Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New blog baby!

Happy hump day from Korea!

I have great news to share...

I have a brand spanking new blog!  And a new name for my TPT store!  Woo-hoo!

I will be having a celebration soon, so be sure to head on over there and follow me!


I will also be giving away a freebie or two!


Monday, February 10, 2014

New Blog!

In 5 seconds you will be re-directed to my new blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

On pins and needles with worry

Bad news.  My Mac book is in the hospital.

And I feel absolutely sick about it.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday when one of my students came up and startled me.

It caused me to spill my water bottle onto my track pad, which made it start acting wonky and wackadoo.

So I found a place here in Daejeon that is an authorized Apple service provider.

Luckily the dude spoke enough English to understand me.

I won't know anything until Tuesday.

I am trying VERY hard not to worry and to think good thoughts.

There are a lot of precious things on that baby.

Has this happened to you or someone that you know?

Do you have any encouraging stories you can share so that I'm not worrying myself silly?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

So excited!

I am so excited that I just can't hide it!

I have been working on totally redoing my blog (the name, the theme, and basically the whole caboodle). I'm also working on creating a Pinterest account and Instagram account to go with it.  Does anyone else have separate accounts?

I can't wait to debut it!  Don't worry.  We will have a link so you can easily follow the new blog.

Here's a hint as to my new theme...

Coming soon to a computer near you!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Currently & Five for Friday (on Sunday)

I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the amazing February Currently.  I just love reading everyone's currently.  Don't you?

Listening: I am catching up on all my favorite TV shows from when I was on vacation.  I am watching Bones right now.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE murder mystery shows.  CSI, Bones, Criminal Minds....I love them all.

Loving: I went to Nara Park yesterday near Osaka, Japan where deer live in this park.  It was amazing. Check out the pictures below.

Wanting:  The food in Thailand was absolutely amazing.  Korean food does not even compare.  Not even close.  I ate Khao Soi and mango and sticky rice whenever I could, and it was magnificent.  I must learn how to make it.

Needing: I only took 2,000 pictures on my trips to Thailand and Japan.  Yes, I have a problem with taking pictures.  That's a lot of pictures to edit.

2 Truths and a Fib:  Hmmm....can you figure out which one is the fib?
~1. I did work at Chuck E Cheese in high school, and I did everything there except make the pizza.  That included dressing up as Chuck E.  One time, kids saw my long blond ponytail up in the head and figured out that I was a girl.  It was exactly that time when Chuck E had to go take a nap.
~2. I do not love chocolate.  I know.  I'm weird.  I like chocolate OK (chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies), but anything like Death By Chocolate is way too much chocolate for me.  One tiny piece of fudge will last me enough for an entire year.
~3. I did go sky-diving in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I totally want to go again when I get down to my goal weight.  It's an amazing feeling.  Absolutely amazing.

So now onto Five for Friday....I know I totally missed the Five for Friday on Friday, but I just back from a long weekend trip to Japan.  So please forgive me that I'm doing it on Sunday!

Go check out what everyone did this week on Doodle Bugs Teaching!

 What did I do this week?

On Sunday, I arrived back in Korea after vacationing in Thailand for 2 weeks.  It was wonderful.  Amazing.  Awesome.  So good that I did not want to come home.

And we were staying right in the middle of one of the big protests.  It was so amazing to be there at a big point in Thailand's history.

Other than the protests, my absolute favorite part of my trip to Thailand was visiting the Elephant Nature Park, where they rescue elephants and care for them, not hurting them or harming them in any way.  All the other ones in Thailand hit them or use harmful tactics to get them to do what they want.  I learned that riding in a basket on their backs can break their back.  One of the elephants there has a broken back exactly from that.  Another one is blind in both eyes because her handler shot both of her eyes with a slingshot after she refused to work when her baby, still in the placenta sack, rolled down the logging mountain and died.  What an amazing place.

