Samsung Post

With a west-east migration in the works, I’m  giving this little compact device the opportunity to prove herself while I’m  still at home. I just went through and documented all of the Al Purdy poems that will be subjects for paintings in September. (Dang! I already wish I had a larger keyboard!) Anyway, there are still projects to organize, so this won’t be long. A test is all. Hmm mm now,seeing if I can attach a photograph? Something unrelated, I’m  guessing.

Alright. So it appears that I can’t up load  images taken on the device and stored in the album. I’m going to have to do something about that!

I really really like WordPress! In minutes, I was on live chat with a support person (I think they call them happiness engineers) and Jason explained how to download the WordPress  app from the Playstore. And so, I’m going to try to post a second photo, this one, from my tablet.  I’ve now got this sorted out and that’s one more accomplishment before getting on the road!

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Carli’s Classroom: An Inspiring Day

There was such soft light flowing in the classroom, when I arrived.  The students and I didn’t end up closing the blinds until the sun started pouring into the classroom, during late morning.  When I arrived, I knew it was going to be a great day.

I am passionate about teaching in the role of guest teacher.  I have only a short while with the children and I want to be the very best that I can be to influence empathy, peace and learning.  I was excited to be working in Carli’s Grade three classroom and she’s given me permission to share this post with you, in the case that you want to extend off of any of these ideas and explore some alternatives.  It’s funny that we run to Pinterest for ideas when right across the hall from us, are a whole number of masters who can mentor us and inspire us with new ‘ideas’.

To begin my morning, I read over, for myself, the posted Pedagogy for teaching.  I remembered this from another visit, but wanted to remind myself.

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The community group tables allow for easy access to materials and tools that might be needed.  There is shared responsibility for their organization and upkeep.

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Student notebooks/workbooks are stored in those little white bins on the shelves…they are stored throughout the classroom in order to avoid traffic jams.  The students know where each of their items is located.

I love love love the books and really enjoyed looking at the book, Where Children Sleep by James Mollison.  I need to get myself a copy of this.  Instead of circulating and having the children read aloud to me during our individual reading time, I had several students come to me and read from this book as I sat in a comfy chair.  It wasn’t long before one of the children came to me with a student-made book on the same topic, created last year, by the Grade twos.  I think this is a beautiful idea.

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Books can be a discovered throughout the classroom, linking up visions with concepts and making learning real and rooted in literacy.

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Students created, in science, their own Rock Museum.  They enjoy using their vocabulary.

They had done lots of research and study!

 

When students have a guest teacher, they get to wear the mantle of the expert and spill over with conversations about the things they have learned.  Our birthday girl brought in crystals and minerals for her sharing from the comfy chair.  The kids were overcome with excitement by the ‘rare’ stones.

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I appreciated the student-made posters illustrating the Rights of Every Child.  Those are three D models of the structure of the ear done in partner work…made out of modelling clay.  The students have left rocks and minerals and have begun their study of sound, hearing and the ear.  I have to say, as an adult, I had forgotten the various physiological components, but these guys could give it to me rote.  I LOVE THESE MODELS!

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I felt this cold coming on and felt a bit of a headache.  I asked the students, if later, I could try out their Peace tent.  They enthusiastically told me, YES!  I have to confess, when they went out for recess, I climbed in and just chilled, exploring their posters, their sayings and their origami paper folding.

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Math centers were tons of fun, with the kids, getting up and rotating through the four stations every 15 minutes.  This gives the students opportunity to move and to shift focus.  Awesome.  I discovered that I’m not very good with Tangrams.

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For those of my readers who follow me, you know that I enjoy engaging nature where and when I can…getting out daily, with my border collie, Max.  Well, if you can’t get out there, then try to bring bits of it inside!

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And never ever forget that you are always learning…and that it’s a treasure to others that you share what you learn.  Thank you, Carli Molnar!  Thank you, Grade Threes!

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More on Carli’s classroom HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cursive handwriting…an art of the past?

I’ve always been in awe of illuminated manuscripts and beautiful script.

JesseTree Illuminated Manuscript

stone.tifI think that cursive handwriting is an aesthetic that will be sorely missed if it goes the way of the past.  A frustration, I’m sure, for anyone who lacked fine motor skills in life; keyboarding would have been a benefit to many.  However, there’s a particular kind of nostalgia that comes with the practice of handwriting/penmanship/cursive…both positive and negative. The discussion is a current one where education is concerned.  I just thought I’d reflect on my own practice of cursive as it relates to my schooling and life.

