Sunday, December 5, 2010

This and That

Some pictures from the last month. November was not a good month for blogging. My lap top died in October, and I could give it to our school's tech guy so he can fix it, but I'm just worried that he wont be able to--plus I keep forgetting to bring it to school with me--so I've been sharing a computer with Adam lately.

The next three pictures are from last week when I was helping a friend organize costumes for the elementary Christmas concert--we were left at the school (the bus left without us) accidentally, and so found our self walking in the pitch dark of the industrial roads, finally catching a little rickshaw, riding it to the main road, where we stood for ten minutes or so trying to catch a taxi. I got home and Adam was really worried because he didn't know where I was, and I should have been home a while before.

Some guys who live in Shenyang from Papua New Guinea, telling us about their homeland and culture. The people in PNG are really interesting, and it's hard for me to wrap my mind around it. All three of these men come from such a small place geographically, but they are from different tribes--which means they have different languages and customs. It's mind boggling to hear how many tribes there are in PNG that are still intact and separate from the rest of the tribes.

One of our P.E. teachers is from Fiji--so he presented about his nation at International Day. It is very interesting to hear how he grew up, and the things that people do in Fiji still today. They go spear fishing for their dinner, and live in small huts where the children sleep on mats woven from coconut tree branches. Boys learn to climb coconut treas and weave baskets, and women wear dark charcoal on their body for sunscreen. Such a different culture, it's hard for me to even understand it, but it sounds peaceful and very tropical. Dealing with barracudas, sharks, and tourists....

Getting ready for some solution and suspension experiments.

Creating clay creations to teach about the writing process. Students make something out of clay, then add something, change something, remove something, and change something again. They give it a title, and then pass their plate around to get comments and questions from their peers. This is supposed to be a model for how students should look at their writing process.

I wanted this book for my classroom so badly. I even looked for it at book stores this summer. I remember reading it, and having it read to me by Mrs. Nozime, when I was in elementary school and thinking what a powerful story it is. Plus, Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite authors because her stories are so rich and inspired by true events. Her illustrations are great too. Anyway, one of my student's parents is working on college course right now, and she had to order "Pink and Say" for a project. She knew that I like this book and loaned it to me so that I could read it to my students. Of course, I cried and cried at the end of the story. One of my tough boys, who understands the most about the Civil War also shed a few tears. The pictures are sad.


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