Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Today I did a Pinterest play activity with the kids

So why is this blog-worthy, I hear you ask?

Well, let's just say that I am much better at pinning ideas onto Pinterest boards than I am at actually doing them. I have at least fifty activities pinned up there. This is only the second one I've ever done. It's a rare event.

Today's choice was foam dough. It's messy. I'm not very good at taking photos as I go along (and my hands were very flour-and-foam coated as I was mixing it all together) so there are more detailed instructions and better photos here.

It's not too hard, though. All you do is pour cornflour into a bowl, then squeeze about the same amount of shaving cream in on top of it. Any brand of those will do. Our shaving cream is "Revenge" brand, which gave me a little giggle. Put in food colouring if you like to make your dough coloured, although beware that your hands (and those of the kids) will stay that colour for the rest of the day. Rosie and I are now being blue-handed monsters while the colouring wears off.

Mix it all together with your hands and make it into shapes. It's not quite as moldable as play dough, although that might have improved if I'd kept adding shaving cream to help it hold together. It did get a bit crumbly, but mostly the fun is about squeezing it together and enjoying the messy sensation.

I'm a bit tactile averse to both floury and slimy textures, so it wasn't an entirely pleasant feeling to me. It did get better as the dough held together more. I had to fight the temptation to keep washing my hands. Rosie washed hers about five times so I'm guessing she might have inherited my "don't-like-mess-on-my- hands" genes.

I didn't let the eighteen month old get involved this time, although he didn't seem too interested after a passing look at what we were up to. I thought he might try to eat it and I don't know that eating a mixture of shaving cream and cornflour would be that enjoyable.

But, all in all, it wasn't the worst way to spend a spare half hour on a wet and cold day. And I did manage to grab a few photos after we'd finished so I could blog about it just like all those other crafty Mummy bloggers do.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Attention students.. (warning...grumble ahead)

No, you cannot all have High Distinctions for the assignment. The bell curve doesn't work that way. And believe it or not, some of you didn't even answer the questions you were asked. That is why you failed.

And to those of you who are haggling for what amounts to maybe an extra half a mark if you are very lucky, why carry on about it when you aren't in any danger of failing the unit? It is a waste of my time to review your assignment over little quibbles that don't matter. Move along, people, just let it go. Put your energy into studying for the exam so you can blitz that instead, it's worth half the marks for the unit so you're better off doing well in that.

Sorry to everyone reading this, none of whom are likely to be students from my tutorial group. But I just needed to vent for a moment. I have put in many hours of time marking over the last couple of weeks, we had to put off a birthday party for one of our children so I could get the majority of the marking done, and now, having gotten all of the marks into the grade centre, I have come down with a bad cold and I can't go to work at my other job tomorrow. At the moment, the contract I am on doesn't include sick leave so if I don't work, there is no pay. And even though I am not at work, I am probably going to spend at least part of my day (that is supposed to be spent in resting and recovering) in addressing people's silly assignment questions.

My husband was having a conversation with a student supervisor from a different University at work today, but it went along very similar lines to the above. Students these days want to question everything, even when the feedback they are given is blatantly clear. I don't remember ever questioning any low marks I got when I went to University, you just took it, dealt with the disappointment, acknowledged that you hadn't put in as much effort as you needed to and used the feedback to improve the next paper.

Sigh. Times have changed. I blame the University for encouraging it though. When you change your tag line to "Where it's all about U", then I guess the students really do start thinking it's all about them....and then respect for the teaching staff disappears. It's a slippery old slope.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Double the NAPLAN joy...

This week, both of my older boys are doing NAPLAN tests at school. Today's persuasive writing topic required them to select a hero to write about. I'm reading online that lots of kids wrote about family members (Mums, Dads, siblings etc).

It would have been nice had either of my kids chosen one of their parents. But it didn't seem to have entered their minds. They both chose a historical figure. The funniest thing is that even though they were sitting on opposite sides of their classroom to do the test, they both managed to choose the same person to write about.

Julius Caesar. Let's just say I had no hope of guessing that.

I think they've been a bit too engrossed in their Horrible History books lately. When I questioned them further, they were somewhat vague on why they had actually nominated him as a hero. Something to do with great military victories, perhaps.

I hope whoever is marking their papers enjoys the experience. I'm thinking Julius won't be a common choice....