EDITOR’S PICK: BRAIN CANDY LIVE!

 

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From the dad jokes to the physical humour to audience participation, Adam Savage and Michael Stevens had me at the get go.  On Saturday, my big girls and I attended an engaging two-hour show completely devoted to science in Toronto.  Even the screenshots before the show began with the variations of how to show “brain candy” in different languages and pictures were fascinating. The girls were hooked by “candy” in the title. Big H kept saying, ‘I’m so excited!  This is awesome.”  As always, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts had a wonderful turnout.

Big H was accurate in her excitement because the show was awesome.  Although some of the science concepts were out of their reach, they grasped the experiments readily.   We learned about “liquid water” versus water vapour and the names of numbers with many zeroes like sextillion (16 zeroes) and octovigintillion (28 zeroes).  They did several experiments to show that our theatre air is made up of many molecules and conducted experiments with speed and sound.  We learned about us weighing roughly the same as two and a half elephants in molecules.  They blew out a gigantic  air ring that was ethereal and just amazing.

Each segment was separated by their silly dance routines (I love how self-deprecating they were).  Diagrams on the back screens helped to explain some of the scientific concepts before and during the experiments.  For us visual learners that helped a great deal.  When they discussed the weather and clouds and then created a cloud in a bottle…POOF!  They had my second grader fascinated because she actually could answer some questions like evaporation and condensation.  She understood what they were trying to show and to see her little face light up because of the familiar words…that was awesome.

From the audience, they had a volunteer named little Abigail participate (waiver in hand, lol).  She helped insert plugs from hairdryers onto a larger circular platform.  After all of them were plugged in, she sat in the seat and they sent her back and forth on the stage.  They had made a hovercraft!   That was really cool only to be made funnier because on the back screen, we saw a game of Pong complete with sound effects.  They certainly knew their target audience.

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After the break, they answered the audience’s tweets.  Some were personal questions such as how they met (they have the same agent, spoiler alert) and how they did in school.  Other questions were science based such as would water spin in different directions in different parts of the world (it does because it depends on the rotation and closeness to the equator).  I can’t stop thinking about their mice and cardboard story.  Oh my…

They introduced some juggling, but it wasn’t the idea of juggling that struck a chord with me.  I think it was how Adam kept saying he persevered no matter how bad he was at it.  He really wanted to do it so he kept at it.  I know my daughters sometimes give up on things that are challenging so hearing “don’t give up” from someone other than their parents must have been refreshing.  :).  Adam talked about how he made his own juggling clubs (my girls love to make things and lately, they’ve been into making slime) so they sat up a bit during this segment.  We saw a demo of his juggling skills and then a simple lesson on air and moving into the Bernoulli principle and the Coanda effect (excellent for my science program as flight is in the Grade 6 curriculum).  To end the show, they did a review with song.  It was a perfect ending to the double period of science class.

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Brain Candy Live was a great show and I’d highly recommend it to adults, teens, teachers, and all fans of science!  They tested everyday items and built machines that were HUGE!  Shooting hundreds of ping pong balls out on stage (mad rush of kids down the aisle followed) to emptying a roll of toilet paper in seconds, these guys captured our attention for the full two hours.  We left a little more knowledge and full of brain candy.  Sweet.

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CONTEST: BRAIN CANDY LIVE!

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   Hungry for science-based action?  Want to see if those crazy curiousities can be satisfied?  Join Adam Savage and Michael Stevens for an event that will surely blow your mind!  They will tease you with epic demonstrations that integrate imagination, humour, and surprise.  This highly interactive event will zip by because as we know, time flies when you’re having FUN!  See Savage of Mythbusters fame and Stevens of Vsauce on YouTube as they explore the world of tools, toys, and demonstrations that will surely make you go, “What?!”

     Hip Teacher Mama is proud to present a ticket giveaway for this phenomenal show.  Produced by MagicSpace Entertainment and directed by Michael Weber, who has been called a “walking Swiss Army knife”, this show will be explorative and guaranteed fun.  Weber has worked with such talent as Jack Nicholson, Edward Norton, Hugh Jackson, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Wes Craven, and more!

     This is the first time two ingenious minds will meld together for one extraordinary evening and you NEED to be there!   By popular demand, more shows have been added across North America, and The Sony Centre of the Performing Arts has them!

 

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           To enter for a set of four tickets for Saturday, November 25, 2017 for 7:30 p.m.

  1. Follow Hip Teacher Mama on Facebook, Instagram or WordPress.
  2. Like and comment on this post.  “Mythbusters or VSauce?”
  3. Tag two friends in this post.
  4.  Contest runs from Nov. 2 to 12.  Please make sure to check out the video draw on Nov 12.  Contestants please make sure I can PM you on social media.

good luck

 

 

Editor’s Pick: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

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From the first magical notes to the last glimmer of the end credits, the whole experience was magical. We saw excited Harry Potter fans dressed in Gryffindor scarves, Ravenclaw skirts, and black capes galore.  There were wands, sorting hats, and even a family in the front row who were the real-life Weasleys.  It was amazing.

Conducted by Joshua Gershen, this three-hour epic movie with a quick ten minute intermission (a bit too fast as we were still drying our hands when the warning bell chimed) was spectacular from beginning to end.  The musicians played frantically during the ominous Quidditch game as the rogue bludger chased Harry all over the pitch.  The violin and cellists played spiritly as our main character attempted to avoid imminent danger.  The musicians were wonderful at making our pulses race again when the monster was discovered in its lair.

What made the experience even more entertaining was that the audience was invited to make the whole night theirs from the very start.  We cheered for our heroes and we booed the villains.   Like TIFF, watching the movie with such a participatory feel and an involved audience made the movie even more spectacular.  Lines were just funnier than watching it at home.  We sneered at the bad guys and whooped and hollered when Harry and Ron got out of a jam.  Not a dry eye in the house when Hagrid presented himself in the large dining hall.  No doubt, the Harry Potter fans in the audience had seen the movie before, but with the whole audience so obviously charmed by the magical TSO, the undertaking was just that much more whole.

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If you want to be a part of the next experience in this Harry Potter in Concert series, please get your tickets for Prisoner of Azkaban showing May 16 to 18, 2018 at Sony Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MusiCounts: Band Aid Program

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MusiCounts is Canada’s music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Juno Awards.  They have continued the MusiCounts Band-Aid Program for 2018 which provides musical instruments to schools in need across the country whose music program could use a little enhancement.  Applications began in September and increments of $5,000 and $10,000 will be awarded to eligible schools across Canada.  Final applications are due November 20.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of MusiCounts.  This charity will distribute $720,000 in instruments to 88 music programs to schools nationwide to put instruments in the hands of children who need them most.  They recognize the need to develop and celebrate the artistic talents of our elementary and secondary students and provide the opportunities for all.  Music is for everyone!

If you are a music teacher or a teacher who wishes to apply for this special initiative, please check out their website here: MusiCounts Band Aid Program.  It is open for elementary, junior high, and secondary schools in public and separate school boards.

GIVEAWAY: KIDAPALOOZA 2017

flyerupdated     The Markham Fairgrounds have all things happening in fall it seems!  First, the upcoming fair and now, a more recent tradition called Kidapalooza brought to you by Ell Events Inc.  This is a great opportunity for you to celebrate family as it takes place over the Thanksgiving Day weekend.  I will post a full review once I visit the event myself, but I am definitely looking forward to it.  Kid-centric and with an expansion to the outdoors, I can’t wait to see all that Kidapalooza has to offer.

     Hip Teacher Mama is happy to present a Family Pack Giveaway (2 adults and 2 kids age 23 months and up).  Kids under 23 months are FREE.  To enter, simply do the following:

  1.  Like this post.  Tag friends for extra entries (1 friend = 1 entry).
  2.  Follow Hip Teacher Mama on Facebook or Instagram.
  3. Comment on “What do your kids prefer: inflatables or petting zoo?”
  4. Contests runs from September 28 to October 4, 2017.  Winner will be contacted by PM (please make sure you can get PMs on FB or IG) on October 5.

    You can also get a 25% discount with the promo code FALLFUN at www.kidapalooza.ca for a limited time.

First Week of School: DONE

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How was everyone’s first week back to school?  Did you survive or are you reading this with a glass of wine in hand?  If it’s the latter, I don’t blame you.  Coming off an amazing summer, it’s hard to get back to the 8 – 5 pm routine.  (Yes, teachers don’t just do 9-3:30pm as some stereotypes suggest).  There’s getting to work early, getting to know the kids (memorizing their student number is my challenge), planning, daily checking that work is done, and the regular set-up and clean-up.

I actually had a pleasant first week.  My kids were quiet for the first few days (did I just jinx it) and I am hoping it will continue for the rest of the year.  They are mindful of the red-yellow-green light I use for noise and keep each other quiet once they see they’ve hit the yellow zone.  (I told them they don’t want to see what happens in red.)   Shocking, as my students last year usually had two noise levels: zombie silent or NBA finals loud.  On Friday morning after math though they started to crank their way up to food court level and I needed to remind them to be quiet and respectful of everyone’s learning environment.  It worked on a few, but not all, so the same speech will be repeated come Monday.

The classroom is pretty much the same as my helpers (now in Grade 7) have pointed out.  I’ve made little tweaks here and there, but for the most part, it’s a repeat of last year.  The new students have mentioned how they like the organization of the classroom and the inspirational quotes all around.  They like the Daily Special which is their schedule for the day.  They are happy with the Student Tools section so they can borrow a ruler or pencil crayons whenever they need.  They love the Starbucks cups washroom passes.  Sadly, a couple of students have already filled in a Homework Log which shows me that I need to help them work on responsibility.  My class was the first to hand in all their emergency forms yesterday which was amazing!

We have Curriculum Night next week so I can meet the fine parents of this group.  I’m sure the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  I’ve got a bit of each this year as with every class.  Some are extremely hard workers and hard on themselves.  Some are silly and carefree.  Some need that extra attention and love.  I’m really happy with this group so far and I can’t wait to share the rest of the year with them.  Some mentioned in their journals that they were nervous about this year until they met me…eeek, that’s a lot of pressure. 🙂  Hope I can live up to their high standards and make it a great year for all.

Wishing everyone a terrific first weekend after back to school.  Go shopping, grab a bite, or simply put up your feet.  You did it!  Goooooo teachers!

 

 

Editor’s Pick: Halls Kids Vitamin C Pops and Cough and Sore Throat Pops

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    It’s that time of year!  Back to school and germs are running rampant!  I take note of every cough or sneeze in the classroom only because it reminds me to chew on some Vitamin C’s during the day that are sitting on my desk. However, at school, my girls don’t have access to it other than during snack time in the form of a clementine.  Hence, they get a treat after school and build up their immune at the same time with the new Halls Vitamin C Pops.

     I’m not a big candy person and the girls are limited to their sweet treats so when I said they could have a lollipop out of the blue, they were ecstatic!  When they tried these, they couldn’t believe how great they looked AND tasted.  Scientists say that it is too late to pop Vitamin C when you are ALREADY sick so the best thing to do is to have a good immune system to begin with.  Can I convince the girls to suck on a lollipop a few times a week?  I’m pretty sure I can.  🙂  Now the only worry is that they’ll be all too happy to get sick because they know I have the Cough and Sore Throat Pops in the cupboard.

      Wishing everyone a happy first week back.  Stay healthy!

Backpack Program: Time to Give Back(pack)

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The Backpack Program at our church is a great way for us to wrap up the end of the summer and get ready for school.  This year, I discovered that my friend participates in the program because it reminds her of a niece she lost a few years ago.  In honour of her niece, she donates a backpack for a child that would’ve been in the same grade.  We usually did the grades that Big H and Middle A were in, but this year, we followed our friend.  It seemed a bit more meaningful as we went to select all the items needed for the backpack and the backpack itself.  I had a face in mind.  There was a special little girl out there that we were doing this for.

