Category Archives: Humanities

Six Months in Sacramento

I have now been living in Sacramento for just over six months.  At first I wasn’t sure if this was a good move for me.  But the longer I am here, the more I am loving this place.  I do not think I have ever lived in a place where people are so nice, so happy, so open and genuinely love where they are.  The happiness quotient is contagious.

On January 21st, I walked with fellow teachers and friends in the Women’s March.  Amazing.  Such good, positive vibes.  Inclusion and support was the energy of the day.  I loved being a part of such a great crowd of people wanting the best for everyone.   img_6627

img_6632I am still in love with my school as well.  I just returned from a week at the Marin Headlands with my 5th grade class.  We hiked and bonded and laughed and learned.  It was good to get to know the kids in a different atmosphere and to be out along the beautiful California coast.  We had amazing weather and were happily exhausted each night.img_6782 img_6968

My after-school writing class is going well too.  The kids are so creative.  They are now developing a variety of stories and getting them ready to submit for possible publication. This summer I am going to be teaching two creative writing classes at Sacramento State University.  I love teaching and supporting creative thinkers.

My 5th graders just finished a unit on the American Revolution – our culminating project was a musical.  It was really fun – all done acapella.  Now we are working on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights – which brings up so many issues right now.  We are also gearing up for a Human Rights assembly.  My kids will be doing a rap/song/chant to a song by Colby and Awu (from Cameroon) called “Change the World.”  They’ll be singing acapella again, using their cubist paintings from art class as props and – via their t-shirt color – ending in a colorful rainbow.  Should be fun.

The official last day of winter is March 20th – just over 3 weeks away!

Happy end of February.

Gretchen

 

4 Comments

Filed under Education, Fifth Grade, Humanities

Epic Zombie Killers!

My wonderful, sweet, and creative 6th graders just presented their Post Zombie Apocalypse Geography Plays (yes, I know that is a mouthful!).  But they were hysterical.

They had to present all the concepts we learned about in our geography unit, in the format of a five minute play – theme: resettling after a zombie outbreak.

Two groups chose to have Trump in their plays.  The first one had him turn into a zombie right away.  The other group (in another class), they made him President and they begrudgingly started building a big wall.  At one point, one of the actors yells out, while carrying a paper gun, “come on, let’s round up all the Mexicans!”

I couldn’t believe it.  I have not spoken about Trump to them.  But wow, their parents must be.  They are NOT for him, these kids are definitely anti-Trump.

Later in the skit, they created bombs (wadded up paper) and blew up the wall.  Trump, unfortunately was never turned into a zombie, but at least we know we have a bunch of 6th graders that will fight to overturn him if…

Anyway, a fun way to end a Friday.

Have a happy, and zombie free weekend!

~ Gretchen

 

1 Comment

Filed under DIY, Education, Geography, Humanities, Middle School, Super Creative

Refresh

I have decided to give myself short writing assignments that are not about the book I am currently writing.  The goal is to keep my mind working on prose, but from different perspectives.

I have found quite a few blogs that offer prompts that will take my mind in a variety of directions.  Here is the first one:

Refresh – the topic from Daily Prompt:

I am a humanities teacher for 6th – 8th graders.  At my current school, I have the great luxury of designing and implementing my own curriculum.  For the final nine weeks of school this year, I have created a unit on Global Music as Transformer for my 7th and 8th graders.  Today, we were looking at how songs/styles/lyrics from other countries influence the US.  I showed them a variety of videos and one was from Korea: Gangnam Style and one was from India (Flash mob dance) of Jai Ho.  My first class of 7th graders simply could not see anything of redeeming value.  The only words that came out of their mouth were negative: “He can’t dance.” “That is so obnoxious.” “Why would anyone want to do a flash mob?”  ETC.

Frustrated with their lack of open-mindedness or for finding anything that was positive, I suggested that the first thoughts that came to mind, the negative ones that were coming out of their mouths, should be kept to themselves.  That looking for the positive to comment on would make for a more accepting (empathetic?) conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, I think discussing the good, the bad and the ugly creates good conversation.  But this was just young teenagers spouting anything that didn’t sit well with them.  They weren’t being constructive in the least.

We went on to discuss styles and what is considered acceptable and “hot” in other societies.  But they continued to be above it all, the artists or videos were simply silly and not worthy of them.

What was supposed to be a fun day of discussing different culture’s music and styles, turned out to be so frustrating for me as the teacher.

My second class, this time with 8th graders, were only slightly better.

