Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Science experiment of the day:
Step 1: Mix three types of liquids together (corn syrup, cooking oil and colored water)
Step 2: Drop in various objects such as a pin, grape, rock and scrap of paper

Step 3: Record what you observe

Ramblings of a future mad scientist?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sweet Saturday

Quiet farm roads
Camera ready to go
Most cooperative driver


Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, What a Day!

One word to sum up my day at school.

- Lil boys grumbling about one another.
Typical complaint: Mrs. Lai, ____ (fill in the blank with any name popular 7 years ago...Ben, Ethan, Alex) said he doesn't like me.

-Clever but impulsive lil boy tackles and holds his friend down face first, by the neck, into the dirt. Weary teacher must come up with appropriate and serious consequence plus contact Lil boy's parents.

-Screaming from the boys bathroom. Find kindergarten child in hysterics wanting to go home.

To make up for a crazy day:

My evening = smelly candles, easy reads found at the thrift store tonight for a couple dollars, and fave magazines...
a restful weekend to all...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lil Evangelist

As a follow up to the love/hate t-charts brainstormed two days ago, my kids each picked a topic to write on today.

This sweet girl chose to write about God. I tell ya... writing on subjects we are passionate about (no matter how young we are) makes for a more interesting read.

It reads:
The God story. We love God. God did a lot of miracles. He made all the things like Leila and dogs and fish and people. Good people should read the Holy Bible!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shoppaholic Teacher

Having just finished shopping at an online teacher store, I thought I'd share some of my funky finds.

These spacemen are for children to use between words when introducing finger spacing. Love it!

Martian reading fingers for tracking.

Arm yourself with band-aids, stickers, and kleenex.

This is my favorite. It would be the answer to this problem and could probably end the Boy Who Cried Wolf symptoms.
The ad reads like this:
Turn Invisible Physical Complaints Into Learning Opportunities With This Clever Pouch Of Writing Supplies.

When students come to you with one of those minor, but common, physical issues, hand them the Ouch Pouch and let them write about their injuries.

Can you guess which one I bought?

Looking to purchase any of these items? Go here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Good writing begins with good ideas and good ideas are inspired by things we feel passionate about. That was the theme of today's brainstorm. We made a t-chart of things we love and hate (dislike was a more appropriate term for lil minds).

I just now noticed the three circled words... funny.

I can't wait to read the stories that are inspired by these lists... You know, the one about the sinful pink Barbie who ate eggs and Pooh Bear.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Red + Blue = ?

I adore teaching and I especially adore teaching ART. As messy as it can be, the creativity of the kids and final products are always worth it. Today was no different. I wanted them to explore the world of primary and secondary colours so I gave them cups of blue, red and yellow water to play with. A 5 minute activity evolved into 50 minutes of pure delight and discovery as they...

experimented, dropped...


recorded... and yelped with delight with every color concocted,
"Mrs. Lai, look I made ______ (fill in blank with any random color)!

and in the end...like it always inevitably does...it becomes brown.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

One night, two weeks ago when I didn't have much to do, on a whim I submitted an appication to Delightful Blogs for this lil ole blog to be listed in their directory. I don't even remember finishing my application but today they emailed me telling me:
We're pleased to report that after spending
time checking out
***Tales of A Travelholic Teacher***
it's now live in the directory.

I've been listed in the Personal Journals

Whoopee...Does that make me more legit now?

So, go on people, rate and vote for me here.

( I went on to check the voting system earlier and accidentally voted...giving myself a 1/10. NICE!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

*Sneeze* *Cough* *Wheeze*

Well, it only took 2 weeks for the kids to get me sick. Seriously, no matter how much I wash my hands, disinfect, and make them wash their hands, I get sick a couple times a school year.
[Pharmacist BFF, any ideas?]

So, I thought I was doing fine getting through the day until one of the cute/sweet/articulate girls in my class came up to me this afternoon and said, "Mrs. Lai, you don't sound well. It's like there's a frog in your throat. I think you need to go home and get someone to do your job for the rest of the day. You just need to rest or you'll get all of us sick."

