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Web Series: OISE Stay At Home Club

OISE Alumni & Friends Leadership Series

In a time of social distancing, it can feel challenging and isolating to come up with fresh ideas for teaching and entertaining children at home.

Playgrounds, libraries and museums may be closed – but OISE's got your back. The OISE Stay At Home Club is a Twitter Live series that features alumni and friends of the Institute leading interactive lessons for children and adults alike. No account necessary to watch the episodes.


We want to keep the learning experience thriving during COVID-19 – and our communities connected. Each lesson is designed to make staying home both fun and educational.

Tune in to episodes from our award-winning series below!

Watch episodes on demand

Nadia's sneak peek read-along


Experience the magic of Caribbean Carnival with author/educator Nadia L. Hohn! Her award-winning Malaika children's book series, written in Caribbean patois, follows seven-year-old Malaika as she navigates new experiences. Get a sneak-peek into one of Nadia’s beautifully illustrated stories and join in a celebration of Carnival with books, music, and dance! Watch the episode.

Bits and bobs: Anthonia's play-based pathway


Let’s talk about play and play-based learning approaches in kindergarten! In this episode, OISE teaching student Anthonia Ikemeh shares how you can use loose parts and manipulative tools to encourage engagement and participation in kindergarten learning activities.

She also gives ideas for co-creating inquiry-based learning centres with students to promote their creativity and curiosity, and strategies for creating inclusive classrooms and enhancing socio-emotional development in young children. Watch the episode.

Isabella gamifies your classroom


Gamification is all about transforming the classroom environment and learning activities into a game that requires creativity and collaboration! In this episode, Isabella Liu shows teachers how to leverage Google Slides to create boardgames for students to practice their content knowledge. Watch the episode

Janet’s sustainable parking spot paradise

  For decades cities have favoured cement over greenery, largely because it’s cheap and requires little maintenance. But there are many environmental benefits to turning your driveway or cement walkway into a greenway! Janet Joy Wilson, a volunteer at the David Suzuki Butterflyway Project, shows you how to transform concrete urban spaces like parking lots into a sustainable paradise, complete with native plants for pollinators and more! Watch the episode

Stephanie's world of musical theatre

  Musical theatre is not simply singing, dancing and acting. It is a beautiful symbiosis of art forms coming together to tell a story — and, it is a creative and liberating outlet for children to express their ideas and emotions.

In this episode, student Stephanie Conte demos a musical theatre performance for kids, and explains how this art form can instill confidence in children. Watch the episode

Athena's high-tech teaching lab

  OISE student Athena Tassis walks you through some new applications to help you introduce children to STEM in fun and engaging ways. With tools like MakeyMakey, Tinkercad and Ozobot, you'll have your students on the edge of their seats! Watch the episode

Stephanie pulls the strands of Black stories

  Join alum and passionate teacher Stephanie Duff as she reads "Me and My Hair" — her book about a young Black girl’s journey to self acceptance and empowerment. Drawing from stories showcasing the bravery of Black Canadians, Stephanie will discuss why standing up for ourselves is difficult yet necessary, and how we can learn to be brave in every day situations. Watch the episode

Elizabeth's zero-waste winter solstice party

  Winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is December 21 for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Throughout the centuries, people around the world have celebrated the solstice in different ways – often by bringing light and warmth into their homes. In this session, Professor Elizabeth Buckner will show you a few homemade crafts she has used to decorate her home at this time of year. Best of all, because her family sticks to zero-waste principles, you won’t need any special supplies! She uses every day household items like recycled newspapers, popcorn, flour and water to make fun and stylish decorations. Watch the episode

Osholene’s school of African ancestry


Indigenous African educator Osholene Oshobugie will read from her new children’s book, "My Sleeping Dream: How I Learnt My Numbers", about African Indigenous peoples’ discovery of numbers as one of their many great contributions to humanity. Osholene, who is a PhD student at OISE, will show you how to use numbers to speak to the identity of African/Black children through their African ancestry and culture. Watch the episode

Pandemic dispatches from a podcast pair


OISE students Gauravi Lobo and Laurel Bingman, hosts of the new podcast, Learning in a Time of Corona, take you through some of the remarkable insights they've gathered while speaking to teachers, parents and educators doing pandemic relief work in Mumbai and Houston, Texas – Gauravi and Laurel's respective hometowns. Watch the episode

Stacy's codebreaker corner


Learn about the history of cryptography and cipher puzzles and some fun codebreaking challenges with PhD student Stacy Costa. Aimed at kids and teens, this episode also challenges adults to think about puzzles and cryptography in new and exciting ways. Watch the episode