Determined to change the gloomy feeling coming over me, and to shine a light on the positive, it finally dawned on me – I needed to help guide these 13-14 year olds on what I was interested in having them look for.

Duh, you may be saying.  But I just had not anticipated the negativity, and it took me some time to get out of my own frustration and figure out how to help my students view the material, from a more accepting and analytical perspective, rather than simply dismissal.

So – I took a deep breath.  Hit the “refresh” button in my mind, opened the door to the next class and re-phrased all my questions to elicit responses that encouraged viewing the music and videos with a more analytical eye about the culture itself.

Success.  The conversations were much more enlightening – to all of us.

Now to remember how I made the shift, much sooner in the day! 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Humanities, Middle School

Zombies and Trump

I just had to post a quick update…

My two 6th grade classes have just finished a unit on geography using zombies as the lens to explore the concepts.  Now, for their final, they are creating plays about a post zombie apocalypse resettlement.  The characters have to use geography tools and concepts to find and set up their new community.

Two of the groups are using Trump in their plays (they thought this up all on their own!).  Don’t worry – he turns into a zombie pretty quickly – but then again, maybe he already is one and that is why his brain doesn’t seem to be functioning on a rational or even slightly intelligent level.

Anyway – I can’t wait to see the full plays on Friday!

~ Gretchen

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Humanities, Middle School

This Time…NEW Mexico

Hello from down south.  After a crazy summer of finishing my masters of science in geography I’ve moved down to Gallup, New Mexico, to teach gifted and talented middle schoolers, Humanities.

Although the summer was busy, mostly with writing, writing, and re-writing my final paper for the program, my cohort and I had a bit of fun too:

IMG_3670

Mark and Carlos taking water samples in Newport, Oregon

IMG_3672

Mark and I at Heceta Head beach on a very coldy day.

IMG_3678

Amanda and I at Heceta Head beach before taking our water samples for our field studies class.

IMG_3688

Carlos and Adalia trying to figure out why it is cold at the beach in the summer!

IMG_3719

Bryan our fabulous field studies instructor, always able to point the way.

IMG_3750

Being super silly with our polarized glasses at the fish hatchery.

IMG_3765

Doing stream bed grids.

IMG_3769

Within the cave. Cool cave, can’t remember the name, but it went into the depths for a mile!

But now I am done with my masters program and down where canyons are king.  I drove down from Oregon on August 1st and 2nd – with two unhappy cats in my car with me – and arrived in the smallest town I have lived in for a long time; Gallup only has 20,000 residents.  The first week I was mostly involved with the before school paper work, but did take time to go to the Inter-tribal Ceremony parade.  My landlord and next door neighbor is the Deputy Chief of Police so he got me a seat in the Mayor’s bleachers. Photos aren’t great as I only brought my phone – but it was really fun to see all the native attire.

IMG_3831 IMG_3839 IMG_3855 IMG_3869 IMG_3878

Today, I spent the morning exploring Pyramid Peak, just ten minutes from Gallup.  So gorgeous.  Took about an hour to get to the top.  It is a great workout for someone who has sat on her rear all summer at sea level and is now at 6500 feet and out of shape.  The climb took me up to 7500 feet.  But despite the lack of oxygen it was a stunning hike, of which my pictures do not do it justice.

IMG_3126

Just getting started.

IMG_3905

I’m headed to the very tip top of that peak.

IMG_3129 IMG_3138 IMG_3142 IMG_3152 IMG_3154 IMG_3157 IMG_3159 IMG_3160 IMG_3165 IMG_3904

IMG_3148

Finally at the top taking in the views.

Tonight I went for a short walk to explore my neighborhood.  As I was walking home at dusk an amazing sunset appeared.  Great end to a lovely day.

IMG_3902

I’ve taught one week of school so far.  The administrators are fantastic and the kids are really fun.  I think I am going to enjoy it here.  I will write more once I’ve had more time teaching and exploring.  For now, have a great week.

Gretchen

1 Comment

Filed under Adventure, Education, Grad School, Humanities, Middle School, New Mexico, Photography

Pulled South of the Border

Hola mis amigos!  Hailing you all from sunny Mexico.  I left chilly China on December 21st and spent a month back in Oregon before heading down to my new job teaching high school humanities in Mexico City.  Mom came down with me for the first ten days and we wandered and explored a bit before I had to check in to my new school.