Friday, September 12, 2008

How Many More Days til Summer Vacay?

Having completed the second week of school... Here are 5 things I'm missing about summer.

1. Sleeping late, sleeping in, afternoon naps by the pool
2. Hotels = never needing to clean or make the bed


4. Family in Asia

5. Food - Ramen and Tonkatsu in Tokyo, Pad Thai and Coconut smoothies in Thailand, Everything in Singapore

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Excuses 101

I like to think I have high expectations on how my students complete their work...you know, neat printing, detailed writing & pictures, and fully colored drawings.

Lil Boy: Mrs. Lai, I'm finished. Can I hand it in?

Me: Let me see... you need to at least add more detail to your drawing and color it. You're in grade two now.

5 minutes pass....I wander around the room checking on the other kids and then go back to Lil Boy

Me: You haven't done anything since I last talked to you. You need to color the house in your picture.

Lil Boy: No, I'm not going to.

Me:(halfway to exasperation) What do you mean you're not going to?

Lil Boy: I don't need to. It's a glass house.

Me: [grrrr...I hate being outsmarted by a 6 year old]

P.S. He is NOT done his work...there's still tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Band-Aids and Loose Teeth

At times this past week I have mistakenly thought I work as a nurse and not a teacher. I'd forgotten how much 6 and 7 year olds LOVE band-aids and what it's like to have wiggly teeth.

Just today:

1 loose tooth that needed to be bagged
7 cuts that needed band-aids to soothe the tears (or whines)
1 sprained little finger that never let me hear the end of it
3 scraped knees
1 ice pack on a banged-up head

This nurse is tired.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Operation Ferrari Drop

Top secret Ferrari home

Me tailgating the Ferrari all the way downtown.

Secret Agent Lei and I tailed The Husband (in the Ferrari) downtown, where he dropped off the prized car in a top secret location and then jumped into our getaway car.

Reality: After teaching piano to our friend's children, we helped them with an errand...dropping their car off downtown for them. My imagination runneth over.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Simple Pleasures: Today

tonight's sunset from our balcony

free coffee and tea at Starbucks
(for teachers every Monday this month)

brand new smelly markers

color in any form

The Blogging World

NieNie my all time favorite blogger was in a plane crash last month and the response from the blogging world has been absolutely phenomenal and probably highly unprecedented. This article sums some of it up well and explains why so many of us were drawn to a complete stranger's charming little world.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fun and Games

The two most popular play items in this classroom.

Fun car rug that the boys gravitate to. Here's how their car play has evolved in only 3 days...
Day One: Cars are lined up nicely in parking lots and driven carefully on roads
Day Two: Boys sprawled across carpet racing cars all over the rug
Day Three: Cars amazingly begin to jump and fly around the general vicinity of rug. Cruel teacher puts an end to airborne vehicles.

On the flip side, the girls adore these Wal-Mart bought puppets. The dolly puppets have taken on a whole life of their own. Each time I walked by to sneak a peak at the little girls playing, the pretend play would abruptly cease. However, I did overhear that the dolly on the left is Hannah Montana....GREAT!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kiddy Journals

It's always interesting to see what the kids write and draw in their journals...especially at the beginning of the year. Like always some children are meticulous and the drawings better than what I can muster while others are just trying so hard to figure out how to get their thoughts on paper.

This picture made me smile. I love how she distinguished the lion "triner" by drawing the tiniest lion on his shirt.

This sweet soul was the last to finish because he was determined to draw a picture of the trimaran he rode on this summer but unfortunately his teacher had no idea what a trimaran looked like and after asking me a number of times and trying to explain to this landlubber what it looked like... he finally asked, "Can I just draw a powerboat?"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

The calm before the storm

Sacred Teacher Plan Book

D.E.A.R Time
Drop Everything And Read

Play/Bonding Time