Friday Two Cents: Don’t Stress: Laugh And Have Fun


 

‘A day without laughter is a day wasted.’Charlie Chaplin

 

  Well this week I was able to put up the Christmas tree, string the outdoor lights and put out my nativity scene for the upcoming Christmas season. Yet one thing that always makes the season more enjoyable is the music of this wonderful holiday.  We in Toronto are quit fortunate to have a radio station (CHFI 98.1 FM) that plays Christmas music all day long.  They started last weekend at the beginning of the Santa Claus parade and will continue until December 26, Boxing Day. 

  Christmas music has always been a big part of Christmas for me.  I think because I use to play in several bands and we were always playing the songs for about a month and half before Christmas to help us prepare for our concerts.  However, about 10 years ago I discovered some alternate Christmas songs that I have to listen to that makes my Christmas complete.

Stressed Out Christmas

  They are a collection of songs preformed by Bob Rivers and once I heard them, Christmas hasn’t been the same. For some reason these songs connected with me. Perhaps it’s because I find that with everyone is running around trying to get things done, buy stuff and it places a lot of stress on people when there shouldn’t be.  I think people need to not take things too seriously. Everywhere people are worried about getting the perfect gift, have the perfect dinner and the perfect tree. These songs help me to see that there is some fun and laughter in this season.  We do not need to take things too seriously; relax, enjoy life, laugh and have fun.   Those are some of the important parts of Christmas.
  Therefore in the spirit of bringing some laughter and fun back into Christmas, I have attached a YouTube video/song of my favourite alternate Christmas song by Bob Rivers.  The tone is from the song “Winter Wonderland” but the lyrics have been changed into a new song entitled, “Walkin’ ‘Round In Women’s Underwear”. 
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and remember to have a little laugh every once in a while. 

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Friday Two Cents: Acting My Age And Having A Blast


 

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This past week I had my birthday. Unlike many people I celebrate my birthday once every four years. Yes I am a Leap Year baby or Leaper. I mentioned in last weeks post that I was not that excited about my birthday this year. Not because I am getting older or that I am feeling melancholy, it’s just that I wanted to do something low-key, private. I guess that I believe that everyday is a celebration, to live every moment. Yet I have come to understand that these celebrations are for other people to have some fun. It’s like an excuse to be a little silly and make others laugh and just have some fun.

So on February 29, 2016 I had my birthday and I embraced the birthday salutations others gave me and I had some fun with it too. The students in a couple of classes gave me birthday cards that they made and I joked to them saying that I was the biggest kid in the school. Teachers and parents wished me a happy birthday and I joked saying that I am as old as the kids and that probably explains my behaviour, most of the time. I also went around the schoolyard playing with the students and tapping on the kindergarten windows to bother the kindergarteners. Just like some of the older children do. I even participated in some Jedi vs. Sith foam noodle battles with the students. Of course I was a Sith Master (I had red noodles) and I won every battle. I told the students to call me Darth Paul.

Thinking about that day, I acted my age. I ran around teasing people making jokes and playing with other kids and it was a lot of fun. Maybe every adult should do this once in a while. You know, get in touch with their inner child and let loose. I have the advantage because I am a teacher and I work with children all the time. But just like that day I think we all need a day to set aside the responsibilities of being an adult and just be a kid. Take it from my experience; you’ll have a blast.

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The Kindergarten classes made my wonderful birthday cards.

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Jedi vs. Sith foam noodle battles.

Friday Two Cents: Vacationing In Ontario With George Part 3: A Day With My Niece


 

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On the adventure side of this summer vacation, this week has been a very quiet and relaxing one. I didn’t go do anything exciting or mind-blowing. I just stayed around the house cleaning and trying to do a massive purge. My father has kept ‘things’ since before I was born and hasn’t thrown away anything so its time to purge, organize and clean out the garage and tool area. To say that it is a mind numbing, tedious and disheartening task would be understating the obvious. Yet midst this chore I had a moment of comfort and to my surprise, a small adventure.

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Mufasa, Charlie and George

One day I had a couple of little visitors; my nieces came over for the day. I adore my nieces and look forward to any opportunity to play or just spend time with them. This day they came over and amidst their playing they discovered George and some of the other puppets and stuffed animals I have for me class. They know that George helps me teach my students and one of my nieces wanted to play with him. The other niece got attached to my little Simba from the Lion King (I have a large Mufasa Puppet to go with it).   I told them that they can play with them but they have to be gentle and play nice with George and Simba. Seeing them play with them was entertaining and surprisingly fun. I too got involved with Mufasa and we all had fun.

