Comic Strips: Just Misunderstood


 

The December newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things along with it. This month explores a Christmas tradition from a new politically correct point of view.

Many of us have grown up singing and hearing the song about Santa Claus making a naughty and nice list. We all know the verse “He’s making a list. Checking it twice. Going to make sure who’s naughty or nice.” Many of us today sing it and tell it you their children. Many even use it to make sure their child acting good at least for the month before Christmas. But in this modern world of political correctness, how would the naughty and nice list hold up?

Well you’ll just have to read the comic and see what my take on it may be.

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Just Misunderstood.

Dec2017NLpg14 copy

SaveSave

Advertisements

Friday Two Cents: Teach The World


With the Christmas season upon us I indulged on a yearly tradition of setting up my Christmas town at school. A couple of students and the principal asked how long I have been setting up the town at the school. I told them it is the 8th year I have set it up, yet I started building the town about 10 years prior to that starting with only 5 buildings that I hand painted and with a simple train. Today it has grown to over 50 builds, all hand painted and some that I built myself.

Many have told me that once the town goes up then they start to feel that the Christmas season has arrived. I too feel this once I put up the town, my tree and my nativity scene, which are all up now, the feeling of the Christmas season is upon me. Yet with this feeling of joy and happiness there comes a bit of melancholy. Not because there are those who do not have much, I do feel for them but mostly for the people who have too much. For them Christmas is about acquiring things, or making sure that they get the perfect gift for someone so that you can look good; in other words, excessive consumerism.  
Mind you I do go out and get presents for my family, but I always add a personal note letting them know I care about them. Yet as I walk around the malls I have to laugh to myself. I do love to shop but shopping for me is looking at all the people as they scurry around obsessed with getting stuff. I love their reaction when they get the thing and when they cannot. They seem to miss the point of the whole Christmas season and spirit.  
Christmas for me is about giving thanks for what I have like my health, family and my passions. It’s not about getting or giving stuff; it’s about appreciating the time you have with others, about giving yourself to them to help them feel happy too. For me the tree, the nativity scene and the town is a symbol that everyone in my life is truly special to me. From my immediate to my extended family, close friends, friends/colleagues and even the students and their parents. Everyone that has touched my life is special to me. That is why I cannot get into this consumerism that seems to be everywhere.
I think the best way to sum up how I feel is a song I heard on a local radio station, CHFI 98.1, which is playing Christmas music until Boxing Day. It is by ‘The Tenors’ – Santa’s Wish (Teach the World). I placed a YouTube link below for you all to see it and I think if you do, you too may feel the same way.

 

SaveSave

Comic Strips: Candy And Taxes


 

The November newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things along with it. This month explores a Halloween tradition from a funny point of view, the giving of treats.

Many of us remember the joy of putting on our Halloween costume and going out trick or treating. The day when you are allowed to get candy and then eat it. Yet as adults we now go out to buy the treats, only to dip into them and indulge a chocolate bar or two before the little trick or treaters show up. On many occasions I would buy treats for the kids a week in advance and then have the teachers raid it. Then to make sure the students have enough candy, I’d have to get some more.

They say, “The only constants in the universe are death and taxes”. Will I would like to add to that saying …

“The only constants in the universe are death, taxes and an empty bowl of chocolate in a room full of teachers.”

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Candy and Taxes.

Comic Strips: You Snooze, You Lose


 

Well it is the start of a new school year with a fresh crop of students and situations that can be the basis of my comic strip, The Craziest Things. If you do not know, I am the editor of the afterschool program’s newsletter. I just finished putting the first edition of the 2017-18 newsletters together and sent it out to the parents. Even though it’s a lot of work while I work as an occasional teacher, I enjoy doing it. However my favourite part is creating the comic strip.   I always use the students of the senior grade 5s as my inspiration for the comics. I will draw every grade five in the program as a fun cartoon caricature in a fun and interesting situation.

Many of the other children ask why don’t I use the other grades too. I tell them that these students are the graduating class and they deserve their moment. Also it is hard enough trying to draw 15 – 18 students and place them into 8 – 10 comic strips, just imagine 120. Therefore I had to limit the amount I can draw.
I use many different themes to inspire me to create the comic such as the difference in the generations or the use of technology in the classroom compared to their parents. Yet there are some themes that are universal to all generations.
This month centres on the first day of school. Yes that amazing day when you have to go back to the salt mines, I mean classroom and begin a fresh new year of learning and discovery.  
When it comes down to what students want to do, they have an unlimited amount of choices to choose from. Many parents have told me that they did not have as many choices as their children have when it comes to vacations. In fact many studies have shown that the centre of the family has shifted from what mom and dad want to do, to what the kids want to do. Peter Yesawich, a travel trend expert, has studied family travel for over 20 years. He says that children make the final decision in more than half of all family vacations.  Yet if there are an unlimited amount of choices, how can anyone choice just one, let alone a kid with less life experience. The results might come down to that old saying, “you snooze, you lose.”

