April Lobby Display: Academic Writing and Publishing

Display and post by Maddy Howard, OISE Graduate Student Library Assistant

Writing can be hard, and at times overwhelming. But never fear—OISE Library has plenty of resources to help you navigate the world of Academic Writing and Publishing. Here are just a few resources that can be used both in and out of the classroom, that can help give you the tools you will need to get started on your writing adventures.

The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing by Tonette S. Rocco, Tim Hatcher and Associates

This book offers emerging and experienced professionals alike a comprehensive overview of the essential elements that you need in order to craft scholarly papers and other materials for publishing. Rocco and Hatcher have divided their work into four sections to encapsulate the different types of manuscripts, submission processes, how to edit, as well as offer suggestions and advice for those of you pursuing publication. The Handbook of Scholarly Writing and Publishing can be used to help you better understand how to write an excellent academic paper and see it brought to life in any publication.

Steps to Academic Writing by Marian Barry

Steps to Academic Writing can be used to teach students, between the ages of 16-18 and speak English as a Second Language, how to make the transition from learning English in school to the expectations of University. Barry includes different exercises and tools in order to help students develop their academic writing skills, including writing for reports, essays, along with other formats. Steps to Academic Writing covers eight topic based units, including four units on essay-writing skills, two units on report writing, one unit on describing visual information (i.e. graphs and charts), and one unit on writing CVs and personal statements for university applications. This is an excellent resource that can be used both in the classroom or for independent study.

The Journey is Everything: Teaching Essays that Students Want to Write for People who Want to Read Them by Katherine Bomer

Katherine Bomer, an international writing consultant, lays out the ways in which students and aspiring academics can restore the way they understand essay writing. Sadly, many students only utilize the five paragraph essay. We all know the one—introduction, argument, argument, argument, conclusion. The Journey is Everything encourages you and your students to break away from that tired, standardized formula. Instead Bomer’s book provides students with the tools, strategies, and activities that can help them discover their own voice and can learn to structure their works organically. This is a must have book for any high school , university, or graduate student.

Academic Publishing: Issues and Challenges in the Construction of Knowledge by Ken Hyland

Writing for publications can be hard. There are so many different challenges that you can face over the course of trying to get your work into a publication. Ken Hyland provides an in-depth discussion of the key aspects involved in writing for academic publications. He explores issues and challenges surrounding academic publishing, including the impact of English as a global academic language, the growth of the assessment culture surrounding publications, and the emergence of Open Access and social media publishing. While a heavy topic to discuss, Hyland’s work is accessible, outlining key concepts and themes concisely and can help all aspiring academics to understand some of the challenges they might face.

Publishing Journal Articles by Lucinda Becker and Pam Denicolo

Who doesn’t get a little intimidated by the thought of getting their work published? It involves a lot of stress and a lot of time. But fear no more! Publishing Journal Articles is an accessible, informative, and entertaining book for all students. It provides practical strategies to help increase your chances of success in getting that paper published in any journal. Becker and Denicolo offer advice on several important topics, including how to write and get the style right, what to select for publication, how to cope with writer’s block, working with editors and reviewers, and more. This book is a must-have for anyone seeking professional journal publication, and the best part is you don’t even have to leave your room! This book is available online for you to read whenever and wherever you want.

To check out these books and more materials about how to write academically and how to get a paper published, visit the Lobby Display in the OISE Building, across from the OISE Library entrance. Ask a staff member for help removing these items from the display case.

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April New Titles: A [Spring] shower of Topics

I Love Sharks, Too! written by Leanne Shirtliffe and illustrated by Lorenzo Montatore   

Stevie LOVES sharks. He loves sharks more than he loves pizza (Can you imagine loving something more than pizza?)! Stevie likes to act like a shark, much to his mother’s dismay. So, whenever his mother asks him to do something, he does it as a shark would. Along the way, Stevie explains how a particular breed of shark would do a certain activity, or why they may not need to do things the same way humans do. For example, humans need to brush their teeth to keep them clean. Mako sharks do not need to brush their teeth because they are coated in fluoride. At the end of the book, teachers can find additional information on shark breeds that were not mentioned by Stevie. This hilariously and vibrantly illustrated book is excellent for teachers wishing to teach their young elementary class about sharks in an engaging, funny, and relatable way.    

 Sioux Code Talkers of World War II written by Andrea M. Page   

Andrea Page grew up in Rochester, NY, with one major rule drilled into her: respect your elders. She did not come to fully understand this rule until she began researching her great-uncle, John Bear King, and his possible role as a Lakota code-talker during the Second World War. This research led her to Wyoming, Buffalo, and Washington DC, and she was able to confirm her great-uncle’s role as a Code Talker and delve into the fascinating history of Code Talkers. The use of Code Talkers and tribal languages for telephone communication worked so well during both wars that it remains the only unbroken set of codes in history.   