I didn't realize this but something bit me on my back while I was in Thailand.  On Tuesday, this bite really started hurting so I went to the doctor and got anti-inflammatory medicine and antibiotics.  Well, this bite got worse and worse until it was one big knot.  It even hurt to lean back on pillows (it was right in the middle of my back).  Sorry, I can't include a picture but I couldn't contortion my body enough to take a picture.  It is finally getting better after um expelling itself.  Gross, I know.

Thursday and Friday were holidays for me (Lunar New Year), so I decided to take a long holiday weekend in Japan.  I flew into Osaka (less than 2 hours away) and went to Kyoto for two nights.  One of the places I went to in Kyoto was Nijo Castle.

On Saturday, I took a train from Kyoto to Osaka and met up with a friend who lives in Tokyo and speaks fluent Japanese, which was SO nice.

Jason, my friend, asked me if I wanted to do a city tour or a little bit different country tour.  I decided for the little bit different, and boy, am I glad I did.  If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE animals.  Jason took me to Nara Park, about an hour outside of Osaka, where deer live freely among the temples and shrines.  It was THE absolute best part of my trip to Japan.  The BEST.

The deer just come right up to you....especially if you have food!  You can buy these wafers to feed the deer, and they know when you have them!

The temple has a very large Buddha.

I just love looking at my pictures of the deer.  I remember them coming up to me so I could pet them.

This week, I hit a milestone on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have now made $1,000, and that really does excite me since I just started selling products in early October.  Woo-hoo!  Check out my store!
I just wish I knew what grade and subjects I would be teaching next year, so I could start making games, activities, and lessons.  I never know which direction God will take me.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The joys of desk-warming

You might be thinking.... What is desk-warming?

In Korea, English teachers often have to desk-warm on student holidays.  The regular teachers don't usually have to be at school, but the GETs (Guest English Teacher) do.

The janitor and a couple of the office staff might be there.  And you.

I have had desk-warming 3 days this week.  On Monday, it wasn't fun because I didn't have any electricity.  I had heat, which was great.  I didn't mind the lights because I have a lot of windows in my office.  But I sure did mind the electricity because I couldn't use the computer or anything.

It finally got fixed in the afternoon after I complained.

So what do I do during desk-warming?

On my school computer, I watch Netflix.  I have already watched (again) every season of Toddlers and Tiaras.  Am I the only person who liked that show?  It's such a train wreck, and it made me want to smack some of the moms, but I still loved it.

I have also watched several movies, including all those great tear-jerker family ABC family Christmas movies during Christmas.

Now, I am on a Bones kick. I love that show and have seen every single episode.  So starting at the beginning again has been a real treat, back when Bones and Seeley weren't together.  Love it.

While I'm watching TV on my school computer, I am working on items for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  These are some of the goodies I have been working on lately.

Match-Up Puzzles - mental math division
Match-Up Puzzles - fractions and decimals
Match-Up Puzzles - place value whole numbers expanded form
Mix & Match Math Choice Boards

I sure wish I knew what grade level and subject I will be teaching next year, so I could get a jumpstart and start creating games and activities.  So instead I am just creating things I would have used in the classroom in my previous years of teaching.  It keeps me busy during all those desk-warming hours.

Just curious...what would you do if you had desk-warming hours?

Highlights of Thailand - part 1

Here are a couple of highlights from my trip to Thailand...

Here is Wat Pho and the big reclining Buddha.

The Grand Palace.  So....much....gold....

Getting a fish foot spa "massage".  The fish nibble the dry skin off your feet.  Yes, it really tickles.  And these fish were HUNGRY!

Hanging out with all the protestors

The huge monitor lizard in the park

This is just part one...

Monday, January 20, 2014

One Night in Bangkok

I am currently on winter vacation in Thailand.  I know.  It's a hard life.  Teachers back in the states got their two weeks during Christmas, but I had to work.  I brought my laptop with me so I wouldn't have thousands of pictures to upload when I got home.  I'm a little bit obsessed with taking pictures.  I will be the first to admit it.  However, I am happy to be that way.

