Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Monday, May 30, 2011

To e-read or not to e-read? That is the question.

I have been tossing around the idea of getting an e-reader forever! I read very fast so whenever I go on a trip or even away for the weekend I usually have to take a couple (or more) books with me so the idea of just taking a e-reader with me is very intriguing. Especially since often the e-books are cheaper than the real thing.

On the other hand I LOVE books. I love the smell. I love the feel. I love how they look on my shelf. I just LOVE books. If I had an e-reader would I feel as though I needed to buy the book twice? One for the e-reader and once to put on my shelf? And what about sharing...can you share e-books?

I also like the idea of saving paper by reading from an e-reader....but am I just then wasting electricity?

So many questions and so few answers.

My sister has lent me her e-reader  as she now has an Ipad and uses that to e-read. I am going to read with it for a bit and then get back to you with my thoughts...good and bad!

Do you e-read?? Tell me, tell me, tell me- do - I would love to know some other people's thoughts.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

YESSSSSSS!!

So I believe I have mentioned before that I am taking an online class to become qualified in Primary education which will enable me to teach grades 1-3...so exciting. I was initially very excited to take this course because I have spent so many years in the intermediate division that I had really forgotten a lot about teaching the little ones. I figured that this course could also really help with my grade 4 planning and programming, especially in the start of the year when the students are still essentially grade 3's.

The course has been going on for almost three weeks now and most of it has been an exercise in frustration. We have required to do the assigned readings, post answers to the questions and then comment on our fellow classmate's answers- easy peasy. But.... we are also required to work in groups to create a unit of study for one the assigned grades. I have done an online course before and online group work is not so fun, this experience has been no exception.

Long story short-

First, we had to pick the subjects and the expectations we wanted to cover for the assignment. I went through the curriculum documents and posted some that I thought would work. My two partners posted that they agreed. No discussion. No suggestions. Nothing.

Second, we had to create an enduring understanding and a big idea that would focus our lesson. I threw out some very vague statements that weren't very good. My partners posted that they agreed. No discussion. No suggestions. Nothing.

Third, we needed a title. This time I just asked what they thought it should be....they both posted that they couldn't think of anything.

Did I mention this was all happening three days after the start of the assignment and one day before the assignment was due? Yep, true story.

So our prof gave us an extension and the cycle began again.

I posted some more expectations hoping to spark a discussion and mentioned that we had been given an extension. One girl posted that she didn't even know we had missed the due date. I then posted that I had no problem compiling all our information (I mean, after all, I had created everything) but that we just needed a title.  The other girl replied to that very posting asking if there was anything left to be done.

She replied to a posting that mentioned the work that needed to be done by asking what needed to be done.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!

I emailed my prof and outlined my concerns and frustrations.

Thankfully, I have been given the option to complete this assignment independently. YES!!

It's amazing what passes for "professionalism" these days. Both of these girls are teacher's college graduates which means they are fully qualified to teach children.

Scary thought.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Here Comes The Sun...do da do da

What a glorious day yesterday was! The sun was shining! The heat and humidity had arrived in southern Ontario! We took advantage of the sunshine to invite some friends over and take way too many pictures of our baby....love her. Here's a little photo essay of my family's Saturday together. I hope yours was just as sweet!



Tummy time





Mom's hair makes an awesome new toy now that we can grab and pull.


Yummy feet!


Test driving her high chair... loves it!




Ummm...drool.






Just a side note, people keep asking me if Avery is this happy and smiley all the time and the answer is....yes! I have no idea how but our baby is an eternal optimist and just happy to be alive...every day!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Nope...

...I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! It's been a busy couple of weeks.

I visited my parents last weekend with baby Avery and it was go go go for the entire time I was there! I went shopping sans babies with my cousin, had dinner with my grandma, helped host a wedding shower, went to my cousin's birthday party and had a get together with my childhood best friend so she could meet Avery and I could meet her newest little one. Whew!

Then I returned home with a fussy baby who as trying to settle back into her routine, an assignment due for my online course and a second assignment to start. The first assignment was individual and not so bad, the second is group work....online!! And it's been super frustrating so far. I just don't get online group work. We were supposed to have a general outline for our assignment today however, as of Wednesday NIGHT neither of my partners had posted ANYTHING!!!

I am looking foward to a long weekend here in Canada, hopefully some sunshine (no more rain) and time to blog....maybe.

Hope you are all having a great Friday too!

The List to End All Lists

I have been obsessed lately with finding the best pictures books, well all books, so that Avery will have an unbelievable home library as she grows. I know that there are many parents and teachers out there reading this blog and I am hoping to get your help! I want to create a "must read" list of books for my little girl.

