Grateful for the Printed Word

There are two cranks at this end of the machin...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

This summer while I have been on vacation, I have read many novels: favourite authors, preferred genres, fiction and even non-fiction, unknown writers (to me). Many pages have been turned and enjoyed in the last 6 weeks. As I reflect on what I have read, I realise that the enjoyment I get from reading was not always possible. I think back to the days when most people were illiterate and when books were not so easily attainable. So much changed with the advent of the printing press and the Industrial Revolution. I am grateful for these changes as they ensured that in modern times we learn to read and are able to buy/borrow copies of books that we are interested in. We read so much in our daily lives now that it is hard to imagine that there was a time when the majority of the population could not read.

This week I am grateful for the printed word as it brings me so much pleasure as well as knowledge. I am grateful that Johannes Gutenberg came up with the idea of the printing press, and that the machine has evolved into what it is today.
What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for dirty pants.

Laura was grateful for the hidden sky.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Teaser Tuesday: The Melody Lingers On

Teaser

Every time I see a novel written by Mary Higgins Clark, I pick it up knowing that I will enjoy the story that she has created. This weekend I opened the story titled The Melody Lingers On. The story features Lane Harmon, an assistant to an upscale interior designer. Her current job is to work in a modest townhouse owned by the wife of Parker Bennett, the notorious financier who disappeared with the money of his investors. Lane finds herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and faith in her husband’s innocence; and is drawn to the son, Eric Bennett, who is determined to prove that his father is innocent. Unknowingly Lane puts herself, and her daughter, in jeopardy the closer she gets to the Bennetts.

My teaser this week highlights the thoughts of one of the FBI lead investigators:

“But we will find him, he vowed. We will find him. 

But even as he made that promise, he wondered if he would be able to keep it. With the Bureau’s focus on terrorism and the number of individuals who had to be watched, resources were stretched very thin. The previous week an agent who had worked with him on the Bennet case had been reassigned. He did not have the heart to tell Cunningham and the investors that if a break in the case did not happen soon, more agents who were working with him would be assigned elsewhere.” (p28, Pocket Books, 2015)

I enjoyed this read – and the unexpected ending.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)

Grateful for Water

Water dropping from a tap.
Water dropping from a tap. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year has been a hot summer! Heat waves, thirst and sweat are words used to describe the last few weeks. Thirst has been combated by a tall glass of cool, refreshing water; sweat has been slaked off by the rush of water coming from the shower head. Living in the city in a developed country, I am blessed to have the water that I need at the twist of a tap. There is no need for me to walk long distances to fetch the water I need and then carry it home. It is not necessary for me to boil the water before I drink it. This week I am grateful for water that is clean and easily accessible.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for lists

Laura was grateful for small arms and gentle hugs

Claire shared a list of things that she was grateful for last week.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Teaser Tuesday: The Daily Five

Teaser

Product DetailsDuring this past week I began re-reading the book written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser titled The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades. My first reading was five years ago and I decided to refresh my memory a little on some of the characteristics of using The Daily Five in the classroom.

Reading the introduction reminded me of why I like the Daily Five concept:

“We wanted to change the atmosphere in our classrooms and our own roles, from trying to “manage” students, rushing around the room putting out fires, to creating routines and procedures that fostered independent literacy behaviours that were ingrained to the point of being habits. Our goal was for all students to have internalized these expectations and shared experiences in a way that allowed for every child to become engrossed in their reading and writing.” (p9, Stenhouse Publishers, 2006)

I have fostered independence in my classroom and this year I aim to fine-tune my students’ independence. Hopefully a re-reading of this book will help me do so.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)

Grateful for Time

A month has passed since the school year ended and I am feeling rested and ready to begin the new academic year. Yesterday I did a search on the internet for centre activities for my classroom – and purchased a few on a website I have found: Teachers Pay Teachers. I printed the games and word cards that I had found, then began the task of preparing them for my class. I create the cards to last and, because I want them to look good, I take my time to create them. Yesterday afternoon I spent time cutting. Today I will glue the games onto card and then cut them for lamination.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Preparing cards. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

This week I am grateful for the time I have as I begin to prepare for the first day of school. I am not yet able to go into my classroom (my room has not yet been cleaned by the caretaker) but I can begin doing what planning I can at home. The time allows me to prepare a little everyday with no looming deadline.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for cool evening walks.

