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.

Processed with RookieLast week:

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?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for country skies

Lavender Ladi was grateful for flowers in her garden

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Short Week

Weekend Coffee Share | Nerd in the Brain (4)Good morning everyone. Hope you are well this Saturday. It is gloomy outside and walking about the streets requires an umbrella today. Not the perfect weather but at least it is warmer than it was in the beginning of the week.

This week it was FREEZING in my classroom – so cold I was tempted to wear my gloves to keep my hands warm. It felt warmer outside even though the temperatures outside weren’t too high either. The second week of April is when the heating is switched off in the school and the next few weeks will not be pleasant until the building warms up naturally. In the meantime even the children are wearing sweaters – and the tissue box is handy.

On Monday night our Zumba instructor was unable to teach – and they could not get a substitute. Instead we had a BodyAttack class – it is a high impact class featuring a lot of running and strength exercises. He said he would go easy on us. I don’t know what difficult is because the class was HARD! A good experience, even though my body ached for three days afterwards.

I was grateful that we had a short working week. I felt tired and knowing this fact kept me going strong. Yesterday I did a lot of resting and I feel much better today.

Now I am off to Zumba. I am really enjoying the classes and have reached the point where I keep hearing the music in my head. I remember when I used to dance – I would hear the music in my head and dance in my head as well. I am sure that once I know the choreography, I will be doing Zumba in my mind while I am walking, and in my  sleep!

Doing Zumba has definitely helped me with my sleep. It is rare now that I lie awake for hours in the early hours of the morning. I like that I sleep well and begin a day well-rested. When I am not tired I do have more patience with the children I teach and with my family members. I do not see myself stopping this form of exercise. And the bonus is that I do not need a partner to continue it!

After my exercise class, I will get things ready and do a little shopping for tomorrow’s dinner. I enjoy our Sunday family dinners – and the bonus will be that Monday is no school 🙂

I wish you a wonderful Easter Sunday with your family (if you celebrate this holiday). Do not eat too many of those chocolate eggs!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Nerd in the Brain)

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?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for cell phones

Lavender Ladi was grateful for a note

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

Weekend Coffee Share: We Had Snow!

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comGood morning to you. The snow is drifting lazily onto the ground. It is calm outside with not a breath of wind. I love it when it snows – and we have not had enough of it this winter. How about we walk outside a bit and enjoy the silent world? When we get back in, we can warm ourselves up with a hot drink.

On Friday evening, everyone walked home while the snow was falling. It was a pleasant walk as the sidewalks were not yet covered with slush. The going-home experience on Tuesday had been different. The sleet caused everyone to walk home timidly as the ice made the sidewalks slippery. Yes, I almost fell and decided not to go to my exercise class. I did not want to slip and fall in the dark streets on my way to or from the gym.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a number of students absent this week – some were sick, some were on a sun vacation. Ah, the beach right now would be bliss! And the sun! We still haven’t had days filled with sunlight. This winter is a very dreary one: no snow to cover the concrete sidewalks; and no blue skies and sunlight.

This week I have started seeing parents to discuss their child’s progress in my class. I have spread the interviews over quite a number of days so that I do not have to see them all in one evening. The evening that has been set aside for interviews is the one on which I Zumba – and I would prefer not to miss my class.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Parent Council at my school bought a projector for my class. I know that both the children and I are going to love it! One of my colleagues helped me set it up and showed me how to use it. We figured out how to connect it to my iPad and were astounded that we could watch YouTube on the screen as well as see all the Apps. On Friday I used the projector for the first time to show the children a video (I chose Caillou). They loved it! I think I will show them a video once a week – it will be good for their vocabulary development and listening comprehension.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I do feel tired and that I am looking forward to the long weekend coming up. The upcoming week will be a four day week but it promises to be jam-packed. Hope your week is a good one – and remember to have some time to yourself.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)

So Many Days!

Yesterday was day 100 of the current school year. It has been 100 days that I have greeted this year’s group of children; a 100 days that we have sung together, counted together, worked together. Each morning we count the days of the school year. We count by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, up to 10s. As we are counting by multiples, I sow the beginnings of multiplication knowledge. As the number of days increase, the children notice the patterns in the 100s chart that we build every day on the board.

A 100s Chart. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Yesterday we hit 100. “So many days Madame!” Yes, and by now the children are used to counting in multiples. To celebrate 100 days at school, I asked the children to make up some board games using their knowledge of multiples. The grade 1s were asked to use a multiple of their choice up to 100; the grade 2s up to 200. They enjoyed creating the games and then playing them in the afternoon.

Playing created board games.  

It is satisfying to see the children apply their knowledge – knowledge built over the last 100 days by following our morning routine. Now we will begin to count the days from 100.

How do you use your knowledge of multiples?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Stream of Consciousness SaturdayThe prompt is: so/sow/sew)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Stuffy Nose

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comIf we were having coffee, I would greet you on yet another overcast day. According to the news, in January we had only 16 days of seeing the sun. Very dreary! I am hoping that we get to see more sunshine during the month of February. This morning, however, does not look too promising.

