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

Grateful for Needle Movement

English: An arrow pointing down in the red cir...

One of my goals for 2017 is to lose some of the weight I have gained over the last few years. I want to take charge of my health and fitness again and return to a time when it was easy for my body to move. I am slowly changing the way I eat; and I try my best to attend my bi-weekly Zumba classes.

The needle on my scale had not moved since the beginning of the year. However, even though it remained static, I did notice a change in my body. My clothing fits looser and I am beginning to see a waist again! Last week when I weighed myself, I felt a moment of joy.

The needle on the scale had moved! Downwards.

I now weigh 1kg less. It may not sound a lot, but to me it is quite an achievement. The loss encourages me and prevents me from giving up. Now I can work towards losing the next kilogram.

This week I am grateful for my weight loss and the encouragement this loss gives me.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for a flannel shirt

Lavender Ladi was grateful for fluffy snow

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Time to Rest

This week schools are closed for what is called March break. It is definitely not a Spring break as temperatures have plummeted to a ‘feels like’ -17c. The weather is forcing us to meet up with friends indoors; and long, lazy walks are certainly not an option. The break, however, is giving me a chance to rest, to get up late, read, and do a little crochet.

Every school break I have always begins with a trip to the library. I browse the shelves filled with the newer additions, often picking up authors I have not read before. Sometimes I find an unread title by one of my favourite authors.

Library Stash. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This break I decided to begin a new crochet project: one that I have been thinking of creating for a while now. I have downloaded the pattern from Ravelry, and purchased the yarn from Michaels.

Beginning a new project. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

While crocheting, I put my feet up and watch Netflix. Currently I am watching the TV series Bones.

Bones (TV series)
Bones (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I enjoy Kathy Reich’s novels and I am enjoying this series that has been inspired by her. I am now on season 10 and will be sad when the show ends. It is interesting to see how the characters and personalities have developed over the seasons.

This week I am grateful that the March Break is giving me the chance to rest and to pursue some of the things that I enjoy doing.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for dog paws

Lavender Ladi was grateful for music

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Long Weekend

Last weekend was longer than usual. I had time to read a couple of novels (both written by Jude Devereaux), go out for dinner, zumba at a couple of classes, and have a few dinners at home with my family. The days blended together as I chuckled with my girls and went for a couple of walks outside. The weather this past weekend was Spring-like – definitely not the weather one expects to experience mid-February. Even though it was not too long ago that we had our Winter break, this long weekend was welcomed with open arms. My girls needed a rest from the project-and-test frenzy they have experienced in the last few weeks; and I needed a couple of days off as a result of completing report card deadlines.

This week I am grateful for long weekends. Monday was a day off for most people (many stores were closed as were offices). The Family Day gave us a chance not only to spend time with our families, but to also give ourselves a much-needed rest.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for memory aids

Lavender Ladi was grateful for unexpected weather

Sandra was grateful for life

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Grateful for Snow

The snowfall we had over the weekend created a Winter wonderland which I had enjoyed over the weekend. When I arrived at school on Monday, I saw that the playground had been covered in a thick layer of snow. By the time the bell rang for entry time, the snow had not been disturbed too much. I quickly altered my plans for the day and decided to do a little outdoor learning. Once our morning routine had been completed (singing, counting, reading and correcting the message of the day), I took my class outside.

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Learning in the snow. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Last week we began our inquiry on structures so I asked them to build a structure with the snow (on their own or with a partner). A turtle was created, castles, castle walls, volcanoes, and a few original creations. I snapped pictures of their work with my iPad and this week I am going to ask them to write an explanation of the structure they had created. This activity will be done using the iPad and the app Piccollage.

After work comes play – and once their structures had been completed, the children enjoyed the freshly fallen snow until recess.

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Making Snow Angels. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This week I am grateful for snow. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it also gave me the opportunity to take the children’s learning outside.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for cell phones

Lavender Ladi was grateful for a note

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Grateful for Soup

Cold Winter days are perfect for soup! Once a week I enjoy making a vegetable soup which includes carrots, parsnips, potato, tomato, onions, garlic, parsley, salt, and some curry powder.

From time to time, I pour the mixture into my Vitamix blender and make a creamy blend. I do not do this too often as my youngest prefers eating a chunky soup.

This week I am grateful for warming soup on cold, winter days. With or without a chunk of bread, this meal always brings pleasure to the tastebuds.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for leggings

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Grateful for Hand Lotion

The winter months are harsh on the skin. The frigid air outside and the overheated indoor spaces dry out our skin. Add the anti-bacterial soap that schools use and your hands suffer. By mid-morning I can feel that my skin has tightened and craves a little moisture. I have bought hand lotion which I keep on my desk at school and my students have grown used to the sight of their teacher rubbing lotion on her hands at least once a day. I always get a compliment, “Madame, your hands smell so nice!” I guess they enjoy the scent of shea butter as much as I do. 🙂

This week I am grateful for hand lotion. After rubbing the moisture in my hands, they feel so much better.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for four walls and a roof

Lavender Ladi was grateful for newspaper fliers

Yvette was grateful for art in everyday objects

© 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)

Grateful for Headache Tablets

Yesterday during the day, I could feel a headache building up. It gnawed at my head the entire day. After work I went for a walk, hoping to blow it away. The walk did me good in that I exercised; but it did not lessen the tension around my head. During the night, my throbbing head woke me up and I capitulated – I took a headache pill. I do not enjoy taking these tablets and swallow them only when I can no longer withstand the pain. Taking the over-the-counter drug normally deadens the pain enough that I can fall asleep. Today I will take the bottle to school with me in case I need to mask the pain in my head that still makes itself felt.

Today I am grateful that there are painkillers that a person can buy without a prescription. They definitely help lessen pain and discomfort.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for cozy warmth

Lavender Ladi was grateful for hot tea

© 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)