Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday - end of the semester!

It's Friday. Linking up with with Doodle Bugs for the weekly Five For Friday. Hop on over and see what everyone did this week!

I am so so tired. If you haven't been following me, I'm STILL in school. Yep. It's July 25th, and I'm STILL in school.

This is for the birds. I've had a summer every single year since I was 5 years old. Until now.

The semester ended on Wednesday, and summer camp started on Thursday.

To celebrate the ending of the semester, my co-teacher and I had cooking class with one Middle School 1 class (about 7th grade). They LOVED it. You would have thought some of these boys, one in particular, had not eaten in like a week!

Then we played Jenga with our high school class. Some students are visually impaired and some are blind. They loved it!

The countdown has definitely begun. I have 8 days left of summer camp. Normally, summer camps are a lot of fun. All of my other friends get to do these super fun summer camp themes with their students and do all kinds of cool stuff. Create countries. Create videos. My school is special, and my students are special. So summer camp for me is basically like a regular day at school. At least I get a week-long break from my crazy co-teacher!

After summer camp, I will be leaving for Bali. Yep. Bali.

I. Am. So. Excited. That. I. Just. Can't. Hide. It.

One thing I have definitely learned this to modify and effectively teach students with learning disabilities. I found out that I will have two young brothers in my summer camp ~ they have a myriad of disabilities including blindness. One can speak and even said my name yesterday. They do however love music and singing, so we'll be fine. One boy is much higher than the 

One boy LOVES music so much that he waves his arms around and around and then loves to jump up and down while holding my hands. He is just precious.

I brought out the musical instruments, and they just put them in their mouth. 

Play dough was not very interesting to them which I found surprising.

Today I brought out the big Legos, and they seemed to really like that. I taught them "push" for push down and "pull" for pulling apart.

I have discovered that I like to break up the 45-minute class into short 15-minute chunks.

So I know they like music and playing with Legos. I would like to find some other activities that they would like.

Do you have any ideas?

So I had an interesting taxi experience the other night. The taxi driver keeps talking to me in Korean, hitting his chest, and smiling. And then he repeats it all again. I do not have a clue. But I just smile, laugh, and say "neh neh" (yes). I don't know if I just accepted his marriage proposal or what.

I can't believe that I will be leaving Korea 4 weeks from Tuesday. Seriously. I have loved this adventure. But I sure am ready to be home.

I'll be glad to leave the Korean system of education. I know the United States education system has its flaws, but at least our children get to be children.

Read this article and see what Korean middle school students have to say about their education system. It might shock you.

Hope your week has been great. I will leave you with a picture of my newest Konglish shirt. You might think that the "O" is a "D" but it really does say,

"I will love you in reality and in oreams" - yes, oreams

Have pleasant oreams! It's time for bed here in Korea.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

You know the saying...

Well, I think it's true.

I received an email a couple of days ago from someone who had bought my Science Choice Boards.

Science Choice Boards for all science topics - ready to go

She loved them so much that she wanted to create some choice boards for her Social Studies class since she teaches Science and Social Studies. She asked if that would be OK, and she gave me me credit for giving her the inspiration. I was really touched by her sweet words and was very grateful that she asked if it was OK. I was very flattered. I truly love helping teachers, and it felt awesome to be able to inspire someone to create something.

Go check out her new Social Studies Choice Boards! I think she did a great job!

Has someone you know inspired you? I remember learning this last year from a co-worker....

Use cheap plastic tablecloths as backgrounds for bulletin boards. They are bright, easy to hang, and maintain their color. Plus no more cutting out long sheets of butcher paper and carrying it all the way back to your classroom.

Have you found me on Pinterest yet? I created a Pinterest account JUST for teaching, and I love having it separate. So far, I only have 51 boards. LOL! Really....I had no idea I had that many until I just now looked. I do try and keep it organized!

Meanwhile.....18 more days until I leave for Bali! Can I get a woot-woot?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five 4 Friday

Yeah! It's Friday! You know what that means....

Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs!

Last Saturday night, I had a slumber party with two of my friends. We had a BLAST! You're never too old for slumber parties, right? We went to eat yummy Italian food, then went singing at our favorite little neighborhood norebang, then came back to my apartment to eat yummy queso, make chocolate chip cookies (but my friend forgot the chocolate chips so she had to run to the convenience store and buy Hershey bars....which I ended up almost better than regular chocolate chips - we crushed them inside a baggie), put on creepy face masks, and then watched The Princess Bride. The next morning we cooked brunch. All in all a wonderful slumber party.

So do we look creepy or what?

Southern Fried Teachin Korean face masks

This week was hard. Really hard. I have felt like I'm on this extreme emotional roller coaster. Just when you're at the top of the hill, you get pushed down the hill to the bottom. Last week, my co-teacher told me to not worry about summer camp lesson plans, that she would do them. She just wanted me to concentrate on creating materials. Well today, she says I have to now do the lesson plans because it's my job. On top of everything else to do. Just makes me want to come home...

