Monday, February 25, 2013

Productive weekend

This weekend was fabulous.  Because of Thai Day and a Buddhist holiday, we had a 4 day weekend!!!!!  Thursday was also Moe's last day of full time subbing, so the weekend was celebration of his 'freedom'.  He is actually quite sad about being done and has said he will miss the kids!!  I am so proud of him for making it through and learning so much.

Anyway, we had discussed going away for the weekend but I am so glad we didn't.  I was so so SO productive.  I think we should have 4 day weekends more often.

Friday, I went to the market by myself, shopped and then went to school to work.  I reorganized my library. Thankfully I inherited a fully loaded library but it was unorganized and the kids destroyed it :[ so I needed to intervene. It was driving me crazy how it was.  So I spent the day there Friday working.  It is now beautiful and I can't wait for my kids to use it!! Hopefully it stays beautiful for a little while. If you really care here are before and after photos!

This photo was taken Thursday, Thai Day.  You can sorta see Moe and his Thai shirt!  Yes those are elephants!  It buttons up in Thai style.

Friday night we stayed home and watched Doctor Who together.  Yes Moe has got me hooked on the show!! I am just finishing season 4.  It is fun to watch the show together.  We also discussed a motorbike that was for sale.  We decided we were interested enough to set up an appointment to ride/see it.

So Saturday morning first thing we rode 40 minutes to look at and test drive a motorbike.  It is an older bike but it is reliable and cheap, which is really all we wanted.  It is the style of bike that I want, has a floor board and is an automatic.  We were pleased with it but wanted to talk it over some more.

On the way home we explored some new areas and got some good sun... or burnt!  We went out to brunch and then went shopping. We bought a new external hard drive to share, since we now have so many pictures and movies and teacher things from me.  Both our laptops were full so we needed more space! Now we have space for years!  It was fun exploring the electronic store with Moe though.  He gets so excited but still has to find the best deal.  I was and am pleased with our purchases.

Oh back up a few days.  Wednesday both Moe and I realized how WHITE I was/am.  I was saddened by the fact that I live in the tropics but am equally as white as I would be in America.  So I have decided to take more of an effort to lay out after work and work on my tan!  So I laid out both Friday and Saturday.  BUT I am burnt from the motorcycle ride on my neck and arms.  It is a little depressing!

Anyway, the rest of the weekend we relaxed and enjoyed it! I have been a reading machine.  I have read 2 books that I will use for school. Sure they are 5th/6th grade reading level but they count right!?!  I have finished my current James Patterson book and am now on to book number 4.  Thanks Momma and Daddio for getting those for me! They have been so fun and a great escape!

After searching for a semi-long time for the bike that we wanted and in our price range we have decided to go ahead with the bike that we looked at on Saturday.  Right now Moe is on his way to put a down payment for it!! The owners are not leaving Chiang Mai until March so we have a little bit of time before it is officially ours, but it is so exciting! I can't wait to use it. I am very pleased.  I will post pictures when I can.  This is the type of bike but not the actual one.  It will have a little basket on the front too.

Anyway, a productive weekend all around.  Hopefully school will be much better this week than last.  I am trying to stay positive and focus on the good things that are happening at school rather than the behavior issues and stresses.  This quote has helped!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thai Day at school

Today was Thai Day.  Every year the school has a special cultural day.  It rotates with International Day, so next year we will have international day.  It is a celebration of culture, music, dance, games, crafts, food, and more.  This year Thai Day focused on the coming together of the ASEAN community, southeast Asian countries.

Brief schedule of the day:
  Normal first period... yea right!
  Second period get ready for ceremony - changing and make up
  9:30 head to ceremony
  9:45 ceremony
  11:15 (An hour and a half LATER!!)  ceremony ends. Back to class to change
  11:30 Lunch
  1:00 Games/activities begin
  2:30 LEAVE

Ok I am going to be very honest... I was very nervous for this day.  The whole school was involved plus parents plus community.  New things happening when I am supposed to be in charge scare me!  The day did not go as I thought it would.  I was frustrated most of the day.  Looking back on it though I realized my outlook affected my kids almost as much as it affected me.  I now know that I need to be energetic and try to enjoy things no matter what so that my students can try to do the same thing.  Lesson learned for sure!

Anyway, we separated guys and girls for changing.  The guys had pants and shirts - easy peasy!!  The girls were a whole other story.  Skirts that needed pinned, tops needed pinned, scarf things worn like a sleeve, hair, makeup the works!

I jumped right in pinning things saying over and over "I have no idea what I am doing!"  At one point I was not doing anything and asked a Thai mom what I could do.  She suggested makeup.  I was nervous.  So I carefully put some simple eye shadow on a girl and some lip color stuff.  The girl thought it was fine.  Later I noticed it was not fine because the mom took over and put more, LOTs more makeup on.  Make up was on almost, if not all, of the girls in K-6th grades.... crazy-ness!  OH and I had one of the Thai moms put flowers in my hair.  She thought it was so fun!

Then we headed to the ceremony.  Here are some pictures of the students who performed.  Each performance was in honor of something and all quite meaningful for the Thai folk.  For me, just seeing the costumes and the styles of dance were so fun!  The ceremony was quite long and warm but we made it.

4th Grade
4th Grade boys
4th Grade again - I couldn't resist!

5th Grade
6th Grade

Pre- kindergarteners.  They were SOO cute!

3rd Grade


2nd Grade

High School Dancers
Models from fashion show...

