Grateful for Warm Tea

Processed with RookieLast week I was grateful for the air conditioning units in my classroom. This week, I am grateful for something warm. Yes, the temperatures have dropped that much – especially in my room! As my space is north facing, no sun comes through the windows during the day and, with the lowering of temperatures outside, the space is not warmed up at all.

Because the heating in the school has not yet been turned on, my students and myself wear our sweaters. And if the children do not have sweaters, they wear their jackets. It is at that time of year when it is warmer to be outside than it is inside. We definitely look forward to when the furnance is turned on.

In the meantime, I warm myself from the inside by drinking tea from my thermos. My bottle of water remains untouched as my body craves something warm to drink. I am wondering whether I should take another thermos of tea to drink instead. Brr!

This week I am grateful for warm tea – and the occasional cup of coffee – to warm me while working in my classroom.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017


View from a Classroom

As you all know, the windows in my classroom were changed during the Summer. The new panes are not covered by a thick mesh, hindering my view of the outside. Instead, the new window protectors are thin and barely noticeable.

View from a Classroom Window. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The view from my window has also changed. Now I see the new play structure and the green of the pristine soccer field and running track. When I work from my desk in my classroom, I can enjoy the sight of children at play as well as the pleasing aesthetic of the newly renovated grounds.

What do you see through your window at work?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is a response to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. This week the prompt is: windows)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week Too Short

If we were having coffee, I would welcome you with a tired smile. The heat continued until Wednesday, making outdoor activity a little difficult. My sleep during the week was restless because it was so hot (no, I do not have a/c at home – we rely on fans). For the first three days of the week, I was grateful that I now have air conditioning in my classroom – it makes being nearer the construction on the neighbouring site worth it! The children came in from recess relieved to be in a cool space. Everyone was relieved when the temperatures dropped on Thursday – but were not happy with the rain and the drop to below 10c on Friday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday I went to a teacher’s workshop to refresh my knowledge on running records and using the reading kit for French Immersion the school board that I work for uses. I went with two of the people I am mentoring. It was good to spend some time with them and to get to know them a little more.

Practising Running Records. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

This year, the school board wants us to focus on reading with the grade 1s. We are to begin working with them early on in the year so that we can avoid them experiencing difficulties down the line. Our admin is supporting us in training us (there are 5 grade 1 teachers) and giving us support to implement the plan laid out by the superintendent. Twice a week for 1 1/2 hours, I have someone coming in to read with the at risk students in my class. Organising the reading and making the assessment more formal will help, I think, with knowing which children need help..

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to try Class Dojo, a programme/App that claims to help teachers communicate with parents about what is going on in the classroom, and about their own child. I set up my account yesterday and sent out the invites to all my parents. I hope to begin using it on Monday. I will let you know how it goes and whether it works well.

Class Dojo is set up! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the teaching week coming up will be four days. Friday is a PA day (professional activity) filled with staff meetings. I would also tell you that next weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada so many families will be preparing for their family dinners.

Have a wonderful evening and enjoy your week. Our temperatures are forecast to rise – but not as high as they were last week!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017


Grateful for Air-Conditioning

Processed with RookieFor the last few days we have been experiencing a heat wave (yes, it is the start of Autumn!). Children have been coming into the school drenched in sweat after playing outside in the heat. Cross country practices have been cancelled. Children have been seeking the shade during recess. It has been unbearably hot with everyone dressed in summer gear.

During the Summer, my classroom was installed with two air-conditioning units. Why? My room is near the condo construction site and the units were installed as I would not be able to open the windows due to the noise. During the heat wave, both my students and I have been grateful to walk into a cool room. The children come in and lie on the carpet to cool down. Once they have cooled down, they are able to get back to their activities and focus on their tasks – something they would not be able to do if the room were as hot as outside.

This week I am grateful for air-conditioning as it helps both my students and myself focus on what we need to do during the day. It certainly helps to make the heat wave more bearable!

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Accept

acceptLast week I was asked to take another student into my class. New to the neighbourhood, he had become more and more withdrawn in the grade 2/3 class he had been placed in. He was not speaking in class – neither to the teacher, nor to his classmates. Mom was concerned and pleaded for him to be moved. My principal thought he would do well with me because of the way I run my class.

I accepted the challenge.

He is a quiet boy and extremely withdrawn. He does take direction but is hesitant to respond to any questions in French. But what a pleasure it was to see him laugh with the rest of the class when we were being silly during carpet time. And in the morning his smile shines through when Monsieur Zazu, the class puppet,  greets every student.

I have worked with children before who are extremely introverted and, with patience and understanding, I have helped them build their confidence enough to speak in French in front of the class. Seeing him smile and getting him engaged in the classroom activities would be well worth the effort I put in to make him comfortable.

What challenge do you accept this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: accept)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Busy Week Flew By

If we were having coffee, I would definitely have the iced version! It is HOT here! Fall/Autumn has begun – and yet we are experiencing a heat wave. This is definitely not my favourite kind of weather. It is too hot to sleep, too hot to relax, too hot to breathe! It seems the heat will stay with us for the next few days. Tomorrow I will envy the children who wear shorts to school.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had our Curriculum Night at school last Tuesday. On this evening, teachers have the opportunity to let parents know a little about how things work in their classroom. This year we did things a little differently and had an Open House. I enjoyed it as I had a chance to speak with individual parents as they dropped in during the evening. I think the same format will be followed next year as teachers who are not normally visited (music, gym, library), were greeted by parents. I set up a few centres in my classroom so that parents could see a bit of how the children learn in my room.

