Idahosa Ness Raps in EIGHT different Languages!

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I saw this video on another teaching blog and was blown away! The video itself is awesome and I absolutely love how it incorporates music. At the end of the video he says, “if language is sound and sound is music, then language is music”. I love this!! This is exactly how I started learning Spanish and Portuguese, and I have been complemented several times on my near native fluency–> this is why!

The second video explains why the mimic method works and  shows you how to get started. If I were teaching a level 1 or 2 class I would totally show them this and have them make their own rap videos. Maybe 4 people speaking in Spanish instead of 1 in 4 languages.

Feliz dia de las madres!

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Feliz dia de las madres!

While today is a day to celebrate our mothers, these statistics can be used to start conversations about violence against women or why almost 3/4’s of Mexico’s women only make it to elementary school. We should learn to praise and support our mothers and fellow women.

Freerice.com

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Click here for my PowerPoint on Free Rice 

I recently discovered an amazing website called freerice.com. FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Programme and they have set out to do two important things:

1. provide education to everyone for free

2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

Students can get on and do several types of activities ( I have my DL FACTS kids play the Spanish and English grammar game). They have chemistry, SAT Prep, literature, Italian, world flags…..everything!

For every questions they get right, they earn 10 grains of rice. Once they finish, how ever many grains of rice they earned is donated to a country in need. I think the idea is beautiful! Students are learning and actively helping someone else at the same time. I made a group for each period, so they like to be competitive, but there is also an intrinsic motivator there. They see those grain numbers go up and they get so excited.

Please check out the website! Play alone or get your kids/students involved.

http://www.wfp.org/videos/free-rice-new

http://freerice.com/about

We MUST be their advocates.

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Last Sunday one of my ESL students decided to take his own life. The school called me on Monday to let me know what had happened, and honestly, I had know idea what to think or feel in that moment. This student had shared some of his family issues with me, but he never made it out to be that bad. He was brilliant, kind and caring. Not once was he disrespectful towards me or any other students, and even after arriving late because he had to walk 2 miles in the snow he always had a smile on his face. He was too young; it shouldn’t have come to this. It scares me to think that I never saw the signs–if there were even signs. I know I can’t change what happened, but I wish I would have know something was wrong so I could have helped him find the help he needed.

Luckily, we had Monday off for presidents day and Tuesday off for curriculum say was able to collect myself before going back to school. Honestly, I didn’t want to go back into that classroom, I didn’t want to see his empty chair. But a very wise friend told me that I have to put on a strong face because even though his seats is empty now, there are 20 filled seats that need me. On Wednesday we had to tell the other students. The thing that makes it even harder is that he was in the ESL 1 class. This class is like a family; they are together for all 9 periods and have been together since the beginning. We are fortunate enough to have translators in the school, so we were able to tell the Hispanic, Karen, and Karenni students in their native language. They were shocked. Students who I thought would be the strong ones were crying and others silently stared off into the distance. I even had one student laugh. He is very immature for his age and I assumed it was due to his inability to process such strong emotions. I think they were talking about writing letters to the family letting them know how much they loved having him in their class and offered words of comfort. I think it was great that we set aside the curriculum and rules, and let our students grieve in their native language.

That same day, I took the opportunity to reminded my other students that I will ALWAYS be there for them no matter what. If they need to talk, a shoulder to cry on, a good laugh. or even just a hug, I will always be more than willing to help them. I understand that some students might not feel comfortable coming to me, so I made sure to give them names of people they could go to. I can’t lose another student; I care about them too much.

Today was his funeral. I thought I was prepared, but once I got there and saw a picture of him smiling I fell apart. A few of my other students were there and when they saw me crying they just gave my a huge hug, a handful of kleenex and reminded me that everything was going to be OK. I’m supposed to be the strong one, and there my students were making sure I was comforted. I was blessed when I was put at South. These kids have changed my life and push me to be a better and stronger person everyday.

Who ever said creativity is dead?

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This student did a Vampier Version of Romeo and Juliet.

Before student teaching I had heard a lot of teachers talk about creativity and how much it is lacking in our schools, and I found this to be true while I was at North Star. I had to beg the kids to do fun activities and expecting them to think out of the box was asking too much. I figured the same would happen at South, but I am excited to announce that I was wrong. These kids are sick of doing the same thing every day. They take endless amounts of notes and are never asked to produce something original. We have been working on Romeo and Juliet ToonDoos for the last 2 weeks in my DL FACTS classes and I have been pleasantly surprised by the creative and hilarious comics my students have been producing on their own. Some kids are doing Vampire Romeo and Juliet and others are doing al la Mexicana. I wanted to share some of them on here so the world can see just how brilliant and creative our kids can be when we give them the chance to do so.

I die laughing when I read this girl’s work!Hilarious view of marriage.