Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Workin' At The Car Wash

Seriously where does the time go? Tomorrow we start the grand ol’ month of October (oh and believe me it is GRAND- I get to see Nathan and Sallee, it’s Erin’s Birthday, it’s Jamie’s Birthday, and best of all it’s my birthday :D), I look back at the two months that I have already been here and I see so many adventures that I have been on, so many things that I have learned, and I look forward to the next two and half months for the adventures and learning that I will have. I guess among my excitement I should also say thanks, to those of you who have come along with me on my journey, you have all been a huge support to me, more than you will probably ever know.

I went to bed pretty early last night; it wasn’t even midnight- which I was quite proud of myself for doing. That was an extremely good thing especially considering that I don’t normally get to bed until after 1am. I woke up this morning feeling so refreshed, amazing what a little bit more of sleep can do. I didn’t exactly jump out of my bed but I was ready to face the day, with a smile on my face (oh yeah I forgot to add, I had even showered before I went to bed which makes it an even bigger deal).

In my morning class this morning we did something called a car wash. Basically the kids moved their hands in circles in front of their body a lot, pretending to be a car wash. Once they had figured that part out (yeah like that took a long time) we got into two lines, one at a time the kids would walk down between the two lines and be “washed.” Basically during this activity there was a lot of tickling, giggling, and a bunch of everything else that is generally involved with 3, 4, 5 year olds. The 4 and 5 year olds got it pretty well, but when I tried getting the 3 year olds to line up in two lines and it didn’t happen I figured that I was going to have to come up with a different plan really fast. So different plan I did, I showed the kids how to pretend to be a wash and then I would just yell out randomly that someone was a car and everyone would rush over and “wash” the person (meanwhile the person was trying to run away from their washers). All in all I think that the activity went pretty well and that the kids seemed to enjoy it, which in my book makes it a pass.

I think that I mentioned before that they absolutely love Christmas here, when I first got here it seemed like I was always hearing Christmas carols, but lately I haven’t been hearing any, but Natalie and I have been talking about different plans for the rest of the semester and Christmas keeps on coming up. So lately I have been getting excited and wanted to hear Christmas music, but it seemed that the only song that they seemed to know is Jingle Bells (which isn’t a bad song), so I decided that for today’s music class I would teach them a new Christmas carol, we started and it didn’t take me very long to figure out that the 4 and 5 year olds know more than just Jingle Bells. Every time though I would move onto a different song I would hear from several people that they wanted to sing Jingle Bells, so we went back to that song often- Natalie is going to teach them Frosty the Snow Man later this week, we will see how that goes.

Lunch was pretty unproductive, no peeing children (well I am sure that there were many children peeing, but luckily I didn’t see any of it :D) and all the kids that normally are the last ones eating finished first and everyone was done a lot earlier than normal, yippee! As I was going upstairs after lunch though Natalie was coming back down the stairs and stopped to tell me some bad/sad news. I guess because it is the national holiday the tickets for the whole weekend of the 10th have been sold out for a long time, so it looks like we won’t be going to Taipei, but while we were talking I thought that since we couldn’t go to Taipei maybe there would be a weird chance that we could go to Green Island instead. Natalie liked the idea and so I said that I would talk to Yuling about it later (which I did). Again during my break I was just kind of internet cruising, not doing much that was productive, though for once I didn’t feel tired and like I needed a nap. I went down early to talk to Yuling, I told her how Natalie and I were planning on going to Taipei for the long weekend, and she was like “Oh, you had better get your tickets” I told her that we weren’t able to go anymore but were wondering at this late of date would it be possible to get tickets to Green Island. She said that since Green Island is to the south and not to the north it will not be as bad and it is also not the season where everyone wants to go, she also told me that Natalie and I could probably each go for about $1600-$1800NT (so about $48-$54), that would include the ferry to the island, a bike rental, hotel for one night, breakfast in the morning, and a session of snorkeling. I think that, that is a pretty good deal and talked to Natalie about it, she thought so too, so I am pretty sure that now Natalie and I will be headed to Green Island week from Friday (sorry Nate and Sallee).

My afternoon lesson went really well, we were talking about our favorite flowers and shapes (ok more about our favorite shapes). I started with showing them some pictures of different shapes and then we went through and had each person say what their favorite shape was. Once that was all through each person was given a piece of paper to draw their favorite shape all over (see blog post Mommy, Look What I Did!). When they had finished drawing their favorite shape they were supposed to flip the paper over and draw their favorite flower, the shapes went pretty well but a lot of the kids didn’t get the flowers done, it is ok though. When everyone had finished drawing they handed back in their papers (it was kind of funny, when we were done Leslee came up to me and said something along the lines of “is this we take home,” I can’t quite remember the exact sentence but I do know that it was a jumble of words but I knew what she was trying to ask) and I showed a couple of them asking them what they thought was that person’s favorite shape.

