To say summer flew by would be the understatement of the year. Life took over once again, and next thing I knew it had been another month since I last blogged. I know, not exactly an award winning performance since ECMP wrapped up (sorry, Dean!). But I'm a glass-half-full kind of gal, so I am optimistic that with internship getting underway this week, blog posts will begin to flow like lava. So, what have I been up to since July 11? Let's see. I wrapped up my summer with Ta-Wa-Si Recreation mid-August and am seriously missing those kids. It was such a pleasure to see those smiling faces every day and to spend my afternoons soaking up the sun and the sound of children's laughter. Nothing beats that! We visited beaches, the QCX, went rock climbing and swimming, made corn husk dolls, and wrapped up the year with a day at IPSCO playing and exploring. Best.Summer.Ever.
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Our Humble Abode
On the personal front, my partner and I sold our home and purchased a new (to us) one! It is a perfect blend of old and new without sacrificing any of the charming character. I am not generally a believer of fate, but after this whole process, I may be a convert. We have been browsing for our dream home for years. When I say that, I literally mean YEARS. Since we were in the tricky position of buying and selling, we had to be sure that there was a home we really wanted before we listed, so we could avoid being caught in a position where our condo was sold and we were forced to buy something to avoid becoming homeless. When this house came on the market, it was way over priced. But as days turned into months and the price slowly came down, our interest began to climb.

Then one day, in a whirlwind decision, we prepped our home for a sale, hired an agent, looked at the property, fell in love, listed our condo, put in an offer contingent on the sale of our home, and began the waiting game. This is where I will say my belief in fate was altered. This house was literally everything we wanted and so we were nervous about how long it would take to sell ours and the looming potential that another offer would come rolling in leaving us with no choice but to walk away. Our condo came on the market on a Wednesday and I waited all day for someone to call. That night I got my first call to show the place. Hooray! The next day I received another call. And another one. And then another! We ended up with five showings and three offers on the first day. One week later everything was done and this gem was ours. Now we wait a little more until our possession date in late September - a much less stressful wait!

While I am waiting to move, I will be busy prepping and planning for internship. Last week my coop and I participated in Internship Seminar. It was three long days spent getting to know one another and what this whole process will be about. We came up with a way that will work for our unique programs for me to gradually take over the classroom. Just having an idea of what my initial classroom duties will be has me feeling more at ease about this whole process. We are officially back to school tomorrow and I am looking forward to getting started.

I'm not sure how to describe it, but I feel as though things are really coming together. It's verging on scary how well things are falling into place. It almost has me thinking that my luck must be on the brink of running out. But until then, I will relish in the awesomeness that is my life right now!

 
 
The end of my semester has come and gone.  My final marks have all been posted and yet I still have this anxious feeling in my guts that I have something due.  I wonder when that feeling will subside and give way to the freedom that is my reality and allow me to actually enjoy my summer?  My semester proved to be fruitful in more than just a learning sense.  In fact, things almost seem too good to be true right now.  One of my instructors has moved on from her role as classroom teacher and into the role of consultant with the Ministry of Education and she generously donated all of her classroom resources to me.  I have a bajillion boxes to go through and decide what to keep and what to toss, but I am so grateful for the offering because it can be expensive for a new teacher to go out and purchase these things.  Another one of my instructors happened to also be a superintendent with the school board I am hoping to work for in January and has provided me with some advice for my internship as well as a foot in the interviewing door.  Although none of this guarantees me a job, I am feeling optimistic about my future career.  

I started work this week at the Ta-Wa-Si Recreation program.  I am working the luxurious hours of 1 - 5 and spend the better part of my day outside, engaging with most of the same children I have spent the last 6 months working with.  I enjoy that I can say, "I love my job" and mean it.  You would have to meet and get to know the children I spend my days with to get it.  They are such a cool bunch who continue to humble me with their perspectives.  I have been working to find camps and activities of interest to connect the children to so that they can take advantage of the programming that is available to them.  I thought I had a basketball camp lined up for a group of boys who love to shoot hoops and played on the school team, but some issues have come up causing us to look elsewhere. The YMCA is really great about making things work for these children so I am hopeful we can find something.  I actually have to deliver the bad news to them today that the camp we had been talking about is now a no-go.  Hopefully the fact that we are going swimming this afternoon will provide some sort of silver lining to the day, as I know they are going to be disappointed.

On a completely different note, this morning I committed myself to blogging and visiting my neglected Google Reader.  Check and check!  I had about 150 things that I had missed since I looked at it last.  I am glad I scrolled through instead of marking everything as read because I found a really neat resource that I want to share with my fellow primary teachers.  It was a post from Amanda at One Extra Degree about a resource she is selling over on TeachersPayTeachers.  I had purchased her pirate themed mapping package during my pre-internship and loved her ideas, so when I saw her dinosaur themed word-work bundle, I was equally enthusiastic to share.  The resource she has created is geared toward grade-threes, however I can see it working for my kinders in the fall.  I am envisioning a centre with buckets of sand or dirt and rakes for the children to "dig-up" their laminated popcorn or sight words.  Check it out and leave a comment about how you might use it in your classroom!  
 
