THANK YOU, TEACHERS!

 A-Big-Thank-You

      It’s the last day of school and the year flew by!  Big H is now moving onto Grade 5 while Middle A will be at the top of the Primary Division in Grade 3.  Without their awesome teachers in the classroom, they wouldn’t have enjoyed their year so much.  They both have a passion for learning and are successful because of the support and love they receive on a daily basis.  From their homeroom teachers to French to gym, they learn with enthusiasm and come home immediately to start their homework.  From a very young age they developed that habit and although I know it was instilled at home, I am keenly aware that their teachers say the same thing.   Their teachers are kind and caring and I couldn’t have asked for more in an educator.

      On this last day of school, I just want to say “THANK YOU” to the teachers, support staff, and administration at the school.  They plan so many fun activities that the kids look forward to! School IS fun and they have grown so much.  I can’t wait until September when Baby C (aka Hurricane C) joins the fun!

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One More Month

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          This time of year, it never fails. I sit back during E.Q.A.O. and think about the time I’ve had with my current class. Nine months have flown by so quickly and it’s partly because it’s been fun (nonsensical chats about YouTube videos or movies we’ve seen), but also because it’s been busy. We essentially have to cram all the math units ahead of everyone else because those skills will likely be tested. We were reviewing last week for the provincial tests we have here in Ontario. In elementary school, the Grade 3’s and 6’s feel that E.Q.A.O. (Education Quality and Accountability Office) actually stands for Evil Questions Attacking Ontario. I can’t say they are completely wrong. As much as I hope they’ve learned their equations for surface area and volume, I also hope they walk away with more.

         I hope they’ve learned that their first impression on someone matters and they hold their actions accountable. People see them at the park, mall, or classroom, and it’s natural for them to be judged. I always want a supply teacher to leave me a note about how patient or kind my class is. I want them to remember to always be respectful and polite because “please” and “thank you” go a long way. I’ll always remember the kids in here who remember to say those words each time I handed out a sheet or passed them a book (Students #21, #23, and #25, that’s YOU!) As important as writing proper sentences are, I believe that watching what you say and how to speak to others is just as vital. Will my kids remember that our custodians contribute to the school like secretaries do? Will they recognize that Educational Assistants give their all like their homeroom teachers do? Do they see these adults in the school as all loving their jobs and being committed 100%? Do they appreciate us? I hope so.

          Although I have put a huge emphasis on academics this year (“aim for Level 4” and “try your best”), it is never far from my lips that I tell them “be mindful” and “think of others first.” Being a great student is wonderful, but being an awesome human being is a life skill. Who you are is shaped by your family, friends, and environment, and I would want students to remember that having integrity and kindness is not a Grade 6 thing. I think it’s forever. (I know they also enjoy it when I tell them to “use common sense” and “you can just eyeball it.” 😛 That’s you, #4 and #9!)

          It’s been a good year. This class is full of great kids. I’ve been telling everyone that the year has been good partly because I haven’t had to spend too much time solving social problems. Less drama this year so I can focus on teaching. I’m grateful for this class and the memories we made. No doubt there will be tears on the last day (my former students know this and some tease me while others just cry along), but really, it’s because they have truly become “my kids.” I hope they know we only have 24 more school days together and I look forward to each and every one!

CONTEST: Shopkins Live!

      Shopkins Live! is finally here! The #1 kids toy in North America is live and on stage in Shopkins Live! Shop It Up!  Your beloved Shoppies make their theatrical debut in an original new live show featuring musical performances by Jessicake, Bubbleisha, PeppaMint, Rainbow Kate, Cocolette, Polli Polish and more! The fun and fashionista Shoppies are joined by the Shopkins the grocery store, themed mini collectible toys Apple Blossom, Strawberry Kiss, Lippy Lips, Kooky Cookie, Poppy Corn, Slick Breadstick and Shady Diva. An ensemble cast of multi-talented performers brings the show to life on stage through song and dance.

