Friday, 25 February 2011

super gushy teacher post

Another week at school done. This ween went by waaaaayyy faster and waaaayyyy easier on account of my class suddenly cooperating way more than ever before. It may have been the new toys I put in the treasure box, because everyone is obsessed with these little keychains I bought at a dollar store, and they all want to earn enough stars to get them.

By the way, I don't care what anyone says, I am all about reward systems in the classroom. My kids are awesome, and many of them are internally motivated, the majority actually. However, for the five or so kids that are definitely not motivated, stars and treasure box toys work really well. So I'll continue to use them, because we all know that it only takes one or two kids to throw the whole class off track.

We also started a new unit in Science this week on natural resources and nonrenewable resources. I've been showing them videos about our obsession with plastic, the trash islands in the Pacific, and reducing waste. I have them all super pumped for our assembly next month where we have to present a play for the school with the theme "Respect the planet". They have all sorts of excellent ideas, such as collecting all the plastic cups thrown away in a week and displaying them at the assembly so kids can see just how much is wasted in only five days. Or the fact that one of them wants create a raft made of empty water bottles to use in their pool. They also spent their free time after morning work making posters all week and hanging them in the cafeteria above the trash cans to remind people to dispose of waste properly.

I have created a class full of hippie activists, and it's pretty supermuitobom. Anyway, I'm going to post some stuff in my class that showcases the excellent mood that all my kids seem to be in lately.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Since school has started up again, life has been very busy. I use that as an excuse to use Facebook way more than this blog as a way to update people on what is going on.. however, I always feel like I'm doing a much better job when I take the time to write a few paragraphs, rather than have you check my Facebook for the last 30 status updates I've made... kinda lame. I'm sorry I'm not the best blogger, but I am going to continue to try to keep this things current on here. Have faith, and keep checking it from time to time!

Some changes recently-
*I've been staying in Campinas more on the weekends on account of having less holidays and three days weekends this semester. Although I haven't been traveling as much, it has forced me to get out and meet more people in my area, which is always a good thing. I've also met more people through an online expat group on I'm slowly starting to increase my social connections, and having more fun on the weekends as a result.

* I started taking samba classes with Janelle and Lisa. Really fun, but still very difficult to do. Samba is sooo crazy fast! I hope I can one day do it justice...

* I joined a gym. I thought it was pretty necessary after being here 6 months and exercising, on average, maybe once every two weeks. Now I am going about 4-5 times a week, and I'm a running machine! I've been running about 25 Km a week. I want to do a marathon the next time Campinas sponsors one.

* I joined Interclass, my language school, on a rafting trip (pronounced "hafting" in Portuguese due to the "r", so it took me a while to figure out what I was being invited to.. haha)
Lisa, Janelle, and Tori (teachers from EAC) came with me, as well as a few families. It was in a town called São Luiz do Paraitinga, which I want to return to ASAP! A really cute historical city with very colorful houses (see picture above too):

During carnaval time
(considering this for next year's carnaval)

And here is a picture of us ladies in our rafting gear with one of my Portuguese teachers, Pierre.
His daughter is also my teacher, and a coordinator of the rafting trip. One of the nicest families I've ever met :)
Team "Fistipumpi"!

I will post more pictures of this trip later. Apparently there is also a video file of us going down one of the rapids. I'm getting it from Pierre on Friday, and then will post it.

Finally, I went airline crazy and bought a bunch of tickets to go visit people!
March 25-27- Visiting Daniel in Rio
April - Cordoba to see my folks
June- Santiago, Chile to see Luc! Montevideo, Uruguay for a day at the end of the trip.
July- Florida, NYC !

So excited :)