Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Hmong New Year!

Happy Hmong New Year!

In the Hmong culture, the New Year is celebrated to mark the end of the harvest season.  People celebrate with traditional clothing, music, and food.  Read more about the Hmong New year here!  The Twin Cities has a large Hmong population, and both Minneapolis and St. Paul have large celebrations that are free for the public to attend.

The last day before Winter Break was our annual Hmong New Year celebration at school.  The actual assembly wasn't until the afternoon, but the morning was busy with students getting dressed in traditional Hmong clothes and gearing up for the assembly.  

Students worked for months in their Hmong Literacy class (a special- like gym, music, or art) to perfect dances, songs, and plays.  Middle schoolers auditioned to perform in the show.  It is such a crazy hectic day, but always a fun one!

The Hmong staff at school are so generous to let us borrow their traditional clothing.  Before school, teachers got help to put on traditional clothing.  I loved my outfit this year!  What do you think?
Ms. Meredith, Ms. Eichhorn, Me, and Ms. Tarah

Me and Mrs. Elbert
The Hmong clothing is very elaborately decorated.  My whole skirt was hand-embroidered.  My jacket had hand-embroidery and sequins, and my apron was beautifully embroidered with thread and sequins.

The apron on the front of my Hmong outfit.  The yellow and orange designs
on either side of the sequins were all hand-embroidered!
Hand-embroidery on my apron

My class in their traditional Hmong clothes.  If students did not have Hmong clothes
at home, they could wear nice clothes (hence the gray suit in the back row)
Me and a student from last year
All of the performances at the assembly told the story of a girl who was having trouble remembering her Hmong culture, despite her parents' efforts.  In the end though, she knew the importance of her culture and was excited to continue the traditions her family has been celebrating for many years.

These kinders were just adorable singing and dancing!

Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab!
Happy New Year!

Until next time,
-Miss Woodward

Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 Resolutions!

Hi everyone!  Remember me?  You might not, since it was November 14th that I last blogged!  Isn't that awful?!  Well, now that I have a few weeks to catch my breath, you'll hopefully hear from me more often.

2013 is coming to a close, and it is time to welcome in 2014.  I am excited to see what the new year has to bring!  I am linking up with A Peach for the Teach for a linky all about New Year's Resolutions.  Here are some things I hope to accomplish this year:

Personal: Last January, and over the summer, I was really good about exercising and eating clean.  Thanks to the motivation of Allison at Adventures in Room 204, I was eating clean and getting in shape!  And then…. School started.  I am ready to get back into a routine!

Professional:  We had a workshop at school about differentiation, and one of my teaching partners is really good at differentiating materials.  As we all know, it takes time to come up with quality activities at different levels.  We have some good traction with differentiating reading and Daily 5 stations, but I want to really dive in with differentiating in math.

Classroom:  I like to think of myself as an organized person.  Even though my desk may look like a mess, I know exactly where what it is you're looking for is.  I call that skill (kidding…).  I have been trying to be better about staying organized this year, but with it only being my second year, I still haven't found a system I like yet.  I'm getting there though.

Blog/TPT:  2013 marked the start of Miss Woodward's Class!  In 2014, I look forward to blogging more regularly (again, I'm sorry for being MIA for over a month!).  As far as TPT, I haven't had as much success (yet).  My goal is to create more products, and get them onto TPT faster.  I have about a dozen products that are just waiting to be uploaded!

Just for Fun:  Over the holiday season, I rediscovered my craft supplies.  I dug out my kitting needles and yarn, and crafted some cute cards for friends and family.  I forgot how much fun it was to be crafty (and not for school-related projects!).  I hope to complete more craft projects this year, just for fun.  :)

What are your New Year's Resolutions?  School related or not, I would love to hear about them!

Until next time,
- Miss Woodward


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