Syrus’ community of care


“We take care of each other.” You may have heard this a lot over the past few months — but, what does this mean and how does this play out in our communities? In this session, scholar, artist and activist Syrus Marcus Ware discusses disability justice, abolition and creative activisms through an exploration of how we can take care of each other into the future. Watch the episode

Gary’s guide to Black allyship in challenging times


School principal Gary Pieters discusses the racial reckoning in society and the role of allyship for dismantling anti-Black racism through the lens of anti-oppression leadership. Gary explores what it means to be an ally and how non-Black educators and leaders can support systematic change while being mindful of the voices and experiences of Black educators and academics. Watch the episode

Angela’s Water Walker read along


In this session, lecturer Angela Nardozi shares "The Water Walker", a picture book written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson about Anishinaabe grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her work to raise awareness about water—the giver of life. Learn about Nokomis' walks around the Great Lakes and discover how you, your family and your classroom can carry on the work she began. Watch the episode

Latifa's take on traditional Islamic art


In this episode, MEd student Latifa Soliman explores the history of Islamic art as she walks you through how to draw your own traditional Islamic floral design. Watch the episode

Marcus puts hip hop education on the mic 


What's the difference between hip hop and rap music? Whether you think you know or don't know, check out this in-depth conversation with educator and recording artist Marcus Singleton. In this episode, Marcus walks you through the culture, history and evolution of the genres so that you can bring hip hop music into your education practice. Watch Part 1 and Part 2.

Janelle’s decolonizing Caribbean kitchen


Janelle Brady shares recipe tips from her Caribbean cuisine and reads her poem titled: ‘In my Mother’s Kitchen: Spirituality and Decolonization’ from the Decolonizing the Spirit in Education and Beyond anthology edited by Njoki Wane, Miglena Todorova and Kimberly Todd. Bring your appetite for learning and unlearning decolonization—and good food! Watch the episode.

Elizabeth's guide to dismantling systematic racism (for allies)


As plans are underway to return to school, some students are bracing themselves to head back to spaces where they are subjected to the pandemic of systemic racism. In this s ession, social justice educator, writer, and mother Elizabeth Charles shares her insights into the ever-present and often unconscious every day acts of racism that many students endure. Learn strategies on how to become a critical friend in our collective efforts to eradicate systemic racism within our wider school communities. Watch Part 1 and Part 2.

Rich's digital classroom download


In this episode, teacher Rich Baxter and student entrepreneur Henry Greenberg discuss what it takes to innovate in a classroom in a large urban school district. They share experiences with online student project-based learning, and ideas for overcoming some learning design challenges during the pandemic. Watch the episode.

Isabella's augmented reality voyage


Science is about making sense of the world around us. In this episode, Isabella Liu, an OISE alum and educator, discusses how augmented reality can be a valuable tool for understanding reality itself. You'll learn how to engage students virtually using immersive technologies like MergeCube, AugmentifyIt, and HoloLabs. Watch the episode.

Sheliza confronts unconscious bias


Recent events across the world have highlighted the discrimination that can result from unconscious biases: attitudes or stereotypes that influence our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. In this session, Sheliza Jamal, an equity and inclusion facilitator and certified educator, shares how to become aware of bias. Learn how unconscious biases can be harmful, and how we can interrupt and unlearn them. Watch the episode

Chrystal pardons your French pt. 2


In this session, educator Chrystal Smith takes participants through some of the rules of forming masculine and feminine adjectives in French. You'll learn rhymes and songs for improving your writing and speaking. All levels welcome! Watch the episode.

John hits a high note


How can we inspire and encourage students in music? In this episode, John Lettieri, a retired music educator, performing artist and composer, shows you how to guide students in their learning experience with music. Educators and students will challenge and deepen their relationship to music creation, performance, listening and learning. Watch the episode

Nouman amplifies student voices to promote inclusive learning


Nouman Ashraf's teaching focus at the Rotman School of Management is premised on connecting self-awareness with tools for overcoming barriers to inclusion that are often implicit within personal, inter-personal and organizational contexts. One of the key outcomes for adoption of an inclusive framework is actively soliciting feedback from learners as they navigate issues of voice, identity, agency and structural impediments to full participation. This highly interactive session explores how students can be enabled through a guided mastery approach into being contributors. Watch the episode

Cyndi fires up your synapses!


Are you a creative thinker? Of course you are – and we’ll show you how! Join creativity and education expert, Dr. Cyndi Burnett as she leads you through two fun and playful activities that will stretch your mind and ignite your creative thinking in new ways. The first activity will involve the ABCs. The second activity involves drawing a self-portrait. With these activities, you will use divergent thinking to explore many possible creative solutions and draw unexpected connections. Watch the episode.

