Chapters Book Event

Poster Woodbridge 2016

I am excited to announce my upcoming reading of WORDS at Chapters Woodbridge on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Please join me from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM for children’s activities and book signing.

Lora

Kisses For My Mother

kiss_candy_box_400Mother’s Day is fast approaching and we have surely begun preparing for it in the classroom. This year we are showing Mom (or the special mother-figure in our life) how much we love her with lots of kisses in a love-filled picture frame. We sure hope this becomes a craft Mom will treasure.

 

 


Kisses For My Mother is a poem I wrote for the special occasion. I wanted students to make it somewhat their own so I left the last line blank. This is where they get to add adjectives and/or verbs that best describe their mom (if they’re up for the challenge, they can try to make it rhyme).

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Now for the craft…

Before you begin:blowingKiss 1. Take a profile picture of each student blowing a kiss into the air, head slightly tilted upwards. 2. Ask students to enlist help from family members (other than their mom) and bring in a picture of their mom for the frame.


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1.Loosely tape a heart shaped cut-out onto a white sheet of paper (thick enough for paint).

2. Using outward strokes, have students paint lines all around the heart (you may want to incorporate various colour themes – primary, secondary, warm, cool, or let student choose whatever colour scheme they like – perhaps mom’s favourite colour).

3. After the paint has dried, fill small jars with water and food colour. Using dropplers, invite students to dab the liquid onto the frame and extend the drops into line designs (curvy, jagged, parallel, striped, etc.).

4. Have students cut out various size and colour heart shapes and glue them around their frame (maintaining the heart shape in the centre).

5. Students cut and paste the poem, Kisses For My Mother, as well as their picture and a photo of their mom in the centre of the frame.

6. You may want to invite students to continue adding hearts to their frame, overlapping and creating a sense of space.

Here is a sample of the final product:

Final

To download a free copy of my poem for your personal use in the classroom, click on the kiss image below. To download a copy of the poem as a shared reading handout, click on the image of the poem at the top of the post.
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Creative Commons License
Kisses For My Mother by Lora Rozler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Happy Mother’s Day! I would love to hear your feedback and see how your crafts turned out.

Lora

Live event – WORDS Book Reading

ChaptersPosterBramptonApr24FinalJoin me at Chapters Brampton on Sunday, April 24 from 11:00 to 1:00. I’ll be reading from my picture book WORDS and then hang around for fun activities and book signing. Hope to see you there!

Lora

WORDS Reading at Indigo

IndigoPosterRichmondHillApr17FinalJoin me at Indigo Richmond Hill on Sunday, April 17 at 12 pm. I’ll be reading from my picture book WORDS and then hang around for some fun activities and book signing. Hope to see you there!

Lora

Serenity – Artists on a Limb

birds-art-wordHello everyone and welcome back to Words on Art, where we invite artists and writers to collaborate and creatively blend brush strokes with words. We would like to thank Jessica for her successful writing submission, Sweet Oranges, chosen to complement Al Gord’s painting, titled A Changing Perspective. We would love to hear your feedback on this creative blend. Feel free to share your thoughts in the reply box below. Thank you Al and Jessica.


AlGord

I watch you leave and I am helpless

For despite your plea to stop the rain

I can’t hold back the clouds.

Your boots are wet, your heart defeated

Sweet oranges leave a trail behind you.


Our next Artists on a Limb feature is one of my own works from high school (seems like forever ago). It is acrylic on canvass, titled Serenity.

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We invite you to submit poems, captions, short stories and other words to capture the essence of the art. Please send your writing to wordsonalimb@bell.net (please include Words on Art in the subject line).

Artists, if you have an art piece you would like us to consider featuring on Artists on a Limb, please email us with Art Submission in the subject line. Please note, the art must be your original work.

Looking forward,

Lora

Boredom Buster

Boredom Buster is a term my daughter recently coined for an activity I introduced her to while she was waiting for her brother to finish his lunch (I should mention that sledding was next on our agenda and so she was impatiently nudging our slow eater along). I drew a letter in her sketch pad and challenged her to turn it into a picture. Before long, her sketch pad was filled with dressed up letters. My son, who had been eagerly watching, asked to join in. With the promise of eating faster and multi-tasking efficiently, he set to the boredom buster as well (which by now was serving a different purpose entirely). Five minutes later, the lunch plate was empty but neither of them were in any rush to go sledding anymore (gotta love those moments).
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Boredom Buster or Time Filler activities are great for the classroom Image result for kids working together in schoolas well. They certainly come in handy when there are a few minutes to spare between lessons or transitions in the day. In my classroom I use these kind of activities as add-ons when students complete their work (or during indoor recesses). As a variation to dressed-up letters, you can also use numbers, punctuation marks, symbols and different kinds of lines. For the older students, a writing piece (i.e., poem, caption, etc.) can also accompany the illustrations.
What Boredom Busters do you use with your kids and students? Feel free to share.
Lora

