Grateful for Classroom

This school year I will be teaching a grade 1 and grade 2 combined class and as a result, I was moved from the kindergarten room into a new space. I do not yet have all the furniture I need, nor all of the materials. However, this is my third year setting up a new space and I have learned that everything will come with time.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A new classroom space. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Even though I have had to start from scratch again, I am grateful to be where I am as I enjoy teaching grade 1. I look forward to the start of the school year and to creating a beautiful classroom environment with my students.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was greateful for a TED talk on gratefulness.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

School Prep

photo 5 (44)

This year I will be teaching a different age group of children: a combined class of grade 1 and grade 2. The timetable and many curriculum expectations for these grades are different to kindergarten and, in order to be ready for the first day of school, there were some school preparation activities I did during my summer break.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I created pen/marker/pencil holders with recycled materials. For a while I had been collecting the tins of canned food (tomato puree, tuna, chick peas). I soaked the cans in bleach to get rid of any food smell residue. Then I cut wallpaper to size from a roll I had picked up at a recycling depot. Covering the paper with sticky plastic to protect it, I smoothed it onto the tin. I had chosen a paper that focused on neutral colours and which would add to the calming environment I wish to create in the classroom that has been assigned to me. I do not yet have enough of these holders and shall be adding to the collection as I consume more canned foods.

photo 2 (94)With my class I will need to use the numbers 1 – 100 to teach them to count in French; as well as to learn certain skills using a 100 math grid. I looked at buying the numbers but decided to make my own. I made penguins as it is the school mascot – and the penguin image I found was too cute! Using Word I created 100 penguins, printed them out, pasted them onto card, and then laminated them. My final task is to put magnets on the back of them so that I can place them on the board. I have done the first one and it really stands out on the white board.

photo 3 (75)One of the projects I gave my children during the summer was to clean out their shelves and closets. As they are teenagers now, I am encouraging them to give away the toys and games they played with when they were younger. One of the games they passed onto me to use with my class was a shape game. As I teach French immersion, I set to translating the game. I will use these cards when I teach shapes and will set it up at the game center with some tangrams.

photo 5 (44)Last week I worked on the cards that I will display on the white board to show the timetable. In this way, the children will know what their routine for the day will be. I will also display cards to show them which centers they will work at on that day. I have found that knowing the routine helps to calm the children as they know what they can expect to do during the day. In addition, I use the timetable to help them learn to manage their time .

photo 4 (59)As well as working on the cards for my board, I read a little about teaching combined classes. When looking at the curriculum, I thought it would be easier for me to see it side by side. I decided to cut & paste it so that I could easily compare the two classes. I have noticed some differences and many similarities. In addition, often grade 2 is an extension of what is learned in grade 1. I am sure that during the year I will often refer to the large sheets of paper that I prepared.

I am currently working on setting up my classroom and have put many of these things in place. I am eager to share what I have created with the children I will be teaching next week.

Do you use your free time to prepare for work?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The Cemetery

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham
Photo prompt © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

The cemetery spread along the area known as Devils Abode. It was on a prime piece of land, the slope of the hill awarding magnificent views. Developers were keen to buy the property, raze the cemetery, and build high end homes. Eventually money bought them their wish even though the locals fought long and hard against it. Much to the chagrin of the city-based land developing company, the site appeared cursed: workers were seriously injured, equipment malfuntioned, material went missing. In spite of the delays, the dream homes were built and stood in their glory on the side of the hill. But selling the homes proved to be difficult as stories of ghost apparitions circulated; and the homes that were sold were soon emptied by the unhappy spirits. They had not liked their resting place disturbed.

mondays-finish-the-storyWould you live in a house built on a razed cemetery?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This story was inspired by Mondays Finish the Story. Each week bloggers are encouraged to write a story of 100-150 words based on a photo prompt and sentence starter)

A New Streetcar

Yesterday I had the opportunity to board one of the new streetcars that are being rolled out in Toronto by the TTC (the public transit system). The sleek lines of the new vechile look bright, shiny and impressive.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Toronto’s new streetcar. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The inside looks elegant and clean – and offers more space for travellers than the old streetcar. We grabbed a seat and enjoyed the smooth ride to our destination.

One hopes that the longer streetcars will help ease the pressure to get many Torontonians to their destination. Time will tell whether the expense was worth it.

Do you have the opportunity to travel by streetcar?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the weekly photo challenge run by WordPress. This week’s prompt is From Every Angle.)

