Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cake Wrecks, World Educator

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I thought you guys might appreciate this e-mail I got today:

Hi Jen,


A friend of mine posted a link to your site, (and) I think I spent about 3 hours yesterday going though your blog when I was supposed to be working on lesson plans for the English class I teach. I am an American English teacher at a big elementary school not far from Seoul, South Korea. My Korean coworkers heard me laughing so hard that they came over to my desk to investigate. Clever as I am, I told them I was working on my next lesson, which I wasn't... until I realized that I WAS!

So today, I decided to ditch the book and instead teach grammar and spelling mistakes from Cake Wrecks. The fourth and fifth graders loved it, and the students were able to correct about 90% of the mistakes! How embarrassing that even Korean elementary school students know better!

Thanks for the great teaching material!

- Carolyn H.

The Cake Wrecks pop quiz - gotta love it.

Here the children are wondering how the U.S. ever became a world power.
(The answer, of course, is
Whoopie Pies.)

Carolyn, thanks for helping to spread the Wreckage on such a global scale. Why, by influencing these young minds you've made our bid for ultimate Wrecky world domination that much easier! Tell me, did you perchance introduce the kiddos to their friendly neighborhood Carrot Jockeys?
Jess said...

That's so cool :)

Man, I wish MY public school elementary classroom looked so nice.

...Perhaps this is a reason for wrecks...

Ctina said...

Look at that lovely classroom!! I want one!!

Kristina said...

OMG This is fantastic!!!

Megan said...

How cool is that?!

I nearly died laughing at the caption on the last picture!

Dan Lewis said...

We need more teachers like that who can be creative with their lessons. I was a graphic design student and we had an instructor who would bring in printed materials that made it into the magazines and newspapers with obvious mistakes on it. Like the one that said "We fix clocks!" But they left a very important letter out of the word "clock".

The Boob Nazi said...

Umm sign me up for that class!

Deanna said...

So refreshing to see such wonderful teachers coming up with new ideas!!! I LOVE IT!!!

Say, I need some teaching materials for finance and home food preservation...any ideas?!?!?

P.S. - I don't really need to tell you, but I wil: Your blog is AMAZING! And SO entertaining! Thank You!

Sheila said...

Very funny! And what a great idea to use as a teaching lesson. I'm sure the kids enjoyed it, and will remember the lessons learned better than from a more 'traditional' class. :)

Lauren said...

What a brilliant idea she had! I get caught laughing out loud hysterically to the blog all the time too- however, I just get a shameful look from my boss for it, no sweet lesson plans.

Anonymous said...

Love it!

Kathleen

Christine said...

Bravo to Caroline! Maybe I can convince my husband, who teaches college astronomy, to interweave Cake Wrecks in his lessons. ???

Cranky Amy said...

That is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!!

Anonymous said...

¡Ay, caramba! Somebody please tell me there's a Spanish variation of Cake Wrecks. I would love to use "Pastels Malas" to get my secondary education learning on.

Lara Starr said...

That is awesome! And wow, what a beautiful classroom.

Love, love, love the blog. Every time my 4th grader hears me giggling at the computer, he rolls his eyes and says, "Cakewrecks"

-Lara Starr
http://cakestarr.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Caroline, you are one awesome teacher! Thanks for sharing, Jen.

Anonymous said...

This is the most awesome blog post I've ever seen.

Cole said...

Aww! That's such a sweet email. Thanks for sharing!

Sherri said...

I wish I were still teaching! You could do one-a-day Cake Wrecks grammar problems. I see a new book in your future, Jen. Bored English students everywhere will thank you while doodling carrot jockeys on their papers.

Lizard said...

It's a shame that Jen's wit does not probably translate well... Sarcasm rarely does!

It is, however, pretty amazing that adult wreckerators can't spell better than ESL students!!!

Haiku Joy said...

Korean children
now linger in Seoul bakeries,
yearning for cameras.

StuffCooksWant said...

