Currently for July 2013

I find the sound of power tools very comforting.
As a child, it meant that my Dad was home working on something.
As an adult, it makes me excited because it means that some sort of a house project around here will finally be finished.  Today Brad is perking up our front door and adding a mail slot - so much more secure than a mail box.
Here's this month's currently.
Farley posted it up a bit early and surprised me.
Hop on over and check out the other entrants in the hop.
Anyway, back to the blog hop.
Power tools - yay!
I'm sure you are all not familiar with our flood from 18 months ago.
Here's our basement bathroom.
It actually had carpet on the floor and by the time I took this photo, Brad had removed it.
It wasn't glued down.  But no, that floor is not shiny, that's 2 inches of water.
Well the basement was hideous anyway, and we tried to look on the bright side.
BUT, it's amazing what 2 inches of water can do to an entire house.
Especially when that water was gone after a few hours.
Here's what my front yard looked like 2 days later.  It looked like this for 6 months.  You try to keep the mud out when your kids have this to play in...I dare you!
Below is a pre-flood photo of our back yard. 
We knew there had been some settling of the infil and our plan was to redo the yard the following summer, but the November rains changed all that.  The drain tiles blocked up and we had no choice.
Anyway, the restoration company did the clean up.
And Brad rebuilt the basement.
Here's what that bathroom looks like now.
And my crafting room went from this.
well, I'll show you in a few days.  Brad is just finishing it up in the next few days.


Simply Smashing!!!!!

A few days ago, Teagan dragged out her scrapbook which Santa had brought.  It's a Hello Kitty Journal (Smashbook style).  It inspired Connor, so the 3 of us went shopping for a Smash Book for Connor.  And, I just couldn't help myself, so I got one for me too.
It's not so easy at first to simply let go and glue something down on the page.  But this is going to be an interesting journey for me because I think I may try something like this with my class next year.  I won't buy them expensive journals or anything like that, but with a blank notebook we might use this as a part of our writing process.   Anyway, so today we had a family day.  We went out for brunch and then bowling as it was rainy.
I pulled out my phone and took a few goofy pictures.  After editing them with Instagram, I added them to my Smash Book.  Fun right??   And super, duper, easy once I let go of my OCD scrapbook tendencies.  OK, so it's not "hang on my wall" perfect, but it's going to be a great memory from this summer.
Above is Connor's Smash Book.  He carefully pulled the stickers off the plastic cover and then taped them onto the chipboard cover using WashiTape.  Then he cut the plastic so that he can still reach his pen. (clever boy)  - sorry, more proud mama moments  :)
Here's a picture I took of him yesterday.  He cut it out and added it to his book.  I am offering absolutely NO guidance.  I want my kids to scrap their own ideas.  And I'm so happy with what he's doing.
He wanted to fill this page out so badly but didn't know what to write in his top ten.   After I suggested a few topics (favourite sports, favourite games etc...) he chose to do his top 10 colours.  Notice, he decided to add orange at the bottom, and changed it to 11 colours.
I gave him a few flower die cuts and a mini muffin cup liner, and he made this flower, sticking it together with a brad.  Then he decided to colour in the sky because he thought the flower wasn't standing out clearly enough against the background.
Here's Teagan.  I took this photo of her yesterday when she was working in her Smash Book. We're in my scrap room.  You can see my ink pads in the background.  I snapped the photo and quickly printed it out for her.  She took the photo and added it to this page.
And I thought I should share this page from a few months ago.  With Connor so excited about this, she has been caught up and is also very interested in adding to her book.  I figure this will be a great summer activity for the kids and I.

A movie review...

So I'm sure you know that teacher who shows movies all the time.  I have a really hard time with this.  I feel like the kids deserve better - I mean at least during Centres Time they are working on Social skills right?  But being a Zombie and watching a movie is not educationally sound.   But I do really enjoy Read Alouds, and a lot of my favourite children's novels have become movies.  And seeing as most kids these days are really dialed in to movies and TV, they truly enjoy watching movies in class. 
But how to justify it pedagogically???

Well I read my class Charlotte's Web.  I have the 50th anniversary edition which has coloured pictures and much larger pictures from the original publication.  There's also an appendix which gives a lot of information and pictures of EB White and how he wrote Charlotte's Web.

Then I stumbled upon this freebie from Ashley Hughes last year.  I cannot find a link to this file anywhere on Teachers Pay Teachers.  But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this download.

First I read them the story, then we watched the movie. 
Then we took a few days to complete the booklet.
I printed out colour copies of the DVD case for them to glue on
They LOVED it.

This page was great because it starts out about Vocabulary, and that's an important part of Charlotte's Web .

Of course, listing the characters showed understanding of the story.

Analyzing the parts of the story meant we needed to discuss the setting.

I especially loved this part about making connections...

 And then of course, choice and choosing the favourite part of the story is an important critical thinking skill
And then the all important skill of making connection was a part of this packet.
Talk about fantastic.  I am currently reading Pippi Longstocking, and I can't wait to show them the movie and then analyze the story.

Happy Father's Day!!!

Whaddya think????
Looks like a shirt and tie right?
But it's actually a cover of a booklet for Father's Day

Here it is half open...
And here it is all the way open.
I downloaded this freebie from 1st Grade Hip Hip Hooray, but I noticed that she doesn't have it up as a freebie this year.  Too bad, it's kinda cute.


There was a survey to send home with some questions about the children's dad.  They used the information to write a paragraph about their Dad's.

We used 12x12 scrapbook paper to make the ties.
We folded them origami style.

These are some shots of the various booklets made by my kiddos.

Totally fun and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.


June Currently

I'm just posting quickly to join up with June's Currently from Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.
June is here, which means report cards, tons of family birthdays, and the craziness that comes in the last month of the school year (both at home and at school)