Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

December Currently (Oh it December already??)

Well, here is my second time to join up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade, with her monthly Currently...December is upon us and I'm sure most of you are feeling the same way as much to do at school and home, and so little time to do it all!  Well, if I make myself get dressed this morning, perhaps I can get some of those little things accomplished today!  Wish me luck!

Well, it's December, which I LOVE!!! but with this wonderful month comes so much extra work. I seem to be working month to month this year, hoping to get through one set of stressors, then realizing that the next month has a whole new set! Oh well, that's why I love this's never boring! lol  However, when you work in a very small school and wear so many hats (classroom teacher, music teacher, technology mentor...), it makes it difficult when those hats keep pulling you in totally opposite directions. I am super excited to be attending the TIES conference in Minneapolis in another week, to get lots of ideas about using technology at our school...but why does it have to be the week before our Christmas concert??? Hopefully, I will spend the next several days getting my kids ready before I leave, learning all the words to those songs. I'm sure it will all work out..........

Have I told you that I work with a great bunch of people? We have such a variety of teachers, from newbies with lots if enthusiasm and ideas, to some more veteran teachers (with lots of enthusiasm and ideas!). I truly enjoy going to work to spend time with everyone. So - I am on the hunt for a few more things to sneak into mailboxes (from Secret Santa) to let these people know they are thought of.

I am looking forward to December in my classroom. We are finishing up with our latest writing project, as well as our novels, so it will be fun to do some Christmas writing, pulling out all my Christmas picture books, and creating some awesome Christmas crafts! I am looking forward to posting about some of our December activities over the next few weeks.

I hope your December is off to a great start!

Take care!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Remembrance Day Thoughts

I am slowly getting things ready for our school Remembrance Day service classroom choir is performing a simple, but pretty song, "One Little Candle", my student leaders with the Student Council will be helping with the service either by reading a few poems, carrying the wreath or handing out programs, and I have the technology to set up in the morning for some of the videos we'll show and the sound system so we can be heard...throw in trying to complete the Grade Three Assessment that I was working on today, and the report cards that I have been obsessing over, and I am definitely looking forward to a weekend, even if the weatherman is trying to tell me that it's going to include a storm.

It has been an interesting week, with lots of good conversations about peace, war, and everything inbetween...I have included a few of our favourite books from this time of year:

This first book, "The Enemy", is a touching story about how both sides in a war are so much alike.
The Enemy
Reading this next book is always difficult, as it tells the true story of how a zoo is forced to destroy some of it's animals to prevent them from possibly escaping during the bombing of Tokyo.
Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War
This is a sweet story about a bear during war time.

A Bear in War

This is a great book for young children, about feelings of and for those involved in the war.

Proud As A Peacock, Brave As A Lion
(Click on the book pictures for links to the Chapters website.)
Anyway, have a great Friday! (and wow...that makes three posts this week...don't worry...I'm sure this burst of energy won't last for long...actually, I'm sure it's more of a method of procrastination until all the other stuff that I need to get done is finished!)
Take care,

Monday, 5 November 2012

Gotta Love Technology!

Today was a busy day (I know what you're thinking..."Aren't they ALL busy days?"...and yes, it's true..they ARE all busy...)! Our principal brought in a guest for the day (as well as a few subs to cover some of our classes while we worked with our guest)...Our guest was  a teacher from another school division with a strong background in using technology in her school.  She worked with the middle years teachers on various websites and programs, and how to use them with our kiddies.  Then, she worked with us early years teachers on how to make the most of interactive whiteboards (mainly SmartBoards). We got a lot of fantastic ideas, but by the end of the day, I can honestly say that my head was full!

Technology has been a big part of our school life lately...even our S.A.G.E. day was used as a brainstorming day, with some of my colleagues sharing ideas on mimio activities, SmartBoard work, and hands-on iPad tips.

If you are starting to use an iPad, feel free to download my iPad tips by clicking {here}...this is not a list of apps,'s simply some tips on how the iPad works.  I hope that it helps!

I'm still discovering how to fit technology into my classroom on a regular basis...the desktops, the mimio, the iPads...but the exploration is definitely fun!

