Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The wonder of words

There are entire books that are dedicated to the wonder of the written word.  Authors exalt them.  Readers savour them.  Children marvel at them.  Students learn them.  They are words!  Words that are the cornerstone of communication.  While our bodies apparently have a lanuage of their own, they can not express or describe as well words. 

The word itself... :WORD: seems unworthy of describing its own function.  But then, words are so beautiful that each and every one of them is worthy.  Some words come together in a way that is soporific to the reader.  That is the sad truth about the most powerful weapon known.  It must be controlled, it must be wielded by a speaker or writer or even a reader and given life.  It must be given meaning.  The author breathes life into the printers' ink that forms the marks on the paper. 

Authors often pay homage to their greatest tool.  They write of the joy that words bring them. 
A Book... a community of words that work together to tell a story! 
Books bring such pleasure as they invite us into their very own world.  Authors praise their fellow authors, their contemporaries, their favourites and their successors.  They are amazed by the composition of foreign lands and fictional characters.  Then they sit down and do it themselves. 

Then readers take their favourite parts, the delicious words, and quote them.  They enter them on websites and write them on posters and hang them on their mirrors.  We all partake of this gourmet meal of paper and ink.  We find our favourite course and order it again and again.  We relish it over and over.  We roll the words around on our tongue until they melt like a chocolate sauce.  We experience the joy and sorrow of the characters.  We travel the lands of literature.  We hate the villians and cheer for the heroes.  We hope and we grieve and we dream and we love and we hate and relax while we read.  The joy that reading can bring is indescribible. 

I have rambled enough I suppose.  But it is vitally important that I tell you.  I must share my thoughts on this one subject.  Words, especially written words are windows used by our minds to see.  The written word allows us to the see the world through the eyes of others.

When words are wielded by the talented, they are more powerful that we can ever really know. 

Okay... I'm done. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

She left me!

Hagird here!  So M has had a bit of a week!  Her dad was in hospital and she had to stay with her mum.  So poor M!  But personally I think you all need to spare a thought for poor furry me! 

M left me.  She just packed up and went.  Not a cuddle or a note.  I was right there, I watched her pack, she could have taken a second to say, "By the way Hagrid, my love, Dad is in hospital and I have to go for a few days."  But no, she just left.  Then, I have to spend nearly a week with the BFF.  I love the BFF, but she has these weird rules about personal space bubbles and teddy bears picnics. 

Anyway, M is back.  She is trying to compensate me by giving me lots of cuddles and smiles and telling me stuff.  She is even typing this blog for me, because we all know that my paws don't agree with the silly keyboards you humans seems to love so much! 

I'm so glad she is back! :)

The Calendar has been talking to me again!

The Calendar says:

"If swimming is good for your figure, how do you explain whales?"

"Shin: bone of the human body most useful for finding hard obstacles in the dark."

"If we weren't supposed to start over, God would not have granted us Monday."

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Dad is out of Hospital!  :D

The BFF is more awesome than ever!  I have asked her to promise not to ever make me move out!!!

I missed church today!  :(

But, the BFF and I went to see the final Harry Potter Movie.  I need a bit of a debrief after this.  You see, they changed the ending!  They changed things that were not supposed to be changed!  I don't like change! (grrr)


My back hurts! :( ouch!

I seem to have lapsed back into the depths of my "exclamation mark" addiction! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

I have been remiss!

Did you know that remiss is a new word for busy?!
I have been very busy for the last 17 days.  I have also been unwell.  Not only that, I have returned to school which is busier than ever.  I bought a new bed.  My sister has become a Tupperware lady.  The BFF has contracted a more painful neck condition than mine (she always better than me at everything).  Then, on Monday night, if the world wasn't already in turmoil, Dad was rushed to hospital then to surgery with internal bleeding.  This resulted in a visit to the ICU and a short stint on a respirator.  Good News... NOT!

Then I am told that Dad's Dad has also been shipped off to hospital with an urinary tract infection and now has pnuemonia.  They are in two different hospitals approximately two hours apart and I missed quite a bit of work this week.  Quite frankly I would rather be sitting at my father's bedside than dealing with ratty 13 year olds who think that my class is boring.  So I went to be with Dad.  I am also staying at Mum's place this week because she doesn't know how to live on her own.  My brand new bed is going to get a complex if I don't go home soon! 

Anyway, that's about it.  I have more to say... always will... but for now.... that's that!

PS. spare a thought for Hagrid and the kids... they are at home alone with the BFF and I have to tell myself that they miss me.  I wonder if Hagrid can massage with those great big paws of his?!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stupid Science of Spelling

It has been a while since a Wednesday Word has popped up on the radar but here it is.

I was reading a text book called "The Science of Spelling" the other day.  It is actually a very good book (although a bit dry) and has some very useful information.  But I digress.  On page ONE I read a word that I didn't know.  When you start reading a book and you are finding unfamiliar words on the first page or two this is not a good sign.  In fact, if one of my students was struggling with words in the first few pages I would probably tell them to choose another book!  So, don't I feel clever  (note the facetious tone)!  The word and definition are below.  If you are one of those people who actually uses this word in everyday conversation, I have one thing to say to you..."find another word because no one knows what on earth you are talking about!"
aver (ə vʉr)

transitive verb averred averred′averring aver′·ring
  1. to declare to be true; state positively; affirm
  2. LAW to state or declare formally; assert; allege

Talking Calendar

A friend of mine gave me a perpetual calendar for Christmas last year and each day has a saying or bible verse on it.  Today it says:

"It is not the minutes at the dining table that will make you fat - it is the seconds!"

