Kindergarten Plans: Week of 4/9/12

I wanted to share my plans for this week.  Our theme for Kindergarten this week is: the body.  Our kindergarteners are put into 3 groups depending upon skill levels.  I have the youngest/most basic.  Then there are two more above me.
The group directly above me can read already, and the group above that can read a bit stronger.  The ages are a bit different too.  I have the little ones 🙂  Age 3-6 (Western age–Korean ages are figured a bit differently.)

So, we’re learning everything.
*Body part names (I’m keeping it kind of basic, I think.  Stuff that’s used most frequently)
*clothing names
*senses
*left/right
*I/He/She
*girl/boy
*emotions

We’ve talked about the ones that are in bold.  Each unit (in kindergarten) is a month long.  I tried introducing senses, but I think they were really confused, so I figured I’d let it ride out a bit and we’d just do that later on.

This is my lesson plan agenda for the week (each class is 35 minutes long):
Monday:
Theme Class
-Review Body & Left/Right
-Review Clothes
-Finish Flipbooks

Phonics
-ABC Matching Game (I have flashcards made up that they use to put the letters in ABC order…or to do their best in some cases.  I pair the ones that are struggling with a partner)
-Awards–I found Alphabet Achievement Awards online!–They’re just printouts that say that that student has mastered their alphabet.  I have one student that has it down and one that is really, really close.  She gets some letters mixed up.  The C and the K, and I forgot what the other pair was.  I’m working with the other two on it.  The other two are also a lot younger, so it might be awhile.
-Phonics Workbooks (2 pages)
-Letter tracing worksheets (2 letters)
ABC Song

Speech Class
ABC video (5 minutes)
-Elmo’s Sneezing Video (1 minute)
CRAFT TIME: Tambourine
note: For some reason, our school has the kindergarten students doing these really advanced art books (Botticelli-esque)…yes..they’re really young, and yes, they have trouble with them.  So, I want to do some fun stuff in my class.  Plus, crafts help build muscles in their hands…which is good for later handwriting.  🙂   And, I think it’s fun.  🙂

Tuesday:
Theme Class
-Hello, How are you? video
-Left/Right Review
-Hokey Pokey  (Yes, I do it with them, lol.)
-Workbooks

Speech Class
ABC Song with Elmo
Phonics ABC song (2:40)
Alphabet Pizza Craft

Wednesday
Theme
-Hello, how are you–video
-ABC song–ELMO
-Body Tracing Activity  (large paper..trace bodies and label)

Speech Class
-Introduce new speech for this week (I SEE you, I HEAR you)
-Talk more about senses
-Workbooks

Thursday
Theme

-Hello, How are you?
-Alphabet song
-Review body and senses
-Hokey Pokey
-Workbooks

Phonics
Phonics ABC video
-ABC Cards–put in order (Introduce Word cards to Crystal)
-Phonics Workbooks

Speech
-Practice Speeches x2
-Workbooks
-Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
-Speeches again

Friday:

Only class for me is Theme Class–Speech Day/Presentation Day

By the way, this is my ESL channel on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDE7AD1AF15FCF557&feature=mh_lolz
Other crafts I want to do:
http://www.education.com/activity/article/bumpyalphabet_preschool/

http://www.education.com/activity/article/making_colors_kinder/

Creating Creative Thinkers

This is more of a post to myself, ha 🙂
Creativity isn’t really encouraged in the classroom or outside of it either (limited playtime/heavy focus on school and memorization of material).–Trying to think of activities I can do with my students to help get them thinking differently.  Which, I’ve told can be a very, very daunting task.

Example:  I told my class of 4 to work together to write me a story.  They had to make sure it had a beginning, middle and an end.  We talked about what happened in the beginning of a story and 20 minutes in, all they had down was that it was going to be about Angry Birds (it’s a bit of an obsession on this side of the globe).
It makes me so sad to think about 😦  Kids back home would jump at the chance to “create a story about anything’ or “draw a picture.  Here are the crayons.”  And…they just don’t get it here.  They don’t really know how to think “outside the box”…or anything away from memorization.  :-/
The other teachers at my school are also working on helping make more creative students too.   One teacher used to give them a “homework assignment” of going outside and playing for 60 minutes.  She added that they had to do a “journal entry” (write ANYTHING about what they did) because she found that the students wouldn’t do that assignment because their parents didn’t take it seriously because there wasn’t work attached to it.  So…they wouldn’t go outside and play.
Anyway, I’m working on a list to help encourage creative thinking in my elementary students.

