Grateful for Butterfly Kits

This year was the third year that I had butterflies in the classroom. I have found that it is a wonderful way for the children to observe the life cycle of an insect and for them to observe the changes that the insect goes through.

Each morning as they enter the classroom, many of my students rush to the table where they are set up to see if there have been any changes overnight. Some will sit and watch the caterpillars (and later butterflies) for a while, observing their movements and looking at the way they are built.

A few days after the butterflies have come out of their chrysalis, we take them outside to set them free. The children love watching them fly free. This year the butterflies would not leave quickly, giving the children a chance to hold them in their hands. The children were so excited to hold them, and were surprisingly gentle with the insects.

This week I am grateful for butterfly kits as they enable me to bring a little bit of nature into my classroom.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for an unplanned weekend

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful For Decision

As many of you know, our school has been going through upheaval recently due to the fact that a 35 storey apartment building will be built next to the school. Parents have been up in arms and the school board put forward a few suggestions – one of which was moving locations.

After a risk analysis, the school board decided it would be safe to stay at our current location once certain conditions had been implemented. A parent survey showed the parents agreed. So finally a decision has been made – the school will stay where it is and steps will be taken to ensure that the site remains safe for everyone.

Work has begun at the school, and the sight of people with clipboards and measuring tapes has become a common sight. My classroom has been selected for some of the beginning work. The reason? I will discover it on Friday when I arrive at school and see what they have done.

Now we wait for the next two weeks to determine how many parents will take their children out of the school and the French Immersion programme. Then we will begin making class lists for next year and working on the timetable. But for now, I am grateful that a decision has been made on where we will be next year.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for rain

Lavendar Ladi was grateful for summer plants

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Health

My husband has been ill for the past 2 weeks – so ill that he has been sleeping for many hours (unusual for him) and has not gone to work. As I watch him going through the illness, I think of others whom I know who are in continual pain. I think, too, of a film I watched recently – You’re Not You starring Hilary Swank. The film is the story about  a woman who has ALS.

As I watched her going through the pain of her illness (Hilary Swank does an excellent job of portraying her character), the thought running through my mind was “I am so lucky that I am not sick”.

This week I am grateful for my health and that I am able to experience my days without pain.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for her son

Lavendar Ladi was grateful for three things

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Report Card Collaboration

It is currently report card “season” as teachers begin to complete the assessment of students for the term, and work on generating the sheets of paper that will be sent home at the end of the school year. As always, this time begins with the decision on what comments to use in the report card that will encapsulate the learning that has taken place in the classroom.

Currently I am thankful for the people that I work with. Together we are working on creating appropriate and relevant comments that reflect the programme we have taught this year. Next week will see us working together to determine the levels of our students’ French writing. As we refine our comments and determine the level of our students’ work, I am grateful to have colleagues this year with whom I can collaborate.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for end of school

Lavendar Ladi was grateful a few busy weeks

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Lazy Days

This past weekend was a long weekend for those of us who live in Canada as Monday was a public holiday. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect (grey, gloomy and rainy), I spent a wonderful weekend. My three days consisted of Zumba, chores, family time and reading – plenty of it! I curled up on the sofa and read a couple of books I had taken out of the library on Saturday.

Going back to work yesterday, the relaxation of the weekend seemed a thing of the past – and too short. Crunch time is now on as we begin working on report cards. This week is filled with preparations for the school concert (which will be on Thursday evening) in between talking about our students’ assessment.

I am grateful this week that I had the chance for a weekend of relaxation before one of the busiest times of the year. Now it is full steam ahead until the year end.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for ice-cream

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Mother’s Day

Each year a day is set aside for Mother’s Day. Like all holidays, it has the danger of being commercialised but the sentiment behind it is good. This day is one in which you can show – and tell – your mother how much you appreciate her actions and support. I have certainly done so in the past.

Now that I am a mother myself, I enjoy this day of appreciation. I do get the hugs and the love during the year – but on this day, I am made to feel special. My children, with my husband’s help, prepare a delicious lunch for me (I prefer eating at home as opposed to going out to a restaurant). Besides the hugs and the presence of all my family members at the table, this year I received some beautiful flowers (from my daughters and son).

