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Showing posts from November, 2006

my students

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This is what it's like to work in a Korean Elementary School. Most of the days, they're cute and wonderful...but sometimes they can be complete brats.

The Dollar...is it intentionally low???

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My thoughts on the economy. I've been recently trying to hedge my risks by putting my money in a couple different investments. Right now, most of my stocks are in the tech sector mainly because it's what I know. I tried to follow the Warren Buffet school of investing about a year ago and all my stocks are at the same level they were (or lower when i bought them.) I've recently bought a Korean CD from KEB bank. It is dollar account and it pays 5% every three months. That's an awesome rate compared to the states. Now the reason I went with dollars rather than the Yen or the Won is that I believe the US economy is intentionally keeping the dollar low. I think they are doing this because the trade imbalance with China. China has a ridiculous stockpile of dollars right now. Soooo...making the dollar stronger would offset most other currencies in the the world and China could use this power to try buyouts of US firms like Japan did when the Yen was very strong in

Milk and Cookies

This is a website that I've been checking out these days. It's a bit wicked, but you know...I like it like that. It's called Milk and Cookies.

White Room

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I did the White Room game in my class today and it was great. It worked a lot better than Viridian Room. Here's the walkthrough. Dan

William is back

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William is an inquisitive, kleptomaniac, 5 year old boy that I wrote into a play. In the play he was the psychological manifestation of a woman who had guilt over an abortion. The play was a failure, but I always liked William and I've decided to see if I can develop him into a character of his own- possibly a children's book or a comic book. Here are some beginning sketches of him.

Paying US taxes from Korea

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I'm currently searching for info on how to go about paying US taxes from Korea. If anyone has any info, please send me an e-mail. Here's a couple of links I dug up from Dave's ESL. http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/korea/viewtopic.php?t=68158&highlight=Taxes http://www.hrblock.com/taxes/doing_my_taxes/international.html

Casino Royale: A rollercoaster thrill ride but strangely reminiscent of a video game!?!

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The opening chase sequence between James Bond and a terrorist bomb maker is mind boggling. The physical interchange between Bond and the bomb maker is a refreshing way to reveal character traits. This Bond is shown to be a raw, impulsive man, with excellent instincts that uses his intelligence and drive to defeat his superior foe. He is razor sharp and very cold and this new Bond (who is actually the old Bond.) lets his actions speak instead of catchy one liners. This isn't the suave bond of the past. He is raw and the movie has a feel more like the Bourne Identity than the Pierce Bronson Bond we've come know and possibly become disillusioned with. Eva Green was sweet and sultry but of course she couldn't be the virtuous girl that takes Bond away from the spy life, no, no, no. Of course she has an ulterior motive for loving Bond. The villian was just so, so and wasn't over the top like others and this Bond movie seemed like a "who's done it.&qu

Monday 3rd grade! It's snowing.

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Actually, it's raining today....but...it's all good. This week is going to be super easy. It's only a three day week because the little midgets are having tests on Thursday and Friday! AZA! After this week, I've only got three more days until my elementary school days are over! I'm going to miss it, but what can you do? Today in third grade I'm going to start by asking them the weather and then 1) I'll start with the chant in the book: It's Snowing. 2) I'll do the look and speak. 3) I'm going to do the roleplay about the Ant and the grasshopper. I'll get the students to act it out. 4) Review 5) Game: Passing the card game. Students get in a line and have to listen to me and pass the lines from back to front repeating the phrase I say, i.e. "It's Sunny, let's go outside. It's snowing! etc. There will be referees to make sure they are saying the phrase.

Have a good weekend

I've got lots of stuff to show you, like I turned my UNO cards into an English Learning game (I know that using Uno to teach English sounds a bit contradictory...maybe the kid has to yell out ONE instead:) I'm also making some Christmas cards and I'll get my students to make some next week. I'm also doing some creative writing. I'll get all sorts of stuff up soon. Cheers! Dan

The Happy Lunatic Attacks again.

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hehehe the Happy Lunatic is back! And he is going to be gracing my web blog. Stay tuned for more!

