Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Motivation: Procrastination

We had teachers convention last week and our closing keynote was a man by the name of Cory Johnson and he spoke about turning disabilities into possibilities. Cory knows this topic well because he has Cerebral Palsy and he also had a stroke when he was 11 years old. He spoke of things that are "disabling" to all of us and how we need to work to overcome them. He talked of disabilities that we all have including worrying, gossiping, procrastination, controlling/manipulating, being angry, lying, not participating, breaking agreements...etc.  It made me really think about how procrastination is one of my biggest personal disabilities and that I need to focus on overcoming it.  And so my commitment coming out of this convention is to work on that. 

Here is a little funny though that Cory showed during his presentation.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

news-2-you: Alice in Wonderland

We are coming off a week off so I'm moving on to the "Alice in Wonderland" newspaper this week.  Here are the extra group activities that I have planned for this week:

Crazy Hat Making Competition
We are going to spend one afternoon this week making "crazy hats".  Staff and students will make decisions as to what the theme of their hat is going to be and then gather materials and make their hats.  I'm heading to the dollar store in the hopes of finding some cheap hats that can be decorated for the event.  I'm thinking we are going to set up a display and polling station for others to vote on which is the "craziest hat" and then some of my students who have a more academic math program can do some counting and graphing activities from there.
My plan right now is to start this Tuesday afternoon and complete it Thursday afternoon to give a bit of time for gathering materials in between :).  I have an extremely competitive staff so I'm going with a suggestion that I read on someone else's blog in regards to the hat not being in the competition unless the students do the work for it.
Cookies (Heart, Diamond, Spades and Clubs)
We always love to make cookies in our classroom.  This week we will be making cookies in the shapes of the suits of cards - Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs.  We will then ice them with red and black icing and send them home for families to enjoy :).  This is our Wednesday afternoon activity.
Card Games
While we are waiting for our cookies to bake, we will be playing some simple card games with the students.
Alice in Wonderland Movie Afternoon
Friday afternoon is going to be a movie afternoon in our class.  We will make snacks and rent the movie and enjoy a nice, relaxing afternoon.  Its always a much deserved break for everyone in our classroom.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

news-2-you: Canada's Olympics (February 8, 2010)

N2y Once again I'm changing the format of how I'm doing the news-2-you paper.  We are using the news-2-you paper and worksheets during programming time.  What each student does with the paper and worksheets has been personalized to their IPP goals.  For the most part, mornings in our classroom are spent working on on individual programming and afternoons are a little lighter with fun, group, hands-on types of activities.  Tuesday through Friday we do theme-based activities and I'm going to be using the newspapers to create these activities.  Here is an outline of what we will be doing this coming up week related to the newspaper on the Canadian Olympics.  We are focusing on the concepts of winter, Canadian pride and the actual sports in the game.

Olympicpaperquilt Olympic Paper Quilt Craft
I got this idea off of the official Olympic website.  They have a section on education and in that section there are a whole bunch of projects that various schools have done.  One school created an Olympic torch paper craft (see image on the right).  We currently have three teams of three students in our class and each team will work together to create their own paper quilt similar to the one displayed here.  The quilt will need to include the 15 Olympic sports, mascots, Olympic symbol and some display of "winter".  We will see how creative people can get :).  Pictures can be done as collages or outlines depending on what student/staff teams decide.  Colors will also be chosen by each team.  We will display our Olympic Quilts on our hallway bulletin board for the duration of the Olympics.
Olympic Ring Cookies
We are making sugar cookies in the shape of rings.  We will then ice them in the Olympic ring colors (Black, Red, Yellow, Green and Blue) and arrange them on a piece of cardboard covered with white paper in the format of the Olympic ring flag.  Final projects will be sent home to share with families.
Canada Day Bingo, Dominoes and/or Matching Game
I have used the free game card generator on the DLTK website ( to make the Canada Day Bingo game, Domino game and Matching game.  We will spend some time playing these games as a group this week.  Note that there are lots of great topics to make games on at this site.
Snow Toffee and Snow Painting
Very simple recipe to make.  Here is a link:
Once done making snow toffee we will do "snow painting" with brushes and/or squeeze bottles.  To do this all we do is put the snow on a tray or cookie sheet and then use water mixed with food coloring for our paint.  Then it is just creating and playing with the snow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Adding Another Recipe

We have been re-using a lot of our other recipes the last couple of weeks.  Next week is also a week where we repeat some of the recipes and then we have a week off so it will be a couple of weeks before I post anymore new recipes other than this one that we tried this past week.  Here it is to add to the collection.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday's Weekly Comments

I was able to get a great idea for adapted writing utensils from the blog Special Classroom this week. I'm going to be trying this one out. Thank you for sharing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday's Motivation: Playing for Change

I am a big believer in the interdependence of people.  I believe that true happiness comes when we find that we part of a bigger picture and celebrate the fact that we are both "givers" and "takers" in that picture.  We are meant to help others but no one is strong enough to not need some type of help back.  Every individual has something to give and every individual has something we need.  When we find in ourselves what we have to give we should give it with our whole hearts.  When we find in ourselves the things we need, we should not see these things as weaknesses but rather as ways to build connections with others because surely there will be someone out there who can give what you are looking for.

I stumbled upon this project called "Playing for Change" just recently and wanted to share it here.  Note that the first video is an explanation of the project and the second is the first video that they made.  There are many more installments of the project that can be found at