Professor Owls Book Corner ~ May 2020

Welcome to the May 2020 Issue of Professor Owl’s Book Corner Newsletter where in addition to supporting those with special needs and learning challenges, we are also committed to being more focused on YA/New Adult reading and literacy. We will be featuring tips from a certified literacy tutor to help make your reading experience the best it can be.

We will also be encouraging young writers and artists with tips, writing exercises and will still be updating our Community News Boards with the latest news from Variety Village and The March of Dimes.

Please feel free to give us your feedback on our new issue, also send us any ideas you may have to help Professor Owl’s Book Corner be all that it can be. We look forward to hearing from you and to bring you a new, more interesting newsletter.

 I believe most countries are now gradually coming close to getting rid of the  terrible Covid19 virus and schools may start opening up in the next few weeks,  but until then keep following the distancing rules and  things will get back to usual ~ sooner than later!

Thanks to everyone who helped and stayed home and many many special thanks to all the people that worked so hard by looking after us all ~ The first responders’, the nurses and doctors, the home-care worker,  store keepers and truck drivers who made deliveries of all the things we needed.  A special thank to the nursery schools who looked after the children for all of the above and wish all of them a get well soon message, as many of them ended catching the virus themselves and hopefully “Get Better Soon!”

Professor Owl’s Book Corner is aware of the fact also that some of you may still be confined to your own homes and still unable to visit and play with your friends. no hockey no basketball, in fact, most of you, are bored and just do not know what to do, we will give give you a few more ideas to keep you busy until then.

A Few Fun Sites ~ until we get back to our usual routine.

Sunday May 10th is Mother’s Day

Low on funds make a nice card, or gift, get some ideas from the links below, or write her a letter thanking her for everything she does for you.  Make her feel special!


Mothers Day Gifts   (Dollar Store crafts)

Take a look to at our book of the month for more gift ideas.

Take one of the virtual trips below,from your arm chair sit back and off you go…….

Write and let us know if you enjoyed the past few newsletters’ and whether or not you would like us to keep on sharing some of the ideas into the future issues. Just drop us a line at


The Pros and Cons in E-earning


By Sylvia W. McGrath

The People for Education report on technology in schools comes shortly after the Provincial Government  of Ontario announced that all high school students will have to take four e-learning credits – out of the 30 credits needed for a diploma – starting in 2020-21.

What is E-learning?

Experts on e-learning say it is a form of education where a teacher presents a course online, instead of in a traditional classroom. It is done through modules and quizzes that need to be completed in-order to pass.

Once or twice a week, that teacher is available for live communication, but it is up to the students to attend.

When taking their lessons through modules a student is told when these communication classes are to discuss their progress and have any questions they have answered.

It is the students’ responsibility to show up and complete the modules.

If the student does not show, the lack of in-person contact means, teachers cannot accurately assess if a student is struggling.

Apr 8, 2019 – “(Principals) also report that students are keen to sign up for elearning courses, but at times struggle with the self-discipline these courses require …

(Principals) also report in a later report that, students are keen to sign up for e-learning courses, but at times struggle with the self-discipline these courses require,” the report said.

“While it is useful to expose all students to online learning, research has shown that the lowest achieving students consistently perform worse in online courses than in face-to-face classes.”

In TORONTO – Just 5% of students on average per high school in Ontario are currently enrolled in online courses, and some have trouble learning so independently, says a recent report released.

The education advocacy group’s survey found that at least some students are enrolled in e-learning in 87% of schools, though in those schools, only about 5% of students are taking those courses. This is however new to some area’s in Canada.

With the increased use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in most sectors of society and recent developments in adaptive hardware and software have allowed individuals with disabilities to do things that were difficult or impossible for them to do in the past.

  1. E-learning has allowed people who are blind to read using text-to-speech technology.
  1. People who are deaf to communicate using chat programs, People with difficulties using their hands or arms to write and communicate using dictation software (Fichten, Asuncion, Barile, Fossey, & De Simone, 2000).  
  1. In the postsecondary arena, e-learning (i.e., ICTs used in teaching) are extensively used by professors plus virtually all colleges and universities, not only in the United States, but also in Canada (Abrami et al., 2006)
  2. In the United Kingdom (Weller, Pegler, & Mason, 2005). Whether it is PowerPoint presentations in class, the use of web.
  3. Based discussions to further in-class conversation, or courses delivered completely over the Internet, it is therefore clear that such technologies used by professors are here to stay.

