Tips for when you are frustrated

Slice of Life Day 24

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Faster than lightning

Flying through the air

It’s a bird

It’s a plane

Wait a minute

No…

It is a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum!

Rolling

kicking

yelling!

 

Marlowe wasn’t much of a temper tantrum thrower as a toddler but part way through 3, everything changed! We have always practiced strategies that we can use when things don’t go our way, when we are feeling frustrated or when we make a mistake. Marlowe is an expert when it comes to sharing her strategies and getting to be more consistent using them in the moment.

We wrote a book together today to share the strategies she finds useful.

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What strategies do you use when you are feeling frustrated?

Family Games

Slice of Life Day 23

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

I love games! I love board games and card games, running games, word games, number games and even made up games.

 

My husband also likes games but not to the extent I do. I could literally play games all day long. He likes to every once and a while. He is pretty great at playing games with me whenever I ask, despite the fact that I almost always win.

Recently, Marlowe has developed an interest in learning how to play every game on our shelf. I do my best to create a kid version of all of our grown up strategy based games and she loves them all.

I have also been stocking up on our ‘kid’ games too.

I asked Marlowe to teach you how to play her favourites but realised that I can’t imbed videos on here. My recounts will have to suffice.

Marlowe’s Favourite Games:

  1. Hide and Go Seek in the dark

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“You hid but the person that finds has to use the phone with the flashlight to find the hiders…you have to play when it is night.”

2. Monopoly Junior

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“You roll the dice and you have money and you buy the houses and you have to pay money if you get on a different house. I get lots of the special cards because i’m lucky….whoever gets no money doesn’t win.”

3.  The Colour Game

“You pick something that is a secret and you say the colour, the size, texture and somebody has to guess it.”

4. Ghost Blitz

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“There are tricky cards and easy cards, I do the tricky cards now. They are really tricky. You turn over a card and look to see what you see. Then you look and see what thing isn’t on the card. It is really tricky. You  gotta see very carefully what colours are on the card. They are very tricky.”

 

 

What games are your kiddos playing these days?

 

What We Are Thinking About

Slice of Life Day 22

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Marlowe and I got home from snowshoeing starving today, so after making dinner we hurried upstairs to get writing. I try to start our writing time by saying “What were you thinking about writing today?”

Today she responded with “it’s a surprise!” This is her go to answer to everything lately. I can’t complain though because she had an idea and she got started right away.

As usual, she started drawing hearts but paused and said “Mommy, can you help me stretch out the word IIIIII’MMMMMM THHHHHIIIINNNNKKKIIINNGGGGGGG BBBBOOOOUUUTTTTT YOU?”

Stifling back laughter, I said ” It sounds like you are stretching out those words already. What sounds do you hear?”

Together we got her sentence down and she quietly whispers to me with a smile, “Who do you think I am thinking about?”

I guessed, “Daddy?”

“You and Daddy!” she said with pride.

 

Marlowe’s writing inspired me to write what I was thinking about today.

 

  1. What a beautiful place I have to explore.
  2. How much longer will I be able to take advantage of the snow and get out cross country skiing and snowshoeing?
  3. When can I get out our bikes and hit the trails?
  4.  That saag paneer and homemade naan bread dinner my husband and I made together tonight was INCREDIBLY delicious and restaurant quality.
  5. Marlowe’s writing habits and confidence has changed so much over these past 22 days.
  6. I miss my students.
  7. I wonder how my 99 year old Grandmother is doing. She isn’t very good at picking up her phone and no one is allowed to visit her in her nursing home.
  8. I need more chocolate in my house.

 

What are you thinking about?

How to Snowshoe according to a 4 year old

Slice of Life Day 21

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

It is officially our first day of Spring Break and although we aren’t en route to Disney World, we still had an amazing day! When I heard school might be cancelled, I quickly borrowed snow shoes and cross country skis from the outdoor education building. Our school is an Independent School that focuses on preparing students to explore the outdoors in a safe and prepared manner. They go on the most amazing adventures and we as teachers get the benefit of being able to use the equipment when it isn’t out on a trip.

 

I signed out snowshoes for the whole family and cross country skis for me. I was eager to let Marlowe give snowshoeing a try and I have high hopes of teaching my husband how to cross country ski.

 

It is definitely easier to teach Marlowe new things. My husband is a little trickier, so I decided to start with Marlowe.

 

We had a pep talk about how new things can sometimes be hard and what we can do if we feel frustrated. She is working on her growth mindset and has a tendency to throw herself on the floor and roll around when things are hard. I gave her phrases to use like “I think I need a break!” or “I can’t get up, can you help me, mommy?”  I always find that when I give her phrases she might need to use before we head into a new situation, we are always more successful.

She was AMAZING! We stayed out way longer than I anticipated and she didn’t have a single melt down.

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I asked Marlowe to write you some instructions on how to snowshoe. Here is what she wrote:

 

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Snowshoe

  1. Walk in snow
  2. Put on snow shoes
  3. Have fun

 

I think you might want to flip number 1 and 2 but that is just my perspective!

 

Bookmarks for everyone!

Slice of Life Day 20

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

I can’t believe we are at day 20 already. This is the fastest moving March I have ever encountered. Today is the official start day of our Spring Break. It is certainly going to look differently than we had anticipated but I am looking forward to slowing down and catching my breath and start getting through some of the books that are piling up. Marlowe must have read my mind today because she asked to make bookmarks!  These will definitely come in handy over the Spring Break.

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Marlowe created her first bookmark with just pictures.

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To encourage Marlowe to add words, I made a bookmark to model what it might look like if we added some words.

