I am happy to be joining Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes and others to celebrate and appreciate the goodness of the past week(s).
Here are the things I’m celebrating this week…
1) Celebrating completed report cards – This is always a stressful time in a teacher’s life – so it is a huge relief to have those envelopes stuffed and sent home. I am only in the classroom part time, but teaching partner worked extremely hard on these reports. Thanks, Katie!
2) Celebrating Pen Pals – This year, my class will be Pen Pal’s with a grade 2 and 3 class at the Country Day School in Toronto. Despite the length of time it took us to get this organized, we finally got our first introductory letters mailed! Hoping our letters arrive safely and looking forward to hearing from our Pen Pals!
2) Celebrating writing – I have been working closely with the grade 6’s at my school on writing this term. It has been so rewarding seeing their growth over the past few months, as they have been applying many of the writing techniques to weekly “practice writes”. This week, our final writing piece was on “My Special Place” – where they wrote a description of a special place that holds many memories for them. We were focusing on trying to create a visual image for our readers by including the senses. I used my favorite anchor book for this writing – The Hello-Goodbye Window by Norton Justin – a delightful story of a girl’s special place inside her “nanny and poppy’s” house. I am looking forward to reading their pieces this week!
3) Celebrating Kindergarten Connecting – I have been teaching the kindergarten students about “making connections” this term. Each week, I visit the class, share a book and we practice making connections. I have enjoyed seeing the children respond so well to the books. Last week. I read “Too Many Toys” by David Shannon and the children made connections to toys that they COULD give away and toys that they absolutely COULD NOT give away! (love the “Dum” truck!)
4) Celebrating Christmas – I LOVE Christmas! It is, by far, my favorite time of year. Tis the season to pull out my tubs of decorations and said hello to all my old Christmas friends. Our tree is not up yet – but it’s sitting in a bucket in our back yard waiting to be decorated! Shortbread recipes are pulled out and my family’s favorites: toffee squares are in the fridge!
5) Celebrating traditions – Every year, my dad would make fresh wreaths for family, friends and neighbours. He made dozens of wooden wreath rings, which he could replenish with Christmas greens each year and deliver them to neighbours and friends. After Christmas, the greens were removed and the wreaths returned. When he died many years ago, my sisters and I divided up the wreath rings and tried to carry on the tradition with our own friends. Last week, I replenished the greens on 8 wooden wreaths and delivered them to my friends, now part of my own Christmas tradition. There is one wreath ring I keep and make for myself. It is the one labeled “Adrienne” on the back in my dad’s printing – 8 letters I treasure.
6) Celebrating my sister – Last week, my sister’s book “Taan’s Moons” was released. I am so very proud of her! The book is a collaboration of author, artist and students. The poem, written by my sister, is highlighted by gorgeous reproductions of large felt tapestries created by artist Kiki van der Heiden and the students of SD 50 Haida Gwaii, B.C., where my sister has lived for the past 17 years. The story follows Taan (“Bear” in Haida language) as she experiences the wonders of the seasons through the different phases of the moon. A stunning book with many links to First Nations, science and social studies.
Watch a short clip about the book: http://vimeo.com/97461062
7) Celebrating giving – Every year at this time, the gals in my book club get together and make hampers for needy families in the downtown Eastside. We have been doing this for the past 13 years and it is always a wonderful way of giving back to those less fortunate. The site of these laundry baskets filled to the brim with toys, diapers, baby food, toothbrushes and shampoo brings the Christmas spirit a little closer to all of us.
8) Celebrating this picture – This is a picture of my eldest son, at the top of Blackcomb Mountain, taken on his first snowboard day of the season. I celebrate the extraordinary beauty of this majestic province we live in, captured in this amazing photo (taken by his buddy); I celebrate that my son has the opportunity to experience such beauty; I celebrate that when my son showed me this photo he said, “Look, mum – here’s my Carpe Diem pose”. The phrase “seize the day” is my motto, my mantra, my words of wisdom that I have always tried to live by. To hear my son say those words back to me….well, my heart is still smiling.
What are you celebrating this week?