Weekend Coffee Share: Vacation Planning Begins

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the weather is awful today! The temperature is down to -10c and we are experiencing freezing rain. This is not the weather one would expect in spring during the month of April. When you think of spring, you think instead of mild weather and blooming flowers. I have not seen many flowers and yesterday when walking in the park, my daughter and I noticed that there were not even buds forming on the trees. The branches are still winter-bare even though they are housing birds.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I had a Scientist in the School come into my classroom to run a workshop I love. This workshop is usually my introduction to spring and the inquiry on living things. Even though it was snowing outside during her presentation and spring was not mentioned at all (except the lack of it), the children still enjoyed the experience. The workshop was on bugs and the children had the opportunity to touch an assortment of them. I was surprised that many boys did not want to caress and hold the worms. The highlight of the afternoon was definitely the tarantula that the presenter brought in to visit!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week we decided where we would go for our summer vacation. We toyed with the idea of going to a resort in Mexico again but then decided to go to Europe instead. We chose Paris as I am the only one who has been to this fair city. Both my husband and daughters are itching to go and I look forward to hearing my girls use the French that they have learned at school. This morning I began planning our days. I have opened a document in Google Drive and started listing the things we would like to see. My intention is to plan, more or less, each day we will have there so that no time is wasted. I am also looking at the cost of entrance fees and how to get to places – especially those places out of Paris. I have ordered a guide book as well as a map from Amazon and cannot wait to receive them.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to not stay too long. The icy rain is still falling and the roads are extremely slippery. Stay safe for the rest of the weekend.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Advertisements

Weekend Coffee Share: A Short Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would urge you to come inside quickly. The temperatures have dropped and it is quite chilly outside. On Friday it snowed! I could not believe it as it is April already and Spring should have arrived. Luckily I had not put my Winter boots away because I have needed to pull them on for the last few days.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my body is feeling a bit sore at the moment. The teacher for Sh’bam on Saturday has a more intensive choreography than our previous Zumba teacher and, on top of this morning’s class, my muscles are feeling it. Speaking about instructors, we have a new one for the Thursday Zumba class. I like her. Her classes are high energy and she also does a couple of tracks that are Power Zumba. It can be intense. I think she may lose some people – but gain others. I look forward to dancing with her.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week my class, and all the grade 1 classes, participated in a woodworking workshop. The workshop was set up in my room and we each had a session. The project I chose for the children to do was a windmill. They loved it! They got to build their structure using a hammer and nails. They made an axle and a pulley – it is a perfect way for them to understand the science concepts that I have been teaching them in class.

On Friday, once my room had been cleared, I gave the children the opportunity to paint and decorate their windmills. The room was buzzing with chatter as they worked. Every year that I arrange the woodworking workshop and encourage the children to decorate their windmills, it is a success. The structures are carried home afterwards with pride and placed, I am sure, in a prominent place in their bedroom.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week did go by quickly – even more so because we had a four day working week. Next week we will be back to normal and will follow our usual routine. All I wish for now is some warmer weather!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: Easter Weekend

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with an Easter wish. The weekend has been busy so far and today I am able to slow down a little. I am feeling quite tired at the moment as I did not have too much sleep last night. My husband and nephew are working tomorrow (Monday), so we decided to have our Easter get together on Saturday evening. That way, we could socialise until late – which is exactly what we did!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I decided to cook one of my husband’s favourite meals for dinner yesterday evening. The meal is a chicken dinner from my French cooking recipe book. I cook the chicken in white wine and add mushrooms and tomatoes in addition to the herbs. It is delicious with rice and a salad. To go with the meal, we had a South African wine that my nephew had found near to where he lives. For dessert, I tried my hand at making mini milk tarts (a South African dessert). They went perfectly with the fruit and cream.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I did not spend all day Saturday cooking and getting ready for our family dinner. I also spent some time reading. I am currently on track for the book pledge (I have pledged to read 75 books this year). It is interesting to see my progress on the 50 Book Pledge website – I love how the books are lined up on a ‘shelf’. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my week at work leading up to the Easter weekend was pleasant. I still had three children missing from my class as they were still on vacation. It is a pity as they missed a part of the inquiry that we are doing which children normally enjoy. I enjoy this part too as I like seeing how creative my students can be when they build with blocks.

In the upcoming week, the children will have even more opportunity to build – with blocks and with wood. Hopefully all of the students will have come back from any family vacations.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I will hide the Easter eggs for my children this afternoon. Last year I did not buy chocolate for a hunt and they were upset with me. Even though they are now in their late teens, they still want the thrill of the chocolate hunt 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the rest of your weekend – and to not eat too much chocolate!

