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.)

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Weekend Coffee Share: A Few Good Things

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Saturday was a beautiful day weather-wise. We enjoyed going outside for a walk and it felt truly spring-like. The weather has turned, however, and this morning the temperature stands at 0c. Brr!

If we were having coffee, I would ask you how your Mother’s Day went. Mine was busy – though not filled entirely with Mother-like activities. The morning I spent reading my current book – and enjoying the quiet time spent in the story. Then I went to a CPR course which is one of the requirements to become certified as a group fitness instructor. When I booked my session, I did not realise that it was Mother’s Day and it was too late to change the date. After successfully completing the course in the afternoon, I came home and napped. Afterwards, my family and I enjoyed some time together.

My husband cooked a delicious meal to celebrate. He had suggested going out but I didn’t want to – I was tired and the weather was starting to get a little chilly. Also, I enjoy our home-cooked meals. For dessert we had some chocolate dipped strawberries (which my daughter had prepared) and some chocolate mousse cake. A perfect end to the meal. I was spoiled with gifts as well – some Lindt dessert chocolates, a cosy pair of reading socks (I should wear them today!), and a succulent (my husband knows I prefer potted plants to cut flowers). My day definitely ended on a smile.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my daughter prepared her first dinner solo on Friday. She made a delicious quiche and salad. So proud of her! I am encouraging her to cook more meals without my help so that she can be more independent when she is living on her own in the far distant future. Yesterday, she was paging through the recipe book trying to decide what she would make next so I am sure that she will go shopping for ingredients later on in the day.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Monday the students in my class built their structures. I was lucky in that I had a couple of parents come in to help the children build with boxes, tape, and glue. The children had fun but by the end of the day I was exhausted and had a headache. In the days that followed, my students did the writing piece and this week they will all present their work for the oral mark. They will also be creating maps of their imagined village. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the highlight of the week was seeing one of our family members who flew into Toronto for a few days. We went out to dinner together mid-week and it was wonderful. I love seeing people I know from my past and to see for myself that they are doing well. I do wish we could have spent more time together this week; but I am grateful that she made the effort to spend some time with us.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the upcoming week is busy – but I will tell you more about that next week. Enjoy the next 7 days until we meet for coffee again.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

A Late Arrival

I ordered a picture book to use as part of our celebrations for World Penguin Day a couple of weeks ago. However, the book had not arrived in time so I continued with the other planned festivities. It finally arrived on Friday afternoon and it was worth the wait.

The picture book is beautifulL’y bound with lovely illustrations, and the story is relevant for the children I teach. As I was reading through the story, I came up with a few ideas of activities I could do with them based on the book. I will read the story to them once we have completed our structures unit and begin exploring animals. Watch this space as I will share some of what we will do.

What has made you smile during the past week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

Weekend Coffee Share: Exhaustion!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am feeling exhausted! It is that time of year again when I look forward to the end of the school year and the summer break. I know I will feel better when the air starts to warm up – and stay warm! The weather has often reverted to chilly temperatures and I cannot wait for warm-filled days.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Wednesday I attended the Pembroke Publishers Showcase at which authors of teacher books speak. (You can see my post on the event here.) The event was inspiring and I left there with a few ideas to implement in my classroom. In the afternoon, the organisers had invited some authors of fiction to speak. It was interesting to hear them speak about their experience.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been building structures with my students in the classroom. On Thursday, I had a person come in to do some woodworking with them; on Friday I helped them build some cars. Next week we will continue with the building as I will give my students time to work on their final structure for the unit. The next few days will be busy and they will be days which the children will enjoy.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you to go for a walk with me. The weather today is beautiful outside: there is no wind, the temperature is above 10c, and the sun is shining. I hope days like this are here to stay. As I have already mentioned, I am ready for warmer temperatures!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am actually up to date with my book reviews! Last month I read a total amount of 10 books – and 9 out of 10 novels I really enjoyed. The poetry collection was a disappointment especially as April was poetry month. If you want to see what I read, head on over here.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the rest of the weekend. My eyelids are drooping and I think it is now time for a nap! Have a good week!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

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.)

Penguin Bookmarks

Last week Thursday was World Penguin Day – a day that we celebrate every year at our school. Why? Because our mascot is a penguin. Penguin activities are a great way to not only learn about penguins (there are 18 species), but also to create school spirit.

One of the activity ideas our principal came up with this year was to make bookmarks. I love reading and immediately decided that I would do this. The materials needed were: tongue depressors, a black marker, an orange marker, and some felt.

Creating Bookmarks. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

The children loved making their bookmark and enthusiastically came to my table when I called them. Some children had trouble cutting the felt so I helped them. After I had traced the outline of the penguin onto the stick, they mostly worked independently. At the end of the day, all the bookmarks were lined up on my table. I left them to dry overnight and the children took them home the following day.

Some children immediately took out their current read from their backpack and inserted their bookmark. Seeing that made me smile as I knew that what they had made would be used. My sample is also being used and it works quite well.

