Grateful for Mid-Week Get Together

This week I got together with a friend of mine who lives quite a distance from me and who was prepared to drive down to the city to attend a bookish event with me. I had told her about my experiences and she was keen to join me. On Wednesday, the book launch of debut author Roselle Lim, writer of Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, became the reason we chose to meet up and spend an evening away from home.

The event was held at an independent bookstore that I had never before visited, so I was curious to see the venue. I loved the sign placed outside the store front and felt welcomed before I had even entered the shop.

A number of people had already arrived and soon the bookstore was buzzing with even more patrons. Roselle Lim was nervous, as any debut writer would be, but she smiled graciously as she welcomed those who were there to support her.

She read an extract from her novel and I wish she could have spoken a bit about her writing experience and the inspiration for her story. First time nerves maybe?

Anyway, my friend and I enjoyed the outing together. We sipped a glass of wine, chatted a little, and enjoyed the ambience of the environment. This week I am grateful for the excuse of a book event to meet up with my close friend. Together we will now read the novel we had signed by the author – which will lead to a number of texts flying between us, I am sure.

What are you grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection. You are welcome to join in and share your post in the comments.)

Grateful for A Quiet Moment

Tonight is the school concert and it is happening in a couple of hours. When my class is not performing their song, I am expected to supervise them in my classroom while the parents watch the show. The day of the concert is a long one; especially when it is filled with excited children. I am hoping that tonight they will be a little calmer than during the day; and that they will bring something interesting with them to keep themselves occupied.

This week I am grateful that for the few moments of quiet that I will have in my classroom before it is filled again with twittering children.

What are you grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection. You are welcome to join in and share your post in the comments.)

Grateful for Showcase

Yesterday I attended the Pembroke Publishers Showcase. This is an event organised by the Pembroke publishing house for interested teachers to attend. At the showcase, authors speak for 20 minutes about their recent publication and while speaking, give us an insight into what the book covers. While listening, I am often inspired and think about ways in which I can improve my teaching practice.

A quick bite to eat before the event begins. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

This is the second year that I have attended the event and returned to the workshop as I find it inspiring. I also enjoy the day as I get to spend some time away from the classroom with other teachers. As a result of the day, I now have a teacher book that I want to read to add an extra layer to the literacy component in my classroom.

This week I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend the Pembroke Publishing Showcase. The day was interesting and inspiring – and I look forward to next year’s event.

What are you grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection. You are welcome to join in and share your post in the comments.)

Grateful for BFF Time

Saturday morning dawned with grey skies and the promise of a wet day. The gloomy morning, however, did not dampen my spirits as I was to see my best friend. We had connected on the first day I took my daughter to school soon after we had landed in Toronto. We had bonded while our children played in the park. Now those children are finished high school and we still meet to share our thoughts and experiences.

We decided to take ourselves out for brunch and went to a restaurant that serves all day breakfasts. The meal we chose was delicious, the eggs cooked to perfection. Time was of no consequence as we chatted about our daily lives, what we had read, and what we hoped to do in the near future. I savoured the moment as I knew the next time I would see her would be in a few months time.

After eating, the rain prevented us from taking a walk so we went into Starbucks to continue our conversation. Eventually the time came when we had to return home and to our familial responsibilities. Meeting up with my friend was definitely a treat. I am grateful that she took the time to come down and spend a day with me.

What are you grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is part of my weekly gratitude reflection)

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?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for country skies

Lavender Ladi was grateful for flowers in her garden

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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?

Processed with RookieLast week:

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 for Teamwork

This year I am not the only one teaching a grade 1/2 combined class at my school. Instead, there are two other people who have joined me in the experience. No longer am I isolated and working on my own. Now I have two teachers to share ideas with – and two others who are helping to improve the programme I created last year. As we work together I am helping them not only with activities that worked last year, but I am giving them suggestions on how to manage the grade 1s and 2s. It is a pleasure for me to meet during lunch to discuss what we will teach in the following week. And I love that I am not working in isolation on the long range plans for our classes.

This week I am grateful that I am part of a grade 1/2 team and that I am no longer working in isolation.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for sleepy dog afternoons

© 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 Woodworking Workshop

Processed with RookieTo end our Inquiry on Structures, I organised a woodworking workshop for my class through U Can Do IT, a Candian company that offers a woodworking experience to children. In class during the inquiry, the children had had the opportunity to build with blocks and lego as well as with boxes and recycled materials. With this workshop, they had the opportunity to build with wood, nails and a hammer.

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Preparing for a woodworking experience. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Yesterday morning the presenter came into the classroom and set up the woodworking tables and materials that the children would use. When entering the classroom, the children were excited to begin and struggled to wait until everything was ready. I had chosen for them to make a windmill as in the grade 2 curriculum the students need to be exposed to moving structures. The workshop experience was perfect for them as the children used the vice of a simple machine to build their structure; and made their own example of a pulley. The windmills have moving parts and the children loved that they had made something that could move. My students will be decorating and personalising their windmills today. These are structures that they cannot wait to take home – and ones they will remember making for a long time.

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Completed windmills. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

This week I am grateful that a company such as this exists here in Toronto. Through them, I was able to bring to the classroom an experience that I am not qualified to teach. The presenter was friendly and helpful – and one I will invite into my room again.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for budding artists

Laura was grateful for fuzz therapy

© 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 Warmer Weather

Processed with RookieWithin the last week, temperatures have started to rise. Days are still cool and there are times when I still wear my gloves, scarf and coat. My winter boots, however, are left on the shoe shelf, my hat and heavy coat reside in the the closet. On an early morning walk I hear the birds sing, and I have begun to see green shoots coming out in the flower beds. Spring is in the air as the children jostle out to recess hatless and gloveless. I move outside with a smile on my face and I do not mind too much now to walk to the supermarket.

The joy I feel at the moment was best expressed by Vivaldi:

This week I am grateful for the warmer weather and will enjoy the higher temperatures that have been forecast in the days to come.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Last week:

Lavender Ladi was grateful for just rain

© 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)