Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Decemebr Music Concert

This morning the music department hosted another wonderful music morning. I love going to see the kids belt it out and listen to the progress they have made (especially on those squeaking recorders!) The teachers chose lovely songs with wonderful messages. Take a listen!

It also gave us a chance to take a snapshot of the class out of uniform and dressed up. The kids looked so grown-up although it was a bit too sunny.

Thanks music teachers!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Published Procedural Writing Projects

 It is no secret that I "heart" technology and I try to pass my love along to my students in numerous ways. I share their work on our blogs, use games and resources to teach, have "Video Friday", conduct real time research and inquiry with the internet, and utilize my wonderful Smart Board daily, just to name a few.

This year was the first year I tried using iMovie, not only myself, but with my students. We created projects showing their procedural writing pieces. Take a look at some of these wonderful How-To videos and pay attention to the sequence of step, wonderful details and use of transition words!

Carter wrote about How-To Surf...

 Grace wrote about How-To Sing...

Mimi wrote about How-To Play Every Sport...

Ville taught us How-To Make Pizza

Piya taught us How-To Swim

Sania taught us How-To Make a Mango Smoothie

 P.S. I can't wait to use iMovie with my students some time soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Similes Make Us Smile!

We have begun a unit on poetry and poetic language. Last week we studied alliteration and this week we are learning about and starting to use similes. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things that are not normally alike using the words like or as. The kids came up with some great ones. Here are a few of my favorites.

Carter-Miss Irene is as lovely as a rose getting smelled by me.
Keenan- My puppy Max is as cute as a bunny running down a hill.
Grace- My friend Jay is as cool as a kitten riding a skateboard.
Piya- Cake is as sweet as a 10 pound sugar rush.
Anisa- Green broccoli is as juicy as an ice-lolly in summer.

And some personal favorites ;-)

Mustafa- My teacher, Miss Rorey, is as cute as a monkey.
Ella- My teacher, Miss Rorey, is as lovely as a bird singing to me.
Mimi- Miss Rorey is as pretty as a rose that just bloomed.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Stars and Stairs

This weekend I sneaked (or is it snuck?) away from life... this cold that has been hanging on, my piles
of reports, my personal list of emails to send, grocery shopping, cooking, tending to my neglected plants... you get the picture. I left it all behind and headed to the beach to celebrate a friends birthday.

While I was away from work, I still managed to bring along some educational journals to read. I know, I know. You are saying to yourself "Ms. Rorey, really, on the weekend?" But yes, they bring me joy and I find great teaching ideas like this one, Stars and Stairs, I am going to use in class just this week.

Stars and Stairs is a strategy to give feedback to students. It can be used in any subject and I am going to start off using it in math. This year my school has decided to send home math tests so that parents can get an idea of their performance in class. As a grade we have decided to incorporate this into our homework routine by having students reflect on their test with their parents, but I worried about whether this activity was positive and beneficial. Are students feeling good about their successes? Are parents only looking at the wrong answers? Can students find on their own the concepts they need to work on? My worries are still there, but now I have a tool for guiding the process.

Stars and Stairs is a way for me to give students an idea of things they are doing well and where they need to grow. Read more about it here. If you are a parent in my classroom, be sure to leave some feedback for me on how the new routine has worked for you.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sharing the Read-a-Thon with our EC Reading Buddies

Last Friday IST had a Read-a-Thon to celebrate our 50th Birthday. Yea! The celebration continues. After talking with Ms. Jane and my class, we thought it would be fun to read in the EC quad with our Reading Buddies.

It was such a fun morning! The kids grabbed their blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and favorite book before heading out the door to do some serious (but fun) reading. My kids reflected afterwards that it was a wonderful morning and it was even better because the small EC kids seemed to be getting more comfortable with them. (I think they forget what it was like when they were 3 and 4 years old!) Can't wait for the next time we hang out. Thanks Reading Buddies!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Go Ducks!

One thing I truly miss is American football in the fall weather. I get homesick this time of year when I see all of the pictures and posts my friends create about my college teams' football games. I went to school at the University of Oregon (a wonderful school for education studies, in case you are wondering) and our colors are green and yellow. This past month, I tricked my third graders into wearing my university colors for our assembly.... Go Ducks!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Video Fridays!

This summer I began taking an internet course on using technology in education. I am love, love, loving it and enjoy being back in school myself. It is nice being a student again. 

The class has made me reevaluate how I use technology in the classroom. I use the smartboard and  document camera daily, and blog on a regular basis. I encourage students to use the computer to do research, practice skills, play educational games and communicate with others. Needless to say, I use technology, but how was I going to think of a fresh, new idea for incorporating more technology into the classroom? After scratching my head, I had an idea.

Two weeks ago, I watched an amazing video about an inspirational young girl and "Video Friday" was put into motion. The first "Video Friday" was such a hit, I just had to continue. While students eat their snacks, we get to watch one video and the theme is that it has to be inspiring and have a positive student message. Here are the past two videos, and here is the one for tomorrow. Let me know what you think!

P.S. Sesame Street is still not only cool at age 8, but age 34!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

iMovie First Try: IST Birthday Movie!!!

During the first week of school, while sitting in our in-service training, I thought of this great idea and believe it or not, my brain remembered it a month or so later. As many of you know, IST turned 50 this year and it is a big milestone, especially for an International School in East Africa. I thought, wouldn't it be fun to make a video. Grade 3 had an assembly to host and it was the perfect time to get in gear.