Seeing the uniqueness of each bookmark brought a smile to my face as the creation reflects the personality of the creator. I am hoping that each time my student uses their bookmark, they will smile when they think of the day they made it.

Would you make a similar bookmark?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge.)

Colouring to Celebrate

Last week Thursday was World Penguin Day. The Penguin is our school mascot so every year the entire school focuses on these wonderful creatures. In my classroom, my students worked on a number of activities that I had prepared for them – one of which was colouring in a beautiful penguin mandala that I had found.

Colouring Penguin Mandalas. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

Colouring is a great way for the children to practice holding and manoeuvring the pencil. It is also a calming activity which most children love to do. I am sure that by the end of today, all the boys and girls will be done with the task and I will put them up on the board for us all to enjoy.

Do you enjoy colouring mandalas?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to The Escapist Colouring Club. You are welcome to join us and share some colouring work)

Weekend Coffee Share: A Voiceless Week

If we were having coffee, I would quickly welcome you in indoors. This morning when I stepped out, I was greeted with a white-washed world. What!?! you may say. Yes, it is supposed to be Spring but it seems like Winter does not want to let go its hold on the seasons.

An early morning sight. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

As I am writing this post, snow is falling outside. I am so disappointed as the weather was perfect on Friday and I was thinking of putting away my boots. The thick falling snow flakes outside are letting me know that my hopes are dashed – and that I need to keep my hats and gloves in my jacket pocket.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I lost my ability to speak on Tuesday. The morning began with a husky version of my normal speaking voice and by the end of the day I had strained it so much that it was gone altogether. My aching throat encouraged me to stay at home Wednesday so I could rest it. Thursday I went into school and I used a lot of whispering and sign language to communicate with my students. On Friday, I am happy to say, my voice started coming back to me. It is now completely back with some mild itchiness. I am sure it will be strong tomorrow.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I practiced leading a Zumba class with some of my colleagues on Tuesday after school. What fun it was to dance with them! They were so supportive of me and assured me that they enjoyed themselves. I will practice again with them on Tuesday.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that practicing my Zumba moves with my colleagues gave me the added confidence to do the warm-up and a couple of songs this morning in front of the class I usually participate in. The added practice is not only giving me confidence, but is also ensuring that I make less mistakes with the choreography.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I read a book that I have been looking forward to for months: The Rebel Mages by Laurie Forest. I went to the bookstore to get it as soon as it came out – and then I put it on the top of my TBR pile. I finished it yesterday afternoon and I loved it! Hopefully I will post a review of it this week.

If we were having coffee, I would wish you well for the upcoming week. My week seems routine As usual right now – but that may change. 🙂

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Weekend Coffee Share: Written Exam

If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a sigh of relief. Yesterday afternoon I wrote the exam for the Canfitpro course that I did. I was nervous about writing it as there was a lot of material to memorise and understand. Reflecting on my answers afterwards, I know that I have made mistakes. Hopefully, tough, I have enough correct answers to to pass the exam (the pass mark is 80%). I will know my results during the upcoming week. My mind will not be settled until I know.

Studying for my exam. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though my time was taken up with learning the material for the exam, I did read a little. I did not blog as much as I wanted to but I am hoping this week to write some more posts and to visit some blogs. I have a pile of books next to my bed waiting to be reviewed – and it just keeps getting higher. I do this every time but when I am in the mood for reading, I do not want to sit in front of the computer screen and type down my thoughts on what I have read.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that at the beginning of the week, I had a number of students who were still on vacation. By the end of the week, I had almost a full class and Monday will be back to normal. I have started the inquiry on structures and we are doing quite a bit of building. The children love this unit as it is a lot of fun. I enjoy seeing them design structures and build them.

Building structures with pipe cleaners and modelling clay. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

This week I brought the iPads out again for my students to type their sentences. I took a picture of the structure they had built. Using the app Picolage, the children had to upload the photo and then type what they had built. I am currently still helping them use the iPad, as well as giving them the sentences to copy down. By May I hope to have them working independently.

Students recording their work. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that for a few days, it felt like winter again – we even had flurries! This morning, though, the weather was perfect when I went out. It is currently mild – and there is no wind blowing! I am hoping it stays like this for the rest of the week as I really want to put away jackets and boots. My body is tired of wearing all the warm clothing.

This afternoon I will spend time completing my weekend chores and will probably watch a film on Netflix. I have picked up my crochet hook again and am working on a project. Crochet and Netflix go well together 🙂

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Eclectic Alli and the Weekend Coffee Share)

Reading Buddy

I always try to encourage a love of reading in my classroom. I have created a reading space in the room, and I give children time during the day to spend with their library books. Some children in my class gravitate towards the centre when all their tasks are done and immerse themselves in their story while others like to share what they are reading with a friend. One of my students (who enjoys reading) left his reading buddy with a book while he went out to recess.

A Reading Buddy. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I could not help but smile at the sight. Not only has he kept his spot in the book in a non-traditional way, but his action highlights how much he enjoys spending time with stories.

What has made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)