Laura was grateful for her love.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)

Teaser Tuesday: We Are All Made of Molecules

Teaser

We Are All Made of MoleculesLast week I read the novel We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielson, a Red Maple nomination (the Red Maple Award reading programme is offered for the enjoyment of children in grades 7 and 8). The story centres around 13 year old Stewart who is academically brilliant but socially clueless, and 14 year old Ashley who is popular at school but academically weak. Their worlds collide when their parents move in together and they need to learn to live as a family.

The book is written from the perspective of both Stewart and Ashley. My teaser is from the second page of the book and is written in Stewart’s viewpoint. He is expressing his feelings on the death of his mother:

“I don’t like to talk a lot about the year that she was sick. Or the year after she died. My dad is also quality and he did his best, and I like to think that I am quality and so I did my best, too. But it was really hard because we were missing one-third of our family. 

We had been like an equilateral triangle. 

Mom was the base that held up the whole structure. When we lost her, the other two sides just collapsed in on each other.” (p 2, Tundra Books, 2015)

I enjoyed this novel from its first pages. It was humorous, well-written, and spoke of an experience that many grade 7 and 8 students go through at school. The pages touch on blended families as well as the struggles that those just entering their teens experience.

I would recommend this book for any teenager who is looking for a read that will keep them interested. The novel is also the perfect read for any adult who would enjoy reading an experience from the viewpoint of a child entering adolesence and a blended family.

What are you reading this week? Feel free to share a few sentences from the book in the comments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Teaser Tuesdays at Books and a Beat)

Music Mondays: Bailando by Enrique

When in Mexico we danced often to songs in Spanish; that is, we danced the salsa and attempted the meringue to songs made for these dances. There was one song I did recognise – though it wasn’t played in my home language:

I often enjoy listening to Enrique Iglesias’ song Bailando while I am cooking. Even though I listen to the English version, I now remember dancing the hot Mexican nights away every time I listen to it.

Do you enjoy listening to songs featuring Latin rhythms?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post has been linked to Kat’s Music Monday)

Friday Fictioneers: The Flood

copyright -Janet Webb
copyright -Janet Webb

When the rains first came, everyone rejoiced. Harvests had wilted under the sorching sun and the fear of famine was fast becoming a reality. Shouts of joy, however, soon turned into panic. Water seeped underneath doorways, and roofs slowly let in the water that had hammered against them. Homes were destroyed, lives were lost, heros were born. Mud embraced all as the water levels lowered. Famine was now a reality and the shopping carts that littered the area would not be filled with fresh produce any time soon.


Have you ever experienced a flood?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

friday-fictioneers-badge(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 Family Vacation

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

When the Summer break began, my husband and I had not planned a holiday. Instead, we had decided to relax at home and fix things in our place. My husband’s colleague, however, came back from a trip to Mexico and raved about the resort he had stayed in. We were convinced and decided to book a vacation to Playa del Carmen in Mexico.

We prepared and packed for our holiday quickly and with excitement. We had never been to Mexico and quickly learned a couple of couple of basic Spanish words. The wait at the airport was pleasant as we arrived early and did not have to wait long in lines. Once we had checked in and gone through customs, we ate lunch and wandered to our gate. We noticed that they had completed the work they were doing the last time we were at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The waiting lounge now has iPads on offer – though I prefer to use my own.

The plane was delayed by a little – but not too long. We had booked with Air Transat, an airline that we had not flown with before. We were pleasantly surprised by how large the plane was and were all pleased that we had our own TV screens which allowed us to make our viewing choices during the flight.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Settling in for flight. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The trip to Cancun International Airport in Mexico did not take too long. Once out of the airport, we found the transport that would take us to the resort we had booked in, The Azul Fives. When we arrived and were taken to our room, we were pleasantly surprised by how luxurious the rooms are.

When we walked around the resort in the morning, we saw that the views on the beach were spectacular: The sight reminded me a little of the beaches we have walked on in Mauritius, the birth place of my husband.

I enjoyed walking along the beach front listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the water splash over my feet. It was extremely hot midday, so walks were taken in the late afternoon. I spent some time as well at the main pool doing water aerobics and relaxing.

What made me even happier was that the food and drink is inclusive in the bill. No cooking for me – and no cleaning up! A true vacation. I did not have my camera with me at every meal – except on the first day. I loved the breakfast buffet, the lunch was tasty, and the evening meals at the non-buffet restuarants were haute cuisine. Delicious!

This week I am grateful for the family vacation we had last week. We had the opportunity to visit a new place, experience life in a resort, and truly relax. I enjoyed the break at The Azul Fives Resort as did the rest of my family. I am sure we will visit the area again.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

Last week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for warm, furry kisses

Laura was grateful for snarky friends & decoder rings

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post so that I know you have participated)