How I Teach Body Parts & Grammar

Hello and happy Saturday. Today I’ll be telling you all about how I taught body parts to my Kinder boys. Now, they know the basics (everything included in the head, shoulders, knees, and toes song), so my challenge was to introduce them to vocabulary related to other body parts, and try to combine that with simple, everyday grammar structures.

On Monday I have two classes with Kindergarten, so I wrote the agenda on the board. The activities I’m going to show and describe were intended for those two hours of class. Instead, we spent the whole week working on them (which meant less planning for me).

We started with hokey pokey, and through that song we were also able to review position words such as in and out. We sang and danced to it once, and then I made a contest in which every time a new body part was introduced, the boys had to point to it. Those who were right got a happy point. This activity took me the whole first class, but it was a great way to get them started on the vocabulary and also to introduce left and right.

During the next class we also played a game using a practice video. I played it once, and again I stopped every time a body part was named and had children point at their own bodies. Then I wrote on the board IS THIS YOUR…? Yes, it is. and No, it’s not. 

The idea of the game was to have students call one of their classmates, ask them a question, following the video’s pattern, throw them a foam ball and then have the recipient of the ball answer using the formula I wrote on the board.

On Tuesday, we worked on yet another grammar structure, using the song Body Parts by Brendan Parker. We obviously sang and danced to the song repeatedly, and the boys loved it and learned it by heart. Then I wrote on the board: I have; I have one; I have two; and I have ten. The boys named body parts according to each variation. I’m not sure if you can see clearly but by this point they were able to name more specific body parts like eyelashes or eyebrows.

On our following class we worked on drawing the parts of the body. I first explained to them the terms front and back. We used this Body Parts Song ; so I basically paused when a new part was named and added it to the drawing I was making on the board. We were each drawing ourselves, so first we drew the front and then the back, labeling each part.

As you can see, I use a lot of videos and model everything on the board because my boys are beginning to read and write in English. Is there anything you do in your classroom when teaching this topic? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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April Book Drop Unboxing

Hello and happy Wednesday. Yes, this is my April Book Drop unboxing because apparently I was wrong and assumed my boxes would be sent on January, February and March, when they actually were sent on February, March, and April. I’m sorry, Bethany Beach Box people and thank you for April’s box; it came off as a bit of a surprise. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the unboxing!

Obviously, as I told you in a previous post, the Book Drop is not like other boxes that have a ton of goodies; this subscription box is actually way cheaper than the other ones I know and in this one the main feature is the book.

In my April box I got two bookmarks, one to promote Independent Bookstore Day, which was April the 29th (the box arrived on April the 27th, so the timing was perfect), and another one promoting this novel called Night Witches by Kathryn Lansky. You know I love me some bookmarks, so these babes went straight to the collection.

I also got this magazine thingy with lists of top ten books in general, and then more specific lists according to age. This helped me add some titles to my TBR, so thanks for that Book Drop!

Now, for the book I was pleasantly surprised because I’d seen it a lot before but had been hesitant to buy it. Well, now I don’t need to decide because I finally got it. The novel is called Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, and as soon as I read it you’ll get a review, I promise.

I honestly think this box can be a very good fit for people who, like me, are open to reading different things and are not fixed into only one genre. If you like subscription boxes but can’t afford to spend $30 dollars a month on one, this is also great for you, and you’d really enjoyed it if you want to get to know more indie authors.

What other subscription box, from CrateJoy or other company should I try and why?

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

My Workout Regime

Ebook.pngHello and happy Sunday. I know I have previously talked to you about the changes I’ve made in order to be healthier, and that’s why today I want to talk to you about my workout regime. I didn’t call it a “routine” because, rather than being a series of exercises I do every day, it’s more of a specific type of exercise I do. Let me explain that a little more.

As much as I’d love to work out every single day, the truth is that as a teacher I get home absolutely exhausted and I physically don’t have the energy for daily exercises. That being said, part of a consistent workout is becoming fitter and stronger so that at some point I can be able to endure exercising daily.

Currently my workout regime is divided in two: what I do on weekdays and what I do on weekends. I’m going to start with the weekend because it doesn’t require much explanation. On Saturdays I don’t work out because I take classes in the morning, so my exercise is limited to Sundays and holidays, which is when I go to Zumba. I take one or two one-hour classes.

Now, I’ve done Zumba for almost three years, so that’s an established part of my life; what has changed recently is my weekday workout regime, which was nonexistent up until a couple of months ago.

