Saturday, 5 December 2015

December 2015 Currently

Yikes! Sorry that I am so slow this month...I forgot all about it being a new month, and that it would be time to do a new Currently...what was I thinking? I card marks and comments had to be in by November 26th...then we spent the past week waiting to fix all the typos/spelling mistakes/etc. Plus, it is busy with Christmas concert practices and such. Being the music teacher (as well as being the classroom teacher), somehow this all comes onto me now, even though the music part is only a teeny, tiny part of my job.

So, finally, today, I am joining up with Farley's Currently at  Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Anyway, it is time for me to go get some "Christmasy" kind of work done around has kind of revolved around school lately, so I'd better think about some home stuff this weekend!
Take care!,

Sunday, 1 November 2015

November Currently - Where is the Time Going?

I can't believe that it is already November 1st! The first two months of school have flown by...with all of the fun, back-to-school activities, weeks of initial assessments, restitution training, Thanksgiving, Progress Conversations, Halloween activities...throw in a bit of teaching, some staff's been crazy!

Today, I am once again joining up with Farley's Currently at  Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Not much to explain here...
I hope that your school year has had a great start! Appreciate the little things, deal with the tough stuff, and love those around you! That's the joy of our job...every day is an adventure!
Take care,

Monday, 7 September 2015

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...It's Off to Work We Go!

Well, tomorrow (Tuesday) is the first official day to be back to work! Of course, we get to "ease" into things by having a training workshop on Restitution for our entire school division. It will be great to see colleagues and catch up, but I'm sure that many people would rather have the time in their classrooms. Oh of the nice things about doing this kind of training as a whole school/division is that everyone starts to use the same vocabulary and expressions, so it becomes so much more consistent for the kids! Maybe I will be able to find some time in the near future to talk a little bit more about this training.

On Wednesday, we will begin our day with a staff meeting, and then we can use the rest of the day to do whatever we need in our own classrooms...and Thursday, bring on the kids!

I have spent a lot of this summer planning for this next school year. I know that we are fortunate at our school to be able to go in pretty much any time throughout the summer, to either clean up from the previous year, set up for the next one, or even just to get a head start on the photocopying. Some times, I just like to go in on a Tuesday evening, when I know that no one else will be around, and I can be as anti-social focused as I want!

Today, I thought I would share a few pictures of my finished(?) space...I think I am ready for the challenges and adventure of a new year. There are so many changes in our school this year and hopefully with having everything in my own room ready to go, it will help me have the strength to deal with those other things!

This is the bulletin board just outside our classroom.
My kids will be making their own potato heads to add to it on their first day back!
One of our school division's goals involves Sustainable Development. I keep this bulletin board in the hallway up all year long, adding to it as we do things throughout the year!
I'm not sure how long my kids will keep this area so organized, but it looks good for now!
These cubbies let my kids store those bulky binders and portfolios out of the way.
I love how this space turned out! This summer I re-did my entire library...changing from the traditional, on the shelf, just sitting there system to labelled baskets based on themes. This is just one of my library shelves...there are two more here...Have I mentioned that I have a "slight" addiction to books? lol
This is my reading area. It also contains lots of non-fiction books and a variety of magazines.
This is part of our Writing area. It has some of the extra things that my kids can tackle in writing, while they are waiting for a conference with me, or for someone to help edit their other work.
Here is our Listening centre/charging station. I have lots of books on iPods (we have 6) and iPads (I have 3).
We have four computers in our classroom, as well as 2 laptops. We use them for some of our Listening to Reading, word processing, keyboard practice, researching, Math with Technology, and whatever else we can manage!
This is our schedule/calendar area. The pocket chart shows our daily schedule (which seems to get changed around a lot) with word and picture cues. The calendar keeps us informed with what is happening throughout the month.
(Don't mind the mess below is our Home Reading books, in plastic eavestroughs, hanging on the wall.)
Well, I suppose I should get this post published so that I can get to bed, and then get this year started! For those colleagues that are starting tomorrow too, good luck and I hope that everything goes smoothly for you as well! Have a great year!

Take care,


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

September Currently...and Ready to Go to Work!

Yes, it's that time of year...and as I said with my last Currently, I never really did get out of school mode. I was either at school...or sitting in the family room with piles of school papers surrounding me. But that's okay...I am feeling very positive about walking into my classroom for next week, ready to take on a new class!

So here I am, linking up to Farley's Currently over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

I think that most of these are pretty self-explanatory...