Just say NO TO FortyTWO-DVD VXPLUS

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This was my comment on TUAW the unofficial Apple Webblog about how often do I watch video on my ipod: I watch video all the time since I found videoera. It's an open source video converter and it works pretty well. It's FREE and FAST! And I'm not saying it's free and and then you get only like 10 minutes of converted video like some converters. The only drawback is that it's only for windows. I used to use FortyTWO-DVD VXPLUS, but randomly my paid license stopped working. I DO NOT RECOMMEND you buy Forty-TWODVD-VXPLUS (who the hell came up with that name anyway). The service sucks and I've tried to call them and e-mailed them like 4 times and nobody answers my e-mails.For the Mac Podner is a good bet. So learn from me kids, don't buy FortyTWO-DVD VX PLUS. It's the stupidiest name I've ever heard of for a software program and the programmers are equally retarded!

5th Grade: Viridian Room

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I am doing a flash game in class today. It is called Viridian room. I did another game, "Crimson Room" in class last year and my students still ask me today to do it again. Crimson Room was much easier, but I think the students like the challenge of Viridian Room. Also only a few students have played the game while almost every student has already solved Crimson Room. Here's the link to the site. If you need a walkthrough look here. I suggest you let 2 kids up at the computer at a time and then get the students to tell those two students where to click and go in the room. It helps to have the walkthrough so you can also help direct the kids and keep the game moving.

4th Grade DolMakgo Department store

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My class today was an utter success. I did a department store situation where I put flashcards of random things like a TV, radio, pizza, a nose...anything really and I put prices above them ranging from 100 to 1000 dollars. I wrote a dialogue on the board. A: Hello. Can I help you? B: Yes. How much is that_________? A: It is __________dollars. B: Sounds good. Here's my credit card. or I'm sorry. It's too expensive. Then I got the kids to make their own credit cards because I figured making cash was too unruly. They really got into it and made some wonderful cards. I then picked 2 kids to be sales people and one to be a stocker. The stocker had to restock the sold pictures. I also had two kids standing at the entrance of the "Department Store" and greet new customers. I only let two kids in at a time and they could only buy one item. Some students started to greet students by saying, "Welcome to DolMakgo!" which was a popular movie

Christmas shopping

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Hmmm...It's time to start shopping for presents. What should I get the fam? I can't get ipods for everyone and my father and mother are adamant against a bide. It's time for Korean Santa to get working. Oh, this is a cool print that I should get for Henry. Dan

Egads! Soju has 540 calories per bottle!!!

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Remind me to never drink soju again. Check out this post. Pocket books that identify exact calories and nutrients of 93 kinds of foods that Koreans eat most frequently will be distributed to people for free, the Ministry of Health and Welfare recently said. The pocket books, aimed at preventing people from becoming fat by having a balanced diet, have been written following a nationwide survey on Koreans’ eating habits conducted in 2001. A total of 400,000 copies of the book will be given to people across the nation. The pocket book provides information on the amount of exercise needed to consume calories gained from various types of foods. The book especially offers detailed information on nutrients and amounts of oil, sugar and salts used in various types of foods that are often served in an average Korean meal. According to the health pocket book, a two-hour walk is recommended to burn off the 540 kcal gained by drinking one bottle of soju. I had my last cup

7 minutes to my 6th grade class

I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm going to do the textbook for as long as possible and then I think I'll make them writing a going away letter. I'm going to use my magnet characters. They can write a going away letter from Princess Cindy to the Big Bad Wolf or the Businessman to the Bear. Then I'll get them to play MASH on the board with the middle school questions and what they will do in the future. Dan

The Prestige

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I'm back from a nice weekend. I saw the movie Prestige and I give it a B+. The acting was wonderful and David Bowie leaves a chilling, effective presence in the movie as the scientist Tesla. Hugh Jackman played his role, but it didn't have the gravity of Christian Bale. At times, I felt that I couldn't justify Jackman's character Angier's intelligence to pull off what he did. Now Bale stayed in character right to the end and I found my self going shifting my stance of his character from hate to empathy. I felt this movie was a bit condescending at time and undermined the intelligence of its audience by leaving very gaping hints at the eventual conclusion. There was a nice twist at the end, but the numerous hints destroyed the credibility of the movie and made it a "Sixth Sense"-esque thriller instead of an intricate "Usual Suspects" masterpiece. Dan

Money Money Money

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Gold is at $622.00 an ounce. I don't think it's going to go down in price for a while. I think I'm going to have to buy soon. The real estate market at home sucks. My parents still haven't found a buyer for their house. Stocks. Apple hit a new high of $85.and some odd cents. Google is at $498.00 and it is about to hit $500! AZA AZA AZA! My Ebay shares are about to hit $35.00 which is what I paid for it back in 2004. I'm going to sell it as soon as it hits. Delta might come out of bankruptcy or be bought out. Turbochef is starting to show some promise, but I'm still at a loss with them. RUTH Chris Steak House is starting to gain momentum. Starbucks is at $38.00 All the rest of my stocks are simply holding steady or I'm taking a slight loss. I'm buying energy and gold exchange stocks next.

