How I Do Reflective Planning

How I Do Reflective Planning

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re here today, there’s a great chance you’re a teacher, and if you are, this is the right post for you. I want to talk especially to new teachers, teachers who recently changed grade levels or subjects, or teachers who struggle when it’s time to plan, especially when yearly planning. I started reflective planning during my first year as a teacher, and I can’t even begin to explain the relief I felt having done this when I went into my second year.

Basically, reflective planning means looking back at each lesson after I’ve taught it and taking notes so that I can start building my yearly planning for the following year. It sounds exhausting, but if you’re organized and have a system, it isn’t. Plus, did I mention it will save you a lot of time and effort the following school year?

I adapted this from what a university teacher told us once about action research. He advised us to record ourselves teaching and then look back at what we saw, take notes, and research based on that. Now, this is way more simple thank that, but the idea remains.

The picture on the left is of the monthly planner I was given by the school for 2019-2020. I would jot down the main event or idea of each lesson, to have a clue about what was done and to make it easier to look back. Now, this is not how I planned my lessons at all. I used Google Calendar for that, and I can show you if you’re interested, just let me know in the comments. Again, this is more to give me a clue after the lesson, not before it.

At the end of each lesson, I would write the date and a sentence describing what we did. Here, I would emphasize the changes I made to the lesson because that would give me a clue when planning for the following year.

I can give you several examples of changes I’ve had to make for my lessons, and if you’re a teacher, I’m sure you’re familiar with them. The most common one is related to the allotted time for each activity. If students finish it too quickly, then maybe it means it was too simple and I need to add more steps or make it more complex somehow. Maybe I can add another activity to that lesson. If it takes longer than what I’d anticipated, then I need to consider this because it might mean that towards the end I’ll need to skip a lesson altogether. Modifying lessons may also have to do with the resources available, the way the students work (in small groups, individually, etc.) or even the end result.

Reflective teaching has led me to be more aware of my students’ strengths and the strategies they use for learning, as well as the ways I can help them success. It has helped me get to know my students better and accommodate to their reality when lesson planning. It has also enriched my lessons since I can draw from past experiences, implementing what worked and changing what didn’t. If you haven’t already, give it a try, and let me know how it goes in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: School Monitor

NetGalley Reads: School Monitor

NETFLIX TALK_Hello and happy Friday. I think that throughout the years my reading taste has diversified a lot, and you can tell by my reviews. Today, for example, I’ll talk about a YA psychological thriller, which is a genre I’d never even considered before. This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley for reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank them, the publisher and the author.

I read School Monitor by Alex Dunn during July 19th and July 26th, 2019 and gave it two stars. A major spoiler for me was the synopsis, which I rarely read, but in this case, I did and it was a mistake. If you read it, you’ll know pretty much everything about the plot, so my advice is, don’t. The novel is about a teenage guy whose name I can’t remember (maybe it’s somewhere in my notes and I’ll say it later on), and his twin sister, who are forced to go to a boarding school because their parents are moving to India and can’t take their kids with them.

Now that I’m typing this, I’m noticing that the premise is kind of forced. I mean, how is it that your parents are moving to another country and won’t take you with them? That’s unlikely, isn’t it? But beyond that, I was excited to read about the boarding school context and the relationship between the siblings, which is super codependent. We find out that the main character is really into filmmaking and wants to pursue a career in that field. He has a very aggressive relationship with his dad, which might be why he’s sending his kids away, but still.

Like a typical thriller, there are many trigger warnings that are constant in the book, so if you are sensitive to issues of suicide, suicide attempt, eating disorders, and bullying, please don’t read it. Part of why the twins’ relationship is so tight is because the sister had been bullied and the brother felt responsible for not protecting her against it. Chrissie, who is Richard’s (the main character’s) sister, is super manipulative towards her brother, and everyone seems to be aware of this except for Richard.

By the contents of the novel, I would say that it is very harsh and definitely not for everyone to read. Besides that, there is no conversation whatsoever about mental health, when it clearly should be a prominent topic. It bothered me that Richard would witness and narrate issues like the word f*g being thrown around or a classmate being bullied, but he did nothing, and he would even hang out with the bullies so as to follow the status quo.

