monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

3 minutes reading time (602 words)

Last Day at East Hill -- Still Having Fun!


If you know me, you know I'm OBSESSED with body language. So that means I'm always on the lookout for new body language -- things I have never seen students do in my 32 years in the classroom. Which explains today's pic. Meet Giancarlo, who, when I turned to look at him, had a spoon hanging out of his mouth! (You will understand why I said, "Don't move! I need to take your pic!") Incidentally, Giancarlo's sneakers were unlaced -- another detail I found interesting. Giancarlo, I'm going to include a guy like you in one of my books one day!

Today was my last of three visits to East HIll Elementary School in Rivière-des-Prairies. I worked with a Grade Five and a Grade Six class. As usual, I'm going to share a few highlights of the visit.

The Grade Five teacher, Miss Teresa, was away, so I worked with MIss Sandy, who was substituting. Miss Sandy and I had trouble getting the smart board to work, but luckily, a student named Laura came to the rescue. "I unplugged and replugged the wires," Laura said. Yay for GIRLPOWER! But then I must admit I laughed when a student named Alessandro, who was sitting in the front row, called out, "It was all MY idea!"

We talked about the importance of asking WHAT IF? A student named Briana explained that, "If I have a boring dream, I switch it up." Excellent, Briana! So you've already been using the WHAT IF? method!

A student named Christopher told me, "I write in my Garfield diary. Sometimes, I write about what's tough in my life, or what I can accomplish." Christopher's comment made me happy for many reasons. First of all, I'm delighted that he keeps a diary. I'm also impressed that he writes about tough subjects (not everyone is courageous enough to do that, Christopher), but also that he looks to the future and imagines the things he "can accomplish."

After recess, I worked with Madame Judith's Grade Sixes. When I first walked in, the students were working with Miss Antonella, whom I learned teaches Italian at East Hill. That was when I discovered that students at East HIll take compulsory Italian, which I think is very cool -- and good for developing brains!

A student named Joe kindly let me share his desk. Joe told me that he gets in trouble a lot. I asked him what kind of trouble he causes (see -- I was doing RESEARCH) and Joe told me he sometimes says bad words. "Also, I think I have a detention after school today for not doing my homework," Joe added. Later, when we were doing an exercise about writing a story you really wish you could read, Joe wrote about "a boy with OCD and ADHD, but he's a very good detective." Joe, I want to tell you I'm not allowed to have favourites, but you kind of stole my heart today! I definitely think you should write that story. In fact, if you get it published, I want to come to the book launch!

Another student named Alessandro started his story with the sentence, "It all began in an old pizzeria." I liked that opening a lot too -- and not only because I love pizza!

Okay, I'm about to head to my own classes at Marianopolis College. Thanks to the teachers, and the students at East Hill, thanks to librarian MIss Ida for organizing my visits. I'm going to miss my friends at East HIll. In the mean time, READ and WRITE and ask WHAT IF?!!!


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Guest - Sandy Spagnolo on Thursday, 28 March 2019 13:40

It was great having you at the school! Very inspiring, for me too! I keep a journal as well and love to read and write so you stirred something in me to go for it! Thank you Ms. Polak!!!

It was great having you at the school! Very inspiring, for me too! I keep a journal as well and love to read and write so you stirred something in me to go for it! Thank you Ms. Polak!!! :)
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Wednesday, 28 September 2022

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