Basically on weekdays I alternate between 20-minute Lumowell routines and Total Crunch. On Mondays and Wednesdays I do the Lumowell routines. I started with ten-minute routines and have increased the duration of the workouts. I follow their Youtube channel and what I do is select a different workout each day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work on this machine called Total Crunch. I’m at five minutes right now and my idea is that as my resistance increases, the duration of the exercise will too.

What is your workout regime? Let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Have you joined my bookish giveaway? Click here to check it out!

Things I Wasn’t Told at the Interview

100th day.pngHello and happy Saturday. The school year is coming to an end, and I must admit it went by way quicker than I thought.

It was a special year for me because it was my first year as a professional teacher working at a school. It was a challenging year, and although I knew that the first year teaching is always the worst, I systematically told myself “this isn’t going to be like that for me, I’ve got this,” until I decided to just go with it and admit that I didn’t have to be the perfect teacher and it was okay to mess up because I had zero years of experience.

I’m going to talk more in depth about this in another post because today I want to tell you about stuff I wasn’t told about during the interviews for my current job which I then had to learn. Here we go:

1. It’s not “just a couple of Saturdays”

I was told I had to go to work only two Saturdays in the year. So far I’ve counted four, plus one Friday when I had to stay until eight o’ clock at night. It didn’t really bother me, having to go to school on Saturday or staying til late on a Friday, especially on fun school events. The thing is, Saturdays are my days for doing stuff that’s not related to school. On Saturdays I used to work out and I’m currently taking Portuguese classes. I can’t miss my classes and even if I could, I don’t want to be missing out on a commitment I made. And yes, I know I have a commitment with my school as well, but I planned those classes on days when I’m not teaching, days that should totally belong to me because they’re part of the weekend. Am I overreacting? I think not.

2. Some moms will make it their personal mission to destroy you

I don’t know what’s the deal with meany moms, but it’s something I hadn’t experienced at my previous job. I currently work with three grades, and I’ve had all sorts of problems with the moms of the oldest kids. They have this Whatsapp group and they apparently talk to each other all day every day. Based on the amount of notes I got this year, they also get together to bombard me with the silliest notes ever. Granted, they have calmed down a ton and now I get the occasional, very polite note. There are some moms I genuinely like, and who seem to appreciate what I’ve done for their boys. The pre-k and Kindergarten parents are awesome, so it makes up for all the other ones.

3. It is possible to work in a place where people are nice. That includes your boss

This year was hard, but man, it’s so good to have found a group of teachers who act like grownups, who are civilized and so very helpful. I remember one particular fight with my fellow teacher and it was horrible. And don’t get me started on my boss because there wasn’t a single conversation of ours that wasn’t coated in passive-aggressiveness. My current boss has never raised her voice when talking to me and she’s helped me a whole lot, especially with the problem I’ve experienced and talked about before. I feel supported, and though I don’t have a work team per se, I’m surrounded by people who help me whichever way they can.

That’s it for today’s post. I’ll be documenting what I’ve been doing with my boys these past weeks so be sure to check out my blog regularly.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

My TBR Jars

Hello and happy Wednesday. Have you ever experienced a reading slump? I’ve been on many, and I think that’s because I get easily bored of pretty much anything and everything, so it’s easy for me not to feel passionate a book I’m reading or not to feel motivated to start a new one.

I’ve come up with different strategies to deal with my reading slumps, but I think the one that’s worked the best is having TBR jars. I say “jars” because I have one for books in Spanish, and another one for books in English. The small one is the Spanish one, and I’ve had it for almost two years, I think.

I made my TBR jar for English books because I had a ton of titles to read (the ones in the jar and not even half of them) and I was sort of getting overwhelmed when I had to decide what to read next. I needed a system that worked better than the list I have written down in my super handy bookish notebook, and so I decided the best system was to just leave the choice to randomness and luck.

Doing your own TBR jar is easy and fun. I used an old Yankee Candle jar, and made sure I removed all the stickers around it. I got my super long list of books I want to read and wrote each title down in a lined paper I then cut in strips. I folded each strip and put it inside the jar, and that was it!

I have to admit that I haven’t yet used my jar because I still have a list of books I started and want to finish, but I can’t wait to put it in practice because I think this is a cute and fun way to pick new books to read without having to sit down and make a conscious decision, which is sort of what bores me and gets me to go into reading slumps. Hopefully, it’ll work.

Do you have a TBR jar or any other system to pick the books you’ll be reading? Tell me about it!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Maintaining My Hair Color Without Dye

Hello and happy Sunday. I thought it would be fun and useful if I shared with you the things I do to maintain my hair color, but that can be used to play with coloration without actually using dye. 