Take care!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

November Currently

Wow!  I have never joined up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade, with her monthly Currently...but I thought maybe it would get me moving and add to my blog this week... goes!

Oh my! That was much harder than I thought! I seem to be fixated on time right now...or more accurately, a lack of, I'm sure that will change after November is done...oh wait - after that, it's Christmas concert time...did I mention that I also am in charge of our music program, and planning all the concert stuff? That must mean that January will slow down then...or maybe February?

I guess I can't complain too much about this past week...even with Halloween and a full moon, my kiddies were pretty good. We got our own version of a jack-o-lantern done, and the kids loved them...Unfortunately, I didn't remember to get pictures before they all went home...GRRR...however, I did find a picture I had taken from another year, to give you an idea...

These were jars that we covered with glue and pieces of orange tissue paper. For the next step, I found pictures of jack-o-lantern faces that I just photocopied so that my kiddies could design their own look. Then, we covered the entire outside with another coat of white glue to finish. The one improvement that we made this year was that we used green pipe cleaners to wrap around the mouth of the jars, then curled the left over end of the pipe cleaner to make part of it's vine!  When we turned on the battery-operated tealight candles inside each jack-o-lantern, and turned off the classroom lights, my kiddies were thrilled with how they turned out!
Well, I hope all of you survived your October, and that your November goes by as smoothly as possible!
Take care!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

October Fun

Wow! Time goes by sooo fast when you are having fun...and working hard...and going to workshops...and teaching...and marking...and planning...and I'm sure you get the idea...

In fact, I'm sure that most teachers know exactly what I am talking about. Last weekend, we made a point of going to the movies, to just get out of the house and do something that wasn't school-related. Who cares if it was to see "Hotel Transylvannia" ( an animated, kids' movie for those of you without little ones at home)...did I mention that it was with hubby, our 24 year old son and me? lol...I like being able to go to the movies and just have fun! Apparently most of the kids at our school saw it, too...all I heard this week was, "I do not say Blah, blah-blah"...

It seems like I have had a meeting, workshop or conference at least once a week for the last several weeks...I hate being away (even if the workshops were great!)...planning for someone else to be in my classroom is such a pain (and even if my main sub is often my mom!). The nice part though is that I know that her expectations of my kids' work will be high and she will get them done!

I left her a cute art project to do with my kids this week...while searching for some ideas, I found an image online (I couldn't find the original post for it...but was able to figure it out from the picture) and thought, "My kids could do this!" and I was right! They did a great job, and they looked even better once they were hung up! Halloween is one of my favourite days (did I mention that it is my birthday? lol), and there just doesn't seem to be enough time for doing all the Halloween-y things I'd love to do...

I hope that you are enjoying all the fun of October, and I'll try to get on here a little sooner than care!


Saturday, 8 September 2012

Back to School...and I Survived!

Well, one week done, and I don't want to count how many more to go...I'm going to let that be a surprise as the year goes

Actually, it was a pretty good 3 days.  I don't have a huge class - 22 students - but it's 2 grades (a Grade 3/4 split class) so it will still keep me busy trying to cover everything that needs to be covered.  Being a small school, plus I'm also the music teacher for K to Gr. 4 and the Tech. mentor for the whole school, means that I already knew all the kids by name (and a bit of their behaviours), so everything doesn't seem quite so brand new for me during those first few days.  However, for the kids, there are lots of new things...learning my expectations, having a few different teachers (while I am doing some of my other roles), using binders and looseleaf (Yikes! Who would know that this was a major deal!), moving from tables to desks...and throw in new programs (for both me and them) with starting Daily 5 and Daily Math...I know that all of us are going to have an amazing adventure this year!

Well, I will give you a quick tour of our classroom (while it's still neat...)'s not a huge space, and it's certainly full, but hopefully it will do what I need it to do this year.

