End-of-June New Titles: Summer Reading for Educators

An A-Z of Creative Teaching in Higher Education

By Sylvia Ashton & Rachel Stone

For the post-secondary instructor (novice or experienced) who wants to transform their classroom with creative energy, this guide is for you! An A-Z of Creative Teaching in Higher Education outlines innovative practices to address inequalities in student outcomes by breaking down the topic from – you guessed it – A-Z. From A is for Action to C is for Communication to M is for Metalearning, each chapter describes a different pedagogical approach through a combination of theory and practical advice, and also offers instructors the chance to reflect on their own teaching practices through guided tasks. Instead of overloading on how-to advice, this book provides educators with the tools to evaluate their own challenges and goals independently and build on their existing strengths.

Using Restorative Circles in Schools: How to Build Strong Learning Communities and Foster Student Wellbeing,

By Berit Follestad and Nina Wroldsen

Are you looking for a productive, positive, and inclusive way to mediate conflict in your classroom? In this book, Follestad and Wrodlsen (education professionals and founders of Safe Learning Norway) outline the use of restorative circles to promote student well-being. By building a safe environment for peer-to-peer communication, restorative circles can be used for problem-solving, bullying prevention, meditation, and improving soft skills such as listening, empathy, and self-regulation. This book describes the origins and methodology of restorative circles, and includes a helpful selection of diagrams, case studies, and games and activities to help you implement restorative circles on your own.

Classroom-Ready Number Talks for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Teachers: 1000 Interactive Math Activities that Promote Conceptual Understanding and Computational Fluency

By Nancy Hughes

The title says it all! For elementary teachers looking to bolster their mathematics lesson plans, this book is chock-full of math activities to help students master addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and decimals. Each page features a specific mathematical concept (such as perimeters, number lines, or multiplying decimals) and contains definitions, guiding questions for teachers, and a classroom activity. This ready-to-use book is ideal for new math teachers and substitutes, or those looking to introduce a new concept without extensive prep work.

The Development of Children’s Thinking: Its Social and Communicative Foundations

By Jeremy Carpendale, Charlie Lewis, Ulrich

Are you interested in how young children develop social skills? This psychology book examines the cognitive development and behaviour of children from infancy to speaking-age. Balancing recent research with key theories,  Carpendale, Lewis, and Ulrich cover a wide array of topics ranging from communication and social understanding in infancy to how children learn the meaning of words to how children develop moral reasoning. Each chapter is accompanied with a set of learning outcomes and suggestions for further reading. This book is ideal for any of our candidates in the research, developmental psychology, or counselling programs who are interested in the cognitive and moral development of young children.




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Final Examinations in Ontario High Schools

The end of the school year has finally arrived! After all that you’ve learned this year, could you pass these provincial exit exams from our Ontario Historical Education Collections?

The OHEC houses a collection of provincial exams administered between 1873 and 1967. During this time, students were evaluated through a combination of high school entrance and exit exams, departmental (subject) exams, and normal school (teacher’s college) exams.

Students filled out this form prior to beginning their high school entrance exams. Taken from the Entrance Examination Papers, December 1874.

The Consolidated Act of 1874 published through the Department of Public Instruction for Ontario required that admission to a high school or collegiate institute was dependent on passing an entrance exam. To pass, students had to achieve a minimum score of 50%, which was awarded based on the completeness and accuracy of one’s answers. Entrance exams were held over two full days, and were evaluated by a board consisting of a county, city, or town inspector, a chairman from the public high school administering the exam, and the school’s headmaster. Students were tested in arithmetic, grammar, geography, spelling, dictation, and composition.

Questions from the Fourth Form Trigonometry departmental exam. Students would have opted to sit this exam for their Senior Leaving Certificate.

Each year, the Ministry of Education published a document containing the courses of study and examination requirements for all Ontario students. By 1896, these documents indicate that students preparing to exit high school had begun sitting for matriculation exams. While their scores were used to grant admission into university or normal schools, successful participants were also awarded with a Leaving Certificate that signified their completion of studies at the primary, junior, or senior level. To earn a Primary Leaving Certificate, students were required to pass all of their first and second form exams, which included sections in reading, English literature, composition and grammar, history, algebra, geometry, Latin, Greek, French, German, physics, bookkeeping, and stenography (shorthand writing).

Students seeking a Junior Leaving Certificate – a standard graduation certificate indicating four years of study, which was required for admission to universities and normal schools – were required to pass an additional department (subject) exam from any third form course; for a Senior Leaving Certificate (required for some university programs), students took an additional fourth form exam of their choosing. In addition to needing 50% overall to pass their exams, students had to score at least 33% on each individual exam to earn their certificates.

Similar to this certificate earned by a Montreal high school graduate, Ontario Leaving Certificates listed the departments from which the graduate completed successful final exams.