LOVE it!!! Maybe they should do that in American schools.

Dirt Princess said...

HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mychael Black said...

*chuckles* Okay. That is just too awesome. :D

TARA said...

That so rocks! Makes me miss being a teacher...

Pink said...

As another American teacher working near Seoul, Korea, I think this is a great idea! I wish my kindergarteners knew English well enough to do this! I may suggest it to some of my other co-workers who have older students :D

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great save with the coworkers. I wish that I'd had something like that to say when I first found this blog (at work) and laughed uncontrollable out loud at my desk. But unfortunately, I haven't come up with a way to utilize the material yet as a marketing manager... in time. It's my favorite blog! Thanks!

Katie K said...

That's so awesome :)

Dana said...

THAT IS TOTALLY AWESOME. :)

craftyashley said...

That is a good question- how DID we become a world power?

Carrie said...

Oh my goodness - that is hilarious! What a great lesson!

Da Mouse said...

Such a bitter sweet moment. On one hand congraTulations on the world wide recognition. On the other...a big DOH! and *face palm* for the U.S. bakeries who are exposed on a global scale.

Brenda said...

That is the best lesson ever!!!! :)

Emily said...

Oh my gosh! What an amazing idea! I'm going to Seoul to teach English in August. Will definitely keep this in mind!

-Emily

Patty said...

Oh my goodness that is great!!!! I may have to use that next school year. :)

Colleen said...

"Here the children are wondering how the U.S. ever became a world power."

That just killed me! And I really needed the laugh. Even my 6 month old son joined in in the laughter.

~Colleen
cyberrblue.wordpress.com

Ms. Ramona Narrow said...

I am so going to steal this lesson plan. I teach introductory composition at the college level (sometimes remedial sections) and you'd be shocked at the lack of grammar and spelling skills. Just found the site yesterday - it's so fun!

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

Now that is awesome! *note to self: follow example should I ever be teaching a class and need to go over grammar*


Novice Writer from Novice Writer Anonymous

novicewriterchronicles.blogspot.com

Jenni said...

Epic! Man, if I had that kind of lesson as a wee one, I'd love grammar EVEN MORE!!!!

Morgan the Muse said...

that is a really cool story! I love it!

JAG said...

That's awesome!

Mari said...

Oh, my goodness, that is hilarious!

MicheleinCA said...

I hope they don't think all Americans are such poor spellers. I believe the people who misspell are foreigners whose first language isn't English. What English speaking person would slaughter such easy phrases?

uniquelynat said...

that's too funny. my s-i-l told me about the site yesterday and i spent hours and hours going through it too (and then re-through w/ the hubs). it is a blast and i must say- my s-i-l rocks for telling me about your site. and you rock for having it!!! thanks for the great laughs!

i am a VERY beginner in the cake world. but have grown up with a mother who does cakes. because of MY new found love of decorating- all of this takes on a whole different meaning! keep up the great work!!!

thecraftypepper said...

As a former educator I love this blog post. What an awesome real world lesson.

Aveleigh said...

I teach English in Korea too. I think my middle school students would get a kick out of such a lesson. Great idea Caroline!

Joanna Eberhart said...

A friend of mine is teaching English in South Korea right now. This is the kind of thing he would do. I love it! :)

Amber Schmidt said...

That is a RIOT!!!!!!!!!!!

CALpumper said...

Way Cool story!!

Thanks for all you do Caroline.

And Jen -- World Domination is near.

Oh wait, uh, mithpellings kinda an issue, eh? Crap.

Diana said...

Love it! I'll definitely be incorporating Cake Wreaks into my grammar unit with my high school English classes this next year.

Annie said...

Generation Z (or is it AA already?) is going to conquer the world.. by correcting one Cake Wreck at a time. Love this story! :)

houseofestrogen said...

Maybe if we had more great, creative, "think outside the box" teachers like that, there wouldn't be so many wrecks out there!

