FSL 5 & 6 at GCMS

FSL 5

Last week, the students practiced speaking and reading in French through the use of learning stations. There were 5 stations in all and the tasks included:

-Lisez et dessinez (read and draw)

-Roulez une dinde (Roll a Turkey)

-Les questions Jenga (Jenga Questions) {2 of this}

-Qui est-ce?

I focused my assessment as a quick Yes/No checklist for the 3 speaking stations (Jenga and Qui eat-ce?). The students loved it and were highly engaged.

This week, we are playing le mauvais lapin. This involves the students reading the PowerPoint slides of the unit vocabulary. The students work in teams and after each slide, they have to decide if they want to continuez or arretez. If the students choose to continuez and the mauvais  lapin appears on the next slide, the team loses their points. If the team chooses to arretez and the mauvais lapin appears on the next slide, the team keeps their points. The games continues in this fashion until all of the slides are completed or the class ends, whichever comes first. The students loved it! I feel bad for my teaching colleagues that can hear the cheers and screams of excitement!

FSL 6

The students have been working on conjugating the verbs etre and avoir. Today, the students began Task #1 of their inquiry project in which they are exploring why some French holidays have spread around the world, but others have not. 

In the initial task, students will look at the holidays celebrated in France, Canada and two other French-speaking countries of their choice. Next, the students will examine the following:

-What are the similarities and differences between those lists?
-Start digging into the holidays that are shared between the two countries you researched above and those that are unique to France and Canada to find out characteristics and make inferences about why there are similarities and differences
-Generate a conclusion about why some holidays spread to other countries and some didn’t

Stay tuned for what we are up to next week!

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Two Is Easier Than 1, Most Days!!!

As the title indicates, two really has been easier than 1 for me! Having our first child turned my entire world on its head! I was not prepared for what out precious bundle of joy had planned for her mommy! The nuclear meltdowns from 5pm-10pm every night or being up every two hours at night while she was a newborn to not sleeping through the night for “real” until she was 18 months old.

Our second has been completely different. Granted he is a different baby but I also think I know more about what to expect (especially in regards to sleep because I had already been sleep deprived for 21 months when our son was born!!)

The most challenging thing is finding time to spend with each child. This is hard when you have a newborn breastfeeding every two hours and a toddler who is still a baby herself and doesn’t understand why mommy can’t come play Little People right this second. The other challenge is the change in my relationship with our daughter because it is almost like she is mad that I brought home another baby. It has taken roughly 6 weeks for her to warm up to her brother. She is really excited to show him to everyone but is not excited about sharing her mommy and daddy or her toys with him. Currently, she says share to everyone but doesn’t truly understand what sharing means. For her, it means share with her but she doesn’t have to share with anyone else!

So how do I get through everyday?
1. I wear the baby in a Moby wrap a lot! He tends to fall asleep in it which helps with his nighttime because he sleeps better if he has lots of sleep during the day.
2. When baby sleeps, I spend time with my daughter. We play in the playroom or read stories or bake.
3. When I am feeding the baby, I am in the playroom so that my daughter has things to keep her occupied. I would love to create some Busy Bags for her to change it up but I haven’t got that far yet! One day…
4. At nap time, I have baby wrapped and we all sit on the chair in my daughter’s room and read some stories then sing some songs before finally snuggling and falling asleep. (I know I am not supposed to hold her but I enjoy the cuddle time and they will only be this small once!)
5. Supper time is one of our biggest challenges because our daughter wants to be close and held so she can see what is happening. I am looking into purchasing a TULA soft-structured carrier so I can put her on my back and then have baby on the front. We’ll see how that works!
6. Cleaning and laundry require a lot of planning. I have a weekly plan of what to clean each day during nap time and what loads of clothes to wash as well. Sometimes it all gets done before my husband gets home but more often than not, the laundry is sitting in the basket either waiting to be folded or put away (my two least favourite jobs!).
7. Grocery shopping is sometimes like Mission Impossible. I either have to bring my husband and both kids with me or I go alone with one child or my husband does it at night after the kids have gone to bed. It is do-able but be prepared for it to take you at least an hour to an hours and a half by the time you get everyone loaded into the vehicle, unloaded at the store, reloaded in the vehicle, unloaded at home and the groceries brought in. There have been a few times where I have conquered this chore with both kids but it is stressful and not worth the tension headache.

Having two provides a unique set of challenges and some days are better than others but I really wouldn’t change it for anything.

What I Have Learned About Sleep

I have learned a lot about sleep (or the lack of it that you receive as a parent) from my kiddos. I have stated since my son’s birth that having two is much easier than having one and it was for me. Could it be because I know more now than I did about how baby’s sleep as compared to when my daughter was born? Possibly. Could it be that I am more relaxed the second time around? Possibly. Could it be that each baby is different? Definitely. Could it be all of the above? Yup!!!

When my daughter was born I knew that baby’s slept a lot but I never realized just how much sleep they needed. There were many, many nights when nuclear meltdowns would occur between 5pm and 10pm at night and nothing we did could console her. Daddy usually had more success getting her to sleep than I did during these meltdowns. I had no idea that you had to “teach” a baby to sleep. “Don’t they do it naturally?” Thanks to my sleep coach (yes there is such a thing and it was one of the best baby-related purchases I made!), my daughter and I successfully learned how to get her to sleep, to stay asleep and to put herself back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night. Thank goodness! It is every parents’ dream to get some sleep again at least until they become teenagers but that is a whole other blog topic!

It is 4:30am and I am awake feeding my son when what do I hear coming from the monitor? A giggle…a beautiful, boisterous giggle. I flick on the monitor’s screen and see my daughter holding her stuffed puppy. She is holding it up in the air and talking to it or holding it close and giving it a hug. I watch for a few more minutes and she has rolled over with puppy tucked under one arm, and started the process of falling asleep. I cherish these little moments watching her sleep. Getting her to sleep through the night was a long, rough road and there were many bumps along the way, (and still are!) but now she can do it and you know what? I miss the middle of the night cuddles. I miss snuggling with her. So what is my advice to others right now who are struggling with their baby not sleeping? Work on teaching them how to sleep but enjoy those middle of the night cuddles because like everything else about being a parent, there comes a day when your babe will no longer need you to help them get back to sleep and you too will miss cuddling with your baby! I am realizing just how fast the days are flying by and how much I wish I could stop or, at the very least, slow down time. Enjoy your babe while they are little because it goes by in the blink of an eye!

New Year, New Goals

As I lay here holding my 8 week old son, watching my soon-to-be 23 month old sleep via the monitor and listen to my husband’s breathing, I am thinking about all of the things that have happened to me in the last two years. I have given birth to two beautiful children; I have said goodbye to three beautiful people when Heaven called them home; I faced one of my toughest teaching assignments to date and survived and I have reconnected with an old friend, just to name a few. This has got me thinking that I know that there were so many other amazing things that have happened to me but I don’t remember them. So, I have decided that the following will make up my resolution for 2014:
1. Write one blog post a week about my life as a mommy.
2. Take one picture everyday of my two kids to watch how they grow and change.
3. Complete some projects I have on the go such as our family scrapbook for 2013, the scrapbook of my son’s first year and a scrapbook of our adventures in 2014.
4. This is probably the most important by far, to put down my device while my kids are with me and to be fully present with them!! ( I am going to try a 30 day Mommy’s Ultimate To Do List to help me accomplish this goal!!)

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Now why am I the only one that is awake? Even the pets are snoring away happily!