This first picture pretty much shows most of my space, including our new desks and chairs (I picked them because they are called "blueberry"...and I just wanted to be able to say our chairs were  You can even see my summer sewing projects...the skirt/cover for my projector cart, and matching curtains.
This is my front wall, with my white board/mimio space, as well as the kids' storage (cubbies for binders, and mailboxes for notes and stuff). If you look carefully, you can also see my behaviour clip chart that we will be starting on Monday.
Keeping with our new Daily 5 program, we needed to include some space for book/work bins.  For this year, I just bought some cheap magazine holders that will hopefully work for us (and our limited space).
Our back to school bulletin board welcomed my little "aliens" into our space, for an "out of this world" year!  :) After taking their pictures with our 1st day of school frame (as I'm sure many people found on Pinterest), I had them printed out and added onto our bulletin board for the second day.
This was my version of the picture frame..

(Thanks to for the free pics to design it!)
On another note, I had a sweet delivery made to my classroom on the first day of school with kids...nope, they weren't from hubby...they were from "my big sis".  "B" was a family friend, who ended up going into education, and actually did her last year of student teaching in my classroom two years ago! She then went on to get a teaching position in our school division. She knew of my tradition of sending flowers to my favourite teachers on the first day of school (my mom, my little sister, and my daughter...and now, her) she sent me this lovely arrangement, complete with an apple for the teacher!
I know that this is going to be a busy year, but I'm sure it will be lots of fun, with great kids and awesome colleagues! I hope everyone else had a great start to the New Year!


Friday, 20 July 2012

Must Have Picture Books {Linky}

My daughter claims it's a sickness (that we, but I totally disagree...our love for picture books is a natural, necessary part of this be able to pass on this love to our students! (Do you think hubby will buy that argument?  I think he has decided that it is easier to pretend that I don't buy I pretend that I don't buy

Anyway, I am linking up with The Teacher Wife to highlight my favourite picture books.  I have already been checking out some of the other lists on the other blogs, and my wish list on Chapters (which was already way over-budget) has grown extensively!
Photobucket are some of my favourite picture books (in no particular order)...

1.  "The Duckling Gets a Cookie" by Mo Willems
BOOK: The Duckling Gets A Cookie!?
I love this pigeon!

2.  "I Love Monkey" by Suzanne Kaufman
We had a fun experience day at school, and I chose some crafts to do with monekys...and then...I found...this book!

3.  "The Hiccupotamus" by Aaron Zenz
The Hiccupotamus
This one just makes me giggle...especially when I had to read it out loud to hubby!  lol

4. "Guji-Guji" by Chih-Yuan Chen
Product Details
I loved this book, from the first time I found it in a little book store in England, while accompanying my dad on a medical trip (and yes, even while traveling, I can smell out books!).  I just had to read it to my students as soon as I returned from my trip!

5. "Mary Had a Little Lamp" by Jach Lechner
Product Details
This is one of those cute stories that I like to read/sing with some of my music classes.

6. "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss
A classic, but great story about protecting our planet!

7. "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" by William Joyce
Product Details
This is one of my newest purchases, but it is such a beautiful book!  And of course, I had to find a copy of the Academy Award winning short film that it inspired.

Ok...I could go on, and on, and on...and on...but maybe I will stop at lucky seven!


My First Time first post on my first blog...

After spending the past year following along with my daughter's blog, I decided to take the plunge and create my own (yes, my daughter is a teacher as is my baby was my mom...and so was my dad).  I'm not quite sure what I will be including on here as I begin, but we shall see.  Maybe it will be just for my own, personal memories...or maybe an opportunity to share my thoughts with my colleagues...we will just have to see as it evolves!

Anyway, hubby still thinks that I need a 12 step program to deal with my teaching "addiction"!  So, I'm not sure why he was surprised, walking into the livingroom the first few days after school was out, and I was online, looking up some school ideas!  Throw in the fact that I spent the first 2 weeks of summer break at university (8:30-5:00 everyday), and perhaps he has a the course was on Sustainability, which is a school and divisional goal...and I got so many ideas!  I still have one last assignment to get done by next month, but it is going to be based on a theme that I am going to be doing in my classroom starting in September, so that's my excuse for still working on school stuff!

Well, back to working around the house...I figure if I get the house in order, then hubby won't complain that I'm doing more school if he doesn't know me by now...

Happy July, everyone!