This program ties in really well to the girls’ newest assignment, a gratitude journal.  They both wanted a BUJO (see my Bullet Journal post in the spring), but other than a Doodle Challenge and a couple of lists, they didn’t have much in it.  I thought the summer was a great time for them to reflect on their day (it is much longer now as bedtimes have pretty much gone out the door) and to think about how lucky they are.  The assignment was simple.  Think about one to two things they are grateful for without it being the generic “I am thankful for food because not everyone in the world has food.”  I wanted them to give a reason they are grateful.  Explanations are everything.

They have had a few entries and so far so good.  They are thankful for friendships because they can talk to their buddies and run around together.  They recognize the value in their godparents and godbrothers.  Today they were thankful for basketball and having parents coach them.  I hope they keep this up when school starts.  I think it’s important for kids to have an “attitude of gratitude” especially mine.  Although they don’t go home with something most times they go to the mall (I know some parents who promise their kids a treat each time), they do receive generous birthday and Christmas presents and have my in-laws who are very generous grandparents (despite many reminders to wait for special occasions).  Teaching  them to give back starts at a young age so it may be something you’d like to start with your child.

If you are interested in involving your children in the St. Patrick’s Backpack Program in Markham or perhaps a similar program in your community, now is the time.  If you are on Facebook, please contact me and I will gladly forward you some information. Backpacks are due soon so if you are interested, please contact me by Thursday, August 18.

 

AUSSIE X: OY OY OY!

Last week, our school had a special visit from Aussie X, a division of X Movement, a program geared towards school-age children to promote physical activity and positive thinking.  Through the use of sport, specifically Aussie Rules Football, the coaches engage the students through play and team building.

T-Bone (Phil) and Meatball (Cade) were the two instructors from Aussie X.  We learned that in Australia, many people go by nicknames so we called them by their nicknames during their time with us.  They were at our school for three days teaching classes from kindergarten to grade eight.  On the evening of the last day, parents were welcome to attend the lessons at the school so they could participate in the same fun activities their children did earlier during the week.

We were given a two-hour window where my students were first shown a video about footy.   After a brief introduction, Meatball asked a few questions to make sure they were listening. They discussed the basic skills and rules of Aussie football and then out we went.

The students warmed up with some simple games involving listening skills and partner work.  They danced, skipped around, acted silly, and generally, had a good time.  Afterwards, they tossed the football and learned how to kick the ball properly with their hands in proper position. One of the later games involved them aiming the balls at Meatball and myself.  Not MY favourite game 😛 however, I was lucky that the kids hadn’t perfected their kicks yet.  I left unscathed.

At the end of the session, Meatball handed out some green bracelets and taught them some Aussie high fives, which continued to solidify the friendship between him and the kids.  They liked his cheesy jokes so why not a goofy handshake.  Mix it in with some dance moves and they were hooked.  Everyone left happy and with an accent (LOL).

I had a chance to sit down with the two instructors and picked their brains about footy, X Movement, and life in Australia.

HTM: Is footy the national sport in Australia much like hockey is in Canada?

T-Bone: Yes.  It’s the Australian Football League.

Meatball: AFL.

HTM: What attracted you to the sport?

T-Bone: Everyone’s doing it.  Every town has a league.

Meatball:  You grow up around it.

HTM: Is playing professionally part of the plan for you?

T-Bone: Not for me.

Meatball: When I was younger, it was part of the plan.

T-Bone: Well, you kinda play professionally.  You get paid to play.

Meatball:  Sorta.  It’s not a lot, but yeah, I get paid.

HTM: How old are you and how long have you been playing?

T-Bone: I’m 29.  I’ve been playing since I was six.  The league here is like your little league.

Meatball: I’ve played local league and interleague which is like rep since I was 9.  I’m 20.