 Catching the Light by Susan Sinnott  

Cathy cannot read. Words on paper do not make sense to her. Because of this, her classmates call her Lighthouse: no lights on up there. When Cathy is threatened with not passing eighth grade, she knows she is in trouble. Help comes in the form of Sarah Brooks, who understands that Cathy is an artist and has an artist’s brain. Cathy’s dream is to attend art school, but she has a long road ahead. Hutch lives to kayak with his friends. He is very much the opposite of Cathy: charismatic, popular, and smart. One night, Hutch and his friends take a road trip to see an American Hockey League game, and the icy evening quickly turns tragic. Hutch now leads a very different life. Set in Mariners Cover, Newfoundland, this young adult novel is told from the viewpoints of Cathy and Hutch as they try to navigate their futures.  

 A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart   

The title of this book comes from the editors’ belief that there is an inextricable link between nature and people. This book aims to show educators that the time has come to build a curriculum for the Earth, and not merely in terms of the basic science aspect. The environmental crisis is also a social crisis and an economic crisis. This publication demonstrates these crises through topics such as climate chaos, teaching in a toxic world, and food, farming, and the Earth. Teachers looking to tackle better the issue of climate change should consider this book as an ultimate resource.   

The Neurodiverse Classroom: A Teacher’s Guide to Individual Learning Needs and How to Meet Them by Victoria Honeybourne   

Flowers are unique plants. Some grow best in sunlight, some grow best in the shade, and some grow best in rocky soil. Despite these differences, there is no such thing as an “inferior” flower. They’re just different. The flower analogy is what Victoria Honeybourne uses to explain neurodiversity. People are like flowers: they need different conditions to thrive. This book aims to use the neurodiversity paradigm to approach the issues of special educational needs and inclusion in schools for the twenty-first century. A few examples of topics covered are communication, student wellbeing and working with home. This book is an excellent guide for teachers looking to accommodate better neurodiversity in their classrooms.   

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Featured Activity Kit: Smart Circuits by SmartLabs

Although we are surrounded by various forms of information and communication technologies, we don’t often think about the materiality of them. The SmartLab Smart Circuits activity kit goes beyond teaching children about basic electronics (such as light switches, speakers etc.) to understanding how modern computers are constructed. The kit contains 6 base boards, 10 modules, 31 jumper wires and a manual. It also requires 3 AAA batteries (not included in the kit) to run.

The Smart Circuits activity kit is best suited toward kids from around 8 – 10 years old: it is relevant to both kids who haven’t learned the fundamentals of electricity, to kids who already know how to build basic circuits. It starts off with the basics by teaching kids about electricity and how currents, voltage and resistance work. The activity kit then builds on that understanding by teaching them about parallel circuits, and the difference between various conductors, resistors, tilt-switches and push-buttons. As they build their vocabulary, they are also able to test various experiments. The kit includes diagrams that outline the 50 projects that kids can choose from. These projects also flow in a very logical manner as they each build upon the skills learned earlier. For example, kids would start off learning how to build a rainbow maker, but as they progress they will learn to build things such as a motion-sensing room alarm, or an electronic drum kit. The kit contains many different projects so that it also suits a variety of interests, as well as skill sets: some of more exciting ones include an invisible light detector, and a magic message wand! It also comes with a powerful microprocessor, so outside of the outlined projects kids can design their own custom experiments and gadgets.

The projects are important because it allows for kids to use the concepts they’ve learned through this kit, to understand machines that they interact with on a daily basis. The Smart Circuits activity kit is a fun way to combine a valuable learning experience, with experimenting and creativity. This kit is perfect for those who are already very interested in electronics, but it also useful for those who are a little more intimidated and might benefit from a fun hands-on approach!

If you would like to bring Smart Circuits to the classroom it is located in the Oversize Curriculum Resources Section on the 3rd Floor of the OISE Library.





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April Lobby Display: Faculty Publications

This April, OISE welcomes delegates from the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). AERA is an international organization that has been active since 1916, composed of faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other professionals and experts in studies in education. In line with AERA’s  goal of promoting excellent research, and on the heels of the announcement of OISE’s QS ranking as the seventh best educational institution in the world, and the top-ranked such institution in Canada, the OISE Library is celebrating faculty publications in this month’s lobby display.

OISE’s  departments in Applied Psychology & Human Development (APHD), Curriculum, Teaching & Learning (CTL), Leadership, Higher & Adult Education (LHAE), and Social Justice Education (SJE) are incredibly active. Their faculty members are renowned as leaders in their fields, and we are currently showcasing publications from the last five years in our multi-departmental faculty display.

