Grateful for Learning Experience

This week I am spending time to learn for the written exam that I have this weekend. As you may remember, I registered for the Canfitpro course in order to be a group fitness instructor. My intention is to share my love of Zumba with others.

Reading through the coursework I could not help but smile as it takes me back to high school and to when I did Biology. Even though getting the information into my head is slow, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to learn the material. It is interesting and it has helped me realise what exactly it is that makes a good group fitness instructor.

What are you grateful for this week? And what has made you smile?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection and is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

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Drawing Together

Last week was March Break which meant two things:

  • I was able to sleep in and relax often with a book during the day;
  • I got to see my friend who lives quite a distance away for a day.
Drawing Together © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

We have known one another since I began taking my eldest daughter to school. Our children have grown up knowing one another and get on well – which has certainly made things easier for our friendship. My friend and I spent the day chatting and catching up – and the children drew.It is quite a coincidence that all of our children love art and that they all wish to make a career out of it. Just another reason why we all get on so well together.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Reading Buddy

I always try to encourage a love of reading in my classroom. I have created a reading space in the room, and I give children time during the day to spend with their library books. Some children in my class gravitate towards the centre when all their tasks are done and immerse themselves in their story while others like to share what they are reading with a friend. One of my students (who enjoys reading) left his reading buddy with a book while he went out to recess.

A Reading Buddy. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I could not help but smile at the sight. Not only has he kept his spot in the book in a non-traditional way, but his action highlights how much he enjoys spending time with stories.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Youth Arts Program Exhibition

This year both of my daughters submitted their art work to the Youth Arts Program for the exhibition that takes place every year at the Ontario Legislative Assembly. On Monday evening we attended the opening event. Even though the wind was extremely strong, we bundled up and took the journey to Queen’s Park. It was not hardship for me to do this as I want to support my children in all their efforts in order to encourage them in the pursuit of their dreams. It is a big step for them to put their art out into the world – especially my younger daughter who is not as confident as her big sister.

After the speech given by the First Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, we had the opportunity to look at all the art on display. The art comes from all over Ontario and is produced by children ages 12 – 18. There is some really good art on display. Of course I could not help but smile when I saw my daughters’ work.

Abstract Art by my Eldest Daughter. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

My eldest daughter was disappointed when she saw her art work was placed upside down. She was pleased, however, at having her work displayed in the Legislative Assembly for all visitors to see.

A piece created with markers and pencil. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

My youngest daughter does beautiful work with ink. This was the first time she has submitted work for any event and I was very proud of her courage to do so this year. She was also beaming to see her work on display.Monday evening saw both my husband and I smiling. We are so grateful that our children have the opportunity to shine.

What are you grateful for this week? And what has made you smile?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection and is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

A Gift of a Rose

For some reason we were talking birthdays in class – maybe because there are a number of birthdays happening in the next few weeks. One of my students (whom I have known for a number of years), asked me when my birthday was. He was very upset that he had missed it as he had planned on giving me a gift. He must have expressed his disappointment at home because, a few days later, he gave me the gift of a rose for my birthday.

Gift of a Rose © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I could not help but smile when I received his gift. He was grinning from ear to ear and was so happy to see that I was pleased with the rose. And me? The gesture had certainly made my day – and is still making me smile when I look at the rose placed on my side table.

What is the sweetest gift you have received?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Lunar Celebration

Last night my family and I went out to eat dinner. The occasion? To celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Eating out is a treat for us and we looked forward to eating dumplings and many Chinese-style treats. Eating out together is already something to smile about but when we saw the decorations in the restaurant, our smiles grew wider. They were just beautiful.

Our waiter was friendly and welcoming, the food a treat, and the atmosphere perfect. We walked home happy and sated – though a little full. A perfect way to begin a lunar year.

