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Monday, September 24, 2012

a second welcome back and broading the team

Hi to Toronto District School Board Geography teachers:

I just wanted to welcome all of those that are teaching or somehow associated with the teaching of Geography in the TDSB. I know that this will be a repeat for a number of you however I have just received the teaching list for the board and have been able to infuse the new names into our TGTA list serve.  

This is probably the best method for us as a group to share ideas, strategies and resources . As the Geography Instructional Leader for the TDSB my responsibilities are to service Geography in all school 7-12. Hopefully I am able to answer your questions however the power of a list serve is that if I can’t then hopefully someone else can. However there is some etiquette that is important to follow when using a listserve. The majority of this is around the subject. Please try to keep the focus of this group to Geography . I understand when some of you need resources for other Canadian and World Studies courses. Also remember that in most instances there is no need to reply all.

One of the functions of this listserve is to connect to a blog where the information and resources are archived. This can be a problem when people are communicating thing that may be time sensitive. I do try to keep it cleaned up but it is not always possible.

I also wanted comment that there may be some of you that are only teaching one geography course and do not feel this is your area of expertise or specialization . Well many of  the resources and strategies that come out of the listserve are for you. It is not focused strictly on the specialist teacher but hopefully is supports for those teachers who have had Geography thrust upon them .

A few things coming up in TDSB:

Using Geo-spatial technologies (Geo-Visual and Geo-Analytical) in Geographic Inquiry, Geography Grade 7-12

Grade 7-12 Geography teachers are invited to a 4-session module to train and support curriculum using geo-spatial technologies to enhance the geographic inquiry process.  Particular attention will be placed on teaching/learning strategies, classroom techniques, planning, and assessment as, for, and of learning. Session 1 and 2 will be taking place on October 17th & 18th. Please refer to Direct Line and Key to Learn for registration 


Support teachers of the TDSB Grade 9 Applied Geography

Job imbedded learning for teachers of CGC1P (Geography of Canada). Have teachers commit to share and provide feedback as to how they have incorporated their learning into their practice by sharing at the end of the module. Primary Focus will be to increase achievement of students and credit accumulation through the use of literacy, numeracy and Geographical thinking skills, assessment for/as learning, teaching with technology and Differentiated Instruction in two mini modules, one in each semester. A teacher from Session 1 will then co-facilitate in Session 2.

Look on Key to Learn for more details as they become available.   

TGTA Fall Excursion: this year’s fall excursion for TDSB Geography teachers will be on Wednesday October 24th to the Toronto Waterfront.  It will include an organized tour of the new additions to Toronto’s waterfront. More details are in the blog.

New curriculum: Update

Just a quick note to let you know about the Revised  Geography curriculum . The 7 & 8 will be published in the late fall or early winter for implementation next September , whereas the 9-12 Curriculum will be rolled out I the late winter for implementation also in September 2013. I will certainly keep you all apprised of changes as soon as they are made available.  

Other ministry resources

The Edugains site is a great repository for literacy and Geography. Many good resouces

Writing Opportunities

Call for Reading Selection Developers/Writers

The Educational Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO  invites writers to apply to develop reading selections for the  Grade 10 provincial  literacy assessment of reading and writing skills (Ontario  Secondary School Literacy Test).  Writers find and adapt, or develop their own, selections according to specific guidelines for five genres:  dialogues, news reports, real life narratives, information passages and graphic texts.  EQAO is particular interested in writers  who develop  graphic texts.

If interested, kindly peruse past year’s “ Tests and Scoring Materials”   at

Conferences And Organizations

Just a quick update on the OAGEE Conference and OAGEE membership . OAGEE  has now instituted a department membership . this is a membership for 3 teachers in a department with a savings of over $60. Please see the attachment. I know there is great confusion within the province about what we should do or not do. I guess my only advice is not to penalize yourself . We are know how positive it is to be among colleagues during times of upheaval. An to get some Unbelievable PD to boot.  I also would like to make that comment that OAGEE is an association to advance Geographic and Environmental Education to all of you who are teaching Geography and environmental ed. It is not does not want to be an organization that is focused only on those who consider themselves the specialist teacher. OAGEE through the membership , Monograph (OAGEE Journal), website , and conference are there to support all teachers of geography 7-12 in Ontario whether you are teaching senior classes or I class of grade 9 applied ( where the last geography you had was grade 9 yourself ) or you are a grade 7or 8 teacher who is teaching Geography as part of your core curriculum . OAGEE is there to support you all. If you have any questions specifically about OAGEE please feel free to contact Ewan Geddes at MacDonald

If you have ever attended an OAGEE Fall Conference, you have experienced that feeling of being reenergized and revitalized when you step into the classroom on Monday morning. The amount of hands-on, classroom-ready material that you will receive at the 2012 Fall Conference in Kingston Ontario (Oct. 19 & 20) will prove to be incredibly beneficial. Please take the time to register in September (click on the Conferences tab). If you are not able to attend the conference, presenters from the Fall Conferences are able to share their resources with OAGEE members on the OAGEE website at (click on the Conferences tab).

The Canadian Council for Geographic Education (CCGE) is a joint initiative of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the National Geographic Society of Washington, D.C. established in 1993.

The programs of the CCGE aim to strengthen geographic education in the classroom. In addition to increasing the emphasis on geography within the school system, the CCGE endeavours to increase the public awareness of the importance of geographical literacy. And they are free!!

More to come !!

Remember the Blog is ;

Other important TDSB sites

Social World Studies & Humanities on TDSB Web


Academic Workspace (AW) Geography




Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420




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