Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  I hope you are having a wonderful day and your children are spoiling you!  My mommy is far away, but we did get to chat on the phone.  
I know that my students will be spoiling their mom's because they all did some major crafting this week.  I love how kind and thoughtful my students are - they love giving gifts!

Displaying photo 1.JPG We made heart charms to be worn as pendants on necklaces, or put on a keychain if Mom would prefer.  Students had 5 choices of Fimo clay to choose from.  You can see red was a favourite!    I pulled kids to the rainbow table in groups of 6.  They picked a colour, rolled it out, and used a cookie cutter to cut the heart.  I helped push their thumbprint down to get a good impression.  We then poked a hole with a toothpick.  After I baked them for 15 minutes, we put a jump ring through the hole. 
My twins decided to make one pendant with both of their thumbprints on it.  They overlap, which I think is super cute!  Dawson put his print first, because he said it should since he was born first.   Too funny!

Displaying photo 2.JPGNext up was cards.  I rounded up some crafting supplies and we made some simple but beautiful cards.  Everyone got a 4x4 card base and a paper doily.  They glued the doily around the seam of the card so it was half on the back, and half on the front.  They glued a punched out butterfly and stamped "Thanks for always being there!" on the front.  Inside, they added a "Happy Mother's Day!" stamp.  Of course, they also put a caring note to Mom inside.
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Lastly, they packaged it all up.  I had these envelopes from We R Memory Keepers left over from a card class I once taught.  The 4 corners fold in to the centre.  We put our cards and charms inside, and sealed it with a butterfly.  I think they look great.

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I just hope that everyone remembered to take them out of their agenda pocket on Thursday and hide it before Mom saw it early.  I also hope they remembered where they hid it and brought it out today!!

Author Visit

Today was a very exciting day in my classroom!  We had a special visit from two local "celebrities" (my students are head over heels about these two ladies).  Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton are the authors of 4 books.  We spent several months reading the novels and discussing the concepts.  These books tell the story of Margaret's life in residential school and after. 

Her bio from Annick Press, the book publishers:


Displaying photo 1.JPGMargaret Pokiak-Fenton was born on Holman Island in the Arctic Ocean, en route with her nomadic family to their winter hunting grounds on Banks Island. She spent her early years on Banks Island. Being Inuvialuit, her young childhood was filled with hunting trips by dogsled, and dangerous treks across the Arctic Ocean for supplies, in a schooner known as the North Star. At the age of eight, she travelled to Aklavik, a fur trading settlement founded by her great-grandfather, to attend the Catholic residential school there. Unlike most children, she begged to go to the school, despite the horrific reputation of residential schools. There was nothing she wanted more than to learn how to read.
She later settled in Tuktoyaktuk where her family had relocated. While working for the Hudson’s Bay Company there, she met her future husband Lyle, who was employed on the Dew Line project. She followed him south to Fort St. John. Together they raised eight children.
Margaret is well known for her traditional handmade Inuit crafts and has showcased them at the Northern Arts Festival many times. Most Saturdays she can be found at the local farmer’s market in Fort St. John where she sells her beautifully beaded and adorned crafts and the best bread and bannock in the North Peace.

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Christy spoke a lot about the books and about residential schools in general.  She was really informative and the kids hung on her every word.  She spoke for nearly an hour and they sat so respectfully.  At the end, my students asked some really insightful questions.  I was very proud! 
http://msgattsclass.blogspot.ca/2014/04/fatty-legs.html 
Fatty Legs is their first book.  I blogged about it here.

 
When I was Eight is the picture book version of Fatty Legs.  It tells the same story in a more concise form.  It does have some new details that aren't in the novel.
 http://msgattsclass.blogspot.ca/2013/03/a-stranger-at-home.html 
Their second novel - an 'after the story'.  I blogged about it here.
 
And then, the picture book version of "A Stranger at Home".  They gave me a signed copy as a gift today!  This book just came out less than a month ago.  After they left we read it immediately!



Fitness Stations

My school is small enough, we are fortunate to not have to fight over gym time.  I get 30 minutes in the gym every day!  I structure my gym class by focusing on a sport a month.  We work on skills Monday-Thursday, and play games on Friday.  This month, we are working through some fitness stations!  I really feel like kids are getting too much couch time.  I'm trying to do my part to inspire a healthy lifestyle, in a way where the students are informed and doing the activities safely.  Here's what we did today:

1: Warm up run
Today we did 5 laps around the gym.  As my class comes into the gym, I stand at the door and show them a number with my fingers.  I don't have to say anything; they just look and go!  In September, I start with 3 laps, and add a lap each month.  Because we are doing fitness stations, which can be a bit more strenuous, I'm giving them a break on the laps right now.  