How sad and (unfortunately) true!  Is anyone else starving?!

Monday, July 4, 2011

I went Shopping!!!

I love shopping!  I love shopping!  I love shopping!

As it is school holidays, I went to EDSCO on the weekend and I was thrilled to see that they had their warehouse doors open.  This made space for a number of "Specials" tables.  I was so excited! I just had to text my teaching partner.

I bought teacher textbooks about brain based learning, posters, spelling games, a maths game, cut-out letters, class readers, flash cards, stationery and planning books.  It was glorious!

After EDSCO, I bought new shelves for my classroom (need somewhere to put all the new stuff I bought) and a few things for home.  It has been brilliant.  My credit card is really tired.  I am so over stimulated.  What to play with first?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hagrid's Sleepover

Hello everyone, 
M is typing this for me because my paws just don't work on her silly laptop keyboard.  I wanted to tell you about the sleepover with #4.  I like #4 and he likes me.  We play together when he comes over and he gives me loads of cuddles.  I really enjoyed our sleepover because we had a picnic on the rug in front of the TV.  #4 even shared his strawberry jam on toast with me.  It was really yummy.  We watched movies together and listened to M read some stories.  I watched #4 play on his DS (I was going to play too, but the buttons were too small for my paws).  I was really sad when my little friend went home early, because we were having so much fun.  The rest of the gang had a great time too.  We all jumped on #4 when he went to bed and snuggled under his blanket in the morning while we waited for M to wake up.  I missed out on breakfast though.  Rice Bubbles are one meal #4 won't share!  M took lots of photos of us.  But this one is my favourite!  
#4 and me having an indoor picnic
You guys are awesome!  Keep reading the stories we put up here.  If M doesn't blog, I gotta listen to her tell me everything she is thinking!  Stay tuned there is another week of holidays and another sleepover, so it is likely that you will hear from me again soon. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sleepovers and Storybooks

On Tuesday night, my nephew (number 4) slept over at my house.  He has just turned 6 and about three months ago he looked at me with those big eyes and in the most polite voice he could muster, said, "M (not what he actually calls me), can I sleep over at your house?"  What a sweetheart.  I replied with, "On the holidays, if you are good, you can have a sleepover at my house."  So, last week, my sister and I got emailing and set up the magical play date.

#4 has a few issues with understanding how the world works and he can be a bit wilful (can't we all?) so all the doors in the house have traffic light signs on them.  Red for rooms that are no go areas.  Green for rooms that are open season and Yellow for rooms that are okay if an adult is there.  So, my room is yellow, the BFF's is red etc.  This worked a charm.... the little darling was standing outside rooms examining my rough sketches and shoddy colouring for ages.

We watched several movies and Mr 6yo ate a pile of fruit and rice bubbles and it was 9pm.  I was exhausted (not all that unusual for me), so I brought out the big guns. Story time!!

Together we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle,  which is well known to #4 and joked that he is a "very hungry caterpillar" too because he eats so much.  He; made predictions about what was next, read along with me and pointed to pictures and words as we read.  I was so pleased to see how much he knows about text these days.  Only 6 months of Prep and he is telling me about exclamation marks, identifying letter names and assigning a sound to them.  He sounds out words (for fun) and asks me to read more!  As a teacher of reading, I am over the moon about his sudden jump into the world of books.  I know that his literacy has been developing for some time now, but when I start to see things falling into place for a kid (who, let's face it, struggles a bit) I want to do star jumps!

Of course this lively experience of The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a bit too stimulating because #4 asked for another story.  So out came, a Mem Fox classic: Time for bed.  In other words, "take a hint kid, M is tired!"  So in my best sleepy sing song voice I read my little one off to sleep (almost).  A big grin on his face as he recognised the repetition and a finger pointing to the pictures put me on a high.  After the story was done, a delightful little boy was very sleepy and asked me stay until he fell asleep.  Oh, what an angel!

While these little actions may seem insignificant to a reading adult, every little step in the reading process is important.  I was reassured to know that #4 is well on his way to being an independent reader.  My bright little button can't wait to read another book!

In the morning, I turned #4 into a mouse (yes, it's about time I admit it... I'm a witch), and we took photos and sent them to his mum.  I had a great time and I hope he did too!

Little Ado About SOMETHING

Five things that deserve far more attention
  1. Literacy and Numeracy rates diving deeper than the Titanic
  2. The end of the world
  3. Pain:in every form
  4. Relationship breakdowns
  5. Church
Some of the items on my list are big issues that require realistic solutions and instead we sweep these issues under the carpet.  If we do discuss them we waste time talking about what a tragedy they are and we tell of our own experiences.  But we have not solved the problem.  If anything we have simply made it bigger! 

Two items on my list are not problems so much as things that require our consideration.  Think about them and at the very least, have an opinion.

Much Ado About Nothing

Five things that get far more attention than they deserve
1. Sitcoms
2. Apple itunes (all Apple products for that matter)
3. Marital Status
4. Social networking websites (e.g. facebook and twitter)
5. The latest "big idea" in pedagogy!