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A 101 guide to reading a report card

Dr. Karyn Gordon | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

The Do’s & Don’ts

DON’T:  Ask – “How Many A’s Did You Get?”

This the is number-one question kids get asked on the day of report cards which is not helpful.  The focus is on achievement. Often, kids will internalize this as “My parents only love me if I achieve.” As a result, kids do two extremes: They either under-function (“I’ll never get the approval of my dad so why bother trying”) OR they over-achieve to win their parents approval. The challenge with over-achievers (they look great on paper and get into a lot of the top schools) – but they often struggle with low self-esteem, perfection, and anxiety because their self-worth is based on externals.

DO: Ask – “How Do You Feel About Your Report Card? OR

“If You Were Your Own Teacher – How Would You Grade Yourself Based On Your Effort?

Put the focus on character (self-discipline, motivation, asking for help, time management, organization). All of these “characteristics” and “habits” will highly influence their marks – and these behaviours are what kids can 100% control! Not only is it extremely empowering for your kids, but it also puts them all on the “same playing field” so regardless if you have one child that is gifted and one that has an LD… the goal and objective is effort, not mark!

DON’T: Compare To Their Siblings Or Other People

When parents compare siblings to each other (or others) its extremely disempowering and frustrating for kids!  Each child is different, unique and has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. If we compare – we are focusing on something they cannot control. In addition it often creates intense competition and jealousy between siblings.

DO: Get Them To Compare To Themselves!

The key to intrinsic motivation is to get the person to focus on what they can control (which is themselves). If they had a 68% in math – their goal could be a 73%. Get them to compare themselves to themselves. Get them to be their own evaluator. What worked this past term? What did not? What did they do well? What areas do they think they need to work on? By asking the questions (and getting them to answer it) … they are taking more responsibility for themselves and their learning!

do and dont TWO

Dr. Karyn Gordon, DK Leadership
Twitter @DrKarynGordon

Come Hear Dr. Karyn At Her SPRING SCHOOL SPEAKING TOUR / GTA – Free For Parents:)

See if she is speaking at a school near you! http://www.dkleadership.org/speaking/speaking-calendar
Or book her to speak at your school (Full funding is available through the Ministry)
Email for more information: info@dkleadership.org

Subway raccoon delays transit but delights passengers

Christine Chubb | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

Looks like one raccoon wasn’t going to let groundhogs get all the attention today.

Commuters at Spadina Station were shocked to see a nocturnal passenger on the subway Tuesday morning when a raccoon hopped on and tried to head south.

TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said they’re not sure how the raccoon got into the station.

“From time to time, wildlife and other animals do make their way onto our property,” Ross said. “He did appear very harmless and very young, more curious than anything.”

Carl Fernandez documented the raccoon’s adventure on Twitter.

“I was closing my eyes on the subway heading off to work when I heard the commotion. I thought maybe it was a fight and saw people getting up,” Fernandez explained. “Then I finally saw the raccoon, just casually walking up the aisle of the subway.”

The adorable creature strolled onto the subway during the morning rush hour, only to change his mind and decide to walk.

“This was better than coffee, it woke me right up, I was sleeping and there was no sleeping afterward,” Fernandez joked. “Some people were screaming and were getting out of the way. Some people just stood there and the racoon just passed them by.”

Subway service southbound at Spadina was briefly delayed but video from the the scene showed those at the station didn’t seem to mind.

After a little stroll along the platform, Ross said the animal disappeared into the tunnel.

“He probably has a den or nest somewhere that has access to the tunnel,” he explained.

This isn’t the first time raccoons have opted for public transit to get around the GTA.

In December, a raccoon stowed away on a morning Aldershot GO Train.

Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, said they closed off the coach to other passengers until they got to Aldershot, when the raccoon was safely removed from the train.

Leafs rally to beat Bruins 4-3 in OT

The Associated Press | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored a power-play goal with 1:54 left in overtime and the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Tuesday night and end a four-game skid.

Leo Komarov and Nazem Kadri erased a two-goal deficit with consecutive goals for Toronto midway through the third period. The Leafs won for the first time since Jan. 19.