Here are a few of my faves...

Picture Books


The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess
Red Fish, Blue Fish, One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Suess
You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Ages 8-9+
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Fudge-a-mania by Judy Blume
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
BFG by Raoul Dahl
The Witches by Raoul Dahl
Matilda by Raoul Dahl
James and the Giant Peach by Raoul Dahl
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien


Ages 12+
The Outsiders by SE Hinton
The Hobbitt by JRR Tolkien
Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery
The Lightening Thief series by Rick Riordan
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

I am sure there are tonnes of others....and I'll keep adding to the list as we go!

I am going to keep this list up permanently over at my teaching blog, Thinking of Teaching, under a page of the same name- The List to End All Lists. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Things I Have Learned Since Becoming a Mom

A few other bloggers out there have been posting today about the things they have learned since they became a mom, and I really like the idea. Here are my additions to the ever-growing list!

I have learned that...
1. Nothing is done on my time schedule any more.

2. I could kiss my baby's cheeks all day and never get tired of it or feel that I have kissed her enough.

3. Baby burps as a result of baby formula smell really bad.

4. A lot of my life revolves around poop. Did she poop enough? Too much? Not enough?

5. Staring at my baby is a bona fide recreational activity.

6. Parenting is stressful 25 hours-a-day (nope, that's not a typo).

7. Watching my parents become grandparents is super fun.

8. Babies create a lot of laundry.

9. My dog did become "just a dog". But I love him with the whole portion of my heart reserved for dogs.

10. I almost like shopping for baby clothes more than shopping for "me" clothes. Almost.


11. You can never take enough pictures of your baby.

12. Friends without babies don't really get it, even if they think they do.

13. My husband is a great dad and a fantastic husband.

14. Coffee is your friend. Your best friend.

15. Buying picture books never makes me feel guilty.

16. I want time to slow down and go faster at the same time.

17. My heart hurts when I look at Avery. She's mine, all mine.

18. Life is better with babies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Moms, Moms, Moms

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant I knew that my relationship with my mother would change, and change for the better. Looking back on the first months (you know, being in Avery's fourth month makes those days seem soooo long ago! LOL) I couldn't have made it through without my mom.

She came to stay for the whole first week of Avery's life. She cooked, she cleaned, she reassured, she cuddled and hugged (both Avery and me), she was a life-saver. Then when the second week of Avery's life was coming to an end and my husband was supposed to be heading back to work and I would be alone with Avery for the first time- she came back again. I had a melt down and she responded just like she always has. After that she was there for every question, worry, concern over the phone, email and Skype. I have never felt alone or without my mom once since I had my baby.

I have the utmost confidence that I will be a pretty good mom because I learned from one of the best. She has been a teacher, a confidant, a support, a coach, a shoulder to cry on, a mom.

She has taught me how to work hard for what I want.

She taught me how to read and love it.

She taught me to shop, and shop, and shop!

She is my friend.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. I love more than ever and hope that one day Avery feels about me the way I feel about you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seriously, stop already.

My baby is too grown up. Already. In four months.

She is practically 50% bigger than when she was born.

There is a huge box of clothes that no longer fit her.

She can sleep all the way through the night most days.

My baby has started to turn herself around in her crib. That is her head is at the opposite end of the crib in the morning than where it was when we put her to sleep.

She doesn't immediately cry when we put her down for tummy time. She will even stay that way for quite a while.

Avery can easily grab at the things she wants dangling from her gym mat. She is fantastic at bringing Sophie the giraffe up to her mouth to chew on and on and on and on...

She laughs out loud every once in awhile. When we really do something funny.

My baby puts herself to sleep at almost every nap and bedtime.

There are days when I miss the little, tiny baby she used to be. It makes me heart ache. But most days I am so excited to see the person she is becoming. She is a happy, happy girl. Her smile is infectious and is easy to come by. She is very easy going, loves Dr. Suess books best of all, smiles when her Daddy comes home, likes a little cuddle before falling asleep.

This weekend will be my first Mother's Day as a mom and I can't believe it still. I am a mom. I have the privilege everyday of raising my daughter and taking part in her growth. I can't remember being this happy.


What a good looking family...if I do say so myself!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I am starting a new adventure...

I have decided to start a blog that focuses directly on my teaching! This will be a place for me to share my ideas about teaching, lesson planning, resources that I love, teaching blogs that I read, etc, etc. I am also starting a course tomorrow in primary education and I hope to record all my thoughts on the strategies I can use to more effectively teach younger students now that I have moved down from the intermediate grades.

I would love for you to check it out!


Thinking of Teaching

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe