Currently Reading: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I woke up this morning to a cold and gloomy day. The city is embracing winter with ice on the ground and bare trees. Snow is predicted today and I am not looking forward to it.

What I am looking forward to is reading Meg Cabot’s latest. I picked up a copy at the library this weekend and plan on snuggling under a blanket later this afternoon with a cup of tea and to enjoy the banter between Bree and Drew.

What are you looking forward to doing today?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Weekend Coffee Share: An Extra Short Week

Join us for some coffee time!If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this weekend we are enjoying a long weekend. Tomorrow is a public holiday titled Family Day and it is a perfect break from the Canadian Winter weather. The day is a perfect time to do activities with your family. My family and I will be relaxing – which for my daughters and husband means a late morning sleep-in 🙂 My husband intends to try out a new recipe so I foresee a lot of time spent at the dinner table.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had a snow day on Tuesday. I got up as usual in the morning and, by the time I was ready to eat breakfast, I learned that not only had the school buses been cancelled but that the schools in the school board I work for had been closed. I was surprised by the decision – especially as the snow storm had not yet started. The unexpected day off, though, was a pleasant surprise which I spent reading and relaxing. Once the snow storm started it was not at all pleasant outside and I was pleased to be indoors.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week my student’s report cards were sent out and I met up with a number of parents to discuss their child’s progress. I also had an open class for a couple of hours so that the parents could come in to view their children’s projects as well as to see their portfolios. It was good chatting with the parents and seeing the children proudly show their mom or dad what they had done.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Valentine’s day was a low-key celebration in my classroom. The children brought in cards which they gave to one another. I did not have a class party, but I did give them the time to read one another’s cards and even eat a candy or two that had been attached to a card. My students also wrote out cards for me – and I particularly enjoyed the homemade ones. I smiled at the one made for me by a student with a good sense of humour. He worked very hard on his cards as he individualised each one for each person in the class.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Normally we do not – my husband is not the romantic kind to organise a celebration. I went to my normal Zumba class, and he went for his massage therapy. He did, however, surprise me with a beautiful pot of miniature roses when I got home. Shows that no matter how long I have been married to him, he can still surprise me on occasion 😀

My week has been very laid-back. My next week will be a bit busier albeit a short one. May yours be fruitful and enjoyable.

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 School Closure

Yesterday I woke up to the news that the school board had closed the schools due to the weather – we were in for a snow storm which would later turn onto an ice storm. The news was unexpected as the last two times in the past few weeks that we had had bad weather with slippery roads, the school board I worked for had kept their schools open even though other school boards had closed theirs. Looking outside as the snow fell to the ground and whitened our environment, I was glad I could stay inside. I had a moment’s thought to venture outside but the howling wind encouraged me to change my mind.Not only would I be battling against the wind, but the sidewalks would not be cleared of snow.

This week I am grateful for the school closure. Not only did I have the opportunity to relax and read at home, I also did not have to venture out into the snow storm, struggle against the wind, and make my way through fallen snow.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Grateful for a Warm Home

Last week Friday the temperatures dropped and we were reminded that we are in the middle of Winter. Previous to this, we had experienced mild days – so mild that it felt like Spring! Old Man Winter decided to show his true colours and gave us a brutal few days.

Monday began with me stepping out into -33c temperatures and I walked hurriedly to work, bending my head against the icy winds. I did not even take time to enjoy the snow white snow that had fallen on the ground. My only thought was to escape the frigid temperatures and enter a warm building.

As always when it is so cold, my thoughts turn to those who do not have a home to protect themselves from the elements. Since I have moved to Toronto, I have noticed that the number of people living on the street has increased. Reasons for homelessness are cited as being the increasing cost of rental properties in the city, increasing poverty, the de-institutionalisation of mental health care, as well as factors of abuse. I always hope that those in charge of the city would open their hearts and step up for those without a home. I do acknowledge, though, that this is a dream that has not yet become a reality. The homeless are powerless and, as such, do not garner the attention of politicians.

The extreme cold weather has brought to the forefront of my mind how lucky I am to have a warm home that keeps me out of the cold. Not only do I have shelter, but I also have access to a reliable heating system that allows me to be comfortable. This week I am grateful for my home: a shelter that keeps me and my family warm throughout the cold Winter days.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

The Changing Seasons: March 2018

March began with a reminder that Winter had not yet said its goodbyes. The last days in February were mild and spring-like; the first evening brought with it gently falling snow. Walking through the park the next day, I enjoyed the snowscapes and hoped they would be the last I saw this Winter season.

The falling snow on many days during March definitely made me wish to curl up on the sofa with a good book in pajamas. Pajamas were the theme of our spirit day just before March Break and the children came to school in sleepwear. My students brought along their stuffed animals as well to keep them company during the day.

The time after March break passed quickly and, before we knew it, it was the Easter weekend. During the days leading up to the long weekend, I planned a number of building activities in my classroom for the children as a part of the inquiry on structures. They had the opportunity to build bridges with popsicle sticks,

cars with card and wood,

and a structure of their choice with building blocks.

