Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 87 - Monochrome Polar Bear

Today's assignment was to make a black and white photograph and go monochrome. I was 'bearly' able to complete this assignment today. After searching around the house for possibilities I spied this fellow on the shelf in the office. I like the speckles in the stone and the smoothness of the surface.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 86 - Birthday Blooms

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, we had a birthday supper with our godchildren and their parents last night. To celebrate the occasion, they brought flowers for Peg. They were very special flowers because 'E' picked them out. Although his mother tried to convince him otherwise, he insisted that they get blue ones. Along with the bright blue flowers were beautiful gerbers, roses and astromeria. I snapped this pic this afternoon. I like the contrast between the orange and the blue. I tried playing with some presets but I wasn't patient enough to create something I liked. Guess it'll have to wait until next time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 85 - Birthday Candles

Peg's birthday is tomorrow but we celebrated it this evening with two of our godchildren and their parents. We had yummy lobster (Well, I actually had cod.), a delicious spinach salad, french bread and of course birthday cake. It was no ordinary birthday cake. It was a Dairy Queen ice cream cake with crayon candles. Peg wasn't too excited about having candles but 'E', our godson, insisted. He helped me put the 8 candles (no significance to the number) on the cake and then assisted in the extinguishing. Of course as godmoms we felt it necessary to teach him how to lick off the candles and stick his finger in the icing to make sure it's safe.

Day 84 - Algonquin Village

The Grade 3 class next door to us has been studying the Algonquin Tribe. They have learned a lot about their housing, clothing, and culture. As part of their portfolio presentations, they created Algonquin village for each season with an emphasis on how they had to adapt to the climate. Above is a spring village.

Day 83 - Monochrome Painting

We've been learning about colours in Art lately. This week we focused on value and students learned how to make different tints and shades using one colour along with black or white. Their assignment was to create a monochrome painting. There were many great paintings added to our class art gallery. One that stuck out was Lydia's blue tree. She blended her paints in such a way that she was able to create texture and various values of blue. When the students did the gallery walk and evaluated each other's paintings, this one was one of the most popular.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 82 - Let it melt!

It was a sunny day here in Quebec. Some of our classes decided to head outside a bit early to get some fresh air and exercise. Students were walking, playing soccer, throwing the football around, climbing the Spiderweb and yes, you guessed it, watching the snow melt. This drain is in the middle of the asphalt in the backyard. All the melted snow ends up here. This area is a kid magnet. One of my students asked if she could take pictures so I handed her the camera and off she went. Jade took some good ones but I liked this one because it speaks so loudly of the anticipation for warmer days. It also has a timeless quality in that it could have been taken a year, five years or ten years ago. It might even conjure up a few memories for you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 81 - Rule of Thirds

Today's assignment was to illustrate the rule of thirds in a photograph today. I decided to go back into my archive and retrieve the dinosaur picture I snapped at learning buddies earlier this month. It seemed a bit bright so I used a preset to make it look more 'dramatic'. Well, that's the word Peg used. I then decided it was too dark so I went back to the brighter version.

Now that I'm caught on my posting my next goal is to go visit all of you and see the great pics you've been taking.

Day 80 - Robotics

The regional robotics competition is coming up on April 1st. A couple of teachers and I decided to organize a friendly competition for the elementary teams from our school board. The students had 2 mini challenges and then the finale. I was pretty distracted so the pictures aren't the greatest. Above my group is working on the final challenge. They have to program their robot to avoid the obstacles (cones), find the crab (actually a plastic cube) and push it off the mat without leaving the mat. In the above picture they're doing their measuring and diagramming to prepare for the programming. They had some difficulty but there are still a few days left to practice. One team managed to complete the challenge. The kids learned a lot and enjoyed cheering each other on.

Day 79 - Frozen

Another branch seen on one of our walks. The frozen water caught my eye. I like the way the blue of the sky is reflected in the ice. I also like the small frozen droplet. Talk about being suspended in time.

Day 78 - Circus Show

We signed our goddaughter up for Circus School last year and she's now just completed her third session. She LOVES to move and looks forward to going to Circus School every week. This Saturday they had a small show. Her father invited us to come see Sara 'make a spectacle of herself'. It was lots of fun to see the little ones do their thing. We were very impressed with how much Sara has improved and how comfortable she seems with the equipment. You can tell by her smile that she's having a wonderful time and isn't the least bit worried about being up on the trapeze. Cirque de Soleil look out!

Day 77 - Snapped

This photo symbolizes how I'm feeling during this hectic time. As you may have noticed I haven't posted in a while. It's been pretty busy with report cards, portfolios, teacher/parent meetings, workshops, etc. Fortunately, I'm just feeling a bit frazzled. I haven't quite snapped, not yet anyway. Here's to things settling down so I can get back into my blog routine.