I first dyed the tips of my hair hot pink (I think the name of the dye was “pink fetish” or something like that) in December 2013 and have tried a variety of tones ever since. In my Hair Update post I shared with you my original cut and color, a light blonde with platinum highlights lob or long bob.

For a while I just let my hair color sort of naturally adapt, but I noticed brassiness and yellow patches, so I got a tone correcting shampoo that was more towards the beige side. It’s the one in the middle of the picture. I started using it once a month and I’m currently applying it every two weeks. I also got the Blue Therapy one, which I feel helps more with the brassiness and the yellow/ orange patches, but is super drying, so I use it less frequently.

Now, I used the mask on the left once after using the shampoo because I’d recently come back from a trip where my hair had been exposed to the sun and I was starting to feel like Goldilocks. If you have yellowish or golden hair, I don’t have anything against you; I dyed my hair those tones a while ago, I’m just more into gray/ beige/ platinum tones now. This mask sort of brought back those gray highlights I originally had and made the color more towards the ashy side.

I haven’t dyed my hair since July last year, so I’ve maintained its color exclusively with shampoo and masks. To avoid having dry tips, I use chia and argan oil, especially the day after I wash my hair.

Do you dye your hair? What do you do to maintain its color? Let me know!

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Teachers on a Trip

Hello and happy Saturday. No, I’m not talking about *that* kind of trip; I’m straightedge, remember? I’m talking about a trip I went on with my older students a few weeks ago. I was directly in charge of a group of eight kinder boys, along with another teacher who’s actually homeroom teacher, and I had a great time for the first twenty minutes. After that, I wanted to run home and sleep for a week straight.

You know I’m not a mom and I don’t think I’ll be one for a long while, but I kept thinking “wow, these kids are six years old, they’re too young to be away from home for three whole days,” but really I don’t know if I’d forbid my kids to go on this kind of trip if it were a school activity. I would probably get their teacher a huge basket full of goodies as a thank you or maybe set up a spa day afterwards because man, caring for those kids was exhausting.

As a teacher I obviously have a huge responsibility in the classroom, but when we were away I had to be a mom and a teacher. We had to help the boys get their clothes ready and we had to supervise them while they got ready, telling them to wash their heads and helping them apply sunscreen; and that, of course, after we were ready. I managed to wake up (before six a.m!), get ready, read, and put makeup on, which I consider an accomplishment.

I think that first stage of the morning, and the night rituals (the nights themselves) were the most exhausting, at least for me they were, because it was in those moments when I had to stop acting like a teacher and be in charge of stuff I’m not used to. If you’re a mom, these things come naturally, but if you’re not, you have to learn, and boy, did I get a crash course.

I’m one of those teachers who say yes to everything, even if internally I’m rolling my eyes and wondering why me, so I’m sure I’ll go on a school trip next year or any year I’m asked. I only hope that on the following trips I can be with older kids who are more independent and can do more things by themselves.

Have you gone on a school trip with your students? Tell me about it!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

The Witch is Not Dead!

Hello and happy Wednesday. Sorry if the title of this post got you rolling you eyes at me, but trust me, it’s not really a Dorothy Must Die spoiler. I mean, maybe it is, if you think hard enough, but then you have to know the characters and the story, and then it wouldn’t really be considered a spoiler, would it?

I finally finished the first novel by Danielle Paige and I feel that I have a lot to say about it, so hopefully I remember it all and share it with you.

I started reading this story in October last year and then at some point, after having advanced just a little bit, I put it aside and only got back to reading it earlier this year. After finishing it, I did read some reviews on Goodreads, which you know I normally don’t do, but some comments were in accordance to things I felt while reading.

There was this review that caught my eye because the reader said they didn’t really connect with the story, and that was a feeling I had at first and that caused me to stop early on. This book is mostly set in Oz, so we have the magic world and the fantasy and the characters, but I feel that this re-introduction to Oz was made at the same time with the whole explanation of what had happened after Dorothy had left to Kansas, and I that was just too much, at least for me, you know? Like I was given a ton of information about Amy, the main character, and her life in Kansas and then what took her to Oz and then the story of Oz and it was a lot to process.

Of course, once I gave the book a second chance and started reading bit by bit, I had time to process each piece of information and really understand everything I read. This is when I started to be genuinely interested in the story and Amy and, of course, Dorothy. By the title we already know that somebody wants Dorothy dead, but the how and the why are just so interesting.

The second half of the novel was what got me super obsessed, to the point where I would wake up earlier than usual and read until I had to get up and start getting ready. I was totally into reading about Amy’s training with the Order of the Wicked, and the descriptions of Dorothy’s palace, and I fell in love with Nox, and I just wanted to keep reading. It became easier for me when I was done with the first half.