During the week I received a new student who was moved from the grade 2/3 combined class. He is extremely shy and does not speak to anyone. I am hoping to help him gain confidence in speaking French, as well as make friends. I have seen him laugh a few times when we are on the carpet and it is a beautiful thing to see.

Last weekend I went to the library to pick up a book for my daughter and saw a tome I could not resist! As you know, I enjoy historical fiction and I quickly grabbed Alison Weir’s novel titled Anne Boleyn, a King’s Obsession. I am finding it  riveting so far – there is so much about her that I did not know. She definitely was a woman ahead of her time who believed that women could do so much more than they were allowed to do in the 1500s. I look forward to seeing how she merged her desires and the expectations society had of her.

As I get ready for bed, I am hoping that I can fall asleep. I will definitely leave the fan running as the heat is unbearable. I hope it is not too hot in your part of the world.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Status Quo

Processed with RookieThe last couple of weeks we have been in a state of flux at our school. Our numbers went down a little during the summer and we were worried that the school may be reorganised; i.e., that we may lose a teacher and have to change the classes. Typically reorganisation is done in the third week of school. It is a difficult time as everyone in the room (including the teacher) is beginning to get comfortable with one another; and the children are beginning to learn the routines.

Late Monday afternoon, we received the news that we would not be reorganised. I am so grateful as a reorganisation would have affected me. Instead of teaching a combined class, I would have been given a straight grade – and lost half of the members of my current class. Instead, I can forge ahead with the students I now have and can begin to do activities I had not yet begun for fear of reorganisation.

This week I am grateful for the status quo and look forward to spending time with the members of my class during the school year.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Weekend Coffee Share: The First Week is Over

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comIf we were having coffee, I would greet you warmly on this chilly evening. I would tell you that I wanted to chat earlier, but the day seemed to run away from me. I have decided to try and create a new routine and try my hand at blogging in the evening. Maybe this way I can get back into writing.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my first week back at school was tiring. By the time the school year ends, you forget how little the children were when they started off with you – and how dependant they were on you. This year I have more grade 1s than grade 2s – and it does make a difference in the dynamic of the class. The grade 1s are not yet used to working the entire day – and they are not used to participating when we work together on the carpet. It takes a lot of energy in the beginning to encourage them and teach them the routines. I have worked only four days with them and I know they will eventually become independent.

During the first week at school, the children in my class did a number of activities. This week I will be adding even more to their routine.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Saturday was welcomed so that I could rest a bit. I did not give Zumba a rest, though, and found the class rejuvenating. The fitness club I attend has put out a new Fall schedule and I am happy to say that a few more Zumba classes have been added. Most of them are during the day but I am able to attend the one on Sunday morning. Guess what I was doing this morning 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful week. I know that I am going to get to know my class more – and attend my Zumba classes. I am also hoping to get some blogging in. Enjoy the rest of your evening. Goodnight.

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)

Summer is Over

Summer is over and tomorrow I will go back to my normal routine. It is unbelievable that the past two months have gone by so quickly!

As you know from my last post, my mother came to visit us. Her stay lasted two months of the summer and we kept busy: chatting, sightseeing, shopping, sewing, spending time together. I am sure you noticed that summertime did not include blogging. Lack of social media output had not been my intention but I did find it difficult to include time to spend in front of my laptop during my mom’s visit.

When my mom left, I took a few days to rest  – and to participate in my favourite past time. I curled up on my favourite spot in the living room and read a few books on my to-read list. Once that time was over, and some errands had been completed, it was time for me to get ready for back-to-school. As you may remember, construction is happening next to our school. During the summer, the school board prepared for this and did a lot of construction at the school itself.

The grounds at our school were changed and improved on. New windows were installed and many classrooms received air conditioning units. My classroom was painted (finally!) as were a few others. Due to the construction, we were not allowed on the premises until last week.

When I stepped into my room it was a mess. I noticed that not only a white film of dust layered everything in the room, but also that some of my cupboards had been emptied. I sighed and began the huge task of getting the room in order. The last week of my summer was spent at the school and ended with me finally having the space ready to receive my new students tomorrow.

I look forward to the new school year and getting back into my routine. I have restarted my exercise routine and hope to pick up my blogging routine once I am back at work. The summer is over (as we can feel from the cooler weather) and it was one well spent.

How did you spend your summer?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Grateful for Butterfly Kits

This year was the third year that I had butterflies in the classroom. I have found that it is a wonderful way for the children to observe the life cycle of an insect and for them to observe the changes that the insect goes through.

Each morning as they enter the classroom, many of my students rush to the table where they are set up to see if there have been any changes overnight. Some will sit and watch the caterpillars (and later butterflies) for a while, observing their movements and looking at the way they are built.

A few days after the butterflies have come out of their chrysalis, we take them outside to set them free. The children love watching them fly free. This year the butterflies would not leave quickly, giving the children a chance to hold them in their hands. The children were so excited to hold them, and were surprisingly gentle with the insects.

This week I am grateful for butterfly kits as they enable me to bring a little bit of nature into my classroom.

What have you been grateful for this week? Share your post in the comments below.

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for an unplanned weekend

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017