My teaching on adjectives using the book Je Veux Un Monstre! by Elise Gravel did not stop with colouring monsters. (If you missed my post on colouring in monsters, you can click here) The next step in the learning goal was for the students to draw their own monsters. I loved the drawings they came up with – they were so creative. After completing their drawings, and colouring them in, I was happy to see the children using the adjective anchor chart I had up on the wall as well as the key rings with vocabulary cards attached to write down the adjectives they would use to describe their monster.
After noting down adjectives, the next step in the task was to write sentences to describe the drawn monster. After correction, students created their neat copy. These I put up on the wall outside the classroom for everyone to read.
We have stopped working on descriptive writing for a while as we finish our inquiry on structures. When I re-introduce the need to use adjectives, we will be describing objects and living things that can be found in the world.
If we were having coffee, I would welcome you in from the cold. In spite of the mild weather we had during the week, both days this weekend have been chilly – the temperatures did not reach the double digits, but at least they did not drop below 0c!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that quite a bit happened over the past week: my attendance at a publishing house showcase, a school trip to the zoo, and my daughter’s birthday.
During my attendance at the OLA Super Conference, I dropped in at the booth run by Pembroke Publishers – a publishing house that specialises in educational books. I left my name and email address with them so that I could receive emails of new releases. A month ago, they sent me an evite to attend their annual showcase. The lineup looked interesting so I accepted the invitation.
From the time I had a bite to eat for breakfast until the moment I lay down my fork after lunch, I was engaged. A line-up of authors spoke about a tidbit from their book. The talks and snapshots were varied and inspiring. I had invited my friend and ex-colleague to attend the showcase with me – and we both loved it. I left the venue with my head buzzing on ideas to improve my teaching practice. I left as well with a purchase of three titles:
Literacy out Loud by Terry Campbell and Michelle E. McMartin. At the moment for Book Club, we are reading about setting up a writer’s workshop in the classroom. This book will, I think, be a perfect compliment to that text.
Guiding Readers by Lori Rog. This text will be set aside for my Summer reading as I aim to improve on my guided reading sessions next year.
Cultivating Readers by Anne Elliott and Mary Lynch. The speaker was so inspiring on ways to get students reading.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Friday I went with my class on a field trip to the zoo. As our school mascot is the penguin, we celebrate World Penguin Day (which was on 25 April). This year our principal organised that the entire school had an opportunity to go to the zoo and meet the penguins. On Friday it was the turn of my class. The talk was informative and the children had many of their penguin questions answered. After lunch we had some time to walk about the zoo before heading back to school.
Yesterday was a big day for my daughter – she turned 18! I cannot believe that the little baby that I brought home is now officially a young woman. She had a few friends over to celebrate and eat lunch with her. After we had prepared the lunch, my husband and I went out to give them some time alone. We took the opportunity to see a film we had been wanting to see for a while, Black Panther. We both loved it. I found the fight scenes so graceful. There were a few moments in the film that caused shivers down my spine. Loved the storyline. Loved the acting.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is now time I do a little reading for the Book Club I am running at school. Speak to you next weekend, and have a wonderful week.
I spend my work days planning lessons, preparing for my classes, assessing my students’ work, and teaching. Every minute of my day feels jam-packed and there are times when I do not stop for a breather. Tidying up the new activities I have created as well as filing my students’ tasks is a low priority in my day.The time may have come, though, to set some time aside to clear up the teetering piles of paper on my desk.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am so happy to see a bit of blue sky today. This past week felt like winter with freezing rain, snow, slippery sidewalks and winter boots! All the adults at work were complaining while the children gleefully played with the snow during recess. By yesterday afternoon about 80% of the snow had melted (though we hadn’t seen much sun). I am hoping that next week we will have a proper Spring.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my colleague and I ran our first Teacher Book Club session on Wednesday. The meeting was well received and people afterwards came to me and said how much they had enjoyed it. I loved how people were sharing their thoughts and even their own experiences in the classroom. I had moved my tables (the children sit in groups at round tables) so that we were in a large circle. We were therefore able to see the faces of everyone as they spoke. There were twelve of us at the first meeting, and I do not think the number will dwindle.
If we were having coffee, I would continue on the subject of work and tell you that our assignments for next year have been decided. I have been given my first choice – which was to continue working with the grade 1 and 2 combined class. I will have more grade 1s in the class next year and plan to adjust my programme accordingly. The bonus is that I shall stay in my current room so I will not need to pack up and move to another space.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the guide book to Paris that I ordered from Amazon arrived earlier in the week. My husband is currently reading it and I think I will need to grab it from him sometime this weekend – there are a few places I want to check out that I did not visit the last time I was in that fair city.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that nothing else has happened this week. The days have followed the usual routine. Hopefully next week will be warmer – and I know will be a little different (I will tell you all about it next week).
