Holiday Time + Hanukkah!

I did a short Powerpoint presentation on Hanukkah today with all 3 classes and then they made their own menorahs 🙂

They had never heard of Hanukkah, so I was really happy with my decision to teach them about 3 of the major winter holidays.  They learned about latke, menorahs, dreidles and gelt.  I feel more knowledgeable too, haha.  I did quite a bit of research putting the powerpoint together.

I’m looking for a fun Hanukkah-related movie for our movie day on Friday to help wrap up the week so it’s not just today, but there don’t seem to be that many.

hanukkah

I also decorated the rest of the classroom today 😀

holiday1
Classroom–the garland has white twinkle lights in it (super fun when we have the lights off for a video clip)
holiday2
O
ur classroom door

Back to Hanukkah, I was also toying with the idea of trying to make latke (fried potato pancakes), but I have no idea how those would keep throughout the day…probably not well.  Might just stick with the movie.

I also had a super religious 5-year old in my first class and I was a bit nervous talking about Hanukkah with him there because I didn’t want him to run and tell his mom that we were learning about different religions.  Anyway, he seemed to enjoy it when the Dreidle song started up in the presentation, and I still think it’s good for them to learn about the different holidays.  I had some students in my second class who were shocked when I said Christmas isn’t the only holiday in winter.
Anyway, so far so good!  I’m also loving how the menorahs turned out 😀  Lots of creativity in those pictures 🙂

Also, I learned that our front desk girl that has been there since before I was there is being let go because she wants to go to the US for a week for her friend’s wedding.  (Keep in mind that we work all through the year with only 10 days of vacation).  Head Front Desk lady said that Korean people don’t need vacation..soo…yeah.
She’s always been super nice and great with the kids and parents, so it’s a bit of a shock.  She’s being replaced by another Korean girl who doesn’t speak any English… :-/
Should be…interesting…
Trying to keep positive though.  At least she gets to go to her friend’s wedding?  And she’ll still be in our city…so…that’s good.  *sigh*
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

But, to end on a positive note–I sent out all the penpal letters today! (and yesterday–stragglers…)  Wahoo!  I love projects and I love this one, but it’s also really nice to have it all finished and out of my hair and thoughts.  I was going to include some Korea presents/candy, but I’m also hesitant about sending candy and such because I don’t want the other teachers in the US to feel obligated or anything to send stuff, especially because sending stuff from the US to Korea seems to be more expensive.

Anyway, goodnight!  Hope it’s warmer where you are 😀

Busy Busy…

Yesterday, I started day one of including Powerpoint presentations into my class with my oldest students.  I needed something to get them off their butts because they have the most difficult workbooks and the longest books of the classes I teach.
I took them down to the library and we’re working on making Powerpoints on what they’re thankful for.  I wanted to start with a fairly easy topic while they get used to it.  Some kids have already used the software before so that’s pretty helpful (except when they get too focused on changing the different aspects of the slides and not enough on the writing…) Ah well.

When they’re finished, I’m planning to incorporate presentations into our Monday schedules, so, should be interesting.  I want to teach them about a Works Cited/plagiarism as well because it’s a rampant problem here.  That and I think if they’re going to learn how to do a presentation, we might as well cover all of the bases.
This is also kind of a test-run because I might want to use it with my new “high level” students when we switch the classes around in January.

Oh, and I’m working on a second music CD–this time for the older kids.  I think it was pretty fun for the kids and useful as I have some of my students coming in singing some of the songs (or lines from the songs) when they come in.  It’s not very many students, but I think it’s another great way to bring real-life English a few steps closer to them, in a less intimidating way and it’s really not that much work.  The hardest part of the whole endeavor was finding the bags to put everything in.