Amy said...

Finding a teachable moment in cake fails--WIN!!!

Susan said...

So cool, I totally just posted this on my facebook.

one-eared pig said...

Love it!

Ingeborg said...

That's the best idea I've heard about in a long time!
I have to do this when I've finished my degree and am out in Norwegian schools teaching English. Must brainwash children with cake wrecks!

Rev. Vassago said...

Best teacher ever in the history of ever.

Beeg #2 8D said...

omg! that's great! 8D i wish my english teacher would do something different like this! 8D but then again, she didn't even know what a link was O.o

MaryBe said...

Ha that is funny!

fluffy cow said...

Love love love this!!

Heather said...

Currently in South Korea and I think this is a wonderful lesson plan as well. None of the cakes I've seen here ever have writing but some are wrecks anyway. Most are quite lovely to look at but you wouldn't want to eat them.

Anonymous said...

I am also a teacher and just a few weeks ago, I began showing my 6th grade students the Creative Grammar and Mithspellings cakes after we did our grammar warmups. They LOVED THEM! Every day, they'd come in and ask, "Do you have a new cake to show us?" At the end of the year, I made a cakewreck for each class that said, "Kongradulashuns Frist Peroid!" and the other "6st Peroid." It was a hit. Thanks for the material.

whateverfor said...

Back when we started it all (the U.S.), spelling wasn't necessarily standardized - at least not like it is supposed to be today. I would like to think that we became a world power around the time we started to standardize our own spelling and differentiate ourselves from English from "over the pond". But I don't want to know what that says about our prospects for today... ::shakes head::

What a cool lesson plan, btw!

wv: honisch. Honisch, I've been reading far to much muttsh cartoonsh.

Anonymous said...

Mow that they're destroying the minds of innocent Korean children, I guess we can classify these cakes as WMDs:

wrecks of mysterious deliciousness?

Wait.... does that school have cherry cabinets?!

denisewalks said...

Awesome!

Haiku Joy's comment made me bust a gut.

Wolvie Girl said...

I'd never heard of Whoopie Pies, they don't have them here in Australia, so I guess your world domination is not yet complete :D We do, however, know all about Whoopie Cushions. I originally thought that a Whoopie Pie was a disturbing sort of follow-on.

Word Verification: woredgie - kind of a worrying wedgie. Possibly related to Whoopie Pies.

smb said...

This is HILARIOUS! What a fantastic teacher!

Alix said...

That's so cool Jen. Not only have you gone global, but you're educating the world one English student at a time.

Chi said...

I'm an ESL teacher in China, and I'd love to do something like that with my kids.

Unfortunately, cake wrecks is blocked by the Chinese internet. At least in Wuhan it is. Maybe there's something subversive I don't know about going on here?

I can only access the site because I have a proxy server. As soon as I log out of it, or if I'm on a public computer, not cakewrecks for me.

Nightingale said...

Chi, you'll have to print out the wrecks and then make overheads or something. Then, all the wreckage goodness is available to all!!

Wait, did I just have an idea that wll get you sent to subversive jail for bypassing government sponsored filters? Nevermind. No carrot jockey, no matter how spectacular, is worth jailtime.....

KaiKinapela said...

Nice! I am a teacher in a school in Japan and I love this idea! Mind if I steal it? Or I can lesson trade you.

morethananumber said...

Awesome! I'm American but in elementary school I would have loved Cake Wrecks for a lesson. (heck, any excuse to look at Cake Wrecks rocks!)

Julie said...

How awesome. And I agree, what's with the fantastic classroom? If our classrooms in America looked like that, maybe our kids would know how to spell!

foobella said...

Best. thing. ever.

S said...

That is adorable! What a great idea -- though I hope there was cake at the end of the test as an incentive...

magolla said...

That is so cool!!
Real life is so much more interesting than dry dusty old books!

Yakira said...

That is SO cool Jen!

Winona said...