We were going out for lunch at their favourite place, McDonald’s, and they wanted to take George and Simba. I sad yes and we left. The lunch was as enjoyable as any when you “try” to eat lunch out with a couple of kids. After the lunch the little one was going to sleep and I took the opportunity to take the older niece to the park for some fun. I asked her and she wanted to and of course George came with us.

We went to a park I have not visited for some time, High Park. It is in the west end of Toronto and a wonderful example of trying to bring a natural setting to an urban environment. It has a pond, soccer and baseball fields, a pool, tennis courts and a couple of playgrounds. They also have a nice nature trail but I was not able to go with my niece this time. She of course wanted to go to the playground and the wading pool. We had a wonderful time playing on the structures and digging in the sand together and so did George.

The day was great and I had a wonderful time, as did my niece. But I was pushing with my niece on a swing in the park; I realized that being on vacation doesn’t have to mean that you have to go away somewhere. Sometimes it means just enjoying friends and family in your own backyard. My niece and I (and George) had a wonderful time together just hanging out. Vacation means to have a time for some recreation. Well I had that with my niece and that was more fun than traveling to a distant destination any day.

Art Inspiration: Mondrian Art Lesson


 ArtInspirationPaulGLogo

During my practicum I had the opportunity to do the art lessons with the students. They are the younger primary but I wanted to do something that was different and challenging with them. I got a suggestion to do a Mondrian inspired art lesson so I came up with one. I decided to incorporate a lesson on primary colours and connect it to the geometric shapes lesson we are doing in math. Below are the learning goal, what I want them to learn and the steps to be taken for the lesson.

 Learning Goal: We are learning about the primary colours and introduce how the colours are seen as warm or cool colours and how do they make us feel. As well the use of geometric shapes and what do they represent in the image.

 (Student perspective) I am successful when I can …

“see what are the primary colours and which ones are called warm and cool colours.” “create geometric shapes using the ruler like squares and rectangles.”

 Resources/Materials:

Craft Supplies – paper, paints, brushes, cups with water, pencils, rulers, black markers/pencil crayons

iPad – to show examples of Mondrian art

 Essential Questions:

Why are they warm and cool colours? What makes them so? What examples can you think of as warm and cool colours? What do think about the artists work? How does this colour (ask for all the colours) make you feel?

 Minds On: How will I engage the learner?

Use the iPad to show different images of warm and cool colours and ask them how do they make them feel. (Cool – blue; warm – red) also geometric shaped art and ask them what do they think about them.

 Action: Step-by-Step

 Step 1 – Use a ruler and a pencil to divide your paper into shapes. (Only use vertical and horizontal lines… no diagonal lines)

Step 2 – Use a black marker to trace over the lines to make them thinker.

Step 3 – Use primary colours and black paint to fill the shapes. Paint only three (3) of the shapes for each colour.  3 red, 3 blue, 3 yellow and 3 black

 

I hope you enjoy the examples below.

Friday Two Cents: The Important Things


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After a stressful week I thought I would write about something that happened to me that makes you realise what are the important things in life.  Of course it came for the innocence of the children.

This week, I was able to get all four days of practice in for the eight teams in the t-ball and softball leagues at my school.  Two of the days are with the older children doing softball and two days with the kindergartens, grades 1 & 2s.  Each day I would take out two teams and show them the basics of the game and hopefully the children will learn something and of course have fun.

Unfortunately, last week I had to cancel our first day of training camp for two of the T-ball teams.  I don’t do much the first week, just throwing catching and the basics of where to run after hitting the ball.  Believe me, you might think that is a given but kindergarten children need, little reminders.  It is not the first time I have had hitters and base runners run after the ball or just run to the dug out. Hm, Hm, Hm.

But getting back to the canceled day, the children were a bit disappointed but I told them I would show them all what we missed the following week.  Thank goodness this week we had some better weather and we did get the practice in.  I asked them if they had fun and that they enjoyed themselves and they said that they did.  However, after we cleaned up and were going in, the other Kindergarten teacher came to me and said that the children had a complaint.  I was intrigued so I asked the teacher and the children what the complaint was so I can fix the problem.

You are not going to believe this but their complaint was that they never got the see the baseball movie I showed the other teams.  I usually show Goofy: How the Play Baseball after the first week practice just to have a fun start to the season.  I forgot to show the video to them and yet it is something very important to them.  So I told the children that after next week’s practice I will bring in the video and we can watch it together.  They all smiled and were happy with the solution, but I have to say that I smiled a big smile after too.

With all the tragedies in the world and stress we have in our lives, I guess it takes the innocence of a child to remind us what is really important.  Playing with your friends, learning something new, enjoying ourselves and maybe a mini movie of Goofy playing baseball are truly the important things.

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