Day 76 - Where's the Leprechaun?

We had fun making little leprechauns with our Pre-Kindergarten buddies today. There was a lot of Irish spirit in the air. This is one of my leprechauns hiding under his hat. He saw me taking pictures and decided to take cover. Don't worry Mathieu, I still know it's you. Happy St. Patrick's Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you all year long.

Day 75 - A Little Less Snow

Due to the time change and the slightly longer days, we can now make it out to the farm during the week if we leave right after school. It's a nice way to decompress after a busy day at school. We went walking in the woods again today. I decided to take another picture to show that there is a little less snow, on the trees at least.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 74 - Shy Cardinal

This little guy has been visiting our bird feeder a lot the last couple of days. When I sit at the dining room table I can see this tree through the french doors. I have the camera at the ready and as soon as I see him I grab it and head outside. I move as slowly and quietly as possible but I can't seem to get as close as I'd like. As soon as he senses my presence he takes off. Maybe he's shy. Even with my zoom lens (70-200mm) and some cropping, this is the closest I could get. I will keep trying. I like the complimentary colours of his plumage and the berries in the tree.

p.s. It's report card time so I will probably get a bit behind in my posting and commenting. Don't worry I will catch up asap.

Day 73 - What a difference a year makes

I was cleaning up files on the computer when I came across the above picture. I was amazed at the difference in the accumulation of snow from last year to this year. I decided to go back to that stop when we were in town today to take another picture to compare. Quite a difference, eh? Perhaps the bus stop should have had the tuque on this year instead of last. Spring will be later this year for sure.

Day 72 - Perfect combo

Today's assignment was to make a photo of two complementary objects arranged in a pleasing composition. Had many ideas for this one but seeing as the snow was PERFECT for making snowballs I went with this one. Peg helped out by posing. Of course I had to give her a stern warning about throwing the snowball at me even after the pictures were done. Fortunately for me she's not nearly as mischievous as I am. I of course would have thrown it as soon as the camera was out of site.

Day 71 - Technology through the ages

Today's assignment was to make a photograph that illustrates a role of technology in your life. I have an iPad on a trial basis from the school board. My job is to find various apps that can be used at the elementary level. While doing this I've also found some great apps for preschool (We do have preK at our school) and have tested them out on the godchildren. This is little Sarah's hand. She loves the Whimsy app. When you finish putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, a real-life picture appears of the animal and it plays its sound. The trickiest part of the app for Sarah is keeping her touch light.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 70 - P.S.

Today was a Pretty Slothy day here at home. It was a gray, rainy day and both Peg and I were feeling Pretty Sleepy. Feeling Partly Sick we didn't really feel like venturing out for a Photo Shoot. I decided to Post Some home decor. These letters are hanging on the wall in our basement bathroom or otherwise known here as "The Pooh Room".
P.S. All this laziness is exhausting. I'm off to Peruse Shows from the couch.

Day 69 - Milkbone

Today's assignment was to make a photograph of a beautiful simple shape, such as an egg. Utilize lighting and focus to make it sing. While we humans may not think this shape beautiful, it's a favourite for many K9's. In fact, it was rather tricky getting my pictures taken with the excited tails wagging around the table. I used my iPad Photo Soft Box once again. I actually used the red light but when processing, thought it looked better in antique - more natural. Once all the shooting was done Dexter and Sadie were given the photo subject to eat. Yummy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 68 - Para skiing

Another attraction along Highway 20 is para skiing. We saw the colourful sails from the highway and figured this was another photo op not to be missed. The skiing takes place on a huge open field. The field was filled with people of a variety of skill levels and ages. I parked the car on the side of the road and took pictures. I'm not sure how the skiers were staying warm because after about 3 minutes outside I had very cold red cheeks(both sets) and was ready to seek the warmth of the car.

Day 67 - BIG Dog

We're about to embark on kitchen and bathroom renovations. The good news is that it involved going to one of Peg's favourite stores (Antique Chez Ti Pere) and pick out a new dining room set. The store is about 20 minutes from the bridge on Highway 20. After a fruitful albeit expensive trip to the store we headed back into town. We passed this not so little fellow on the way. We've passed him many times before and I often say that we should stop and take a pic. Since we're on March Break we decided today would be a good day. This guy is at the entrance of a dog sledding place. They also have a sugar cabin and paintball facilities. Interesting combination??
When I was editing I zoomed in and noticed that the little yellow plaque was there to let me know that I was being surveyed by a camera. I guess I wasn't the only one taking pictures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 66 - Got mail?

