experiences with understanding Land-centered Indigenous philosophies. Styres uses parentheses as a stylistic way to emphasize the prefix re-, reminding the reader of the meaning “once more, afresh, and anew” aligning the concept of circularity as a key theoretical framework throughout this book. This book aims to offer possibilities for transformative teaching practices through conceptualizing, remembering, and understanding traditions and philosophies within a twenty-first century educational context.

Supporting Indigenous Children’s Development by Jessica Ball & Alan Pence

Created through the partnerships between First Nations peoples in Canada and the authors at the University of Victoria, this book describes the evolution and practice of a pilot partnership that led to the First Nations Partnership Programs that as initiated in 1989. This community based partnership approach aimed to strengthen the community of nine Cree and Dene First Nations in the province of Saskatchewan to design, deliver, and evaluate culturally appropriate programs to support Indigenous children’s development. The book discusses co-constructing curriculum from the inside out, covering important topics topics such as Elders’ involvement and cultural healing, fostering greater understanding of First Nations in the wider community, and community based delivery.




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New Titles: Summer Reading

Why not take time this summer to catch up on some reading? Check out these selected titles from the OISE Library’s New Arrivals shelf. There is something for everyone!

Chakra the invincible: Secret origins, by Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, and Gotham Chopra.

This action-packed comic book revolves around its protagonist Raju Rai, a courageous young orphan child living in Mumbai. Together with mentor, Dr. Singh, they develop  a super-suit that helps Raju unlock and harness his hidden chakra powers. With his  superpowers, Raju devotes himself to helping the “little guys” as the hero–Chakra the Invincible. However, Raju struggles to maintain a balance between his superhero life and his life as a regular kid. This struggle creates rifts between Raju and his older brother—who begins to follow a darker path. Raju faces the supervillain Yama, his older brother’s mentor and a corrupt businessman who is a ring-leader of Mumbai’s largest criminal organization. Raju must save both his brother and the world from Yama, who plans to use the powers of chakra to create a super villain army powerful enough to take over the planet.

Serving students who are homeless: A resource guide for schools, districts, and educational leaders, by Ronald E. Hallett and Linda Skrla.

The intentions of the book is to provide educators and school administrators with tools and strategies for implementing effective programs to support the needs of homeless and highly mobile students. The book specifically focuses on how to help students overcome obstacles to academic success. Through a variety of case studies, the book provides readers with the voices and opinions of students, families, and teachers from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, the book includes various activities and questions that are aimed at invoking discussion and professional development. Written in the context of the McKinney-Vento Act, which aims to provide federal support to homeless shelters in the United States, Hallett and Skrla explores how many places struggle to meet this mandate. The first section of the book examines the current social, political, and economic issues regarding educating homeless and highly mobile students. The second and third section discuss how schools and teachers can facilitate better learning environments for students.

Philosophy and history of education: Diverse perspectives on their value and relationship, edited by Antoinette Errante, Jackie Blount, and Bruce A. Kimball.

Composed of studies by scholars in philosophy and history, Philosophy and history of education: Diverse perspectives on their value and relationship explores how each field contributes to a greater understanding of education overall. Through the lens of scholars across the country, the anthology examines the histories and philosophical background behind various education principles and practices. The first section of the book looks at the differences and similarities between philosophical and historical studies in education. These chapters explore the ideas of various famous philosophy and history scholars in education, such as John Dewey, Ella Flagg Young, Boyd Bode, Bernard Mehl, and more. The second section of the book examines how the study of philosophy and history can help shape practices and policies in modern day education. Contributors of this book argue for a greater need for interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophers, historians, and educational scholars to solve current issues in education.

How big is a big number? Learning to teach mathematics in the primary school, by Paul Killen and Sarah Hindhaugh.

For many new and aspiring teachers, primary school mathematics has not been part of their repertoire for many years. In How big is a big number? Learning to teach mathematics in the primary school, Killen and Hindhaugh aim to re-familiarize readers with primary school math concepts, problems, and activities. This book is a valuable resource for primary school math teachers, as it provides a variety of teaching strategies and tools to use in the classroom, such as recommendations for activities and exercises that are aimed to help students understand and retain math principles and concepts. The book explores a variety of common primary school math topics, such as geometry, numerical sense, fractions, and much more.