Now, this is the first book in a series, which means that some stuff has to remain unresolved for the following books to make sense. That is obvious. I was sort of upset, however, with the way Dorothy Must Die ended, because it was as if it did halfway through a scene. That upset me because I know that once I take the next book in the series, I’ll have to go back and at least read the last couple of pages again or else I’d be lost. I feel that more stuff could have been resolved and it wasn’t, so there’s that.

Are you into retellings? Is there any I should read? Let me know!

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Cleaning My Beauty Sponges

Hello and happy Sunday. I was recently on a trip away from home, and of course I took some makeup with me plus my beauty sponges. I noticed, though, that they were looking kinda gross, especially the one I use to apply BB cream (you know, the one in the left that looks light brown but is actually light blue?). So, of course, the day after I came back home, after going through an intensive hair and skin care ritual, I decided to wash my beauty sponges. In this post I will guide you step by step through this process, which though annoying for me is super easy and also necessary. Let’s get started!

 

Step number one is soaking the sponge and squeezing it to get rid of excess product. This is something I’ll do continually: soaking and squeezing, but I do this first step without any soap or cleaning product to remove all or most of the foundation on the outside of the sponge, to make the actual cleaning with a product easier.

 

 

 

 

 

My secret ingredient for cleaning makeup sponges and brushes is the Johnson’s Baby original shampoo, and it works wonders. I put a bit on top of my beauty sponge, and then squeeze it while its under cold water. I do sort of “massage” the sponge to make sure the shampoo is all over. At first a lot of foundation comes out and it’s actually gross for me to see that, but you have to keep repeating the process until no foundation comes out. That way you know the sponge is really clean.

 

 

See? A lot came out already but we’re still missing the parts I use to directly apply both my foundation and concealer, so more shampoo/ soaking/ squeezing is needed.

Now, you might see, especially with pink sponges, that dye is coming out. That’s a bit creepy, but I’m thankful that it comes out so that less chemicals touch my skin every day…you know I like to keep it natural (yeah right).

 

 

 

When you squeeze the sponge and nothing comes out, that means it’s clean. I squeeze it hard with my bare hand first so that it doesn’t soak the towel I’m going to use, then with said towel I squeeze again until the sponge is not dripping and it doesn’t feel heavy, because if it does, it means that it’s still got water on the inside. 

 

 

 

 

 

The final step is leaving the sponge or sponges on a towel to dry. I do this for 24 hours
and then my sponges are as good as new!

 

I hope you found this step-by-step guide useful. Please let me know if you have any more tips and tricks or if there’s anything you’d like to learn about my routines and regimes.

 

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

How Do I Teach Along With Textbooks?

My Teaching Resolution.pngHello and happy Saturday. I know that the title of this post might lead you to think that I’m going to do a how-to sort of thing, but it’s actually I genuine concern I’ve had for the past school year because I haven’t yet found the way to use the textbooks I was given and combine them with my own ideas and lessons.

At my school, the oldest boys I teach, who are in the equivalent of 1st grade, have the Journeys kindergarten books, and I said it before once in a post: I despise those books. To me, it makes absolutely no sense to use them with ELLs who take English classes four times a week. I mean, classes are 45 minutes long and yet the way this books are thought, ideally students have a full day of class to work with Journeys.

And yes, I know I’m getting into territory that really is beyond my control because I didn’t choose this methodology, it had already been selected the year before I started working at this school or something like that, but I’m a sort of desperate situation and I need your help.

It is impossible for me to just set the books aside and not use them because my students’ parents paid a lot of money for both the student book and reader’s notebook, but I don’t want to base my whole lesson plans on these materials because then I wouldn’t be using my skills and ideas as a teacher.

I know the school year is almost over and sadly that means that all the mistakes I made with this 1st graders can’t be fixed, but this is my first year as a teacher and I’ll encounter these situations in the future and want to be ready. If in you’re school you’re required to work with a set of books, and specifically if you work or have worked with Journeys for Kindergarten, what is some advice you could give me? I’m at this point where I sort of want to sit down and reevaluate everything, start over with this methodology.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the books and think they are absolutely fantastic, both the big books and the student books. My students have advanced tons in reading and they genuinely enjoy the stories. The reader’s notebook though is absolutely horrible. I despise the activities that accompany the big book stories and I personally feel that they’re completely random and they don’t adjust to the students’ age or level. The phonics, vocabulary and grammar bits are alright, but then again some exercises are way too simple while others are really challenging and require me to do some further exploration of the topics.

This teacher is desperate. Please help!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila