As promised, here are the resources to accompany this morning's closing keynote: "Asking Big Questions: Using Rich Mentor Texts to Communicate About Social Justice". Yes, it's a mouthful, but we managed to get through it in the allotted hour and 15 mins, didn't we?!
Thanks for being such an amazing group of colleagues; I sure enjoyed spending the past three days together. Coast to coast, Canada's sure got some great teachers, eh?
The more things change....
Thanks to Tom Hilton, who shared his thesis work on LGBTQ youth on PEI at the CONTACT conference at this morning's session, for tuning me in to this video. It was developed by www.YouthforHumanRights.org, and gives an excellent overview of the concept of Human Rights, as well as a little history lesson on the same. Worth the 9 minutes of your time....
One of the sessions at this morning's CONTACT conference in Ch'town, PEI, put forth the idea that Differentiated Instruction might better be named Responsive Teaching since, really, the idea was for the teacher to respond to the needs of the individual and groups of students in her class.
I applaud the idea, and hereby pronounce this afternoon's tech session at Beanz Roastery an example of "responsive blogging", tee hee! I need to do some online work, and the boys wanted to grab a home-made green tea lemonade and a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie. So, rather than 'blog' (type) at home, where we have no internet, I picked Simon and Alex up after Art Camp at the Confed Ctr, and headed over to make use of the free wifi and get a (not free, sadly) cookie and lemonade to share while we satiated our collective appetites for connectivity!
Came across a fridge, YES a FRIDGE, full of books the other day en route to the massage therapist's... on top of the fridge was a sign inviting folks to leave commentary as they left or took a book.
The boys had a look through... nothing poked them in the eye, but they were very impressed with the concept, as was I!
(Seriously, a FRIDGE!!!)
As Trevor and I stood in the garage this morning, surveying our riches, so to speak, we began to discuss the “big ticket items” that were upcoming. We both agreed, for example, that in the next 12 months, we’d have to re-investigate the seal on the garage door to deal with any new water leaks. It would also be prudent, we decided, to have the septic system drained, as it had been a few years since the last “service”. Ditto for water testing, just as a precaution. And the deck would also need re-staining soon.
As we approached the end of our discussions, we pressed the button to lower the electric garage door. It would not close, but rather, stopped two thirds of the way down, and then opened again. We pressed the button again. Same response. On the third try, the arm at the top of the garage snapped off, and the door fell shut.
So much for draining the septic system this year. The garage door just got moved to the top of the list!!!
But the boys had other priorities… since my arrival, they’d been pestering me almost incessantly about taking them to the PEI Toy Factory, a store on the Island that specialises in handcrafted, wooden and fantasy toys. Alex and Simon were eager to add to their pirate ship collection, and insisted I drive them to New Glasgow to visit said toy shop right NOW, today, Mom!
Since it was a dark and dreary day, and we had already played a game, read a book, watched a movie, gone to the physiotherapist for dad’s appt in Morell, done some banking and visited the post office, we decided to head out in the car after lunch to the toy store.
The drive turned out to be a lovely adventure. We took the scenic route, driving along the north shore and Brackley Beach, and stopping for some squares and home-made potato salad at the North Rustico Bakery on the way. After the mandatory visit to the toy store (the boys came away with a new figure each for their pirate play sets), we spent some time at the nearby preserves factory and tea house, where we picked up three delicious trial sized flavours of jam.
It was getting to be time to head home with our bounty, and once we arrived back in our little corner of the island, we ate a simple dinner at the kitchen counter, looking out over the harbour towards Greenwich. Afterwards, I decided to head out to the beach for my first visit to the ocean since my arrival.
As I wandered off down the red dirt path to the water, it occurred to me that this was the first time I had walked this path since the passing of the late, great Jazz Bird. It was strange to walk at my own pace, without that beagle beside me with his tail in the air, sniffing about expectantly and enthusiastically pulling me ever closer to the salty water with all its fine ocean treasures. No crunching of crab leftovers this time, no sniffing of dead fish. Very strange indeed. But nevertheless, a rewarding walk. (And I have to confess I am enjoying the reduced stress at home now that Jasper is not there to claw constantly at the garbage and recycling cans, or jump up onto the counter to steal our food all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved our Birdy, but he sure could be a pain in the ass!!)
I stood by the water’s edge for a long time, looking out into the distance along the sandy shore, to where the old St Pete’s Lighthouse stood amongst the dunes to the west of our beach. And I remembered a bit of news Trevor had passed along earlier in the day, that apparently the light house is for sale! I wondered how the landscape would change once that staple was removed from the vista.
Eventually, I trudged through the sand, then the grass and along the red dirt road home again. The boys were just coming out of the tub, ready for the nightly Uno tournament which had become a recent pre-bedtime routine out here in PEI.
As we sat throwing our cards enthusiastically onto the pile in the middle of the table, I though what a blessing it is to be able to partake on such a regular basis in this national treasure that is Prince Edward Island, Canada!
You know you’ve arrived in heaven on earth when -- rather than being greeted by the drilling and hammering of the parking lot outside your apartment in the city -- the only sounds of the morning are the songs of the birds and the distant roar of the ocean waves lapping against the shore!
It is soooo good to finally be enveloped in peace and quiet!!!
Saw a foxy fox last night on my way out of town... he stood by the side of the road, two carrots he had doubtless stolen in his mouth, and waited with twitching, pointy ears for the cars to pass so that he could cross to the other side to enjoy his spoils in the peace and protection of his PEI countryside den.
I, meanwhile, drove home with my spoils, and was greeted enthusiastically by two little blond boys who were still awake and waiting for their Mommy! We unpacked endless suitcases and bags of groceries, and I tucked them into their beds before collapsing tired but happy in my own.
The open skies and continual green were my breakfast this morning, supplemented by some home made waffles, berries and whipping cream.
Good to be "home" for the summer!
My final night here before heading off to PEI for the rest of the summer... and we saw a bike being stolen (and recovered!), a neighbour walking her dog, another neighbour writing a novel, swimming, duck-chasing doggies and... a heron catching fish!
Two more days until I am finally in PEI again!!! But, unfortunately, my quest for QUIET (after 3 weeks of noisy airplanes and revelers at the apartment I was renting while finishing my PPL downtown, followed by daily 6 a.m. start construction on the parking lot outside our house in Mimico) looks like a pipe dream: According to some photos Trevor and the boys sent me last night, the people who bought the lot next to ours in PEI have started construction on their home there!!! Nevertheless, the beach and lighthouse are a peaceful walk away from any construction noise. I am eagerly anticipating my arrival!
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera turned her written attention to prolific blogging for some years, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and SMARTbansho . Homeschooling 4 was her travel blog in Argentina. She now spends more time on her Instagram (@schalgzeug_usw) than her blog (pictures are worth a thousand words?!) Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
The views expressed on this blog are the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the perspectives of her family members or the position of her employer on the the issues she blogs about. These posts are intended to share resources, document family life, and encourage critical thought on a variety of subjects. They are not intended to cause harm to any individual or member of any group. By reading this blog and viewing this site, you agree to not hold Vera liable for any harm done by views expressed in this blog.