Inspiring Elementary Students to be more creative:
*http://katelyn-thomas.suite101.com/journal-topics-for-middle-school-a20769
*Group Story–each person write a line of the story and keep passing it around.
*http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/journal-prompts.html
*Penpals with teacher (me :-D)
*http://journalbuddies.com/journal_prompts__journal_topics/4th-grade-writing-prompts-73-exciting-journal-starters-for-kids/

My Core Values Put to the Test

One thing I’ve noticed about Korea is that a lot of things are about appearance, and how things appear to be.  Especially at this school.  They want you to paint a pretty picture and gloss over everything to please the parents.  Which…I understand..to an extent.  I know this is a business and that you want to please your customers and make sure they’re happy…however, I DO NOT condone lying to people just to make things seem all cherry and wonderful.

I’ve noticed that report cards are altered for elementary students, and we’re not allowed to give a student lower than a C.  A “C+” might be switched to a “B” to make it look better, and teacher comments on student’s performance in class is changed also.
The main point of my post is that we have little books that we send home with the kindergarten students (to their parents).  It’s about the kid’s behavior, how they’re doing in class etc.  Those are sent home twice a week.  Seems a bit excessive since we do the same theme all week long and not a lot changes, but whatever.  I was also told from the beginning that I’m supposed to put a positive spin on things in those books too.
So…I do.  Not lying, just basically sticking to what we do in class and using the OREO (good, constructive criticism, good) technique if there’s something I need to comment on.

I recently had one parent ask me in the parent comment section why her daughter didn’t really seem to be speaking much English at home.  She asked how her daughter was with the other students and how she was doing in class.
First off, her daughter is sweet, but she has a hard time paying attention in class and is often distracting the other students.  (She’s also like 5 in American age).  We’re working on this…and keep in mind that she’s only been in school for like a month and half.
My head-teacher came over to me and told me that I needed to white out the part about her not having a hard time paying attention in class…She also wanted me to write over the top of it how wonderful the girl was doing in school and that her English was good in class.
I can’t do that.  I couldn’t do that.  I whited out what I wrote, but I couldn’t write that.  Her mom asked me directly how her daughter was doing.  What a shitty situation to put someone in.
Apparently, the head teacher said she didn’t end up handing out the journal because she didn’t have time.  Doubt that.  Looks a bit funny with a giant chunk whited out.  Heh. 😦

Now, I’m back, and it’s Friday, and I’m having a hard time even being in the same room with her.  I really can’t stand her (the head teacher) now.  I’m currently in the teacher’s room and I have my music playing and I have headphones.  I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.  I have 11 months left, and I can’t be around people with a character like that.
I’m not going to quit or anything, but I’m not going to lie to someone just to keep them happy.  Especially someone’s parent.  Geez.
She can do it, but she’s not dragging me down with her.

Classroom + Video Footage

I have a video clip of my kindergarten classroom “before” (about 2 changes into it) I got my hands on it.

http://youtu.be/BFvPqBZPJ6g

Also…I’m sure I’ve mentioned this more than a few times, but I really think I want to do this. “This” meaning teaching.  I’ve considered it in the past before, but I like how I’ve been able to test out the waters here with the whole teaching thing BEFORE getting a degree.
I really enjoy the creative, fun, rewarding and crafty parts of the job.  I find myself looking around online for different classroom activities and worksheets…and classroom decorations for hours at a time.  And I enjoy it.  (The only thing is that the pay can be kind of crappy…back in the US.  Probably would have to go for a masters…which also means lots more debt..on a mediocre salary.  Psh.)  I do enjoy it though.
I think Kindergarten would be up my alley because you get more of the crafty stuff, it’s rewarding and I like that age group.  And it’s fun!!  We get to sing and dance and color…and it’s all part of the learning process.  Sure, there are tantrums (one girl had her second meltdown today), but overall, I like the kindergarten classes the best.

Speaking of classroom decorations:
Here–Great Posters and things for the classroom.  LOVE THIS.

Also, the ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ thing is going well.  Still reminding them from time to time, but for the most part it’s getting pretty built in.  Also still working on covering their mouths.  They’re still young, and it’s not as easy to enforce because a sneeze is a split-second thing, but I remind them every time anyway.  And then the other students start practicing their coughs (with covered mouths) after I remind the one student that forgot (or didn’t forget).  It’s cute 😀 haha.
I also bought some anti-bacterial gel stuff to class.  The kids like it and it helps me make sure they keep clean hands (most public bathrooms don’t have soap here…).  I have them use it fairly often.  HOWEVER, it’s a pain in the butt because when I looked for it at the store, they had TWO kinds.  Two brands.  One had a small and a large and the other was just large.  Crazy when you think about how prevalent it is back in the US.

