New ESL Resource Pathfinder from TDSB Professional Library

From Judy Chyung, Librarian – TDSB Professional Library

Our Professional Library has a fantastic collection of ESL resources that can be borrowed by TDSB teachers. The ESL resources can be located and accessed easily through this newly created pathfinder on the ESL resources available to our TDSB teachers.


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September 14, 2017 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

September Character Education Trait Resource Lists: Spotlight on Respect

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

Each month, the Professional Library will post a list of K-12 resources related to each character education trait.
Access all the character education trait lists here:
(Note: TDSB login is no longer required to view these lists — they’re now available to everyone!)

September’s Character Education trait is Respect!

Check out our full Respect booklist or see some highlighted titles below.

Elementary Titles
🍁 The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya: When a five-year-old boy asks his mother if he can wear a bindi like her, she respects his curiosity and allows his to explore this new side of his identity.
🍁 Peace Dancer by R.H. Vickers & R. Budd: When a group of children mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens brings down a powerful storm and the children learn to respect all life.

Intermediate Titles
🍁 The Hill by K. Bass: After his plane crashes in Northern Alberta, 15-year-old Jared must team up with Kyle, a Cree teen, to survive
🍁 Lucky Jonah by R. Scrimger: Jonah is gifted a magical camera that lets him (literally) walk a mile in another person’s shoes.

Young Adult Titles
🍁 Bullies Rule by M. Polak: While Daniel doesn’t initially see himself as a bully, he comes to understand how much his jokes hurt those around him.
🍁 Girl Mans Up by M-E. Girard: Pen has dressed how she wants her whole life, but her parents think that if she dresses more like a girl, it will show respect. Confused about what she wants, Pen ultimately has to define respect for herself.

These resource lists are produced to support teacher-librarians and teachers as they deliver instruction regarding the Character Education initiative and may be appropriate for read-alouds, literature circles, library displays, and more.

Please note the following points:

  • These are selected resources based on favourable literature reviews;
  • The Professional Library may own some of the listed books; teachers should also check their school libraries or local public libraries for availability;
  • Teachers should preview the books for appropriateness before instructional use or recommending them to students.
  • Related media resources are selected from TDSB Teaching Resources and the TDSB Virtual Library.



September 13, 2017 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Diverse Literature in Ontario Schools

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

A recent article in the Globe & Mail discussed the shift in Ontario schools away from the literary canon toward more diverse texts in English classrooms.

Teachers have argued that, while literary classics certainly have value, it’s important for students to also be reading literature that more closely reflects their students’ experiences. Read the full article.

If you’re looking to bring more diverse books into your classroom check out #WeHaveDiverseBooks an initiative that highlights diverse titles from Canadian authors. You can also find a guide to diverse books from Ontario publishers.

We’ve also compiled a list of books & resources for K-12 on race & tolerance.

For more information, check out our previous posts on diverse literature:

September 12, 2017 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

New Digital Citizenship Course from Google

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

Google has released a new free online digital citizenship course to help teachers learn ways to integrate digital citizenship activities into the curriculum.

The course is comprised of 5 lessons and covers internet safety, privacy, search skills and developing a positive online presence.

You can learn more about the course on Google’s blog.

There are also great resources related to digital and media literacy available through the Virtual Library. On the Search page, choose a grade range, and then select either Media Literacy or Digital Literacy from the Subject drop-down menu.


Also, check out our Digital Citizenship resource list for articles, books and more.

Some of the newest digital citizenship titles in the Professional Library include:


September 11, 2017 at 9:31 am Leave a comment

Using GSuite in Math Classrooms

From Natalie C., Reference & Digital Resources Librarian

Mind/Shift recently published a great post by Katrina Schwartz about the use of technology in math classrooms.

The post highlights the work of Jo Boaler and Alice Keeler, educators who promote “teaching math in visual ways” instead of “emphasizing one right procedure.”

You can learn more about Boaler’s work in her book, Mathematical Mindsetsavailable through the Professional Library. Boaler also posts tons of free activities and videos on her site YouCubed

Alice Keeler, who has implemented many of Boaler’s ideas in her classroom, promotes the use of technology — specifically the Google Suite — to enhance Boaler’s activities. While technology is not critical to the success of Boaler’s activities, it can be used to foster student collaboration.

Some ideas mentioned in the post include:

  • Using Google Slides to have students share the different ways they visualized a problem
  • Using the quadrants in Google Sheets as graph paper to help students divide different arrays

Keeler has also written 3 books about G Suite resources. You can find these titles in the Professional Library:

For more great ideas from Boaler & Keeler, read the full blog post on the Mind/Shift site.

September 8, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

French Language Resources at the Professional Library

Judy Chyung, Librarian – TDSB Professional Library

Professional Library has added quite a lot of  new French  language resources to its collection. Check out what resources are available from this new French Language Resource list.  To access the list, you need to first log into your TDSB Google account.

Professional Library Catalogue:

Contact us:





September 7, 2017 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

Still Streamed: How High Impact Decisions Are Shaping Students’ Futures

From Judy A. – Librarian, Reference and Collection Development

A new report on the consequences of academic streaming was released today by Social Planning Toronto. The report, which was based on 52 interviews with students and parents in the Weston-Mount Dennis area in Toronto, says grade 8 students are making important choices regarding their future without the necessary information or maturity to evaluate the implications of their decisions.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Grade 8 may be too early to make important decisions that will have long term consequences.
  • Neither students nor parents (who rely on their children for information) fully understand the differences between the applied and academic streams.
  • Students said there are not enough guidance counsellors in middle schools, and they don’t have access to enough information to help with course selection.
  • Students believed they could transfer from the applied to the academic stream later on.

The report goes on to make 9 recommendations regarding academic streaming and the course selection process. Check it out.

For more research on streaming and its impact, TDSB staff can access the following list of resources through the Board’s Google drive:

September 7, 2017 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

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