Archive for the ‘second grade’ Category

Pet Peeves

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

It annoys me when my students complain a lot, which is something they’ve been doing more and more frequently.

Teacher I’m tired!

Teacher, English is too hard!

Teacher, our school is a jail!

Teacher -

I understand that they are frustrated, and this time of year is especially difficult, but complaining never solved anything. Well, you know, except when it does. Squeaky wheel and all that.

In order for my squeaky wheels to get some grease, this week I’ve been teaching a lesson on annoyances and pet peeves, and how to complain in English. Politely. We start by watching a video showing some very annoying things and having students vote on whether or not it’s annoying and telling me why, playing annoyance human bingo (I show 25 pictures, they write them down on a bingo sheet, then they must interview each other to find students who think thing is annoying.) Then finally, I have them write down their annoyances on a piece of paper using three sentence structures:

My pet peeve is _________.

It annoys me when ____________.

It drives me up the wall when ______________.

It’s been really interesting reading their answers. The following are the noteable ones from eight of my ten second grade classes. Interestingly enough, most of the responses listed below are from female students. The female students on average were more interested in playing with the structures and expressing their own annoyances, while the male students were more likely to just use vocabulary we had studied in class. Some of the following are funny, but there are also a few sad complaints.

It drives me up the wall when my friend is annoyed and just express her annoyance though she doesn’t tell me the reason.

My pet peeve is being woken by song in the morning.

It drives me up the wall when I must take care of babies.

It drives me up the wall when someone acts like a fool.

It annoys me when Ethics teacher gives questions to me in class.

It annoys me when I’m soaked with sweat after showering and wearing clothes.

It drives me up the wall when parents inquire my report card.

It drives me up the wall when insects creep my body or my bed.

It drives me up the wall when I see cells picture in biology textbooks.

It annoys me when my leg muscle cramps are sudden.

It drives me up the wall when I stay with someone who are selfish and use abusive language.

It drives me up the wall when I’m constipated.

It annoys me when I watch a show and Father comes and turns the channel to a fishing program.

It annoys me when math questions are not be solved.

It annoys me when I see the person who long time no shower.

It drives me up the wall when he bites my arm. [...what?]

My pet peeve is someone speaks me with nervous tone.

It drives me up the wall when someone sings song very careless.

My pet peeve is bring no spoon when in cafeteria.

It annoys me when my character die in the game

It annoys me when someone play piano at night.

It drives me up the wall when I can’t do what I want.

It drives me up the wall when there are too many tests and too much undone homework.

It drives me up the wall when there is a hair on my bed.

[From the same girl - note, there are frogs that live in the rice paddy right next to the dormitory] My pet peeve is frog. It annoys me when the frogs crying. It drives me up the wall when the frogs appear in front of me.

It annoys me when I smell people’s smell.

It annoys me when people talk to me or treat me when I am concentrating,

My pet peeve is baby hair.

It drives me up the wall when JW show me his middle finger.

It annoys me when I was angried about trivial things. [meta...]

My pet peeve is someone ransack my personal thing.

It drives me up the wall when [people] say [I am a] pig. I’m not pig. Pig is CW.

It drives me up the wall when people make fun of me.

It annoys me when people who lend me the money don’t pay back money.

It annoys me when you say to me a “black” [this comes from a student who has darker skin, and thus is told all the time that he is "black." Based on my experiences, and my friends' experiences (both Korean and foreign) I can say that shadeism issues are rampant in Korean schools.]

It annoys me when people don’t understand me.

My pet peeves are girls who love me.

Predictions

Monday, April 1st, 2013

I’ve been pretty hard on my second graders recently, and as an apology for teaching them a difficult lesson on the nuances between “hope” “wait” “expect” and “look forward to,” I’ve been teaching my students “might” and “may.” This lesson is really fun, because it’s very student-driven and slightly cultural, as I’ve been teaching them MASH.

Now for those of you that grew up under rocks, or perhaps in another country, MASH is a prediction game played mostly by middle school girls. You give someone a certain number of categories (spouse, car, number of children, career, and the place they will live) and have them choose two possibilities for each category. Then their partner chooses two possibilities for each category, leaving the original person with four possibilities. There is one final category that you do not have a say in, and that is your future living situation. This is where MASH gets its name, as you can live in a Mansion Apartment Shack or House. After choosing all of these, you make a spiral until the person whose fortune you’re predicting says “stop,” then you use the number of “lines” in the spiral (much like rings in a tree trunk) to tell the person’s future by counting and eliminating choices until you have one left in each category.

We then figured out everyone’s future and shared out answers using “may” and “might” (i.e. “I might marry __________. We may have _____ children.”)

The kids went nuts.

The girls loved it because they got to tell their own future. Almost all of them married their celebrity crushes, lived in exotic locations, and had great careers.