*I don’t remember if I have mentioned (and I am too lazy to go back and look :D), but at the beginning of my afternoon class I let the kids pick two songs for us to sing, anyway last week when I asked my first afternoon class what song they wanted to sing they responded that they wanted to sing Teacher Beth’s song, so I made this song up on the spot- now they ask for this at least once a day during the afternoon class. So here is my song, it is sung to the tune of “I am 16 going on 17” from “Sound of Music”:

I am Teacher, Teacher Beth, I teach you every day. I teach you to be silly, and happy in every way.

It’s not very long, but I would also say not too bad considering that I made it up on the spot, words kind of just tumbled out of my mouth and they made sense.

When class was over I played with Wendy for awhile, while I was sitting on the ground she had climbed on my shoulders (she has gotten quite good at it) and wanted me to walk around, so I did the scary thing of standing up with her on my shoulders. We walked around the playground for awhile but then my shoulders/neck were getting tired so I took her off, but before I could walk away she grabbed my hand and just started walking around with me. I did that for awhile but then needed to go plug my laptop back in and so extracted my finger from her hand (yes I said extracted, it was a little difficult to get her to let go—not that I am really complaining :D). I came back upstairs and did a couple of things but then decided to run to the grocery store before it got any later or darker.

When I got home from the grocery store I didn’t have much time before tutoring (this week and last week I had my 5 o’clock tutoring canceled- it has been rather nice not having to rush up to that), so during my short little time I looked up some stuff on Green Island to show Natalie when we had time. Tutoring went really well, I think that this was the most that I have ever heard Mark talk, he really opened up tonight- which makes the tutoring session so much more interesting for me.

As soon as both Natalie and I were done with our tutoring we worked on a letter for Yuling, I am a little disappointed with it, it is not as professional as I think that it should be, but Natalie thinks that it should be more understandable than professional. It is done though and I sent it to Yuling so we will see what she says. Ever since I have been working on this journal and doing some other stuff (I am really good at multi-tasking, ok probably not as generally I don’t get very far on either :D). Now I am done and have some other stuff to work on, so I think that I am going to sign off, I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday. Love you all lots! ~Betherd~

P.S. I might be going to Hong Kong in 3 weeks!! Stay tuned as more details are learned! ;D


Official Countdown

10 Days Until They Leave

12 Days Until They Land in Taiwan

14 Days Until I See Them in Hualien!!!! (Yep that is still the best one :D)

Loves again!

Mommy, Look What I Did!

So I figured that I haven't posted my projects in awhile and decided that since I have quite a bit from the past few weeks that I would share, these are not all but I just thought that i would give you a little sample of what we have been up to lately at Owl Preschool in Teacher Beth's class!

Today in my afternoon class we were drawing pictures of our favorite shapes, so here are several examples of my favorite shapes (actually I don't really know what my favorite shape is though I do like stars and triangles a lot)

Another example (notice how good I am at remembering to write my name :D)

My favorite flower (mine is Gerber Daisy though I'm not sure if that really looks like one)

Another example, triangles.

This is my name sign from yesterday that is going to go at the top of my mobile, I am quite excited for when we finish those to see how cool they look.

A circle picture, I think that it is cute and turned out pretty good :D

Yeah this is one of my constellations, it was my 1st one and I am not quite sure what it is- not even sure why I am putting it up.

Another personal constellation, I do have to be honest and say that I did know what I was making this time and purposely put the stars where they were so that they would form the fish.

My shimmery stars that I made last week in the afternoon class.

We had extra glitter out when we were done with the shimmery stars so I took the glue and made a couple of pretty pictures- I gave one to Natalie and one to Rebecca after she had helped me a bunch without me asking.

This was not drawn by me, this is another circle picture and it was drawn by Leslee, it is her dear friend Jimmy.

This one is another picture that was not drawn by me (though still circle picture). In the 5 year old class I showed a couple of examples that people had given me from the 4 year old class, two of the ones that I had shown was the picture that Jimmy drew of Leslee and vice-versa. At the end of the class Joy came back and gave me this, from one direction it is Jimmy and from the other direction it is Leslee- now that just has to make your day :D

Another circle picture- a snowman

Yep, another circle picture- candy, yum, yum!

Last week in one of my afternoon classes we were supposed to draw a bunch of stars on our paper and then make them into a picture (our own constellation). I just placed a whole bunch of stars on my paper and then looked at it and saw this (not bad considering I was doing this in front of the class as an example)

Last week in one of my classes we did pictures using a circle, many of these are my drawings from the different classes- I was really happy with the original of this that I did, but when a cute 3 year old asks if they can have it, you just can't say no. So this was me trying to reproduce it and at some point it became my paper for trying other markers on.