That is FANTASTIC!!!

tracyvanhorne said...

That's effin awesome! Jen you are so effin awesome!

Kelly said...

That is an awesome idea! I've passed this post along to several educators ... have to spread good ideas like this one!!

Catharine said...

Careful. Without stupid people, this site wouldn't exist and we wouldn't have our daily laugh. 3 cheers for stupity!

Kristin aka kjnohr aka Trekkie Gal said...

That's awesome!

stinkalto said...

So incredibly cool!

Amber Hugus said...

This is funny because I do the same thing with my tenth grade English students and half the time, they CAN'T find the errors! I put cake wrecks up on my SMARTboard every few days, when there are grammar/spelling errors. The kids think you are as funny as I do! Keep the errors comming; I am saving them up over the summer!
Amber

Little Lovables said...

What a great teacher!! Love it!

Rinn said...

This was a great idea and I'm soooo stealing it! I start teaching advanced English comp for ESL students in the fall, and I've been looking for a nice, light-hearted intro lesson so I don't panic on my first day in the college classroom. Thanks a bunch!

Just Me,Pilgrim said...

Man.... the only way I ever got to do grammar was out of a stupid old textbook.
What a cool teacher!!

Vanessa Rogers said...

I am an English teacher in South Korea as well. I love that idea for a lesson!

Anonymous said...

I am totally stealing that idea for my (future) English classroom. Very cool idea!

lovemytannerman said...

That's so cool you mentioned whoopie pies. I work in a bakery in California that makes them and I spend a good chunk of my day explaining what they are!

Teri said...

This is simply awesome.

Etiquette Bitch said...

Jen -- I love this! I think photos and blogs are sometimes more fun/effective teaching tools vs. just explaining the difference between "you're" and "your."

There's a bad grammar blog (forgetting the name, I am) with nothing but photos of bad grammar (ex: "Franks Tire's) that I used in my business writing class, and it was lovely -- they got it with the photos.

Shay said...

that is awesome and hilarious!!

learp17 said...

This is the most awesome thing I've ever heard. You totally rock!

Vellum said...

Aw, so awesome! I wish that I'd had a class like that when I was in elementary school. I'm sure some of my college level courses could use a wreck infusing too.

JejuJen said...

alright...I live in S.Korea too. So a couple of things:

The classroom is awesome, probably because it's not a public school...it's probably a school kids go to after school that their parents pay bum loads of money to send them to. I've worked in lots of public schools here and they're not nice at all...maybe Seoul's different.

Also, if you want to see a cake wreck perhaps it's time for me to send in some photos of some Korean cakes...two words:cherry tomatoes, yeah, i said it...in Korea tomatoes really are a fruit.

nur said...

Hey,

I am a fond reader from Singapore and I happen to be a teacher too. I was teaching my students the proper use of punctuation marks and I used some of the pictures from your site. My children really enjoyed that lesson and many were laughing at the mistakes made.

Thanks Cake Wrecks!

Meggin (SerendipityBookReviewsBlog) said...

Congrats! You have a blog with a ton of readers of varying ages (I'm 13, proof), a BOOK, and people in other countries read your blog. You're officially famous.
I almost died laughing at the caption on the last pic- but it wasn't Whoopies Pies only, it was the great American Fried Twinkie too. ;)

Dooley said...

I love that! I'll be teaching an English class about 2 hours from Seoul starting in September and I've been wondering about how to work on grammar. Sounds like a hilariously fun thing to do!

T.S. said...

Oh so cool! I teach middle school English and have used your site for grammar lessons too! The kids LOVE it. It makes me feel like I'm helping the world by ensuring that my students won't ever end up on your site- they'll know better! :)

- Taylor

Sebastian said...

This post is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

*claps* Yay!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wanted suggestions for a Spanish version of Cake Wrecks-

My suggestion is to have your students create their own Spanish Wrecks, then have other students in the class or from different classes try to guess what the mistakes were. : )

Lauren