Thursday, 30 July 2015

Summer Link up - My talent

I am a bit late with linking up with Monica from I Heart Grade 3, but I though, "rather late than never".  So here I am.

This week's topic is My Talent.

This is definitely not a strong topic for me.  There are a lot of hobbies which I enjoy doing, but whether they are talents can be debated :)

After having my first child, I just don't have time to develop talents and focus of activities which I enjoy.

For this reason, I am going to tell you about those 'talents' or rather hobbies (in my case) I can't wait to devote more time to when my youngest goes off to school (that would be next year).

I love creative activities (although I am not necessarily creative).  Embroidery and needlework is one of my favorites!  I did needlework at school and absolutely loved it.  I can sit for hours with my embroidery ring and create something beautiful (off a pattern that is).  I find it so relaxing but can definitely not do it with little sticky fingers around.  This is a Hardanger design which I completed.  I love the simplicity of the white on white.

I also love pottery, but this is not something I can do at home and need to attend a workshop to do as I don't have the resources at home.  I made this little bowl which I use for dips and snacks.  (One can never have enough bowls in your cupboard.)

Baking is something I enjoy filling my time with - not necessarily cooking but baking!  I love baking something really yummy!  Since being at home, I can spend more time in the kitchen, baking for teas and gatherings.  I have also started baking my children's birthday cakes in stead of ordering them.

Maybe my talent is baking WITH my daughter - the amount of time and patience needed should definitely be considered as a talent :)

Here is a recipe we love making together - it is quick and easy and delicious is you like lemony goodness :)

Okay, I think that is enough "non-talents" for now.

Check out some other talents by clicking here.

Monday, 27 July 2015

A Week of Wordy Wisdom - Week 4

I really enjoyed this creating week of A Week of Wordy Wisdom, plus I learnt something new in the Think-about-it Thursday fun fact.

The quote for this week : "Be silly. Be honest.  Be Kind." rings true to my heart.  These are three qualities that can get you far in life and add to a good quality of life.  I read the "Be Silly" part as to enjoy life.  Take time to laugh, make jokes and have fun.  Not to take yourself too seriously.

To teach a child to be honest is a difficult thing.  Children will avoid a difficult situation by telling a 'fib' and this is a natural reaction.  It shows that they child is able to reason and think up a solution to the problem - even if the solution is the wrong option by telling a fib.  Honesty is a wonderful characteristic where children learn to build relationships based on trust.

And my favorite part is "Be kind."  To be kind shows empathy.  Kindness takes many forms whether it be in material support, emotional support or verbal support.  The phrase "Treat others the way you would want to be treated" is exactly what this part of the quote is saying.

This 3 minute video shows a number of Acts of Kindness caught on camera.  Some of the photos might need to be explained to children who can't read, but there are many that are self explanatory.

"Don't look the gift horse in the mouth," is a proverb encouraging gratefulness.  Students should be grateful for something that they are given.

Here is an animated video to show students to demonstrate the Proverb and it givens an example.  You may bee to read the text to younger students or you could let them watch it and then explain how the proverb applies to it.

Last week I suggested a useful website for spelling tests and vocab exercises.  Check it out here.  The webside I have chosen this week for spelling is Besides the large variety of activities that they offer, there is a game dedicated to spelling and that is SpellaRoo,  In this game, the student is given a sentence with two underlined words.  The student then needs to identify which one is spelled incorrectly.

Don't forget to grab your free word searches to accompany the K - 2 words by clicking on the image below.

I knew that everyone has their own unique finger print, but did you know our tongue prints are also unique?

I love this forensic detective investigation that students can do.  You might have to word through it with younger students who are not very fluent readers yet.  Students need to solve the mystery by using the finger print found at the scene.  (Below is the note left by the cat - napper.)

They will work through the process the way forensic detectives would and learn about finger prints as they go along.  I found this lovely activity at Wonderville.

The week ends off with a number joke.  I bet you will hear the joke over and over again :)

You can get Week 4 of A Week of Wordy Wisdom by visiting my store or clicking on the image below.  Don't forget to check out the prior weeks as well.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Weekly Summer Link up: My Favorite Picture

Thanks to Monica from I Heart Grade 3 for this weekly link-up during the summer.  I have been reading everyone's stories and contributions to the link-up and am thoroughly enjoying them.

This week is My Favorite Picture.

*SHOCK*     *HORROR* ... I have chosen a photo of Megan:

In this photo, she is about 20 months old.