 

Shark Tank with Recycled Products

boxThe other day, I came home with a small box of groceries. As I emptied out the box, an idea struck. Knowing kids love to make crafts (especially out of boxes) I challenged my children to think of something useful they could make out of the box. I gave them one condition – they had to agree on what they would use the box for. Excited by the venture, they set on their way, thinking and planning. I overheard them talking about what they each wanted the box to be used for (yes, you guessed it – they were not on the same page). I continued eavesdropping, pretending to be busy in the kitchen, hoping they’d soon come to a consensus. Five minutes later the arguing began and so I stepped in. My goal was for them to present their idea together, but perhaps a little friendly competition wouldn’t hurt.

For those of you who are familiar with the show Shark Tank, you know where this is going.

I asked the eager participants (then aged 4 and 8) to draw a picture of their master plan for the box and then come up with a convincing statement outlining the usefulness of their product. I suggested that next time we had a family gathering (which was the following day, so it would be quite immediate), we could have everyone act as judges and listen to their plan of action. We reviewed what they’d need to cover in the sales pitch: usefulness, durability, and of course, any cost I would incur as part of the construction (tape, paint, etc.).

With the prospect of a large audience and an exciting game plan, the sketching and designing began. Continue reading

Happy New Year!


happy_new_year_2016Words on a Limb would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year! Here’s to a year filled with abundant blessings, the greatest of health and plentiful smiles and laughter. May 2016 bring joy to our hearts, comfort to our pockets, love to our homes and peace among all nations.

May yesterday’s mistakes build brighter tomorrows – welcome 2016!

Math Card Games for the Classroom

Nothing fills the classroom with more excitement and cheer – and gives you instant celebrity status (the coolest teacher ever) faster than the declaration of Game Time!

While students see this is as a well deserved break from all their hard work, what they don’t suspect is that it’s actually a way to consolidate their learning, albeit outside the typically structured setting (but they don’t need to know that). Playing cards reinforces important math skills (number sense; number recognition, counting, adding, subtracting), social skills (taking turns, sharing, sportsmanship) and builds on children’s strategic thinking and planning. As a teacher, of course, observing my students play is the perfect opportunity to also assess their strengths and weaknesses in these areas and plan future lessons based on their needs.

So go ahead – roll up your sleeves, gather eager players, hand out the cards and let the games begin!

A few notes:

  • For the purpose of the games listed below, an ace represents the number one.
  • Unless otherwise specified, each game is played in a group of 3-4 students, but can be modified to include more or less players.
  • If you want your students to keep score, have some paper and pencils handy.
  • Remind students to shuffle the cards well before each game.

CARD GAMES FOR THE CLASSROOM

Give Me Ten

Place all the cards facing down in the centre of the table. Each player picks up 4 cards and holds them up, not revealing their cards to the other players. Four additional cards are drawn and placed in the middle as the ‘bank’ reserve. The first player tries to match one of their cards with one from the bank to add up to 10. For example, if a player holds a 6 and the bank has a 4, they collect the card and place it aside as a ten-point. They can also add up to 10 by picking up various other combinations (i.e., 6, 2, 2 or 5, 1, 4) and by using as many of their cards as possible in one turn. The aim is to make as many sets of 10 as possible. If/when the bank is ‘empty’ the current player must put down any random card from their hand and the next player continues. With each round, players continue to pick up 4 cards and aim sets of 10. A king can only pick up a king, a queen only a queen, a jack can pick up all the number cards. When no cards remain, the player with the most sets of 10 wins the game. As an alternative, instead of adding to 10, choose another number (i.e., 11, 12).

One Hundred

Each player picks up 4 cards from the deck and place them face up. Players rearrange their cards and try to create number pairs that add up to 100, or else as close as possible. For example, the cards 9, 1, 4, 5, can be arranged to create two larger numbers: 51 and 49. When added together 51 and 49 equal 100. When everyone’s ready, they should share their final numbers. Whoever is closest to 100 receives a point. Play for 10 rounds. The player with the most points at the end of the final round wins.

