Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas in Korea

I am linking up with Teaching in the Tongass for a Christmas photo linky party!

This is a picture only, no words linky party.  If you want to know more (and I know you do), please follow my blog because I will be posting more pictures about Christmas very soon!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Time!

This past week I have been introducing Christmas to my students.  We read, It Is Christmas, my Christmas emergent reader, and sang the book as we read it.  My students tend to read better when it's put to music or rhythm.  I wonder if that's true for all ESL students.

After we read the book, we also matched the Christmas words to the pictures using my Christmas ESL vocabulary cards.  My students can't read, so what I usually do is read the word while showing the card.  Then I put out maybe 6-8 pictures and have them find the picture that matches the word.  

Of course, we also sang some Christmas songs like Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

I am always thinking of how to best teach my students over here.  Not only are they blind or visually impaired, but they also have moderate to severe learning disabilities.  I have students at the middle school level who are learning their ABCs or early sight words.  Then on top of that they are learning a second language.  I have tried using TPR activities in the classroom, but I am struggling to come up with activities that truly work.  Some of the TPR activities I have found require them to stand up when they hear a word that starts with the "P" sound; however, my students have trouble deciphering words that start with certain sounds.

I would LOVE any ideas that you have.  The way that my co-teacher teaches is to say each word extremely slowly and with bad enunciation.  Then she has the students repeat each word after her.  Are they learning English?  No.  Have any great ideas that you could share with me?  Please?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Final exams in Korea

Last week was final exams at my school.  Final exams are a BIG deal.  One of my high school students was even crying earlier in the week because she was so nervous.

I didn't have any classes Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday except for reading the final exam to two of my students.

You might be wondering what my school lunch looks like.  Every day there is kimchi and a soup.  On this particular day, it was a really good lunch.  We had sweet and sour shrimp and odeng guk (fish cake soup).  Now you know it's a good day if I go back for seconds.  Seriously!  I went back for seconds on the shrimp because it was so good.  The noodles in the soup were pretty good too, but I don't really like fish cake.  It's basically processed fish pieces mixed with flour and other things.  Sounds yummy, doesn't it?

During my class with my girls, we were singing Christmas songs, and one of my girls reaches over and holds my hand.  How sweet.  In Korea, it is not uncommon to see girls holding hands with each other AND boys as well.  Boys will lean their heads on each other's shoulders, hold hands, and display other forms of affection.  It took me a while to get used to it.  You even see grown men holding hands walking down the street.

This last picture is a funny for you.  I saw this at my local Home Plus, which is like the Korean Walmart.  Now I'm single, and I wondered if this is the way to get a man in Korea.  I don't know if I want to try it.  What do you think?

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for her December Currently.  This is my very first link, and I am super stoked!

Most of these are pretty self-explanatory except maybe Winter Camp plans.  In Korea, you have Winter Camp during the long winter break.  In Korea, the school year is from March to December, and there is vacation from January - March...usually.  Every school is different.  My winter camp is from December 30th to January 11th.  I will be teaching 4 classes, 2 elementary and 2 middle.  The teachers have asked me to read a book, sing songs, and do a game or activity every day.  So I will be reading the book that my sweet friend, Mandy, sent me and then singing fun camp songs like Baby Shark and Singing in the Rain.  I think it will be a lot of fun.

As for Christmas Vacation, it's my favorite Christmas movie...along with White Christmas, Elf, and A Christmas Story.  I usually watch Christmas Vacation several times throughout the Christmas season, and I've even been known to watch it in July.  This year, since I have been in Korea, I have already seen it 6 times.  Maybe it makes me less homesick.  I'm not sure.  But I do love the Griswolds.  Don't you?

A great couple of weeks

It has been a great couple of weeks lately.

I introduced new ABC puzzles to my students, which they really enjoyed.  They liked them so much that I made my own using my favorite clip art, the clip art I have used for all my ABC goodies.

Here are the ABC puzzles I created for my students.  Can't wait to use them!

ABC Puzzles

I also introduced Red Fish Blue Fish to Mina and Seora.  Mina absolutely loved it and tried to read along with me.  It was SO cute!

On Sunday, while all my friends and family back in Texas were stuck inside due to the ice storm, I was walking to church on a beautiful day.  Nah...not bragging at all.  Because only yesterday, I had to walk to school in the snow.

That lovely weather didn't last long.  On Monday afternoon, it was cold and rainy.  This weather actually reminds me a lot of Texas, only the variations don't happen as suddenly in Daejeon as they do in Texas.

Last week, I went to Deagu for the weekend and met a friend at the dog shelter there.  We played with the dogs and then took them for a dog walk to a park.  If you know anything about me, you will know that I LOVE dogs and experiencing new things in new places.  So this was by far one of my favorite experiences I've had in Korea.  I loved it!  And yes, I wish I could bring at least a couple of them home with me.

I fell head over heels in love with her.

My two dogs that I took on the dog walk...

In Korea, many people don't know how to interact with or treat dogs.  So it's important to teach them how to interact with them, so that they aren't so fearful.

My dogs made my house a home.  I feel lonely over here in Korea without them.  Sad face.  It's too quiet.  I saw a toy dog at the store yesterday and actually considered buying it.  Sad, huh?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving and Winter Wonderland


Thanksgiving was certainly different this year!  About 20 English teachers went to a Brazilian buffet restaurant that was absolutely magnificent.  They came to the table and brought rotisserie meat and shaved off pieces for us.  It was THE best food I have had in Korea.  Although it wasn't turkey and dressing, it was a great Thanksgiving.  How was your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving in Korea

Being a teacher, I recently created an ABC list for Korea on my blog about living in Korea.  I've been living here now 3 months, and I still can't believe it.

Check it out at Elephant Hat.

How is fall going for you?  Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving?  I've been teaching my students about fall and Thanksgiving words.  I take a simple little emergent reader on Thanksgiving and make it into a little song.  That seems like I'm doing that a lot.  Is God preparing me for something perhaps?  We never know, do we?

We went to a PE competition with other schools, and guess what our snack was?  Dried squid.  Yum...

We have been working on putting our ABCs in order.  My friend who taught dyslexic students told me about this ABC rainbow that she used with her students.  It has been working fabulously with my students, and they really enjoy it.

Oh, and I have a big announcement!  There is a BIG sale going on December 2nd and 3rd on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Woo-hoo!  Everything in my store will be 20% off, so get your wish lists ready!

Here are some new products I have uploaded to my store recently:
ABC Mix and Match Word Wall Cards
Bloom's Boxes - Fiction
Bloom's Boxes - Nonfiction
STAR Bucks
In the Jungle Emergent Reader
Super Hero Reading Response Stems
Winter Clothes Emergent Reader
Have a happy Thanksgiving!  I will be going to a Brazilian restaurant for a big buffet dinner Thursday night to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Although it won't be turkey, I will be with friends, and there will be a ton of good food.  Bring it on!