Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring has sprung...

I enjoyed a lovely walk home the other day. The sun was shining, my music was playing on my iphone and there were so many small moments that captured my attention. This is what I love about walking home. I can saunter along and pay attention to the little things.

And, as always, flowers drew me in. I found myself snapping pictures of many of them. I love the vibrant colours and just wish I was not so darned allergic! Rhododendrons are one of my favourites. That and the big bushes of hydrangeas that are starting to bloom in my neighbourhood. I will admit to knowing very little about flowers in general. I just know what I like. At least I can enjoy the beautiful images they make. Just wish they didn't make me sneeze!!!!!
These small daisies made me think about all the years in my
childhood when I would sit in a patch of warm sunlight making daisy chains. Do children still do that? If not, they should. So many of the things children do these days deal with technology or organized sports/events. So few of them are about sitting quietly and enjoying a moment. In one patch of grass there were so many daisies that I could have made daisy chain crowns for the whole class!!!
And the flowering trees. Oh my! The flowering trees! There are no words for the varying colours and hues!!!

Even the smallest, most innocuous things grab my attention when walking home. These rocks grabbed me because of all the different shades of gray.

And, even bird poop took on new meaning! See the heart below? Yep, you got it. Bird poop!

Don't you think that fairies must live behind this door? It made me think of all the fairy items the kids make at the art table. Some of the students play fairies every day at recess and lunch. I love how open to other worlds young children are! It does a grown up heart good.

I am hoping for good weather a couple of days (at least!) this coming week. I wonder what other wonders and treasures I will find?

Ms. Hughes


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just some photos...

Not much to say today. Too busy dealing with house stuff! Thought I would share a few pictures of what students have made this past week. Check them out!
A tall, tall tower using Base Ten math manipulatives

Math manipulatives? Or a farm?

 Love how they were using math concepts while playing. See all the sorting going on?
A base with protective shields.
Toothbrushes for stuffed penguins.
A Lego structure made by our newest student.

One of the girls made a sword and scabbard to fight off the enemy. Wonder who the enemy was?

Ms. Hughes

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The stars aligned....

We have started the official "COUNTDOWN TO GRADE 2!" Each day, during our calendar time on the Smartboard,  we take away a one block, regrouping where necessary as the countdown continues. We hit 51 days left the other day! How time flies!

With the countdown comes the push to work extra hard to be ready for grade 2. I am like a broken record these days, constantly telling the kids that there are only ___ days left and they have to be working harder.

The other thing I find myself saying a lot right now is along the lines of, "If I sent you to one of the grade 2 teachers would they think this is almost in grade 2 work?" Clearly, the answer I'm looking for is NOOOOOO! And this is followed by the student to whom I am saying it, returning to their desk to do more work.

That said, you have to know that in every class there is always one student who can't help but be a smart aleck when asked the question. They will look me straight in the eye and tell me that it is almost in grade 2 work (that it is practically illegible and clearly isn't even meeting the minimum expectations for grade 1 is immaterial!). When this happens I send that student to a grade 2 teacher who, of course, tells them that they'd better go work on it some more because they aren't quite ready. (I've got it all arranged ahead of time with the grade 2 teachers in question. Aren't I sneaky?!?)

But then....

Then there are the moments when the stars all align and a student who usually puts in a so-so effort, suddenly writes like it is September of grade 2 already. When I can send that student to a grade 2 teacher to get a ton of praise and enthusiasm for their effort! And often an extra sticker to boot!

This happened in class on Friday. Can I get a hallelujah?

The printing is neat. The spelling is almost all correct. There is punctuation. There are 5 sentences. was done completely independently. Check it out!

I am not sure that anyone who is not a teacher can really appreciate the feeling that I get when the light finally, finally, finally goes off and a student performs in a whole different stratosphere from before. Day after day after day, I slog away teaching basic skills and, for the most part, the progress I see in the students is slow and incremental.
But, every once in awhile, there is a jump in ability that is so apparent, so noticeable when compared to the week before that it warms my heart and helps me to remember that I am making a difference (even when it doesn't seem like my efforts are ever going to help them to read, write, understand addition, etc. etc. etc. You get the idea!) in the lives of my students.
I can hardly wait to find out who is going to take off this week!
Ms. Hughes

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WWR April 10

from tumblr

This is something to remember as I pack up for my family's 11th move in 16 years. And the 14th move since meeting my husband 20 years ago. Didn't I just say a couple of years ago that we weren't going to do this anymore? Am I insane?!?!
Yes...for moving again. But, no, for this move.
We have scored one of the rare 3 bedroom units (there are only 4 like this) in our co-op so the move is not far - just four doors down - but, unfortunately, is still just as much work!
It just seems that with the school move and now a home move I have done nothing but pack and unpack all year long! And I still have boxes at school that need to be unpacked!!!! I know how I'll be spending my summer.
Ms. Hughes