Jennifer

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My Friend Jennifer

Pens scribbling

Food sizzling

Markers colouring

Hands helping

People laughing

Children writing

Friends smiling

Clothes dazzling

Bicycles disappearing

Glasses changing

Aggie cheering

Soul searching

Book reading

Brain learning

Words inspiring

The best thing about Jennifer is that she is an  apart of my life!

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A Day at the Beach

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Waves Crashing, people jumping.

People surfing, water freezing.

Water rumbling, sand tickling.

Sand healing, children laughing.

Children building, wind blowing.

Wind cooling, bugs crawling.

Bugs biting, me scratching.

Me writing, teens tanning.

Teens gossiping, birds chirping.

Birds soaring, parasailors flying.

Parasailors thinking, waves forming.

Nanny

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My now, 92 year-old grandmother, better known as Nanny.

The hardest part of living in Hong Kong is that I can’t see her as often as I would like.

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A Nanny is shoulder to lean on, a supportive voice on the other end of the line.

She is vault to keep your secrets, one without a key.

A Nanny is not a judgmental whisper in your ear, nor is she a pointing finger showing the way.

A Nanny is three kisses on a soft wrinkly face.

She is  an “I love you the most I said it first” every day.

A Nanny is not a visit on a special occasion, or a birthday card in the mail.

A Nanny is a phone call everyday from opposite ends of the World.

She is a tight hand squeezing on a very sad or happy day.

A Nanny is not just a grandmother, she is a best friend.

Cough, cough, cough!

Cough, cough, cough!

Wash face,

Brush and floss,

Crawl into bed,

Cough, cough, cough!

Read book,

Turn off light,

Toss and turn,

Cough, cough, cough!

Take inhaler,

Fall asleep,

Start to snore,

Cough, cough, cough!

Sip of water,

Blow nose,

Move to couch,

Cough, cough, cough!

Prop up head,

Count sheep,

Fall asleep,

Sleep, sleep, sleep!

Alarm beep,

Open eyes,

Moan and groan,

Cough, cough, cough!

Today

Today I had a nightmare.

Today I ate the sweetest orange.

Today I could not pronounce my school’s street name in Cantonese.

Today I had a Cantonese lesson from my taxi driver.

Today I received a surprise message from a long lost friend.

Today I made children smile.

Today children made me smile.

Today I read a lot of stories.

Today I was a pirate.

Today I was a shoulder to cry on.

Today I laughed.

Today I reflected.

Today I wrote little books.

Today I invented the colour Rhino Grey.

Today I coughed a lot.

Today I walked home with 3 colleagues.

Today I bought more sweet oranges.

Today I felt eager for tomorrow.

 

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Over the past 8 weeks, my talented 3 and 4 year olds have been inquiring into how people use different art forms to express themselves . It has been the most amazing unit of inquiry that I have ever lead. The children had the opportunity to explore so many different forms of art, they were given the chance to learn more about the art form that interested them most by going on a field trip with a small group of children who shared the same interest. They were risk-takers as they tried different forms of art, they were reflective as they shared their thoughts and ideas hidden within their art and they became confident communicators as they talked about the process they took to create their masterpieces. Yesterday parents, grandparents and helpers came in to view their art exhibition and I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking. It was an amazing day!

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The Little Things

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Today was such a remarkable day in our K1 class today. My amazingly, talented three and four year olds were given the opportunity to share all of their artwork, reflections and of course their learning throughout our Unit of Inquiry. We were inquiring into how people express themselves using different forms of Art. Over the weekend, I spent hours upon hours sticky tacking paintings, gluing photos, straightening vases, labeling sculptures and editing videos. At midnight on Sunday crawled into bed with my head spinning with last minute things to do in the morning to make sure that their day was perfect. Before dozing off to dreamland I had a lot of fears about parents reactions and impressions. Monday morning came too soon but I dragged myself to the bus stop and headed off to school to finish off those last minute touches.

As the first group arrived, I took a deep breath and hoped for the best.  To my surprise the day was far above my expectations. The children arrived eagerly to show off their amazing creations and their parents were in awe. To be honest the day went by far too fast. It was a whirlwind of a day, spent asking questions, answering questions and encouraging children.

At the end of the day I was a mixture of emotions. I was proud of my little children, happy to see the pride in their parents eyes, yet sad that the day was over and disappointed that I couldn’t leave the classroom the way it looked for the rest of the week.

As I left school with the sun still shining in the sky, I decided to walk home rather than wait for the bus. I have the most beautiful walk home possible. It begins with a windy path through the forest. I am surrounded by palm trees as a little creek trickles through. Butterflies flutter around me and birds dance in the leaves beside me.