2: Warm up stretches
 We start with the top of the body and work down.  My class understands the importance of proper warm up, finally!  It took a long time to get a few of them to really concentrate on the way they move their body and the speed at which they do it.  We do things like wrist circles, shoulder rolls, and quad stretch.

3: Pulse check
We've been talking about heart rate before and after workouts, and how to properly check your pulse.  We're talking about the range in heart rates from person to person as well.

4: Stations
My class was broken up into 6 small groups.  They had 2 minutes per station.  While I they were exercising, I was walking from station to station to ensure proper form.
We worked through....

Wall pushups
My kids are getting really good at these!  It's been a few weeks, and they are getting visibly stronger.  Their form is really good too.  Traditional pushups are tricky - these are a nice easy way to start off. 

Lunges
We've been doing lunges for a while now also.  I felt like my kids were going to fast, and bending forward, not down.  To remedy that, they had to keep a beanbag on their heads today.  It worked great!

Rest station
At this station, it's important to stretch and have a drink of water.
Mountain Climbers
These are fun, but tricky.  We're working on keeping a flat back.
High Knees/Kickups
Students had to do 24 high knees (shown below) and then 24 kick ups.  Kick ups are fun, because you get to kick yourself in the butt (or so they tell me it's enjoyable - I don't see the pleasure in it, but whatever!)  This can be made more difficult by increasing your speed.
Windshield Wipers
I couldn't find a picture for this.  This is an abs exercise.  You lay on the floor, with legs bent.  Feet are flat on the floor.  You curl up and using straight arms, swoop and touch your ankles.  The goal is to do as many as you can.  

What did you do in gym today?

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Currently... May (the 4th)

Better a few days late than never!  Here's my Currently post for May!


Listening: 
No tv, no music.  Just the random car drive by, the clock ticking and the dogs snores.  Lovely.

Loving:
Jamberry Nails!  They are so much fun!  If you haven't heard of them - you need to.  I love having painted nails, but suck at it.  Jamberry makes plain and patterned nail wraps you just heat up and stick on.  I'm having an online Jamberry party right now.  Want some?  Party lasts for the next 10 days.  Click here for the party page.
http://sequoiacoe.jamberrynails.net/party/?uid=bf3bd7be-5481-4606-aa5e-9cf21de4a5fd

Thinking:
This week is a short week - no school Friday.  We've got a lot going on with the Speech contest next week and an author visit on Wednesday.  In math, I'm focusing on comparing and ordering fractions.  We're going to do some work with pattern blocks.  They're great because the pieces can add up to make other pieces (does that even make any sense?).  Anyhow, good for showing parts of a whole.  In science, we're working though a habitat unit, and this week will be all about adaptations.

Wanting:
It's warmed up A LOT in the past few weeks.  So much so, that I only have a teeny tiny patch of snow out front.  Today we went for a walk and then raked the lawn and tidied the walkways.  It was 2 degrees Celsius.  A little warmer would be appreciated, and a lot less wind!

Needing:
I've been saying I need a haircut for almost 2 months.  Now I really need one.  I don't know what I am waiting for.

Surprise:
I recently purchased "Little Gnome Home" from Krista Wallden at Creative Clips.  I LOVE this clipart set.  The colours are so bright and everyone loves a gnome or two!  I create a fraction colouring page for my class, and am considering making up a big thing for TpT.  Click the picture to go check out Krista's Gnome clipart on TpT.

Now go see Farley and read some more Currently posts!



New Student!

The neat thing about teaching at a rural school, is you often seen wildlife on the drive to work.  This guy has been visiting my room every day for the last week.  Sometimes he brings friends, sometimes he doesn't.  He stands outside my window, chews on the grass, and listens in.  (Well, I like to think he's listening in.)  He is quite close to the window most days.  Fun!

Poetry Unit

My class has been really busy the past few weeks learning about different types of poetry and trying our hand at them.  I've blogged a bit about this already here.  It is interesting to see student's opinions change over time.  When I told them we would be doing poetry, there was a lot of groaning and moaning.  By the end, especially when we were doing free verse, they were begging me to keep going.  Some even asked to stay in at recess and keep writing!  How fun is that!


And I just have to share this free verse poem.  It's so touching!
Carrots, carrots, 
I love you 
so much.
Please make my eyes
better so I don't
have to wear those
smelly glasses.
~Ronin

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