Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Festival Season...

Here are some of the props I made my students for our Festival story. My right arm almost fell off from coloring so much. Thank God for lamination machines...these pictures wouldn't stand a chance otherwise with a bunch of wild kindergartners

Alan: his part is a "little old bee, in a pink apple tree, drinking honey and tea." Like his new hairstyle? It's pretty trendy...he just grew out his perm, and I'm pretty sure that now his mom straightens his hair every morning before school.

Alex: he is a "little old frog, sitting on a great big log in this big blue pond!"

Alice: nope, she's actuallyt NOT singing "She's Got the Whole World in her Hands"- ha! Her part is a "little old cat" who has been "Around the world." Pretty cute!

Tony: this is the little boy who recently told me the name of every planet in the solar system, according to their respective distance from the Sun.

Irene: "little old bunny, little old bunny, why do you run?" I'm still amazed that she learned all her lines! She likes to try to get me to speak Korean, just so that she can say, "Teacher! No speaking Kor-eeeee-an!!"

Benjamin and Julia, two of my kindergarten reading club students. They each have to memorize a speech for Festival. Benjamin's speech is about Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julia's is about Macchu Picchu. A bit advanced for a couple of 7 year olds??
Julia: she's very giggly :)

More reading club students: Belle and Claire
This is Belle. I'm pretty sure that she is me, in the 6 year old, little Korean girl form. She is quiet and shy, loves to read, and is very smart- but she has the cutest little smile and laugh- and the most stylish little red boots. Claire and Clara Belle and Jenny: reading club snack, processed peanut butter filled white-bread pockets. Yum!
This is Woon. He says all of his 'o' sounds like 'ooooooo.' When he sees me draw something, he always says, "oooo, very goooood!" He pronounces his name "oon," without the 'w.' Koreans can't say the 'w' if it's followed by the 'oo.' For instance- they can't say "wood"'s kind of funny to have them all repeat a word like that at once!
Alice is excited because she got cute new bangs? Or because she is Girl #1 in love with Zackary?
Ashley: Girl #2 who is in love with Zackary
Irene: only girl who is NOT in love with Zackary- although probably just because she doesn't even know what's going on half the time...

And here is Zackary...the object of affection in Classroom 2
Sara: the first girl to fall in love with Zackary. Although I'm not so sure he feels the same??
Suji: The ice has thawed on the sewage stream, the ground has turned soft and muddy, and the stores are setting up their spring displays. Even the days are finally getting longer. This can only mean one thing in Suji...Festival Season is here.

Festival Season: the only time of year in which you can both love and hate your kindergartners at the same time. True, they test your patience every day of the year...but the days during Festival Season feel like the longest days with the least amount of patience to test. It becomes a grueling journey to the finish, the much-anticipated Festival event on Saturday, February 20th, in which the students showcase all they have learned in the past year. The event will be attended by such prominent and honorable guests as Mommy, Daddy, Grandmother, and Grandfather. Since before Christmas break, all the kindergarten students have been practicing their songs, stories, plays, and speeches every day- with their parents at home, and countless times during the school day. There have been fights and tantrums, tears and bloody noses (unrelated to the festival practice, actually- but those two things incidents seem to always coincide in the worst possible way).

One day in the future, Festival Season will be over, and classes will resume as normal. Kindergarteners will have playtime again...students will only have 4 hours of homework each night, instead of 4 hours + 2 hours Festival practice...and the teachers will hopefully regain their sanity.

Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize...

In all honesty, though, it has been a very interesting experience to prepare for the Festival Season. I've spent a lot of time drawing and coloring props for my story, leading verses of our song over and over until my voice has gone hoarse, and practicing dance moves. But I think it will all pay off! I'm so proud of my students for memorizing their lines and putting so much effort into their parts. I can't wait to see them up on the stage, in their costumes, trying to do their best for Mommy and Daddy and Grandmother and Grandfather! :)

Aside from the stresses of Festival Season, it's been nice to experience some warmer, more pleasant weather here latel. One of my kindergarten students came to school on Monday morning with an interesting story about a winter activity from the day before: apparently, "Mommy skate, then this" (motion of falling on floor, face plant) and "teeth, no!" Translation: Irene's mommy fell while her family was skating, and she knocked her front teeth out! All the little girls in class were giving Irene hugs because Irene said she was sad for mommy's teeth. That was cute, but kind of overkill...sometimes all these little girls are just too much!

I've had 6 girls and 4 boys the past few months (and usually just 3 boys, because one is absent a lot). That's A LOT of pink, and princesses, and pouting. And apparently, the warmer spring-like weather has also brought out some feelings of love in my classroom...all of the girls have been "secretly" fighting over one of my boys, Zackary. It's not really so secret, though...they won't leave him alone! It's been a bit difficult to fashion a seating chart in which NO girl in love with Zackary is sitting next to, love triangles don't mix well with Festival Season. I'll keep you updated on this exciting drama in Classroom Two...

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