HTM:  Who decided to pitch this sport outside of Australia?

T-Bone: The main guy is from Australia, Emile “The Dragon” Studham.

HTM: My husband mentioned seeing this on Dragon’s Den.

Meatball: Yes!  So we were on Shark Tank too.  They came to North America and then expanded.

HTM: Was the focus more on the physical aspect or teamwork for this program?

T-Bone: It was more on the teamwork aspect where everyone is learning a new sport.  All the kids are on equal playing field so to speak.  There are always the kids who are the athletes, some are the artists, etc. Here everyone can learn to kick the ball the same.

Meatball: Footy makes them all equal.  Kids get to shine for those two hours because it’s new to everyone.

HTM: Besides the physical exercise, what do you enjoy about teaching footy to the kids?

T-Bone: Kids can just hang out.  We like the interaction, it’s fun!

Meatball: I like having impact on the kids.  Showing them how to be positive and caring to others.  It’s treating people equally.

HTM: My students wanted a class nickname.  What would you give us?

Meatball: I think something fierce.  Markham Redbacks like the spider.

HTM:  Thanks so much for your time.  Much appreciated.

T-Bone: You’re welcome.

Meatball: No problem.

For more information about Aussie X and X Movement, please check out their website.

Bullet Journal: I LOVE IT!

If you’re a teacher, chances are you love to organize and you love making lists.  Every September, I look forward to purchasing a brand new agenda for the school year.  I colour coordinate school events, personal appointments, kids’ activities and our family social calendar.  Until Christmas, my agenda has perfectly round bullets, neat check marks, and perfect stickers. By Christmas break, it’s no longer worthy of themed stickers and cute doodles.  It’s a mess.

One day, a friend mentioned bullet journaling to me and I couldn’t stop looking at all the results on Pinterest.  This entire phenomena is devoted to lists, creative designs, and jotting down memories.  I can write down future events and happenings.  I can decide my own layouts all the whole using cool new tools like washi tape and stencils.  What!  Where has BUJO been all my life?  It’s also a great place to write down things my kids do (I have a few pages devoted to each kid), wish lists, and future to-dos (a lot of it is for work for next September or for the house).

I came across this new hobby just around the time I turned 40.  Not sure if this is a midlife thing or just another new hobby, but anytime I get into something  (e.g. stamp collecting, Cricut, Instant Pot, etc.), I’m all in.  I mean, I go HARD!  I want all the tools, research all the tips, and Google all the sites – usually in a week.  LOL.

So after purchasing my bullet journal from Indigo on my birthday, within the week, I also had the fine liners, pencil crayons, stickers, and metallic markers.  I also went on the hunt for cute washi tape, correction tape, and the perfect ruler and pencil case.  I began to lay out my monthlies and weeklies, all the while keeping in mind what my friend said.  “Don’t worry if you make mistakes!  I did for the first few weeks and it’s okay.”  Clearly, she knows how Type A I am!  This BUJO not only gives me a chance to design my own layouts and pick my colour scheme for the pages (much like a scrapbook), I also have an exercise in retraining my mind and keeping my mental health in check.  It’s almost like gratitude journal, Smash Book, and agenda all rolled into one.  What fun!

Last week, we were in Niagara Falls so naturally, we hit up Target in the dollar section (my fave).  Amazing finds including mini-stamps (the Starbucks coffee cup got me), washi tape, and planner stickers.  For $3, you can’t go wrong!

Since I started, a couple of my friends are now interested in it and started to gather their materials for their own bujo.  I can’t wait to see their layouts and what other ideas they came up with.  I mostly modify inspiration I see on Pinterest to suit my needs.  Each month, I’ve switched out my weekly layouts to keep it fresh.  I’m going to have this current bujo until the end of 2017 and then get a new one for January (it’s hard – my mind has a Sept to June calendar because of work, but I also work on Jan to Dec time).  My middle child really wants one for her birthday so maybe she will get a Birthday Bujo.  It’s already in my planner.  😛