Teachers on Call

Archive for March, 2015

Holiday Time is History Time

The upcoming holiday weekend is a wonderful time for families to spend time together and celebrate their traditions.

It is also a great time for parents and family members to teach children not only their history, but the history of other cultures and groups as well. What we learn in history is not only important in school, but it can also help students apply those lessons into current world events and everyday life.

Here are some helpful tips, tricks and activities for any child to learn and absorb history:

1) Make It Real: Bringing a historical event into the real world, can help connect the event with the real world.  Some ideas include: visiting a historical site, taking a trip to a museum and listening to a speech from someone who was first hand involved with the event.

2) Connect Your Ideas:  Following a chronological order with your ideas and notes is helpful to ensure facts link together.  If you are able to group your chronological notes by topic, but can be even more helpful.   If there are multiple topics, many people find mind maps helpful to gather and summarize all your connecting ideas into one picture that illustrates how connecting items fit together.

3) Flashcards: Learning History can often involve remembering key dates and events.    Utilizing flashcards on a repeated basis can be an excellent tool to test your retention of these facts.   With educational technology flashcards no longer need to be on paper.  Cram, Quizlet and Studyblue are three recommend flashcard and study apps.

Posted in: History Tutoring

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Integra Workshop Series – Spring 2015

The Child Development Institute’s Integra Program is proud to present the following spring workshops primarily designed for parents/ caregivers of children with LDs.

Walk a Mile in my Shoes: Language-Based LDs (Thurs. April 16)

This experiential workshop is designed to give participants an understanding of what it may feel like to have LDs through engaging in a series of activities. Participants will gain knowledge about current thinking in the field of language-based LDs and a practical understanding of how they may affect mental health and everyday life at home and at school.

Walk a Mile in my Shoes: Visual-Based LDs (Wed. April 29)
This workshop will use a similar format to the above session with a focus on visual-based LDs.

Introduction to Executive Functioning (Wed. May 6)
This presentation provides participants with an understanding of the nature of executive functioning (higher order thinking skills including organization and problem-solving) and difficulties children with LDs may have in regulating themselves. Suggestions on how to support kids with executive function difficulties will be introduced.

Understanding Anxiety and Learning Disabilities (Wed. May 27)
In this introductory workshop, participants will gain an understanding of anxiety, when to be concerned, approaches to treatment, and the relationship between anxiety and LDs.

Managing Change and Times of Transition with Children/Youth with LDs (Wed. June 3)
This workshop looks at possible stressors related to change and transitions for kids with LDs, including changes in classrooms, teachers or schools. We will explore strategies to help ease tensions and to prepare individuals and systems to respond and to accommodate to change.

To register or see more details on the Integra Workshop Series, click here: http://www.childdevelop.ca/programs/integra-program/about-workshops


Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Supporting North Toronto Soccer

We believe strongly in supporting the community around us.   Whether it is with educational initiatives,  The Corsage Project or other local activities, supporting the Toronto community is key part of what we do.

That is why we are excited to sponsor North Toronto Soccer for a second year in a row.  Last year, we were so pleased to see how much fun, teamwork and success Team Greece had on and off the field.   Sports is also an important part of a child’s growth and development and can help with skills such as sportsmanship, interacting with friends and building a sense of responsibility.

With the season close to a month away, we already have our first fan from the North Toronto Soccer office, Elaine.

We look forward to seeing you on the Eglinton Park field in early May!


Posted in: Community

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Celebrating 30 Years of Tutoring

Our story began 30 years ago, founded on the belief that every child deserves the chance to maximize their learning experiences. While working as a special education teacher and department head in the Toronto District School Board, Rhona Sallay identified the need for additional support at home. Outside the classroom, she experienced as a parent the challenges that come with tutoring your own children. With a strong desire to support students and their families, Teachers on Call was born.

Much has changed in the education world since our start in 1984. With a handful of tutors on our team, the requests we received were initially for high-school students who needed remedial help. Over the last three decades we have seen academic needs evolve to include literacy and numeracy enrichment for elementary students, specialty support for French Immersion, International Baccalaureate, study and organizational skills in all grades.

Almost five years ago, our family business grew to include Rhona’s daughter Joanne. It was quite symbolic as she was one of Teachers on Call’s first students. In our anniversary year, many of our alumni have reached out to us to share their academic and professional success stories. We learned that past students achieved marks they never thought possible, graduated from competitive post secondary programs, and entered meaningful careers and professions. It makes us proud to learn we played a role in our graduates achieving their goals in school and in life.

Thank you to our incredible team of tutors, partners, and supportive families. This milestone would not have been possible without the special people who have helped us along the way.

Here’s to 30 more years of learning that lasts a lifetime.

Posted in: Community

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March Break Visit to Oaks ‘n Acorns

In the spirit of March break, we took an educational field trip to the Toronto Danforth this week. Famous for Greek cuisine, it is also home to oaks n’ acorns – an activity studio for children and the grown-ups who love them. This unique space is the brainchild of Winnie Standish and Nicole Patel. Two mompreneurs who understand first-hand the challenges parents face finding fun that fits into tricky routines. Their idea was to create a one-stop-shop that caters to everyone.

Although stay ‘n play cafés are growing in popularity across Canada, what makes this location unique is that it hosts classes, camps and special events.  Unique programming includes baby sign language, Jumpin’ Jukebox and Lil’ Fairytale Ballet – just to name a few.  There is truly something for everyone.  Looking to get into shape? Try the Muscle up Mom and Baby class offered by Careerfit Mom.

Oaks n’ acorns just celebrated their second birthday and have a second location on the way.  If you are looking for one-stop educational fun, you now know where to go!

Posted in: Community

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Transitioning to Kindergarten

The transition to kindergarten can be a challenging time for children, parents and caregivers.  Your child will be in a brand new environment with a new teacher, students and daily routine.

Starting in advance during the pre-kindergarten year is the perfect time for your family to ensure a successful and smooth transition to kindergarten.    It also will also benefit your daughter or son with improved self-confidence, relations with their teachers and other students and comfort adapting to new situations.

Below are some helpful tips for parents and children to prepare for a successful kindergarten transition:

Get Comfortable with the School:

  • Tour the school during the pre-kindergarten year and during the summer
  • Drive past the school several months in advance
  • Attend any open houses or curriculum nights

Building a Routine and Sense of Comfort:

  • Playing in groups is a key part of kindergarten.   Any exposure to group activities through play dates, music class, gymnastics or other programs is a great way for children to get comfortable playing in groups
  • Start developing a routine in advance including getting ready in the morning and their interaction with their teacher and other students

Educational Activities:

  • Math:  Create fun number counting activities around the house or during car rides
  • Science:  During meal time or at the grocery store, chat about the different types of food
  • Reading:   A consistent story time is a great way for your child to love reading.  There are many books geared towards starting kindergarten, which may be beneficial.
  • Other:  Arts and crafts projects are a great way to get used to the supplies they’ll use in kindergarten


  • What forms do I need to fill out?
  • How will we deal with transportation to and from school
  • What are the school policies? (ie. snacks & lunches)
  • Organize school items with labels.  Mabels Labels sells excellent products.
  • Share any activities with your child’s teacher that excite or frustrate your child
  • Reviewing yearly calendar with key school dates and events

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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