How successfully do these ICTs interact with adaptive hardware and software that some students with disabilities require?

How accessible is the growing array of available e-learning on campus (Konur, 2007; Waddell, 2007)?

These are important questions because the numbers of students with disabilities in postsecondary education have been rising both in Canada (Fichten, Jorgensen, Havel, & Barile, 2006; Tremblay & Le May, 2005) and the US (National Council on Disability, 2003),

A recent large-scale study showed that in 2003–2004, 11% of undergraduates had a disability (Snyder & Dillow, 2007).

From a personal experience as a Literacy Tutor to both young and old adults with learning challenges, my students picked things up much quicker using a computer than sitting reading books etc.

In addition, during the past few years, skill in using ICTs has become mandatory in post-secondary education and the workplace (e.g., Ezziane, 2007).

But how well do the ICTs used by professors in teaching postsecondary courses (i.e., e-learning) meet the needs of students with different disabilities?

How successfully do these ICTs interact with adaptive hardware and software that some students with disabilities require? How accessible is the growing array of available e-learning on campus (Konur, 2007; Waddell, 2007)?

These are important questions because the numbers of students with disabilities in postsecondary education have been rising both in Canada (Fichten, Jorgensen, Havel, & Barile, 2006; Tremblay & Le May, 2005) and the US (National Council on Disability, 2003), where a recent large scale study showed that in 2003–2004, 11% of undergraduates had a disability (Snyder & Dillow, 2007).

In addition, during the past few years, skill in using ICTs has become mandatory in postsecondary education and the workplace (e.g., Ezziane, 2007; Stodden, Conway, & Chang, 2003).

For example, a recent investigation shows that computer use on the job is associated with higher salaries for employees both with and without disabilities (Canadian Council on Social Development, 2004), and that for people with disabilities this is especially important (e.g., Kruse, Krueger, & Drastal, 1996).

Abrami et al. (2006), who recently showed how important e-learning initiatives are in Canadian postsecondary education, also noted that not very much is known about the e-learning needs and concerns of students with disabilities.

ISSN 1436-4522 (online) and 1176-3647 (print). © International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS). The authors and the forum jointly retain the copyright of the articles. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than IFETS must be honoured. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from the editors at

Conclusion: The Value and the Promise of Self-study what they learn, new knowledge emerges. The work in a special issue of Teacher Educational Quarterly (Russell and Pinnegar, 1995) provides one example of that, while McNiffs Teaching as Learning (1993) is another …

Learning Forward: The Challenges of eLearning – CHA Learning › News

Wise Picks


Craft Lab for Kids:52 DIY Projects to Inspire, Excite, and Empower Kids to Create Useful, Beautiful Handmade Goods

Craft Lab for kids

by Stephanie Corfee

Through 52 fun, customizable crafts activities, Craft Lab for Kids promotes creativity and hands-on making for kids age 8 and up.



With Craft Lab for Kids, help your kids tap into the fun and empowerment of creating their own custom designs to wear, decorate with, and give. Spruce Up Your Stuff. Learn fun ways to personalize with a variety of embellishment techniquesExpress Yourself! Add your personality to all kinds of homemade projectsTake Care of YOU. Self-care DIY projects to benefit their well-beingKids Just Wanna Have Fun. Just-for-fun projects to make everyone smileClassicCrafts with a Twist. Tried-and-true crafts updated for today’s kids15-Minute Makes. Quickie crafts to make in a flashKindness Crafts. Crafty creations to brighten someone’s dayEnjoy the pleasure and satisfaction of making things together with Craft Lab for Kids!

A wonderful book for inspiring children to try their hands at a variation of craft projects.  The illustrations and photographs are beautiful and will encourage anyone to have a go.  Some projects do require specialist materials that you probably would not have on hand immediately, but many could be adapted and used as a springboard to create something else.  There are projects suitable for all ages and abilities and some more basic than others.  A great book to have on hand when all the kids are at home looking for something to do. Also an inspiration for older people to make quick gifts, there is something for every age.

 Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a review

About Author

Stephenie Cofee

  Stephanie Corfee

Stephanie Corfee is an artist, designer, and author who works from her home studio in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Her artwork is charmingly whimsical with a feminine, youthful spirit. She has written several art books and licenses her surface designs for gifts, apparel, and home accessories.

Her licensed artwork can be found on products that can be purchased through retailers like Target, Urban Outfitters, Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Goods. She has worked with publishers Quarto Books, Walter Foster Publishing, Capstone Publishing and Hachette Book Group.

Stephanie Corfee’ s  popular Lab for Kids series features a growing list of books that share hands-on activities and projects on a wide host of topics, including art, astronomy, clay, geology, math, and even how to create your own circus—all authored by established experts in their fields. Each lab contains a complete materials list, clear step-by-step photographs of the process, as well as finished samples. The labs can be used as singular projects or as part of a yearlong curriculum of experiential learning. The activities are open-ended, designed to be explored over and over, often with different results. Geared toward being taught or guided by adults, they are enriching for a range of ages and skill levels. Gain firsthand knowledge on your favorite topic with Lab for Kids.

Creative pursuits have always been a part of her life. She feels very lucky that she can make a career of it so that she can be home to care for her 3 boys, Coop, Grey, and Lang. Having a certain amount of flexibility in her work hours gives her family a break from the strict 9-5 routine. The best days for Stephanie are when her husband gets home early, the sun is shining, and she can play hooky for the afternoon. Living this way keeps her sane and provides her with constant inspiration for new art.
Learn more at

Professor Owl’s Favourite Book:


First in The Flying Ponies series


By L.M. Ransom

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Flynn, moving into the heart of the Michigan woods with her family is the biggest adventure she’s ever had. A self-proclaimed geek girl with a penchant for Sherlock Holmes, she wonders if she’ll ever have an exciting quest of her own.

But when she discovers an antique carousel tucked into the woods near her new home, her life soon spins out of control. For the ponies are so much more than their faded paint portrays. Filled with primal magic, the ponies are alive, and they have been waiting for her for a long time.

With the help of a young carousel caretaker named Black, Charlotte soon discovers that the Flying Ponies are in danger from others who want to possess them and their magic. Drawn into a battle for the carousel and ultimately the entire world while navigating her first true romance, Charlotte may have more adventure than she ever bargained for . . .

“This is a great read for young adult readers’. It’s a charming read told through the eyes of the modern geek-girl teen. There are references to all the favorites — Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter — but Ransom does a fine job of relating to each of these without trying to be any of them.

I found the book an exciting read, full of adventure, magic, love and fantasy! If you like C.S. Lewis, you’ll love this book. This is the first installment of The Flying Ponies Trilogy and I can’t wait for book 2!

All Books Available from, other fine book stores , School’s and Community Libraries.

About Author

Linda RansomF

L.M. Ransom

Goodreads Author

Born in Shelby, The United States





Young AdultFantasy

  1. M. Ransom lives in West Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She also shares her home with two crazy Dachshunds, and her heart with two naughty ponies. L.M. is a librarian by trade, and an author by passion. She draws from her lifelong love and obsession with all things equine to spin tales about nefarious carousel horses.
    A self-professed geek girl, L.M.’s fandoms span the galaxy from Tatooine to Gallifrey, and back down to the seedy streets of Gotham City. As a Christian, she feels a calling to tell clean, intriguing stories for readers to escape into. You can find L. M. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and


Writing prompts are a wonderful way to kick-start your creativity and generate ideas. There isn’t a right or wrong way to respond, just be honest, be creative and use your imagination!

Write, be creative and most of all HAVE FUN!

This spring so much has changed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all social distancing at home, away from our friends, and routines. During these difficult our hearts go out to all of you, especially if you have been personally affected by this horrible illness.
Often when I face uncertainty, I find a way to use it to inspire creativity. This month’s writing prompt hopefully will do the same for you.
Your mission should you accept it…

As many of us are aware when things begin to open up again the world will most likely be a little different for each one of us.  Write about what you hope the world will be like when we emerge again? What will our new normal look like? Will the earth be cleaner, will people be kinder, will we spend more time with our family?

Writing Prompt~A picture is worth a thousand words…

‘Reading gives us someplace to go when we must stay where we are.’ ~Mason Cooley  

What was the last book you read? Since we are stuck in one place write about what happens when you step through a portal and end up in a setting from this book.  Are you transported to a different city, country or planet? Have you travelled into the past or into the future?

Get creative, write and most of all, have fun! 🙂


Flexing Those Creative Muscles!

Although I normally talk about writing there are so many more creative activities you can do while at home and for most of you I think it is a perfect time to give something new a try. If you don’t think you are creative enough, I think it’s time we had a little talk….

Unfortunately,  you may believe that only a few people are capable of being creative, that it is some sort of an exclusive club that you don’t think you can be a member of. This is one of life’s biggest myths and the truth is, creativity is a lot like your muscles; everyone has creativity but they need to use it regularly in order for it to work properly and not get out of shape. You don’t need to be a Picasso, Ansel Adams or Hendricks to be creative, you just have to dedicate yourself to doing what you enjoy and uncovering your creative potential.

How does one begin to develop one’s creative muscle?

Focus on a creative activity every day!

Whether it’s journaling, doodling, painting, making music, writing or crafts, do anything that inspires you and makes you come alive. By performing small creative tasks, you are exercising your creative “muscle” helping it to grow strong.

Think outside the box!

Sometimes, challenges and limitations can be a good thing, especially when they force you to work within your means and find different approaches. Challenges often motivate you to be more imaginative in solving a problem or creating an item. Creativity is essentially breaking through barriers and doing something different. Some of the most creative people in the world have used challenges to motivate them, they have had no choice but to work around constraints and find solutions. Learning to think outside the box in your creative life can also give you the boost you need when you face problems in your day to day life.

Immerse yourself in creative culture and learn all you can!

Want to write? Write everyday and read everything you can, both the good and bad. Want to be musician? Listen to many different types of  music, practice daily and take in online streaming music performances to learn from others. Never get discouraged if you think someone is more gifted than you…remember, they once started where you are now.

Keep an open mind!

By training yourself to look at life with a creative eye, you open yourself to the never-ending potential of what you encounter every day. Once you have opened your creative eyes you will find that you’ll notice more and more things which will serve to inspire you. The more you know, the more you will desire to know, and the more active your sense of wonder will become.

Try something new on a daily basis!

By learning a new skill and doing something in a slightly different way you can produce different results. By taking a different route on your daily walk, you can change what you see, changing your experiences can expand your point of view.  While stuck at home check out online resources, research new websites or online groups.  Search out #hashtags of interests and follow/friend people interested in the same things i.e. if you are interested in writing try the #writingcommunity hashtag on Instagram and twitter, Facebook has so many groups dedicated to different creative pursuits. Finding one that shares your intrest will help you to expand and enrich your online social circle. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone every day,  the more your sense of adventure grows and so does your passion for creating.

By unleashing your creativity, you will bring about a new passion for life. The more you develop those creative muscles, the stronger they’ll grow, the more able they are to produce, inspiring you to take yourself to the next level.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
~ Maya Angelou

Community Boards

See you soon! Due to Covid 19 Variety Village will be closed until further notice ~ Check back for updates.


Click to access Variety-Program-Guide-Spring-Summer-2020-reduced.pdf

Variety Village is a family-friendly fitness, sports and life skills facility in Toronto.

There are programs for all ages and skill levels, join today!

Variety Village is pleased to host exciting special events throughout the year. Our goal is to connect with our community and raise funds to support Variety Village by creating mutually beneficial events that support healthy, active lifestyles in an inclusive environment.

We’ll periodically send you news and updates regarding special events, facility closures & alerts, and other important information

Events · Restrictions & Closures · Variety Village in Toronto

Local Events | Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Discover ability-enhancing products and services, play adaptive sports and attend informative workshops. Register for free today! This inaugural year will showcase programs and services promoting: accessibility, inclusion, healthcare, sport, fitness, and healthy living at a premier accessible facility – Variety Village in Scarborough, Ontario.

Home | Variety Ontario

How we help. Variety programming empowers children with disabilities to be seen, participate, and feel included. We bring accessible facilities to life with sports, fitness, activities, summer camps, skills training, and coaching for competitive and Paralympic athletes.

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario

Access Expo – Variety Ontario

Active Living Conference – Variety Ontario



Events for May 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – What you need to know

We are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are taking action to ensure health and safety throughout our operations. Our response plan is informed by the latest information from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Whether you receive services from MODC, or are a partner or supporter, os dernières mises à jour au sujet du COVID-

For updates on The March of Dimes Events ~ Please visit the link below.

No training, no practice, just loads of fun but with big impact for 129,000 Canadians living with physical disabilities.

Benefitting Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia
an affiliate of March of Dimes Canada

For more information contact:
Berat Barzanjee
Fund Development Assistant
March of Dimes Canada
10 Overlea Blvd.
Toronto, ON M4H 1A4
Phone:(416) 425-3463 ext. 7305

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