Daniel Winnik also scored for Toronto and James Reimer had 39 saves. Reimer didn’t let anything in after Brad Marchand and David Krejci scored 26 seconds apart in the opening minutes of the third period.

Marchand also scored in the first period. David Pastrnak added two assists for the Bruins and Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots.

Toronto was scoreless on two power plays before getting another chance in overtime when Krejci was called for holding 1:48 in. The Leafs capitalized on the 4-on-3 advantage when Parenteau backhanded a rebound after Rask stopped a shot by Kadri.

Kadri tied the game at 3-all 11:31 into the third period, tipping in Matt Hunwick’s slap shot from the blue line.

Komarov cut Boston’s lead to 3-2 on a goal 9:02 into the third after Rask lost the puck in his pads. There was no whistle before the puck trickled out to Toronto’s Michael Grabner, who sent it off the end boards as the Leafs worked it around to Komarov for a wrist shot from the point that beat Rask.

The Leafs regrouped after Boston broke open a 1-all tie early in the third period.

Marchand one-timed in a pass from Krejci 55 seconds into the third, then Krejci struck 1:21 into the period after Torey Krug’s shot bounced off the end boards to the front of the net.

Notes: Toronto was 0-2-1 against Boston entering the game. … Reimer played in his 200th career game. … Pastrnak spent the All-Star break playing for Providence of the AHL before being recalled to Boston on Monday. … Malcolm Subban was Boston’s backup goalie, with Jonas Gustavsson still on injured reserve after leaving a game the week before with an elevated heart rate.

Toronto Maple Leafs pay tribute to the past with new logo

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to the past for a fresh look in the future.

The club has unveiled a new logo for the first time in more than 45 years.

It’s a fresh take on the “classic Maple Leaf” emblem of Toronto teams from the 1940s to the 1960s and will serve as the team’s primary crest beginning in the 2016-17 campaign, the club’s centennial season.

The crest, with some slight alterations, aligns most closely to a version worn by the team from 1963 to ’67, the most successful era in Maple Leafs history. The team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967.

It’s the fifth adjustment to the logo since the team changed its name from the Toronto St. Patricks to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1927 and the first change of any kind since 1970.

The new logo resembles a real leaf more closely than the current insignia, which has sharper lines and blocky letters.

“As an organization, we wanted to get back to our roots, when Conn Smythe first changed the team logo to the Maple Leaf in 1927,” Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a release. “Inspired by the badge that he and his fellow Canadian soldiers wore during World War I, Smythe wanted his team to wear the badge with ‘honour, pride and courage. This is our goal for the next chapter in Leafs history.”

The logo has subtle hints to commemorate the richer days of old. Among those traits are 31 points, which nod to 1931 when Maple Leaf Gardens first opened, as well as 17 veins to represent the 1917 founding of the franchise. Thirteen of those veins are found at the top of the crest and commemorate the club’s 13 Stanley Cup championships.

In further celebration of the centennial season, the Leafs will unveil new uniforms featuring the new crest at the upcoming 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo.

The Toronto Marlies, the club’s AHL affiliate, will also adopt the new-look crest along with the club’s own historic crown, in keeping with past traditions.

The new badge was revealed Tuesday night during an episode of the ‘The Leaf: Blueprint’, the team’s behind-the-scenes documentary series.

The new look received mixed reactions on Twitter.

Lowe’s buying Rona for USD$2.3 billion

Mike Eppel | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016

The Lowe’s home improvement chain is buying Quebec-based Rona Inc. in a deal valued at USD$2.3 billion.

The companies say the combination will make Lowe’s the Canadian leader among home improvement retailers.

The transaction is supported by management of both companies, although it would require various approvals.

Lowe’s approached Rona several years ago but that takeover attempt failed after opposition by the Quebec government of the day and a large number of Rona’s independent dealers.

Rona’s chairman says in today’s statement that the timing is better now and Lowe’s has made commitments to the Canadian company’s employees, suppliers and independent dealers.

For shareholders, Lowe’s is offering $24 per share in cash — about double what the stock was worth at the end of trading on Tuesday before the announcement.