The main focus of the plot is this theft, which is what originates a series of situations that involve the main character and his sister. However, the scene of the theft and the way it was resolved was incredibly quick. It literally was resolved in a couple of pages, and then we were left with the aftermath, which dragged and wasn’t all that interesting. Here’s where I tell you, again, that you shouldn’t read the synopsis, because if you do, you’ll know who the thief was. I think some of you might already know this because, yes, it’s that obvious and predictable. It isn’t even one of those thrillers in which we already know who did it and we want to know why because the motives themselves are pretty obvious.

Again, even if we knew who did it, there could’ve been a “hunt” for the thief, but that wasn’t a thing. As the scene of the theft itself, this was very easily resolved. There was a plan, but it was executed and then the thief was found and that was that. And even then, when the thief is exposed, there is nothing hard-hitting. Instead, we get this super bland Lifetime-movie ending. In sum, I was really excited and had high expectations, but they weren’t met.

Do you have any thriller recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

This Is Now a Bilingual Blog || Este Blog Ahora es Bilingüe

This Is Now a Bilingual Blog || Este Blog Ahora es Bilingüe

#BookReviewBlogChallenge.png(English)

Hello and happy Thursday. Maybe you might have noticed that now my blog posts have an English and a Spanish section. Maybe you haven’t and that’s fine, I like surprising my readers.

I recently revamped my public Instagram and decided to try to support Colombian brands exclusively. By that I mean that the makeup, skincare, haircare and even clothing items I buy from now on will be Colombian. The book part is trickier, but still, I found an online store where I can buy my books in Spanish, at least. When I say “Colombian” brands, I mean small businesses primarily.

Of course, I felt that, although this is a great idea, it was not compatible with the way I’m running my blog now, and that it needed to change so that my consumption habits were more in line with what I, in a way, advertise in my blog. It made no sense that I kept buying and hauling foreign brands when, really, Colombian products are high quality and they should be more well-known and supported.

Now, translating hundreds of blog posts is a demanding task, of course, because even though I have experience translating texts from Spanish to English and viceversa, it is time-consuming, so I’m doing it progressively but systematically. I am giving priority to the new posts I’m writing, like this one, while I translate the posts that I have scheduled for later. The posts that will be translated last (or maybe not at all, I still haven’t decided) are the ones that have already been published.

I’m not sure if there’s any more to add to that, but I think that’s it for now. I want to reach more people with my content, especially Colombian people, so I hope this is a step in the right direction. Any suggestions of content you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

***

(Español)

Hola y feliz jueves. Tal vez se han dado cuenta que ahora mis publicaciones tienen una sección en inglés y una en español. Tal vez no lo han hecho y eso está bien, me gusta sorprender a mis lectores.

Recientemente modifiqué mi Instagram púbico y decidí que iba a intentar apoyar marcas colombianas exclusivamente. Me refiero a que el maquillaje, los tratamientos de cuidado de la piel, del pelo e inclusive la ropa que compro de ahora en adelante serán colombianos. La parte de los libros es más complicada, pero igual, encontré una tienda en línea en la que puedo comprar mis libros en español, por lo menos. Cuando hablo de marcas “colombianas” quiero decir pequeñas y medianas empresas principalmente.

Claro, sentí que, aunque esta es una gran idea, no era compatible con la manera con la que estoy dirigiendo mi blog ahora, y que necesitaba cambiar para que mis hábitos de consumo estuvieran más en línea con lo que, de alguna manera, publicito en mi blog. No tenía sentido seguir comprando y mostrando marcas extranjeras cuando, realmente, los productos colombianos son de alta calidad y deberían ser más conocidos y apoyados.

Ahora, traducir cientos de publicaciones es una tarea demandante, claro, porque aunque tengo experiencia traduciendo textos de español a inglés y viceversa, consume tiempo, entonces lo estoy haciendo de forma progresiva pero sistemática. Estoy dándole prioridad a las publicaciones nuevas que escribo, como esta, al tiempo que traduzco las publicaciones que he programado para después. Las publicaciones que traduciré al final (o tal vez que no traduciré, todavía no me he decidido) son las que ya han sido publicadas.

No estoy segura si hay algo más que agregar a eso, pero creo que es todo por ahora. Quiero llegarle a más personas con mi contenido, especialmente personas colombianas, entonces espero que este sea un paso en la dirección correcta. ¿Tienen alguna sugerencia de contenido que quieran ver? Cuéntenme en los comentarios.