These standards remained throughout the 1920s. In 1931, the Ministry of Education began administering Graduation Diplomas to students who passed a minimum of 12 subject exams. These exams had to include British History, Physiology, English, Canadian History, and at least one math, biology, or language exam. Exams from the 1930s and 1940s were heavily based off of classroom textbooks approved by the government. However, by 1943, it was up to the individual principals to determine which courses their school should offer, and principals and teachers provided the final recommendation as to whether their students were eligible to graduate.

After 1949, entrance exams were eliminated across the province. Students continued to take departmental exit exams throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Junior and senior matriculation exams were held in June, while those in Grade 13 sat for their exams in August. Until the 1960s, these exam marks were the only measure of student achievement submitted to universities for consideration; universities determined acceptance based on one’s final exam marks rather than their year-round grades. As such, the number of departmental exams began to lessen, and the 1967-1968 school year was the last to require provincial exit exams.

To see a selection of Ontario provincial exams from the 1870s to 1960s, stop by the OHEC display case on the ground floor of the OISE Library. You can also browse our full collection of entrance, exit, and normal school exams by making a viewing appointment at the OHEC.

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National Indigenous History Month

This June, the Ground Floor Display at the OISE Library highlights Indigenous children’s stories and scholarly material in celebration of National Indigenous History Month. June 21st is also National Indigenous People’s Day, a day for celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada. June 21st holds significance as the longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice, which has historically been a traditional day of celebration for many Indigenous communities within Canada.  We hope this selection encourages readers and students to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture. All materials on display are available for borrowing!

For a full list of the materials on display, please see the Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching LibGuide.

Jingle Dancer  by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu tells the story of Jenna, a young member of the Muscogee (Creek Nation), living in a contemporary intertribal community. Jingle Dancer follows Jenna on her journey as she collects jingles for her dress so that she may dance in the upcoming powwow. Jenna asks the strong, educated female members of her community if she can borrow jingles from their dresses for her own, but not so many jingles that the lender’s dress will ‘lose its voice”. As she gathers her jingles, Jenna promises to dance for the women who cannot dance for themselves.  This story highlights the strong, female relationships in Jenna’s life, and the importance of family and community ties.

In ‘The Métis: a Visual History’, Sherry Farrell Raclette, combines her artistic skills withher past as a researcher and historian. This book displays four artistic panels that each represent a different era of Métis history. Originally produced as a theatre backdrop in 1996, these artistic panels were recognized for their potential as a teaching resource for history and art. Providing a culturally affirming learning experience, ‘The Métis: a Visual History’ seeks to encourage aboriginal youth to remain engaged in narrative and learning process of their own history



Moe & Malaya Visit the Nurse was written by Odile Nelson, translated by Louise and illustrated by Peggy Collins. This dual language book in English and Inuktitut follows best friends and cousin Moe and Malaya as they learn about the fascinating and fun discoveries that can be had at the nurse’s office. What is the job of a nurse? Can anyone become a nurse? In addition, what are all their crazy tools for and how do they use them? This book highlights for young children how cool and important the job of a nurse is, and how they too can become a nurse when they grow up!

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker is written by Robbie Robertson with artwork by David Shannon. A Mohawk, Hiawatha, has had is wife and daughter murdered by Tadodaho, the Onondaga Chief. As he plots revenge for their murders he encounters the Great Peacemaker, who dreams of bringing the nations together to live a new life unmarked by war, hate and fear. The Great Peacemaker enlists the help of  Hiawatha in bringing the nations together as one with unity, love and peace. This book includes a CD with an accompanying original song written and Produced by Robbie Robertson. It includes historical notes.


Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story is a picture book about Mohawk/Jewish musician Robbie Robertson. Told by his son Sebastian Robertson, and illustrated by Adam Gustavson, the story traces important moments in Robbie’s life from getting his first guitar to forming the band, The Band. This biography follows Robbie’s relationship with music through his introduction by Mohawk Relatives at Six Nations reserve to his break into the music industry with Ronnie Hawkins. Key anecdotes are shared as dialogue between father and son creating an immersive book for students with an interest in music and First Nations history.

Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City asks the question “So, just how connected are you to your Indigenous roots if you live downtown?”. Editors Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy combine contributions by Indigenous Youth and explore the question of how they follow traditions, connect to the land, and other indigenous peoples while living in an Urban environment. This book combines Q&As, descriptive articles, personal essays, profiles, poems, and spoken-word lyrics to shred stereotypes, promote understanding and positive stories of indigenous individuals. Messages of pride ring throughout the collection, to challenge the negative stereotype of indigenous people and highlight their achievements and way of living.


#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American women is a combined collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art displaying the voices and experiences of powerful Indigenous women across North America. Edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy, these stories provide insight into the lives of women who for a long time have been invisible to the mainstream narrative. #NotYourPrincess is angry, contemplative and powerful. These stories are by strong, passionate women rising to be heard and demanding change.

