Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Guatemalan Adventure in Room 209!


My summer time consists of sleeping in, pool time, working a few hours a week at a little boutique, Netflix, shopping, afternoon naps, reading, long walks with my dogs, The Bachelorette, and utter relaxation.

We teachers, have it good.

*I meant to blog about my unit over the culture of Guatemala last week but better late than never!

I'm one of those teachers who teaches up until the last day of school or else the kids will drive me absolutely CrAzY. In my town, we have a large amount of Guatemalan immigrants. In my class, I had fourteen English Language Learners who are mostly the children of Guatemalan immigrants. I planned a unit around the culture of Guatemala. Needless to say, my English Language Learners were thrilled to be learning about Guatemala. To my surprise, my native English speakers were just as eager to learn about another country.

To start my unit off, I began with a KWL anchor chart. I charted what my students knew about the culture of Guatemala. They knew about the language and sports. Next, we discovered what the students WANTED to know about the culture of Guatemala. Their answer... EVERYTHING. Ha! We brainstormed some topics together and came up with wanting to know about the food, clothing, education, music, poverty, money, the national bird, and main tourists attractions.

The resources I used to teach my unit about the culture of Guatemala are all from TeachersPayTeachers:

Culture of Guatemala Powerpoint
The Quetzal Bird
Guatemala Booklet

I created a lesson through Skype Classroom looking for a Native English speaker who could talk about the culture of Guatemala to my second grade class. We got a hit! We ended up speaking with an American missionary who is teaching in Guatemala City. My students prepared questions about the culture of Guatemala, and some even asked their questions in Spanish! How sweet!

It gets better... We made tortillas in the classroom! The kids and I were SO excited! We used an electric skillet, flour, and water. I mixed the flour and water together and then gave each student a small ball of dough. Next, as a class we practiced flattening the tortilla with our hands by passing it back and forth to each palm. One by one, each student gave me their tortilla to cook on the electric skillet. After everyone had a cooked tortilla, we tasted our creation. Let's be honest, the tortillas were a bit bland, but it's the experience that counts!

I concluded our unit over the culture of Guatemala by sharing my own personal experience in Guatemala. I went on a mission trip three years ago to teach in a school in Guatemala City.

Guatemala City with our mission group

Mayan women making tortillas and coffee.

My sweet Guatemalan students in my class.

Zip lining through a popular tourist attraction, Lake Atitlán.

I loved teaching about Guatemala and I believe my students loved learning about Guatemala.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Five for Friday!

I'm BAAAACCCKKK! I took a few months off from blogging to focus on our WEDDING, buying our first HOME, and working on my second semester in my MASTERS. However, things are slowing down and I am happy to be back! Here's my FIVE for FRIDAY!

I married my best friend this past month. We had a beautiful wedding and celebrated with our closest family and friends. It was the best day of my life. I am officially Mrs. Morris!

My hubby Nathan and I

The big "TEST" arrived this week! My kiddos tried their best and this tired teacher is so happy testing is over!

My husband and I saw the play, "The Phantom of the Opera" in Tulsa the past week. It was absolutely incredible. LOVED every second of it! 

I read a recent blog post by Kristin aka A Teeny Tiny Teacher and loved this writing activity. My students were bored with their regular writing center. I decided to spice it up by adding the message center. The kids LOVE this and look forward to writing every day. 

We bought our first home last Friday! We are so excited for this chapter of our lives! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently in January!

What a wonderful year 2014 brought me! I am so excited for 2015, and I know it is going to be great!

 I am joining Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Listening: To Serial podcast. I have never listened to a podcast before, and yes I realize it's 2015 for goodness sakes! Anyways, my good friend recommended I listened to this podcast called, Serial that started this past fall. It's a reporter telling about a crime that happened in Baltimore in 1999. It is so well done and captivating. I drove from my childhood home to my current home which is over two hours and the drive flew by. If you are looking for a great true crime story, this is the story for you! 
Loving: Christmas Break! My break has included napping, eating fantastic food, sipping wine, cuddling next to the fireplace with a great book, quality time with my family and old friends, sleeping in, and absolutely no stress. I couldn't ask for a better break!

Here are some photos from my Christmas break:

My sweet family on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve bowling with the family.

Reading the book, Unbroken by the fireplace...yes, in the dogs' new bed!

New fancy beds for the puppies

Catching up with my sweetest and most thoughtful friend, Brecken!

One of the meals I indulged in over break:Spaghetti with meatballs. 

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies! Here's the delicious recipe.

My fam bam.

Merry Christmas from the soon to be Morris family!

Made Filipino egg rolls with Mama for Christmas dinner.

My PSU quilt I received for Christmas.
My Grandma, Mimi made apple cheesecake for Christmas dinner.  Absolutely beautiful and it was as good as it looked.

My soon to be mother in law bought me this beautiful bracelet for Christmas. It's a charm bracelet and she added the first two charms to represent our engagement. 

Thinking: How much work I need to do in my classroom. Okay, I'll admit, the Friday before break, when school was over... I sort of ran out the door and screamed, "WAHOO CHRISTMAS BREAK!". Just kidding, but I left rather quickly without planning, grading, or taking down any decorations. So needless to say, I have plenty of work to do. I went today for a few hours and was able to get some grading finished...However, I need to go in one day (maybe tomorrow) and get everything else done! 
Wanting: Snow! It is absolutely freezing in Missouri! We have had a rather warm winter this year so far, and I am wanting a winter wonderland. Now, I'm not saying I want slippery ice...NO. I want soft, white, and beautiful snow. Just one day! If it is going to be bitter cold, bring the snow!

Needing: Motivation to get my work done! Need I say more?

Yes: I will eat a healthy and nutritious diet. I am getting married this April and I want to look my best. I am an avid walker because I have two large dogs. I walk about three miles a day and go to the gym 4 times a week. However, my fiance loves to eat delicious, fatty, and high caloric food! It's so hard to eat a salad when he has cheesy pasta and garlic bread! So I am charge of dinners until April and it's going to be healthy food. Does anyone have any great recipes?

Maybe: A baby? After my fiance and I get married this April, we are going to settle in and enjoy married life. However, through out the year, we may try for a baby! Ah! I get so excited just thinking about it!

I wish: For good health for my family and myself! In this life, the most important things to me are family, love, and health. 

Hope everyone is enjoying their New Year's day!