My apartment is great.  Spacious and bright (I took this photo at 5:30pm with no lights on and its north facing!).IMG_3215

The school is quite nice.  It is 125 years old and I believe the oldest in Mexico.  The name is the American School Foundation of Mexico City.  It is an international school but is at least 70% made up of upper class Mexicans.  All are great kids.  I have to say they are fun to teach.  ASF Collage

I teach 10th grade World History and 12th grade US Government.  I have surprised myself, I thought I would love World History and muddle through US Govt.  But it is the exact opposite.  I’ve turned the US Govt into a focus on power: who has it, who wants, how do you get it and how do you keep it.  Its been fun to re-learn alongside the kids and we are having great discussions.  World History on the other hand, I am finding tedious.  I feel confined by it.  But it may be due to the fact that I am pretty much following someone else’s lessons as she has worked here for a number of years and I came mid-year.  So my creativity is stifled and I realize now how important that is for me to enjoy teaching.  My US Govt class I am the only teacher, so no need to collaborate – freedom!

The teaching schedule is ideal.  I teach 2 World History sections and 3 US Govt sections.  I’ve never had it so easy.  Coming from China where I had 5 different classes to prepare for, this is wonderful.  We teach on a block schedule so classes are 80 minutes long and every other day.  If I stay next year, I’m lobbying to teach TOK (IB Theory of Knowledge), US Govt and World Issues.  They do not offer the IGCSE class Global Perspectives I was teaching in China and I really wish they did.  It was a great class.  Hopefully I will at least get TOK if I stay.

The 10th grade students just finished their personal projects.  Apparently it is a 3 month independent study on whatever interests them.  Then they present to the whole school in booths, kind of like a science fair.  Here are a few of my students:ASF Students Collage

Maria wrote her first novel (she was one of three of my students that wrote books) and she is now trying to get it published.  Diego designed a water recycling and earth friendly building.  Maria (yes, I have many) taught a janitor to read and speak English well enough to pass his English exam and get into a local college.  Another student, not shown, built a solar powered scooter.  Some weren’t so stellar, but for the most part I was quite impressed.

The city itself is much more beautiful than I had expected.  There are 22 million people here in Mexico City – yes, much bigger than my little ‘ole Guangzhou of 14 million!  But the vibe and architecture and people are so completely different.  The buildings are shorter. Not everything is a 15 story high-rise apartment building.  Instead I live in one of the taller buildings (smo0shed together like brownstones) in my neighborhood of Condesa and it is 3 stories high.  I’m on the top floor.  Trees are abundant, streets are narrow, birds are everywhere.  Of course the weather is completely different as well.  Mexico City sits on a high plateau at 7,382 feet (2,250m).  So it is crisp, not humid.  The sun is hot when it hits you, but then stand in the shade and it is cool.  The mornings are 46F (7 C) and by afternoon it is up into the mid 70’s (22 C).  So layering is a must.  And since buildings do not have heaters (unless they are portable), everyone wears coats until late afternoon. But the glorious sunshine is out nearly every day.  I think I have seen only 2, maybe 3 days where it was cloudy most of the day.  So that alone makes me so very happy.

I live in a very nice neighborhood (and more expensive).  It is where many of us teachers live.  There are streets with the center between lanes as a walking park.

IMG_3077

I live 10 blocks from a gigantic park (nearly double Central Park in NYC) called Chapultepec and it is fantastic.  There is a quiet area in the park that has classical music piped in while you sit and read.  Click on the picture and you can see and hear it.

On Sundays many of the streets around my neighborhood and around the park are closed off to cars for four hours so that bikers, roller bladers, runners and walkers can enjoy the streets.  Its wonderful.  Sundays are a day when people are out in the parks and museums.  Although there are parts of the park that are packed, others are nearly empty except for the exercisers.

IMG_3194

The most crowded section of Chapultepec park. This is where all the vendors are, so they draw a crowd.

 

I just joined EcoBici.  You pay approximately USD $35 for the year and you get to use these bikes for 45 minutes at a time.  And there are stations all over the place so when you get to then end of your time, you simply drop one off and get another one.  It is great.  Today I had my first ride and although there are no gears, it was so fun to get further afield and see more of the city and the remote parts of the park.

IMG_3149

EcoBici station. This was taken on a Sunday when the bikers owned the streets.

 

IMG_3102

A little train takes kids and tourists around the park. I think it runs on electricity as there is no noise.

 

Here are some random photos:

IMG_3186

Gluten Free Bakery

IMG_3185

I’ll try to refrain! This was in an Irish bar bathroom. Looks it was made in Asia though!

IMG_3160

Beautiful sculptures are found everywhere, along with fountains.