She was sitting at my dressing table and playing with my jewelry.  I just love the combination of the mature/classic look of the pearls and the innocence of the pacifier (we call it a dummy - do you?). I managed to sneak in a photo without her noticing and catching her deep in thought/concentration with what she is busy with.  Without it being a conscious decision, I also managed to catch her reflection in the mirror, showing the expression on her face.

This photo is up on our dining room wall with a number of other of our family favorites.

Click on the image below to see what other bloggers consider to be their favorite picture.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Week of Wordy Wisdom - Week 3

Week 3 of A Week of Wordy Wisdom has been posted.

Motivation Monday comes from Dr Seuss.  It is a message that I have been trying to instill in Megan from when she was really little.  Children (and adults) are often so overcome with disappointment when a favored activity comes to an end, that they forget to appreciate that they had the experience.

Allow students to share in a group of an activity that came to an end and resulted in disappointment or sadness.  Let them reflect on whether they remember the fun they had or the sadness that followed.

A cat has nine lives!  Well, if you have owned a cat then you will probably view this proverb as being true.  Cats often escape danger unharmed or with minimal injury (my cat certainly did).

Here is a fun little video and song about how "The Cat Came Back."  It is not solely based on the proverb but shows how cats are able to wangle their ways out of situations (even if far-fetched).  It also has a nice little message at the end.  Throughout the song, no one wants the cat but at the end, the cat is taken in by a little girl who loves and admires it.

I have also included this comic for you (and probably not your students) because it made me smile :)

After thinking about this for a while, I have decided to add words appropriate for grade 3 - 5.  Older students will enjoy the information and activities just as much as the younger students and it is appropriate to them too.

Here are three free word searches for teachers using the K-2 words.  Click on the image to download the desired file.

Seeing that older students may not benefit from these little word searches as much as the younger students, I found this lovely spelling website that can be used to reinforce words.

Spelling City has an option where you can add your spelling list and then it asks you to spell the words by typing them in.  This is great for students to practise their spelling words.  The site also has other free games and activities that can be used to reinforce spelling and vocabulary without joining the premium membership.

Many students may not have come into contact with a Hippopotamus and might not know much about them.  I have included a few items which could help give students a better background on Hippos.
Here is a lovely informative video explaining what Hippos are.  It is perfect for younger students.

This is a sound clip of what a Hippopotamus sounds like.  It is not a video (the image is stationery).

This video shows a Hippo's speed under water.  You may need to watch it first and determine if it is appropriate for your students to watch.  Younger students may be frightened.  The video also explains how Hippos are the most dangerous and unpredictable mammal in Africa - I would not be too happy if I was on that boat!

Hippos are fascinating, don't you think?

A good old "Knock Knock" joke to get your students giggling.

If you are interested in this product, you can purchase it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click on the image below for a direct link to the product.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tips to Curb Back to School Anxiety

At the beginning of the year (our year starts in January), Megan started at a new school where she knew almost no one.

Despite being a confident and eager child, I still anticipated a fair amount of anxiety with the new venture.  Seeing that the new school year is drawing closer, I thought to share some ideas to help curb the "New School" or "Back to School" anxiety.

These ideas worked for us, and made the transition from one school to vacation to a new school much easier.

1.  On enrolling Megan into the new school, I took her to visit the school during an open day.  We were fortunate we arrived while the students were outside completing an obstacle course.  The teacher on duty invited Megan to join, and being a physical child, off she went.  This broke the ice (and it was a bit of a struggle to leave.)

2.  Once discovering who Megan's class teacher would be, I inquired by other moms to find someone whose daughter shared the same class teacher.  I then organised play dates so that Megan could form a relationship with some of her class mates.  This made the first day of school easier as she recognized other students and could join them in the activities.

3.  Before the first day, I made sure to mention and talk about the new school.  We said goodbye to her old teacher and school, reinforcing that she would not be attending the school anymore and therefore avoiding confusion at the beginning of the new year.  This also created an opportunity for her to speak about her concerns and fears of the new school.  I listened to her and validated her feelings.

4.  I marked the first day off on a calendar.  This gave her a visual to 'work towards'.  It meant that every morning when she woke up and looked at her calendar (which she does), she would be able to see how many days until school started.  Some morning she would come and express her excitement that school started in 13 more days; some days she would come and express a concern about the new school and some days she would say nothing.  This meant that she did not wake up one morning with the surprise of a new school.

5.  For the first few days of school (until she chose not to anymore), Megan would take her 'Bunny' with to school.  Bunny would sit on her lap to school, would give her a kiss goodbye and then would travel home with me.  That was all she needed.  Some children might choose to take their comfort object in with them - one of the other children left it in her bag (just knowing it was there was enough comfort).

