Thursday, December 31, 2009

'I Gotta Feeling' you're going to love this video...

Last September, Oprah Winfrey opened her 24th season on air with a special concert in downtown Chicago. The Black Eyed Peas performed their hit song "I Gotta Feeling' (if you're not sure what song it is, you will about 5 seconds into the videos below..). But as a special surprise to Oprah, they actually got thousands and thousands of people to participate in what is called a 'Flash Mob Dance'. What is a 'flash mob dance' you ask? Good question. Essentially, imagine a dance as a virus. One person starts it, and it slowly spreads to all surrounding people until everyone is involved in a highly choreographed dance, to the smiles and cheers of those around them. There are now tons of them on Youtube, but I've decided to post one AMAZING one that I recently saw.

Students in a school in Montreal, The Study, banded together to surprise their principal and teachers with their own version of the 'I Gotta Feeling' Flash Mob Dance. What amazed me is the incredible spirit every single student in the school shows in this video. We hear so much about issues in schools like bullying, schoolyard conflicts, misbehaving and disrespectful students and just about a generation that doesn't seem to 'get it'. Well watch this video and tell me if you think these kids 'get it'. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

As a teambuilder by profession, I was humbled to see how hundreds of students can come together as team, for the purpose of school spirit, united simply by a song and dance. The video really shows the amazing power of TEAM.

(by the way, the original Oprah video can be seen below)

(Turn your speakers on and enjoy!)


Original video from Oprah's Season 24 Premiere:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dynamix's Olympic Experience

As you may have already heard Dynamix has been given the privelege of bearing the olympic torch as it passes through Montreal. Coca Cola and RBC selected Dynamix for its positive impact on society and its youth. We then made the conscious decision to select a Dynamix rep we feel has had an enormous impact on the success of Dynamix. This person being Allison Boothroyd.

Allison over the past several years has been a major contributor to the growth of a social organization that thrives on educating young people how to better co-exist in a fast paced and challenging society.

If you are in the Montreal area, come out and support Allison as she so proudly carrries the torch on behalf of Dynamix for the 2010 Olympic games.

The run will take place on December 10th at 5:30pm near the Mont-Royale lookout.
Let the games begin!

Monday, November 9, 2009

10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Sesame Street

posted by Adam Kertesz

Happy 40th Anniversary, Sesame Street! The timeless classic has helped raise at least 2 generations of children. I don't think there is a single person above the age of 4 who hasn't laughed and sang along with their 'friends' Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, The Count, Oscar the Grouch (for some reason my favourite when I was a kid!), Elmo and Ernie and Bert!

Based on a list of found on the Sesame Workshop website, I have narrowed a list of 40 items down to 10 interesting things you might not have known about Sesame Street.

In no particular order:

1. Four First Ladies have visited Sesame Street: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

2. Although Big Bird is a curious 6-year old and Oscar is a Grouch, the two are identical on the inside. At age 75, Carroll Spinney has been both characters since 1969.

3. Why the name Sesame Street? After a long search for a catchy name, one of the show’s writers suggested “Sesame Street.” The word “sesame,” an allusion to the fabled command from The Arabian Nights, “Open, Sesame!,” suggested excitement and adventure. Since the show was set in an urban street scene, “Sesame Street” seemed an ideal combination.

4. Elmo began his life on Sesame Street as a nameless Anything Muppet™, before becoming the 3 ½ year-old furry red monster that has tickled millions of children of all ages. Kevin Clash first donned Elmo in 1984. 25 years later, Elmo is still 3 ½ years-old.

5. James Earl Jones was the first celebrity to appear on Sesame Street.

6. Oscar was just as grouchy in 1969 as he is today. His first words on the show were “Don’t bang on my can! Go away.”

7. Oscar the Grouch was the color orange in season 1.

8. Sesame Street has won 118 Emmys to date. The most for any television show in history.

9. All of the Sesame Street Muppets™ have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five.

10. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world.

By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible educational tool that Sesame Street prides itself as, even after 40 years on TV. According to this article,

Sesame Street recognized the power of the relatively new medium of television as a learning tool, with teachers and education researchers helping to create strategies for its on-air content.
"It's still the gold standard in children's television for its use of research and work with real children," says Dr. Cynthia Schiebe, a New York-based developmental psychologist who specializes in media literacy. Henson and company made perhaps their most important breakthrough by making Sesame Street fun and smart, allowing all the lessons to flow from that.

And finally, just a quick personal story as well:
When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my family visited New York for a family function. As we walked around New York City, I noticed that the city had those metal garbage cans like Oscar lived in! According to my parents, as we walked through the city, I stopped at each and every garbage can and lifted the lid to see if Oscar was there. Sadly, I never found him. (By the way, I was a very happy and fun loving kid, so I have no idea where my love for Oscar came from!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fashionable Medical Bracelets for Kids

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Every so often you come across a company, product or service that you can't believe hasn't been around forever! Boomi's Beads was my most recent experience of this kind.