IMG_3152

This guy hand sweeps (notice the broom) my street every week day.

IMG_3133

Some buildings are definitely in need of some love. Took this on my bus ride home.

IMG_3132

Although worn out, I loved this building.

IMG_3197

One of the beautiful homes, behind a fence, on my walk to the park.

So I think that catches you up.  I’ve been down here a month and it is great.

Until next time, adios amigos!

Gretchen

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Adventure, Education, High School, Humanities, Mexico, Photography, Travel

My Chinese Students

Tomorrow is my last day teaching in China.  I have to say that I am very sad to leave my students.  Although frustrating that so much of what I say is not understood, we have created a bond.  They are great kids and I am going to miss them.

As I told each class that I wasn’t going to be coming back in January, after blank stares and then a slow understanding of what I meant dawned, they started coming up and giving me hugs and taking out their phones for photos.  It was a calm and near silent goodbye, but lovely none-the-less.

Here are a few parting shots.

Y8 Human Enviro Y10Random

Now on to the next adventure.

Happy Holidays!

Gretchen

Leave a comment

Filed under China, Education, Guangzhou, High School, Huadu, Humanities

Unabated Frustrations

Its been a little over two weeks since my last post and the near impossibilities of trying to teach rich and wonderful, but conceptually challenging subjects to students who barely speak a few words of English, have hit me harder than I’d like to admit.

After my last post there was a five day national holiday here in China.  I spent those days wandering the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.  It was wonderful and I promise to post photos and my fabulous experiences later this week.  But as I wandered, I hoped that the lushness of the land, the warmth of the Cambodian people and the awesomeness of the temples would set my mind to the challenges ahead.  I would return with a desire to conquer the problems and preserver in my quest to educate my students on the delectable subjects of humanities.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen.  As I slowly meandered through the vibrant green rice fields, waving to smiling passers-by in my little tuk tuk, it dawned on me that it wasn’t only the student’s lack of English that was dampening my determination;  it was the whole situation.  I was living in a suburb of one million people in what I call “high-rise” city, where nothing is really pretty and you can’t get out of town on your bike to go for a hike simply because it is so far away.  There is nothing to buy that isn’t cheaply made and can be bought anywhere in the world (they make it all right here in Guangzhou) and their aren’t local craftspeople selling their unique items (which I love the most).  The culture is one of loud.  Individually the people are soft spoken, but something drastic changes when they encounter even two other people (or simply answer their cellphone).  The conversation rises to what I would consider yelling.  Put a large group together in an enclosed location, such as a grocery store, and the decibel levels reach beyond what my ears and mental capacity can handle.

So this is to say that I have not found happiness outside the classroom.  I had so hoped that being in the suburbs and nearer to the mountains, that I would spend my weekends hiking and biking and exploring the little villages.  But it isn’t to be.

The one redeeming happiness is the staff at my school.  For the most part, I really enjoy both the Chinese and the foreign staff.  An eclectic group from the US, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand.

So last week, upon returning from my country-side capers, I was supposed to begin with new vigor and determination.  But instead I found that simple requests, written on the white board, such as:  Choose two vocabulary words and write each in a sentence, were received with blank stares and complete incomprehension.  I spent twenty minutes explaining what choose, vocabulary, write each, sentence… meant.  This was a starter, something to take five minutes that would refresh their memories on the vocab.  It was the final straw.  It wasn’t the student’s fault.  They simply didn’t understand.  So I decided that I needed to throw out the curriculum and teach ESL.

I asked my principal and he approved, but that was just for year 7’s.  Then I proceeded to keep trying with the four other grades I teach, which are a tiny bit more versed in English.  I tried.  Although I had revamped my units a few times already, I did it again, slowing them down further.  I left another week wracking my head to find more creative solutions.  The other foreign teachers are doing the same.  We weren’t hired to be ESL teachers and we have all continued to cling to our subject content with the unrealistic hopes that a new day brings enlightenment and fluency to our students.

Yesterday, in near tears, I knocked on my principals office.  We spoke and I explained the reality.  I (we all) believe that he is still in denial of the situation.  He was blown away with the examples I was giving him.  He ended up saying to me “chuck it all and start all over teaching ESL.”  Then proceeded to apologize over and over saying that he knew I didn’t want to teach ESL and he knows how excited I was to teach humanities.

Well, another day has come and gone and I am having the hardest time letting go of my content.  I so want to enrich my students with skills of critical thinking and to open their eyes to what is beyond China.  So I continue to try to find creative ways to infuse ESL with the wonders of the world.  A process, a bit of a roller-coaster and I’m finding, very emotional.