I learned to print first, but very soon after, learned cursive.  This is a note written in 1964.  I was in grade three. (the poem…dumb!)

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In grades five and six, we were required to own an old-school fountain pen and had our own ink well stored in the top corner of our desk.  We were given lessons on how to maintain our pens, how to blot our writing as we went along and generally, how to form our letters in a very controlled manner.  I wrote many reports and stories using this tool and in looking through my little stack this afternoon, think there is something very beautiful about the predictable text.

 

??????????In University, I didn’t have access to a typewriter for the first couple of years and so I wrote out my papers in a sort of calligraphy.  I always felt slightly at a disadvantage to people who had more money.  I understand how students feel when they don’t have access to computers at home.

??????????When I boarded with Larry and Nina in the city,  I used Nina’s typewriter.  What a world of difference that made!  When I am a guest teacher with students in today’s schools, they always marvel at my stories about learning keyboarding on a typewriter…how they were used…changing ribbons…back spacing and making corrections.  These are stories of a not-so-distant past.

??????????At some point, my non-slanted cursive became slanted.  I don’t know what that’s about?  It felt like it was somehow aligned with the moment when I took my maiden name back.  At this point, text became a part of my art and even appeared on my walls.

P1050785Christmas Card 2Mueller Art Folder 012I think that cursive handwriting carries a great deal of our personality and when I receive cards or letters in the post, I immediately recognize and respond to the writing on the front of the envelope.  My heart still skips a beat when I encounter a note or something written inside the front cover of a book and the script is in my mother’s handwriting.

Cursive is beautiful.  I hope that it isn’t lost to us.

Mom's writing

 

Whoever said…

“Social media is our ruination.”

Think again.

I was blessed some time ago to receive a private message from a student who is now grown up and wears a beard…someone who has lived some life.  I hadn’t heard a word from him for years, but these words, like magic, appeared.  If these were the last words I was to read on this earth, I would be blessed enough.  But, it seems that again and again, I am graced by these experiences.  And it is, I’m certain, because I live in a time when the words can be communicated.  I know how grateful I remain, as a 59 year old woman, for my teachers.

This is what he said…

“Ms. Moors, I wanted to send you a message saying thank you for all of the lessons and knowledge that you passed on to me. I started classes in Lethbridge this fall and I still use the “outline” for essays and papers that you taught me in grade 9. That has helped me so much and I can only imagine that it will continue to assist me throughout my life. You also facilitated a love of reading in me and I can not express my appreciation to you for that. I hope all is well with you and that you are healthy and happy. Thank you again for everything.”

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The Barr Brothers: Even the Darkness Has Arms

I was holding my breath

When the tightrope walker slipped into the moon glow
Saying all my children, follow me
MAYBE IT’S TIME TO GO

You can be cruel when you’re wise
You can be wise when you’re blue
And baby, if I have
Then I have for you

Bribing the jury to keep me in jail
Singing tea for the tiller man
And although I lie fantastically
This woman knows of my history
IT’S A MIRACLE I CAN SEE

You can be wrong when you’re right
Even when you’re right on cue
And if I die tonight
Then I die for you

All I know is they call me son
Great grandson and grandson
Great uncles and some relatives
That judge what I have done

Gonna make it right by you
Even if it’s all I do
And if it’s all I do
Then I do it for you

People have raised a whole lotta hell
About the water in the windmill
And although I stab chaotically
IT HURTS NO ONE BUT ME

EVEN THE DARKNESS HAS ARMS
But they ain’t got you
And baby, I have it
And I have you, too

 

 

Busy Bees!

I showed the grade four students a couple of Youtube videos about the essential nature of bees to our agriculture.

We talked about the differences between the physical traits of wasps and bees.  We talked about the differences between caricature and realism, along with some examples.

bee KathbeeThe students were dealing with lines of symmetry in math, so I decided to have them choose an imaginary line of symmetry and to create two different compositions, without crossing that line.  I also thought that by creating a sort of frame, we would avoid desk clean-up at the end of day.  I think that the students produced some amazing pieces.  After that, they wrote a poetic/informational or descriptive piece containing things they had learned about bees, honey production or collapse of hives.  Once they peer edited with a friend, they recreated their writings on bright yellow paper.