Reading Habit

One habit I am never willing to forgo is my reading habit. This habit I developed as a young child who spent many pleasurable hours within the stories created by a range of authors. As an adult, a trip to the library means coming home with more than one book.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Result of library visit. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Reading means that I am never alone – even when I am the only person at home, or the only one awake in the household. If I am alone at breakfast time, company is often found within the pages of a book.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Reading while eating. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This is a habit I learned from my parents – and it is one my girls have learned from me. Reading while eating is a habit I would find difficult to break.

cees-fun-fotoDo you have a reading habit?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. The prompt for this week is habit.)

Not Alone

I am not alone as I prepare for days ahead. I think of first day lessons and nervous young children eager to meet their new teacher. I think of ways in which to build our classroom community and the routines that we will follow. Going into the school, I meet up with other teachers who are getting ready for the end of the summer vacation. Chatting with them, I know that I am not alone in my preparations: the photocopier and laminator are humming. Monday, the halls will be filled with even more teachers preparing for the first days. I know I will not be alone as I order the classroom furniture, put up posters, and prepare activities. And on the first day of the school year, I know that I will not be alone as I meet new students and new parents: together, we will walk down the path of learning discovery and find new ways to enjoy our school experience.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeWho helps you know that you are not alone?

 © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Alone)

 

 

Test Subjects

PHOTO PROMPT - © Claire Fuller
Photo Prompt – © Claire Fuller

The nurse walked down the corrider, passing the sealed doors that housed the test subjects, the detritus of human life who offered nothing to society. They had been given the opportunity to contribute something meaningful to mankind’s future as the experiments being conducted on them would result in the knowledge needed to protect humanity against the invaders. Humans needed to adapt and evolve – the outcasts would help with the knowing of how.  The nurse entered a cell, needle ready. The girl inside turned, magnificent in her added height and strength. She no longer needed the treatment.

What do you think happens next?

friday-fictioneers-badge© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

 

Grateful for Outdoor Film Fest

This week I had a chance to pop in at an outdoor film festival. The park was abuzz with people sitting on blankets eating their picnic dinner. The Sunday evening event was the last of this summer and attendance was high in spite of the cooling evening air.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Outdoor Film Festival. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This week I am grateful that I live in a place in which free outdoor activities are organised for the community. In addition, the people who do attend can be assured that the experience will be a safe one.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week Lavender Ladi was greateful for pepper jelly.

Processed with Rookie© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. Please remember to send me a pingback so that I know you have participated.

Luigi

2015-08-24 - Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 - Barbara W. Beacham
2015-08-24 – Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 – Barbara W. Beacham
The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be a hunted man. Like the rest of them, he had grown up in a loving environment. Being the youngest, he had had attention lavished upon him; his every whim attended to. Maybe that had been the problem. Unknowingly the family had encouraged his belief that he deserved all he desired. And he had come to desire a life of luxury and ease. When asked, Luigi had claimed his wealth came from a well-paying job and wise investments. However, the reports in the newspapers hinted at a life of thievery and the ability to slip through the fingers of the law. The old ones shook their heads and mumbled prayers for him. The younger ones admired his audacity. And each one wondered when they would see him again as he would surely come home to the comfort of his family.

mondays-finish-the-storyDoes Luigi go home to his family?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

This story was inspired by Mondays Finish the Story. Each week bloggers are encouraged to write a story of 100-150 words based on a photo prompt and sentence starter)

Seek and Find

Matthew wrote “seek and ye shall find”, implying that a person knows what it is to look for. The first step in finding what you need is knowing what it is you need.

Each day thoughts run through our minds on what it is we want: one of those delicious cupcakes displayed in the window, the red flashy car that has driven past, the latest fashion magazine that has just hit the shelves. And yet, do we know what it is we need? As I reflect on what I need, I think on things such as love, security, work that is fulfulling, my health. And has God given me these things? Yes He has – but I had to go and find it.

“Seek and ye shall find” suggests that we actively look for what it is we need. I think of my need to have a satisfying job. I could have continued working in an office environment answering phones and doing bookkeeping transactions. Instead I pursued my desire to teach again in a school board that promises, not only to offer job security, but a chance to work anywhere in the city. If I had not volunteered, spoken to people, applied many times and put myself forward I would not be where I am today – teaching in the school that I wished to work in.

Love does not come to you if you do not open yourself to others; work does not come to you if you do not apply for it; contentment does not exist f you do not work towards making your life stress-free. And if you do not know what it is you need, you are unable to work towards your goal.

I do seek in order to find – and I do so with intent. I have reflected on what it is I need and I work towards it. And as I do so, I remember what my mother always said to my sisters and I while we were growing up: “God helps those who helps themselves.”

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeDo you actively seek what you need?

 © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Find)