The APHD department has published many works in the last few years, of which, Active Learning from Infancy to Childhood, co-edited by OISE’s own Patricia A. Ganea, is one of the most recent. In the book, the ways in which children drive their own learning at various stages of development are examined. As the editors outline in the introduction, active learning takes place when a child recognizes a gap in their knowledge, knows where to find a solution to that gap in knowledge, and is inclined to seek out this knowledge accordingly. Active Learning from Infancy to Childhood situates itself between classic and contemporary research on cognitive and language development.

Among publications in the CTL department, Kathy Bickmore’s book Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers, co-edited with colleagues Ruth Hayhoe, Caroline Manion, and Karen Mundy from LHAE, explores educational practices from around the globe. The book grew out of OISE’s Comparative, International, and Development Education Centre, with the goal of introducing international issues in education and diverse cultural perspectives to both practicing and pre-service educators. Now in its second edition, Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers pulls in new authors to dive deep into international issues, perspectives, and practices related to school organization, social justice, and education more broadly.

Apart from research, faculty members from CTL also regularly publish curriculum resources, like Shelley Stagg Peterson’s and Larry Swartz’s co-authored book, “This Is a Great Book!” This resource, subtitled “101 events for building enthusiastic readers inside and outside the classroomfrom chapter books to young adult novels,” provides suggestions on how to approach and run classroom activities with a range of reading material. Peterson and Swartz, define a “great book” as being one that has a significant impact on a child; they aim to make reading exciting for all readers by allowing room for readers to engage with all kinds of texts in meaningful ways. The book includes activities, classroom worksheets, suggested titles and book series for children, and a list of recommended professional literature for teachers.

LHAE has also recently published Alternative Schooling and Student Engagement: Canadian Stories of Democracy within Bureaucracy, co-edited by OISE’s Nina Bascia and Malcolm Levin. The book begins by outlining the history of alternative schools in Toronto in the 1960s and 1970s, highlighting these progressive schools’ continuing attendance and success. Multiple essays then explore contemporary critical approaches to alternative schooling, historical perspectives, approaches to teaching, and case studies of six alternative schools.

From SJE, John P. Portelli’s co-edited book Key Questions for Educational Leaders examines the relationship between educational theory and practice as it relates to the development of equitable and ethical educational leadership. The book is composed of a series of essays written by scholars from around the world that explore the purpose of education and the nature of educational leadership. It comprehensively addresses current issues in educational leadership in an effort to “make the student experience genuinely educational, meaningful, fair and equitable, enriching and socially just.”

All of these books and more can be found on display in the OISE building lobby, across from the OISE Library. Ask a librarian for assistance in removing books from the display case.

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Activity Kit: The Battle of Hill 70

The First World War was a pivotal moment in Canadian history,  considered by many to have played a large role in defining the early Canadian identity. However, introducing WW1 to Students can be a challenging feat; the horrific nature of this war is difficult to breakdown and represent to young minds.

The Battle of Hill 70: A Story of Canada in the Great War”activity kit was designed to introduce your students to the First World War. The Kit allows your students to actively engage with WW1 material, and learn about the people who endured this horrific event.

This kit encourages students to divide into small groups and engage with the various topics this kit organizes.


Within the kit you will find,

1 Teachers guide, 2 Books,  The Lads in Their Hundreds, Battle of Hill 70 (graphic novel), and 10 sets of envelopes titled,

  1. Home front
  2. Maps
  3. Courage
  4. Artistic
  5. Period photographs
  6. Recruitment posters
  7. Official documents
  8. Discovery
  9. Messages home
  10. Learning strategies & profiles

Within the envelopes above are various  kinds of replicated media from the period, including posters, postcards, photographs, artwork, etc. Inside the Learning Strategies & Profiles envelope there are 12 topics represented by letters A-L. Each of these profiles include a worksheet summarizing a group’s task, and highlighting which coordinating booklet which provides the necessary information within.

How to use this kit

Within the teachers guide there are three suggested activities designed to help your students engage with the material.

 1.) Exhibition of Learning

Students in small groups or pairs will each receive a profile and its corresponding booklet. Task students to read the booklets and to select at least four of the items listed under the heading “learning activities” on their profile and commence their research. The students will read, research, and prepare a visual piece along with an oral presentation, to present to the class.


Create two visual items, (Venn diagram, chart, letter, drawing, video, social media account) to display to the class or school.

2.) Museum Curator Activity

Let your students’ creative sides shine by having them be curators for the local museum. Assign a profile to groups of 3-4 and have them create an exhibit using materials they source from online, and the media in the envelopes provided. Have the students “pitch” their idea to the museum board explaining their choices, and what they learned, to the class.

3.) Jigsaw Teaching Technique

The teacher’s guide within also suggested using the Jigsaw method, and provided a link with further instructions on how to incorporate this method into the project. https://www.jigsaw.org/

Overall this activity kit is an excellent source to use when introducing your class to the First World War. Students will enjoy the group work while learning about one of Canada’s monumental events.

This kit is located on the 3rd Floor of the library in the Curriculum Resources area.

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