Filming Macbeth

My daughter groans when she is expected to do another Shakespearean scene. Acting is not one of her favourite things to do.

Remember those days in high school when every year we were exposed to another of the Bard’s works? This year my eldest daughter (who is in grade 11) is working on Macbeth. One of their assignments was to enact and film a scene from the play. Preferring to work on her own, she roped in her sister to help and had to get a little creative with her presentation. After plenty of procrastination my daughter laid out a blanket on the floor, brought out the stuffed animals that my girls still have, and raided the cupboard for dishes to ‘set the table’. The sight on the floor reminded me of when we used to have indoor Teddy Bear picnics during the long Winter months.

Filming Macbeth. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017
Filming Macbeth. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

I could not help but smile at my girls as they worked on the piece. Who would have thought that Pickachu would speak words written by Shakespeare? Or that a teddy bear would effectively enact the role of Banquo?  I did not see the film’s premier in my daughter’s English class, but she tells me that many people chuckled. I can’t say I blame them – I would have as well.

My daughter is definitely creative and I love how she turned a dull project into an imaginative one.

What has made you smile this week?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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


Grateful for Long Weekend

Last weekend was longer than usual. I had time to read a couple of novels (both written by Jude Devereaux), go out for dinner, zumba at a couple of classes, and have a few dinners at home with my family. The days blended together as I chuckled with my girls and went for a couple of walks outside. The weather this past weekend was Spring-like – definitely not the weather one expects to experience mid-February. Even though it was not too long ago that we had our Winter break, this long weekend was welcomed with open arms. My girls needed a rest from the project-and-test frenzy they have experienced in the last few weeks; and I needed a couple of days off as a result of completing report card deadlines.

This week I am grateful for long weekends. Monday was a day off for most people (many stores were closed as were offices). The Family Day gave us a chance not only to spend time with our families, but to also give ourselves a much-needed rest.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for memory aids

Lavender Ladi was grateful for unexpected weather

Sandra was grateful for life

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

A School Valentine

For me, Valentine’s Day is another normal day – except the sale of chocolate, flowers, cards, and all things red increases for a day. I do not make too much fuss on this day (for me, Christmas is my favourite celebration). The children at school, however, love it. This year, I was pleasantly surprised when two members of staff offered us some homebaked treats at lunch.

Valentine Homebaked Treats. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The celebration in my class is very low-key: at the end of the day the children exchange cards and we share a snack (treats provided by the parents). I do ask the parents that if their child is going to exchange cards, that they write one for every person in the class (I send home a list so that no one is forgotten). Many children remember me while preparing their cards.

Valentine Cards. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017
Valentine Cards. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The cards make me smile – especially the homemade ones created with love and care.

How was your Valentine’s Day?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Grateful for Snow

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.

Learning in the snow. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

Making Snow Angels. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for cell phones

Lavender Ladi was grateful for a note

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

A Hamburger

Last night at dinner the iPad came out again. We were talking about what made us laugh and we looked again at this snippet from The Pink Panther:

The character Inspector Clouseau has always made me laugh – and Steve Martin does an exceptional job.

Hope you have a happy Monday – may be be filled with laughs and smiles 😀

Do you enjoy watching The Pink Panther in action?

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmile© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Weekend Coffee Share: We Had Snow!

weekend coffee share logo hosted at parttimemonsterblog.comGood 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.

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)

So Many Days!

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.

A 100s Chart. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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.

Playing created board games.  

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.

How do you use your knowledge of multiples?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is linked to Stream of Consciousness SaturdayThe prompt is: so/sow/sew)

Is It Safe?

Is it safe?

One thing I noticed when I arrived in Toronto was that Canadians are extremely concerned about safety. A saying is often bandied about, “Safety First”, by the people I have come into contact with since my arrival in this city.

But is it always a good thing to be overly cautious about safety?

I remember when my girls were younger and lifting my eyebrows at some of the parents’ reactions to their kids playing in the playground. I come from a country where children get dirty and play in the sand and mud. If they get worms, we treat it. I come from a country where children can run, and climb, and experience the play structures. If they break an arm, we take them to the hospital. I used to shake my head at the moms who used to hover over their children while I was watching mine. “Let them breathe,” I used to think. “Let them be.”

Surely it is not always good to be so cautious.

The extreme concern for safety leads to, I believe, missing out on some experiences. Yes, be aware of danger and put into place options that will prevent harm. But foregoing an experience will hinder living life to the full. It is through experiencing life that we get to know who we are, what we enjoy doing, and what we are good at.

There are times when answering the question “Is it safe?” does help you make a decision that will prevent harm (for example: driving with a drunk driver, walking on slippery roads, eating old food). But there are times when you need to trust that the people in charge of a project know what they are doing and have put constraints into place that will prevent harm (for example: bungee jumping, construction at your workplace, a food display at the supermarket).

Is it safe? Not always, but most times. So take that leap of faith.

Do safety concerns prevent you from doing an activity?

Five-Minute-Friday-badge© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Flowering Cactus

January was gloomy (during which we saw the sun only on 16 days!) and February promises to be no better. The short, grey-laden skies day after day demotivates a person and encourages gloom. It is difficult to remain upbeat when the blue skies are hidden and the sun makes a rare appearance.

At the end of last week, I noticed something that made me smile with pleasure. It is a sight that brightens my day when I walk into my bedroom at the end of a day’s work.

Flowering Cactus. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

The bright pink flowers on my cactus bring me double pleasure: the beauty of the flowers on a grey winter day; and the fact that this is the first time my cactus is flowering in the three years that I have had it. This is a flower that encourages me to smile every day.

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmileWhat made you smile this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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

Grateful for Soup

Cold Winter days are perfect for soup! Once a week I enjoy making a vegetable soup which includes carrots, parsnips, potato, tomato, onions, garlic, parsley, salt, and some curry powder.

From time to time, I pour the mixture into my Vitamix blender and make a creamy blend. I do not do this too often as my youngest prefers eating a chunky soup.

This week I am grateful for warming soup on cold, winter days. With or without a chunk of bread, this meal always brings pleasure to the tastebuds.

What have you been grateful for this week?

Processed with RookieLast week:

Laura was grateful for leggings

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016