I am a reality show not everything...these were usually the shows I watched with my son (Big Brother, American Ninja Warrior, America's Got Talent...). He moved out this summer, into his own house that he has been building over the past two years (can you tell that I'm a proud mom for my 27 year old "kid"? ), so it's a little harder to watch them all on my own, but they are good for when I'm working on those piles of school

Although I have been working hard, and am pretty much ready for the beginning of a school year, it is still nice knowing that I have some time yet.

Haircut is booked! My hairdresser sounded just as excited to hear from me when I

Who doesn't want baby time? My granddaughter is 17 months, and is just the sweetest, most adorable thing in my life! I love every moment I can get with her. And my nephew is an absolute cutie! He is 5 months old (although he arrived 3 months early, and gave us a few worries at first) and I adore him!

I know, I know...all the sleep studies tell me how important sleep is...but my brain has a really hard time shutting off when I lay down at night...I don't know if I just worry too much about forgetting something, or if I just have too many things on the go...but sometimes I have to get up and add to that huge "To Do List" before I try to go back and sleep.

I think my goals speak for themselves...and I'm sure I could easily add way that's least they give me a start for the new school year!

Well, that's it for me tonight. Hopefully I will be back here soon, to share some pictures of my classroom. Good luck to everyone as you start the new year as well!

Take care,


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Back to School...Where Do I Start?

Wow...I know that I am not officially back to school until September 8th, but I headed over to my classroom today. I walked in...saw what it looked like...and considered turning around and going back home! The one good thing is that the floor was shiny and clean, and ready for me to "work my magic" and start arranging!

I suppose it really isn't so's just that I like to move everything up off the floor at the end of June so that our caretaker doesn't have to move all of my stuff while trying to clean the floors.

Of course, setting up my room was not my intention today...instead, I decided to start some intense cleaning. It is time to start de-cluttering. You know what I mean...maybe actually throwing out some of those games that have been missing pieces for a few years and still haven't shown up...or that stuffed cupboard of art supplies that were such a good buy (time to figure out a use for them this year or pass them on to someone else)...perhaps weeding out my classroom library (then I might have some room for the new books I will more than likely buy this year)...and then there's the filing cabinet...and the cupboards of teacher resource books that no longer match who or what I am teaching.

Wow...although it doesn't look like I made much progress, I really did do a lot of sorting and cleaning! A few more days of reorganizing and I will feel much better about my space...and I will be ready to start setting up for the new school year! That will actually be the easy part, as I have spent lots of my summer break getting things ready...fresh labels, new signs, sorted papers...planning for a few new curriculums.
Stay tuned for the next set of pictures...once things are all in place!  I hope that you are getting everything ready for your own space, but are still able to enjoy whatever time you still have left of your summer break!
Take care,

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August Currently...and Time to Think About Back to School!

Sorry...I'm laughing at this post's hubby often says, it probably takes me until mid August to get out of school mode...just in time to get back into it and ready for September!

For anyone who read my July Currently and post, the end result is that I was not successful in getting the new principal position at my school. I didn't realize how much I wanted it until I didn't get it...but, after a good cry, a few days of feeling sorry for myself, and some time spent with my 16-month old granddaughter, I turned my head around and started looking at what I will be doing for the fall. I have spent the past month working on new curriculums (to me), getting lots of "Back to School" things made and organized, like new labels, schedules, etc., and just trying to figure out what the new school year is going to look like...

Anyway, once again I am linking up to Farley's Currently over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Well, I don't think that there is much to explain here...the best part of my summer so far is any time I get to spend with my family...hubby, our son, our daughter and her, hopefully I will get to do lots more of that before it is time to get back to work formally!
I hope that those of you still on summer break get the chance to enjoy your time to rejuvenate before the new school year begins...and for those of you already back to work, I hope that it has gone as smoothly as it can, and that you are enjoying a new year with your new class!
I look forward to sharing some pictures and thoughts for Back to School over the next month!
Take care,

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

July Currently...and Happy Summer Break!

Wow! It's July 1st...already...where did the time go? I'm sure it was only a few days ago that I was doing the June Currently!

