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.
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.
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.
Good 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.
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.
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.
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.
If 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!
If 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.
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.
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?
If 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.
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.
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.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. And remember to do something for yourself.
It is our second week back from the Winter break and we are already thinking of the report cards. It feels like it was only yesterday that I was printing a set and meeting with all the parents.
This week I am assessing the children’s oral communication, reading skill, and writing ability. I am also thinking about their ability to understand my oral communication with them. Do they grasp what I am saying to them in French? Are they able to follow my verbal instructions?
Not only am I to think of the children’s ability in French, I am expected to determine their skill level in Mathematics, their understanding of Science, and their participation in their Social Studies inquiry. Time needs to be spend gathering all their work and reflecting on where to place them on the rubric. It is now that I am grateful for the time I spent documenting all of their participation as their performance is not always evident in the product that they have produced.
This week Friday we have a PA day (day of professional activity), a day that has been set aside by the school board for reporting. On Friday, I will be setting out to school like every other work day. The day will differ to the norm, however, in that I will not have any children in my classroom. Instead I will have the chance to work uninterrupted and do my best to make as much headway as I can with the first term report cards.
This week I am grateful for upcoming PA. The day will give me the opportunity to do as much as I can on reporting and thus lessen the personal time I use to complete the task.
If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile. Yes it has begun. The break to which we have been looking forward for an entire week. At school we were counting the days; at home we were counting the nights. What a relief that the Winter break has begun. Finally I am able to relax a little and recharge my energy.
Not completely though. I cannot believe that it is Christmas tomorrow. My gifts are all wrapped (last night’s task) and ready to place under the tree. After our chat, I shall head out to do some grocery shopping to buy bread, milk, fruit and vegetables. As I head out early, I will avoid the crowds and the bustle of the last-minute shoppers.
The last week at school before the break was a lot calmer than I expected. This year I got an Elf on the Shelf – and the children loved it. I named him Jean-Noel and gave him the nickname Jean-Jean. The kids loved him and looked for him every morning as they entered the class.
I placed a basket in the front of the class and they put notes in it for him. The questions they asked were answered in a daily letter I typed up for them to read. They loved that Jean-Jean knew what was going on – and that he made personal references. This is a tradition that I will repeat next year as I found that it calms them a little of their pre-Christmas excitement – and it gives them a reason to write.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our last day of 2016 was a pyjama day. We spent the day doing circle time, attending the Holiday sing-along in the gym organised by the music teacher, and watching a movie in the gym (with popcorn included). It was a low-key day which everyone enjoyed.
If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful Holiday. Enjoy your Christmas time with your family. And if you celebrate Hanukkah, I wish you the same as you begin your celebration tonight.
The time is near for what? The weekend? Christmas? No, the time is near for the two week Winter break. Today my colleagues and I will be repeating the phrase ‘only three days’. Three days until we can rest and not think about lesson plans and assessment. Three days until we can sleep late. Three days until I can relax and read.
I am looking forward to the break as I feel bone tired. My energy levels are low and I do not feel in top form. I want to delve into my book stash, snuggle on the sofa, and read. The bonus is, of course, the upcoming weekend during which we will celebrate Christmas and spend some lovely family time together.
This week I am grateful that the time is near – and I am counting down every minute!