This is "Bunny."  (You can see that her ear has been loved right off!)  She accompanied us to school for a few days until Megan was happy to leave her at home.

6.  And importantly (something I needed to tell myself over and over again), stay calm.  On that first day of school, make sure that you are calm.  Don't:

  • express anxiety, 
  • tell your child how much you are going to miss them, 
  • hang around longer than necessary,
  • speak to other parents, in front of your child, of your concerns,
  • cry (this can be done in the car once you are out of sight).
You need to be strong for your child and set the example, no matter how hard it is.

I would love to know some of your tips (as I still have to send Adam off to school one of these days and his personality might not be as forgiving as Megan's).

Monday, 13 July 2015

Weekly Summer Link Up: The Best Trip of My Life

I am so excited to link up with Monica from I Heart Grade 3.  Somewhere along the line I missed the first few weeks - oops, where have I been?  But, none the less, here I am posting about The Best Trip of My Life.

You can see the line up of topics below and follow the Link Up to discover some new bloggers and learn a little more about them.

After thinking about my favorite trips, one stood out as being the absolute best and I would visit the location again in a heart beat.

A little background on my situation at the time may give you an idea why it was such a wonderful, perfectly-timed trip.

When Megan was born, she let us all know who was boss immediately!  She slept when she felt like it (three times a day for 20 minutes) and scheduled colicy crying times from 5pm til 11pm at night.  I was exhausted (as all new mothers are), sleep deprived, starving myself (as there was never a good opportunity to eat a proper meal) and desperately needed a proper, uninterrupted shower.

When she was 4 months old my dad suggested a trip to Mauritius (like I felt like that in the state that I was in).

After a lot of persuasion, my little family of three joined may parents on a week long Club Med All-Included vacation to Mauritius.  Below you can see Megan as we wait for our flight.

And WOW is all I can say!

I had round-the-clock baby sitters to look after Megan while I spent some quality time with my husband watching evening shows (after I caught up on some sleep).

Megan was not mobile yet so we took the play gym with and she lay and kicked on the beach while I could read a book.

We did not have to go anywhere, or do anything!  (Here I am just sitting with a sleeping baby - what a pleasure!  My book is also there somewhere.)

Meals were constant so we could grab cooked food at practically any time of the day.  I could finish my meals!
I could push her, in her pushchair, around the beautiful gardens for hours, in a relaxed environment, until she drifted off to sleep.

She actually slept at night (probably from all the fresh air) and therefore was peaceful during the day.

Ooo, and I also went parasailing!

Now this might seem like a boring trip and almost a waste of money (as we just vegged the entire time at the pool, in the gardens and on the beach), but to me it was the perfect trip!

Now whether I would have the same relaxing experience with a 5 year old and a toddler who can't swim - I don't think so - but that does not mean that I would not jump at a similar trip again.

I hope you enjoyed my little story.  I would love to hear about some of your experiences :)

Remember to click the image below to read about other The Best Trip of my Life stories.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A Week of Wordy Wisdom - Week 2

Are you ready for Week 2 of A Week of Wordy Wisdom?

Today we have a quote by the beloved Winnie the Pooh!  I just love his soft, kind-hearted nature!

Give your students the opportunity to think about what makes them different from each other and their family.

Children are also always up for crafts.  I love these little Winnie the Pooh character boxes.  You can download printable templates here or by clicking on the image if you would like to attempt them with your students.

For something slightly less complicated, why not try a paper plate craft.  Click on the images to get to the directions.

The meaning for this proverb is that you can 't have something if it has been 'eaten' so think about what is it you want:  Do you want the cake?  or Do you want to eat it?  and whatever the decision is, be happy with it.

This Proverb could be introduced by bringing each child a small slice of cake.  They need to make the decision, are they going to have it or are they going to eat it.  Let students discuss with each other why they made the decision that they did and are they happy with it.

Grab your free word searches below which correspond with the word of the day for each grade level by clicking on the desired image.

If you teach Kindergarten, you may be interested in "My Little can Book" which reinforces the sight word 'can'.

"You can't sneeze with your eyes open"

I bet your children are going to try this :)  They are going to love sharing this piece of information with others,

Have you ever tried sneezing with your eyes open?  (Come on, no one will judge.)

Funny-Stuff Friday ends the week with a light-hearted joke.  Let children give reasons why the wording was chosen and what made the joke funny,

If you think that your students will enjoy "A Week of Wordy Wisdom", you can purchase it here. (Don't forget to check out Week 1).

Be sure to return next week to see what the new set is all about.
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