Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Activity for Measuring Area

I might be preoccupied with leaving Korea, but I still have my job to do. These days the kids are finishing up the chapter on measuring. In a few weeks they will have their final tests and then it's a week and a half off for Christmas!

The measuring unit covers inches, centimeters and area. This kind of subject area is really straight forward but also can be expanded to cover talking about comparatives. Such as, "She is taller than me." So I have been integrating some basic English learning along with the target Math subject area.

For measuring area I wanted to give kids a physical experience of how this works. So after an introduction and doing the book work pages I gave them an activity. Each student got a worksheet that has four sections on it. In each section is a picture and an example sentence. This relates to a set of four pictures that each team receives. (The white paper you see). On this set of papers are different pictures, such as a strawberry and a pacman.

The students share the pictures and also share a box of baduk beads. In case you don't know what these are, they are small black and white semi-flat beads that are used in a classic game here. Also called "Go" in Japan.

They use the baduk beads to cover up the area inside the pictures. Then after they count up the number of beads it took to cover the picture they refer back to their worksheet to write a target sentence. "The strawberry is 50 baduk beads in area."

Was it a success?

You bet it was! The students really cared about filling up the area inside the pictures and then concentrated on counting them up. Sure some of them counted in Korean, but then they had to write about it in English. Also after counting they would shout, "Teacher! The Ghost is 110 baduk beads!"

I enjoyed walking around the classroom helping them and seeing their concentration on this activity. I hope it helped the students understand the concept of "area" and how to talk about it in English.

If you don't teach Math this might be a good activity to use in classroom for just counting numbers or making patterns within the shapes. Besides using the baduk beads has become a very versatile tool in the classroom. I would suggest getting a set and seeing what you can do with them.

I'm going to miss being in the classroom, but hope I can take all this hard work with me as I get my MA. Ed in TESOL.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Little Rock Concert at Hansung University

As I sat inside a small auditorium at Hansung University watching a small rock concert put on by students, I couldn't help but look around and consider that in a year I would be far-far away from this place.

I felt mixed up knowing I was going to miss the random excitement I have in Korea, but also full of wonder about what fun places I will find back home.

In the end I decided to go with the moment and enjoyed watching these young folks sing and play their hearts out. The way the concert worked was that these individuals would come on stage and take their place, either behind the drums or with a guitar. Then they would sing a song or two, say thank you and exit. After which another set of folks would come on and do the same thing. But then it would be the same members mixed up with others and in different positions. So for one set you would see the drummer pumping away, and then come back on stage as the singer. Talk about multi-talented!

Most of the members were male, but I was glad to see a female bass guitarist and pianist.

The style of music was mostly rock, which were covers of known Korean songs. However, I didn't really know much of the music but enjoyed anyways. In the crowd were fans and friends cheering on and giving support. It felt like a fun small gathering of University students. My friend invited me who has a friend in the band, so that's how I got to go.

I'm not too skilled in the instrument playing or singing department, but by the last act I would say the talent got a lot better. Surely I was highly impressed and who knows maybe one of these players will go on to be a contestant on Super Star K (Korea's version of American Idol).

Since this was random I have a feeling that small concerts like this go on quite often at the numerous Universities around Seoul. So if you can figure out how and when to see them, I would definitely recommend it. Sorry I can't be of much help in actually knowing how to find out more information.

One way might be to just follow your ear, as rock music generally thumps it's way outside. ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Operation Flying Tom: Approved for Flying

For my flight home I'll be flying Korean Air, which is funny because when I first flew to Korea this was the airline I took. Since then I haven't flown Korean Air again and certainly miss their good meals and excellent service. I picked this airline because I figured for the price and prestige, Tom will have a good flight. Thankfully the wind will be blowing towards America, so our flight will be about 9 hours.

Since I found out that Tom weighs over the 5kg limit to bring him in the cabin, I knew I needed to get a sturdy and reliable carrier for check-in. A few weeks ago I went to the Chung Hwa animal clinic in Itaewon and checked out their carriers. Knowing I could get the same thing cheaper online, I ordered one as soon as the airline confirmed Tom's spot on the plane.

The name of carrier is "Iris Air Travel Carrier" and looks to be a Japanese product. What I like about this carrier is that it is assembled with hardware, making it something that will stay together during travel. You can check out it's listing on Gmarket with this link and scroll down to the "M" product area.

It wasn't too difficult to put together and came with a hex-key to assemble the bolts. While I worked on it Tom watched on patiently.

I lured him in there by throwing in a treat and then quickly closing the door. He didn't seem to upset being in the carrier, and had room to stand up and lay completely on his back. I hope that he finds his way into the carrier himself and gets to know his new plastic home.

Most of what I need to get done to prepare Tom for flying has been taken care of. The next step will be to take him back to the Vet about 10 days before departure and get certificates for his flight. Then it's to the airport quarantine office to be approved and off we go!

I thought I would copy and paste the following information from the Korean Air website on transporting pets, as I found this information quite useful.

Check list:

Check pet's health status
 Pets must be healthy and at least 8 weeks old.
 Avoid any type of sedatives as it can affect the body temperature and blood pressure of the pet.
 Korean Air will refuse to carry any animals that are under medication, violent, ill smelling, sick or pregnant
Pet carriage to destinations
 Please check in advance if your destination allows pets.
 Currently the UK and Australia apply very strict plant and animal regulations, prohibiting passenger planes to carry them. To check the custom regulations for each country, click  ‘Custom regulations for each country’ or contact the organization concerned.
Rabies vaccination prior to departure
 Most countries ask for a rabies vaccination certificate from pets, such as dogs and cats if they depart from Korea.
Pets should be vaccinated 30 days before the departure date. Please make sure that the vaccine will be effective for your entire trip (Vaccine is usually good for 1 year.)

Applying for Pet Travel:

How to apply
 After having documentation required for the quarantine inspection at destination ready, contact the reservation center and make the booking for pet travel. For regulations and requirements in Korea, contact Incheon Animal Quarantine Office(+82-32-740-2660~1). Filling a form
Documentation required
 Customs documentation (2 copies)
 Rabies vaccination certificate (2 copies)
 Documentation provided by the animal quarantine office (2 copies)
Bring the above documentation to the check-in counter.
The required documentation varies according to departure city. Please confirm the documentation before your travel.
Charge for pet travel
 Regardless of your free baggage allowance, you will be charged extra for your pet according to the excess baggage charge in the following table.
 Payment will be made during check-in.
 For the details, please refer to the table below.

Call the Airline:

One thing they don't mention on the site is that you should call the airline before you travel to alert them your pet is traveling and to make sure it has been approved. For all you know other passengers might be taking a lot of pets too, filing up the cabin space. So it is best to call and let them know ahead of time. Also you can ask important questions to the representative if necessary. You can find numbers to your airline via their website.

If you have any questions about pet travel I would be happy to answer them as I am going through this process. So far since everything has been running smoothly I feel more confident taking Tom over. As for how Tom feels, well... hehe!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pancake Thanksgiving

I didn't really feel like spending the cash having a real Thanksgiving this season as I'll be back home and can eat whatever I want pretty soon. So instead I made blueberry pancakes with a friend, who had never made pancakes before. It was a good time! I found that box of Bisquick the local Lotte Mart supermarket for 9,900 Won and couldn't resist bringing it home. Maybe next up ...biscuits!

They turned out as scrumptious as they look!

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