October 26, 2012

Five Things Friday + Giveaway Reminder

Reminder to enter my CLICK protein powder giveaway!  Ends tomorrow at midnight!

1. I got a new student from Syria yesterday.  He speaks exactly no English.  I have since learned that not only am I completely incompetent when it comes to Level 1 ELLs, but that I was able to neither spell Syria (kept spelling it Syrria) nor locate it on a map (thank you google...).  This could be a bumpy ride...Who had tips for me???  Please.  I'm dying.

2. After going to my parents' house last night for dinner and to watch Grey's Anatomy with my mom, I realized after I was home, in my jammies, and with my contacts out that I'd left my phone charging on their kitchen counter.  Of course it was also raining out on top of being after 10pm.  Hence me leaving my house after 10 like this...
Which would have been fine had I not run into a family on the stairs on my way back in...I'm pretty sure they were all just jealous of my unique and forward thinking fashion sense.

3. Current obsession = pumpkin pie oatmeal.  I KNOW.  Best. breakfast. ever.

In the mix:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup oats
Cook on stove.  Stir in 1/2 cup purred pumpkin, a generous shake of pumpkin pie spice, and a scoop of brown sugar.  Top with sliced almonds.  Devour in about 2 minutes flat.  You're welcome.

4. I went to a math workshop Wednesday where I ended up doing math all. day. long.  I kind of hate math.  Only if kind of hate actually means loathe.  It was like being trapped in my own personal math curse.
Just two of my 10 pages of furious notes... And by notes I mean MATH WORK...
It was actually a great workshop, but I am still digesting all of the content before I can implement anything with my kiddos!  On the plus side, I got my FIRST EVER positive sub report.  I swear, the kids at my old school were just MONSTERS for subs--even the good kiddos turned totally naughty!  I had the sub read Miss Nelson is Missing to the kids and asked them to write about where they thought I might be while I was not there...some total gems in the responses.  Many thought I was either shopping or running.  HAH.  I wish.  Two of my favorites:
Miss "teacher" could be at the movie.  She could be at a lot of nice areas because she need it.  She work her butt off in the class room.  She is the best in the whole world.  I bet she could win a gold medal if there was a thing you try out for being the best teacher in the whole world.

I'm just glad SOMEONE around here notices I work my butt off!!!
One day Miss "teacher" was not at school and I think she went shark swimming and got attacked but got saved by a handsome man and she is marrying him so when she comes to school tomorrow she will be a Mrs. "teacher" now and she will become with a happier life and also she won't be alone in her apartment.

Well...I'm glad this little girl is concerned about my chronic single-ness and the fact that I live alone.  Also, I love my bright red hair, pink dress, and rail thin torso (see bikini shark swimming picture).  I'd say that's all a fairly accurate depiction...

5. Even though I am swamped in work for both school and grad school, fighting off some weird illness (that may actually be just extreme exhaustion)...I am looking forward to the weekend.  I'm going to a Halloween party tomorrow night--are you shocked that I am doing something social for a change instead of watching marathons on netflix instant and writing grad school papers?  Me too.  Anyways, Halloween isn't my favorite holiday adn I am never really "inspired" when it comes to a costume.  Here's a hint for this year's lame costume:

What are your weekend plans?


  1. I teach 5th, but I previously taught for four years at a different school in my district. My old school had the ESL program for the district. I have taught children from Russia, Afghanistan and Iraq. A few of my Russian kids spoke close to zero English. I loved those kids and miss them so much! It will be amazing for you to see how your student will grow so much by the end of the year.

  2. I love love love math! I once taught in Quebec and had kids who only spoke French (I didn't) but they learned English quickly. It was against the law to translate (no problem I couldn't). Good luck.

  3. Yay MM! I have a friend who's worked in Syria - I'll send him an email for tips, if that'd be useful?

  4. I would say try to not talk really fast (which I tend to do) do some great charades..and lots of drawing to see if he/she understands.

  5. My mother tongue isn't English either. But English can be considered as widely spoken language in my country. Umm. But I do know some people who can't speak english well nor understand english.
    Some tips I can give you:
    1. Like Running Librarian said above, speak slowly. Because they can't automatically understand English, so they need to work something on their brain (translating) so that what you say makes sense.
    2. Try not to speak with slang, if you have one.
    3. Learn basic of their language! :) Like "kaifa haluka", "sobahul hoir" and some other words.

  6. For your Syrian student, here are some of my suggestions (I've worked with a few ESL kids who spoke absolutely no English, and I also had the experience of moving to a foreign country when I was 9!):

    -use a LOT of visuals, far more than you'd use for kids that age.
    -educate your other students - make sure they know that they should still talk to him, even if he doesn't understand, and not to be taken aback if he responds in his own language. By the end of the year, he'll understand quite a bit.
    -starfall.com is great for teaching reading. it's mainly for the primary grades, but it's at the right level for a kid who grew up with a different alphabet
    -find dual language books. they're probably difficult to find in Arabic, but I know that they do exist - the books would have the text in English as well as the child's own language. A peer can read it aloud to him in English, and then he can read it to his classmate in Arabic. They'll both learn some new words.

    In about a year, he'll most likely be speaking English fluently enough to get by in school.

  7. Amy--I love the snippets of student writing! They are too cute :)

    For your ELL student, I'd definitely label everything (chair, desk, window, door etc) and begin building a sight word dictionary with the word and picture, so he can make an association.

    I'd also talk to kindergarten and first grade teachers, see what strategies they have for language immersion. They really are the experts in helping our students learn to read and make language connections.

    Good Luck :)

  8. I'm laughing out loud right now! That would be "LOL"! :)

    Hope you had fun tonight-I was getting ready for a sub for 3 days since we have XC sectionals tomorrow, going to a conference Friday, and taking personal day with hubby on Monday. I.hate.getting.ready.for.a.sub. :)

    PLUS-Tuesday is the last day of the 6 weeks!! Agghhhhh....



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