Anyway, busy as always.
30 days til vacation 😛

Still trying to find a hamster-sitter to watch Munch while I’m away :-/

*Dance Dance*

I was a bit concerned about my youngest kids and this penpal project because we’re matching the kids up with 5th graders and I didn’t know if (1) they would have much to talk about with the age gap (my youngest: 1 kindy and some 1st graders) and (2) ability level.
So, I did some poking around and I got another class (THANK YOU MATT!!!!!!!!!) that is interested in writing to my youngest babies.  They’re kindergarten, but apparently fairly advanced.  Either way, that would be great practice for them.

Yay!  😀 😀
Still awaiting a confirmation email on the second school from the teacher herself, but I’m feeling good.  Happy week 😀

More Excitement :D

This is a tiny post but I can’t contain my excitement to combine it with something else, so here we are.

I have been toying with the idea of organizing a penpal project for my students for awhile (just brewing in the back of my mind) and I mentioned it to my boss today and got it approved!
I wrote out a message to all of my teacher friends in the US and UK asking if they would like to write to my kids and participate and I just got someone who was as excited as I am.  Less than 3 hours later.  😀 😀 😀

I did a mini-penpal thing a few months back where my kids wrote to “a book character” (me) and I wrote a custom letter back to each of them.  It was a ton of work though (20+ custom letters).  We did it back and forth twice and they got excited about the letters, but I think this will be more exciting.  They’ll have real kids their own age and they can practice writing in a real sense…not just in a workbook or for a test.
Maybe even form some long-term friendships??

Anyway, I had long day Friday and was ready to leave, but now with this new little project, I’m excited for Monday to get here 😀

Hurrah! Hurrah!

These last two weeks have been killer.  Last week dragged on like none other but this one went quickly but I’m feeling worn for whatever reason.  Either way, that brings me closer to the holidays, so it’s alright 🙂

Speaking of holidays, my friend’s friend owns a bar here and for Thanksgiving he’s closing down the bar and having a private get together.  So I’m going with my friend and some others and we’ll have our own Thanksgiving, complete with all or mostly-all of the “fixins'” as they say.  Pumpkin pie, turkey and anything else people can whip up.

The actual reason I came on here to post was that, well even with all my trips and things, I’ve become fairly good at saving money.  I wasn’t able to do it before I came here so it’s nice to finally be able to put money away.
I remember being at home while working my last job 40+ hours a week and barely able to make ends meet, with my $400/month student loan payments, car payments, insurance, rent, basic phone bill, gas…etc. etc.
Anyway, I have my bank account and then I’ve also been pulling extra money from my Korean account and my own wallet at times to throw at my savings and I’ve just passed the $1000 mark.  This has been going for awhile and I’m planning on using it during my trip back home.  $1000 from just odds and ends.  Heck yes.  I feel…liberated.
I want to use it as my spending money while I’m back and to deposit anything I don’t spend.  I’m assuming the bank tellers won’t freak out if I make a larger deposit in cash?  Is that weird?  I’ve never had enough money to have to worry about it before.

Also, my grandma recently just had open-heart surgery (last week) and she just left the hospital, so there’s good news there as well.  I’ve got a small little gift box headed her way…hopefully I can make it to the post office tomorrow…

Anyway, Happy Friday! (to those on this side of the globe) and Happy Friday Eve to those elsewhere 🙂

Done and Done! Happy Day!

What a productive day!  Wahoo!  Feelin’ Good.

*CDs finished and distributed (All out tomorrow because of the MWF kids)–My classroom looked like Santa’s Workshop while I put all the bags together 😛  I put the theme to Titanic on it for a student that is OBSESSED with that movie and as soon as he got his CD he asked about it being there.  I noticed later that he circled it on the track list, haha.  You’re welcome, X’s mom and dad.  🙂  haha

*Productive classes (nothing much to say here–kids were speaking and working hard and everything seemed to flow rather smoothly)

*Great night at the gym and I lowered the resistance (assuming that’s the technical term) for the assisted pull-up machine 😀  I’ve been working on dips and assisted pull-ups with it and I finally got to move to the next weight (basically, my arms are getting stronger and I don’t need as much assistance on this machine).  Bada-bing, Bada-boom!