Constructing sexualities and gendered bodies in school spaces: Nordic insights on queer and transgender students, by Jon Ingvar Kjaran.

Nordic countries have always been perceived as a utopia for LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. However, Constructing sexualities and gendered bodies in school spaces: Nordic insights on queer and transgender students, explores how diverse genders and sexualities fit within the hetero-normative school spaces of Iceland. The book draws from variety of ethnographic data, case studies, and up-to-date research on this topic to examine how Icelandic schools are providing safe and inclusive spaces for its students. Kjaran interviewed various LGBTQ+ students across different regions in Iceland, and found that high schools in Iceland are not sufficiently implementing practices and policies that help meet the needs of its diverse students. Instead, Icelandic high school systems continue to operate under outdated ideas of maintaining the heteronormative status quo. The book argues that schools in Iceland should encourage greater visibility of LGBTQ+ students and open discussions around gender and sexuality.

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OISE Lobby Display: Pride

For many across the globe, the month of June is recognized as a time of celebration for the LGBTQ+ community. Although it is not yet celebrated everywhere and by everyone, it is incredibly important that such a celebration be recognized as it works to unite and empower the voices of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. Marking the start of a 30-day celebration of a community who has fought and continues to fight for tolerance, recognition and acceptance, Pride is a distinctly special and significant holiday as it represents an entire month in which all forms of self-identity and love are celebrated. The books featured in this post attempt to celebrate the many different voices of those who make up the LGBTQ+ community and to bring awareness to the many ways that sexual and gender diversity can and should be recognized and celebrated in the classroom.

A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder is the autobiographical account of the life of Ma-Nee Chacaby, an Indigenous two-spirited lesbian. In this item, Chacaby shares with the reader her lived experiences, detailing the spiritual and cultural lessons she learned from her grandparents, the physical, domestic, and sexual abuse she suffered throughout her life, and her experiences coming out as a two-spirited Ojibwa lesbian. Undercutting this all is her journey in overcoming the legacies of colonialism that have many repercussions, and she speaks to the ways they have affected her social, economic, physical and mental health. Although she experienced severe backlash when she came out in the 1980s, Chacaby became an advocate within the LGBTQ+ community and went on to lead the first Pride Parade in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Chacaby’s story is one of resistance and empowerment, and a great source of inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community. This electronic resource can be virtually checked out through the UofT catalogue.

Based from the true events that occurred in New York’s Central Park Zoo, And Tango Makes Three is the loving tale of Roy and Silo, two male penguins who found their life-mate in one another. After it became apparent to the zookeepers that Roy and Silo loved each other and had mated for life—as penguins do—they gave the penguins an egg that needed to be cared for so that they could have a family of their own. This item follows the life of these three penguins and features the many acts of love that surround their family. A touching tale of love, family and acceptance, this children’s book is an excellent demonstration that love and family comes in many forms

Set in a Toronto Catholic high school, the graphic novel Skim is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a young queer teen named Kimberly, who instead goes by “Skim”. This story follows Skim and her personal struggle with depression, and with discovering and coming to terms with her own sexual orientation. The story begins with the tragedy involving a student in Skim’s school, which leads the school’s administration to redouble their efforts in making students aware of matters concerning mental health. Overwhelmed with the feelings that these events trigger within her, first concerning her personal struggles with her mental health and then with her experience falling in love with a woman, we follow Skim  in her journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Skim is an excellent novel that bravely tackles issues concerning mental health and sexuality in a way that is both hard-hitting and profound.