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Calm Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the first week back at school was relatively calm. During the entire week I had four children absent (one child was ill while the others were away on holiday). The smaller group was quieter – and there were less little dramas sprouting up during the day. It was a pity, however, that these children were absent as they missed the initial building part of our Structures inquiry.

The week began with building bridges. After looking at pictures of bridges that can be found around the world, children had an opportunity to build a bridge of their own with help from an adult (who was wielding the hot glue gun). The bridges created were simple – with a couple of grade 2s creating more complicated structures.

Once every child had had the opportunity to build a bridge, we moved onto the next building activity. After learning about axles and wheels, the children had an opportunity to build their own moving structure using this simple machine. Most students created a simple car, with one of my grade 2 boys taking the project even further and creating a body on top of his chassis.

This is the first year I have added these activities into my programme – and I loved seeing how much the children enjoyed the building. One of the boys in my class has already told me that his bridge and car are going to go on the shelf in his bedroom as a decoration.

By the time the weekend came around, I was feeling tired. Yes, I know. We have just had a week’s break! I think I will feel a lot better when the temperatures improve. I am tired of the cold and wearing all the winter gear. I look forward to the time when I can walk out the front door without dressing in layers.

Next week will be a short week due to the Easter weekend. My children are already looking forward to it – and I am sure the children in my class will be looking forward to Easter egg hunts.

Enjoy the upcoming week. And may the weather get warmer in the northern hemisphere 🙂

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Week of Reading

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were meeting for coffee, I would greet you with a relaxed smile on my face. As you know, last week was March break – a week during which the schools are closed. For one week I could sleep in, do things slowly, and spend time relaxing. The weather was not pleasant (it was grey, cold, and snowy). However, it was perfect for what I wanted to do – which was read. And read I did.

The mornings during the past week were perfect. I slept in (which, for me, is around 7:30am to 8am) and then curled up on the sofa with my current read and a bowl of fruit. Our home was quiet as my teenage daughters slept in until even later (as you would expect of teens, they got up at noon). I enjoyed this quiet time and savoured the stories I was engrossed in. I am a true bookworm and I relish the times I have when I can read to my heart’s content (something which I am not often able to do). During the week I managed to complete a book and read three other stories – one of which I struggled to put down.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that reading is not the only thing I did during March break. I went to the Zumba classes that I cannot attend when I am working. What fun they were! It is such a pity I cannot attend them more often. I also completed some of the games I had created the week before. I spend time laminating them and then cutting them out. It is a lot of work and takes quite a bit of time – but the games can be used for years afterwards.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today the sun is shining. This afternoon my family and I are going out for a while and we will have an early supper at one of the restaurants my husband enjoys in Chinatown. At least the sun is shining but I do wish that the temperatures were a little higher. I feel that we are counting the days until spring has arrived. I am a little tired of wearing winter boots, a winter coat, and a hat with scarf.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I wish we had another week’s break. I am grateful, though, that we did have this week. At school we will now be entering the last stretch until the end of the school year.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: The Start of a Break

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile on my face even though I had one hour less sleep last night (yes, the clocks have moved forward). I am smiling because it is March break and schools are out for a week. I look forward to a week of taking things slowly, of reading, and of resting.

The week leading up to March break was busy. Surprisingly, the children were not too excited and we were able to get quite a bit of work done. I held off on starting something new in Math and instead focused a bit more than usual on Science. When we return to school from the break, I want to encourage the children to do some building. They will build a simple bridge with popsicle sticks. I have some wheels and just need to figure out how to build something with them using an axle of some sort. Any tips?

On Friday, the last day of school before the break, we had our spirit day. All children – and some teachers – arrived at school wearing their pajamas. The children in my class brought their stuffed animals as well – and some even brought their blankies.

In the afternoon, a film was shown in the gym. I gave my class the option of watching a film in our room – an option which was taken (most of us did not want to have to deal with a noisy gym). Once we had watched for 45 minutes, I gave the children the opportunity to play if they had completed all of their tasks for the week. While they were playing, I tidied up the room. At the end of the day I locked the door to a clean room that is ready to greet all of us when we return to school in a week’s time.

As I am writing this post, I find myself yawning. I think it is time for a little nap to catch up on the hour of sleep I missed last night. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Winter Comeback

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf 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.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Short Work Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf 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.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Long Weekend

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf 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.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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

Weekend Coffee Share: A Mid-Week Concert

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf 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,

Image result for 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.

Enjoy your weekend and have a wonderful week.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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