Athena and her yiayia cook up a storm


Tune in to watch the importance of preparing and sharing traditional dishes from scratch! In this session, Master of Teaching student Athena Tassis will be preparing the Greek traditional pie spanakopita with her grandmother. Allowing students to express themselves and showcase their knowledge in her classroom is very important to Athena, as it is one of the many ways to foster inclusivity and respect for diversity. Watch the episode.

Karen and Isaac talk about racism


Alum Karen Edge and her nine-year-old son, Isaac, will talk about their experience as a mixed-race family living in London, UK. In this conversation, they share how they understand and manage racism that comes their way, and what others can do when they see it happening. Watch the episode.

Chrystal pardons your French


In this session, French language educator Chrystal Smith helps participants complete a self-affirming exercise, while improving pronunciation of mots-amis or word friends (cognates) in French! You'll learn vocabulary to describe yourself and tips for speaking in French. All levels are welcome! Watch the episode

Britt & Shawn's YouTube journey!


Educators Brittany Cohen and Shawn Matts share their journey starting a YouTube channel for K-8 kids, as well as practical tips for engaging learners and creating your own educational video content. Watch the episode.

Sean’s Galapagos expedition


Join Sean Smyth as he shares the story of an expedition to the Galapagos Islands and the incredible biodiversity he encountered on land and underwater. Learn how we can observe the beauty of the natural world using curiosity, observation, and technology... and the small steps we can take to help be stewards of our planet. Watch the episode.

Dolf's wild and wonderful zoo quest


With our populations becoming increasingly urbanized, how do we connect people to the natural world? Dolf DeJong, a conservation specialist and CEO of the Toronto Zoo, explores how zoos, aquariums, natural history museums and other places in the informal education sector have an important role to play in building wildlife literacy and helping people develop conservation-minded identities. Watch the episode.

Fatima boosts your learning network


With her passion for the latest web-based technologies, Fatima Yousuf explores how online learning platforms such as Physics Forums, Code Academy, Stack Overflow and Skillshare, and social media platforms, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, can offer students and educators knowledge beyond traditional classrooms – for a deeper learning experience. Watch the episode.

Jasmine's riverside learning excursion


With a background in environmental management and education, Jasmine Jackman believes that the best learning takes place experientially and outdoors. Join Jasmine as she explores the trails along the Credit River on this exciting, virtual nature excursion for kids and adults alike. Watch the episode

Marcia’s marvelous math kit


In this session, Marcia Bumbury, a kindergarten teacher, gives you a virtual look at a curated math kit that supports both literacy and math from home! We will have fun with math games using various math tools including picture books. You will leave this session inspired to lead your youngest mathematicians to create, demonstrate and understand models of mathematical thinking. Watch the episode.


Kristina’s philosophical self on stories


Join Kristina Leis, an energy healer, teacher and philosopher, and discover how telling our everyday stories can inspire and encourage others, and help us understand our own emotions, during this unprecedented time. Using her grandmother’s story about a love for cats and feelings of doubt and uncertainty, Kristina shows us how reflecting through stories and blogs can help us better understand ourselves. You will learn about the structure and philosophy behind personal storytelling including blogging. Watch the episode

Drorit's mathematical jam session


Combining her unique passion for math, rap and Egyptian dance, Drorit Weiss, a celebrated math and physics teacher and professional dancer, breaks down some fundamental Arabic rhythms in this interactive session. Bring any percussion instrument to participate: drums, tambourines, pots and pans, or even just your hands! Watch the episode

Learning mathematics through origami


Join Professor Ron Lancaster for a hands-on look at how mathematics can be learned through origami. Have several sheets of paper (preferred size is 8.5 x 11 inches) on hand and learn how to make a small token of appreciation you can share with others. While you fold with Ron, he will take you on a tour of many mathematical topics at the elementary and secondary level related to origami. Watch the episode.

Shona helps you storyboard


Interested in writing a story but can never find the time? Want to exercise your imagination but don’t know where to begin? Shona Mistry goes over the basic ‘how-to’ of writing (and finishing) your own stories! This episode is perfect for children, teens, and adults interested in developing and improving their fiction-writing skills. Watch the episode.

Justine's artsy approach to literacy


Learn how you can use the arts at home to support children's literacy learning. In this episode, educator Justine Bruyère gives examples of child-led drama, art, music and dance-based learning, and demonstrates some ways parents and educators can make the arts both engaging and educational. Watch the episode.

MacGyvering math with Gurpreet


Using every day items, Gurpreet Sahmbi will explore ways of challenging children at the intermediate level to develop problem solving skills through games. Discover ways of modifying deceptively simple activities to keep students engaged and challenged with common objects you have in your home. You might just find that your home is full of math games! Watch the episode.

Gauravi's Mumbai kitchen!