 
Since beginning this class, my daily online routine has changed considerably.  Mostly in length.  I used to check both of my personal email accounts, check Facebook and then check my University account.  Then I would maybe check my online banking, but that was about it.  Now, I check both of my personal email accounts mostly looking for blog comment notifications, check my Google Reader and post feedback as necessary, check Facebook, check twitter casually note any mentions or retweets, check Google Analytics someone from Brisbane stopped by for like 3 seconds - no big deal, and then tweet/like/share my blog post from the night before.  I go through this cycle, minus the blog share and Analytics, several times a day.  I find all kinds of inspiration through my connections that I come back to throughout my day.

Tonight I was patrolling my twitter feed and came across a tweet by @davecormier, Manager of Web Communications and Innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island and Principal of Edactive Technologies.  Dean had invited Dave to drop by one of our live sessions a few weeks back, with the hopes of connecting our class with Dave's because he teaches a similarly themed course in PEI.  That is how I came to know of Dave and his tweets.  Tonight he posted a link to his son's blog who was wanting to know how people use their computers.  So I moseyed on over and discovered that Dave's blogging son is six.  And that he creates podcasts about dinosaurs because that is something he is really into.  I gave his show a listen and was totally blown away.  Just give episode three of Charlottetownosaurus a watch and you'll see why:
Oscar's enthusiasm about Mesozoic times makes my heart smile.  He is using words I don't even know and is spouting off facts like they are common knowledge.  To me, this is proof that when we teach to student interests and strengths, powerful and meaningful learning experiences will ensue.  And how about providing him the opportunity to share his expertise in an exciting way?  Who wouldn't want to host their very own show to be broadcasted on their very own blog?  Children never cease to inspire me with their capabilities! This makes me so excited to begin my internship, so I can find out what interests my little learners and plan meaningful ways to engage them in digging deeper to find out more.  So thank you, Dave, for being such an awesome dad and encouraging your son to pursue his interests.  And a big thank you to Oscar for teaching me a thing or twelve about dinosaurs!

You can check out more of Oscar's work here.
 
 
I spent a half day with my coop and the kindergartens yesterday morning and it was such a delight.  She has over 20 students in her room, which seems like a lot for kindergarten, but the routines she has established make transitions seamless.  She also has an EA in the room to assist a student who uses an iPad to communicate.  She was able to tell us what she did the night before by selecting the word/symbols she needed to create a sentence that the iPad spoke out-loud for her.  We are going to have another student next year in the Discovery Pre-School who will be getting his own iPad to use for the same thing.  I think it will be really neat to be a part of his learning experience as he figures out how to communicate with his new "voice".


Another exciting opportunity I will be participating in next semester, is the chance to help pilot a new web-based tool that is being developed to capture play based learning in the classroom.  I think five teachers in Canada are testing the program, and my coop and I will be one.  I had a quick look around at the site yesterday and some of the features it has are the ability to upload photos, videos and audio clips to the "learning story", include the names of the students involved in the observation, send the story to the involved children's parents, link the story to learning outcomes, and much, much more.  I am so excited to be a part of such an innovative program!

I am really looking forward to the upcoming semester.  Being in the classroom yesterday made me miss teaching.  I also recalled that a person cannot visit a room of kids and not come away with at least one funny story.  So, here goes.  Yesterday morning the kinders were lined up quietly in the boot room, waiting for the bell to ring for recess.  When it did, everyone went rushing outside.  A, who took off running with extra vigour, fell on the gravel just outside the door.  When I looked through the window, I saw him standing there pointing to his knee, with only one shoe on.  Immediately his friend T came running over to report.

T: "Miss S!  Miss S!  A fell and hurt himself!  He was running so fast that he fell and he blew a shoe!"

My coop and I looked at each other and laughed.  "He blew a shoe!"  Too cute!
 
 
I have had a very busy week already and it is only Tuesday.  But after my quiz tomorrow night I will finally be able to breathe a little more which will hopefully inspire more blogging because as of late, I have had nothing but presentations, exams, and papers on the brain.  On the brighter side, tomorrow morning I am meeting with my coop and hanging out with her kindergartens over at Henry Braun.  I have a really great feeling about spending my upcoming semester with her and am confident that I am going to learn so much that I will use later in my career.

On a side note, I had an interview today with the YMCA's Camp Ta-Wa-Si summer program.  I only I wish I would have found this article from The Onion earlier today so I could have prepped my handshake.