This week winter has returned to the city I call home. Temperatures are below zero and snow has fallen on the ground. The wind has an icy bite to it as I step on the salted sidewalks. This week, however, I am not standing outside on duty while the school children play. Instead when outside, I am on my way to Zumba or the grocery store. This week is March break – a week during which schools are closed.
During March break, many have flown south to sunny skies and warm beaches. I have chosen to stay at home and take the time off to relax. I am sleeping late, reading a few books on my TBR pile, and going to Zumba classes during the day. With my feet up on the sofa and a book in hand, I sip my tea and occasionally look out through the window at the flurries falling to the ground. I like knowing that I don’t have to go out of I do not want to. I like knowing that there is nothing that I have to rush out to go and do.
This week I am grateful for March break. I am grateful to have the chance to recharge my batteries so that I can complete the last stretch before the end of the school year. Slowing down for a while does me good – and gives me the chance to get some reading done!
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 apologise for the late check-in this weekend. I have started reading Lawrence Hill’s novel, The Illegal, and I am finding it hard to put down! I bought this book two years ago with the gift card parents had given me as a Christmas gift, and had placed it on my growing TBR pile. I had read, and loved, his previous novel, The Book of Negoes.. I knew that I would enjoy this one as well and took the opportunity to buy it as a gift.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the end of February felt spring-like. The days were mild, the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping. As March began, however, we were sent a reminder that winter had not quite finished with us yet. During the night of 1 March, snow fell gently to the ground and we woke up to a white-covered world. As I walked through the park on Friday, I enjoyed the peaceful snowscapes – but hoped I would not see any more this season.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week our school celebrated winter with a carnival of our own. For the day, children did a variety of activities at school such as creating with plasticine, making team flags, playing with large balls, and building with lego. The children were placed into six colour teams (the colours of the Quebec carnival), and supervised during the activities by the teachers and volunteer parents who are not running the stations.
As you can see, I was supervising the purple team 🙂 During the afternoon, the children watched a dance show presented in Freench . My class ended the day with some outdoor play and a story. The kids had fun – but I went home exhausted!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend I worked on some new vocabulary games for my class. Each year I add to the games I have and this year I am in the process of making some to help them learn the science vocabulary for structures. The children enjoy playing bingo and memory game – and they learn the French words quite quickly while having some fun! I am hoping to have the games printed, cut, and laminated by the end of this week. Up to now we have been playing these games learning the shape vocabulary and the children are getting proficient at recognising and naming 2D and 3D shapes in French.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weekend feels short once again. How I wish we had three days in which to recover from the week! Have a wonderful week and I will catch up again next weekend.
This year I have a group of three grade 1s who are focused when working and finish their tasks ahead of everyone. From time to time I give them the opportunity to play with the blocks, and each time they build something intricate. Last week Friday I captured the beginnings of one of their structures.
Soon I will give them the opportunity to build for our Science inquiry. I look forward to seeing what they can build with the blocks and materials I will offer them in class.
Do you know anyone who enjoys building with blocks?
If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile. The morning is beautifully mild and I am looking forward to going out for my walk. It does feel like spring has arrived but I know from experience that we will have a cold snap. It has been raining quite a bit during the last week (plenty of indoor recesses) and it looks like we will have more next week.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my body is aching a little. On Thursday I managed to fit in a BodyPump class – the first (and last) one I had attended was during the winter break. I liked the instructor and I think I will be going back. I am sure that, with time, my body will get used to the squats and weight lifting – and then I will not hurt as much! At mid-day I will be going to the gym again for my Saturday group class. I am very disappointed (as are others in my class) that the powers that be have changed the Zumba class into a Sh’bam class. The fitness class is also based on dance – but more contemporary dance and hip-hop. The music is different – and it is only 45 minutes as opposed to 60 minutes. I do not enjoy it as much but I need to give it a chance.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our work week was short because of the Family Day holiday on Monday. This week the days seemed to fly past. In class I was very busy with my students as we began our new inquiry on structures. We played a number of vocabulary games to learn the names of shapes and they love them – especially the bingo! I am hoping to find the energy this week to make another bingo game to help them learn the Science terms for structures. The children know most of the French words for 2D and 3D shapes – they are almost ready to learn the next set of words. In previous years I have just used flashcards but I have come to realise that the children learn the vocabulary better when they play word games.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am looking forward to my reading time this afternoon. I haven’t had too much time to read this week and my book is starting to get interesting. I am currently reading The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnsonn – a debut novel by a Canadian author.
If we were having coffee, I would say goodbye as I need to get my laundry out of the dryer. I am behind in my morning schedule as the dryer did not dry my load. I thus had to put my clothing in another dryer and have had to wait – once again – for the the cycle to complete.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy your weekend and have a good week.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather this week has improved by many degrees. Thursday and Friday were so mild that it felt like spring! Much of the snow has melted and the fields were covered in puddles. Of course the children at school came in from recess with their pants and jackets soaked! Saturday the temperatures dropped a little (but not too much) and this stopped the meltdown. It is still pleasant outside though.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have started my structures inquiry with my class. Traditionally the children enjoy this part of the year – especially once we get the subtraction skill sorted. They enjoy building with blocks and learning about the design process. I began this week by teaching them the vocabulary for 2D and 3D shapes – they love playing the bingo and memory game that I have created.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I celebrated Valentine’s Day a little with my class. We don’t do anything too big as I do not really like to emphasize the commercial aspect of this day. I feel that if you love someone, you show them everyday. In class, we talked a bit about the love they have for their parents, their siblings, and their friends. At the end of the day, the children had their snack (sent in by the parents) and watched a Valentine’s programme. Thereafter they handed out the cards that they had brought in for their classmates. I was not forgotten and I received many well wishes.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Friday was the start of the new lunar calendar. This year is the Year of the Dog. Last night, my family and I celebrated the beginning of the Chinese New Year with a meal. My husband cooked while I made the sweet treat for afterwards. My family and I are going out for a meal this evening to celebrate my sons’s birthday at a restaurant that my husband and I have not yet been to. I will let you know what it is like. We don’t normally go out on a Sunday night but, as tomorrow is a public holiday, we are taking advantage. I am going to enjoy the long weekend this weekend – it will give me another day to rest.