Winner of both the 2018 Outstanding Book by the Michigan Council Teachers of English and the 2017 AERA Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education) Exemplary Research Award, Teaching, Affirming, and Recognizing Trans* and Gender Creative Youth: A Queer Literacy Framework is an excellent book that works to create a classroom environment that is safe and welcoming for  students of all genders  and sexual orientations. This book looks to correct the contemporary absence within classrooms and other educational environments of queer theoretical frameworks that work to implement practical strategies that would recognize, include  and respect students of the LGBTQ+ community, and especially those students who are gender nonconforming.  With chapters concerning topics such as binary language, gender normatives and Queer pedagogy, this item acts as a great tool which educational administrators can use to ensure they are affirming the experiences of differential (a)gender bodied realities. By highlighting the ways that the current operating social framework within schools has perpetuated or even caused violent climates for  students of the LGBTQ+ community, Teaching, Affirming, and Recognizing Trans* and Gender Creative Youth works to dismantle gender normativity in the classroom.

Also addressing the absence of materials surrounding the LGBTQ+ student experience in the classroom, Queering Classrooms: Personal Narratives and Educational Practices to Support LGBTQ Youth in Schools works to directly address the needs of students who do not conform to the gender normative or heterosexual standards of contemporary society. First tackling the problematic nature of an educational theoretical framework that only briefly and off-handedly mentions the needs of the LGBTQ+ student community, this item advocates for the need of both a teacher education and curriculum that directly and openly addresses LGBTQ+ topics and issues, as well as the needs of LGBTQ+ learners. By highlighting the many different ways that LGBTQ+ students may experience discrimination or oppression within schools specifically, Queering Classrooms is an insightful text that works to eradicate any educational ignorance surrounding the LGBTQ+ community so to ensure its educational and social empowerment.

For these and more books on LGBTQ+ topics, visit the Lobby Display on the ground floor of the OISE building. Please feel free to take out the materials found in the lobby display—OISE staff would be happy to take these out for you. Happy Pride everyone!!!

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Featured Activity Kit: Full Circle

Made up of an educational booklet and DVD, the Full Circle: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Ways of Knowing: A common Threads Resource guide is meant to fill in the gaps that are missing within contemporary education concerning Indigenous peoples, history and culture. Created by 13 members of Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), mostly by First Nations, Métis, or Inuit authors, this resource attempts to educate Ontario students on matters concerning Indigenous Studies in a sensitive and respectful way that honours Indigenous ways of knowing while also approaching each topic holistically. This resource represents an important step in creating an educational curriculum that is factually accurate as well as inclusive and culturally sensitive.

Acting as the foundation of this activity kit, the physical booklet works as both a guide to the accompanying DVD, but also as an educational resource that touches on Indigenous experiences with Land, Residential Schools, health and identity. These four broader topics are then broken down into four sub-categories that concern the associated physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of each. By exploring these topics in such a holistic way, a deeper, more thorough and accurate understanding of Indigenous peoples, history and culture is offered while maintaining respect for the traditional ways of knowing of the communities being studied. Along with its factual text, this item also includes a multitude of activity sheets that help to provide context to the material being taught.

The accompanying DVD of this kit features a documentary that follows the lives of six Indigenous youth. Throughout the documentary, each individual describes their lived experiences as an Indigenous person, and the various ways that their journey to self-discovery has been influenced by their culture. By sharing the many ways that they have struggled and succeeded in celebrating their culture and heritage, the footage of the Indigenous youth in this film help to encourage understanding and respect for Indigenous people, culture and history.

While this resource is an excellent accompaniment to any course or unit within Indigenous studies broadly, the social issues being discussed are in fact cross-curricular and were developed to be used within history, geography, family studies, physical education and health, business, technological education civics, careers, social studies, English and science curricula. With its table of contents that outlines how each section of the resource can be used for each subject listed above, the creators of this resource demonstrate the many ways that the content provided in this book can and should be applied in the classroom so to recognize, acknowledge and respect Indigenous education.

The Full Circle: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Ways of Knowing: A common Threads Resource activity kit is currently on display on the ground floor of the OISE Library, next to the Circulation Desk-OISE students, please feel free to check it out! Like using activity kits in the classroom? Check out the OISE Library K-12 Manipulative Database or browse the 3rd floor of the Library.

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