Sunday, 22 November 2015

Gifts That Bless Our World


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Hello again friends :)

Report cards are finished, hooray!

I got stuck doing the last minute Christmas gift dash with my kids this year. I normally do all the kids presents in July when we have our massive toy sales... and our tax returns come in.

This year the plan just didn't work out. Nothing in the toy sales was actually suitable for my boys and their interests, and there a was a lot of cheap, plastic looking stuff that gave the impression it would last about a week.

So here I am, desperately trying to avoid crowded shopping centres and find great gifts my kids will love. Has anyone else noticed that for a season where we are all supposed to be more kind, joyful, loving, etc., there seems to be a lot of rude grumpy people around!? Watch a documentary about people in refugee camps in third world countries. They have NOTHING, but they are still smiling, singing, enjoying the life that they have. They inspire me.

I was talking about this and other Christmassy type things with a friend, who then shared a great gift idea. Instead of giving gifts, she donates to a charity on someone's behalf, and then gives them a card explaining the donation. I know, I know. It's not new. I haven't met anyone who had personally done it before though. It's a great idea  and got me thinking!

I was thinking... what if I could get some people who do the donation-gift thing to choose the charity I support as the recipient of their thoughtfulness?

For anyone who DOESN'T already know, the money I make from my TPT store doesn't actually come to me. Not a cent. It all goes to a fantastic charity, that I am shamelessly going to plug in a couple of sentences time. I don't normally do this, but today I am. 

Smiles For Africa is dedicated to building a boarding schools for orphans in the DRC. These are kids without a hope. Without a future.  Without us, they aren't likely to survive into adulthood.

But with us, there is hope, a future, and life. 
How?

There are heaps of ways to help Smiles for Africa! There is no minimum requirement on any of the platforms, so even if it's only $2, it counts!

Firstly, the simply very no-fuss paypal donation over here


You can also donate on the Fundrazr campaign.
I am personally matching all raised funds $1 for $1! 


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Love to help but just can't afford it right now? You can set up your own fundrazr campaign to share with your family and friends by clicking here. It's a simply offshoot of my campaign- you just click a few buttons, share with your friends and off you go!

Can't be bothered to do the 5 or so clicks it takes to set up and share?  How about just sharing this blogpost with your normal network? The more people who see this, the more likely we are to reach our goal!

Also, the Smiles for Africa website is looking a bit dull. Anyone who might be kind enough to help out by donating a nicer theme (uploadable through weebly), or some bannery-type things can email me!

ANYONE can help  make the world a bit nicer for the people who truly have nothing left to lose.

Just to get this info out of the way-  Yes, I AM the charities president. It is a volunteer position. I get absolutely nothing from the charity for being president, for the products I sell, or even for this post. Just the warm fuzzy feeling in my heart knowing that I am helping to make the world a better place.
After all, isn't that what we all want? 

We can't all be superheroes, but we can all be a small part of making a difference.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Five For Friday


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Linking up with Kacey over at doodlebugs again this week :)

I've been a negative nelly this week so I'm thinking of things that have been blessings this week.

That moment when....
that kiddo you've been trying to get assistance for all year finally enters the process for getting help. I have a little boy who has some real difficulties in just surviving the day. He requires a full time aide, has naps each day, and has had an ambulance called because he choked on a rock. Our school did have a few professionals try to do some assessments with him, but he was incapable of understanding the instructions even for a non-verbal test designed for toddlers.  This week, his parents have finally come to the understanding that this sweet possum actually needs some outside help and have started getting all those routine tests done. I am so happy that this boy can start getting the help he needs.



Weekends
Oh, how I am glad for the weekend. I have had a rough few weeks, yesterday being particularly difficult. Not Butt-lice check Friday bad (and no, I still haven't fully recovered from that!), but it was pretty hardcore crazy. It kinda feels like I had 3 weeks full of Fridays the night before Christmas.  Just INSANE energy and NO self control. Plus an outbreak of conjunctivitis. But we're still smiling.



Surprise gifts
The women in our school have a heart sister thingy we do every year. It's like secret santa, but it lasts all year long. It's really great after a hard day to find a chocolate or a card left somewhere to encourage you. It's also super fun to sneak the gifts around to your secret person. Last term I actually was really mean  super creative and created a treasure hunt for my heart sister. She had to follow the clues to go to different people in the school to find her gifts. Only problem was that the clues were in the dancing man font from the Sherlock Holmes story. She had a great time. One morning this week, whoever has been blessing me all year left a random gift on my desk. A cute box of tissues and a super sweet chalkboard (like the old fold out menu chalboards at outdoor cafes, only mini-sized). I did have to go talk to my teaching partner to find out what 'chalkee' meant though. Not quite old enough to have caught that reference. Felt a bit sheepish there.



Warranties
My phone was a bit of a lemon. It was replaced under warranty (honestly, it was a simple problem to fix. The charging socket cover didn't stay closed and therefore, wasn't waterproof). I've had the replacement for about a year. Turns out it's a lemon too. My battery can die, without any use, open apps, wifi, data, Bluetooth etc. by lunch time on most days. It's at 100% when I leave home in the morning, and at lunch time it's either dead or about to die. Today it was at 70% by the time I actually got to work. Discovered today that it's still actually under warranty as it's a 2 year warranty! Hooray! Taking it in tomorrow to be fixed or replaced... but I will be without a phone for a week or two.



The most amazing kids ever
Not even bragging. My boys are the BEST.
This week between the two of them they've been making my coffee every morning. Sometimes breakfast. Most days packing my lunch. Making me a coffee when I get to school. Sometimes after school too. And dinner.
They are 8 and 9.
Yes, I do really have the most amazing kids on the planet :)

Mr 9 and Mr 8. Total Awesomeness.

What a way to look after mum, just because they can.
 I can overlook Mr 8's strange style of 'clean' in his bedroom for that.


Mr 9's room
Mr 8's room




Unfortunately, that wasn't like a week of play. That happened in 2 hours. TWO. HOURS.
 
 
Looking forward to hearing all about your week in the comments below!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

New Bundle!

My little guys have been working hard the past few weeks on their long vowel sounds, but there is a lot of variation in their abilities!

My higher flying friends are working on our silent e syllables and somewhat surprisingly, can accurately use the term 'split digraph' when talking about this. I don't know why it surprises me. They do it every year, and every year I'm stunned. Don't underestimate what they can do! Someone once told me that if they can identify and pronounce Tyrannosaurus Rex, they can do it with anything.

My middle guys are trying.. but they are still getting baffled between the ai and ay spelling choices and frequently use them in the wrong places.. so we are backstepping a little bit and refocussing on the spelling choices without the silent e factor.

And then my hardworking strugglers are still battling with hearing and identifying sounds, so there is no way they are up to this!

So what to do?

I have made a few sets of picture sorts and write the room activities to go along with these guys current ability levels. You can check them out here!




We really are working quickly and it feels like we are all over the place... Christmas coming, all the arts and craft that go along with that, assessment, addition and subtraction, and some pretty intense phonics for Prep!

I do love this part of the year though. We have such high expectations that they actually exceed the curriculum. When it comes time for report cards, we actually find our guys do REALLY well, which is nice after a week or so of panicking!

If you don't aim higher, they wont work higher :)
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