Boomi's Beads was founded by Sid Kroach and her sister Marcy. When Sid's son Griffin was just 18 months old he was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. According to Sid: "We wanted a piece of jewelry that would notify an authority figure of his medical condition in an emergency situation. We were unable to find fun and fashionable medical i.d. that Griffin, an active toddler, would enjoy wearing. Hence Boomi's Beads was born."

Medical Bracelets that kids would be excited to wear! Brilliant!! How it took so long for someone to connect these dots boggles my mind, but I'm glad that Sid and Marcy had the vision to make it happen!

You can visit their website at: to purchase your very own Boomi's Beads. Best of all, a portion of all of Boomi's Beads is donated to several worthy organizations including JDRF, The Breast Cancer Society and Autism Awareness.

Watch the video below to meet Griffin, the inspiration behind a brilliant product!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Upopolis-An inspiring online social network for sick kids

Written by Adam Kertesz

Move over, Facebook.

I came across this inspiring story this weekend and I felt I had to share it with you. The article can be found here, but I'll give you the short version of it.

A few years ago, Christina Papaevangelou, now 23, tragically lost her close friend Katy to cancer. Throughout Katy's long stay at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital, Katy became very disconnected from her world- losing contact with her friends, family, and school mates. She repeatedly experessed her wish for a laptop so she can remain in contact with everyone- especially once she became too ill to walk to the computer room in the hospital.

Katy lost her battle in 2004, and Christina and her father, wanting to give back, thought the solution was easy- set up a fund that will help provide laptops to child patients in the hospital. Not so fast, they were told, as " children's hospitals can't offer open wireless access to the Internet because there are fears of cyberpredators and concerns the kids would be accessing inappropriate material. "

"Those two explanations lit my fire," recalls [Basile] Papaevangelou, who co-founded Kids Health Links Foundation with [daughter]Christina in 2004.

Fast forward to today. With the help of Telus, and donated laptops by Toshiba Canada, was born.

According to the info on the site's home page:

Upopolis™ is a private social utility that connects young hospital patients to their family, friends and school network .

Kids can use Upopolis to:
-Build a profile, create a blog and stay in touch with people they know
-Learn more about their conditions and treatment with kid-friendly medical information
-Keep up with schoolwork while they’re away from class
-Look up kids around them in hospital and share their experiences

According to the article, "the network is safe and secure because only children registered with the hospital can use it and only the contacts they've invited can communicate with them through Upopolis."

It's a truly incredible and inspiring story of two individuals who wanted to give back in a way that went beyond simply sending money and often not having any idea where that money is going. Upopolis is currently up and running in children's hospitals in Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa and it will launch at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital on December 9th. One of the planned features in the future includes a web cam that will allow the child to follow their teachers in a virtual classroom, right from their hospital bed!

I hope this inspiring story put a smile on your face on a weekend that is all about being grateful, and giving back.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We've been reviewed! (book review)

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

The Character Is the Key book has been reviewed!

Here's a snippet:

" The activities created by Dynamix... are easily implemented, fun, and provide children with concrete examples of what is meant by each character trait. They also double as great family bonding experiences! "

Read the whole review here:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Dancing Baby!

In case you've been living under a rock and haven't received dozens of email forwards, facebook postings and twitter updates about it, here's that awesome video that will definitely bring a smile to your face and hopefully get you through the week.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Launch, Join Us!!! - Character Is the Key

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

We are very excited to invite you to a very special book launch! This Sunday, Sara Dimmerman with collaboration from Dynamix launches Character Is the Key, a must have for all parents and school libraries!!! (more info about the book seen below)


McNally Robinson Booksellers
The Shops at Don Mills
In The Events Space, 2nd Floor
Don Mills Road & Lawrence Avenue East
12 Marie Labatte Road
Toronto, Ontario
M3C 3R6

Character Is the Key
How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves

by Sara Dimerman
with collaboration from Dynamix
(Wiley & Sons on shelves August, 2009)

Character Is the Key is a book on how parents can model character for their children. Dynamix, in collaboration with the author, created family challenges and exercises to help families come together so that they can enact and fully understand the ten crucial character attributes.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dynamix teams up with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

We found out just over 1 year ago that our nephew James was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. As difficult as it was to hear the devastating news it took months to really understand the impact Diabetes has on an individual as well as an entire family. Since diagnosed James, 3, and his family have adapted incredibly well and has taken full advantage of the technological advancements made in recent years. James is currently on the "pump" which replaces the daily regimen of shots with a continuous flow of insulin in his body.