March ended as it began – with cool weather. Snow is not falling but the temperatures are still lower than we would like them to be. Hopefully April will bring with it higher temperatures and thepromise of summer.

What was your March experience?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to The Changing Seasons hosted by Zimmerbitch)

Grateful for Winter Boots

In 2017 when the Winter season began, I went shopping for appropriate boots. My success in the past with winter boots has been hit and miss and I was looking to improve my success rate. I searched for boots like the ones I had enjoyed a few years back but, alas, that brand did not have long, flat-heeled offerings. Browsing the shelves of the shoe store, I came upon a pair made in Australia. Now I am not a fan of Uggs as they tend to look grungy as winter wears on – but this pair looked warm and hard-wearing. Ugg has called them Koolaburras and they definitely looked warm.

These fur-lined boots have kept my feet warm and protected them for many hours out in the cold during sub-zero temperatures. Standing outside for playground duty has not been a problem for my feet, nor has walking to the supermarket. I have been happy with my purchase and hope that these boots will last a couple of more winter seasons.

This week I am grateful for my hardy winter boots that are lined with sheep fur. They have protected and warmed my feet during the cold and snowy days this past winter.

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

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)

The Changing Seasons: February 2018

During the month of February, we experienced quite a bit of snow. Many mornings when I opened the curtains, I would be greeted by the following scene:

Early Morning Cityscape during Winter © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

The air outside looked chilly – and it was. Each morning we bundled up in layers and trudged to our destinations. The playground at the school where I work was covered in snow. Icicles dropped down from the eaves. Winter seemed set to stay.

We did enjoy the snow while we had it, though. The crisp air and the pristine whiteness of the winter landscape is always a pleasure to behold.

February is almost over – and it appears that winter may be too. The last few days the temperatures have been mild and the rain has washed away the last remaining snow and ice. I am looking forward to the change and look forward to storing my winter boots.

What weather did you experience during February?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post was inspired by the Monthly Challenge: The Changing Seasons)

Weekend Coffee Share: First Week Back

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would excuse myself for catching up with you so late in the weekend. Time has seemed to run away from me over the last two days as I tried to fit everything in: laundry, grocery shopping, housework, Zumba, and a little reading on the sofa. I still wish that our weekends were three days instead of two – I never seem to have enough time to do all of the things that I want to.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I had a good first week back at work. On Friday I came home feeling really satisfied. During the week I had achieved quite a bit. I assessed my students on their French writing and oral, read with most of them; got my marking up to date; began my students’ report cards, and still went to my exercise classes in the evening. As I lay my head on my pillow Friday night, it was with a sigh of satisfaction. I had a good night’s sleep according to my Fitbit –  I slept for almost 9 hours when normally I sleep a little over 7 hours.

Speaking of exercise, I tried a new class this week with a colleague of mine. We had started going to BodyCombat but, due to schedule changes, the class was no longer offered at out preferred time slot. We decided to try what is called BodyAttack.

I did not like it – too much running and quick movements. I have told my colleague that I will not be attending these classes with her – I would prefer to do a dance-inspired class that rums at a later time slot. This I will attend this week.

The weather this week has been up and down. The first day back at work it was snowing. We had quite a bit of snow on the ground – enough for the children to build snowmen on the playgrounds. On Thursday, it felt like Spring and the snow melted leaving huge, muddy puddles by the end of the day. Friday we woke up to rain. Most of the snow had melted by the time it started snowing again at around two. The temperatures this weekend have been a little on the low side but that did not stop me from going out. A temperature of -23c on Saturday was not the lowest we have experienced this Winter.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you to have a good week. I intend to complete my report cards in the upcoming week and hope to do the task only at school.

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 Week

wordswag_15073188796611453091488.pngIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that the week felt long. There were days when I felt that Friday 3:30 pm was upon us – and it was only Tuesday. I think the children in my class felt the same way. Not only was I thinking about Christmas and my family time, but I was also thinking about the two week break from school. I got home yesterday feeling exhausted and just lay on my bed for an hour watching TV until supper was ready. (Oh, yes, my husband is already on leave and he cooked dinner 🙂 )

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we had snow, then rain, and snow again. Yesterday’s snowfall led to the school board cancelling the school buses. It also led to our admin cancelling our movie trip. We were all so disappointed – teachers and children alike. The day ended up being calm and laid back, but not at all what we planned. The bonus for the children was that they could play outside in the snow – and in my class they had the opportunity to build with blocks. My students ended up having a good day and left for home smiling.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week one of my students gave me a penguin cookie that he had baked at home. It was delicious with my tea – especially as it had been given to me with love. Our school mascot is a penguin and we are all crazy about penguins.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that once again I am overwhelmed by the parents’ generosity with the gifts given to me. I have received gaily boxed presents – which I have placed under my tree – and a number of cards. The parents’ gifts and thanks actually encourage me to give even more energy to their kids.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am not quite ready for Christmas yet. I still have a little grocery shopping to do as well as wrapping the gifts and tidying my home. But whether I am ready or not, I am sure my family and I will have a wonderful time together. I will leave you now to ‘get on with it’ and get ready for Christmas Eve. I hope you are ready and looking forward to some family time.

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

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