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After I am relaxed by nature,  I am reminded of the amazing public transportation that is available here. I constantly see more buses than cars as I cross the road.  I make my way to a community footpath, where every other person is an elderly man or woman taking a stroll with their grandchild. For me, there is nothing more inspiring than an active elderly person. As I near my apartment building I pass a bustling market, where I am constantly amazed by the price of their fresh fruits and vegetables. After purchasing a cauliflower, a giant bag of Kale, a box of mulberries, 3 giant juicy oranges and a bag of new potatoes for about 35 Hong Kong Dollars (4.50 USD) I enter my apartment complex where I am greeted personally by all of the (unnecessary) security guards. By the time I reach the 51st floor of my building I open the door to a hug from my boyfriend, my exhaustion had changed to an appreciation for the little things in life.

Conversations to make you smile

I sometimes think I should write a book about the entertaining dialogues I have with the children in my class, but then I realized that every teacher probably thinks that too.

Nonetheless, I have been keeping track of some of them in writer’s notebook.

So Many Noses

Shannon: Felicia, I love your sculpture. Can you tell me what you were making?

Felicia: Noses

Shannon: Pardon?

Felicia: Look so many noses! (Felicia points to her nose)

Shannon: Oh, you made a sculpture of some noses.

Felicia: Yea!

Shannon: Why did you choose to make noses with the clay?

Felicia: I see them! Andrew’s nose, Mei Ling’s nose, Geraldine’s nose, my nose, Nandana’s nose and Xanthe’s nose. So many noses!

Story Time

Shannon: I love the way, Felicia is ready for our story. Thank you Isobel for showing me that you are ready.

Cosmo: (lip sticking out) But Cosmo wants to be ready! Cosmo wants to be ready for our story.

Shannon: How do we show that we are ready?

Nathan: Sit nicely and listen.

Cosmo: But Cosmo wants to sit nicely (lip still sticking out)

Shannon: Okay Cosmo sit down to show me you are ready.

Cosmo: But, but Cosmo wants to sit nicely. (Still sticking out that lip)

Shannon: You can sit nicely Cosmo, put your bottom on the carpet.

Cosmo: But Cosmo wants to.

Shannon: Let me help you. (Shannon helps Cosmo sit down) Thank you for showing me that you are ready Cosmo.

Cosmo: (Big smile)

Baby Teeth

Shannon: I hear you have a new baby at your house, that is so exciting!

Ponyo: Yea! (with a big grin)

Shannon: What is her name?

Ponyo: Mei Mei, it’s a pretty name.

Shannon: I love that name. Do you get to help Mommy and Daddy with Mei Mei?

Ponyo: Yea, I help her go to sleep and help Mommy feed her. I can’t play with her though. She’s too small.

Shannon: Oh wow, Mei Mei is so lucky to have you as a big sister. It sounds like you help Mommy and Daddy a lot.

Ponyo: Yea but Mei Mei doesn’t have any teeth.

Shannon: She doesn’t?

Ponyo: No, she needs to go tot he dentist and he will put them in.

Chuchina

(This conversation takes place in the bathroom

note: We don’t have stalls in our bathroom)

Sarah: ( As she is sitting on the toilet) You know Shannon, I have a Chuchina.

Shannon: Do you?

Sarah: Yes. (looks to her friend Xanthe on the toilet) Xanthe do you have a chuchina?

Xanthe: I think so!

Sarah: Yea, I know you have a chuchina it is right there! Ms. Shannon has one too and my mommy has a chuchina and Ms. Geraldine has a chuchina and Ms. Mei LIng and Ponyo and Mackenzie and my sister and Lisa has a chuchina too.

This is my first year teaching preschoolers and I absolutely love it for so many different reasons. The funny conversations we have are just one of the many reasons I can’t wait to get back there tomorrow.

Hong Kong is Home

Hong Kong

Hong Kong hike

Trains clattering

People walking

Trams clinking

Trees surrounding

Buses racing

Trails winding

Escalators whirring

Sun shining

Grandparents smiling

Newspapers rustling

Mountains reaching

Food sizzling

Children laughing

The best thing about Hong Kong is that it is my home.

I am Me!


I am a puzzle.

My pieces are made of different shapes and sizes.

They are…
3 % sister
5% competition
3% daughter
5% love
10% Granddaughter
19.5% smiles
9% friend
6% encourager
8% reader
9% teacher
0.5 % writer
6% yogi
9% cook
7.5% disorganized
And when you put the pieces together
Can’t you see that I am 100% me!

Thanks to my best friend and encourager, I attended the most amazing conference last weekend. It focused on the art of literacy in the classroom. I left the conference feeling like I was a confident writer, ready to inspire my children to feel the same.  We were asked to try this percentage poem in Michael Sallinger and Sara Holbrook’s workshop, I love it!