Another incredibly snowy day. I promise never to complain about the lack of snow again. Today's theme is red. Red hot? Red paint? Or something else? You decide. I thought that red would contrast nicely with all the snow outside. I took our mailbox stamp holder and put it on the deck. Fewer and fewer people actually use mailboxes and stamps but sometimes it nice to receive a letter that's been hand delivered. Yes, it costs more and it's most definitely slower but somehow it seems more personal.
It was still snowing but I was able to set the camera up close enough to the house so it was safe. I know mail is supposed to be delivered no matter the weather but I think the only mail we'll be getting today is e-mail.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 65 - More Snow!

The rain ended in the morning and was followed by more snow. We headed out to the farm again. This time we ventured into the woods. It was so calm and quiet. We had a beautiful walk and a very good workout. It was funny to watch the dogs when they went off the path. There were times when they looked like they were swimming in the snow. Since it was snowing I left my camera at home once again. The iPhone sure does come in handy. We're supposed to get another 20-30 cm in the next 24 hours so I may have to take an indoor picture tomorrow if I want to use my camera.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 64 - Snowy Trails

Well, I guess somebody heard all my complaining about the lack of snow in Quebec. We had a snowstorm on Monday and then received another 10-15 cm this morning. They're forecasting 25-40 mm of rain between this evening and tomorrow morning and then another 30-45 cm of snow between tomorrow evening and Monday evening.
We did manage to get out to the farm before the rain started. It was snowing pretty hard so I decided to leave my camera at home. I snapped this picture with my iPhone. The larger path was made by Peg and I in our snowshoes. The smaller paths are from Dexter and Sadie venturing under the trees where the snow wasn't quite so deep. We had a great walk. We worked hard and the weather was mild.

Day 63 - Challenge Day Faces

Yesterday, Cycle 1 and 2 (Grades 1-4) had participated in their Challenge Day activities. Today the other 2 activities took place. It was a day for the oldest and youngest students to get moving. Cycle 3 (Grades 5 & 6) participated in the morning and then Kindergarten and PreK finished the day off. Phil, a Cycle 3 student from one of the other classes, hurt his arm a few weeks ago and wasn't able to participate. He volunteered to be the official photographer so I gave him a quick 'how to' lesson and he went off to snap the kids in action. Since yesterday's collage focused on the activities I thought today's would be focus on the many happy faces. One of my favourites is the grin with the missing teeth. I'd say from these faces that a good time was had by all.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 62 -Challenge Day

It was a VERY busy week for Peg. When she wasn't cooking up a storm, she was planning our annual winter challenge. Due to unpredictable weather we've decided to have it indoors the last couple of years. Maybe we'll move back outside next year.
The kids spend two hours rotating through twelve stations. Depending on the theme of the year, the kids work on their cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility in theme activities. Last year we did variations on winter Olympic sports. We usually collect donations for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. Each cycle is divided into 12 colour teams. The stations are run by student leaders from each cycle. The leaders spend a day with Peg prepping all the stations, equipment and learning how to lead the fun. The collage I put together from this year's event includes pictures that my photo assistant Em and I took. We couldn't get all the events but included aerial jumping, snowman circle tug-of-war, snowman tag, a suspicious picture of sock tag (which looks a lot like wrestling. Hmmmmm), summit race and curling. A great time was had by all.

Day 61 - Brillant Buddies

Day 3 is one of my students' favourite days because it's 'Buddy' Day. They love working with their PreK buddies and it's so much fun to see them together. Our buddies have been learning about dinosaurs and today they were making decorative dinosaur heads. One of the decorations was sequins. I snapped a few shots with my macro. I like all the colours and how they shine. There are also some interesting lines. I did snap a few pictures of toy dinosaurs playing in the rice but I'll save those for another day.

Day 60 - Food and Fitness Fun

As part of our initiative to increase health and fitness among our students, especially in the older grades, Peg organized a Food and Fitness Club 4 years ago. They meet after school once a week for a 6 week period. Each week they have a theme like quick breads, soups, salads, pasta, etc. The students are placed into 3 groups and each group works on a different recipe. Once the slicing, dicing, mixing and cooking is done the students help do the dishes and then they go and play in the gym. At the end they return to the kitchen and each student is given a portion of the three recipes. They taste all three and give their opinions. Students then take their three full containers home to share with their families. It's a great project and it's free!
This year, they added a special event at the end of their 6 week session. Students prepared a meal and invited a guest for supper. One of my students was kind enough to invite me. Not only did the students prepare the meal but they served us. We started the meal with a delicious Spinach Salad with strawberries, grated carrot and a citrus dressing. It was served in baked tortilla shells which the kids thought were really fancy. Then we moved on to some yummy chili. We finished off with chocolate cups filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with raspberry coulis. The food was great and the company even better.