Enjoy your upcoming week and see you next weekend.
I don’t do much in my classroom for Valentine’s Day but we do make cards. This year, my colleague came up with a cute idea for parent cards which I thought I would try out. On a piece of card, the children carefully used cotton buds to create hearts with tempura paint. The cards were addressed to both parents. Those children whose parents are separated, I asked to make two cards – one for mom and one for dad.
At the end of the day, the children were kind to one another as they exchanged their cards. Each year it is a pleasure for me to watch them open one another’s cards and read the little messages inside. The children never forget me and I always have my own cards to read and chocolate hearts to enjoy.
Valentine’s Day is a sweet time of year. Not only because chocolates are exchanged; but also because the sentiment behind the giving is one of caring.
Did you receive something sweet for Valentine’s Day?
Last week Wednesday I went on a school field trip with my class and all the other grade 1 classes to a concert. We went to see Gregg Le Rock, a Canadian musician who writes and sings French songs aimed at school children who are learning French. To prepare them for the concert, I teach the children the songs beforehand and we practise singing them every morning. I will share with you a few favourites. The videos have been made with French subtitles, and the pictures have been deliberately chosen to show the meaning of the lyrics.
The first song I teach them every year is the one on Terry Fox. It is a perfect song for when we run to raise money for cancer; and it is a song that teaches them about endurance.
This year, the favourite of my class was Dans Ma Maison, a song which lists all the furniture that can be found in a house:
The children enjoyed singing to Ecoutons La Radio. At the concert this was the second song Gregg Le Rock sang – and he sang it with a different rhythm. Loved it!
But the vibe was the best for the song Montrez-Moi Vos Mains. I loved seeing my students wave their hands while the musician was singing.
And which Canadian would not love the song Au Canada. We certainly do!
The children enjoyed their concert-going experience and stepped off of the school bus into the school singing Gregg Le Rock’s songs.
Have you been to a concert held by a musician of children’s songs?
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today I am not feeling well. On Thursday, I woke up feeling exhausted. Luckily it was an easy day as my class participated in a art activity – which meant that for 2 periods at a time, I had only half of my students. Friday I felt okay but, as the day progressed, so did my sense of well-being. The day ended with me experiencing terrible cramps in the mid-section of my body and hanging over the edge of the toilet bowl. I had finally caught the stomach bug that has been doing the rounds at my school. Last night I could not face food. This morning I feel a little hungry but I am going to ‘go plain’ today – no fancy or rich food. And instead of coffee and cream, I will drink a light milk-free rooibos tea with you.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been seeing the parents of the children in my class to update them on their child’s progress. Yes, the report cards are going home on Tuesday and it is time to check in with families. This time round I am trying to spread the interviews out so that I do not exhaust myself as I did during the last round of interviews.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all the grade 1s , and my grade 1 and 2 combined class, went on a field trip this week to go see a concert by Gregg Le Rock,
Gregg Le Rock is a Canadian musician who writes and sings French songs for children and this year is the second time I have taken my class. I prepare my students by teaching them the words to the songs and singing with them every morning. The children love the concert and it is always a pleasure to see them ‘rocking to the music’.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last weekend I pre-wrote many of my blog posts for the last week. As a result, I was able to post more often. Hopefully I will be able to keep up this habit so that my blog posts are less erratic.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the rest of the weekend I will be resting. I am giving Zumba a skip as I want my body to recover quickly from the bout of stomach flu. I will miss dancing to the Latin beats, but there are times when a person has to rest.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week seemed to rush by. I cannot believe that today is already Saturday! The weather has been kind to us temperature-wise with a dip mid-week. The ‘less cold’ weather has brought many a smile to our faces. It is not warm enough, though, to leave the winter gear at home. Winter is not over yet!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the admin at my school offered me a laptop which I accepted with joy. The laptop will enable me to move around the school and still do my work. Bliss! Especially during those times when I have POR work to do and I do not want to work in my noisy classroom (which is filled to the brim with my students and their learning buddies). On Thursday I downloaded all the essentials through the school board and it is now ready to go. Next week I will use it not only in-house, but also when I go to present at a conference.
A conference? you ask. Yes, a colleague and I will be presenting the inquiry we did with my class at the OLA Super Conference. This is a three day conference that is run every year by the Ontario Library Association (my colleague is a school librarian). Yesterday after school we spent a few hours polishing up our presentation. We are so happy with it, proud of what we have done, and are super-excited to present on Thursday. It will be quite an experience, I think.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now ready to go to Zumba. I am loving it – even more now as I am starting to get to know people and even the instructors. Being a regular has plenty of benefits and not only physical! I love it too when the instructors make us laugh – our instructor last Saturday was in fine form 🙂
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a wonderful weekend and to enjoy your week. As I am listening to the birds chirping outside, I know I will.