Construction paper birds perched on recycled paper branches. Very simple and easy to do, just a lot of paper twisting. The hard part was keeping the branches on the board. Lots of stapling :P 

The pom poms were from Steve and Christine Loo’s wedding! We made good use of them as decorations in the classroom! 

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It is a great day to be a teacher. 

It is a great day to be a teacher. 

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Chinese New Year @ the preschool

This week at the preschool we’re learning about Chinese New Year. I walked into the classroom wearing my traditional red dress with gold stitchings. The dress is stiff, uncomfortably tight, itchy around the neck area, with no room for bending (which is essential for my job haha). Within 10 seconds of walking into the classroom, I have a sea of eager hands petting my dress. A little girl gives me a sweet smile and says, “miss stacy, you look beautiful!” I ask myself, what about all the other days???!! :P I tell them that I’ve brought a surprise and that if they don’t sit down, they won’t be able to see the surprise. The kids hurriedly put away their cots from nap time and plop down in the reading area eagerly awaiting their gifts. One little girl shrieks in excitement. Upon seeing their excitement, I hoped that their excitement wouldn’t plummet when they received their chinese red envelope filled with only one piece of white rabbit candy. My mom told me that I should have given them real money (the asian inside of me said, it’s not practical! they wouldn’t know what to do with it AND i’m trying to make money here, not lose it :P) I had each of the kids tell me happy new year in chinese before I handed them an envelope. I change out of my dress and began setting up for the next activity. I had the kids cut out a shape of a rabbit and glue cotton balls on its body to represent the fur. As I’m watching their progress, I notice one boy stick his finger into his nose, pull out a sticky mess, and he spreads it on the paper. He proceeds to put his finger into his mouth and mixes saliva into the boogers for a nice gooey mess. I call this, “Booger Glue.” I checked the next day to see if the cotton balls stayed on, and it did. But there were definite traces of the greenish/ivory colored booger glue on the paper. For safety measures, I sprayed some bleach on the craft. 

Most memorable moment of today:

Me: Minji, you need to go outside. All of your friends are playing on the playground right now. I’m trying to finish cleaning a mess in the classroom.

Minji: No, but I want to go with Miss Stacy.

Me: Minji, you’re not listening to teacher. I’m telling you to go outside with everyone else.

Minji: But I want to go with you, because I love Miss Stacy.

Me: Oh…(she has melted all of my attempts at being firm) OF COURSE YOU CAN STAY WITH ME. :P 

Kids… WHY ARE THEY SO ADORABLE?!

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Teacher!!!

"Teacher! Ethan grabbed my fat!" (I laugh as I ask myself, what fat? This boy is stick thin!) 

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"Teacher! What’s on your face? Why do you have so many owwies? Does it hurt?" (referring to the acne on my face :x ouch that hurts haha)

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"Teacher! I’m a barbie girl, in a barbie worrrrllld. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic! You can brush my hair…" (4 year old boy sings proudly with one hand on his hip and one hand flapping in the air.)

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After a whole biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and an explanation of why he died, a girl asks:

Girl: Teacher, why did Martin Luther King die?

Me: (not wanting to give the same speech over again) Because he wanted to change the world.

Girl: Why?

Me: Because he didn’t like how people were being treated.

Girl: Why?

Me: Because it wasn’t right.

Girl: Why?

Me: (Not wanting to break it down any further) Just because.

Girl: Why?

Me: Just because.

and we continue to banter back and forth…the end.

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"Teacher! I’m a fire princess!" (Girl is wearing a princess dress with a firefighter helmet on her head)

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"Teacher, I wish you could live with me at my home." 

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it’s never a boring day with children…

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Best overheard conversation of the day

This is a conversation I overheard between two 5 year old boys while working at the preschool today:

Mike: um, um, you know when your mom gets fat? um, um, and you know when you’re inside? And your mom is fat when you’re inside. 

Lucius: (pushes Mike with his pointer finger) Don’t call my mom fat!!

Mike: no no! when her tummy is big. she gets fat when you’re inside!

Lucius: grrrrrrrrrrrr! don’t call my mom fat!!

Me: no lucius! Mike means your mom gets bigger when she has a baby inside her tummy! he’s not calling your mom fat…

Lucius: ohhhhhh…

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This week I will be implementing a few activities for the infant/toddlers (18-24mos) at school.

The first activity is called the “Laundry Line.” I used felt and puffy paint to create the pieces of clothing. The white, square grid piece in the back is actually part of a removable shelf in my closet :P The kids will learn to develop their fine motor skills by pinching the clothespins open and closed. 

The second activity is called “Arrange The Bouquet.” I made the tips of the flowers with 100% wool. The hardest part of putting together this activity was hands down the balls of flowers. I spent hours using soap and water trying to form the shape of the balls. Basically, you dab the wool in soap and under running water, using your palms roll the ball of wool in circular motions. It seems simple enough until you have to make 30+ balls. My palms were raw by the time I was finished. I stuck the finished pieces into the dryer and let it sit for one cycle. The second difficult part of this project was sticking the wooden sticks into the wool balls. oh my goodness, it’s hard to get anything through wool when they’re still wet. I didn’t have time to put them through another cycle in the dryer so I had to just push the sticks through as hard as I could. For the leaves, I used post-it tabs. 

My mom asked me today if all of these projects felt like a lot of work. I told her that it doesn’t feel like work at all. Several hours can pass and I won’t feel any fatigue. I guess art for me is similar to reading a book, you can become easily lost in your own world. 

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Kids Say The Darndest Things

Quotable moments I’ve heard from kids this past month:

1. Background: The kids at my preschool had a mock trick-or-treat experience at the school. In order to receive candy from the adults, they had to recite the verse, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Here are variations of what I heard that day:

"I love my neighbor and I love myself"

"I love myself and I love myself" 

"I love my neighbor…"

2. 4 year old boy in the preschool walks up to me while i’m sitting down, wraps his arms around my neck and says, “Miss Stacy, you are the nicest teacher.” Then he gave me a little kiss on my cheek. :) <3 :)

3. A 2 year old in the infant/toddler room is looking outside. I ask him, “what are you looking at?” He says, “I’m looking for animals.” At the top of his lungs he shouts, “TOP HIDEN ANIMOS” (stop hiding animals).

4.  At Kumon, a boy shares how a story of how he purposely smeared mud on the back of his mother’s pants so that he could yell, “Look! Mommy pooed!!!”

5. The same boy says he needs to use the restroom. I tell him to go use the restroom. The boy stands up, pauses, and sits back down. I ask him, “What happened? Didn’t you need to use the restroom?” He replies, “It just came out too fast” and he picks up his pencil to continue writing with a growing stain in the middle of his pants. 

6. I caught a preschooler putting a marble in his mouth and I told him to hand it over. After lecturing him about the dangers of putting such inedible pieces in his mouth, he opens his mouth and pulls out a second marble. 

7. The most common potty mouth phrase in the preschool room, “poo poo ka ka.” 

8. At Kumon, two boys are sitting next to each other. Kaden asks me, “What’s that boy’s name?” I tell him his name is Tyler. Kaden faces Tyler and asks him, “Tyler, why are your eyes like that?” Tyler doesn’t hear the question and Kaden turns to me asking, “Why are his eyes like that?” (kaden uses his pointer fingers to pull the corners of his eyes into a tight slant.) “CAN HE SEE?” 

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I’m exhausted. 
Still so much to do and so little time. All I want to do is veg out and be brainless for a while. Alas! I shall not! I sat on my bed, for a few minutes fighting the temptation to lay down for a little bit. I told myself, I need to be super right now. 
I need to put on…..
SUPER STACY. 
and awaayyyyy I go towards productivity!!!

I’m exhausted. 

Still so much to do and so little time. All I want to do is veg out and be brainless for a while. Alas! I shall not! I sat on my bed, for a few minutes fighting the temptation to lay down for a little bit. I told myself, I need to be super right now. 

I need to put on…..

SUPER STACY. 

and awaayyyyy I go towards productivity!!!

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October 16th.

A special day for a special friend. If you were to ask me to name one significant person in my high school years, it would hands down be Nanna Aoyama. Normally, I’d be sitting here staring at the screen blankly, in a daze, struggling to find something to write  about. Instead, I’m sitting here playing through the overwhelming amount of memories I have with Nanna. Where do I start? How do I even begin to describe this friendship? Too many words pop out at me right now, so I’ll just go with the one bolded in my mind: sister. Nanna was like a sister to me, extremely likable and easy to talk to. Before we became friends in 8th grade, I really disliked her because the boy I had a crush on had a major crush on her. I’m not sure how we actually became friends, but I remember looking back at 8th grade and thinking how ironic it was that the person I disliked most became the person I loved most.

Thank you Nanna for your companionship and for keeping my sanity alive in high school. Happy birthday my dear friend. I leave you with our signature sign off:

"Twinz foh lyfe yo!"

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I never know what to write in my blog. Every time I log onto tumblr, I find myself staring at the screen for at least 20-30 minutes before deciding to blast each entry with random photos.

I suppose I’ll still be posting lots of pictures in this entry too, but with a little personal update on what I’ve been up to lately. 

Stacy Ho says I like to do this a lot, but I like to summarize people and experiences in one word. This semester, the theme is KIDS. I’ve been completing my fieldwork in the infant/toddler (18-24mos) room at Cal State Long Beach, working at a preschool (4-5yr olds), and Kumon (usually with kids around 3-6 yrs old). 

Can I make a confession? At the end of high school, after volunteering at a preschool, I swore off any kind of profession in childcare. I thought, if they could tire me out in two hours, how can I survive an entire day with them? My volunteer experience was anything but glamorous. 

HA HA HA…. take a look at my schedule now and you’ll say, God sure has a funny sense of humor. What’s changed since high school? Well, two things: love and humility. God used my cousins to grow my love for children. Some of the sweetest and heartwarming moments were with my youngest cousins. They’ve taught me how to be silly, imaginative, crazy, and simple. There’s something about feeling the embrace of a tiny body around yours. Second, humility. Teachers in childcare WORK HARD. Although I can last longer than two hours now, I am still wiped out from working with the kids. As I had mentioned before, it’s not a glamorous job. My days are typically characterized by poo poo, pee pee, screaming, yelling, rage, conflicts, crying, behavior issues, etc. My favorite part of the day, nap time. As I sing them to sleep, I nearly fall asleep with them. Anyways, back to humility. These teachers have to deal with tasks and issues that seem trivial, dirty, and annoying to others. The patience and respect that they exemplify is truly amazing. What I’ve learned: it takes great love to choose such a humbling position. 

ANYWAYS! I’ve deviated from my original goal, to feature some of the felt pieces I’ve made for a recent story time. Enjoy the pictures!

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