Thursday, June 28, 2012

Five Year Olds are Creative little Critters.

What is that? Where are you going? Why? What is it for? Where can I put this? What are you doing with that? Are you making something? Did you make that? Can I make one of those? Can you show me how to do that? What are we having for dinner? Who is that? Does she live here? Are you going to help me?  Why? Where is it? .....

These and many more questions have been the continuous soundtrack of my last 24 hours.  Six... my five year old nephew came for a sleepover.  He asks lots of questions.  He is very inquizitive.  He also has a fabulous imagination.  We did all sorts of craft and then had a great time playing with our creations.  There are photos below. Six would say, "can we make a..?" and I would say, "I'm not sure, let's see what we can do with this."

My creative side is quite tired.  So is my back.  I hope you enjoy looking at the photos and if you have kids in your life, I hope you find some inspiration too. 
:) M

"Can we make a Pteradactyl face?"
You thought is was a bird didn't you?!  No.  It is a Pteradactyl.  We are going through our "Dinosaurs are awesome" phase.

We used:
  • Pepsi slab card insert
  • two pie cups (silver foil for making puddings etc.  I bought a pack of 50 for $3 and they are great for lots of craft projects)
  • googly eyes
  • Red coloured card (for the tongue)
  • another cardboard insert (one I had saved from somewhere), I cut this into right angled triangles and taped them to make the bent beak shape
  • acrylic paint (I really need to buy some watercolours) watered down 
  • Masking tape and glue tape.

Paper cranes... Six calls them swans... in a nest with Mum and Dad sitting on the outside.  Six made one of the big ones, I made the other one and the small ones.  He made the nest.
 For the Cranes We used:
  • instructions that the BFF printed from the internet (thanks Bestie)
  • origami paper, precut into squares with several colours in a pack (small cranes)
  • two sheets of scrapbooking paper (big cranes) from a mixed pattern block.
For the Nest we talked about the things that a nest would look like in the wild and used our imaginations to make a nest of twigs, feathers, leaves and mud:
  • a plastic bowl (I keep a stock of these in the craft box for painting etc).
  • tissues (torn up)
  • straws (cut into small lengths)
  • coloured string.
  • more foil cups
  • string that we painted blue
  • yellow ribbon with a small amount of blue paint on the bottom
  • googly eyes
  • blu-tac (we ran out of glue) and masking tape.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The PJ Day

My TA and I have bonded over our shared belief in the PJ Day.  We both ascribe to the theory that every school holidays must include a PJ Day.  Some people travel on their holidays, some people spend every day at the gym or visiting museums or going to movies or shopping.  But none of these things equal the PJ Day.  The PJ Day is one day on the holidays when you don't get dressed.  You don't do anything truly purposeful.  It is a day of pure gluttony.  It has to start with a sleep in, include junkfood of some sort and involve laid back couch potato kind of fun.  My TA has three daughters and she enforces the PJ day with all the girls on holidays.  Everyone in the house (except for Dad, because the poor guy has to go to work), stays in their pjs they have pancakes for breakfast and watch dvd's while eating popcorn.  I love this theory and I have always practiced it.  So, how did I spend my PJ day this holidays?
I stayed in PJs all day (der) and breakfast was left overs.  The morning was spent watching dvd's and playing a very silly game on my phone.  Lunch was more left overs (or was it Pizza? I don't remember).  The afternoon was spent in bed, reading Mary Poppins.  I will tell you more about Mary Poppins another day.  Then I did some washing and made mac and cheese for dinner.  I watched some more silly TV until the BFF came home.  Then I listened to her stories about a holiday camp that she visited that day and we both had a good old giggle.

Three days later and there is a bit of a problem.  Today it is raining.  I am still in my pj's and I have to say that after telling you all about the PJ day philosophy, I am thinking that today would be a perfect follow up to my first day of holidays.  PJ Day take two.... hhhmmm.... it has a nice ring to it.  Then again, I do have three classes of assignments to mark and two classes of books and folders to sort.  I have 30 report cards to complete.  There is a mountain of clean washing that needs to be sorted and folded and put away.  There are dishes in the sink.  Six is coming over tomorrow and I have LOTS to do to be organised so that I can give him my undivided attention.  So, while the pj's and the couch are calling, I think I will have to settle for the trackies.
I wonder how many PJ people are out there?  If you like to have PJ days, when do you have them?  How do you spend them?  What do you eat?  If it is not a PJ day, what is the ritual you enjoy every "school" holidays?

More Later. 
:) M

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The last week

It is the last week of term.  We are all counting down to the two week break.  Teachers and students alike are very tired.  My colleagues and I are finding that assessment is either not submitted or thrown on the desk in front of us in a rather haphazard pile of papers.  Students are settling for "near enough is good enough" and do not seem too perturbed by their teachers' disappointment.  This leads me to ask why.  What has happened in the last few weeks/ months that has resulted in such a widespread attitude of indifference?  I don't know the answer to this.  I don't know how to solve the problem.  My only idea is to ride the wave to the weekend and hope that next term will bring with it a renewed energy of learning.  My teaching team mate and I are planning on sitting down over the break and devising a new game plan.  We have resolved to rebuild our classroom atmosphere and discipline.  I am spending plenty of time on the edublogs about the place and collecting every idea small and large.  We are going to sift and sort and organise until we come up with something that works for us.  When we have it, I will share it. 

