Thursday, October 16, 2014

Toronto Resources: My favourite sites to use in my classroom

With the upcoming Toronto election, I wanted to share the online resources that I have used with students to learn about the election, but also about Toronto as a city. So far this is my list. Please let me know if you have any others that can be added.

Great Election Sites:

  • - Get to know your mayoral candidates with this clearly laid out website. The site takes information directly from each candidates platform and presents it in a visual and simplified manner. 
    • FOR MATH: We have been discussing bias in data collection. We have also extended this into the election and how it can be challenging to gain an unbiased opinion of a candidate when reading an article in the paper as the author could have an opinion. This website has a disclaimer at the bottom of each page explaining how they attempt to provide unbiased and correct information. 
Great Toronto Data Sites:
  • www. - Using Toronto Open Data, this website organizes many different indicators into various neighbourhoods of the city. Click on a neighbourhood and you get the 2011 census data.
    • FOR MATH: Students are able to calculate percentages from the data. They can then compare various neighbourhoods and their populations or different indicators given. With the election in play, they can also consider what platform topics the neighbourhood could be most concerned with based on the indicators. 
  • Open Data Toronto: This is a great site providing direct access to all the data that has been collected in the city. 
    • FOR MATH: I have used this in my class many times from analyzing tables to creating infographics to display the data clearly. I have used the Food Bank attendance as well as Bike data. This raw data is easily accessible and related directly to Toronto students. 
  • Toronto Demographics: This site is where the analyzed data from Open Data Toronto is placed. I have used this site for the Ward reports. 
    • FOR MATH: I have used the reports here with students to complete a "If Ward 11 went to my school" or "If Toronto went to my school" project, which runs just like the "If the world was 100 people". The difference with this project is that students can think about the data and consider if they feel our classroom reflects Toronto. This can start great conversations about diversity, civic responsibility and who are we in our community.
Great Toronto Article Sites:
  • Spacing Toronto: I am a big fan of this magazine, especially for articles for Middle School students to read. The focus of this magazine is how design is important in the creation and sustainability of a city. Articles are short and can be a good way to start a conversation about a topic or Toronto issue. 
  • BlogTO: I use this site to become aware of great activities and events that are occurring in Toronto. I believe that if I want my students to be active citizens, than I must explore the city as well. The events section outlines great events each day and weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth,
    I love this post! In fact, I've passed it on to our math and Civics teachers to see if we can use it for next week's election. It's great to see that you're still writing and thinking in such innovative ways!

    We just finished our 1st F2F for our 3rd season of Cohort 21 and we have 30 SCHOOLS involved now - which is so great! We are trying to loop back in with the alumni, and it started with a wine & cheese following the F2F and it was a great success. We'd love to loop you back in too, if you're interested! Let me know.

    In the meantime, I hope that this finds you well. I'm now at Bayview Glen as Director of Teaching and Learning, and loving the new school, the change and the challenge!

    Be in touch,