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Love Art in Calgary: Axis Contemporary Art and The Kite Unfurls!

Director, Rob Mabee, is warm, good humoured and smart!  Stepping into the intimate world of Axis Contemporary Art Gallery is like stepping into a place of discovery.  Welcome to explore and ask questions, a person can always learn things from Rob.  As Art Central winds down in its vibrant life and its unique vision, Axis continues to open its doors and educate the public.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to share in another unique opportunity for the sake of loving art!  Thanks, Rob.

On this visit, there were a couple of things I really noticed and enjoyed.  Norah Borden’s piece, The Kite Unfurls was beautiful!  I captured a quick photo of my friend, Lauraine, in front of the piece…for me both the art and the person describe the very same thing.  Tell me if I’m wrong.

P1120952The thing is…on a Love Art in Calgary Tour, we stop midway through the tour and enjoy a lovely lunch together and given that friend, Jennifer, was not there to enjoy a La Fleur, Lauraine stepped in and shared in a celebratory martini with me at Murrieta’s this time around.  Wendy Lees strategically plans the order of our day so that we can walk to the next location.  And this weekend in Calgary, the weather was extraordinary!

P1120916Back to the art…

I enjoyed learning about Lisa Brawn’s work…her technique and subject matter.  As Rob talked about her prolific practice and the pleasure she has in carving, I felt I understood and appreciated the act of making art, through her experience.  I encourage my readers to spend some time exploring her website and reading Lisa’s blog!  Some very ‘yummy’ projects and inspirations are archived there.

P1120924Of course, I am always drawn to one painting in particular when I check out the ‘stuff’ at Axis…that being a painting by Audrey Mabee.  Conversation with Diva  is both full of fun and vibrant with colour.  I like both!

P1120922We were blessed with this time together…rich…full of conversation…and saturated with wonderful art!

P1120937The Kite Unfurls!  A tremendous celebration of art and human interest!

 

A Potted Plant: The Story of a Boy Who Grows Up to Be a Man

Lily

I received a four-inch potted plant in full bloom at the end of that particular school year.  It was so long ago that the exact year escapes me, but the photograph captures the very same plant as it appeared in early spring of this year.  The boy who gave it to me also gave me a great big hug and the words, “Thank you for teaching me.”  I brought it home and planted it in my garden and said that every spring when it bloomed I would remember the young man.

I have moved four different times since receiving this plant and I have dug it up each time, fretting that perhaps the next move would be its demise.  Instead, it got stronger and thicker and more brilliant every year.  Some summers I would be in awe of its absolute glory and I would think of and remember and pray for the boy who gave it to me on the last day of school one year many years ago.

What becomes of a boy?  He joined the army as a reservist and at the same time, completed a Bachelor of History degree.  He completed a UN Tour in the Golan Heights, with a six month tour in Afghanistan out of Kandahar Airfield.   He took a commission as an officer in Intelligence.  At the age of twenty-three, he grew into his ‘authentic skin’ and in doing so, learned that life is about hard work and knocks and that there IS love in the world for EVERYONE!

One of the lowest saddest times of his life was losing his step dad this past year.  He misses and will miss forever, the man he called his Dad.

Through it all, has been the ‘magic’.  He has seen the Mall of the Emerites in Dubai.  He has done a pilgramage to Jerusalem.  He has gone swimming in the Mediterranian.  He has walked through a Bronze Age city in Syria.  He has been to Damascus and Aleppo.  He has visited the Tate Modern and the British National Museum in London.  He has seen Gustave Klimt’s The Kiss in Vienna and walked through the forum in Rome.  He has thrown five cents into the Trevi Fountain.  He has chased sheep on the Hill of Tara in Ireland.  He has driven the same highway as I have this summer, Calgary to Montreal over and over again.  He thinks, as I do, that one of the most beautiful places in the world is Waterton Lakes National Park.

As teachers begin their next school year…and as students congregate to read their class lists,  it’s important to remember that these young boys and girls grow to be men and ladies.  Education and learning is a very magical enterprise, the rituals of autumn!  This thirty-two year old man has made me very proud and I will continue to remember him each spring when the lily blooms.