The boys loved it because they could mess with each other. The worst MASH fortune I saw was a student who lived in a house in the Seoul subway system with 100 children as a dancer married to an awkward comedian who drove, of all things, a Lamborghini.

Anyway, the point of this post is that it’s sometimes fun to bring back things from middle school dust them off and try them again, even if I’m STILL not married to Christian Bale, nor am I living in London (stupid middle school predictions).

First Grade Shenanigans

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

My first grade boys are making me laugh which is good, because my second graders are almost making me cry. We’ve had so many schedule changes recently which doesn’t bother me normally, but since these schedule changes could affect the date of my last class I’ve tried to stay on top of them. I found out on Friday during first period that next Friday most of the classes were cancelled, which meant that this week was going to be my last class with 2.5 and 2.10. I was really really sad.

It was a good class. I managed to wrap up a lot of loose ends within the class and talk to a fair number of the students one-on-one. Sam was there for that class as well as others, and she managed to meet most of the students I regularly blog about. She also got a fistbump from fistbump kid, and had A NICE LOUD CONVERSATION with THIS KID (who we’ve decided we’re now calling Caps Locks Kid because it just fits).

After class I chatted with one student about Model UN for most of the break period, then went outside to find a student I had seen walking normally just minutes earlier hobbling around with one crutch shoved under his armpit, his walking eerily reminiscent of my friend pretending to be an urchin in Oliver Twist at my sixth grade summer drama camp.

“OH NO WHAT HAPP– wait. You didn’t have a crutch five minutes ago.”
“Haha yes I got you teacher.”
“Which poor student did you steal that from? Can the student walk?”
“Yes” he said, shrugging nonchalantly “he’s fine. This is my secret tool.”
“How is it your secret tool?”
“Teachers see me and they say ‘Oh DG, are you okay? You should rest’ and I say ‘okay’ but really I am okay.” Then the bell rang and he hobbled off, yelling over his shoulder “Goooooodbye teacher!”

It’s hard losing my second graders. I’ve got a teacher facebook set up and I’ve given them all my email, but I’ll still miss them, probably more than they’ll miss me. One student last week started up in her seat and exclaimed that they wouldn’t ever have another foreign teacher. While this is not necessarily true, especially if they take English classes in University or go to a private academy, I am the last foreign teacher they’ll ever have in public school, and for some of them the last foreign teacher ever. I’m the end of a long line of foreign teachers they’ve had that have, hopefully, tried to instill in them a love of English, learning, and cross-cultural exchange. They’re growing up and moving on to bigger and better things, though they have to get through this next year first. At least I get to keep some of my students, though next semester I’ll be wary of students on crutches.

The First of the Last (Classes)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This time of year’s always difficult, and it makes me glad that though I’m disorganized in every other aspect of my life, I’m intensely organized when it comes to my class schedule. If I hadn’t been, as there’s two weeks left in the semester, I wouldn’t have realized that this is my last week with most of my second grade classes and I wouldn’t have planned accordingly.

While I will be at CPHS for another 6 months, I won’t teach the second graders anymore. The Korean semester starts in March and ends in December, which means that the F*bright foreign teachers always start and leave halfway through the academic year. While I’m grateful my schedule is the way it is as it allowed me to go straight from university to Korea without a multi-month delay, it can be annoying. The students will graduate and move up a grade, which means that while I have a new incoming batch of first graders to teach, I lose my second graders because they become third graders, high school seniors, and focus on the college entrance exam. It’s sad all around.

For the second graders I did a lesson on yearbooks. Thanks to my lovely parents (<3) I was able to get scanned photos from my high school yearbook and bring in a CPHS yearbook and compare and contrast them.

Senior year picture. The students say that I look younger now. Can you find me? Hint – top left.

We then went over yearbook signing traditions (in Korea there’s a similar thing called “rolling paper,” but that’s separate from yearbooks. The yearbooks are only for graduating seniors) and I taught them some common acronyms like “TTYL,” “LYLAS,” etc. I then had them come up with their own acronyms that they could use to describe their own CP experience. I had made “yearbooks” with their class pictures on B4 paper and printed out one for each student. They then used their own acronyms and the ones that I taught them to sign each other’s “yearbooks.” Here are my favorite acronyms thus far (4/10 classes done):

IS – In Seoul (i.e. after CPHS they’ll all meet in Seoul, where the best universities are)

CID – Chicken in Dormitory

HACKLOT – Have Chicken A Lot

ROC – Rob of Convenience Store (i.e. they buy everything)

WITM – What is Today’s Menu?

DWWU – Don’t Wanna Wake Up

LT – Lunch Terrible

FCTSKY – From CP To SKY (SKY are the three top universities – Seoul, Korea, and Yonsei)

ILSSM – I love 순대 (sunde), 순대 (sunde) loves me (Sunde is a food that CP is famous for… it’s… well, you can look it up.)

TOTE – Turn on the Egg (i.e. the Olleh wifi egg)

LLT – Love Lunch Time

LS3 – Let’s Study/Sing/Sleep

YSC – YS is Coming (YS is Awesome Mr. Kim’s first name, this class’s homeroom teacher)

COW – Chicken Over Wall (The students aren’t allowed to have food delivered, and there’s a fence around school property, so students get chicken delivered to them “over the wall.” Apparently this is a pretty popular phenomenon at most schools, as evidenced by my friend Sam’s more extreme example of rope chicken)

EIS – Everyone in Seoul (similar to IS)

BUIC – Break Up in Christmas

NB – No Boys (remember, this is a super conservative co-ed but gender segregated school)

SOS – Sick of Studying

RTC – Run to Cafeteria

CPH – Chicken Pizza Heungbu (the CP trifecta: Heungbu is the name of our bakery).

These are all from my girls’ classes… I’m excited to see what the boys come up with, but I’m not excited to teach more last classes.

Political Parties, Issues and Stances

Friday, November 9th, 2012

I love this unit. I love it so much. Words cannot express how much I love this unit. Even the students who care nothing about politics are getting into it, and working hard to express their opinions. I had students whip out their English textbook in order to introduce vocabulary they had learned that week in their normal English class (cross-curriculum learning!). One group called me over, to help resolve a debate.

“Teacher. Our group member is crazy. She wants a dictatorship, and she wants to invade other countries. We cannot agree with her. She is a crazy girl.”

“Well, she’s not crazy – she’s a political extremist. All political parties have them. In order to succeed you have to work together and compromise.”

The political extremist smiled her sassy smile, and the other students sighed, nodded, and continued to debate.

In this tiny political microcosm, students are producing some really interesting and well-thought out opinions. I took the ones that I thought were the most interesting, or the best thought out, and am sharing them here. Take note, that while I did edit these statements before giving them back to students, I present them here unedited (spelling errors fixed, but I did not change any of the grammar or vocabulary used in the following statements) so that you can see how brilliant my students are.

“We think we should increase tax because when we are young we pay taxes more and we get old our welfare will be better.”

“We think we should export our excellent Energy Plant. Because our economy can be better and other countries can live more comfortable.”

“We think politician wage is too high so their wage should be reduced because their wage consist of tax.”

“We want to get more immigration because we have too many old people so we need young people to work, ex) 3D”

“We think Korea education need to introduce Discussion Based class because Korea students have been so stressed about existing education.”

“We want to increase the number of internship of young people because today’s youth unemployment rate is increasing.”

“We want to admit homosexual love because prejudice is bad.” [This one came from my BOYS who in my experience are more likely to make homophobic statements than the girl students. I was so proud.]

“We want to found a kindergarten that enables dual-incomes to commit their children because crime about children is being increased”

“We think temporary positions have too much unfair things because they are neglected by many people and every day they have too much stress.”

“We want to know the way of using our taxes because our taxes can be used in bad things.”

“we think we acquire more job to old people who quit job because as a counter plan of aging society, more people will be old, and their choice is limited, so we need to more job to old people.”

“We want to provide economic support (ex: education fee, found nursery, etc) because it can raise fertility rate. We want to guarantee senior citizen’s workplace because it can improve their quality of life.”

“We think smokers have to have individual trash bags because used cigarettes are making pollution, making fires.”

“We think our country improve traffic system because our natural animal is died by many crucial cars and motorcycle.”

“We want to enhance genuine gender education because we studied in school by TV but it’s not enough.”

“We need to get wartime operational control from USA because we are independent country so have right to have autonomy.”

“We need to protect multicultural families because they are isolated from our society.”

“We think government has to teach information of civil rights because ignorance makes discrimination.”

Some groups… just make me sad, or scared.

“We think we war USA because if we win we could spread our red ideas.” [This one's from the self-titled Communist Party. They also want to sell soap and toothpaste to Russia and China because they are also communist countries. I'm also 99% sure this one's a joke, unlike the ones that follow.]

“We think immigration is bad because immigrants take jobs.”

“We want to destroy the Feminist Party because they decrease men’s right.”

“We want to fair treatment because girls have taken more profit.”

It’s difficult for me to stand back and watch them write things that I vehemently disagree with, but that’s part of being a teacher. As a woman and as an immigrant (albeit, not a permanent resident), I really don’t know what I’ll do if the entire class agrees with this team’s points during the debate. I let the students write whatever they want, as long as it’s not vulgar, inappropriate, or indecent, because next week they have to stand in front of their classmates and defend it. People have the right to free speech, and they have the right to their own opinions, no matter how much I may disagree with their statements, but as they are future participatory members of society part of me hopes they’ll receive some form of verbal smackdown from their classmates.

Let the debates begin, and let the best politician be left standing.

What Makes You Happy?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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