This past year Dynamix devoted time and energy to help JDRF ( with their annual "Walk to cure Diabetes". Dynamix facilitators provided children with fun carnival programs and reached out into the community to raise money for this most important cause.

I would like to thank Daniel Beaulieu who did a phenomenal job as the team leader and congratulate him for receiving an award for leading a team who raised the most money of all corporate teams.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to kick start the school year! My Top 3!!!

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

It happens every year, but with each passing year the summers seem to get shorter and shorter! Once again, school is just around the corner. In less than 2 weeks the desks will be full of books and supplies, the walls covered in posters, and the seats filled with students.

So what are the best ways to kick off a new school year?!

Here’s my TOP 3
(ranging from big school-wide events to simple in-class tasks):

  1. Make it a big celebration with a school CARNIVAL!
    (Plan your own or have Dynamix help you plan/run one, click here for more details)

  2. Make a Time Capsule with your class on the first day.
    (see “Time Capsule Activity” below for a description on how to do this.)

  3. Break the Ice with fun and silly games.
    (see “Toilet Paper Game” below for a crowd-pleasing ice-breaker.)

Time Capsule Activity:

1) Decorate an empty Pringles can, this will be your “Time Capsule.”

2) Have each child fill out a short worksheet. This is where you should get creative. The best worksheets are the ones that have tasks that fit your grade level. This way students can see the progress they made by the end of the year.

Some ideas: a handwriting sample, a tracing of their hand, a self-portrait, a logic puzzle, pop-culture questions, personal interest questions, etc.

3) Place each student’s sheet into the time capsule. Once they are all collected seal the time capsule and have a short ceremony to ‘bury’ the time capsule (i.e. put it in a drawer for the year).

Note: If you put the right questions on the worksheet, you can open the time capsules that night and learn a little bit about what your students like and what their abilities are!

4) At the end of the year you can have the students complete the same or similar worksheet. Open the time capsule to compare and measure their progress.

Toilet Paper Game:

Materials Required: 1 or 2 rolls of perforated toilet paper

1) Take out one or two rolls of toilet paper and tell the students to “Take as much as you think you'll need.” This may provoke a lot of questions, but DO NOT say anything more than this.

2) Send the roll around the room, or you can send two rolls one at both sides of the room to help things move along a little more quickly.

3) Once all students have taken the amount of toilet paper they feel they “need,” collect the unused toilet paper.

4) Now going one student at a time, the students must share one fact about themselves for each square they ripped off the roll.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nothing but net!

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

This is a great story that is guaranteed to make you smile. It's always amazing to see someone live their dream, like Jason does in this video. It's even more amazing to see the support and encouragement he gets from the crowd!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Winning is Everything...

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Randi Chapnik Myers of Today's Parent recently wrote and published this article entitled "When Winning is Everything", that talks about those children that aren't the most graceful when losing a game/sport/activity. I had the opportunity to speak with Randi before she put this article out. In fact, I was even quoted in the article. It's a great article and certainly worth a read.

We've seen groups try to "deal" with over-competitive children in many different ways. From ensuring everything ends in a tie, to banning competitive activities altogether. I don't think you'll be shocked when I say that I don't feel that either of these options are ideal! How do we expect our children to get better at dealing with competitive situations if we never give them the chance to win/lose? How could they possibly improve their sportsmanship without competitive sport?! How does this help to prepare them for the adolescent and adult world that is chalk-full of competition?

This would be like trying to teach a child how to downhill ski their entire child-life without ever letting them on skis and/or near a ski-hill. Then, when they are "old enough", throwing a pair of skis on them and sending them up on the chair lift and ultimately downhill without any further instruction. How many people in this situation would safely make it downhill?! Discussions and lectures will only take you so far, for such emotionally charged events (like competitive sport) practice truly does make perfect! The more opportunity children have to be a good sport, when both winning and losing, the better they will become and winning/losing gracefully and tactfully.

There is so much more I could say on this topic, but I'll stop here before I go off on a tangent. I'll save more for another day!

Enjoy the article!

Brand new Dynamix website!

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

I am very pleased to announce that as of yesterday (July 15, 2009) Dynamix launched its BRAND NEW website!

Our new website comes with a new and improved design, new content, updated resources, a brand new "Kids Zone", and more!!

Be sure to check it out!!!

I am also excited to announce the Dynamix Newsletter: "Get Connected" is now available for registration. Sign-up today to Get Connected and receive great ideas, tips, articles, specials and more! Visit our website and enter your email address in the sign-up window at the bottom right.

Keep on surfin'!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun Fridays: Top 5 Fun Activities to do during the Toronto City Workers Strike!