I hope you enjoy October’s The Craziest Things: You Snooze, You Lose.

Friday Two Cents: Discovering More Through Play


This week and next I will be working in a kindergarten class where the teacher has asked me to present a lesson centred on math. Math has always been my favourite subject second only to art and when given the opportunity, I raised to the challenge.

It is the beginning if the year and I know that these students are new to counting, especially in French. So I decided to begin by seeing how much do they know when it comes to counting. I came up with several activities to help them and the teacher assess where the students are in their math skills.
I began with some activities with the students using 10 frames, rekenreks, printing the numbers and a bingo game with snap cubes. I noticed a few things that made me see that no matter where I go and with whom I work with, children learn a lot though play. Several of the activities are centred on a play base system. Yes they are doing their work by learning to count in French and they are printing the numbers but to get to those numbers they have to use a spinner like you would use in a game. And the more I and the teacher played / participated in the activity, the more the students, 1) appeared to enjoy it, 2) hopefully learn something from the experience and 3) we learned where each student is in their counting.  
Every time I enter a classroom I always have this quote from Plato in the back of my mind…

 

‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ Plato

 

These activities I did with the students are a clear indication that Plato’s words ring true.

 

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Friday Two Cents: The Power Of George


 

This week I was fortunate to some supply teach in a kindergarten class. It was a class full of junior kindergarten children. Many people would run in the other direction at the prospect of being in a classroom of 27 three to four-year olds, but not me. I adore kindergarten children, they are so open and honest; something we all lose, as we grow older. Mind you, it did not start off as a bed of roses.

Hi Everyone!!! My Name is George!!!

You have to remember that it is only the second week of school, a Monday to boot and many of these students have never been in any type of organized school setting. So to say that there were a few tears would be an understatement. It was more of a river, yet I did something that got their minds off their separation anxiety. I brought out my trusty friend, George. If you do not know who is George he is my purple monster/dragon that sounds like Goofy and helps me read stories, sing songs and introduce lessons to the students.  
Once I brought him out and introduced him as my little friend that helps me in the class, the students were mesmerized and many of the tears began to go away. I even had a couple of little girls, “shadows”, beside me for the rest of the day. At one point the art teacher came into the room and I had to leave to go to the washroom and do some work in the office, one of them didn’t want me to leave. I told her that I would be back but she wanted to come with me. I told here I had to go to the washroom but it was the big boys washroom and she kind of understood. She asked several times if I would be back and I reassured her that I would. At the end of the art lesson I returned and the little girls saw me and I said to them “I told you I would be back.” and one even smiled.
The rest of the day went well and George helped with a few songs and a couple of stories. As the day progressed everyone was engaged in the activities in the class and many of the students were wearing smiles when it was time to go home.  
It was an amazing day and George was a big part of it. I have had George for many years and I have brought him into countless classrooms and even after all that, I am astounded at the power of his presence with the students. The morning could have been a disaster but just bring out George helped to calm things down and I was able to connect with the students much quicker. I guess children are all the same, no matter where you go.

George, you have some power that makes people feel at ease. Not only the little kindergarteners, but me too, Thank you little buddy.

SaveSave

Art Inspiration: Heroes Vs. Villains – Final Portrait


As part of the final assignment in my resent drawing club, I had the students create their own hero or villain. Their characters could have up to 2 powers/abilities; a unique name and they had to indicate if they were either a hero or villain. The students also wanted me to redraw their character, in the comic book style, once they had handed their original in. I needed the original as a reference, I told them and I wanted them to do the work. The variety I received was amazing and it inspired me to create a wide range of characters.

I began with my version of the villain’s leader and over the past few weeks I have posted the characters the students created. At the end of the club I gave them a certificate with my version of their character on it. Yet I also wanted to give them something else. I decided to create a final portrait with all the characters in it for everyone in the club. The original was in black and white, in case they wanted to color it themselves, but mostly I did not have the time to create a colour version; until now.  

I hope you to will enjoy the final portrait/collection of all the characters from Heroes VS. Villains.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

The Trombonist's Mouthpiece

Music, education, and philosophy

Paul Gauchi

My innermost thoughts I wish to share. These things Inspire me, maybe they will inspire you.

Lucia Lorenzi

the body politic: musings and meanderings

Eternal Atlantis

Official Website of Luciana Cavallaro

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

Daniel is funny

Monsters, Jokes, Analogies

A Step onto the Road

The journeying of a literary hopeful

teachingontheverge

Emergent curriculum, play-based learning, and Arts education... go!

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

The First Gate

Stories, Dreams, Imagination, Soul

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.