Academy insider Alfre Woodard says Oscar reforms have been in the works for years

BY VICTORIA AHEARN, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016

TORONTO – Oscar-nominated actress Alfre Woodard wants to clear up some misconceptions about the diversity reforms within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The AMPAS member, who serves on several of its committees, says the changes announced in recent weeks have actually been under way for the past six years.

“I think people are getting the idea that because there was a threatened boycott that we suddenly said, ‘OK, well let’s do something about it,’” says Woodard, who will receive the inaugural career achievement award at the Toronto Black Film Festival, which runs Feb. 10-14.

“People need to know that those changes were thoughtfully under way.”

Woodard, who was in the city in 2013 when “12 Years a Slave” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, was referring to a vow by director Spike Lee and actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith to not attend this year’s Oscars gala on Feb. 28.

They’re upset with two straight years of all-white acting nominees, which sparked public outcry and the social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite.

“The other reaction that people are having, that, ‘Oh, so now it’s kind of like affirmative action to get into the academy’ … that’s just reactive claptrap,” she says.

Academy admission rules and requirements haven’t suddenly changed, Woodard notes. AMPAS has made a conscious effort in the past six years to think “outside the box” and broaden its outlook during its admissions process every year, she says.

“Instead of just thinking of the people on your block that might be qualified for membership … think about people who don’t live near you who are qualified,” says the 63-year-old, who’s won a Golden Globe and four Emmys.

“So it’s opening up the circle of looking at people who are qualified to be in.”

That includes looking at younger talent.

“If you’re 75 years old, you may not know the 25-year-olds that have the qualifications and the brains to be a great addition to this body,” says Woodard.

“We have been very conscious of making sure that there were younger people considered every year as well.”

Woodard says she feels “the real problem” is which films get made, “and the academy has nothing to do with that.”

“That falls on the shoulders of studios, production companies, investors. It’s where the money goes.”

She also notes that “brilliant people” have been left out of the Oscar nominations every year, in every discipline.

“There are always going to be people who are left out…. That’s the nature of a vote and you can’t control that.”

Woodard says the goal for those in the industry should just be to keep making films and get them out to the public.

“It’s not trying to accumulate Oscars, because you’re squeezing yourself — you’re forcing your art, which should be a wide open flowing stream, into a little narrow crevice, chasing something that is anathema to freedom and creativity,” she says.

Most of the time those trying to win an Oscar are ultimately disappointed, she adds, noting that there are other honours out there.

“Maybe you get a Critics’ Choice Award, maybe you get a BET Award, maybe you get an ALMA award,” says Woodard. “There are plenty of awards shows.”

Woodard will be at the Toronto Black Film Festival on Feb. 13 for a Q&A on her career and her new film “Knucklehead,” which is screening at the fest.

Say it ain’t snow: Wiarton Willie issues winter warning

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016

Four-legged forecasters with names like Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam announced their weather predictions Tuesday morning.

Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, the town of Wiarton’s albino groundhog, called for six more weeks of winter.

Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam had the honour of making the first North American prediction of the day due to the province’s time zone, calling for spring instead!

Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the best-known weather predicting woodchuck, agreed with Shubenacadie Sam.

According to tradition, if the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day there will be six more weeks of winter. But this year’s festivities have already been marred by the death of one prognosticating marmot.

Groundhog Day celebrations have been cancelled in Manitoba due to the death of Winnipeg Willow, who died last Friday at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Group of Toronto cab drivers heading to Ottawa for anti-Uber protest

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016

A group of GTA taxi drivers left the Woodbine Convention Centre for Ottawa on Tuesday morning, joining cabbies from other cities for a ‘day of action’ against Uber.

They’re travelling by bus to Parliament Hill to demand action from the federal government.

The anti-Uber protest in Ottawa is expected to begin at 11 a.m.

Cabbies say they want to hear from the Prime Minister.

Toronto city council is set to meet on Wednesday to decide whether or not to pass an injunction against Uber.

If councillors vote against an injunction, cabbies say they’ll take their protests to the next level possibly staging major demonstrations starting February 12, just as the NBA’s All-Star event comes to town.

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