Case in point....

I have never in my life been a part of history before.  Until now.

We arrived in Bangkok on Monday, January 13th.  If you didn't know, Thailand is going through some rough spots with the government.  The people say that the government is corrupt and have been protesting against it for several months.  They decided to do a big resurgence on Monday, January 13th where thousands and thousands of people protested in 7 different parts of the city.  They call it the "Bangkok Shutdown 13 January 2014".

So when my friend and I booked our hostel, we did not know that the hostel was right smack dab in the middle of one of the major protests.  Literally.  You walk out the door of the hostel, and there it is.

This is our view as we got off the subway for our hostel.  Our mouths literally dropped open.

I love to teach history.  I taught two years of 6th grade world cultures, and I loved it.  But I've never witnessed or been a part of a historical event.  To be able to be a part of history is amazing.  I will definitely be bringing this to my classroom.

I've also learned this and will be bringing it to my classroom.  Don't believe everything the media tells you.  Throughout the news and media, we kept hearing about the protests in Bangkok.  "Stay away."  "Protestors have died."  "It is dangerous.  Don't go there."

I have traveled to 45 countries.  I know about traveling.  I have been scared in a foreign country before.  I was in Russia the day that 9 suicide bombers died, and they closed the Red Square.  And I got lost.  I will never forget that day.

However, in Bangkok, I was not scared.  Not one bit.  The so-called dangerous protestors were the nicest, most welcoming people.  Way more welcoming and nice than the Korean people....where I live mind you.  They were there to show their support, like one big sit-in.  There were people sitting and talking with each other, wearing whistles to show their pride and support, selling red, white, and blue goodies, and cooking and selling food.  People brought their tents to sleep in or they just slept on the street.  It was an amazing sight to see.  Several people wanted us to take their picture.  People even wanted their pictures taken with us.

I am SO glad it worked out this way that we were able to be there on the big day.  I wouldn't have traded this for the world.

As I mentioned before, I'm a bit obsessed with taking pictures.  I took A LOT more pictures from our first night in Bangkok.  If you want to check them out, please hop on over to my personal blog, The Elephant Hat.

There will be more posts coming from my adventures in Thailand!  By the way....I love this place SO much that you might have to drag me back to Korea.  The food, the people, the everything here is amazing.  And to think....I can go back home to Korea and have baby octopus, fish heads, and kimchi.  Oh joy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The rainbow connection

Several of my students are learning their ABCs.  We do all kinds of activities to practice them.

We put together ABC puzzles (which I got from the dollar store here).

We sing songs (of course we sing songs), and we act out our ABCs.  I have never taught kindergarten or students with moderate to severe learning disabilities, so this has been a stretch for me.  A good stretch, but still a stretch.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine sent me an email with some ideas.  She used to teach dyslexic students before she retired.  She told me about the Rainbow Mat.  I made a simple one from some construction paper I found in the classroom and introduced it to my students.  They loved it.

Mina loves matching the magnetic letters to the letters on the mat.

I thought possibly other teachers might benefit from it as well.  It would be great for students with learning disabilities, preschool students, RTI small group instruction, etc.  So I have been working for a while on The ABC Rainbow Connection (yes, I love the Muppets...therefore the Rainbow Connection).  "And someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me."
The ABC Rainbow Connection
I love to use the rainbow mats with my ABC Mix and Match Word Wall Cards.
ABC Mix and Match Word Wall Cards
 Here are some examples of the pictures:

I show a picture, and students choose the letter of the alphabet that the picture starts with.

Teaching here has not been easy, but I have really learned a lot.  I am always thinking of new ideas and new activities to teach my students.  I am being stretched, that's for sure.  Just call me Stretch Armstrong!  Do you remember him?

By the way, I will be out of pocket for a bit, since I will be in Thailand for 2 weeks for my winter vacation.  I am SO excited!  I am taking my laptop, so I will try to upload a couple of pictures if I can.