Memory Game

Spread the cards face down on a table in a random pattern or in a grid. Players take turns turning over two cards while all the players can see them. If they are not a matching pair, they turn them back over. The next player turns over two cards. If they are a matching pair, that player removes them from the table and keeps them, and then has another turn. When all cards have been removed from the table, each player counts up the number of cards they have collected. The player with the most matching cards wins the game. This is a great game to enhance memory and concentration skills.

Bluff

Divide all the cards equally among the players. Players may organize their cards without showing them to the others. The first player places a card face down in the centre of the table saying ace. The next player must place down a card higher up in value (i.e., number 2). The following player discards threes, and so on. Players announce their cards as they lay them. After kings have been played, aces start again. Players can discard up to four cards at a time.  Players don’t have to play the cards they announce – they can be bluffing. After each turn, any player can challenge the last player (if they believe they are lying) by saying You’re bluffing! When this happens, the challenger can look at the discarded cards. If they match what the person who played them said, the challenger picks up all cards in the discard pile and adds them to his personal pile. If the cards are not what the person said they were, the player who discarded them must pick up the entire discard pile. The player to lay down his entire hand of cards first will win the game.

Higher Up

Divide all the cards equally among the players. Cards facing down, each player turns over a card from their ‘bank’ and puts it down in the centre. When all of the players had a chance to put down a card, the player with the highest ranking card takes them all and places them aside. With each round, players continue to place down cards from their ‘bank’, until no cards remain. The player with the most cards at the end wins the game. As an alternative, the player that can make the most sets of ten wins the game (i.e., 5, 2 and 3 is one set of 10; 9 and 1 is another, a king and a king is a ten, etc.)

Crazy Eights

Each  player is dealt five cards. The rest of the deck goes facedown in a pile, with the top card turned up beside it. This is the discard pile. The player to the left of the dealer discards a card from his hand that matches either the number or suit of the top card in the discard pile. For example, if the card is a five of hearts, he could play any heart or any five. If he does not have a matching card, he continues picking up cards from the deck until he gets one that is playable. Eights are wild and can be put down on any suit. For example, an eight could be played to match a heart. The next player must match their card to the number or suit that the eight was meant to cover. Play continues with players matching the card at the top of the discard pile. The first player to use up all his cards wins. If the deck runs out before the game is over, the discard pile can be used.


To download a free copy of Card Games for the Classroom for your personal use in the classroom, click on the image below.

Happy playing,

Lora

Words Hurt! A Book Review by One Heart One Family

reading wordsI was honoured to receive a great review of my picture book, Words by Jennifer Van Huss at One Heart One Family. I am excited to share it with you. To visit her site and read the full article, click on the image at the bottom of the post.

Thank you for your kind words Jennifer!


Words hurt! Learning the importance of choosing the right words

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”

This is a great saying to help children over come bullying, unfortunately this is not always the case. Words do hurt. They change the way we view ourselves, the world around us and the situation we are in. Whether they are yelled, said sarcastically, or whispered, the impact they have goes straight to the heart. This is hard concept for children to understand.

The other day, my son injured another child by accident, but lied about it when he was asked what happened. As the questioning got more intense and lies got bigger, my son’s choice of words became harder until he hit his breaking point and yelled ” I hate you”. This is not the first time he has uttered these words (and I’m sure its not his last!) and I know he doesn’t really mean it, he is just expressing his anger, but the truth is it hurt! To help him understand the impact of his words, I shared with him “WORDS by Lora Rozler”.

Words by Lora Rozler

“As a lonely letter embarks on its greatest journey to find meaning, it discovers it is not alone. It encounters various letter combinations and soon learns the power it holds. Confronted by two distinct paths, it must make an important choice.”

I was recommended this book after a friend and I discussed her daughters problem with bullying. I had high expectations from her glowing review and wasn’t disappointed. This book was amazing. It appeals to  both children and adults alike with a powerful message explaining the effect one’s words can have. The pictures are simple and in black in white, but the message it portrays is clear and meaningful.Love or hate

I love the way the book takes you through the emotional journey of the letter “e” as he tries to decide which path he should take to his ultimate destiny. One is ‘demanding and harsh’ and the other is ‘inviting and mild’, both explore themes such as needing to belong, right vs. wrong, relationships and the power of words.  This book brought on a complex yet compelling conversation with my children about how powerful words are and the impact that making the wrong decision can have on another person.

Choose your words carefully

If you are looking for a book to help your child understand the impact of their words, WORDS by Lora Rozler is the book for you!

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