Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Doctor and Me ABC Book (a new ABC book)

What Kindergarten teacher doesn't like a good ABC book in their classroom library?!

Dr. Stephanie Cox, a practicing family doctor in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.  She wrote this fantastic, rhyming book on what children will expect while visiting their doctor.  This book is called My Doctor and Me ABC.  I knew this book would be perfect for my English Language Students who can identify the familiar body parts and medical tools in the illustrations.  This book is great to introducing new vocabulary and easing anxiety and fears of visiting the doctor.

I love how each letter focuses on something important a patient may encounter while talking with the doctor.  Not only does the book teaches new vocabulary but also gives information and meaning to the vocabulary in simple, kid-friendly wording.  For example, "A is for abdomen, better known as your tummy..."

I am so excited to use this book to share the importance of eating well and staying healthy and strong with my little kinders this year.  I know my kids will enjoy the kid-friendly illustrations all year long!  Even living in China, many of the students can relate going to a Chinese doctor versus their home country doctor.  I, myself, never visited a local Chinese doctor, but I heard visiting them is very similar in visiting a doctor in the States.  The waiting rooms can become a bit more crowded and could take up to a whole day waiting to see the doctor (even with an appointment)! 

On a side note, I actually had to go to the hospital last Wednesday to the urgent care to see my doctor (he's from the US since it's an international hospital).  Long story short, I got stung by a mosquito in our ECC Kindergarten garden and I had a BAD allergic reaction from the sting!

Here's my sad and HUGE bump on the lip picture.

This book is great for the littlest of readers and especially for those who are scared or have not been to the doctor's office before.  I highly recommend this book!  This book is available on Amazon by softcover or kindle e-book just under $10.00 (US). 

Thank you Dr. Stephanie Cox for sharing this awesome book with me on the other side of the world!

PS- I did schedule my annual check-up for the year after writing this post! :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teacher Week: What I like to teach? + a freebie

 The last day of the Meet the Teacher Linky hosted by Blog Hoppin'!  Today's topic is WHAT do you love to teach?

I love to teach literacy and writing! Something about watch the little learners grow from the beginning of the year to the end excites me!  I love finding new ideas and strategies to teach literacy to my kindergarteners.  Teaching the little kiddos how to read reminds me what a perfect match I am for Kindergarten! 

Another subject I fell in love teaching is Bible.  The international school I work for is a private Christian school, where we are allowed to teach Bible classes to our students in China.  Teaching Bible has definitely helped me grow in my personal relationship with the Lord and it has made me grow stronger towards Him.  Also, it's amazing how He can work wonders in these precious 5 year old's hearts!
I recently wrote a post of how I like to introduce and review sight words from the word wall.  Click the picture above to read more about it!

I made this simple writing center activity as a freebie in my TpT store.  Click the picture below to get it!

What do you like to teach most?! I would love to hear about it below in the comments or link up with the linky by clicking the picture below!  Anyone else happy it's the weekend?!  Today I just finished our FIRST WEEK of school!  I just gotta say, I am exhausted being back to a full and busy schedule!  Have a GREAT Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week: Why?- Organization TIps (and a freebie)

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to day 3 of Blog Hoppin's annual teacher week.  I like to tell myself that I am a neat and organized person.  But in reality, I am definitely a stacker in my classroom!  Since I work in an international school, most of the classrooms are filled with files and STUFF from previous teachers.  I think my classroom has stuff from at least 5 teachers! 

Organizational Tip #1:
One organizational tip I learned from my cooperating teacher while I was a student teacher was keeping my printables organized by days of the week.  I bought these magazine holders at IKEA since I wasn't sure where else to find these in China.

 Click on the picture above to get the Days of the Week labels for FREE!! 

I would put a clipboard in every magazine file holder so the papers on top of the clipboard represent the present week and the papers behind it represent the following week.  I like this system because I can tell my TA to print multiple files for me and I use a post-it note to let her know which day of the week she can put the printables in.  I also like the easy access to all of my printables for my lessons. 

Organizational Tip #2:
Do you keep student work throughout the year and create an end of the year portfolio or binder?  In the ECC, we are required to so I use the same IKEA magazine file holders to store and sort student work in.  I also keep my students' handwriting and writing journals in it.  I like this organizational system because it keeps all of the student's work together in one place and I don't have to put the paper inside the the binder right away. 

Be sure to check back in tomorrow to see my WHEN post and a sneak peek of my day! :)  Also, don't forget to LINK UP with Blog Hoppin'!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blog Hoppin' Teacher Week: Where is my classroom?

Today is Tuesday! You know what that means...DAY 2 of Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week!  There are some days where I think I spend more time at school than my own apartment!  Living in China has it ups and downs...The expat community is A LOT smaller than the ones I came from back in the States.  Not only do we work together, but we also hang out, go to church, and travel together.  Sometimes I definitely feel like I'm living in a BUBBLE!  But I love it and wouldn't trade my experience for the world.

This year, I kept my theme the same from last year: bright, rainbow colors, and a slight hint of owls and chevron.  I feel so lucky to work with such a SPACIOUS classroom!!!  I think it's every teacher's dream to have a HUGE class with a small student:teacher ratio.  :)

Here's a closer classroom tour...Scroll below!

A Panorama of my room.
Calendar wall

Guided Reading table area and our prayer and praise tree
Blocks center

Writing Center

I'm still working on my Tech center but each ECC classroom has 4 shared iPads and one teacher iPad!!

Dramatic center

Library center

Near the classroom entrance
This is where we do our classroom jobs, behavior chart, how we go to school chart, goodbye chants, and keep our mailboxes at.  Thanks for checking out my classroom!  I just love working in it! 