Two weeks ago we did worked on numbers 1-5 in one of my classes, these are the different papers that we did in each class. This is the one that we did in the 4 year old class.

5 year old class.

3 year old class ( notice the black dots, that is what we did on most of the kids papers so that they could understand and follow)

I didn't actually draw this one, but it was given to me and it makes me laugh. This is another one of the circle pictures, it was drawn by Jimmy and it is Leslee (refer to the picture of Jimmy drawn by Leslee :D)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heading To Bed

The movies are taking forever to upload, it is 11:39, I think that I am going to head to bed and finish them in the morning. Love You All! ~Betherd~

A Happy Monday

Ok I am not starting this as early as I had planned on, but I am at least starting it on the day of and hopefully will get it done quite quickly. I am happy that I am getting back into the swing of things (blogging that is).

I woke up this morning pretty tired, for some reason last night I was having several dreams about bugs being all over my room and that they were crawling all over me, needless to say when you are imagining lots of bugs crawling all over you and your room you don’t get lots of sleep.

Thankfully I had planned pretty easy things for my classes today. In my morning class I started with the good old classic “Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar,” in the 4 year old class they really got into it, after we had gone through everyone in the class they started accusing non-people objects in the room (different chairs, the white board, the paper Santa Clause on the wall, etc.), but these non-people objects still had to answer so I of course had to make up voices for each item, they thought that, that was pretty funny. The 5 year olds came into class and told me that Teacher Yuling had taught them that song (though of course they couldn’t really remember it and Yuling said that when she had taught them they didn’t really get it), it took them a little bit but they eventually got into the song, for some reason they liked to say that I stole the cookies a lot (I think that sometimes I was going every other person in the class). 3 year olds I of course have to do a lot simpler, I would clap (they of course would get into that part) and then sing the song, I would also prompt them with what to say. It was about when we had done every person in the room that the 3 year olds started to get the idea and when I asked them who stole the cookies they would start pointing to someone, it was kind of funny because I would ask whoever had been pointed at if they had stolen the cookies, they would tell me no and then point at someone else- it kind of made me laugh. It was so weird, at the very end of class I had asked the 3 year olds to be quiet for a little bit, I think that they were completely silent for almost one minute (you could hear a pin drop, except for the sound coming through the windows from the other classrooms), both Stephanie and I were surprised that they did it, but as soon as the silence was done it was definitely done (the boys went straight to yelling and climbing on top of each other).

I had remembered about the family call but had forgotten at the same time, it wasn’t until I sat down at my desk that I really remembered so I called in quickly. I enjoyed getting to talk to everyone, but particularly Sonia as I haven’t really been able to talk to her since I left Utah.

I think that I have mentioned before but I find it really funny that I can walk into the classroom and not really have any plans about what I am going to do, but it comes really fast as I start the class and then by the 2nd and 3rd class it is even better and planned. My middle class today was one of those, I knew that I was going to be talking about buddy systems but didn’t really know what I was going to do and particularly how I was going to make it last for 30 minutes. I walked into the classroom and the 3 year olds were of course running around crazy, strangely though today they got calmed down quickly and sat down faster than usual (I wonder how many of them are sick?). I was just about ready to start the class when Meggy walked in, of course all the kids wanted to run over and say hello (what kind of 3 year old would they be if they didn’t want to greet whoever was walking in?), luckily they again settled down pretty quickly. Since the kids were doing so well (and it helps to take up time :D) when they started talking about Yogi Bear I asked them if they would like to sing it, and of course they did. The kids love this song, particularly the last verse (Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger. Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang), they always pretend to shoot me and then I fall down at the last verse because they got me. When I fall down they like to climb on top of me like a jungle gym, I let them sit there for a little bit but then have them get off and go back to their seats.

When we were done with the song I asked the 3 year olds if they had remembered when we had talked about strangers, they didn’t really at first so we reviewed. We talked about how one way that we can work to prevent getting kidnapped by strangers is to always go with a buddy; we then took a “walk” around the classroom, everyone with buddies. It took a little bit to get the kids separated and to stand in a line but they actually did really well when we were walking, I was so proud of them. When we had finished our walk there was about 5 minutes left so I let the 3 year olds go and play for the few minutes that there were left. For the 4 and 5 year olds I knew that the taking a walk would not last the whole 30 minutes so with the 4 year olds I added a part after we went on our walk where I would ask someone to go and find something for me on the other side of the room where I couldn’t really see them, they were supposed to pick a partner to go with them and stay together the whole time. it went really well, I think my favorite part was with Yukai and Eric, I had asked them to take something back and to remember to go with a partner, Yukai walked up to Eric, grabbed his hand and then they walked and put it back- it made me feel good because they were listening to what I had been saying and remembered about the holding hands part.