A couple of weeks ago one of my parents gifted me with some money to buy something I need for the classroom. Without hesitation, I knew what I would purchase – a copy of the book I had wanted for a while now: Iggy Peck l’Architecte by Andrea Beaty. I will use this story as a springboard for the final task in my Structures inquiry. It is the perfect tale to show the children the design process that I will take them through.This week I am grateful for the generosity of a parent who wants to give to her child’s class. The purchase of this picture book will not only help enrich her son’s learning, but the learning of many children in the future.
What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather is awful today! The temperature is down to -10c and we are experiencing freezing rain. This is not the weather one would expect in spring during the month of April. When you think of spring, you think instead of mild weather and blooming flowers. I have not seen many flowers and yesterday when walking in the park, my daughter and I noticed that there were not even buds forming on the trees. The branches are still winter-bare even though they are housing birds.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I had a Scientist in the School come into my classroom to run a workshop I love. This workshop is usually my introduction to spring and the inquiry on living things. Even though it was snowing outside during her presentation and spring was not mentioned at all (except the lack of it), the children still enjoyed the experience. The workshop was on bugs and the children had the opportunity to touch an assortment of them. I was surprised that many boys did not want to caress and hold the worms. The highlight of the afternoon was definitely the tarantula that the presenter brought in to visit!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week we decided where we would go for our summer vacation. We toyed with the idea of going to a resort in Mexico again but then decided to go to Europe instead. We chose Paris as I am the only one who has been to this fair city. Both my husband and daughters are itching to go and I look forward to hearing my girls use the French that they have learned at school. This morning I began planning our days. I have opened a document in Google Drive and started listing the things we would like to see. My intention is to plan, more or less, each day we will have there so that no time is wasted. I am also looking at the cost of entrance fees and how to get to places – especially those places out of Paris. I have ordered a guide book as well as a map from Amazon and cannot wait to receive them.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to not stay too long. The icy rain is still falling and the roads are extremely slippery. Stay safe for the rest of the weekend.
The age group that I teach love colouring and always welcome an opportunity to use bright colours. For a recent activity on writing, I asked them to colour and describe a monster. Using the co-created poster of adjectives, they wrote down adjectives of their choice to describe their monsters. .
Not only do I enjoy seeing their colourful monsters, but I love that the children have managed to describe their monsters using the classroom resources in the language that they are learning.
One of the highlights of the Structures Inquiry that I am currently doing with my students is a woodworking workshop. Each year I invite a person into my class to run the workshop. He prepares the materials for the project I have chosen (this year I chose the windmill). He brings the tools and woodworking tables into my room and he runs the sessions. This year the grade 1 classes joined my class.
The children love this workshop – and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they they see that they are building something themselves with a hammer and nails. This year was extra special to me because, not only were the girls successfully building, but the parent volunteers were all women.
Two days later, all the classes had tried their hand at building and we were ready for the next phase of the project: painting and decorating. I set aside Friday afternoon as ending the week with a burst of creativity is always a good thing.
The children enjoy this part of the project as much as the building. When they took their efforts home, the windmills were held proudly in their hands. I can only imagine the smiles the structures would bring to the faces of those who admire them.
Once again the woodworking workshop was a success. No matter what grade I teach next year, I know I will include this activity on my programme.
If we were having coffee, I would urge you to come inside quickly. The temperatures have dropped and it is quite chilly outside. On Friday it snowed! I could not believe it as it is April already and Spring should have arrived. Luckily I had not put my Winter boots away because I have needed to pull them on for the last few days.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my body is feeling a bit sore at the moment. The teacher for Sh’bam on Saturday has a more intensive choreography than our previous Zumba teacher and, on top of this morning’s class, my muscles are feeling it. Speaking about instructors, we have a new one for the Thursday Zumba class. I like her. Her classes are high energy and she also does a couple of tracks that are Power Zumba. It can be intense. I think she may lose some people – but gain others. I look forward to dancing with her.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week my class, and all the grade 1 classes, participated in a woodworking workshop. The workshop was set up in my room and we each had a session. The project I chose for the children to do was a windmill. They loved it! They got to build their structure using a hammer and nails. They made an axle and a pulley – it is a perfect way for them to understand the science concepts that I have been teaching them in class.
On Friday, once my room had been cleared, I gave the children the opportunity to paint and decorate their windmills. The room was buzzing with chatter as they worked. Every year that I arrange the woodworking workshop and encourage the children to decorate their windmills, it is a success. The structures are carried home afterwards with pride and placed, I am sure, in a prominent place in their bedroom.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week did go by quickly – even more so because we had a four day working week. Next week we will be back to normal and will follow our usual routine. All I wish for now is some warmer weather!
Every year in March at our school we have our own carnaval based on the winter carnival that takes place in Quebec City. The parents and teachers plan activities for the day to celebrate school spirit and the fact that we have passed the halfway mark of winter. Part of the tradition is to decorate our classroom doors. This year the SNA (special needs assistant) that is in my room came up with this wonderful idea. I let her run with it. We loved our door and the children were very proud of it.
The school carnival was a day of fun and it was sad to take down our lovely door decorations.
Have you celebrated the winter carnival in Quebec City?