Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Scoop - November 16

I am linking up with Teaching Trio for another Sunday Scoop...

Does it seem weird that it is only the middle of November and many of my items have to do with Christmas? Well, not to me. You see I have been doing Organized Christmas through the blog Organized Home for about four years now. They start sending emails in the last week of October with tasks to do. If I follow it (some years I do better at this than others!) I will have everything done for Christmas by the first week in December and can then sit back, sip my eggnog and enjoy the holiday season. Since I started doing this my holidays have gotten so much better! No more shopping at the last minute. No more wrapping gifts the night before! No more being stressed out!!! It is wonderful!

So, back to my Sunday Scoop...

3 things I have to do...

1. Well, I will admit that Christmas cards are not really a HAVE to do but, for me, they are pretty important. I need to get them all done in the next week so that I can mail them out in the last week of November or first week in December. And with my carpal tunnel, I have to start way early so that I can write them a few at a time and not have my hand go numb!
2. Only 30 days until my daughter is home for the holidays!!! I just need to book the ticket!
3. I brought all the math home with me last weekend, too. Did I get any of it marked? NO!!! Luckily, this past week was a three day week (what with the four day weekend around Remembrance Day) and we only did math two times. I have to do it this weekend so that I can see where the students are getting stumped and create my mini-lessons to hit the different areas that need work. 

2 things I hope to do...

1. I know that I will buy very little at any craft fairs simply because I already know what most people are getting BUT I do love seeing the creativity that is out there. And, I need some more crocheted dish cloths which I get at one particular craft fair each year. I am hoping to go to Dunbar's craft fair next Saturday. 
2. And on the handmade note...I have started a project that I am hoping to have done by Christmas. If not, it will turn into a birthday present for the new year. I would tell you more about it but the person it is for reads this blog so you'll just have to wait and see!

1 thing I'm happy to do...
1. My mother started making a special Christmas cookie sometime in my childhood. Can't remember a Christmas without them. The cool thing about them is that they hang on the tree! Now that my mother is unable to do things like follow a recipe, I have taken on the task. I make a double batch of dough every other year and then freeze half of it. I will be making the dough this week. The cookies turn out better if the dough is refrigerated for at least a couple of days before baking. I'll be sure to post the recipe when it is cookie baking time!

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!



Saturday, November 15, 2014


I wanted to do a shout out for a fabulous organization here in town. If you are needing some great gift ideas for the holidays, look no further!!!!

Have you ever heard of Craftworks? It is an organization that offers adults with disabilities the opportunity to create wonderful handmade items. 

Oh, and I should say upfront, that I am in no way connected to this organization and have not been given any sort of remuneration for this post. I just love their stuff! 

The ornaments are my favourite! I especially love the Richard Scarry ornaments from my childhood. They bring back such good memories. (I learned to read with his books. Check out the link to one of my all time fave books!) And the newer First Nations ornaments are pretty spectacular with all of the detail in them. 

Check it out!

I meant to get this post written while Circle Craft was still on because they had a booth there but, alas, the week got away from me!!

But, wait! You can still get these items at a sale near you! (I always wanted to sound like an infomercial!!!!)

They will be at Candytown on the 22nd. So, mark it down on your calendar and get yourself down to Yaletown for Candyland next weekend!



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget

We spent a lot of time this past week talking about peace and Remembrance Day. I wanted to share with you today, on Remembrance Day, some of the wonderful ideas our class came up with.

First, here are some examples of the PEACE acrostic poem that we wrote with our big buddies.

I love the last one where A stands for active helping. Now wouldn't this world become 150% better if every single person became an active helper?!?!

And here are the poppies we made in Community Arts & Crafts...

We did some activities before making these poppies. It was a two day process with all 92 students in our community. 

On day one, we read Todd Parr's book called The Peace Book ( I got smart about reading a book to 92 students at once and photographed all the images so that I could put the book on the smartboard!) and then we brainstormed all the many things that peace can be before doing our own writing. We made the poppies on day two and added our writing to them. I am hoping that they are gracing front doors and refrigerators all through our school neighbourhood!

Here's the book we read. If you haven't read it, you need to. In fact, you can't really go wrong reading any of Todd Parr's books. He is awesome!!! You can check out his website here. And to find out more about the book you can click on the picture of it below...

The Peace Book

I am always humbled by the ideas that children can come up with for these types of activities. Sometimes I think that if all the adults in the world would follow the advice of children, we would have a much happier and peaceful world!

Here are some of their thoughts...

