Teachers on Call

Archive for April, 2015

Celebrating Reading – Children’s Book Swap @ Evergreen Brick Works

Children's Book Swap

Spring is a wonderful time to mix up your child’s bookshelf to continue to build their love of reading.  However, we know that purchasing new books can be costly for families.

That is why we are thrilled to support and promote Evergreen Brick Works Children’s Book Swap this Sunday from 10am-2pm.   Families will have the opportunity to swap and share their children’s books and get the opportunity to read different and unique stories.   Book donations are also welcome in advance.

“A book swap is a fun and rewarding way for children to discover new stories and adventures. Curious George and the Lorax provide the stories that spark wonder in the children, while the books themselves introduce children to the value of community sharing and to the lifecycle of goods.”  – Michelle Bourbon, Evergreen Brick Works Project Manager

For further event details and swapping guidelines, please visit: http://www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/event-details/11388

Posted in: Community, English Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

Children’s Educational TV – Our 80s Favourites


With healthy viewing habits, appropriate supervision and limited screen time, watching educational TV can have benefits for children over the age of 2.  Research shows that children:

  • Learn a variety of subjects
  • Explore and see new places they might not otherwise observe
  • Develop skills such as letter and sound recognition
  • Improve literacy skills and interests

Today there are a number of wonderful educational shows for kids of all ages including: Disney Jr., Sesame Street, Wallykazam and Sid the Science Kid.

But back in the 80s, the idea of children’s programming was definitely in its early stages.   We are taking a step back in time to highlight two of our favourites: Today’s Special and the Polka Dot Door.

Today’s Special

Filmed at Simpsons department store (today The Bay at Queen & Yonge), the show featured four main characters: Jeff (mannequin), Jodie (store display designer), Sam Crenshaw (puppet and store security guard) and Muffy the Mouse.   Each night the department store would come to life, where the characters would spend the show teaching or singing about various subjects and issues.   Some episodes also included special outside characters and celebrities.

Polka Dot Door

For over 20 years, the Polka Dot Door taught children lessons about specific themes through “songs, stores and so much more.”    Lead by its two hosts, the show took place inside a giant playhouse with a polka-dotted front door.  Towards the end of the show, legendary character Polkaroo would drop by to visit with the male host constantly missing him…

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

Leave a Comment (0) →

Making Art Fun @ the AGO

AGO Family Sundays

The Art Gallery of Ontario, hosts a number of wonderful activities that make art fun for children of all ages in the Weston Family Learning Centre.

Friday Play Dates: Creative Story Time

Every Friday at 11AM in the Hands-On-Centre there are activities and fun for children of all ages.  For younger children, storytime is a unique and playful way to listen to their favourite stories.  For older children, there are opportunities to explore, participate in arts & crafts and check out the costumes.

Family Sundays

We are thrilled that Family Sundays are back at the AGO from 1 to 4PM.    Join the team at the AGO for fun filled afternoons for children (and adults) all ages to play and learn with various arts activities that change monthly.

Over the course of the next couple of months, don’t miss:

April: Yarn Bombing and Knitting and More! – Learn all about “yarn bombing” through weaving, arm knitting, chocheting, wrapping and stringing yarn.

May: From the Forest to the Sea – Explore the wonderful art of Emily Carr


Both programs are included in a general admission ticket. To learn more about the numerous children and family activities at the AGO, click here: http://www.ago.net/children

Posted in: Community

Leave a Comment (0) →

2015 Rainbow Caterpillar Multilingual Kid Lit Award

Rainbow Caterpillar Kid Lit Award

Submissions are currently being accepted for the fourth annual Rainbow Caterpillar Multilingual Kid Lit Award. The Award is a writing competition that aims to support writing excellence in a mother language.

Competition: Awarded to the best short story for children written in a language other than English or French.  Aboriginal and regional languages are welcome.  Complete submission guidelines are available online at www.rainbowcaterpillar.ca/kid-lit-award.html.

Submissions Due Date: Friday May 1st, 2015

“We are now in our fourth year and we are very proud of all the writers who have the dedication and make the effort to write in their mother language,” says Happie Testa, Award’s co-founder with Hanoosh Abbasi. “This year we are making a special effort to encourage submissions in aboriginal as well as regional languages spoken right across Canada, from Skwomesh to Gaelic to Furlan.”

The stories will be judged by language experts and the finalist entries will be judged by children’s publishing industry experts such as children’s writers, librarians, teachers, publishers, etc. The winning story will receive the Rainbow Caterpillar Kid Lit Award in the amount of $750 as well as an Associate Membership to the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP). Other deserving submissions will be recognized with an Honourable Mention.

Posted in: Community

Leave a Comment (0) →

Springboard Clinic’s “TED-STYLE” Talk

Springboard Clinic

The Springboard Clinic hosted a jam-packed evening on February 5th. After opening remarks by Dr. Ainslie Gray, the event showcased 10 minute- “TED-style” talks, where the speakers shared stories of hope, debunked myths, and most uniquely, some innovative brain research that we found both empowering and helpful in understanding “why we all do what we do!” We have shared two of the talks which we think you will find uplifting and innovative!

Dr. Anne Bailey takes brain science and simplifies it in a way that is both inspiring and thought provoking:

Laura MacNiven explains ADHD, learning differences, with a focus on how to move forward and find hope and help:


Posted in: Special Education Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

TIFF Kids International Film Festival: Inspiring Dreams

TIFF Kids International Film Festival

The world class TIFF Kids International Film Festival is once again taking place from April 7 – 19.   With over 100 films from close to 40 countries, there is something for everyone.  Don’t miss the exciting premium movies, free on-site activities, digiPlaySpace and Opening Night Film and Party.

Aside from these wonderful films and activities, we wanted to highlight an incredible TIFF initiative that helps inspire children to develop a knowledge and love for film and perhaps be a future People’s Choice Award winner.

Pocket Fund

Pocket Fund is a subsidy initiative created to ensure that children from all circumstances have the opportunity to enjoy the educational and cultural experiences offered through TIFF.  Last year, donations from film lovers and TIFF members helped children in under-served communities experience the Kids International Film Festival, learning programmes, camps, and family-friendly screenings.

To learn more about the Pocket Fund click on the video below:

Posted in: Community

Leave a Comment (0) →