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Featured Activity Kit: GeoSafari Mineral Collection

Summer is a time for exploring the outdoors! It’s a time for playing outside and digging around in our yards — and what better way to get familiar with what we might find there than by checking out the GeoSafari Mineral Collection!

Minerals are “the building blocks of rocks,” and each mineral is important for its unique inorganic properties. The GeoSafari Mineral Collection contains twelve samples of common minerals, complete with an identification chart and information guide. The minerals in this collection range from calcite (a major ingredient in mixing cement) and halite (otherwise known as rock salt, often used in our food!), to the more visually remarkable, but still common sulfur and quartz, among others.

Students in the junior and middle years can pull out their magnifying glasses or microscopes to become scientific detectives as they investigate the physical properties of these minerals. Are they translucent or opaque? Thin and flaky, or dense and tough? What colours are they? Are they magnetic? Why might this be the case? By thinking about these minerals’ physical properties, students may be able to figure out where else these minerals might be encountered in everyday life, and why.

The GeoSafari Mineral Collection is just one collection among many that feature rocks and other hidden treasures from the earth. The Metamorphic Rock Collection, Igneous Rock Collection, Sedimentary Rock Collection, and GeoSafari Fossils Collection will keep the most enthusiastic young geologists and paleontologists busy all summer long!

The GeoSafari Mineral Collection, Metamorphic Rock Collection, Igneous Rock Collection, Sedimentary Rock Collection, and GeoSafari Fossils Collection are currently on display in the Display & Play area on the third floor of the OISE Library.

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June Lobby Display: Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Summer is almost upon us! Everyone needs some good reads to get through those scorching hot months. OISE library is here to help. With countless resources for some great outdoor activities and fun ideas for kids of all ages to enjoy the summer sun.

The Kids Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities & Experiences by Susan Milord

As the title clearly states, this book offers a suggestion of 365 activities for indoor and outdoor play. That’s one activity for each day of the year! The table of contents is divided into weeks to make navigating activities by month or season a little easier. Milord offers interesting and engaging activities to encourage children to move and learn through hands on experiences. Milord also offers small descriptions and additional trivia for each activity to explain the goals and importance of each activity. This is an excellent resource to encourage learning outside of the classroom and to get kids (and yourself) engaged with the great outdoors.

Forest School in Practice: For All Ages by Sara Knight

Forest School explores how learning in nature exemplifies ways of being in and with nature that are essential for the health of the individual, society and the planet. This books looks at the history of Forest School and its rise, as well as the implementation of Forest School for children and young adults. Knight provides creative ideas for practical applications of Forest School in each chapter alongside case studies from across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Forest School is the perfect resource for both students training to become teachers or those already working in an outdoor classroom, and explores the spectacular results that can be found through enriching, outdoor activities.

Dan Versus Nature by Don Calame

Dan only has two goals in life: to become a graphic novelist, and to ask out Erin Reilly. His mom, on the other hand, has one goal: find her Prince Charming. Dan’s mom brings home a new man, Hank, and Dan thinks it is only going to be a short time until he’s the next ex. However, Dan’s mom has a different idea. She and Hank are engaged! And she sends her two favourite men out on a survivalist camping trip to bond. Through some crazy plans, embarrassing pranks, and some wild adventures, Dan is determined to send Hank packing. Dan Versus Nature is a great summer read for any wild adventurer… or epic prankster.


Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms: Designing and Implementing Child-Centred Learning Environments by Eric M. Nelson

Nelson offers teachers and teaching professionals an educational guide to creating an outdoor learning program. He offers insight into how teachers can transform outdoor spaces into engaging learning environments where children can enjoy a wide range of activities as they immerse themselves in nature. Through collaborations, action plans, photographs, and outdoor activities, Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms proves the argument that is you can do it indoors, then you can most likely do it outside as well.



The Outdoor Classroom: Integrating Education and Adventure by James R. Jelmberg, Greg S. Goodman, Mary Breunig, and John McLaren

This resource offers an inspirational and instructional guide for teachers and educational professionals working with students of all ages. This “textbook” provides unique insight into the field of experiential learning as it creates interesting links between critical pedagogy and adventure learning. The Outdoor Classroom is broken down into three sections, which discuss the role of critical pedagogy in experiential learning, provide clear “how-to” instructions for planning and conducting outdoor education, as well as providing thoughts from contributors to the field of experiential learning. This book offers a more critical lens of outdoor education, but is a valuable resource to better understand how to get children out of the classroom and into nature.

To check out these books and more materials about how to make some wildly wonderful outdoor lessons for students of all ages visit the Lobby Display in the OISE Building, across from the OISE Cafe. Ask a staff member for help removing these items from the display case.

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