I'm selling a bunch of iPod and PC stuff on Daves Esl Cafe

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Hello my name is Dan and I am a gadget-holic. I am selling off stuff that I've accumulated over time. Most of the items I thought would be useful at the time, but I find that they are simply gathering dust. There are many message boards in Korea that you can use to sell off stuff, but the one that I use most often is Daves ESL cafe I think it's the one that most people use and I've never had a problem yet (knock on wood.) Here's the pictures of stuff because I'm going to link my ad to this post. Hey, if anybody wants anything, give me an e-mail or leave a comment. Here's my ad from Daveseslcafe. Dan

4th Grade Lesson 8, "How much is it?"

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Ugh. I am still sick and the medicine the doctor gave me is making me sleepy. When I get sleepy, I get cranky. I already had a mini-outburst and offended some of my collegues. I apologized and they said they already knew about me and wouldn't hold it against me. What I'm doing today is mainly straight out of the book. 1. Monkey See, Monkey do- pick one student to be the monkey and they tell their classmates what to do, i.e. stand up, eat a lollipop, dance, etc. 2. "What do you want for Christmas?" Pick one student to be Santa Clause and one to be Mrs. Clause and then ask the students to tell the Clauses what they want for Christmas. Make them line up and ask in person. 3. "What does the Big Bad Wolf want for Christmas?" Get magnets of different characters and ask the students what they would want for Christmas. I have a Princess, Salaryman, Zeeto, Thomas, etc. They come up with some really interesting answers. But every class says that th

I am sick

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I am sick so I'm doing the lesson for half the time and then letting them watch Shrek 2 . I am sick, not hung over. Flu season is upon us, beware. Drink lots of orange juice and eat kim-chi. Kim-chi chiggae keeps the flu bug away. Ugh. Dan

3rd Grade: I can Swim Parts 3 and 4

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I'm sick today. I'm going to try to get through the lessons and hopefully recover before I have to teach tomorrow. I don't want to teach 6th grade while sick tomorrow. I might end up just doing the lesson for half the time and then show the movie for the rest of the time. 1. Today I'm going to start out with "I can...I can't ball." Students have to say one thing they can do and one thing they can't and then pass the ball to another student. 2. What can Santa Clause do? What can't he do? Pictures of various people or creatures and ask students what they can or can't do. 3. Book + Role Play- The Tortoise and the Hare. 4. Board Game for the rest of the time. Dan

Sad iPod: How Matt Damon and Leonardo killed my iPod

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My ipod died yesterday as I was watching The Departed on my iPod. I guess it's the hand of mighty Steve Jobs telling me that's a no no. Thank you Steve for letting me know that downloading videos to my iPod is illegal. I have been smited by the ye mighty hand. Praise be to Steve. Technically, the hard drive failed. Now, what am I going to do? I looking at the Archo's player that has WiFi. Too bad they don't sell them in Korea. I'm going to be iPod less for 1 week until they repair it. I was looking at the new shuffles, but the clip seems a little tempermental. I think I'd rather wait for the 1Gig 1st Gen Shuffles to go down in price and buy one of them. It was always my favorite one and it never broke like my nano (screen), iPod photo (some weird logic board issue), and now my iPod video (hard drive). It's not me! For real! It's not me, I treat all ipods like they're gold and I've never dropped the iPod video. Thank god for App

I don't know what this is, but I want it!

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This is the SPH-P9000 and I want it!!!! It's so cool! This is the excerpt I got from www.newlaunches.com "At the Mobile WiMAX Summit 2006 in Korea Samsung unveiled the SPH-P9000 a convergence device capable of voice and multimedia data communications through Mobile WiMAX technology. The device utilizes Mobile WiMAX for Internet connectivity and CDMA EV-DO for voice communications. The SPH-P9000 runs on Windows XP Professional and it is no bigger than a portable DVD player. Folded away neatly is a QWERTY keyboard which makes typing very easy compared to a touch screen. Other specs include Camera for web conferencing, 30 GB hard drive and a 5 inch WVGA screen all packed into a device which weighs a bit more than one pound. Kitae Lee, President of the Telecommunication Network Business at Samsung Electronics, says “Our new SPH-P9000 is just one of the few Mobile WiMAX convergence devices to be introduced to the world. Samsung will expand our port

5th Grade Class, Lesson 16: Did you have a nice Vacation?