Peace is...
  • being kind
  • having food
  • wishing on a sun
  • helping people
  • having toys
  • skating
  • having fun with friends
  • sleeping
  • school
  • wonderful
  • recycling
  • having dreams
  • planting trees
  • reading to myself
  • watching birds fly in the sky
  • playing with my dog
  • sharing
  • hugging
  • spreading love
  • having a house
  • learning
  • being me
And I have to share one of the Peace is... pieces in its entirety. This kid gets it big time!!!!

Can you read them all?

It says Peace is...
  • giving love to someone you love
  • saying something nice to someone
  • being free
  • having a family
  • being a kind person
  • being a nice expecter
  • having a home
  • being a great friend
  • taking good care
  • giving a present to someone
  • a grateful world
  • giving cards
  • eating food
My favourite one? Being a nice expecter. When I asked her what she meant she said it meant expecting nice things all the time. As in, having a positive attitude, looking at the bright side, having a half full glass etc. I just love how she put it. Be a nice expecter. That's something I can totally get behind!

I hope that you find some inspiration in the words of these young people. Their wisdom far exceeds the amount of credit given to them. 

Wishing you a peaceful and gratitude filled day.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Look what they made!!!!

There are times in our room when one or two children finish ahead of the other and they get to choose a Quiet Time Centre to go to for a few minutes. These centres are reading, writing, drawing or math tubs.

This year I have some die hard math tub kids. They are so into building and constructing. 

A huge favourite is building those long domino chains where you can knock over the first one and they all fall down in sequence. 

But this class is not about the boring, basic domino line. No way, no how! They are all about creativity. Check it out...

And notice that they don't just do this with dominoes. They have discovered that you can do the same things with our sorting squares as well. How cool is that!

Some of the kids just want to do good old fashioned building and balancing. Look at these...

And, then, there are the kids who just explore the manipulative and come up with a cool design like this one...

I love to see all of the ideas that they can come up with using very basic math manipulatives. 

So great to see creativity, problem solving and fun in action!!!!



Saturday, November 8, 2014


You don't have to say it.

I know that Halloween is over and done with...


 I finally downloaded my pictures off of my camera and I just had to share the Frankensteins the kids did!

This was a community wide craft project (that means we taught it to 92 kids at the same time!) during Community Arts and Crafts on the day before Halloween. And they turned out so gosh darn cute! 

Check them out!

Now, Halloween is officially over for this year. I promise!!!!



Sunday, November 2, 2014


How did it get to be November already?!?! And why does every month's Currently post start with my amazement that another month has come and gone? LOL

I am linking up (as per usual) with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for this month's edition of Currently.

listening... I don't talk about religion or spirituality much since I truly believe it is a personal subject. To each his own and all that. I am not a churchy person. Nor do I belong to any one religion. I am however someone who believes there is more to life than that which we can see with our eyes. To that end, I have a playlist of music that makes me feel closer to spirit. 33Miles is my latest find. Beautiful music. 

loving... I know, I know, I have a quiet house to myself a lot these days what with my good egg off in Toronto for university. But, to have a Sunday to myself is rare. Hubby is off at a poker tournament and I am enjoying being able to use the computer, listen to my music and drink my coffee by myself.

thinking... I am still feeling like a hamster running around in its wheel where work is concerned. I never really realized how vital the time I spend in my classroom every summer is to my sanity during the school year (it is so worth the hours of unpaid work I put in!!!!) What with starting the year with three weeks of being on strike coupled with not being able to clean and organize over the summer, I feel very discombobulated. I hate it. I am going to spend some of my time today planning out the next 6 weeks so that I can get ahead of my teaching (or, at least, feel like I am getting ahead!)

wanting... this one ties into everything really but is mostly about needing motivation to get back on track with my exercise. I was so good over the summer going to yoga or the gym every day pretty much. I just can't seem to get into the early morning exercise routine I had last year. And I know that I need to. I would feel less like a hamster if I was working out regularly. Which is ironic really, as I would literally be on a treadmill if I was exercising regularly!!!!! So, the goal this month is to workout (either the gym or yoga) at least three times a week.

needing... our dining room has become sewing central over the last couple of months. I have started my Christmas planning and need to get it cleaned up in order to enjoy meals etc in the coming weeks. I know it will only take an hour or so but I am very good at avoiding anything cleaning related!!!!


Elizabeth Is Missing

I haven't actually started this but it is next on my list. Just picked it up from the library. Heard it was good and the central character is dealing with memory issues like my mother. I'll let you know if it's any good! 

So, there you have November Currently. Now, head over to Farley's to check out what everyone else is currently doing...