Monday, January 26, 2015

If you give a kindergartener your phone number...

I know I haven't written in forever but... today's story is just too good not to share :)

So, one of my dear little kindergarteners asked me to write down my phone number for her (on a sticky note of course).  I just worked my way out of it multiple times, but finally... I gave in and wrote it down (on a sticky note).  

I didn't think anything of it.  What would a kindergartener do with my phone number?

Let me tell you.

If you give a kindergartener your phone number, she'll probably call you (and this will probably be your conversation ;)

Me:  Hello?
Little Girl Voice:  Hi!
Me:  Um... Who is this?
Little Girl:  (her name)

Me:  Oh hi!  How are you?
Little Girl:  Good.


Me:  So...  what did you do since you got home?
Little Girl:  I played a game with my sister.
Me:  Really?  What game did you play?
Little Girl:  A game with a lot of money.


Me:  Did you win?
Little Girl:  Yup.


Me:  Well, what else are you going to do tonight?
Little Girl:  Make supper.
Me (relieved for a topic):  What are you going to make?
Little Girl:  I don't know.


Me:  What do you like to make for supper?
Little Girl:  Um...  (pause)  Spaghetti.
Me:  So what do you use to make spaghetti?
Little Girl:  I don't know.


Little Girl:  Want to talk to my sister?
Sister in the background:  NO!!!!


Me:  That's ok!  I've got to go now, but thanks for calling!  See you tomorrow!
Little Girl:  Ok bye!

And chances are, if your student asks you for a sticky note, she'll probably want your phone number to go with it...  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cool School, Cool School, CAMP!

Guess what?!  No matter where you go in the world, you can still find friends who love to do random things like bake and decorate cupcakes for 40 little children (all last minute :)  

Tisa and I have become good friends due to all the playground time we share together (with our classes of course :).  Like good teacher neighbors, sometimes we swap "stories of the day" and we usually just end up laughing!

I forgot how much I love God's gorgeous creation— the ocean!  A couple weeks ago, a family from the church took us out to a private beach to go jet-skiing, tubing, and snorkeling for the day.  

There is no way to even describe the fantastic colors of the ocean!  It's so blue and green and clear that you can usually see to the bottom :)  I loved my first true snorkeling experience!  The coral and fish are so vibrantly colored and it's like a completely new world under the water.  When we were out on the jet-ski, we even saw dolphins jumping and playing in our waves!
And then... back to Cool School!  We had our second water day to celebrate Week 5!  We ended up having to sit under a tent for a while because God added rain to our water day :)  But we didn't let that dampen our spirits!  The K3/K4 and K5 classes had a sing-off to show each other some of favorite songs that we had learned so far this summer!  And in true Guam fashion, the rain blew over and we got back to playing in the pools and slip-and-slides for the rest of the morning!
This past Sunday afternoon, we started our first resident camp!  Sarah and I shared a classroom "cabin" with 11 girls until Wednesday morning.  It was great to get back into the swing of camp :)

It was a blessing to have my former youth pastor here to challenge the kids throughout the week.  Many of my girls made decisions to be consistent in their personal devotions.
Today finished off the last day of our 6-week Cool School adventure!  We celebrated with a pajamas and pancake day (and one of my favorite books- "If You Give a Pig a Pancake")  I can't believe that Cool School is over!  I will miss each one of my little munchkins so much!  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guam: 2 more weeks of fun!

After our first full week of being on Guam, we went for a hike with the youth group kids!  And the best part was that the hike ended in a couple waterfalls (which our whole team mustered up enough bravery to jump in from the top of the waterfalls!)  It's a strange feeling to jump into water that isn't cold...  It's like jumping into a big bathtub :)
 The second week of K5 Cool School went great!  My kids are so great!  They are speedy little learners :)  They love singing and doing activities with our letters of the day!  So far in our journey of the alphabet, we've made it to "n."  Usually in the morning, they come and remind me what the letter of the day will be (just in case I forgot ;)
Last Saturday, we toured around the whole island of Guam!  It's crazy to think that the island is so small you can see the whole thing in one day.   It's just beautiful!  It was interesting to see how there is even a difference from one side of the island to the other.

 While the other classes took a hike to a nearby beach, we had SNOW DAY!  Our "snowball fight" with cotton balls was quite a hit (in our air conditioned classroom ;)  It's rather ironic that we had a snow day in the middle of June...  But it was such a fantastic day!
We even did a math page that went with our "chilly" theme for the day!  And of course, no snow day is complete without watching...  Frozen!  (except that it was more like "quoting" Frozen instead of watching it because they just couldn't keep quiet ;)

I'm definitely loving my kids here!  Teaching across so many cultures is very stretching, but it's a great learning experience for me too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guam- Jet Lag & Cool School Week 1

I can say I have officially lived on an island (well, for 2 weeks anyways :).   Guam is just beautiful!  It's crazy to think that even though we're out in the middle of ocean on the other side of the world, we still have brothers and sisters in Christ that worship the same amazing God!

If you ever wondered what jet lag is, let me tell you— extreme tiredness and confusion about... the time of day, when you should be hungry, and what is going on in life in general.  My first two days here seem really foggy even though we were running around going to all the meetings of the world and meeting tons of new people.  I'm really glad they kept us so busy because it forced us to get adjusted to the schedule quickly :)

Our first goal was to prepare and plan for Cool School which started the Monday after we got here!  We developed a whole curriculum for each grade we are teaching and prepped our classrooms for all the students of the world!  Guam is quite the melting pot of ethnic groups and people.  In my class alone, I have students from Japan, Taiwan, Russia, China, and Korea in addition to the students who are just from Guam or surrounding islands. 

On Monday, I had 12 students come!  And two of them did not speak English...  I quickly learned to use my hands to "talk" as much as possible :)  The best part of week 1 was when my two non-English students discovered that they both spoke Japanese!  At least they could talk to each other :)

Overall, we had a great first week of K5!  Since I just finished the school year with my Kindergarten class in MN, I was mentally prepared for students who had finished kindergarten but I remembered quickly that kindergarteners start out as K4 students in a kindergarten classroom :)  We are slowly working our way through the alphabet, letter by letter and practicing writing each letter.  I forgot how much time it takes when they are just learning how to hold their pencils, let alone write anything down on paper :) 

 Here's a picture of my first Cool School class on Guam!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

10 Things I've learned in Kindergarten

Oh my...  I'm not sure who has learned more in kindergarten— my students or me :)  We are down to less than a month left of kindergarten!  Crazy, right?!

Here are some of my favorite "learning moments."

1.  Frozen-  There is always something you can teach from talking snowmen and ice-freezing princesses (and if not, then just let it go and sing along ;)

2.  Teeth-   They fall out in groups.  Never just one— they all have to lose one (and sit and wiggle them all day long).  And they always seem to drop out at the most random moments...  Like in the middle of math or during nap time.

3.  Sympathy-  I am not sympathetic.  My philosophy is "teach 'em to be tough" but...  I had a student complain to me after recess that his foot hurt.   Then he started to hobble around and I gave him the "don't-limp-because-it-will-make-your-other-leg-sore" lecture and I didn't think anything else about it.  After lunch, he was still limping and just about in tears because I kept telling him to walk right.  So I had him sit down and I compared his two feet...  Then my sympathy kicked in and we called his mom.  Good thing we had spring break for him to recover from his sprained ankle ;)

4.  Winking-  According to kindergarteners you can wink with your eyes closed (and I'm still trying to figure out how that works...)

5.  Best class- 
Student: "Miss Levy, I wish it was the first day of school."
Me:  "Oh really?  Did you like the first day of kindergarten that much?"

Student:  "Yeah...  But it's more because I like this class and you so much that I don't ever want to leave."  Awww...

6.  Hairballs- Kindergarten definition:  a bunch of weeds that roll around in the desert

7.  Salvation-  God is working in the lives of my students!  One of my students came to me at the beginning of a school day to tell me that he placed his faith and trust in Jesus as his Savior!  It was the best moment of my teaching career so far!  He was so excited (and I couldn't stop smiling :)

8.  Personal Space-  In kindergarten, my space is your space and your space is my space.  Always.

9.   Self-esteem—  You know you're having a great outfit day when you get multiple "You're pretty"s and "You're beautiful"s (or when you get compared with Elsa— that's the highest compliment :)

10.  Questions-  I should keep a count of how many questions I answer in a day...  But here's my favorite question:  "Miss Levy, can I give you a hug?" :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Quotes & Funnies from 1st Quarter :)

So, we've finished our first quarter in Kindergarten!  It has been quite the learning experience for both me and my students :) 

Oh the things kindergarteners say!  I've started to write some things down (and if I wrote everything down, there wouldn't be any space left in my planner!).

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Miss Levy, my middle name is Spike.  That's what everybody calls me.  Spike."

"Miss Levy, you look just like a fairy that I have at my house.  'Cept you forgot your wings at home."

Principal in chapel:  "Does anyone know what a conflict is?"
Kindergartener:  "Super-boy"
Principal in chapel:  "What?!"
Kindergartener:  "Yeah, he's in a comic."
(confusion between conflict and comic...)

"Miss Levy, I'm going to draw you like a princess, then I'm going to draw me like a princess.  Then we can be princesses together."

Kindergartener 1: "My dad is in the 20s family."
Kindergartener 2:  "Well my mom is in the 30s family and my dad is in the 20s family."
Kindergartener 1:  "But Miss Levy, that doesn't work!  Because then the moms would be bigger than the dads!"

During play time...
Kindergartener with a play cup:  "Here Miss Levy!"
Me:  "What is it?"
Kindergartener:  "It's a glass of milk."
Me (due to my lack of love for milk...):  "Oh...  No thank you!"
Kindergartener:  "I know what you want, Miss Levy.  It's actually coffee."
(yes, you do know what I want :) 

I can't even recount how many times my little munchkins have been through house fires or had visits from police officers or have been rescued from high trees by firemen.  And the occasional visit from a princess or two :)  They are such creative story tellers! 

But the best ever was today...  We have a 3 day weekend due to a highschool tournament and one of my little girls came to me and said,

"Miss Levy, I'm really going to miss you tomorrow.  And the next day and the next day.  Until the next school day.  I love you."  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

why a teacher?!

Well, according to my blog, I have ceased to exist for almost 2 months...  Oops ;)  No worries!  I'm still living and breathing (just currently not talking due to this blessed cold...).

So...  I've been teaching kindergarten!  My goal was to keep posting weekly like I had before (with all my fantastic teaching ideas of the world!).

But, let's be honest.  The first couple of weeks of kindergarten were the hardest, ever.  Not that I didn't love the kids and all the fun in teaching...  but it is difficult.  Keeping the ever-moving attention of 11 five and six year olds is quite the task!  

During the first week, I'm not sure who shed more tears— me or my kids.  Obviously my tears weren't over missing my mom or being ready to head home at lunch, but it was hard on us both.  They were having a hard time adjusting and I was right with them.  On Wednesday, I remember thinking, "This is what I went to school for?!?"

All the prep was fun and getting ready for open house was crazy but now...  It's up to me to guide my little monkeys to the start of this new path of life:  school.  Not the "let's-sit-in-my-seat-and-listen-to-a-lecture" school day but the little introduction and the excitement of what's ahead.  

The best moment in my first couple of weeks was when one of my little monkeys grabbed me around the waist and said, "Miss Levy, you're the best teacher ever.  I love you."  Yup, my heart melted.  

And that's why I went to school to be a teacher :)

Anyways, kindergarten has gotten much better!  We know the expectations and system for class (and what follows when we don't obey...).  I am constantly reminding myself that learning happens even if we aren't doing a worksheet :)  Learning is fun! 

I'm hoping to do better about keeping up blogging with my classroom ideas (some of which are pretty fun and others which... well, we won't try them again for a while :)