Last weekend I woke up on Saturday sneezing which, unfortunately, turned into a cold. Today I am still dealing with a stuffy nose. I did not feel well enough to go to Zumba on Monday night, and on Thursday I still was carrying tissues around with me. I am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to pick up my exercise routine again. I missed moving to the music – though I did not miss going out into the cold in the evenings!

The last week was quite frigid. The children came in from recess with red cheeks – and I am sure my cheeks were just as cold! I had quite a few children absent during the week due to illness – on one day I had 15 children in my class. It was a very laid back day for me. 🙂

I have to tell you that this week was the second week of my crochet club at school. I still cannot believe how many children have registered. It is hard to say no to any child who wants to join as they are so keen. I saw a couple of the older girls the day before my group sessions at lunchtime and helped them a little with the stitches (sc). It was so nice to see them helping others at the Friday lunchtime session. Soon they will all understand what to do and we will all be crocheting the time away!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the corrections to my report cards have been done – there were just a few typos. Now they need to be signed, copied, and placed in envelopes. I have made appointments to start seeing parents next week. I would like to get the interviews done over the next couple of weeks so that I do not have to stay late on a Thursday night and miss my Zumba class.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now going to make some crepes for my children for lunch. They have been asking me to make some for a couple of weeks now and I have finally mixed the batter. It has been standing for an hour and is now ready to be cooked. Enjoy your week. Hope it is not too grey!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)

Weekend Coffee Share: Report Cards are Done!

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile on my face. My report cards are done! Completed on Friday afternoon after school, a week and two weekends before they are due! And I am happy to say that I did not work on them over the weekend at home. Sitting down in front of the computer and focusing helped a lot to get them done this quickly. Now I intend to contact the parents I need to see and spread out the meetings so that they are not all done at once.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that during the past week I had to take a day off as a headache turned into a migraine. I spent the day in my darkened bedroom and slept a little. It was worth taking time off as I felt so much better the next day. (So much better that I finished those report cards 🙂 !)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I started my crochet club at school. Friday was the first session – and I was surprised at how many children showed up. More children came to sign up during the lunch session, and others asked me for forms. It was quite a challenge helping them learn to cast on and do chain stitches. Luckily my former ECE wants to learn as well and, after quickly showing her, she helped me to help the children. A few of the children ‘got it’ and many realised that it is not as easy as they thought. I encouraged them not to give up. I hope that they do not and that they come to the next session.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that yesterday my husband made a lovely dinner for us to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year. My nephew came over to celebrate with us and we had a lovely evening eating and chatting. If you celebrate the start of the lunar calendar, I wish you a wonderful Year of the Rooster.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)

Memories of David Bowie

This week for their Show & Tell, I have asked my students to share with the class their favourite singer and song. I expected the presentation on Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber; the surprise came when one of my students shared a David Bowie album.

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A Bowie album cover. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Looking at the album cover, I was taken back to my adolescence. One of my cousins loved Bowie’s music and would often play his songs and enact his music. We never got to see the musician live, but we spent many hours imagining we were on stage with him.

My cousin loved Space Oddity

But my favourite was Let’s Dance

I have many pleasant memories dancing to David Bowie’s music under the warmth of the South African sun. And my cousin? He is still a fan of Bowie’s music.

What is the name of your favourite David Bowie song?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: A Fruitful Week

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comIf we were having coffee, I would welcome you in from the wind. We have had lovely weather during the past two days – it has almost been Spring-like. The wind, however, is picking up and I can hear it howling outside of my window. I am sure that the wind will bring with it lower temperatures.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Monday to Thursday we had indoor recess at school. The children could not go out to play because the fields were layered with ice. Keeping children inside for four days in a row is not a fun experience! They need the time to go outside, run around, and breathe in fresh air. As I passed the school this morning, I noticed that the ice had melted. Yipee! The fields may be muddy but at least the children can go out to play.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Friday was a PA day: the children did not go to school; and the teachers had the opportunity to begin working on the report cards. I entered the school at 8:30am and closed the door to my classroom at 4:30pm. The long day was worth it.

Assessing student work. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The lack of interruptions enabled me to finish my assessment of my students’ work; and to complete 85% of the report cards. I felt a sense of satisfaction as I walked home. Because I completed so much of the work on Friday, my stress level to the approaching deadline is not too high. I know that if a do a little everyday, my work will soon be done.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Saturday morning I made my way to Michaels, a craft store that stocks a wide range of yarn (wool). I was armed with a list of names and searched for crochet hooks and yarn to make scarves.

Yarn shopping. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

I am to start a crochet club at school next Friday. I have 12 children who have signed up so far, and others who have shown interest. The first project is a scarf which the children will wear with pride when they are done. I am hoping that I can get them to love crochet as much as I do. I am pleased to say that there are some boys who have joined. 🙂

On the way back from Michaels, I stopped off at the library to hand in my books… and I could not resist going in to browse for reading matter. I decided to pick up a few titles of some authors whose books I have previously enjoyed.

This week’s reading selection. 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. And remember to do something for yourself.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diane, The Part-Time Monster)