Mother’s Day flowers. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Besides the flowers, my daughters bought me a lunch box that I had been eyeing. What makes their gift even more special is that they bought it with their own money – money that they had earned from their weekly tutoring job. And my husband? Besides organising our lunch and then cooking dinner, he bought me the fitness tracker that I had been eyeing for a while – yes, the Fitbit.

This week I am grateful for Mother’s Day, a day on which I am spoiled and reminded that even though I am taken for granted at times, my family does love me and appreciates what I do for them.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for freedom

Lavender Ladi was grateful for tulips

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Zumba Shoes

I have been doing Zumba for 9 months now. The first months were difficult as I struggled not only with the choreography, but also with catching my breath. However, I persevered and have come to love this form of exercise. There have been moments when I am truly dancing and am able to move to the music as I did all those years ago before I began my journey into Motherhood.

One of the things I have struggled with is the ability to move my feet sideways without hurting my feet and knees. The tread of the running shoes causes my foot to ‘stick’ to the floor. I used to think longingly of my ballroom shoes with their suede soles as they helped me move easily across the floor.

While waiting for class a few weeks ago, a few of us were talking with the teacher about shoes (she, of course, wears the correct Zumba shoes) and she mentioned that her shoes does not have the tread that the running shoes have. My decision made, I went online and shopped at zumbashop.ca for footwear.

My package arrived last Friday.

The package has arrived! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

With much excitement I opened the box and admired my new shoes.

My Zumba shoes. Stylish! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

I enjoyed the shoe box as well and appreciated the statement printed in bold on it.

I have worn the shoes at two classes and have enjoyed dancing in them. My movements are easier now and the bonus is my feet do not ache as much – and neither do my knees.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for modern conveniences

Lavender Ladi was grateful for the scent of Spring

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Parent Input

Our inquiry on structures is nearing its end. At this time of the exploration, I like to invite any parents who work in the design process to the classroom to speak to the students. It is interesting, I find, to have a dad (or a mom) come in and speak about the work they do to create some of the structures we see around us. It also gives parents another opportunity to volunteer and contribute to the learning that is happening in room 1.

This year a dad volunteered to share his experiences on building theme water parks. His presentation introduced children to the design process and the necessity to sketch ideas. He told the children that no work is wrong as it is an idea. These words are so important for children to hear as they always want things to be correct. The parent reinforced the use of shapes in buildings and mentioned the necessity of a foundation to hold a structure up. He showed the children what plans look like, showing them cross sections and aerial views. The children’s interest was held captive when he showed them the water parks he had helped to design.

This week I am grateful for parent volunteers who are willing to give up their time and share their knowledge with the children in my class.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

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Laura was grateful for the power of REM cycles

Lavender Ladi was grateful for a neighbour and a stranger

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Woodworking Workshop

In my class we are nearing the end of our inquiry on structures. Children have discovered the materials structures can be made of; and explored simple machines (such as levers, axles, and pulleys). Last week I asked U Can Do It!, a woodworking group, to come in a work on a project with my students.

All set up and ready to start. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

I chose the windmill to be our project as it has moving parts – thus both the grade 1 and grade 2 curriculum is addressed. The bonus for me is that the workshop is presented in French and the children are exposed to more French vocabulary. During the workshop, the children hammer away and are totally engaged in the activity. The children enjoy this workshop very much – as do the parent volunteers. This is the second year I have asked these facilitators to come in – and I know that I will book them again next year.

The next day, on a Friday, the children spent the afternoon painting their windmills. And at the end of the day? They proudly carried their work home.

This week I am grateful to the people who run U Can Do It. With their help, I am able to expose my students to woodworking – a skill I have not completely mastered myself.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for country skies

Lavender Ladi was grateful for flowers in her garden

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Dental Insurance

Yesterday was that dreaded cleaning at the dentist. Lying in the chair with my mouth open, I allowed my mind to wander over the day I had had. I realised quickly that the hygienist was gentle and barely hurting me. Added to which she seemed to be moving through the process quickly.

I remember a time when a cleaning was not only painful, but took a long time. For the last three years while working permanently with the School Board, I have been able to visit the dentist more frequently to check my teeth and have them cleaned. My visits now are shorter than they were previously – and the cleanings are definitely a more pleasant experience.

This week I am grateful that I have Dental Insurance that allows me, and my family, to look after our teeth.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for friendhip

Lavender Ladi was grateful for Harry Potter’s world

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017