Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Chance Encounter = A Happy Heart

Last night was one of those chance encounters that brought a smile to my face and love to my heart.  I happened to be late for an appointment as I couldn't find the address of the practitioner I was going to see and I happened to see a parent whose son I taught two years ago in grade two.

He was a kind child and we worked really really hard to make sure that he made it to grade level by the end of the year and he did!  We were all so proud of him and his hard work and it was one of those moments in my career where I felt I had made a difference, but last night was the icing on the cake we baked two years ago!

 This child's mom told me that I was his favourite teacher and that he wanted to write me a letter but they didn't know what school I had transferred to.  To be called someone's favourite teacher two years after the fact just made my heart happy and made me so proud to call myself a teacher.  I remember my favourite teacher and always hoped that one day maybe someone would say the same about me and it happened.  These are the moments that teachers live for and I'm so greatful to be honored in this way by a parent and their child.

 Unfortunately, since grade two, this little guy has been diagnosed with a learning disability and is having a rough year.  I hope I can write him a letter back that will help him remember how much success he can have when he believes in himself like he did in grade two.

Sometimes we all need reminders that we are on the right path and really making a difference in the lives of those we touch.  I'm proud to say I teach but also proud to say I do it with love that has been returned ten fold!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm Such a TEACHER...

I just had to post this because last night made my heart happy.  I was reading with my daughter who is in JK last night and she has just started bringing home guided reading books to read with us at night. As many of you know I spent ten years in the primary grades before switching to grade six and seven last year.

I have really missed teaching reading to my little kiddos but have enjoyed my time in a new grade as well! Well, last night I grabbed a book from my daughters bag and guess what -I got to teach her some reading strategies that I used to teach my kiddos in grades one and two! Then, today, I spent time putting the high frequency words that she struggled with into a bingo game that we can play this weekend!  As I was making the game and thinking about the reading last night, I realized that this is allowing me to have the best of both worlds (teaching reading while still discovering a new age group).  The cool part is now I get to see my own child's growth and that's a teacher moment and a proud mamma moment all rolled into one! It's almost like the switch happened at the perfect time and I didn't have to give up my love of teaching reading because my daughter needs me as her teacher right now :)

So, with that being said, the other exciting thing is that this will be the first weekend spent in our NEW trailer!  We found that with two young children, we needed more space so this weekend will be our first sleep in the new trailer and I can't wait. I know what you are thinking (LOL) a trailer park with "trailer folk" but it's not like that, if anything it is a great group of people and a place to get away from all of the"I shoulds" we thinking about on a long weekend when we are at home!

Happy May Long Weekend!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wonderful Science Resources Online - FREE! Check Out an Example HERE!

Do you spend hours scanning the internet for resources to teach like I do?  I happened to stumble across this website today and it's FANTASTIC because it has a variety of resources for all age groups for FREE.  If you don't use ARKive Education to teach with, at least download the videos for your students to watch in a technology workstation!  They are high quality resources!  I'm going to post one below because it relates to the curriculum here in Ontario. I'm trying to find some neat stuff for next year - and this looks fantastic!

This activity has come from the 11-14 year olds, but as you see when you visit the link for ARKive Education, you will see a wide range of resources for 5 to 18 year olds!

So as you can see in the picture that I captured above, each topic comes with teacher's notes, a powerpoint presentation and an activity pack zip file.  In the Teacher's notes, there are links to videos.  The video below comes from this lesson plan.  As you can see from watching the video below, these are high quality video resources!  In this particular video, students dissect the birds to see what kinds of items they have ingested!  This video can be downloaded as well so you can keep it for future use!

I have posted the teacher's notes below so that you can take a look at what kind of material you get and then the powerpoint will follow.  I hope that you can use these resources :)

The worksheets that accompany this lesson plan must be in the downloadable activity zip file!  I didn't actually open it up to check them out as I'm not a big worksheet gal!

When you open up this powerpoint, you will see notes that you can use while you are teaching to provide more information - it is absolutely fantastic!

I hope you enjoy this cool resource!  I haven't checked out the younger student activities yet but I know that I will be using this one with my kiddos next year!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I hope that everyone is having a great Mother's Day!   I just wanted to share what I got from my daughter who is in Junior Kindergarten this year.  I have seen a lot of hand art, but I've never seen this before and thought it was really cute!  Kudos to her teacher!   She also made me this wonderful sundae with a bunch of adjectives!  I have yet to ask her if she chose them from a list or made them up herself, but I love that playful is up at the top!

My family took me out to a wonderful brunch this morning which was awesome! What a great choice of food, everything from jumbo shrimp and prime rib to traditional breakfast foods.  I also got a pot of beautiful yellow mums from my little guy!  What beautiful art work did your child(ren) come home with?

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!  Pamper yourself if you haven't already!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Online Interactive Map & Thank You Shout Out

Oh my goodness - I want to give a shout out to Melissa over at her Blog Common Core and So Much More!  I just learned last night that I was the winner of her 6th
Common Core and So Much Moregrade resources for her 1000 follower giveaway!  I couldn't be more thrilled and excited about this as I'm new to the junior grades after many years in primary!  Thanks to all of her contributors who gave their resources for her celebration!  I really couldn't be more grateful to all of you.  So a BIG "thank you"!  It really made my night to read that email!

Now onto the interactive map (see pic below).  I came across this find today and definitely wanted to share it with all of you because it doesn't really matter what you are doing, you can use this interactive tool in your classroom multiple ways, even if it is just for current events.  The great thing about this resource is you can look at the whole world or zoom in on a country and then zoom in further.  You can also use text to make notes and mark important places.  The other great thing is that you can print off maps, so if the kids are working on a project and need a map, you have an instant resource!  I hope that you enjoy this tool!  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Currently - Finally!

Wow, so again, here I am writing about how it has been so long and it has, according to how much I would like to blog and write.  I love blogging because it is time to myself, doing something that I really want to do!  If you are like me and have young children, you know how precious and rejuvenating this time can be,  which is why I picked the image above.  Sometimes we need to be reminded to "just be" and not get caught up in everything that goes on around us.  This is the time I find that I'm most creative, when I can just be in the present moment.  So here is my May Currently by Farley! I know it's a little late, but better late than never right?

Listening:  To the birds - as I am writing my post, I have the windows opened and the only sound I hear other than the keys on the laptop are the birds.  I've had a real appreciation of them recently and saw a beautiful bright orange oriole the other day.  It's the first time I've seen one EVER and he keeps popping around to say hello.  It's so relaxing to hear nature again!!

Loving: The summer weather!  Here in Ontario, our temperatures have been summer weather!  It's been amazing!  This past weekend I watched my daughter and her friends play in the sprinkler.  I'm so happy to have playtime in the backyard again!

Thinking: About the next school year!  I'm pumped to go back to school which I know is the last thing that some of you want to hear right now as you are wrapping up your school year.  This MAT leave has allowed me to be inspired to go back to the junior grades and really wrap my mind around how I want to program!  So thank you all for your inspiring blogs and ideas!

Wanting: More creative time!  Before our family emergency, I was getting lots of blogging time and feeling inspired to become more creative, however, the time has just not been there like I wanted it to be.  Now that  my little guy is healing and doing better, hopefully we will be back on a routine where I can spend some precious nap time moments creating some things to share with all of you!

Needing:  More sleep!  My little guy has been down and out these past few weeks and our family has suffered a long lasting cold which has kept mommy and daddy up through the night.  Thank goodness we are through it now, sleep deprivation is so hard to deal with sometimes!

Summer Bucket List: Create and relax.  I can't wait to go up north to our trailer.  We upgraded at the end of last season so I'm really looking forward to the new trailer and all of our friends up there.  I know it will allow our family time to relax after a busy winter!  I'm also looking forward to spending some time creating things for my classroom.

On that note, what is your favourite creative tool? What tips do you have to share with a newbie creator like me?  I can't wait to read your comments!!