Don't forget to click below to check out other classrooms around the world! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet The Teacher: Who am I? Blog Hoppin' Linky Party

I've been waiting for this Blog Hoppin' Linky all month!  So I'm happy to participate on the first link up for Monday:

WHO am I?  Let me tell you 10 facts about me! :)

1.  My name is Andrea Ho.  This will be my 3rd year teaching Kindergarten.  I teach Kindergarten in a big city in CHINA!  Yes, you heard me right, I said China!  This will be my second year teaching overseas and I LOVE it!  I teach in an international school.  I am one of two Kindergarten teachers and this year I have a total of 9 students (lucky me!).
Below is a picture of my school!  I believe the sky background is fake since I've NEVER seen a clear blue sky like that before...

2. I am from the Midwest growing up in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois.  What I miss most about the US?  Other than the greenery and blue skies, I miss all the fast food and chain restaurants.  Chic-fil-a, Chipotle, Panera Bread...The list can go on FOREVER!

3.  Other than teaching, I love to dance, listen to music, do yoga, doodle and create art.  Teaching was actually my "fall back" career.  When I was in high school, I wanted to go into interior design or fashion merchandising, plus be a ballerina.

4.  I have been dating my BF, Kevin, for almost 7 years!  Our families call us the "William and Kate of the Midwest".  We met and fell in love in college!
FaceTiming has been the core of our relationship this past year!  Praise The Lord for awesome technology!
5.  I am also one of the eCoaches at my school.  I focus on working with teachers who have shared iPads in their rooms (age 3 year olds to 2nd grade students).  I love collaborating and sharing ideas with fellow teachers on technology integration in the classroom!  I'm still working on my post about my shared iPads in kindergarten, but can't wait to share with you my journey on them!

6.  Family:  My core family lives in the US.  But I have extended family in Hong Kong and Australia.  I love how close I am to my extended family on this side of the pond.  I'm ever so grateful to get to spend more time with them!  It makes up all the important family holidays I missed growing up in the States!

7.  Shoes- I love shopping for shoes!  I was actually kind of depressed when I made the decided to only bring 15 pairs of shoes to China last year.  However, I am so thankful to be a size 6 and can fit in many of the shoes made here!  Anything past size 8 people have a real hard time finding a good pair of shoes.

8.  My favorite kind of work to do at school is decorating bulletin boards and my classroom and hallway!  Here's one of my favorites from last year.

9.  I love traveling!  Just within one year, I've been to 7 new cities within China and 2 countries, plus going back to the US for Christmas! 

10.  Things I love: Coffee, Chai tea, fancy pens esp. Papermate pens, all genres of music, smiles, shopping, summertime, the beach and sun, and creating products for my classroom. :)

Don't forget to stop by again tomorrow to check out my classroom!  I CANNOT wait to show you my kindergarten classroom!


Click below to see check out the linky party and link up to share WHO you are at Blog Hoppin'!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My 1 Year Anniversary Working Overseas + a Freebie!

August 6th marks my one year anniversary working overseas in China!! WOW...365 days have gone by so quickly!  I remember arriving in Beijing and right when I stepped off the plane, the hot and humid air smacked me in the face.  Then 2 minutes later, I was sweating all over!  I arrived to China when all staff had to report to school, so I missed a lot of important meetings as I had to catch up with new staff things.

I've had made a lot of special memories working at my international school in Tianjin, China.  It's been a whirlwind experience but I enjoyed every bit of it!  Living on the other side of the world made me appreciate so many cultures and people groups, especially Chinese and Korean.  I fell in love with the Chinese Nationals, the orphans, and the expatriate community.  But most of all, I fell in love with teaching my diverse kids. Living and working in a new country, led to new adventures.  I remember freaking out when I was able to carry a conversation with a taxi driver for the first time! (Basically how to go to fellowship correctly without showing my taxi cards.) 

This year, I'm back teaching the same grade (Kindergarten) and I'm happy to work with my TA again.  Today was the first official day back to school.  I have lots to prepare but I can't wait to show off my classroom with you all!  So as you wait....HERE's a freebie for you!

During student teaching, I received a lot of files from my cooperating teacher.  One of my favorites was a writing center activity-- practicing word wall words using different writing mediums.  It is called Rainbow Word Wall Words and I revamped it to the way I like for my kindergarteners.  Students can look at the class's word wall and practice writing them on this activity.  First the student needs to write the word in pencil, then crayon, and lastly marker.  It's so simple and a fun center! 

Click on the picture to grab this freebie on TpT and TN.  There are two versions: the BIG version has space for 5 words at a time or a regular version with 10 spaces to write the words. 

BIG WORDS Version           

Regular Version (10 words on 1 page)         

 Anyone else excited to be back at school?!  I know I am! I just can't wait to work with more iPads this year!!! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My 2 Weeks with 160 Local Chinese Kids

The last two weeks have been a new and amazing experience for me.  My school hosted a summer English camp for 4 local Chinese schools which brought in about 160 students eager to learn English from me and many guest teachers from the USA who flew in for the summer.  The Chinese students ranged from age 5 to 13 years old! 

Our theme was Roadtrip in the USA.  Four teachers taught the 4 major regions of the US: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West.  I taught dance with another teacher who taught music.  It was so much fun!  I taught these kids how to country line dance, Native American dancing, the hand jive, and many other fun dances!
The parents enjoyed dancing to the 'Chicken Dance'.
They enjoyed singing "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes"

Singing "Bingo"

Keeping the beat with rhythm sticks and bells to a Native American Song.

Teaching some kiddies about cowboys and line dancing!

One week left of summer break before I have to report back to PD days at school!  Have a great rest of your summer!! :)