     All of Shopville is in a tizz as preparations get underway for the annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair”. Shady Diva showcases her latest fashion designs; Lippy Lips gives colorful advice at the nail salon; Kooky Cookie tries to get in a beauty nap! But wait — no event is complete without a few hiccups! Who has high-jinxed the fashion pageant? Where is the super-secret celebrity guest? Will Slick Breadstick ever find a dance partner? The Shopkins and Shoppies need your help for the show must go on!

     Shopkins Live!  immerses audiences in the world of Shopville using custom-designed theatrical costumes, creative onstage characters, state of the art video and set design, and original pop songs and music! Grab your besties and check out Shopkins Live! Shop It Up!

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      To win a set of 4 family tickets for the Saturday, April 28 show at 1:00pm from Hip Teacher Mama, please enter the contest April 13-21 on WordPress, Facebook, or Instagram.  Simply tell us:

  1. the name of your favourite Shopkin
  2. tag two friends

      Please make sure that you can be contacted by direct message for notification or check the site on April 22 for the video of the draw!

       For more tickets, please visit: Shopkins Live!  Shows are on April 25 and April 28, 2018.

Can I Coach?

          For the second time in the past six months, I have been asked to be a coach. A few months ago, I was asked to be a Beachbody Coach. A new friend on Facebook (a friend of a friend) said that with my lifestyle, I seemed like a good fit. I already post on social media, I like helping others, and I work out regularly. However, after giving it some thought, I didn’t think it would be fair because I wouldn’t be posting daily. I didn’t feel that would be fair to the women I would have in my group. The coach who asked me posts daily and early in the mornings.  I’m barely getting my act together with three kids and my own morning regimen.

        I would want to be there 100% which right now is already hard on some days especially with the weird winter we have been having. Between work and home and finding a few moments of “me” time, I don’t see how I could be worthy of having an accountability group. The thought of twenty women relying on me for workout inspiration or meal plans is overwhelming. Right now, I’m happy posting my food pix randomly on IG or writing about our daily adventures and challenges. The mom of three who asked me is awesome and she actually works out daily like at 5am. Ha! I hit the treadmill a few times a week to catch up on shows!   I kickbox a couple times a week. Even the videos for Beachbody are ready to go on my phone, but unfortunately on some days, I’m not. LOL.  They are amazing for when I’m cruising though and no access to Wifi (I’m NOT paying an arm and a leg for that) and the videos are already downloaded.  I know some Beachbody Coaches are in it for the Shakeology discount only, but for me, if I were to do this, I would do it for the whole culture of it all and not just for the shake discount.

           I was happy to be asked for Beachbody, but then last week, I was asked to be a kickboxing coach. WHOA! That was very unexpected, but totally flattering! What can I say? I LOVE my fitness kickboxing classes. The staff is great and the atmosphere is comfortable. My favourite coach is a real sweetheart, but all the coaches are friendly and are great at their jobs.  The all-female environment makes it a nice sanctuary and I’ve heard quite a few clients claim that they are happy they don’t have to worry about how they look or what they wear. I’ve made some new friends there as well as brought some old friends in. It is a comfy environment among peers. Just 20 women or so pounding away, dripping for 45 minutes, and then the sweet bonus of a cool towel at the end of it all. I only go twice a week (our schedule is hectic), but the endorphins seem to last forever. I wish I had more time in my schedule to coach though because I would be leading by example. Again, due to work, Big H’s basketball schedule and my husband’s time to play ball, I wouldn’t be able to set aside a weekly time to coach. I’m one of those “give it 100%” types so if I cannot coach on a regular basis, I think it is more fair not to do it. Who knows though for the future?  Definitely keeping my options open.

          For now, I’m enjoying my workouts after work, morning tv treadmill runs, and popping in a video when I have the time.  Since starting the kickboxing thing almost a year ago, I have found an improvement in strength, muscularity, and balance.  I am more conscious of my water intake and have changed fat to muscle.  I get to eat more and feel less guilty about overindulging on junk.  If you know me, that’s already a bonus!  🙂

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.

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.