Saturday, 31 October 2009
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The first memories I have of the library were around age 7. I remember going into town in our truck. We'd stop at the library and get a bunch of books. I'd sit in the truck in the backseat, crouched down, surrounded by books, and read while my mom did errands (she must have hauled my younger siblings along with her....I don't recall them at all on those days! I must have been lost in my own world of books!) Then at the end of the day of errands we'd stop at the library again, return those books, and get some more.
When we were first married and very poor the library was a great source of entertainment.
We're still not rich - and we still love the library!
I love surfing the web and finding great books to read - and having the library gather them up for me so I can just run in and grab them and go when I don't have hours to spend there.
I love the libraries that have made sunny corners and installed fireplaces where I can sit and read in comfort. All I need is a hot mug of steamed milk!
Oh wait!! I love how the downtown library has a place where you CAN buy steamed milk (okay...that's a lie...I used to love that. I wished that Good Earth would come back! Whatever happened??!)
I love being able to check out a book for FREE to see if it is worth buying.
I love being able to borrow DVDs (sorry Blockbuster! I have no idea how you're making it now that the library has such an expanded selection!)
I love books on CD.
I love the library programs. I LOVE the library programs.
I'm always surprised when I run into people that don't love the library like I love the library. I often feel like I should take them there and help them realize the things they're missing out on. However, I've learned to not say much. Some people think I'm a nerd when I get on my evangelical rant about libraries.
I do love the library. Our library charges $12 a year for the priviledge of borrowing. It's the best $12 I spend all year!
Monday, 19 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
I always hope the snow will hold out until at least Halloween. Not the case this year! We had a big dump...and the kids are loving it!
I've rarely seen kids have such a good time waiting for the bus as at our bus stop this morning. We've got quite a few kids at our bus stop anyway and this morning we had a few extras as their bus didn't show up. The kids were playing and hooping and hollering so much that they even woke up the grumpy Asian lady that lives in the house by the bus stop. She came out and scowled at us. Oops! It's really got to suck having a bus stop right in front of her house. I think we might need to take her some cookies (maybe fortune cookies!)
We have a girl gang in our neighborhood. This summer a family of three little girls moved in and Peirce has had a great time playing with them. He calls them the girl gang. On the way home from school Peirce noticed the girl gang was playing in the snow so he decided to ditch me and hang out with them. I went home and got things ready for dinner and for swimming and then picked him up when it was time to take off for swimming. He had such a good time! Peirce is always much more loving and appreciative when he gets to do things like that. When I picked him up he said, "Thanks for picking me up for swimming mom. That was so fun! We were building a secret tunnel to get to the inner chambers of the earth....." and he went on and on and on and on. When we were almost the pool (which is about 10 minutes away on a really bad traffic day) he finally took a breath and then said, "What do you think the girls are doing now?"
Kids are so entertaining. I love it.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
This all led perfectly into the scripture for this month:
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
The principal sent an email asking how I'd respond to someone that might complain that we're doing English books rather than French - since it's a French Immersion program. I've thought about that a lot actually. Here's what I would respond. I told the principal to feel free to forward my email on to any parent that might be concerned.
One of the books we're going to give as a suggestion actually has quite a bit of French influence in it. It's set in Paris. The other two don't. We didn't pick The Invention of Hugo Cabret because of the French....it's just a great book that I think kids will love that happens to have some French influence in it. Really, that's neither here nor there...just interesting.
Here's the reasoning I've had go through my head:
1. This is an extra curricular activity. Participation is not required by anyone. While we'd like to think our kids all speak French out on the playground or in the lunchroom, I know they don't. And this will be a lunch time activity. The nice thing about this is that kids will volunteer to attend, they'll provide the meat of the discussions, and they'll choose the books. My experience has always been that learning is improved when it is more self-directed - and this will be a great opportunity for that.
2. The club was initiated by a parent. Since French Immersion is desiganed to accomodate families where the parents don't necessarily speak French.....them's the breaks. Simply due to the area we live in it's difficult to maintain a total French environment for Highwood. We have plenty of employees in the school that don't speak French. However, if a French-speaking parent wanted to participate I'd be happy to share the opportunity and work together. It would be fun actually!