Written by Adam Kertesz

Now three full work weeks into the strike, there doesn't appear to be an end in sight! I am sure like a lot of us, you are looking for fun things to do with your kids both at home, and at camps and child cares across the city. Well here's my Top 5 things to do that won't be affected by the strike.

5. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention having Dynamix come in to run one of our awesome programs at your home, camp or child care centre! Picture this: eliminate the stress of having to come up with an aleternative program, and now imagine the peace involved in simply having us come in and run a hassle-free, fun and exciting event for your kids!
Phone: 647-477-7615

4. Canada's Wonderland! Does this even need an explanation. Been waiting for that right time to go? Well what better time than now!?
Phone: (905) 832-8131

3. Toronto Zoo- A lot of people actually think that the stike affects the Zoo, but it doesn't! So this summer would be a great opportunity to go see all the elephants, the monkeys, and the lions and tigers and bears (oh my..).
Phone: 416-392-5929

2. Ontario Place- Another venue that a lot of people think is affected by the strike but it's not! It is a slightly cheaper and perhaps more conveniently located theme park than Wonderland. And they have a lot more rides than people realize. Great for all ages!
Phone: 416-314-9900

1. Be creative! Here are some great ideas: Pretend you're a tourist and take the kdis around the city's great sights for a day! Plan a fun scavenger hunt for your kids or the local kids of your neighbourhood. And finally, who needs a city pool when you can get a Slip n Slide!?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Motivational Words From A Truly Inspiring Person, Nick Vujicic

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Here's a little motivation and inspiration for you this Monday morning. Nick Vujicic is an amazing individual who can teach us all an extremely valuable lesson: Be thankful for what you DO have and make the best of it, not bitter for what you DON'T have.

I hope you enjoy this video.

Nick is a man who loves life! You can learn more about him and his experiences by visiting his website at:

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Camp Day at Tim Horton's!

Posted by Adam Kertesz

On a personal note, today is my single favourite fund raising day of the year. It's Tim Horton's Camp Day. For those unfamiliar with it, here's a little description of this awesome day, taken off their website:

What One Cup of Coffee Can Do

Every time a customer buys a coffee at Tim Hortons on Camp Day they will help send close to 14,000 kids - who could otherwise not afford it - on the camping adventure of a lifetime. All children who attend one of the Foundation's six camps are selected from within the communities where Tim Hortons stores are located. Tim Hortons Store Owners work closely with local youth organizations and schools to select children, between the ages of nine and 12, to attend a 10-day summer camp session or seven day winter camp session.

"By purchasing a coffee on Camp Day, our customers give kids, who live in their very own community, an opportunity to experience a camping adventure that will inspire them for years to come," says Bill Moir, President, Tim Horton Children's Foundation. "Together we can continue to foster within thousands of children the quest for a brighter future."

I attended some form of camp (first day camp, then overnight camp) from the age of 6 all the way until I was 24 years old, so you could imagine how close to home this type of initiative is for me. Camp is a truly remarkable experience that without question played the biggest role for me personally in shaping who I am today. Where else do children get the opportunity to play every day with kids their age, and have daily access to such awesome activities like waterskiing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, horseback riding, archery, dance, basketball, soccer, baseball, and hockey (just to name a few!) Some of my closest friends today are friends that I met at camp. It is a place where incredible growth can take for every child that attends, and it is where children can best learn to be independent- a key building block in the character development of a child.

Today is the day where simply buying a coffee can help send kids to camp who otherwise might never have attended. Please take some time out of your day and buy yourself (or the guy behind you!) a coffee. You will be changing a child's life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Help Support an Important Cause (JDRF)

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Today's blog entry is really a call for support...

This is Corey's nephew, James. He was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when he was only 2 years old. He is now a little over 3 and continues to deal with the day to day challenges.

This little boy inspired us, at Dynamix, to make JDRF the youth charity we are raising money and building awareness for this year.

Through the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes we are uniting with communities across Canada to help find a cure for diabetes. This event is our opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of over 240,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes.

As a team we are trying to raise as much money as we possibly can for this great organization. I have set a personal goal to raise $2000.00 before the walk, which takes place on June 14th. It won't be easy to reach my goal, but I'm hoping I can count on everyone's support. There is no minimum to donate and every penny counts!

The organizers have made it very easy to donate, simply click the link below to make your pledge now.

For more information on Juvenile Diabetes, go to the JDRF website to watch a very informative video.

Thank you so much for your generous support!

Feel free to forward this message along to your generous friends!! Together we can all make a difference.

All the best,

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fun Fridays- Ep. 6- RECESS!!

Posted by Adam Kertesz

This week's Fun Friday is an interactive one. Next week I plan to write a bit about recess and the sad reality that the games we all grew up playing are slowly being banned in schoolyards across North America.

So for now, I want to hear from you. What was your favourite game you playted at recess when you were a kid? If you are a kid, share with us what your favourite game is that you play these days! Just click on 'Comment' below to post your replies!

And then stay tuned for next week's blog about all things recess, including (spoiler and shameless plug alert!) Dynamix's brand new Recess Success program!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fun Fridays Ep. 5- Teambuilding for....squirrels?

Posted by Adam Kertesz

Check out this great video of a big adult squirrel helping a small baby squirrel, until eventually a few humans help out too! It's a little over 5 minutes long but well worth watching! (by the way, if 5 minutes is too much time for you to take out of your day, especially on a Friday afternoon, well, step back, take a deep breath, that work will still be there on Monday.. And when you're done watching the video, get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather...)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Fridays-Ep. 4- Victoria Day Weekend FIREWORKS!

Posted by Adam Kertesz

Looking to take the kids to see some fireworks on this beautiful long weekend? Well if you're like me and you had no idea they even did fireworks on Victoria Day Weekend, I'd like to help you out by suggesting a few places to check out (in Toronto):

The following is pulled directly from this site.

Victoria Day Fireworks

Free Fireworks Display at Ashbridges Bay Grab a blanket and head down to the Beaches on Monday May 18th to enjoy a free fireworks display that should start after 9:30pm. Of course if you head down earlier in the day you can stroll the shops and boardwalk and make sure you get a great spot to watch from. Just remember it will be cooler by the water, so dress appropriately and bring something comfy to sit on.
Fireworks at Ontario Place Victoria Day Weekend is also opening weekend at Ontario Place. The park will open at 10am all three days of the long weekend, closing at 6pm on Saturday and Monday. But on Sunday May 17th the park will stay open until 10pm so you can enjoy fireworks in the evening, beginning at 9:30pm. Of course, you can also just get near Ontario Place and keep your eyes on the sky.
Jubilee Queen Cruises - Fireworks Cruise If you'd rather see the fireworks from the water, Jubilee Queen Cruises offers a special evening cruise on the Victoria Day Weekend that also includes dinner and dancing. [/p
Fireworks at Canada's Wonderland Weather permitting, the giant theme park just north of Toronto will be putting on a fireworks display on Sunday May 17th at 10pm. Regular admission applies, so of course you'll want to get your money's worth and go much earlier in the day to enjoy the rides and entertainment too.

(And for all you history buffs out there, read all about the history of Victoria Day here.)

Have a great LONG weekend everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why do teambuilding with kids?!

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

It shocks me sometimes how "teambuilding" has become common place in the corporate world, yet teambuilding for kids isn't even on most people's radar.

I often read articles and commentaries online about teambuilding. Interestingly enough, it is extremely rare that I read a commentary on 'teambuilding' that actually includes "Teambuilding for Kids". Teambuilding has been a buzz word in the corporate world for so long now that it has almost lost its meaning! Golf tournaments, laser tag, paint ball, DJs, etc. all claim to offer 'teambuilding' for corporations. While it's great to participate in social activities to strengthen the bond and connection of your team, that is only part of the recipe. Where is the opportunity for real reflection, growth, and team improvement. (Ok, I'm going off on a tangent here, I'll get back to the topic at hand!)

To me, and my peers at Dynamix, we feel that teambuilding for kids is where it should all begin. Like any other skill, practice makes perfect. If I want to improve my ability to throw a basketball in a basketball net (and anyone who has played basketball with me recently knows that I definitely want to improve in this area), then I need to practice. And truth be told, starting to practice a young age would definitely help. Well, same goes for my ability to work within a team, or my ability to be a peaceful and productive member of my community.

The beauty of starting teambuilding at a young age is that not only will it provide its participants with the opportunity to develop trust and build their level of confidence, but it also allows its participants to develop appropriate leadership, decision making and conflict resolution skills. Too often we see adults taking the lead, making the decisions and resolving conflicts for their students/children. How great would it be if we could trust our children to do these things for themselves?! Well if that is truly what we want, we need to provide them with the opportunity to build and practice these skills somewhere!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun Fridays- Episode 3- Mother's Day Edition!

Written by Adam Kertesz
In honour of Mother's Day this Sunday (and for those that forgot, you're welcome for the reminder), I've decided to put together a Top 10 list. But not just any Top 10 list. I am fusing my love for mothers, with my love for TV with....drum roll please....

My Top 10 TV Mothers of All Time
(Disclaimer: This is a subjective, personal favourite list.)

10. Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls

9. Carol Brady, The Brady Bunch

8. Elyse Keaton, Family Ties

7. Maggie Seaver, Growing Pains

6. Marge Simpson, The Simpsons

5. Debra Ramone, Everybody Loves Raymond

4. Jill Taylor, Home Improvement

. Estelle Costanza, Seinfeld

2. Claire Huxtable, The Cosby Show

and my all time favourite TV Mom.......