The last few weeks of school are usually pretty busy, chaotic, fun...and this year was no exception. However, throw in the retirement of our amazing Kindergarten teacher who had been teaching at our school for over 30 years (with a community bbq, our annual final day Celebration of Excellence, and our local teacher's union get-together), along with our guidance counsellor moving to a new school for next year, two EA's being laid off, and somehow, things were just that much more crazy! (Did I mention that I'm social fund person, so in charge of getting all gifts, etc.? lol)

The sad part is that, on my first day of summer break, I am feeling a little lost...not knowing what I should do to start planning for the new school year...oh well, give me a few days and maybe I will get into the summer groove!

Today I am linking up with Farley's Currently, over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.
Well, I think that most of these are pretty self-explanatory. The only thing that I would have to clarify would be the "Needing" section. If you include all the things that I talked about at the beginning of this blog, as well as report cards, a field trip the second last day with kids, and our staff wind-up, it went way beyond busy. You would think that would be enough...but no...we also just got the word yesterday morning (our last day) that our principal has accepted a new position in our division for September. She has only been at our school for two years, and at the time, I had also applied for the position (I was just finishing the Administrative Internship in our division) I have mixed feelings over this. I then received an e-mail from our Superintendent, along with several other candidates to see if there was interest in taking on the position in September. Because it is so late in the year now, they are looking at it being an interim position (until the end of December) so that they can advertise it in the fall. I could still apply for the permanent position as was just a lot to think about...In the end, and after about 10 seconds of pondering, I immediately said yes, I was didn't even discuss it with hubby! Now I just have to wait for another week or two to see who else responded and what the next step will be.

The other issue was what should I do in my classroom then? As I was trying to clean up, I just couldn't focus...was I cleaning up so that I was ready to teach there in September, or was I organizing so that someone else could come into the space and teach for a term? Should I be taking things out and storing them at home? Or do I just leave it as is? do I shut off my brain for the next while until this is all finalized? Hubby always says I need a 12 step program to get out of "school-mode" in the summer anyway...I suppose this forces me to sit back and do nothing...although I was getting a little antsy last night, thinking about typing up my finalized (possible) timetable...and class lists...and...oh my!

Well, I hope that your summer break is off to a better start than mine...Take some time for yourself! Relax, read a book (not a school one...but something that interests you, is fun, makes you smile, etc.), go see a movie on a weeknight, sleep in, visit with friends...whatever it takes to let yourself be that person you are when you aren't a teacher!

Take care,

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

June it That Time Already?

It's June, and no...I'm not stressing out at all...just because there is just over three weeks of school left, with reports cards to write, one field trip to take, Tabloid Day to organize, the retirement/moving on of a few staff members, and two fun T.U.S.C. meetings to enjoy.

T.U.S.C. is one of my favourite parts of our school stands for Totally Unbelievable Speaker's Club. Once a cycle, our class holds a formal meeting, where every student has a specific role during the meeting. These include a Chairperson, Secretary, World News, School News, Jokes and Riddles, and much more! The focus is not so much on the content of their presentations, although I love hearing about all the things that they want to share, but on the speaking, presenting and listening skills that I get to observe. I also love the fact that I get to sit back, take notes and enjoy, while the students run the meeting. I learn so much about my students during this time, as well as the many parents, grandparents, friends, etc. that come in as Invited Guests. We've even had a baby elk come for a visit!

Feel free to check out our class weebly to see our TUSC Handbook, to learn more about the many roles that the students complete. Click on the caption below the picture:
By this time of the year, everyone has had the chance to try each role once. For the last two meetings, I give the students the opportunity to choose which jobs they would like to do...some jobs, like the Chairperson, can only be done by one person, but yes, other jobs might have several people, such as Demonstration.
Well, with the beginning of a new month, I also enjoy linking up with Farley's Currently, over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.
Here we go!

I don't think there is much to explain here...
That's it for me...if you are like me, and down to the last few weeks of teaching, good luck and enjoy! If you are fortunate enough to already be finished your school year, it's ok...I'm not
Happy June!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May Currently and Portfolio Night

Well, as most of you can probably relate...this school year is flying by way too fast! can't believe that it is already May, with only weeks to go before the school year is over. Although I have enjoyed this year, it has definitely had it's ups and downs. And of course, as we stress out over everything that still needs to be done, there is also the stress of all the planning that has already begun for next year...we've already had meetings over school plans (for next year, and possibly up to the next four years...)...and then there is the panic over what the timetabling will look like for next year (just wondering what I will be teaching - grades, subjects, etc.). That is the joy of teaching in a small school!