Either way, my students WILL cover their mouths to sneeze and cough by the time I’m done with them.  lol.  It’ll be second nature like it is to me.  You are welcome.  😛

ALSO, I was given this link on learning the Korean language.  Love it.
http://ryanestradadotcom.tumblr.com/post/20461267965

Note:
If you have any inspirational classroom/learning/reading quotes that are good for the younger crowd, feel free to send them my way.
I also really like these:
“You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.”
-Christopher Robin

and

Feeling Inspired.

I’ve decided (recently) that I want to re-decorate my kindergarten room.  The school keeps up the same stuff in the rooms (to “impress” parents)…but it’s so outdated and a lot of the stuff on the walls isn’t even used or looked at.
I basically got the approval when I re-did a bulletin board and the head teacher (and one of the owners) came in and oogled at it.  😀

Anyway, I’ll take before/after pictures because I think it’s going to be great.  🙂  So so excited.  This is right up my alley.  I actually think I want to teach kindergarten when I get home.  Or at least early elementary.  So fun.
Example:  My classroom doesn’t even have the alphabet posted 😦  There’s a small poster in the corner on phonics and it’s on there…but that’s it.  So sad.
We also made alphabet trains, and we have those, but that was more of a craft…I want it to be prominent.  The numbers also aren’t posted anywhere :-/
I’m going to also turn one wall into a craft display wall.
So excited 🙂  Pics to come in the near future when I get some of this going.  🙂

However, today, I took down some old stuff and had my students hang their “body” pictures on the wall.  They drew pictures of themselves and we labeled them together.  It looks so much better with the fresh pictures on the wall.  And that’s just one side.

This is a phenomenal craft-idea website.  So excited to use some of this for some of our themes.
http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/crafts/by-theme

Edit (4/3):
Crap.  I changed more stuff today (added an art display area) and forgot to take before/after pics.  I’ll definitely try and do it tomorrow.
ALSO…more classroom ideas:
*Speech Wall (We–Um..I–write weekly speeches for the students about what they’re learning that week and they present them on Fridays)–It’d be cool to have them displayed so we can watch the progress throughout the year.
*ABCs–still need to hang up (apparently our owner doesn’t have the ABCs posted anywhere in the school because it makes it look too basic.  Um…it’s kindergarten.
Um…I’m still hanging them.  Otherwise they’ll never master them and also never be able to read properly.)
*WE LOVE ENGLISH–This is my best one, I think.  I want to cut out big block letters that spell this and inside each letter, I’ll write a bunch of words that start with that letter.  Then it’ll be hung on the wall.

So excited.  🙂

Germ Squasher Update

Operation Germ Minimization:  Update
It’s going really well 🙂
The kids are like little sponges and their reaction to the slow-mo sneeze was kind of priceless.  😛  Anyway, we’re on the right track! yay!  I’m also working with my elementary students on manners too, now that the kindergarteners have it about down now.

🙂

“Cultural Differences”

This is slightly rant-y, just to warn you.

Anyway, something I’ve noticed while here in Korea is that people don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze.  It’s not just one person either…it’s an everybody thing.
DISGUSTING.  In my humble opinion.

I’ve mentioned it to other people too, and they agree with me and sort of chuckle because they become all nostalgic about when they first noticed it too.
I’m sorry, but I’m a pretty tolerant person when it comes to cultural differences, but I can’t handle this.  I’ve heard the reasons for it through other people, but I don’t really want to put it on here until I’ve heard it for myself, from a Korean.  (even though that’s where these people also got their information)…but basically it has to do with the word “immune”.  heh.

I’ve decided to take this to my classroom and work on it from there.  I’m not really the type of person to complain about something if I have the power to change it. Granted, I can’t fix it everywhere, but I can start with my little circle and that will satisfy me .

I was out to dinner with some girls over the weekend and I mentioned my idea for this lesson plan and they liked it.  One also said she thought that she’d like to do the same with her students.  We’re actually already learning about the body this week, so it happens to fit in nicely.
I found a craft I want to do and I’m going to start a reward chart for covering coughs/sneezes.  And Elmo has a little song on YouTube too.  🙂

It’ll make me feel better anyway.  If I can turn them into please/thank you machines, then I can sure as heck do this.  🙂

Hey Kids–It’s Germs 101!

and

Crafts:
http://saylorslog.blogspot.com/search/label/Germs

http://www.flickr.com/photos/artsyt/3545000124/in/photostream

😀  Excited!