Sunday, March 15, 2015

story time - Storywalk® - outside

Being outside, reading a story, and a bit of running about.

Seems like a winning combination.

So we went on a StoryWalk®.

A StoryWalk® is just what it sounds like - a story and a walk.  As children walk down a path,  they come across the pages of a story book attached to boards on posts stuck in the ground or on trees or attached to something.  As you contine on  the walk, the story is read, page by page.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

numbers and counting - outside

We had such wonderful weather that we just couldn't stay inside.  So we didn't!

Time for a little numbers and counting practice - outside.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr Seuss: reading with our eyes open wide

What's that?
What did you say?
It's time to celebrate
Dr. Suess' birthday!?!

And celebrate we do!

By reading.  And reading.  And reading some more.

And loving every minute of it.

This year we are adding I Can Read with My Eyes Shut to our usual Dr Suess read alouds.

Friday, February 27, 2015

spring blossom transient art

Nothing says "Spring" quite like the first blossoms on the trees.

Whether you have Spring outside or not, you can make beautiful and ever-changing blossoms inside.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Quiltmaker's Gift

It is always the right time to read a book that is well written, has exquisite illustrations and an important message (that does not brow beat the reader). 

But February seems an especially perfect time to read it.  And then makes some hearts.

The Quiltmaker's Gift
author:  Jeff Brumbeau
illustrator: Gail de Marken
publisher: Scholastic (2001)
New York Times bestseller
Booksense Book of the Year 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Penguin and Pinecone - story retelling

One of my favourite friendship books is about a penguin and a pinecone.

It's a wonderful story about the love between friends.

Penguin and Pinecone
author and illustrator: Salina Yoon
publisher: Bloomsbury USA (2012)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

heart art - inspired by Jim Dine

My kindergarten kids were drawing hearts everywhere (that they weren't supposed to).

So I cut them a deal; they would cease and desist drawing hearts all over penguin projects, and we would do some cool heart art.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

outdoor decorating with hearts

100 hearts.

That's enough to bring some Valentine's fun to a neighbourhood roundabout.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

celebrate: art and kindergarten alumni

This week we have been painting faces like Mr. Picasso.

That is celebration enough in itself.

This year, our Picasso painting has an extra element worthy of celebration.

We had extra artist help four mornings last week.

Rachel helped the kids paint their faces,

choose where their eyes, mouths and ears would go,

and she helped the children draw their hair.

Rachel helped the kids find their inner artist - her passion for enjoying and creating art was contagious.

Rachel is one of my kindergarten kids from a few years ago.  This is how I remember her.

I am celebrating seeing Rachel, and so many of my other "kids" grow up and become wonderful adults.

big and small
personal and professional

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Monday, January 19, 2015

celebrate: floppy ears and a happy tail

This week's celebration is all about four feet and fur.

Please meet the newest member of our family - Mitsy.

Mitsy is a rescue dog from our local SPCA.

In her short time with our family we have learned that Misty
• loves cuddles and affection
• is wary of men, but will warm up given time and space
• was brave and played with other dogs at the dog park (after hiding in a corner for 20 minutes)
• is now a dog park fan
• tolerates going in the car, but does not like it
• loves forest walks
• is fascinated by running water

big and small
personal and professional

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

colourful tissue paper winter trees

White snow and blue skies are not something we see a lot of here in the winter.

But that does not stop us from making colourful tissue paper winter trees.

This was a multi-step, multi-day project, just as my friend Barb from Grade ONEderful said it would be.

First we painted the sky ( 11 x 14" paper) with watered down blue tempera paint.  We have been into painting with sponges when filling in bigger spaces - sponge painting is fast and can create interesting textures.

While our blue sky paint was drying, we glue cut up tissue paper squares onto white paper.

As a concession to our kindergarten-ness, I made three different tree templates for the kids to choose from.  They could focus their gluing on the tree spaces rather than filling up the whole paper.

 The trees (and trunks that I had created) were glued on.  We talked about composition and placement.  And then the kids glued them where ever they wanted to!

The last step was adding white or silver snowflakes to the sky. (We have our fingers crossed that we will see some snow this winter!)

Single colour trees, multi-coloured trees, striped trees, and even cut down trees - they look awesome and add some much needed colour to the grey dreariness outside.  

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Friday, January 16, 2015

winter trees

Circles and rectangles make fine looking winter trees.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

celebrate - love and thankfulness

I like to end the school week by celebrating our classroom  community.

Every Friday afternoon, we dim the lights and sit in a circle on our carpet.

We pass around a bell, or a First Nations drum, or a singing bowl - something that is good for bringing  sound to our gathering.

On Friday we passed a rainstick around the circle.  

As each child has a turn with the instrument, they say something that they are thankful for.

The rainstick went around the circle until it came to one of my little guys.

In his most heartfelt voice: "I am thankful for my mom.  She is sooooo beautiful.  When she puts on makeup to look pretty, I just can't stand how beautiful she is."

My heart skipped a beat.

And he passed the rain stick to the next child.

I am joining with Ruth Ayres Writes and the Celebrate community to celebrate the big joys, the little achievements, and young boys who love their mamas fiercely.

Friday, January 9, 2015

new year, new look, new one little word

It's a brand new year (+ 9 days).

And the blog has a brand new look. Well, if not brand new, seriously updated. Big thanks to my friend Barbara Leyne who worked her design and techie magic.

A brand new year means a new one little word (OLW).

This year's word decided itself just before Christmas.  But I did not seem to have the words to tell the story behind it.  I am not sure yet if I do.

The OLW that chose me for 2015 is integrity.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines integrity as "the quality of being honest and fair".

Google states that integrity is "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. synonyms:  honesty, probity, rectitude, honour, good character, principle(s), righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness. 

All good things.

And if I have no control over the integrity of decision makers (but I have and use my vote), I do have control over the integrity of the person I see in the mirror.

I don't know if I experienced more joy in 2013, demonstrated more kindness in 2015, or will have more integrity this year.

But, the intention is there.

Happy New Year.

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