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Marlowe said “two o’s because I learned that book has an extra o to make a different sound too!”

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“Do u lik yor book?”

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Grams

Gramps

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“Wut do u lik?”

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“Wut doo u lik bot yor book?”

 

Marlowe is really excited about the question mark. I suspect she may only want to write questions from now on.

Well, I think I might put these bookmarks to use, off to my books!

Our House is Forever Changed

Slice of Life Day 19

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Well it happened today. As soon as I suggested it, I knew our house would never be the same.

 

“Why don’t we make some signs so we know where to put everything when we are done writing?”

Marlowe was VERY eager to do this.

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“Markers”

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“Art Supplies”

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but before long the suggestions kept coming!

 

“I Need a sign for my room!”

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“GAMES, we need a sign for the games”

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And the list went on and on.

Bed time forced an end to our sign making factory, but I assure you covid-19 will not be shutting down the manufacturing of these signs tomorrow!

Today, March 19, 2020 marks the day that our house was forever changed by an explosion of Marlowe-made signs.

 

Letters Galore

Slice of Life Day 18

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Since the world is shutting down quicker and quicker by the day, I thought it might be a nice time to write letters to all of the little people we know. It is such a confusing time for us as adults right now, I can’t imagine how the kids are feeling as we go through this time of uncertainty and change.

I asked Marlowe who we should write to and immediately she mentioned all of her cousins.

It’s funny, for the most part I like having a bit of distance from my family (3 500km to be exact) At times though,  I wish we were neighbours! As a child, I didn’t get to see my first cousins very often and my sister and I vowed that we would make sure that we give our kids the opportunity to develop that ‘cousinly’ bond we wished we had.

It makes me happy that her cousins were the first recipients she thought of for our letters. So far our plan is working. She is in the midst of creating a little art to include in each of the letters but bed time was calling so we had to put the writing and drawing tools down for the day and will continue tomorrow.

The writing routine Marlowe and I have created this month has given us some much needed consistency in our day. Her world has been turned upside down as her Mom and Dad can’t give her their undivided attention while they are at home with her. She doesn’t understand that we have to be ‘teaching’ virtually all day and juggle being present for her. She knows that when it is time to write, I am ALL hers, maybe that is why she makes it last so long! Each day we are learning a bit more of how we can manage this new normal in our life, I am sure we all are!

 

 

 

 

Deer that use crosswalks

Slice of Life Day 17

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Yesterday in our slice, Marlowe and I described our little town, Okotoks, Alberta. Marlowe wanted to tell everyone about the deer who look both ways before crossing the road. This is a true fact about the deer in our town. They also use the crosswalks. If you don’t believe us, here is a photo that I took in our neighborhood.

 

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I know what you are thinking, it was a fluke.

NOPE!

These deer will cross the road at lights or crosswalks consistently. You constantly see them pausing, looking both directions and crossing the road if they see that the cars have slowed down for them.

In fact, the deer made the national news for this reason.

If you still think I am making this up check out this link…

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/okotoks-urban-deer-task-force-1.5412474

 

See, we told you! Our deer are cooler than your deer!

 

 

 

I haven’t uploaded Marlowe’s independent writing in a while so here are a few things she has been working on.

 

This is a thank you card she made for a friend who gave her a birthday gift!

This is a card she made for my cousin (my first cousin, once removed to be exact) She is older and her husband passed away fairly recently.  Donna always sends Marlowe cards and stickers in the mail and Marlowe always sends something back to her. They have a really cute little friendship that really benefits both of them. She was always so special to me when I was growing up, it makes me really happy that she is special to Marlowe too!

 

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This is a “surprise” Marlowe made for me! She drew a star and a sun and stamped ‘For Mom’ on it. I nudged her to label the star and the sun and with a little help stretching out the word, she nailed it!

Okotoks, have you heard of it?

Slice of Life Day 16

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

My family and I live in a little town called Okotoks, in the southern part of Alberta, Canada. It is fun name to say… try it! Ok-o-toks! The ‘toks’ is pronounced ‘tokes’. My husband and I didn’t grow up here and we actually had never heard of it before we moved here two and a half years ago. I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario and he grew up in Zillah, Washington. We met while teaching in Shanghai, China. We moved together to Hong Kong and had our daughter while living there. Shortly after she was born we decided we wanted to be a bit closer to our own families and searched for jobs all over North America and we found ourselves in Okotoks, Alberta. Since we didn’t know a single thing about this town, we did what everyone does, GOOGLE IT! We read everything we could, there wasn’t much! This town of 28,000 didn’t have much but it had a Costco, so we were sold!

A few months after I secured a job at an amazing Independent School on 210 acres of beautiful campus, we moved into an airbnb and began our search for a house. Two and a half years later, we are so happy we found this lovely place to call home.

 

We went on a family walk tonight and when we got back Marlowe and I wrote “All About Okotoks”

This is what she says…

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It’s been a day!

Slice of Life Day 15

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

*Today we found out our schools and daycares were shutting down but teachers still had to report to work on Monday. Needless to say it has been a stressful day trying to figure out what we can do with our daughter when we don’t have any family nearby. Please excuse my post being a little bit late and without Marlowe writing. She wrote today but I haven’t had time to capture it on here. I felt more in the mood for a poem*

 

Year to year

things change

Sometimes

month to month

When it becomes

week to week

it is overwhelming

Lately

 day to day

Today

minute to minute

If overwhelming is taken

then what word do we use?

inundated?

swamped?

drowning?

 

All I can do is…

BREATHE