Friday, February 18, 2011

English Week Part 2: More Valentines, International Writing Olympics, Puzzles, and "Beyond the Orange Curtain"

This is my 100th post on my blog! So much has changed from my first "Hello World" post, I can't believe it has been more than a year since I started the Peace Corps application process.

The second half of my school's English Week has been really busy! We celebrated Valentine's Day at my school by displaying many more handmade valentines and doing some special activities in our classes. I printed and photocopied a Valentines-themed word search for my 5th form class and a crossword puzzle for my 10th form class. We also had a small competition in the auditorium between the 8th and 9th form classes. Each class selected a male and female representative, and they competed in pairs to answer questions, act out charades, and even dance a slow dance at the end.
One of the 11th form girls hand-sewed this pillow for me! It is super cute and about the size of a steering wheel!
Several of my 5th formers working on the Valentines Day word search worksheet.
I also had 11 students participate in the International Writing Olympics at my school this week! This writing competition was apparently the first of its kind to be held at my school, so I'm glad that at least a handful of my students were able to participate. The IWO is a creative writing essay contest for students ranging from 6th form to University level, coordinated by Peace Corps Volunteers across Ukraine and in the surrounding Eastern European countries. Like English Olympiads, students were each given 3 questions (based on their form) and they select one question to answer in their essay. The students had 60 minutes to write essays based on different prompts, corresponding to their grade level. The essays will be judged by myself and several of my school's English teachers based on a rubric which awards more points to creativity of ideas than perfection of writing mechanics. We will select one winner per form (only 8th-11th forms participated) and send our school's winning essays to compete at the Kharkivs'ka Oblast level. Here are a few sample prompts from the 2010 International Writing Olympics (I don't want to give away any of this year's prompts in case any PCVs haven't had their school-level competitions yet):
  • What would you do if you could become invisible? (8th form)
  • Why is the grass green? (9th form)
  • If people had to hold hands to talk, how would the world be different? (10th form)
  • What would the world be like if all cell phones disappeared tomorrow? (11th form)

In English club this week, my 5th-7th formers worked on some American puzzles that I brought from home. One puzzle is a map of the lower 48 United States and the other puzzle is a picture of the $100 bill with Benjamin Franklin on it.
The kids are working hard on matching up all the pieces!
Ta-da! Here is the finished $100 bill puzzle :)
Georgia Tech is ranked 24th in the Peace Corps Top University and College Rankings (for medium sized colleges & universities), which is really exciting! I'm featured for being a current Peace Corps Volunteer in this week's edition of Georgia Tech's campus newspaper, The Technique. You can check out the text version of the article online here or download the full pdf version of this week's newspaper (the article can be found on page 11 and 12).
Several of my 5th formers and I with our "Invitations to a Birthday Party" class writing activity.
Larisa Alexandrovna, a Ukrainian English teacher, and I with some of our 8th form students.
My friend Tiago Forte (a PCV in the same town as my good friend Alison, about an hour from my town) just published a book called "Beyond the Orange Curtain" about his experiences in South America. It is the story of his adventures working and traveling in South America - from the slums of Rio de Janeiro to the Caribbean Coast of Colombia - and what those experiences taught him about life, love, and the Orange Curtain: the bubble that surrounds Orange County and makes life there so different from anywhere else. In the spirit of the Peace Corps, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this book (after production and shipping costs) will go to fund ABC Camp, a youth summer camp in Ukraine that teaches leadership, creativity, and civic skills. I have also applied to work as a camp counselor at ABC Camp this summer, with the hopes that I can influence some young Ukrainians to become leaders in their schools and communities. With each purchase of the book for $19.95, $12 will be donated to fund the camp. You may also donate to the camp apart from purchasing this book by clicking here.
And last but not least... it has gotten so cold this week that they canceled school yesterday and today (Thursday and Friday). We have had some beautiful sunny days and bright full moon nights this week but they have been very chilly. Apparently it is a school policy to cancel school if it is colder than -25 degrees C outside! I planned a little trivia quiz game on holidays, sports, movies, geography, and music from English speaking-countries for my 8th, 9th and 10th formers and we didn't get to have it because school was canceled. So hopefully it will be the last cold frost of the winter and we can start school again next Monday!


Anonymous said...

Found you on 20sb. Congrats on 100th post! Cute blog, I really like it! Love the layout.

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