Now, I've never created a video, but I gave it a go... I know, I hear you "Risk-Taker!" One of my teaching partners assured me it was easy so I gave it a go. I gathered some creative brain juice, my new iPhone (that now looks like it was run over by a bike) and some eager students and colleagues. The movie was set in motion. It took many days of filming (and re-filming,) but it got done and came together quite nicely. My tech coordinator came in on the last crunch day to help, but do you know what, it was mostly done... it was that easy.

I am eager to give it another go and also make some minor adjustments based on what I learned, but all-in-all, I am pretty proud of it. Enjoy!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Body System Models

During this last PYP Who We Are unit, the kids worked together in art to make body system  models. Check them out!

Monday, September 16, 2013

IST's 50th Birthday Celebration

Today IST turned 50 and we celebrated the best way possible.... by hosting International Day and eating cake! Here are some photos from the fun-filled event!

Tanzania Booth

Two of our students enjoying the England booth

Sitting on ice in Sweden

Mr. Alton playing a Japanese game similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey

My friend Gillian and her son from secondary school

Two of my students from last year!

The Grade 3 Team

Parade of Nations

South Africa in the Parade of Nations

Tanzania in the Parade of Nations


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stomach Muscles in Action

 Last week, we learned all about the digestive system. One of our activities showed how stomach acid helps break down the food in the stomach with the help of the stomach muscles. We "chewed" up our food, put it in our "stomach," added some "stomach acid" and used our muscles to break down the food. The kids saw how the liquid helps break down the food into smaller pieces and enables it to be passed down into the small intestine through a valve. They also found that some foods break down more quickly in the liquid and others take more time.

While there were some "eww gross" faces and comments, overall, the kids were excited to give the activity a try. Check out the pictures!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Meet Ms. Irene

 I like to jog and swim. Many mornings I am at work early jogging around the field or swimming in the pool for exercise.

I like to make myself up and collect all sorts of makeup.

I enjoy cooking a lot. Last year I helped the students in grade 3 cook spinach that they grew in the garden and I plan on doing a cooking ASA (After School Activity) this year.

Watching movies is one of the things I like to do at home.

Surfing on the internet, too.

I enjoy traveling and seeing new places.

During playtime, I like hanging out with kids and helping them.

I enjoy playing board games with my son.

I love cats and have a pet cat named Tiger. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

10 Fun Facts About Me!

Today was our first day with kids at IST and I am so excited to get the year going. It is a great bunch of children! Part of the process of meeting and getting to know one another is sharing information about our personal lives. That is why I am excited to participate in Blog Hoppin's Linky Party. Today is Meet the Teacher Day!

1) I live and work at an international school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I love being an international school teacher. It allows me to work doing something I am passionate about while traveling the world and having amazing experiences. It also helps me meet wonderful people like my spectacular assistant Miss Irene. I couldn't do it without her!

2) I have an amazing, fun, supportive and all around wonderful partner who I get to work with at school too! We have lived in California together before moving overseas. We were in Malaysia first before Tanzania.

3) My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz and when I am down, I watch it to cheer me up. Once a year, my mom, sister and I would have Wizard of Oz night. We would get in our jammies, cuddle under the blankets with the lights off and sing along. I know the whole movie by heart.

4) I am addicted to my blog roll and follow many bloggers. The blogs I mostly read daily are teacher blogs, but I love vegan cooking, fitness and book blogs too!

5) I used to teach students with disabilities and was an administrator for 3 years before moving overseas. Teaching general education is relatively new to me as a professional and I love it!

6) Cooking and baking are the perfect way for me to relax. I am willing to try new recipes and have a little cook book collection going. As much as I love to cook, I do not eat beef, pork, lamb or much dairy. My decision to not eat mammal came to me when I was 10 years old, but the smell of bacon still gets me.

7) I can't leave home without earrings on. I collect them like crazy and often my earrings match my outfit.

8) Running is the perfect way for me to get going after a long day at work. I have a few running buddies in Dar and try to keep motivated to run weekly, although I do have a nagging back injury that won't go away for good.

9) I like watching sports and have gotten pretty serious into watching football. My favorite team is Chelsea! Really though, I will watch any sporting event and have a great time.

10) I am in a book club and often read multiple books at once. My favorite genre is non-fiction, but really, I love all books. In fact, the best part of my day is reading aloud to my students. Roald Dahl is one of my favorite children's authors.


Sunday, May 26, 2013


 Last week, the kids went out to harvest mchicha (spinach) from the garden. We rinsed it off really well, since it was very sandy and then the kids got to work. Ms. Irene led the entire lesson and it was great to learn from her. She taught us the secrets of cooking mchicha and even taught us how to taste your dish like a Tanzanian while cooking. She is a woman of many talents. Here is the recipe.

  • mchicha
  • 1 onion
  • 4 tomatoes
  •  1.5 carrots
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs blue band (butter)
  • 2 tbs peanut butter with 1/3 cup hot water
  • salt to taste (Irene says "salt is unpredictable, so just keep on adding.")
Cooking Method:
  • Heat oil with onions until they are brown. Add carrots in, cover and stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and cook down for a while until it makes a sauce. Add salt and taste the "Tazanian way" (see photos).
  • Add peanut butter and keep on stirring.
  • Finally, add the mchicha. Cover to let it boil and let it cook down for about 5-10 minutes.
The kids did a great job and the mchicha was delicious!  We even ate it with ugali, and the kids dug in with their hands just like the locals. Some kids even lined up for seconds. Yummm!