If you celebrate the start of the lunar year, I wish you all the best.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

A Basic Training

Last weekend on Saturday, I attended the Basic Training to begin my path to be a Zumba instructor. Saturday morning saw me waking up early to get ready to go. I ate breakfast and then bundled up to go outside. The temperatures were low and discouraging but I had made a decision to go further with the Zumba classes and did not want to let myself down (added to which I had already paid for the training).

After an hour and a half travel time using the public transit, I arrived at the venue to see many people milling about. I had made it just in time and rushed to get registered and changed for the lesson. We had been warned it would be physical so I was prepared to do a little dancing.

The day started with a Zumba class run by the instructor. And already I was smiling 😀 The class was full of energy and so much fun to do – I can only work towards being as good as he is. After the sample class, we continued dancing – and learning. I began to see and understand the patterns that I had followed in the many Zumba classes I have attended.

After lunch, we sat for a bit to talk about theory – but only for a short while. Then we were up again getting our bodies moving. It was nearing the end of the day and my body was feeling the strain: my arms were hurting, and my legs were wobbly. The training was definitely practical-based and not theory-based. The day ended with me receiving my certificate of completion and signing up to be a ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) member. Now I will work towards preparing to teach my first class.

The Zumba training definitely made me smile. Not only did I enjoy the dancing in the training, but the instructor was funny. I am sure I will do more courses with them as I would love to be able to teach children.

What made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Comic Art

In order to encourage creative writing in my class of grade 1s and 2s in a French Immersion school, I use the strategies described by Lucy Calkins to implement a Writer’s Workshop. The children are always working on a story. and can wrote at their own pace. Currently storyboard templates are available so they can choose to create a graphic story. My grade 2 boys love this activity and, once they have completed all other set tasks, can be seen working on their writing dossier.

Creating a comic book. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

 

I love that they are so engaged in creating – even those who are not too keen on writing. I hear them correcting one another and sharing their stories. They come to me and ask me how to express something in French – and then attempt to record the sentence (in writer’s workshop correct spelling is not the important focus – writing down the idea is). I cannot help but smile at their enthusiasm and look forward to reading their creations.

Have you tried creating a comic book?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

An Illustrated Version

This weekend I re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling. I had read the book over a decade ago and wanted to improve my memory on some of the details as my students this year love the Harry Potter stories.

Title page. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

My re-read of this well-known story was made even more interesting because I spent time with the illustrated version of the novel. J. K. Rowling’s story has been illustrated beautifully by Jim Kay and I loved looking at the paintings  that accompany the text.

Coffee and Harry Potter. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I spent my weekend immersed in the land of Hogwarts and the world of Harry. This extra long picture book brought me so much joy. How I wish many more stories were illustrated in this way.

Relaxing on the sofa with Harry Potter. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

This weekend I definitely had a smile on my face while reading. Both the story and the illustrations in my read brought a smile to my face.

Have you seen the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)

Frenzy Presents Ben Philippe

Yesterday evening I attended an event to celebrate the release of Ben Philippe’s debut novel The Field Guide to the North American Teenager (you can read my review here). The event, held by Harper Collins Canada for book bloggers, took place at a pie and coffee shop in the Kensington area of Toronto. As my daughter and I walked along the street, we recognised that we had strolled along the same road during the past summer and that we had actually walked past this store front but not gone in. We walked in, curious about this venue that had been chosen by the organisers of the event.

The vibe at the venue was thrumming once everyone had arrived and we were all keen to hear Ben Philippe speak. Most of us had already read his novel and wished to learn a little more about the writer. Unfortunately he did not speak long to the large group as the venue was noisy and he could not be heard clearly. However when he personalised the copies of our books, we had the opportunity to speak to him a bit. I loved that he is enthusiastic about his story, and that he was curious how people responded to the ending. I agree with the way he ended the story, though not everyone in attendance did.

My daughter and I had a lovely evening at the event. We met new people, had the chance to meet a wonderful debut author, and had some key lime pie (which is often mentioned in the novel 🙂 )

Do you wish to read The Field Guide to the North American Teenager?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)