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It seems kinda pointless to do this lesson now because it should have been done right after the vacation break. It's the last lesson in the book so I guess I should finish it. I am finished teaching at this elementary school on December 6th. My school is giving me an early vacation because I am teaching 24 classes a week- which is 4 classes more than my contract allows. Oh- for any teacher that's in a similar situation where you are teaching more than what is written in your contract, talk to the school. Anything is negiotiable (except money...most public schools don't have the funding to pay you for overtime and that might also break your contract). Anyway, I'm going to do the first 3 lessons in the chapter. I'm just going to go over the material on the computer because most of the students have already learned it and I'm obligated by the teachers to "teach" out of the book. I figure this will eat up about 25 minutes of the class then I'll

TV Show round up.

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These are the shows that I'm watching this year and my current ratings and comments. The Office: A- It's not as fun as last year, I think Steve Carrell's character is becoming too sappy and losing a bit of his wackiness. I think he's funnier when he's a caricature of a businessman. The Gay Witch Trials were hilarious and so was the last episode when they go to the Indian celebration and Ryan says he is saving up for, "travel and an X-Box." Battlestar Galactica: A+ It got off to an Elie Wiesel start, but I quickly got into the story. The new surprises are sucking me into the storyline and I really like the reinvigorated search for Earth storyline. I still think Baltar is a prick, but that's his job. The last episode where he thinks he is a Cylon is intriguing, but in retrospect it should have been like... duh. Starbuck is going to start flying again! That always makes me happy. Heroes : A I like it. I like it and I'm starting to like it

5000 hits!

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My blog has officially hit 5000 hits! Thank you all for reading my blog. I'm not sure what direction I have for this blog, so it is what it is. I initially started this blog back in April 2005 to keep track of my lesson plans, write about my South Korean experience, and to store other random bits of information so it would be easily retrievable by me. So to be honest, most of the time I'm writing this for an audience of one...me^^ However, if you find parts of this useful to you then I'm honored, and I will continue hard to keep writing this. Once again, I would like to thank you for reading. Dan

4th Grade Classes

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I love doing role plays in class. I simply try to make as many roles as possible and get the kids to act it out. I find it is best to first show a short clip of what you're going to act out, play it 2 or 3 times and then get the kids to help write the dialogue on the board. Then I give out parts. Usually I pick the most animated and/or popular kids in class to do it first. I know that sounds awful but it's all psychology. If I pick them first then it will get kids excited and they will pay attention. I noticed that if I pick the unpopular kids or the kids that the other kids deem "crazy" then I won't be able to replay the play more than once and I spend the time yelling at everyone to simply be quiet! The role play we did today was the ant and the grasshopper. The ant is working hard and asks the grasshopper for help, but the grasshopper says that he is sick then winter comes and the grasshopper has no food...yadda...yadda...yadda. I picked out the rol

Some of my students hate me

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and I'm alright with that. My 6th grade 백합 class is filled to the brim with little punks that try every second of every class to undermine my authority and act (is it acting or a pre-existing condition???) like lunatics trying to catch a fly in a hermetically sealed room. I just made them copy stuff off of the board and made them repeat stuff like it was one of the English Classes I swore I would never teach. I also didn't play a game with the class. It was boring. It was tedious and I know they didn't like it or me. The scary thing is that I really enjoyed feeding off the negative energy in the class. Maybe I could be an evil teacher.

아녕하세요 예진!!!!

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6th Grade Lesson 15: It's time to go home

I wish it was time to go home instead of having to teach the 6th graders. I do have candy to get rid of so I am going to do a quiz day with prizes for the game. I made up quiz questions from Harry Potter, Spongebob, and Deathnote- I figure kids will remember these things. I got some of the questions from this site. It worked really well in my first class. I mean the lesson from the book is utterly placid :P It simply works them into a lull. I am going to shorten the lesson to about 20 minutes in the next class and spend 10 minutes getting students to make up their own quiz questions and then spend the rest of the time having a "Quiz Show." Candy is a great motivator^^

