Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from South Africa

A student from our school is in South Africa right now visiting her mom's family. Last Wednesday they were at a wildlife preserve that has a live feed you can watch online ( They arranged to be there at 9:00am our time so that our school could have an assembly and see them there. They made a big poster wishing us a happy Thanksgiving. It worked out perfectly and was very cool to watch.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Multicultural Museum

On Wednesday my partner teacher and I both brought the souvenirs, crafts, clothing items, and such that we have from around the world to school and made a "museum" for our students. We had small groups of them come walk around and enjoy our collection. Some of them were really fascinated. Our principal was quite impressed with our combined collection. Thank you to those of you who have brought me items from many different places!

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Multicultural Solids"

At this time of year in my class we are studying geometry and doing our "Many Cultures" unit. Last year my partner teacher and I came up with an idea to blend the two with our "Multicultural Solids" project. It was a hit last year and went over very well this year too. Here are a few examples of what my students came up with:

It's always fun to see which countries they choose and how creative they get. Several parents have even commented on how much they enjoyed working on this project. Even better is watching the students share their work with others. We invited the kindergarten and first grade students to visit us. Each students has a buddy or two and loved sharing their creations.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Many Cultures

For our Many Cultures unit at school, we have had guests from several countries visit us. It's great fun to watch the students discover new things about other places. Some of the presentations are in English, and others are in Spanish, which provides another layer of learning.

Luis is a Spanish professor at our local college. He is from Spain and showed the students hats and clothing for several Spanish regions. He was hilarious and everyone loved him.

Sharon lived in Yemen for 13 years but she is from Ireland. She showed us lots of pictures of life in the Middle East. She also dressed up, of course. She even brought frankincense and myrrh for the students to smell.

Martha, our secretary is from Mexico. She taught us about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. She showed the students some words in their language.

Rosa is our health assistant and is also from Mexico. She showed the students how she makes homemade tortillas with her grandmother's tortilla press.

Still to come, we will have visitors from Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and a Native American.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The End of Another Week

It's finally Friday, which makes me very happy. This was kind of a strange week because Colorado students have the day off for Election Day so that schools can be used as poling places. Of course teachers don't have the day off, but it was a good opportunity to get some stuff done. Our school never has students on Fridays, so Tuesday really felt like Friday and we all felt weird coming back to teach the next day. After getting a lot of work done on Tuesday I figured I would actually leave around noon today, which is when our contract time is up (but we never leave by then). One thing lead to another and at 4:30, I finally walked out the door and headed home. Oh well!

Since Tuesday was also my birthday, it was nice to have a more relaxed day than I would have had with all my students there. My coworkers were very kind and I got lots of birthday wishes and some beautiful flowers. My student teacher made me a great artichoke dip to enjoy at lunch. After work, my partner teacher and I went out for tea. We spend so much time talking about school stuff that it's nice to have a chance to talk about life outside of school. I also redeemed my coupon for a free cup of birthday ice cream at Cold Stone (go to their web site to register for yours!). Since Kirk had to work until 8:00pm that evening, we went out to dinner with some friends on Sunday night to celebrate. I think I'll continue celebrating this weekend by going shopping and spending some of my birthday money. Yay!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Our Halloween tradition in second grade is to have a multicultural day. Our current thematic unit is called "Many Cultures," so it's a good opportunity to incorporate some learning into a crazy day. The students were supposed to dress up as someone from any country or culture. It's always fun to see what they come up with. One mom made her daughter a beautiful geisha outfit, a girl who was born in China wore a traditional Chinese blouse, another represented her family's favorite Mexican soccer team, we even had a Southern Belle. Of course there were also football players, a soldier, a firefighter, a cat, a cheerleader, and such. Two of the girls in my class do traditional Mexican dancing, so they gave us a little demonstration. The students really enjoyed watching their classmates perform.

(Sorry for the terrible picture. I have some really good ones, but since these are not my own children, I figure I shouldn't post their pictures online.)