Portfolio Night!
One of my favourite days at school was this was our Portfolio Night! I love it! Our entire school participates, Kindergarten to Grade 8. Every classroom/teacher has its own interpretation of what this looks like, but it is amazing to see all of the families that come in to share the day (in my room, some students brought in Mom, Dad, or both, siblings and even some grandparents...even with some families that are divorced, both parents came together to share).

My students had a "program" that they could follow to share with their families:
*First, they used the SmartBoard to "check in".
*Then, they could share our portfolios. They aren't anything fancy, but based on the 4 Pillars that we base our classroom on (Respect, Academic, Teamwork, Leadership). They have lots of pictures and write-ups from activities throughout the year, samples of school work, and reflections of what we have done.
*Students could teach a new Math game out of our Math With Someone binders.
*We had a few Science activities to demonstrate some of the concepts we have been working on in our Light unit (the bending pencil and the changing directions arrow).
*The French teacher had the students share their French work folder and their reflections sheet from this year.
*Computers had our classroom weebly up so that parents could see what we have been doing, if they haven't been able to check it out at home.
*Students shared our QR Code Book Reports that were on display in the hallway. We used our school iPads so that everyone could read the reports. They were very simple to do, but the kids were excited to share them!
A sample of what our QR Code Book Reports looked like

There was also a Scholastic Book Fair set up in the gym, a free yoga class in the Music room, and many displays set up all around the school.

The best part of the day was that the students were the ones running the show...I was just there to answer the odd question, make sure that the technology was working and take pictures of each group. But...I am glad it is is a lot of work to prepare for the evening, even though I was good and had been updating the portfolios all year long.

And Now...May Currently!

Once again, it is time to join up with Farley's Currently at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Here is mine!

I don't think that I have to explain any of these, other than the last daughter lives about an hour away. She and her husband are having a house built on their existing acreage, so they can move their family (1 baby, 2 dogs and 2 cats) out of their mobile home. Our son is also building his own house across town from us (at least he will still be close However, he and his dad (hubby) are building it themselves, so it has been a slower project, and takes much of our spare time.

Well, that's it for me! Have a great weekend and a wonderful May!

Take care,


Monday, 2 February 2015

February Currently!

Oh dear...Each month, Farley's Currently arrives, and I think about how neglectful I have become of this blog. I think that it is time to reassess what I am doing and decide how I am going to continue in the blog world. No, I'm not thinking of quitting, but I realize that it's time to think about what I want to make out of this space, and what I want to get out of it...

Anyway,  I am joining up with Farley's Currently linky at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one with this pageant title...maybe it's because I am a control freak...or I don't like to look needy...or maybe I procrastinate asking and then HAVE to do it myself...sigh...I'm sure that there could be a few other reasons as well!  lol
Well, enjoy this short month, full of too many activities - 100 Day, Valentine's Day, I Love to Read month, and whatever else they can fit into it!
Take care,

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year! and January 2015 Currently

Wow! It's a new year...and I'm not sure if I'm ready to say goodbye to the old one...

2014 was pretty special for our family...I'm not sure how 2015 will top it!

In March, we welcomed the arrival of our first grandchild, the most beautiful little girl, Zoe Elizabeth!

In July, our daughter got married to a wonderful guy. The wedding was so much fun, with family and friends, lots of love and laughter, and so much happiness! The pictures from that day, of my daughter, her new hubby and baby Zoe, just melt my heart!

In November, I finally had surgery to have my chemo port removed! After two years of surgeries and treatments, I am taking this to mean that this journey has ended, and it's time to begin a different one! Although it is not something that I would want for anyone else, I certainly have apreciated what it has brought to my life...the people that I have met (both fellow patients and medical staff), the knowledge I have gained, and the support and encouragement I have felt through all of has definitely shown me how blessed I have been!

So...there really isn't more I could want in life!

Although it's a day late, I am joining up with Farley's Currently linky at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

I don't think any of this needs to be explained...well,maybe except for my little brother (he was always pretty special to mom and I were actually pregnant at the same time, so my brother is the same age as my daughter! The two of them grew up together...) went missing 5 ½ years ago. It has been hard on our family, especially at the holidays. However, it also makes us extremely grateful for all that we do have. We appreciate those that are around us, tell them that we love them a lot more, and treasure each smile, tear and hug. So...I keep on wishing...

Well, I hope that your 2014 was also amazing, and that 2015 will simply bring more "amazing-ness" for you and yours! Enjoy the next stretch of your school year!

Happy New Year!

Take care,