I'm simply a parent that loves kids books, and enjoyes discussing them with kids, and really sees the value in helping kids love reading. Our world is quickly evolving and it's becoming more and more apparent that in order to keep up one must really have the ability to learn. Reading is key to learning about everything from new technology, health problems, consumer protection, science, or the arts, and on to research required to write dissertations....it all depends on the ability to read, digest the information and discuss it. A book club is a great opportunity to get experience climbing up Bloom's taxonomy to higher orders of thinking. And the more children read the better they will become at reading. It's just as simple as that.
3. English and French reading skills are very transferable. Kids benefit by reading in any language and doesn't everyone want their kid to love reading? We're just trying to foster a love of reading.
There's research to show that the skills are very transferable. Metalinguistic awareness (the general sensitivity to language and especially to its decoding) can be acquired regardless of which languages one is exposed to. Education in French gives children a greater metalinguistic awareness. A study by Dr Ellen Bialystok (a researcher at York University who studies bilingualism and the effect of cognitive development on children...see http://www.yorku.ca/coglab/) found that bilingual children demonstrated "the potential for transfer of reading principles across the languages." In other words, bilingual children are able to take methods or insights they have gained while learning one language and apply them directly to the other, without having to recreate the process from the beginning.
My own children have demonstrated this. Neither were taught to read in English yet somehow, by learning to read in French, they "magically" were able to read in English as well.
That's probably more than any parent will want/expect though. :0) But I appreciated the opportunity to reason it all through my mind. It's unlikely that a parent would argue the benefits of helping children learn to love reading. We'll see. The notice goes home this week!
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
I have to say, I'm an enthusiast now! It was really a great time. My kids LOVED it! Here are some more pictures from our weekend:
That's one big dinosaur! Apparently he's the biggest in the world. We even crawled up inside him. Nothing like peering out at Drumheller from a dinosaur's perspective.
I wonder if this is how Jonah felt.....
I told him not to get that close!
So much for looking after his sister. Looks more like he's laughing at her plight. What a guy.
Oh...and here's something really cool from Google Maps on Odee.com!!
Dubbed the "Badlands Guardian" by locals, this geological marvel (Google Earth coordinates 50.010083,-110.113006)bears an uncanny resemblance to a human head wearing a full Native American headdress--and earphones, to boot. Of course, The Guardian was produced naturally
Saturday, 3 October 2009
These pictures are at the fossil museum. You get to dig for fossils and gems and then keep the ones you find! Loads of fun.
The kids have done a lot of climbing and swimming today. These pictures are from the fossil museum's climbing wall. They also climbed a hoo-doo near the Drumheller chapel (Well, to be more precise, it was just a hill - but we called it a hoodoo. Good thing too because we later found out you're not supposed to climb hoodoos!).
oh! And we finally figured out what a hoo doo is!
hoo·doo [ hdoo ]
noun (plural hoo·doos)
1. religion Same as voodoon (sense 2)
2. bad luck: bad luck or misfortune
3. bringer of bad luck: somebody or something believed to bring bad luck
4. oddly-shaped rock column: in the western United States and Canada, a column of rock that has been weathered into a strange shape
Hoodoo info from here:
Hoodoos take millions of years to form and stand 5 to 7 metres tall. Each hoodoo is a sandstone pillar resting on a thick base of shale that is capped by a large stone. Hoodoos are very fragile and can erode completely if their capstone is dislodged (in other words, no climbing allowed).
Where do Hoodoos get their name?The name "Hoodoo" comes from the word "voodoo" and was given to these geological formations by the Europeans. In the Blackfoot and Cree traditions, however, the Hoodoos are believed to be petrified giants who come alive at night to hurl rocks at intruders
Friday, 2 October 2009
Having it off has been so wonderful! I love having the kids visit with each other and with me, to color together, make crafts, read, etc. We just might continue this long term! (Don't tell our kids yet though)