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!