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)

Grateful for Approaching PA Day

It is our second week back from the Winter break and we are already thinking of the report cards. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was printing a set and meeting with all the parents.

This week I am assessing the children’s oral communication, reading skill, and writing ability. I am also thinking about their ability to understand my oral communication with them. Do they grasp what I am saying to them in French? Are they able to follow my verbal instructions?

Not only am I to think of the children’s ability in French, I am expected to determine their skill level in Mathematics, their understanding of Science, and their participation in their Social Studies inquiry. Time needs to be spend gathering all their work and reflecting on where to place them on the rubric. It is now that I am grateful for the time I spent documenting all of their participation as their performance is not always evident in the product that they have produced.

This week Friday we have a PA day (day of professional activity), a day that has been set aside by the school board for reporting. On Friday, I will be setting out to school like every other work day. The day will differ to the norm, however, in that I will not have any children in my classroom. Instead I will have the chance to work uninterrupted and do my best to make as much headway as I can with the first term report cards.

This week I am grateful for upcoming PA. The day will give me the opportunity to do as much as I can on reporting and thus lessen the personal time I use to complete the task.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for fire and ice

Lavender Ladi was grateful for finished project

© 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 Winter Break

When 23 December came around, I was exhausted and had been counting the days, then hours, until the Winter break. The final preparations for Christmas were a bit rushed but it all came together nicely. Christmas day dawned and all was quiet in our home. Now that my daughters are teens, the day begins a little later than in the past. I enjoyed the moments of quiet before everyone was awake. I prepared a little brunch and then woke up my family. I enjoyed the sense of togetherness as we all sat around the table, chatting and laughing.

The sense of family continued for the rest of the day and spilled into the next two. Christmas day we exchanged gifts, participated in conversation, shared meals, and watched a movie.

The day after Christmas is traditionally a shopping day – and that we did together. The day after my family continues spending time together to celebrate my birthday. As always, we shared a meal together and then we went to see a movie – Rogue One, the latest Star Wars episode. This was my choice as I am a Star Wars fan – and have been since I saw The Return of the Jedi in the cinema with my great aunt.

The greatest gift to me during this period is the family time we have. I treasure it as I know it will not always be thus. My children will one day have their partners and the family dynamic will change.

After the New year, I visited the library – a must during any break I have. I came home with seven books and plenty to read during some downtime.

The first week of 2017, I spent my mornings sitting on the sofa enjoying the words that had been penned by some of my favourite authors.

During the past two weeks I have been grateful for the Winter break. I had family time, read a lot, and relaxed plenty. I am now ready to tackle the next school term.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for a fresh start

Lavender Ladi was grateful for fuzzy socks

© 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 the Time is Near

The time is near for what? The weekend? Christmas? No, the time is near for the two week Winter break. Today my colleagues and I will be repeating the phrase ‘only three days’. Three days until we can rest and not think about lesson plans and assessment. Three days until we can sleep late. Three days until I can relax and read.

I am looking forward to the break as I feel bone tired. My energy levels are low and I do not feel in top form. I want to delve into my book stash, snuggle on the sofa, and read. The bonus is, of course, the upcoming weekend during which we will celebrate Christmas and spend some lovely family time together.

This week I am grateful that the time is near – and I am counting down every minute!

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for thinking she can

Lavender Ladi was grateful for snowploughs

© 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 School Tree

This year our principal has once again ordered a freshly cut tree to put in the school office. As the scent of pine perfumes the space, children come in to hang the penguin ornaments they have made (the penguin is our school mascot). Our school community loves our ‘sapingouin’ (sapin + pingouin) and the office is filled with visitors admiring the tree.

The 'sapingouin'
The ‘sapingouin’ © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

This week I am grateful for the Christmas tree that abides in the school office. The sight of it lifts my spirits, and the smell is refreshingly pleasant.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura was grateful for mother/daughter time

Lavender Ladi was grateful for weight loss

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

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Grateful for Quiet

My class this year is chatty … very chatty.

They chat as they are getting ready to come into the class.

They chat when they should be reading quietly on the carpet.

They chat when they are doing the Math question of the day.

They chat when I am giving them a lesson.

They chat during Show & Tell.

They chat when they are doing their activities.

I don’t mind that they chat. I do mind, though, when they should be listening. I do mind when the noise level rises to an unbearable point. ‘Whisper’, I tell them. ‘Work instead of socialising’, I tell them.

Yesterday it seemed as if they had received the message. I am not sure why (the music? the Santa colouring page?) but yesterday my class worked quietly. When they were helping one another with their tasks, they whispered. Otherwise they were focused on their task. What a pleasure! I am hoping this continues so that I can do some individual reading and actually hear what the child is saying!

This week I am grateful that my class is learning to control their desire to chat non-stop.

What have you been grateful for this week?

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Laura wrote on gratitude during Words of Gold

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

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