During this pandemic, student Gauravi Lobo has been spending time cooking with family – and it has given her a new appreciation for traditional yet adaptable recipes. For Gauravi, food has become an important way for her to share and experience her Indian culture. In this episode, she'll share with you a simple and delicious South Asian recipe. Watch this episode

Liliana puts meditation on paper


Discover the artist inside of you with the Zentangle Method – a form of meditative doodling! It’s a relaxing and fun way to de-stress, focus, and expand your imagination. All you need is a black pen, a piece of white paper, your imagination, and Liliana Compagnone will walk you through the rest. Watch the episode.

Jillian talks us through the news


Dr. Jillian Roberts does a live reading of her new book about dealing with tragedy. "On the News: Our First Talk About Tragedy", introduces young children to the realities of natural disasters, terrorism and other forms of tragedy. The child psychologist explains what tragedy is, the feelings it may create and how to manage those feelings. Grab your free read along copy of On the News and catch the episode

Michael’s bêtes de la mer


Explorer le monde sous la mer que l'artiste impressionniste Henri Matisse a crée dan son chef d'oeuvre, les bêtes de la mer. Dr. Michael Salvatori présentera l'artiste impressionniste et son oeuvre d'art et vous proposera une activité d'art qui vous permettra de créer votre propre scène sous-marine. Regardez l'épisode.

Carol’s math and science garden


Learn about the mathematical and critical thinking opportunities that arise when things start to grow! Carol Stephenson shares some quick and easy ways to see nature at work inside our homes. Watch the episode.

Stacy keeps her mind on puzzles


Puzzle designer and doctoral student Stacy Costa shows us the power of puzzles on the brain. Learn why puzzles are more than just a game or form of pure entertainment and why we should deliberately challenge ourselves to engage with them. Watch the episode.

Megan's big play on literacy


In this interactive session for adults and children, student Megan McGuire shows you some playful and active ways to support children's literacy development at home — with everyday materials and no preparation or printing. Modifications and extensions are also provided to support families with children at different developmental levels. Watch the episode.

Jeffrey defies writer's block


Many people imagine writing to be something serene and peaceful, and yet, in reality writing seldom matches those descriptions. In this episode, Professor Jeffrey Ansloos shares some of his learning about writing — and the behavioral, artistic, social and emotional habits that have helped him grow as a writer. Watch the episode.

Tania kicks into action! 


In this high-energy episode, student Tania Sanclemente leads you through a series of exercise circuits drawing from boot camp and martial arts practices. A cool down will follow, which will encompass stretching and mindful breathing. This session is designed for all ages and fitness levels. Let's get your heart rate up and your sweat on! Watch the episode.

Shelley cultivates your calm 


Did you know that mindfulness can help kids (and adults!) develop habits of mind that are central to managing stress, responding to challenging emotions and strengthening resilience. Learn about and participate in fun, child-friendly mindfulness-based practices in this upcoming episode hosted by Professor Shelley Murphy. Watch the episode.

Charles ruminates on reflecting


Parents and school kids of all ages, join Professor Charles Pascal, former deputy minister of education in Ontario, for a session on the powerful habit of reflection. Charles will explain the benefits of keeping a journal that focuses on the important lessons we can learn from our daily experiences. Watch the episode.

Mary crunches the numbers


Need ideas for teaching math at home? Professor Mary Reid, a math education expert, shows you three engaging activities that will have your children begging for more! Plus, discover the importance of dynamic practice and offering children the element of choice while fostering mental math skills. Watch the episode.

Matt catches a tune


In this episode, Matt Stodolak, an OISE alum, educator, neuroscientist and musician, demonstrates the immense power that music has on the developing brain. Learn how the music from your favourite movies and television shows make you feel different emotions or bring you back to a different time. Watch the episode

Michael colours your world


Dr. Michael Salvatori, an OISE alum, educator and linguist, wants us to celebrate your city and neighbourhood. In this session, he will share picture books that feature famous skylines – and then show you how to do an art project that shows off the favourite parts of your neighbourhood or city. Watch the episode

Kate piques your Natural Curiosity


How do we find community during a time of isolation? Kate Barrett from the Natural Curiosity walks you through a simple activity that can help the children in your lives access a different kind of connection – one with the natural world. Learn how simple outdoor activities like "hug a tree" can help children discover a sense of connection and relief during these challenging times. Watch the episode

Reading with Rumeet


Dr. Rumeet Billan, an OISE alum and best-selling author, conducts a live reading of her award-winning book "Who Do I Want To Become?" It's a book for anyone, of any age, who has been stumped by the question of what they’re going to be when they grow up.

Parents and educators also learn how to do a mini-lesson on this topic at home or online. Viewers also get access to free lesson plans, worksheets and guides. Watch the episode