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! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Fourteen in '14

I LOVE winter break! I LOVE winter break! I LOOOOVVVVEEE winter break! I can't say it enough. After a busy and sometimes stressful semester, this break feels sooooo good. It mainly consists of sleeping in, coffee, more coffee, blogging, reading, family time, eating, and snuggling with the puppies. 

That's the good life right?

I'd say so. 

However, I am joining the wonderful "Fourteen in 14" linky party!

Here's my year!

14. Favorite Quote

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

13. Favorite Article of Clothing

I love my new faux vest from Forever 21. It's a little much, but I think it's fun and festive for the holidays.

12. Favorite Movie

If you haven't read the book, you need to! It's a fantastic book and the movie is just as good. Typically, the movie is never as good as the book, but in this case it is!  So you need to read it and then watch the movie! It's a must see. 

11. Favorite T.V. Movie Series

The most addicting show ever. It will leave you at the edge of your chair wanting more. It's that good. FYI: If you start this show…good luck getting off the couch this Christmas break. ;)

10. Favorite Restaurant

The Kitchen Sink dog

Oh my word. This restuarant has the most delicious hot dogs and hamburgers. It's a very unique atmosphere and the items on the menu are extremely different. A few weeks ago, I got, "The Kitchen Sink" and it's a bacon wrapped hot dog with everything imaginable on it. Served with sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo dipping sauce. 
 It is so worth the calories.
If you are ever in the Joplin, MO area…you need to try this place.

9. Favorite New Thing I've Tried

Dancing onstage at a luau.
While I was in Hawaii, we attended a Luau. They picked one person in the audience to come up and shake it. That lucky person was me. I was able to get over my fear of dancing in front of people with a bang. Dancing onstage in front of hundreds of people. 
Problem fixed…HA! 

8. Favorite Gift I've Received

My fiancé's mother gave me this beautiful charm bracelet for Christmas. It has an engagement charm with our date engraved on the back. You can add chains to it for life's future big moments. What a thoughtful and sweet gift.  I love it. 

7. Favorite Thing I've Pinned

This soup may be the best thing I've ever made. The thought of it makes my mouth water. If you love tomatoes, basil, and tortellini, this is the recipe for you! 

6. Favorite Blog Post

7 Ways to Tackle Anxiety: I have terrible anxiety and this post let me vent and alleviate some of the anxiety I was feeling at the time. As I reflect, it's one of the most meaningful pieces of writing I've ever written.

5. Favorite Accomplishment

I did it. I finally created my own teaching blog. I have wanted to create a blog for a few years and finally found the courage to create one. It has completely enhanced my teaching and made me find a new profound love for writing. It's been a wonderful hobby.

4. Favorite Photo
 Here is my sweet little family. 

3. Favorite Memory

I couldn't pick just one memory. Here are the sweetest memories of 2014 for me!

In April, the love of my life asked me to marry him!

In August, my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows on the beach in Hawaii. They were kind enough to take us kids! 

2. 2015 Goal

To give back. This Christmas season made me realize how blessed and fortunate I am. I am able to pay my bills, rent, and provide food for my fiancé, my puppies, and myself. I want to make a monthly habit of giving food back to the homeless and animal shelter. 

1. One Little Word

Listen: I need to do a better job listening. I'm a self absorbed person. I constantly like about me, me, and ME. Even when I'm listening… Sometimes, I'm hearing what the other person is saying, but not listening. I'm patiently waiting my turn to chime in what I want to say. How selfish is that? That is a personal flaw I need to desperately work on. I want to genuinely listen to what another person has to say.

What was your fourteen for '14? Join the linky party!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Celebrating Christmas in Room 209 *Link up Party!

Whew! We made it! What a long and wonderful week filled with Christmas activities. My kids were very well behaved for having so much excitement around. We really had a great time together. Here are some of the activities my class and I did through out the week. 
Hot Chocolate Party

The students had to earn the letters to "Hot Chocolate Party" by showing good behavior. Once they earned all the letters, they received a hot chocolate party! My kids loved it!

Got marshmallows?

Christmas Word Wall

We did plenty of writing this week. Our prompts were," What are your Christmas traditions?" and "If I was an Elf..." We had so much fun writing and this word wall really helped my students.

Elf Yourself Craft

Aren't these adorable?

Kindness Pup

Instead of using the Elf on the Shelf, I decided to get creative and used what I already had. The kids loved it and thought it was so much fun.

We wrote kindness notes to the residents at our local nursing homes.

2nd Grade Christmas Program

Oh my! What a busy and stressful production this was! We 2nd grade teachers were so extremely happy when it was over. However, the kiddos were adorable and sang their hearts out! 

My sweet girls.
Christmas Ornaments for Parent Gifts!

I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out 16 opague colored ornaments. I bought fake snow, white, black, red, orange, and green washable paint. I worked with the students one on one while they worked quietly on their holiday packets. I had the students dip their palm in white paint and then cup the ornament like a ball. I had it dry over night and then the next day they painted the snowmen. This is a gift I hope they keep for a long time!

So easy and so cute!

Christmas Writing Activity

Christmas Party Read Aloud

My younger sister came to the party and was kind enough to do our read aloud!
Megan read, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The Best Present

This is what it is all about.

Hope everyone had a great week of celebrating this wonderful Christmas holiday!