 After lunch, we did some activities.  Each elementary class went to three different stations.  There were lots of stations with kids everywhere.  It was so fun to see what everyone was doing.  We did: Making Thai food, Muay Thai, and Painting Bags.  At the food station, we watched them cook a simple meal and sampled it (right after lunch might not have been my choice but thats ok!).  At Muay Thai (Thai boxing) we learned three simple moves, punching, kicking, and kneeing (is that a word?!).  I am sure my students would have rather learned more though!  Painting Bags was probably the favorite! We were in the shade - Thank goodness! - so that always helps.  Each student got a small draw string bag and painted it however they wished.  They turned out great!!

food making
Muay Thai

 Painting bags

By the end of the day we were all exhausted and ready to go home.  It was a day to remember for sure.
Sadly Moe and I did not get a picture together.... I guess we will just have to dress up some other time too!  I did get one picture with a kid, so here it is cropped and what not.

Sorry for the super long post full of pictures, but hopefully you enjoyed it!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's in Thailand is very different.  Only similarities:  Everyone goes out to dinner and everyone buys flowers.  Both are quite cheap here.  Other than that it is different.  Valentine cards (for kids) are not possible to find here.  There are some "Happy Valentines Day" cards like what 'grown ups' send.  Limited special Valentine's candy is made, but chocolate is popular to buy.  No fun heart candy or sweet hearts or anything like that.

Anyway, at school we had some fun.  Last week I had no idea what to do but was suggested to do the felt heart weaving basket.  It was fun! I learned a lot about my kids while doing it!

My school is blessed to be able to order some supplies for crafts and things.  I had them order me felt. I got way more than I needed.  I had about 100 pieces of 5x12 in. I am so sad that I forgot to take a picture of the GIANT stack. It was silly how much felt I had, and still have.  I gave half to my buddy teacher.  After her class and my class did it and a few mistakes, I still have 35 pieces left.

Anyway, it turned out great.  It is hard to tell in the pictures but the hearts do open.  I hot glued the edges a little so candy and things could stay in it without falling out.  I'm not really supposed to share kids pictures but I wanted you to see their crafts and the only pictures I had were with them!

The other thing that we did during our party time was play Valentine's Bingo.  It was a huge hit.  Even for my boys who HATE Valentine's Day as I was told so so SO many times! 

Finally, my Valentine/February bulletin board in our hallway.  Each student made a heart and wrote what book they LOVE reading and why.  I think it is so cute!

Anyway, enough about school.  Moe and I came home from work and relaxed for a little bit.  I took a nap. Moe played games.  Then we went out to a nice dinner and went grocery shopping.  Nothing fancy.  We enjoyed time together that is what really matters right! ;) Holidays aren't as important for us right now, especially Hallmark created ones as Moe says constantly.  I will say I was slightly sad that Moe did not buy me flowers since they are so cheap here. But he made up for it the following night by insisting I buy some clothes that I really liked.... I am trying to be adventurous with this whole clothe shopping thing here! More on that later though!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Random moments in 4B

So my class has been testing me a lot lately.  It has been frustrating. But we are all working on it.  Some of them are very cute and clearly notice when Ms. Brittany is frustrated so they try to help! It is sweet. Here are some fun things that I have had to deal with!

Today, I had a student carted out of my classroom in a wheelchair. He had tremendous pain in his side.  Nurse sent him home/to the hospital to check to see if he has kidney stones :(  poor kid.  My whole class cared for him though.  We had a moment of silence/prayer for him after he left and hopefully he will recover quickly and be back soon!

Today, I had a student tell me that I was a bad teacher because I had to look at his spelling list paper to give him the next word for his spelling list. He was appalled that I did not have his list memorized.  Additionally, he did not care that I have 4 spelling lists to work through, teach, prepare for!

I have a girl with mega ADD.  She gets distracted by everything, literally even her fingers distract her.  One day I was quite frustrated because I felt like she (or lack of learning support) was holding up the entire class. It took her 90 minutes to complete 10 of the 21 problems of the math quiz.  I stopped her there and the class had to move on.  Friday, she completed 11 problems in 40 minutes!!! We are making progress folks!

I had to explain paper cuts to half of my class.

Valentines Day, the word 'love', romance books, guys playing girls parts in a play, etc. make almost my entire class pretend hurl.

Some of my boys were fascinated by my painted toes during read aloud time Friday. So fascinated that they were touching my toes.... which in this culture is brave.... or rude, depending on how you view it!

We had a journal entry entitled: "While you were at school your mom turned into an alien.  What happens when you get home?"  Six kids asked me if this really happened and asked if what they wrote had to be true.  Creativity is NOT their strong suite.

I had to explain what a pair of something was.

Subject verb agreement is torture for ESL or ETL (English as a Third Language) students!

We are doing Country Reports.  One child is researching Canada.  They have to find 2 famous people from their country.  I learned that many many famous people are from Canada!

Google is a website with information on it.  Google is the only way to use the internet.  Not using Google is like death.

One day I said "4 on the floor" twenty times in a matter of 80 minutes.

I have a student who every morning responds to my "Good morning!" with 'Hey Bro!'

Last Wednesday, after our assembly, I played basketball and poison with my students.  We had 15 minutes left of school and they were shot and so was I.  We went outside and played.  I played too! It was loads of fun.

I know there is more fun stuff to share but currently my mind is away from me.  I will try to keep track better for you!