*Oh and it’s payday!  I re-signed for another year with my school like two months? back and got a raise along with it.  This was my first check with the new pay rate, so that was a pretty fun time at the bank.  🙂

*Annnnd (well, this was from last night/technically this morning), but I penciled in some activities that I want to do with the kids on Fridays in the next few months regarding the topics from yesterday (Acceptance of others, being careful with your words, etc.)   Fridays are typically a wrap-up day and I have more flexibility within the class schedule on those days.  Oh, and everyone comes on Fridays, so that’s a perk, ha.  🙂

This was the track list for the CD in case anyone (or my future self) is interested:
1. Do You Wanna Build a Snowman–Frozen Soundtrack
2. Look What I Can Do–Kidsongs (2nd song–starts at 1:35)
3. What Do You Wanna Be–Kidsongs (1st song)
4. Witches’ Brew–Hap Palmer (they love this one)
5. Splish-Splash–Bobby Darin (this one too–especially that dance–Note to self–More dance routines)
6. Thriller–Michael Jackson
7. YMCA–The Village People
8. Lean on Me–Bill Withers
9. Count on Me–Bruno Mars
10. Walking in the Jungle–Super Simple Learning (Youtube)
11. The Lion Sleeps Tonight–The Lion King 1 1/2 Soundtrack
12. My Heart Will Go On–Celine Dion
13. The Loco-Motion–Kylie Minogue (I liked this version better–more upbeat)
14. The Wheels on the Bus–Super Simple Learning
15. I Was Here–Beyonce
16. Let It Go–Frozen Soundtrack
17. Mr Sun–Mother Goose Club (Youtube)
18. When Will My Life Begin–Tangled Soundtrack (Mandy Moore–tons of vocab! yay!)
19. Five Little Monkeys (Jumping on the Bed)–(another favorite)
20. We’re Gonna Get Wet–Kidsongs

*Challenge Songs* (A bit more difficult)

21. Hopeful–Bars and Melody (anti-bullying song) (original audition version)
22. My Wish–Rascal Flatts
23. Roar–Katy Perry

I loved Kidsongs growing up so I’m excited to share it with them 🙂

I think I should admit myself to some sort of mental hospital because I’m already thinking of potential songs for the next CD since this one was such a big hit.  Oi vey.  And on that note, bedtime.

CDs

I think I’m about 60-70% finished with this CD-making project.

I’ve currently made 30 of 36 CDs (I’m going to bump it to 40 in case there are last-minute requests or any issues with scratches, etc.) and I’ve put together 25 of the lyric booklets.  I was going to print them all out at the same time, but I sort of blanched when I saw how many pages it was.  I’m making them double-sided, with 3-4 songs typically on one sheet of paper but it’s still a lot.  It helps my conscious to break it up a bit, haha.

Making the CDs hasn’t been as tedious as I was expecting.  I pretty much just go about my business here, watch movies, etc and just switch out the CDs every few minutes or so.  The CDs take about 6-7 minutes to burn and I put the lyric booklets together assembly-line style while listening to music, so yeah, not too bad.
My school also provided a pretty massive stack of blank CDs (maybe 50) PLUS the little paper sleeves, so that’s another expense taken off my shoulders.

Still need to:
*collect the money from the front desk (They were cross-checking that everyone had paid and that there were no double-payments)
*get bags and tissue paper (my school apparently gets discounts at a particular art/stationary supply store and my school said they’d reimburse me)
*finish the last CDs (will finish tonight)
*finish the last of the lyric sheets
*stuff the bags, add names
*distribute

I feel like I’m closer to finished than the list shows mainly because I think things will go quickly once I get those bags and the other lyric sheets printed off.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel!  I wanted to put them in bags and such to jazz them up and make everything look nice.  It’s a lot about the presentation with this sort of thing, IMO.

Anyhoo, just wanted to post a progress report, nothing special today.  🙂
Monday tomorrow!  Off to bed soon…