Wednesday, 24 August 2011


I was recently reading a book in which there were several spelling mistakes.  How does this happen?  Editors are paid good money to catch various errors that, for one reason or another, the author had missed.  Admittedly, I make errors, too, but when you're paid to catch them, there's no reason for them to be in published works.  This book was good - not excellent, but good.  The thing that knocked it down a notch was the fact that there were SO MANY errors; there were at least 8.  I'm reading another book by the same author right now, and am barely a quarter of the way through it.  Already, I've caught a few errors (spelling, punctuation, grammatical).  If I can catch them, why can the editors not?  I find it very distracting, and takes away from my enjoyment of the story.  If I didn't like the characters and stories in this series so much, I would likely stop reading the books... but alas, they're vampires, werewolves, and other creatures that go bump in the night, so I am unable to shelve them :)

Sunday, 21 August 2011


I've read about mandalas, but I didn't really have the guts to try them. The circular designs intimidated me, because I figured I couldn't draw them - I, of course, didn't think of using them as templates because I thought it was kind of like cheating.  I was in the States a couple of weeks ago, and was in a Borders Bookstore that was going out of business.  I got a book (The Mandala Colouring Book) that was full of over 150 blank, ready-to-fill-in mandalas for $4.  With the acquisition of my new printer/copier/scanner, I was able to copy a couple of these blackline masters & use them to play with.  I still have the original blanks, so that I can photocopy them for my students.

Within the last few hours, I've completed 2 of these mandala-tangles. And I kind of love them and want to do more.  They turned out beautifully!  The nice thing is, with the design already established, there's still flexibility in the design. Lines can be added with ease, and patterns can overlap the existing lines if necessary.  I've found that they take a great deal of time to complete, but they're definitely worth it.

I'm planning to have copies of the templates available in my classroom.  I want my students to have the opportunity of picking them up at any time to experiment and play and draw. They encourage patterning, rotational symmetry, repetition, movement, and various other elements and principles of art.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Over the last month, I've been lucky enough to learn about Zentangle.  I've enjoyed this pastime immensely, and as the summer draws to an end, I'm looking for ways to use it in my classroom. 
This year, my grade 8 class is full of boys (19 boys, 9 girls - I'm sorely outnumbered!!) - not that that's a bad thing! - and I am always looking for good ways to settle my students and mentally prepare them for their lessons.  I'm thinking that tangling might be a good way to do this.  With some relaxing music, I'm hoping to allow them to open their minds and ready themselves for the day.  I can't wait to test it out!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

My first post

Hello there!  If you're joining me, welcome :)  I've never done a blog before, so I'm excited to have the chance to share my thoughts and to have discussions on a wide variety of topics.  Thanks for visiting!