Life Has No Roll Over Minutes

As 2015 comes to an end- you will hear people start to say, "WOW! Where did the time go?" or "The year went so fast."  

I encourage you to reflect how LIFE HAS NO ROLL OVER MINUTES.  Every day we awake with 1 440 minutes. That means each year we have 525 600 minutes.

You have the power to control the minutes on your clock. 

You have the power to choose what you will do with your time.  
You have the power to choose who you will spend the minutes with.  

Make the most of each day. Be present. Stop to enjoy the minutes.  

Get Going!! Have a fantastic 2016. 

Dear Back to School Teacher

Dear Back to School Teacher,

I know you are frantically thinking about all the things you need to do.  
You have stopped by Dollar Tree, Walmart and Target almost daily.  
You have driven to multiple stores just to make sure you have 24 of each item.  
You have walked through the school supply aisle and admired the fresh new crayons and the awesome smelly markers.  
You have scoured through Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, and Teachers Pay Teachers looking for possible new ideas. 
You have watched many hours of Periscope hoping not to miss one important nugget you can use in your classroom.  
You have participated in Twitter chats and are ready to connect your classroom globally.  
You have spent hours spray painting, cutting, laminating, and decorating your classroom to make it look inviting.  

And although you have done all these, the most important thing you need to do has yet to happen.  

The most important thing you need to do is make sure every child feels welcome, loved, unique, safe, and supported in your room.

Relationships are the most important.  Make them feel and know they MATTER.

Have a wonderful school year!

Living Your One Word

As we have recently passed the half way point of 2015, many individuals who created New Year's Resolutions 194 days ago may have forgotten what they were or were just not able to follow through.  That is okay, and as we always say - Life Happens.

One way I have been able to continue to stay focused during the year is by printing off my one word and having it framed.  It sits in my loft area beside my computer so I look at it every day.  I also keep my PURPOSE 15 in '15 list on my phone so I can look at it regularly. 

This post is about one of the more important items on my list of 15 in '15. 

Continue to provide service of any type.  Be giving of yourself and of your time.  Volunteer when you can.  Donate.  Do RAKs.  Do whatever you can to give back. 

As many of you may remember, I had something similar on my list last year. 

Give the top 5 items needed for the food bank.

I was able to do this and even had the help of my dear friend Stacey (@StaceyLeePhotog).

This year I was able to come across another organization who was in need through a friend on Twitter.  Joveena (@milzofsmilz) posted the picture of the Summer Wish List from the YESS Organization.  I actually had never heard of the YESS organization before and am always looking for new places to donate.  I found they needed supplies to help youth through the summer months.  My own challenge for myself was to fill a backpack and drop it off. 

So I called up my dear friend Dana (@DanaAriss) and asked if she would like to join in the fun.

Dana had also seen the Bissell Centre was in need of water.  She contacted Devin Komarniski and found out how best to donate.

So, today we went on a wonderful mission.  We donated two flats of water to the Bissell Centre and dropped off a full backpack and a few more items at YESS.

I can't fully describe the powerful moments we had today.  But in my heart I knew I was living my one word.

I challenge you this summer to come up with one way you can give.  You may choose to donate or give your time.  It would be fun to think of a way to do it as a family.

I look forward to living my one word for the remainder of 2015.  So many wonderful moments ahead. 

ABC Countdown 2015

In the fall of 2010, I returned back to the classroom after being in administration for two years.  I was working full time in a grade one classroom and completing my master thesis.  In the spring of 2011, I began to think about how I wanted to end my first year of being back in the classroom.  This was the moment the ABC Countdown was created.  It was a fun and exciting way to celebrate the last 26 days of school and keep us motivated towards the end.

In June 2011, I was the only classroom in my school participating in the ABC Countdown.  Five years later it has grown to our entire Division One (9 classrooms) getting together to create an amazing experience for our students.

I look forward to the last 26 Days of School.

Zoo School

This past week my students spent an entire week at The Edmonton Valley Zoo.  This alternate learning environment was jammed packed with so many learning objectives.  Grade one is a prime age for children to learn about zoos.  Young children just have a general attachment and curiosity towards animals.

Zoo School is part of a larger program called Inquiry Minds that provides many different week-long programs around Edmonton and area.  If you live in the Edmonton area, I would strongly suggest applying to one of these site schools.  I promise, you will not be disappointed.

Here are just a few of the highlights from our amazing week.

Feeding the Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs.  They enjoyed the kale.

Students getting to pet Emelda the Ball Python

Students getting a chance to observe the Burrowing Owls

Students getting a chance to observe the Amur Tigers

Students learning about Lucy and her Five Senses

Checking out the Emerald Tree Boa

Hand Feeding the Lemurs

A large component of Zoo School and the other site schools is each student is responsible for journaling throughout the week.  Here are just a few of the journal pages from Zoo School.  


The other component of Zoo School is creating a year long project at your own school.  The project my students have been working on is the Amazing Animal Alphabet Adventure Journal.  This year my students have been learning about animals that are specific to the Edmonton Valley Zoo through non-fiction books, websites, etc.  They then create fun fact sheets and sketches of these animals.  As well as they read a fiction book where the animal is a character in the story.  At the end of this project, my students will have a complete alphabet book.


Check out the Storify of our Amazing Week!

New Blog Design and Domain Name

Ever since joining Twitter in 2013, I heard all about the importance of creating your own domain name.  At the time, I already had two blogs going and was unsure how I wanted this to look.

Over Spring Break, I read the amazing book What Connected Educators Do Differently by Whitaker, Zoul and Casas.  After reading their book, I finally decided to sit down and create a vision on how I wanted everything to look.  With the help of my amazing #cdnedchat friends (James, Dana and Bill), I talked with them about their experiences, what worked, what didn't, and bounced ideas off of them.  Then I finally took the plunge.  I created my own domain name.  With help from the very talented Barbara over at Barbara Leyne Designs we were able to work together to create the final product you see now.  She worked closely with me to help bring my ideas and desires through.

I will still continue to blog at The Candy Dish but I wanted pages to also reflect other parts of my personal and professional life.  Please take some time to check out the new pages added.

I hope you enjoy.