Death Note

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I love this anime enough to read the manga^^ I know I've said that before, but I think that the art and the story is awesome. It's kinda like Conan (the detective), Bleach, and Full Metal Alchemist mixed into one. Wait maybe not so much FMA because FMA is my all time favorite anime, but this one is quite good. It's a tad dark for my tastes and it doesn't have the light comic relief of a character like Al, actually, Ryuk (I think that's correct) the shinigami (sp...sorry) is quite dark and adds to the tension rather than eases it. The story is about a brilliant student named Light Yagami that finds a Death Note-a notebook that if one writes the name of any person that person will die- and he decides to use the note to cleanse the world of evil and become its new god. Yes, it's about a kid with unimaginable powers with a god complex. Light begins killing criminals one by one- if he just writes the names of a criminal in the book, they simply die, he can

How to use students to say have a happy holiday to friends and family overseas

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All you need for this is a bunch of 4 x 3 white notecards from the stationary store and prepare a short slideshow with pictures of your family or friends. What I'm going to do is show my different classes pictures of either my mother, father, sisters, or friends and tell them a little about them. I'm going to work in what they like and what kind of a person they are into the lesson. For example, my friend Henry is an opera singer and he loves to sing and cook cakes and he wants to look pretty like that this Korean guy. Then I'll ask them to write him a holiday postcard with scenes from Korea or well wishes for the holiday season. In another class I'll show them a picture of my sisters Jill, Jenna, and my Mom and Dad. Then I'll collect them all and mail them out to the states. I think everyone will get a big kick out of it and they'll realize that I'm really happy in Korea and there is no need to fear the bomb^^

Test

Monkeyboys like red shoes

3rd Grade: I can Swim Parts 1 and 2

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Due to vacation and other delays like picnics and stuff I have to get through the last two chapters in 1 month when the curriculum says I should take two. I can Swim. 1. I'll first go through the dialogues in the book and then show flashcards of people swimming/skiing/playing soccer etc and ask kids things they can do and they can't do. 2. Then I'll show a picture of a bear/alien/mouse/ and a fairy and ask things that they can do and can't do. 3. I'm going to jump ahead to Look and Listen 2 and Listen and Repeat 2 in the book. 4. Chant. Help Me, please! Help! Help! Help me, please. Help! Help! Help me, please. Wait! Wait! I'm coming. Wait! Wait! I'm coming. Help me, please. I'm coming. Help me, please. I'm coming. Help me, please. I'm coming. Whew! (Repeat.) GAME: I can/I can't charades. Kids have to mime out things they can and can't do and the class has to guess. I would have to do this by incorpor

First of all, the 5th grade lesson was horrible.

I ended up MacGyvering a class by getting kids to make sentences using the words from the vocabulary list. My kid's English levels are too high and the ones that know it want to express themselves in class so they are not content to do the simple subject-verb- agreement sentences. I ended up flying through the lessons and the Bremem town role play is something that my 3rd graders can do so I improvised making the Cat, Dog, and Donkey have a fight over artist differences and decide to break up. The quiz worked very well. Do a search on my page for Harry Potter Quiz. Read out the questions and ask call out kids to give answers. Oh, Jeopardy works very well too. It also works if you get the kids to make questions and then make a jeopardy board in class using the questions. Oh, and you don't always have to give candy^^ but it's an easy crutch.

7 minutes to my 5th grade class

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Oh crap Oh crap. I have 7 minutes to prep. The lesson is on Can you Join us? So I'm going to show picture cards and invite people to join us for certain events. If they can't they have to give me some sort of excuse why. I'll get the kids to make some sort of sentence using the words from the Let's read box and the part two are word families so they just need to find the irregular word. The Role play is the Bremen Town musicians. I'll get them to act it out some how. I'll just pick the crazy kids and make them act like fools and then finish with the review. The dialogue is in the book and Hanword doesn't like Google. Game??? I have an old Harry Potter Trivia quiz that I'll use and give out candy. I'll get a kid to be a quiz show host and they have to aske questions too! Ok. that might work. Get a kid to be a game show host and ask questions to others. Let's see if I can pull this off. Here I go. Hey...I've got candy, s

A great ESL game

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This picture is from Yakitate!- one of my favorite animes. Sometime it's best to go back to the basics. I played whisper down the line with my students today and it worked really well. I had 6 teams of 5 and 1 time keeper and a scorekeeper. I would make the kids line up in front and then they whisper the phrase down the line and the last person has to write it on the board. If it is completely wrong they are disqualified. If only if a word or spelling is wrong then penalize them 5 seconds. The game takes about 10 to 12 minutes to complete and I gave the winning two teams candy. Dan