Thursday, April 17, 2008

Last Day Of School

Today was a special day at school. Because it was the last day before their 2 week holiday we had a fun and relaxing time. In the morning the school had an assembly and the principal gave me an award for being a great American teacher in front of the whole school! We played lots of games after morning tea, and after lunch the class gave me letters, we had a treat and played on the playground! I am very excited to come home and share with my class at Black elementary everything from my students in room 7. I feel sad that I will not see them anymore, but I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with them!
I leave tomorrow at 7:15! I land back home Sunday morning at 5:00am! See you all soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Well... everyone says New Zealand is beautiful, and I believe it is because of Queenstown! Amanda and I flew down on Friday. It was so cool to see mountians sticking out of the clouds from the plane! The city is at the bottom of the south island, which makes it a bit colder, but warm enough not to have to wear a jacket.
Queenstown is a cute touristy town surrounded by mountians and a huge lake. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Amanda's friend, who we stayed with, told us many celebrities like Tom Cruise and Madonna have "holiday homes" there.

The city is full of many adventerour things to do like jet boating, parasailing, rafting and my favorite.... the bungy jump! On Saturday I went to the Kawarau bridge, where the world's first bungy jump was ever done, and did a bungy jump!!! Its not really like me to do such extreme things, but I felt I had to becasue New Zealand and Queenstown was known for their amanzing bungy jumps! It was really scary, and I didn't want to let go of the bar. When theywere strapping my feet in, I had noticed no one was screaming as they jumped. I asked the man if anyone screams, becasue I knew I would.

When it was my turn I walked to the edge of a platform, they counted to 3 and I jumped!!! I bought the dvd of my jump to prove to everyone back home how brave I am!
On Sunday Amanda and I took a Gondola ride to the top of one of the mountians. Then we went on the luge ride back down! Its really fun because you sit in a sled that has wheels and a handle and drive it down a concrete track! The only bummer was I forgot my camera so I dont have any pictures of me on the luge!
Today I flew back to Auckland and am preparing for my last 4 days of teaching!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Today at school I went along with the year 5 and 6 students to their Zonal Athletic event. All the local primary schools came to a big stadium in the area. The students participated in many track and field events such as running, relays, long and high jump. I led the high jump with a teacher from another school. It was really fun and one of the year 6 girls jumped 1 meter and 20 centimeters!
My school has won the first place trophy for the past 9 years! This year we came in 2nd place by 1/2 a point! The kids were still excited to receive a placement and had tons of fun!
Back at school, in the afternoon, my own class made containers out of clay. They did a great job! Their clay pots will be sent to a kiln and won't be finished till may! I'm a bit bummed, but my teacher promised to send me pictures of the students with their finished products!
Tomorrow after school I am meeting with my university teacher here with the other OU students and having dinner. Friday I leave for Queenstown!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

One more thing about my weekend!

I forgot something that happened this weekend that was really great!
Friday was mine and Billy's 9 Month Anniversary! He had flowers sent to my house! It's always nice receiving flower, but even more special when you are a hemisphere away!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Auckland and more!

Thursday and Friday I had full control of my class. I felt nervous, but after a conversation with my teacher about other student teachers she had before I felt a bit better! She told me she has never had an American student teacher, but many New Zealand student teachers. She also told me that I'm her more prepared student teacher and she can tell I'm ready to have my own classroom! That's always a nice thing to hear! I'm writing unit plans now for the rest of my teaching and the term. When I leave on April 18th, the term ends and the students have a 2 week break. Unlike America, the student go to school year round and have 2 week breaks through out the year and a month off for Christmas, which they call summer holiday. Friday was Wheels Day at school. The student brought bikes, scooters, skateboards and roller blades to school to use at lunch time. Although it was a bit crazy and I don't think anything like this could happen in the US, it was really fun and I even rode on a few scooters!

This weekend I went on a bus tour around Auckland. We went to the top of the Sky Tower, which is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It was beautiful to look out and see the city and harbour. After we had pizza for lunch. (I've been eating a lot of pizza here, but it is not like pizza at home!) Next we went to Kelly Tarltons Underwater World. We saw penguins, and a HUGE sting ray. A woman was in the tank and telling us all about them. One even splashed me! the best part was walking through the tunnels and having sharks, fish and sting rays swimming around me. I tried to take pictures, but they did not come out so well! I'll be posting up more pictures at school tomorrow. We also went to the Auckland Museum. It had tons of Maori artifacts, a area all about volcanoes, information and items from the World Wars and even dinosaur bones. The best was the volcano exhibit that simulated what would happen if a volcano erupted in Auckland. I went into a room that was set up like a living room in a home. The TV was on and there was a "view" of the harbour. You see the volcano erupt and the house shakes and all the lights go off. It was kinda scary, but I felt OK knowing a volcano hasn't erupted in this area in over 600 years.
Tonight I am going to a BBQ with all the other students from Oakland. I am bringing my diet coke cake which is in the oven right now.

Monday, March 31, 2008

School Days

Today was my first teaching observation. Year 2 has a technology unit topic about containers. I am having a hard time with it, becuase it is nothing I've ever heard of teaching before. Luckly, my teacher and university supervisor are super helpful. I did a lesson about the 3 Little Pigs today. We discussed materials that make a house strong and then each student had to write about what they would use to build a house, or what their house is made of. We also had another Maori lesson where we learned numbers. The students are very good at it, but I can not seem to follow along! Unlike European languages, there is no connection to English. But I am proud to say I was able to tell the class my "house number" in Maori!
I start full time teaching later this week. I have lots of planning to do! Things are about to get busy around here!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

3 Day School Week!

Tomorrow is the weekend already! I could get used to 3 day weeks! I have enjoyed teaching my small groups. In reading we read a small play and a book about camels. We discuss sounds, concepts of print and comprehension, just like in the states, but it is on a more individual level. The kids in my group are ready to attack these skills. In math we are trying to memorize addition facts to 10. We played a game with 10 beads on a string. After we did a cut and paste activity. I paring up with a year 6 class (5th grade) to help me start a USA club. A teacher is arranging interested writers to meet with me at lunch to write a book to bring back to my school. I am also planning on spending time with the reading recovery teacher tomorrow.

The weekend should be fun, as I am planning on going to the movies with another teacher, the zoo and a rugby game. Go Auckland Blues!