Valentine’s Day Activity

A school is a place to celebrate any holiday we can get our hands on.  Valentine’s Day lends itself to delving deeply into caring for others and being loved ourselves.  Today I worked with my class on understanding Lyric Poems.  These are poems that have strong rhyming patterns and have a song-like quality.  The poem tells about the feelings and emotions of the author, rather than tell a story.

You have probably guessed by now that the theme for our Lyric Poems was love and caring.  I taught my students the basic rules for the poem and we shared a couple of sonnets by William Shakespeare, for example,

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.”

Once the children had an understanding of the genre, they wrote some drafts and we tweaked and revised until we had something resembling the goal.  For some, this came surprising quickly, others may get there eventually.  I reiterated several times the importance of demonstrating our feelings about caring for or about others rather than the longings of love an angst ridden teenager might feel.  To celebrate our feelings about love and caring, we created a picture on which to present part or all of our poems.  The idea was to create  Art with a Heart!!

Inspired by a Pinterest picture, I wanted the children to create a piece art that could be framed.  I loved the idea of the hand, the child’s own, becoming the stem or trunk, and the hearts being the petals or leaves.  I let the children take charge of how they wanted to present their picture and the poem.  Some curled the words around the hand, others wrote inside the hearts.  Each piece was a unique gift for the family with treasured feelings straight from the heart!

My original inspiration:

Click for Original Source

Organizing For the New Year

Source: via Gems113  on Pininterst.

Thinking about the New Year, I am plotting a redesign of my entryway. I have a relatively large space which gets overrun with bags, shoes and jackets.  Then, to add to the mayhem, I have random toys, mail and keys to deal with.  I do have a lovely Pottery Barn pin-board with hooks…but it just doesn’t cut it.  There is mess everywhere.  Okay, I admit I do have to train the troops better…they are all slobs!

I rather like the idea pictured above.  The backpack issue would be resolved, and there are baskets for all the junk that accumulates on my tiny table near the door.  Some adaptations to the bench would mean I could have a station for shoes also.  The height is perfect for Peanut and Button….no excuses about not being able to reach!  To top it off (sorry for the pun) the shelf on top is perfect for me to add a little of my taste with a display for the season (I do like to change things up between summer and winter).

Of course I have the hardest job to do first – getting Hubby to change the paint color as I really dislike the one we just put on…you know, the one I chose…wish me luck!

Christmas Binge!

Christmas gifts.

Having danced in public on stage, enjoyed a few weeks of well-fitting clothes, and generally satisfied that I looked pretty good, I did it again:  I blew it all over Christmas!  Why did I do this?  What was I thinking?  Why don’t my tight jeans fit anymore?  Was it worth it?

To be honest, it was worth it…provided I can get back to where I was soon.  And, as far as why I seemed to let it all go?  Well, there are a million reasons for that.  Work has been more stressful than I can ever remember of late.  The students are lovely, I love teaching, but the changes being put in place often make me feel like the powers that be had severe ADD and can’t make up their mind what they want us to do.  On top of that, there are family members with ill-health, and then there is the general craziness of Christmas…no need to go into THAT!

Being a working mommy who is a teacher does give me one fabulous perk….a week off to enjoy the kids!  (My kids, that is.)  Christmas Eve was a blur of getting things ready, doing ALL the food shopping for Christmas, wrapping most of the ridiculous amount of stuff Santa was bringing, going to a friend’s house for Chanukah, and baking cookies for Santa with Button (Peanut wanted to stay late at the party)!

English: Christmas sweets in Poland

Christmas Day was a joyous festival of the oohs! and ahhs!  Of gift opening, roasting and glazing, and family cheer.  I was a happy mommy, my family was happy, and we had fun.  Tired but happy, we wished everyone a Merry Christmas and waved them off until we get together in the new year.

So I rushed around, laughed, played and had fun….I also ate WAY too much chocolate, cake, tiramisu, and roast lamb with mashed potatoes filled with Stilton!

The jeans can take a break,  I am ready to enjoy the rest of the week: visiting the city to show the boys the tree and lights, seeing TinTin at the movies, and probably eating way too much of things one only indulges in over Christmas and New Year !  Yippee!!!