She is exasperating. Seriously. I am one of those people who always try to look at the bright side of things, but this week was really hard. Draining. Exhausting. Mentally. Spiritually. Physically.

So when I saw this on Facebook, I about died laughing. I am NOT a violent person, but this just made my day.

Have you ever worked with someone like this? How have you coped with it?

The day after the roller coaster, I had THE best class with my middle school kiddos. We played a game that I had created - they were practicing reading and speaking English, enjoying themselves, and laughing. Even my co-teacher (my newest co-teacher...not the one who drives me nuts) was joining in the fun. Amazing things happen when you treat me like a professional and actually let me teach. I SO needed that.

Southern Fried Teachin ESL Gameboard

Yesterday we played with play dough in my high school class. One of my students, a 54-year old blind man, just gave me "his heart". He is sad that I'm leaving. Btw, he's also married...but super sweet.

I've been working on this little diddy. Someone on TpT said that they loved my Star Wars materials, so that got me to thinking....why not make a whole classroom decor pack based on Star Wars?

I think it turned out super cute, and it's so much fun. I think the kids will love it.

Southern Fried Teachin Star Wars Classroom Decor Pack

Southern Fried Teachin Star Wars Classroom Decor Pack

Southern Fried Teachin Star Wars Classroom Decor Pack

Southern Fried Teachin Star Wars Classroom Decor Pack

Also, I just have to show you what I found this week in the trash right outside my apartment! In Korea, people don't have garage sales or anything, so whatever you don't want you put out by the trash. I have seen couches, chairs, etc. I found these three art pieces, all beautiful and wooden. No dings or scratches or anything.

They are made of wood and therefore are fairly heavy. So I'm keeping the tree, the one I immediately fell in love with and bringing it home with me. I'm giving the other two to my good friend, Philopena's mom. She can't wait to put them on her wall.

Makes you wanna come dig through some Korea trash, doesn't it?

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Words of Wisdom for New Teachers

It's almost time for school to start back up again ('s still going on in Korea).

I am linking up with Pawsitively Teaching to share some words of wisdom with the newbie teachers.

I remember the days with the deer in the headlights look....not really having a clue what you're doing but pretending that you do.

This is my 16th year of teaching, and I have learned some things along the way, that's for sure.

Here are my top 3 tidbits.

Start your year right. Set your expectations high and be strict in your rules and consequences. This will set your tone for the entire year. Some teachers have even said don't let them see you smile until January, but that's just not my personality. I have fun with my students, but they do know that there are rules and consequences. Don't be afraid to let them know who's boss.

Having established rules and consequences in your classroom, have fun with your students! They want to see the "real" side of you, not some stoic person who never has fun. I dance, sing, and act goofy with my students. You spend a lot of time in your classroom. For some of your students, this is the best place to be, even compared to their own homes. If you having fun, then they surely aren't either. Make your classroom the place where your students can't wait to come to.

My last piece of advice....look for the good behaviors in your students instead of focusing on the bad behaviors. If the whole class is loud when lining up, look for the one student who is lining up quietly and notice him. Praise him. Make a BIG deal out of it. Let your drama queen/king come out. Become an actor.

"O. M. G. Look at Marcus. He is standing SO nice and quietly in line. His feet and facing forward. His hands are beside him. I am WAY impressed!" I guarantee you....all the other students will look at Marcus and imitate what he's doing to get the praise too. I was always amazed that this worked.

I also used several different things to reward my students for good behavior.

You can also pass out tickets  - I used the cheap roll of tickets from Walmart and had them put their name or number on the back and then drew a couple tickets at the end of every day for a small prize.

You could use "gold" coins where you spray paint lima beans gold.

 Or you could use what I created....Star Bucks where each character represents a different dollar amount.

Southern Fried Teachin Star Bucks Classroom Behavior Reward System

It really doesn't matter which one you use. Just use it consistently and be excited about it when you pass it out.

I hope my little tidbits of wisdom can help you newbie teachers out there. Go link up and see what other veteran teachers have to say!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday Snapshots at the orphanage

I'm linking up with Miss Nelson for the very first time for her Saturday Snapshots.

I LOVE taking pictures. Seriously love it. After traveling all over the world, it's become quite a hobby of mine.

Yesterday, I went with some fellow foreigners and Koreans to volunteer at one of the orphanages in Daejeon. This was my 3rd time to volunteer there, and I love it every time. It makes me sad that some of my "favorites" are still there. They will probably never be adopted. I would adopt them in a heartbeat (at least one of them) if I could, but they don't adopt to single people.

Here are some favorites from yesterday.

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Southern Fried Teachin Volunteering at an Orphanage in Korea

Go check out everyone's snapshots!