¡Feliz jueves!

Con amor, Miss Camila

July 2019 Japan Candy Box

July 2019 Japan Candy Box

Hello and happy Sunday. I’m excited to write this post because as of today, my Japan Candy Box subscription has ended, but I’m already subscribed to a new service and I think you’ll enjoy reading about it, especially if you live in Colombia. Today we’re going to talk about the snacks I got in my July 2019 box. The theme for that month was Ice Cream & Sunshine!

Tohato Bino Bold & Hard Salted Edamame Snacks 

Give me all the edamame snacks. I don’t know why, but I love them all. My first impression is always “wow, this tastes weird,” but then I end up eating the whole bag and maybe even considering buying more bags afterwards.

Mini Chocochip Mint Cookies 

I like that combination, so I enjoyed eating these cookies. I know many people don’t like the taste of mint and chocolate together, but I do. I suggest you try them; they’re not the mint chocolate chip Milano cookies, but they’re alright.

Picola Creamy Coconut Milk Wafers

You probably don’t know this about me, but I love these things. We call them “pirulines” or “barquillos” in Colombia and they’re the best thing ever. The coconut flavor is A+. I’ve complained before that some vanilla or cream-flavored stuff I’ve gotten in my boxes tastes like butter, but this doesn’t. It’s soft, it’s nice, it’s sweet without being overwhelming…I’m a fan.

Calbee Cheese Bit Corn Snack

I had totally forgotten that this box contained some of my favorite snacks. Give me cheese flavored corn chips any day. These were so good, I would’ve traded other items in my box to get another bag of these. I think I even rebought them or considered doing it.

Crunky Soh Vanilla Ice Cream Chocolate

This is what I’m talking about when I say some flavors taste like pure butter. I don’t understand these chocolate bars and it seems like I got one every month. I don’t like the texture, I don’t like the flavor or the feeling it got in the back of my mouth. Honestly, I would prefer to get a box full of savory snacks than one with chocolate.

Strawberry Soft Ice Cream Marshmallow 

This is the kind of candy you can find at a kid’s party because it looks cute. It was nice, the marshmallow was actually coated with sugar, but it’s a tiny little thing, and not very memorable. Cute, yes, but that’s pretty much it.

Fizzy Grape Ramune Ball 

This one is pretty much the same as the next candy, so I’ll be brief. It’s like taking a grape-flavored Alka-Seltzer. I don’t like it.

Morinaga Grape Ramune Bottle Candy 

Like I said, these are grape-flavored fizzy candies. They have the consistency of chalk and leave a weird feeling in the mouth. Hard pass.

Yaokin Colorful Baby’s Marshmallows 

These are my kind of marshmallows, the tiny ones that have different colors and flavors. Japanese marshmallows are kind of hit or miss for me, but these were definitely a hit.

Tohato Anpanman Potato Snack 

I’ll say what I’ve said before: give me all the potato chips. Give me only corn and potato chips if you want to. I haven’t tried a chip I don’t like. I would buy these for myself.

Which of these snacks would you like to try and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Series Saturday: My Paper Heart

Series Saturday: My Paper Heart

GOING ON

Hello and happy Saturday. I really enjoy working on this post series because I’m reminded not only of books I loved but also of those I really didn’t. When you have such a long TBR list, it’s good to know what to steer clear of. Sadly for Magan Vernon, her book series My Paper Heart is one I won’t be finishing.

READ

My Paper Heart (Book #1)

I listened to this on audiobook between October 6th and October 27th, 2018 and gave it two stars, but I’m pretty sure that nowadays I’d give it two. This book follows the typical trope of a young woman from the city who is sent to the countryside and falls in love with the town’s bad boy. I literally told you the entire plot of this novel, there’s absolutely no need for you to read it, in my opinion. I think this kind of story works for readers who are looking for something formulaic, predictable, and mindless to read. It would be a good option if you needed to reach your reading goal because I don’t think this would take you more than a couple of days and just about the same number of brain cells, but you’ll be exactly the same person before, during and after reading this.

UNLISTED

On Paper Wings (Book #2)

A Paper Trail (Book #3)

These Paper Walls (Book #4) 

What kind of book do you like to read when you’re in a time crunch? What’s a trope that gets you reading? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila