Sweet Spring Benefit Concert

If you like good music, a good cause, and you live in Seoul, you should come out to the Sweet Spring Benefit Concert. It’s happneing on Saturday, April 14th, at 7pm at Jang Cheon Art Hall in Apkujeong. Each ticket costs 50,000KRW and all proceeds go to create a scholarship fund for orphans who want to go to college. This is all part of Jerusalem Ministry’s fundraising for their non-profit organization that focuses on helping the orphans in Korea.

There are many orphans here in Korea that live in the orphanages up until they graduate high school. Once they graduate, they are on their own. They do get minimal financial support from the government, but they need to pay for housing,  university and living costs. The money that they receive is not enough to cover their costs, so many of them have to find jobs. It is not easy working jobs, attending school and supporting themselves right out of high school.  As you can imagine, some of these orphans have difficulty and some of them don’t finish college. The money raised from this concert will create funds to support the orphans’ college education cost. Also, those students will be getting a mentor to support them through their college years, which is crucial.

Both Melody and I have been volunteering through this organization, called Jerusalem Ministry. They help set up English speaking volunteers with different orphanages in Seoul. We hope that you can help support this organization by coming out on April 14th! If not, you can still support Jerusalem Ministry through your prayers and financially.

Here is more information: Sweet Spring Concert Info.

Also, you can purchase tickets online:

Korean site

English site

Or, Melody or I can help you get tickets as well, just leave a comment! 🙂


Our Korean Chocolate Response

So last week, I wrote about a tweet that I received that in return allowed this package to arrive in Korea for my kids. The students from Mrs. Krebs’ class in Iowa sent us some of their favorite American candy. In return, that asked us to send us some of our favorite Korean chocolates.  Here is our response of some of our favorite Korean chocolates and also some of the well known Korean snacks. I had the students write a little description about the chocolate or snack.

We mailed the package on Monday. Hopefully they will get it in a few weeks!

Guest Blog Post: Competing to Learn

Carolyn has taught all over the world, including Hong Kong and Switzerland.  Currently, she is teaching at a large international school here in Seoul. In addition to teaching high school classes in publications, newspapers and communications, she is the head of their school newspaper. I’m so thankful to have met her at my church here where we both serve on the Hub, our church’s newsletter.

Korean kids love competition. This can be a bad thing when it leads to pressure and cheating, but it can be a good thing if you, say, have two classes with the same learning objectives and want them to compete to demonstrate an understanding of those objectives and win a contest.

I tried this a few weeks ago when I had my two Introduction to Publications classes compete to attend the events and “cover” our annual High School English Week. They interviewed teachers, students and administrators about their participation in the English week activities, such as Poetry with the Principal and performances by the Drama 1 & 2 classes. At the same time, by attending and writing the story or taking photos, they participated in English Week themselves! At the end of the week, the editors, copy editors and layout artists met and planned their two-page newsletter, and the following Monday, they stayed after school to finalize, print and submit their papers, with a little help from their advanced peers on the school newspaper, Tiger Times. The “A+ Report” ended up “beating” the “EW Herald.” While the EW (English Week) Herald was judged by the English Department Chair, the principal and me to have had better quality stories and photos, the A+ Report (Period A Intro to Pub.—they named their own publications too!) had better overall coverage with an optional info-graphic, two cartoons and an article that “covered” the whole week.

The prize was not an A+, something that most kids aspire to, but a pizza party. Since this was a first period class, I brought doughnuts and pastries instead, but they mostly just enjoyed the prestige of winning. Everyone deserved a congratulations, though, as they all participated, worked hard and finalized their own original publication, which is what I personally enjoyed the most. The croissants were pretty good, though, too.

Editor-in-chief helps to finish the layout of the A+ Herald with their copy editors and layout artist.

The editor-in-chief & copy writer work to finalize the EW Report.

A hop, skip and tweet away!

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the office once I sent my students home and looked at my mailbox. To my surprise I found some snail mail in my teacher mailbox. There was a manila envelope with stamps and a green customs forms taped to it. I opened it quickly and found this letter inside with 4 pieces of candy, which originated all the way from a small hop, skip and tweet in the twitterverse.

Last week or so, I received a tweet (awesome networking tool) from another teacher in the states, asking if her students could send my class a letter! I said sure and gave her our school address. I wasn’t sure exactly what she was mailing us, but I was excited. I LOVE receiving snail mail. It’s something they are doing for their “genius hour” project. Her 7th & 8th grade students sent us a letter and some chocolate (tootsie rolls & snickers) and asked us what were our favorite chocolates.

Now, I get to share the letter with my students today and have them think about what chocolate from Korea we want to share with them. I’m excited to see what type of chocolate they will want to send. I love how technology can keep us so connected that one simple tweet can bring two classrooms across the world together!

Connecting Classrooms through Skype

It all started with a simple comment on a blog. Recently, I started reading a blog of another international school teacher’s blog in Saudi Arabia through the two writing teachers slice of life challenge on Tuesdays. I found out that she was also a fifth grade teacher. I left her a comment, asking if she would be interested in collaborating with our class. After a few e-mails, we decided to create a google document where we would write questions for each other. So we had our first Skype session this afternoon (morning for them).

It was great as my students learned about their life, culture and school in Saudi Arabia. We also shared about our lives in Korea and our school. I think one of the funniest parts was when we taught them some words in Korean (hello, teacher & student) and when they repeated it, my students did the Korean “oooooooh” in unison. They were so impressed by their good pronunciation! Towards the end of our Skype session, one of my students asked me if we could ask them what book they are doing for their read aloud. We didn’t have a chance to ask them, but it seems like it could be a good topic to discuss the next time we Skype with them!

Here are some more resources for finding global collaboration opportunities!

Skype in the classroom

Epals global community


The Global Read Aloud

Global Collaboration Project

Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt from Apollo 17

Connecting to the world through Skype!