1. Cindy Walsh, Beverly Hills 90210

Do you agree with my list? Am I missing anyone? Comment below!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Teaching Tips for Finishing the Year...

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) have posted this great article on their website providing tips for teachers to finish off the school year.

While the content is written with Math teachers in mind it can definitely be applied to any subject.

Good luck with the rest of your school year!

Make today a McHappy Day!

posted by Adam Kertesz

It's pretty rare these days to see something positive written about our old friend, McDonalds (ok, except for that awesome Free Coffee campaign they just wrapped up..). But lets be honest, deep down we all still have that special place in our heart for those delicious fries and their "why does this look so bad but taste so good?" burgers?

Well if you've been planning to sneak in a McDonalds meal lately, TODAY would be the day to go. McDonalds is holding their annual McHappy Day, where $1.00 from every purchase of either a Big Mac, McMuffin or Happy Meal will go towards helping local children's charities.

According to this page on the McDonalds website,
"Since McHappy Day was introduced in 1977, this unique, national one-day fundraising event has raised more than $25.9 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Canada, the Canadian Ronald McDonald House® Program and local children's charities across Canada."

So go treat yourself to McDonalds today! You'll be 'Mchappy' you did...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Music Monday!

written by: Lauren Viner

This afternoon at 1pm eastern time thousands of students across Canada will go outside and sing their hearts out in support of Music Monday and to promote awareness for music education across the country. I heard about this event last week as I was on my way to work. The Coalition for Music Education has teamed up with CBC Radio and Serena Ryder. Over 700 000 students will be joining together to sing Ryder's song "Sing Sing". I thought to myself, what a fantastic way to spread awareness for the importance of musical education.

Throughout my childhood in Ottawa I loved my school's music programs. I was involved in the choir throughout grade school and played several instruments in middle school and high school. I remember hearing that part of the music program had been cut 2 years before I got to high school and I was extremely disappointed I would never be able to learn a string instrument. Over the years it has been a common topic throughout schools and education boards to cut music programs and put the money toward other aspects of school life. For any school to lose their music program would be a great loss. As a teenager, I remember thinking that had it not been for my music program I would never had made it through high school. I gained a lot of confidence in myself when asked to play a solo in front of a large audience. All of my friends were also involved in the music program. It was a way for us to participate in the school without being on sports teams or student council. It was a chance to become connected to others with similar interests. You could shine with a solo or feel like an integral part of a group that make many sounds come together in a beautiful piece of music.

I am proud to know that I am an alumni of 2 schools that are participating in Music Monday. I encourage all of you to get involved, help promote music education across Canada and get outside at 1pm today to hear the sounds of children's voices telling us to SING SING!

For more information on Music Monday and The Coalition for Music Education, visit their website at

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fun Fridays-Episode 2

Written by Adam Kertesz

Today is meant to be more 'inspirational' than fun. But you could have fun doing what I'm about to suggest.

Earlier today I attended a Memorial Service for a woman who tragically and suddenly passed away last week. Many of you may know her as the Executive Director of Centered on Children Childcare- Sue Frame. I learnt many incredible things about Sue, as she seems to have touched a lot of lives in a positive way. There is one thing that I thought really stood out for me and I want to pass it on.

Every Friday, Sue had a tradition. She would pick up Tim Hortons for herself at the drive through, and after paying, she'd say to the cashier, "And now I'd like to pay for the guy behind me". From what her friends and family said today, this seems to be the kind of woman Sue was-loved doing random acts of kindness. One day she got to the cashier and when she told them she wants to pay for the guy behind her, she was told "No problem, that'll be $10.99". Not what she was expecting, but she still paid it....

I loved this story and it is something I plan to try to do myself. There are so many times we wish we had more time and more money to help those around us. Often all we end up coming up with is more excuses. Well here's something to try that is so simple.."Pay for the guy behind you".

Have a great weekend everyone!

What can your school do about Swine Flu?

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

As the number of confirmed cases of the swine flu continues to grow worldwide, panic is beginning to set in. And while our children/students may not have a complete understanding of what is going on, they will definitely be effected by the fear they see and the things they hear and read in the media. It is imperative that we educate our students about what is really going on, so that their concerns aren't based solely in fear. While it is definitely cause for concern, there are precautionary measure we can adopt at a time like this.

According to Becky Smith, PhD., executive director of American Association for Health Education:
“The swine flu outbreak is an important school health concern as children and youth in close quarters tend to spread illness very quickly through sneezing, coughing and sharing books, toys and other things.”

So what can your school do to help prevent the spread of these germs??? has written this helpful article that outlines 7 actions schools can take to limit the spread of germs. They've even included some interesting lesson plans so that you can involve you students in the process.

For everyone's safety, it becomes even more important than ever that we pay attention to detail and respond appropriately, without panic.

Good luck and be safe!

Monday, April 27, 2009

How to plan a great School Carnival

posted by Mitch Zeltzer

Planning a School Carnival?
Here are some things to consider...

I guess before we cover the tips on how to plan a great school carnival we must first establish why we should even have a school carnival in the first place! Here are some of my favourite reasons:

  • Because your students deserve it!
  • Builds a sense of community
  • Can be a great fundraiser (if you involve parents)
  • Enhances school spirit
  • Why sit inside all day?!
  • Allows both students and staff to de-stress after a long school year

So now that you undoubtedly want to have a school carnival, what do you need to consider/do?

  1. Budget & Time: In our experience working with schools on Carnivals, we know that the two hardest resources to come by are ‘budget’ and ‘time’. So, before anything else it is critical to consider how much money you have available to put toward your school carnival and how much time you can comfortably take away from academic time.
  2. Pick a date: This seems like an easy task, in theory, but in reality can be quite complicated. Don’t forget to consider field trips, assembly, fundraiser events, exams, and PD Days that are already scheduled. Make sure you refer to your school’s master schedule before you call your vendors.
  3. Location: Most schools we work with prefer to have their school carnival take place at/outside their school. This is generally the most cost-effective way of doing things. If you are planning to host your carnival outside your school, make sure to have a rainy day plan ready to go. We’ve seen it happen too many times where weeks of hard work and planning are out the window the second a dark rainy cloud decides to join the carnival! If you are thinking about another location for your school carnival, be sure to consider size, capacity, exclusivity, opening / closing times, time it will take to get to the location, and cost of transportation.
  4. Food & Drinks: A nourished child who is sufficiently hydrated is ready to have fun! Make sure the children have their heads covered, sun-screen on and a water bottle in hand!
  5. Entertainment: Now that everything else is taken care of, what are you going to do with your students?! The best tip we can give you here is to keep your students occupied with something active, exciting, and unique, with little down time. If you are looking for some great entertainment, feel free to call your local Dynamix office to learn about our unforgettable carnival experiences. Our philosophy for Carnival Days is “You have all the fun, we do all the work!” Visit us at to get the appropriate contact information for your area.
  6. HAVE FUN: Organize your day so that the teachers of your school can also enjoy the day! If the educators are having fun, so will the students, that’s almost guaranteed!!

Good Luck with your school carnival!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fun Fridays- Episode 1

Written by Adam Kertesz

I'm back. It has been a long time since I've written on the blog and I apologize to all my fans (once again, hi mom!). I vow to contribute to this awesome blog on a much more regular basis. And one way I plan to do that is to start a new little feature here, called Fun Fridays.

This blog is meant to teach, inform, discuss, promote, provoke, initiate, entertain, and bring our community together as we share a similar passion for the future of our world. As you'll notice from the wide variety of topics so far, we try and cover pretty much anything and everything that has to do with kids. As you might have guessed from the title of the post, this weekly post, will be purely fun. Fun facts. A fun story. A fun idea for the weekend. A fun picture. Maybe even a fun game. Each week will be something different.

If you have something fun that you want to share with our community, send it over and it could be a future Fun Fridays post! It could be anything. As long as you don't walk away (or click away) saying 'Aww that's sad'. I'm going more for 'Cute story' or 'Sounds fun!', or 'Heh, never knew that before'. Things like that.
Make sense? Ok let's get started...

For Episode 1, I just want to share a fun, light story with everyone. What I like about it is that it involves one of my childhood heroes, Shaquille O'neal. If Shaq is part of the story, you know it's a fun one.
Here's the link: At Scrabble Championship, It's All About The Q

In short? This weekend in Providence, Rhode Island there is a 2 on 2 Scrabble Tournmanet for kids in Grades 5-8. First prize is $10,000 and the team that comes up with the best word that has the letter 'Q' gets a Shaq jersey!

First of all, 2 on 2 Scrabble..awesome. As a teambuilder, I love the fact they've found a way to turn a game like Scrabble into a team game because as the article mentions, it "also encourages cooperation and reduces pressure on individual players."

Second, Shaq actually wrote a great letter to this weekend's players:
"The competitors, he says, are "showing kids everywhere that it's cool to be smart and use your brain. That it's possible to win money, appear on television and have fun in all kinds of ways."
(President Obama also wrote a letter, but come on.. its Shaq!)

