January’s TRY THIS!

1. Create a new sport for the Olympics

Use SCAMPER to convert an existing Olympic sport into a new one.It might be helpful to start by brainstorming all of the winter Olympic sports you can think of. Then go through the steps of SCAMPER to see what you can come up with.

2. Olympic Questions / Ideas

  • Name ten things that cannot be timed with a stopwatch.
  • How many ways can you make snow?
  • Predict what the Olympic Games will be like in 50 years.
  • List new and unusual uses for an Olympic medal.
  • The answer is athlete. What is the question? ( Have students come up with some of their own similar answers / questions. )
  • Outcome / Reason: The coach ran from the arena before the hockey game was over. What was the reason?
  • What if skates, skis, and snowboards did not exist? (Have students come up with their own “What if” questions.)

3. Improve School

While school is pretty awesome already, there’s always room for improvement. How might you make school or your classroom better? Try creating a T-chart for the parts you like and and the areas you’d like to improve upon. Using SCAMPER, how might you improve upon school? In the end, justify your changes. Why is your version better than the original?

4. Eighth Day of the Week

Have you ever heard someone say, “There are not enough days in the week?” If so, someone is probably commenting on the fact that there is not enough time to do what they want to do, or need to do.

Encourage students to use their imaginations to solve this problem. Pretending there are indeed eight days in the week. This new day would come after Sunday and before Monday.

5. Olympic Values Education Programme

The Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) is a series of free and accessible teaching resources that have been created by the IOC. Click here.


Created with Melissa Reist


Rethinking Giftedness: A YouCubed Video

I think this video is important to show to all “gifted” children and their guardians.

What does it mean to have that label? How can this label hold children back from growing and succeeding?

Find out here:

From YouCubed:

We decided to work with Citizen Film to make this short film after many years of my being a professor at Stanford and hearing from students about the labels they had received growing up. Many of the students had been labelled as “gifted” or “smart,” when they were in school, and these labels, intended to be positive, had given them learning challenges later in life. Most people realize that it is harmful to not be labelled as gifted when others are. The labelling of some students sends negative messages about potential, that are out of synch with important knowledge of neuroplasticity showing that everyone’s brains can grow and change. But few people realize that those labels are damaging for those who receive them too. At Stanford many students were labelled as gifted in Kindergarten or 1st grade and received special advantages from that point on, raising many questions about equity in schools. But labels and ideas of smartness and giftedness carry with them fixed ideas about ability, suggesting to students that they are born with a gift or a special brain. When students are led to believe they are gifted, or they have a “math brain” or they are “smart” and later struggle, that struggle is absolutely devastating. Students who grow up thinking that they have a special brain often drop out of STEM subjects when they struggle. At that time students start to believe they were not, after all, gifted, or that the gift has “run out” as one of the students in our film reflects.

Cambridge Youth Resources from IdeaExchange

Idea Exchange, (formerly Cambridge Libraries and Galleries,) supports and inspires the Cambridge, Ontario community in the exploration of reading, arts, innovation and learning, and would like to connect with WRDSB Cambridge schools to share information about relevant programming:

Cambridge Youth Friendly Committee Parent Flyer for Secondary Schools


Learn|Create Flyer for Elementary & Secondary Schools: Art + Science/Tech Workshop ($5 per student)


Learn Together Flyer for Secondary Schools: MagnusCards Life Skills Workshop (Free)


For more information, please contact:

Kay Nadalin
Publicity & Promotions Assistant
Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square
1 North Square, Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6
519.621.0460 x119
[ mailto:knadalin@ideaexchange.org ]knadalin@ideaexchange.org

AERO: Alternative Education Resources for Ontario


AERO is a web-based digital repository operated by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The mandate of AERO is to provide alternate format text to students with perceptual disabilities who attend publicly funded educational institutions in Ontario. AERO enables students with perceptual disabilities to access educational materials in a format they require and in a timely manner. For example, a student with vision impairment can have their textbooks converted to Braille.

Production has also started for the new braille code, the United English Braille (UEB) code in both grade 1 and grade 2 braille. To locate the titles we have produced in this medium, select the medium UEB gr 1 or gr 2, select a subject, i.e. mathematics then search. This search will display the math titles produced for this medium.

AERO has produced titles from the popular Forest of Reading 2015 list. To browse what titles we have, in the title field type Forest of Reading and leave all other fields blank. This search will show the titles available and their mediums.
To learn more about AERO services and the formats available, please visit About Us