When I walked towards the lunch classroom I looked to the left towards the other classroom and saw that Annie (3 year old) was crying, I have never seen Annie crying, I don’t even remember her crying when she first started (though I am sure that she did), she is always laughing, screaming and creating havoc. So seeing her cry was quite strange, I asked Stephanie what had happened, I guess that Annie had made a mess and she had been asked to clean it up, hence the crying. Anyway during lunch I looked over at Annie and saw that she was having trouble keeping her eyes open, I told Stephanie that she wouldn’t be having any trouble with her when it came time for nap time (I am beginning to think that, that might be why she flipped out so bad about having to clean up a mess- she was tired). Not long later Stephanie all of a sudden gasped and looked over at Annie, she had fallen asleep at the table, Kristy shook her awake and I had Annie come over and sit next to me in hopes that she wouldn’t fall asleep again, no such luck- we were cleaning when Kristy said something and pointed over at Annie. She was just sitting at a chair with an apple in her hand, again with her chin down and asleep. Stephanie woke her up and had her stand-up until the beds were laid out and it was nap time, in hopes that she would not fall asleep again. That was adventure 1 of lunch time, adventure 2: as I was walking towards the door to take lunch stuff back to the kitchen I looked up to see Yukai peeing his pants on the sidewalk right outside the door (yippee---NOT!), luckily I just had to carefully get out of there and then Stephanie cleaned it up.

I generally take a nap myself during the 1st hour of my break but lately I have been getting distracted doing other personal stuff (mostly just web cruising) for the 1st hour and then realize that it is the last hour and I need to make sure that everything is ready for my afternoon class. Today was again one of those cases. So no nap, I definitely think that I will be going to bed early tonight, as no nap and not sleeping very well last night do not add up well.

In our afternoon classes this week our lesson is “About Me,” when I first got here and I was researching for lesson ideas and themes I kept seeing ideas for this theme and I always thought that it sounded kind of weird, but as Natalie and I have started planning it I have actually gotten pretty excited about them. So we decided that we are going to make mobiles this week and each day we will make a piece for it (like we did with the passports), so today I had the kids make the titles for their mobiles (a piece of paper with their name on it- they got to color and decorate the paper that is going to go at the top), I also took pictures of each of the kids. In Natalie’s class she had the kids draw a self portrait of themselves, we are going to print a copy of their picture and then we will glue the actual picture and the self portrait back-to-back later when we make the actual mobiles. I am pretty excited about making these mobiles, I think that they are going to turn out really cool- the part that makes me laugh the most is that we of course have to make this with a Taiwanese twist…we had asked Yuling for a hanger for each child to be the base (I guess?) of the mobiles, this afternoon instead of hangers she gave us a whole bunch of cheap wooden chopsticks, I guess we are either going to glue them like a cross or something and use them. It is not something that I would ever have thought of but it makes sense, but it does make me laugh at the same time.

When class was over I took my stuff back upstairs and then went back down to walk around and record my school/apartment tour. Let me tell you something, the tour maybe took me 10 minutes tops to walk around and record but putting it up on the blog has taken me more than 4 hours, with our really slow connection it takes a long time to upload each video and I have several---so family you had better appreciate it (:D). When I was done with my tour I came back to my room and started uploading the movies to my blog and that was what I was doing until I had tutoring at 7 with Sarah. Sarah is so cute and really easy to tutor, she works hard and I never have to remind her to work, I did feel kind of bad though because I was having trouble staying awake while I was tutoring her- luckily I don’t think that she noticed. When we were done she left and I got myself some dinner and ever since I have been still working on uploading videos, writing up this, and doing more internet cruising.

I am proud of myself, it is 10:40 and I am done. I think that as soon as I am done with uploading the videos I am going to actually head to bed (early I know). Hopefully now the movies won’t take too long to upload. I love you all lots and hope that you have a wonderful Monday. ~Betherd~

P.S. Oh my goodness I can’t believe that I almost forgot to mention it, actually I think that I probably already did but I am really excited about it, yesterday while I was sitting in the office with not much to do I got my lesson plans ready for the next 4 weeks, now I all have to do is add my afternoon classes after talking to Natalie and I am set- that is just amazing to me! :D

P.P.S. I bet you thought that I had forgotten.

Official Countdown:

11 Days Until They Leave

13 Days Until They Land in Taiwan

15 Days Until I See Them in Hualien!!!! (That is the best one :D)

Loves again!

Video Tour

So here is my video tour of my apartment finally! I am a little irritated with how long it has taken to upload it all, but it is done with and I don't have to do it again, yippee!! Sorry for it being a little shaky, I am not the most steady camera person. I do also narrate the whole thing, you don't have to listen to that part if you don't want to (I hate hearing my voice on camera- ick!). Sorry about there being so many different videos, but it would have been worse to try and do bigger recordings, they go in order, left to right, down left to right, etc. Loves to all! ~Betherd~

video video video video video video video video video video video video video video