While I have many other things to share with you, they all seem  to be morphing into a huge jumbled mess.  You will all have to wait until the holidays for me to untangle the brilliance in my brain so that I can share it with you. 
I will say that there has been learning happening in my classroom.  Little miracles happen everyday.  Teachers are moving onward and upward.  Books are beckoning.  Sleep comes and it goes.  Friends are few but fabulous.  Family is loud.  Life goes on. 

On that note....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thank you Thank you Thank you

What a week.

I finished the report comment bank for my subject and submitted it.  Dad went to hospital for day surgery on his ear.  Mum is officially on holidays for a week. My teaching partner had a tummy bug.  I visited a different high school to observe a few special education teachers and learn how they are integrating DoL.  If you don't know what DoL is, be thankful and move on.  I worked on assessment with my very reluctant students and "welcomed" a new student to the ranks of learning support with only a week to go.  My nephew was enrolled as a Junior Soldier today (number two).  I went to watch the boys play soccer yesterday.  My sister invited us to a BBQ which was scrumptious.  My sister also discovered that when she eats dairy it turns baby Seven into a cranky whingy pants through the night.  We all enjoyed eating our chocolate mousse and icecream which Sis watched today.  He he he.

So, who and what am I thankful for?

  1. The BFF has been picking up the slack this week.  My angel.
  2. K, the teaching partner who was kind enough to drive me when we visited another school this week. She also proofread report comments from her bed... another angel.
  3. The Chaplains at school.  They lift up my students and me in prayer.  They take a great deal of their own time to help the kids in our school.  They are making a real difference that we can see and that blesses me too.
  4. My nephews and neices with their questions and smiles and cuddles and silly songs and stories lighten my heart.  I have truly enjoyed their company this weekend.
  5. Holidays are only a few days away.  I am soooo thankful that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 
God has truly blessed me this week. 

"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Even When... Even Then

Even when the day is long,
When you can't remember the name of the song.
Even when your tired and sleepy,
When the kids make you feel so crawly and creepy.
Even when the weather is cold,
When you feel as though you're a hundred years old.

Even then, you can get out of bed,
You can face the world and hold high your head.
You can stand in the midst of the chaos and know,
That there is better than this, when with God you go.

So, wake up and go out
Take the day as it comes.
There is no reason to doubt
That God has done all the sums.

He is watching and working
In ways you can't know.
He will get you home
If with Him you will go. 

Perhaps it is a bit corny and child-like.  But, I have been having one of those weeks when things don't seem to be working quite right.  It hasn't been bad exactly... but the kids are a bit crazy, the weather is odd and I'm feeling quite wonky.  So, this poem is the truth.  Someone else has had great success rhyming Wonky with Donkey, so I decided not to go there.  Anyway, sometimes you just have to put it in God's hands and let it be (another successful word combination that I can't steal).  So, consider this chatter from church as well as a thank you from Thursday.  I think the poem illustrates the oddity of my week and of me... so enjoy my dear blog buddies, enjoy.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Walking to the Station

Boy is walking to TAFE (technical college).  Girl is walking to the train station.  They cross paths somewhere in the middle when the boy says "Good Morning, Beautiful. How are you today?"  

Girl replies, "Oh well, you just made my day! I'm fine thanks."
They continue walking away from each other and Girl hears a shout from the other end of the park.  "YOU CAN MAKE MY...NIGHT." 
Girl turns her head and shouts, "NO THANKS." 
Boy and Girl continue with their day.    

Can she help it if she has standards?! 

Will wonders ever cease?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vocab in Verse

I was catching up on the blog reading today... as usual for Wednesday.  Free Technology for Teachers reminded me of a great you tube channel "Flocabulary" that produces rap videos. After you pick yourself up off the floor, I will explain.  The raps have educational value.  They are written with a view to educate on a specific topic.  There is one about the last 18 years of news (produced for US high school graduates this year).  There are some about maths concepts, science, history, Shakespeare and many others.  The focus is on expanding the vocabulary/ language of the concept for students.  The video below got my head nodding and brought one of those goofy (this is cool) smiles to my face.  Each video has a link to a transcript of the lyrics and lesson ideas.  

Nudge (a good friend of mine) truly dislikes the poetry portions of my blog.  The month of poetry really bugged her last year (mwa ha ha).  To Nudge I say, I can't help it sweetie, I'm an addict and you will just have to accept me as I am.  

For the teachers who pop in from time to time, I hate to disappoint you but if you want to view the entire collection of Flocabulary resources you need to register.  There are a number of videos and linked resources  available on the Flocabulary You Tube channel and  

I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Well, I am a few days late, but you will forgive me for that I am sure.

Things I'm thankful for today:

  • my new phone... I didn't realise how much I needed one until I got it.
    What having a cold feels like
  • the BFF
  • my Mummybear
  • Vicks Vapour Drops.  I have a cold and these darling little lollies have kept my voice in tact for teaching.  It is still a battle, but a win-able one.
  • tracky-dacks....  :) sigh...... I love my tracky-dacks.
  • pretty flowers.
  • hugs.. although no one wants to hug me right now.
This one is not just on the list.  This one gets a whole paragraph of it's own.  Seven (my little niece who is about 3 months old), had a hernia.  I am not thankful for that.  No.  I am thanful because she had an operation on Friday and now she is home and all better.  Well, almost. So, PTL for answered prayer and access to excellent medical care. 

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord."

Psalm 150:6