Why Shaq's interest in a Scrabble tournament? Who knows, but maybe because of this funny ESPN commercial.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

[video] Sirdeaner Walker's Mission to Stop Bullying...

posted by Mitch Zeltzer

On April 6, Sirdeaner Walker's 11-year-old son, Carl, took his own life. She believes that it was a result of constant bullying at Carl's school. Below you will find a video clip of her appearance on Ellen, where she tells her tragic story. Let's all join Sirdeaner's quest, in her efforts to prevent tragedies like this in the future, by educating our youth to become peaceful members of their community. (click here to learn about Dynamix's Peace Makers Workshop)

For more information, commentary and resources, visit

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ten Actions to Help Eliminate Bullying...

Written by: Mitch Zeltzer

According to
"The latest research shows that more than half of all children are, at least on occasion, directly involved in bullying as a perpetrator, victim, or both. And many of those who are not directly involved witness others being bullied on a regular basis. No child is immune - kids of every race, gender, grade and socio-economic sector are impacted. But it doesn’t have to be this way."

The link provided below will bring you to's top ten actions ALL parents can take to help address bullying with details on each item:

Here is the short version of's list:
  1. Talk with and listen to your kids - everyday.
  2. Spend time at school and recess.
  3. Be a good example of kindness and leadership.
  4. Learn the signs.
  5. Create healthy anti-bullying habits early.
  6. Help your child’s school address bullying effectively.
  7. Establish household rules about bullying.
  8. Teach your child how to be a good witness.
  9. Teach your child about cyberbullying.
  10. Spread the word that bullying should not be a normal part of childhood.
There are some great ideas there that are easy to implement. As mentioned before, click on the link provided above for more details any each of these suggestions.

Good luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Positive Reinforcements with a Twist!

written by: Mitch Zeltzer

You just never know where your greatest lessons are going to come from. More often then not, I find myself learning amazing skills when I least expect it! Here's a great example of how I learned a new way to use Positive Reinforcements:

I should warn you that I have forgotten many of the details of this story, but the important stuff stuck, and I think it's valuable enough to share with you.

It was over five years ago, I was at a school in Rosemere, Quebec (approx. 25 minutes north of Montreal). I was there to run a workshop, to promote the importance of fair play and good sportsmanship, for their Grade 3-4 students. We were scheduled to use the gymnasium for our workshop. When I arrived at the school the Phys. Ed. teacher (I wish I could remember his name to give him full credit!) was still in the gym finishing things up with his Kindergarten class, he was teaching them how to do cartwheels. So I stayed off to the side of the gym and began setting up my equipment for the afternoon.

When I was finished setting up my equipment, I sat on a bench waiting while the Phys Ed teacher finished off the last 10 minutes of his class. This is when I saw something great! At this point, the teacher had all the children come sit in a circle in the center of the gym and said: "Now we are going to have the chance to see some of you do some excellent cartwheels for us." Ok, this is normal, but stay tuned, this is where the magic happened. He continued: "Did anyone see someone else do an excellent cartwheel and want to ask them to show the class their fantastic cartwheel?"

How great is that?! Instead of asking for volunteers he asked for his students to recognize and nominate their peers for their tremendous efforts/accomplishments/abilities. It's so simple, it takes no time out of your day, but in the end it has a huge impact on the children. Instead of asking for volunteers and giving an insincere round of applause as a class, this clever teacher found a way to get his youngsters to give each other positive reinforcements. Incredibly positive and unbelievably effective!

I was just setting up equipment, I never imagined that I would leave that gym with a new skill that I would have for life. This happened over 5 years ago and I still use this technique to date. Keep your antennas up and always be on the lookout for your lessons.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A fun, educational game...

posted by: Mitch Zeltzer

Here's a fun, educational game for you to play with your students/children. Enjoy!

GAME: Crazy Categories

Materials: 1 object/item (can be almost anything that you can pass around a circle)

Description: In this elimination-style game, the goal is to be the last player remaining. To begin the game you pick a category, for example: Cities. Once the round begins, the first player, the one holding the object must say a city, and then he/she must pass the object to the next player in the circle. The next player says a different city and passes the object along. A player is eliminated if he/she:

  • Repeats something that was already said
  • Hesitates too long
  • Says something that is incorrect (e.g. says a country instead of a city)

When a player is eliminated he/she backs out of the circle slightly, and he/she gets the honour of picking the next category.

Hint #1: With a little creativity, this game can be adapted to almost any subject! Use it for Geography, history, vocabulary words, or even just for fun with pop-culture topics!

Hint #2: If you have fun your student will also have fun!

(That is the best way to learn after all!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

[video] Can Today's Generation Change the World?

posted by Mitch Zeltzer

Yesterday morning Lauren sent me a fantastic video from YouTube. Watch the video to see what today's generation thinks about the world they live in. Enjoy!