Thanks for listening.  I will bring you beautiful photos and a few tales of ancient Cambodia in a few days.

Gretchen

8 Comments

Filed under China, Education, Guangzhou, Huadu, Humanities, Introspection

A Rough Start

A disturbing, satirical, perplexing, and very frustrating two weeks have just flown by.  As you know the school I am working for, the actual building, was far from complete the week before we were to open.

School CollageMiraculous work took place and we are now in the buildings.  Unfortunately the need to open the buildings/school on time took precedence over quality of construction.  We have also learned that resources were not ordered in any timely manner or logical order, so that while we have 20 printer/copiers, the network to connect them to our computers is not fully established yet, nor is there enough paper to print with.  As the library has zero books, and most of us do not have textbooks either, we are left to the our own devices, and much of that requires printing.

The week that school was to open (Thursday, Sept. 18th) the engineers decided that there was simply no way they would be ready and they needed four more days (thats all they needed – really?).  And as the owners of the school did not want to lose face, that is big here, they couldn’t simply forstall the opening to Monday, 9/22, so instead we created an orientation camp.  They rented out the resort near our school and we hosted crazy games for two days (which didn’t allow for much communication between teachers and students) culminating in a 30 minute lecture from the regional curriculum director about how they should embrace their new school, while shushing some kids who had questions.

Orientation Collage

Monday, opening day.  No detailed plan had been given to us teachers.  We only knew we had to get our form class (similar to a home room) and wait. We waited and waited in the hot (no A/C working) cafeteria.  Finally they moved us out to the flag pole where we hoisted the flag, one gal from admin sang what we are now calling the funeral march song, our school anthem, alone, as none of us knew the words.  Then school was off and running.

CeremonyCollage

This is when the big blow to the gut started hitting us foreign teachers in waves.

As our sweet and wonderful kids sat down, we excited teachers began introducing ourselves and getting the kids ready for a great year.  But wait, why isn’t anyone understanding me?  Why aren’t they answering my questions?  Just shy?  Cultural issues?  Or?  It was the Or.  We had been told that our students would not be fluent, but most would be close.  A few would be lower level English speakers, but just a few.  Nope.  Just the opposite.  I have approximately 1% that can understand me most of the time, 50% can understand me about 50% of the time and the rest, 49% can understand next to nothing in English.

So I began speaking really slowly.  I enunciated every single word.  Blank stares.  I mimed and did antics to get them to respond.  I did get some laughs.  But overall it was devastating.   Please do not mis-understand me.  These kids are great.  99% of them are fun, warm, ready to learn, happy kids.  But the majority simply do not have the English language level to understand their foreign teachers.

So while some of the kids would translate for the others, and my charades at the front of the class ensued, my mind was rushing to and fro trying to find ways to solve the problem.  But as the week continued, and I learned that everyone had been sold the same bag of dirt (most students would be close to fluent), a collective sad came over of us all.

Late in the week I started planning my next unit.  It will start when we come back from the national holiday (First week of October).  For 7th grade I am supposed to be starting a unit on world religions.  I found wonderful resources on the internet and was putting together my plan when I stopped and re-read my essential question – the one you ask the kids at the beginning to launch critical thinking and what is to come:

Is it important to learn about other cultures and beliefs?  Why?

How would my non-English speakers understand the very first question of the unit?  Even if I pre-defined cultures and beliefs, they wouldn’t understand the nuance/concept of the question.  How can I move forward?  My heart sank.  I really wanted to introduce my kids to TED talks and other great sources.  But on those videos, people talk too fast and with vocabulary way beyond my students.

We finished the week on Saturday as the parents had not had a chance to tour the campus before school started, so we spent the better part of the day listening to presentations, presenting ourselves (with translators) and then giving the parents a tour.

So now I sit here, Sunday night, trying to maintain a positive outlook and to come up with some sort of plan.  How to teach the subjects I love rather than straight-up ESL?  I know the myriad of other problems (no paper, printers not working, wifi rarely stable, no books, no shelving in our classrooms…) will eventually work themselves out.   It would all be dealable if our students could understand us and we could dive into our subjects.

One great beam of light appeared yesterday.  I was awarded six Nexus 7 Tablets from Map Your World, a great organization helping teachers get kids directly involved in solving local problems.  When these tablets arrive I am going to get my kids outside and documenting their world and the issues swirling around them, come hell or high water!

On that note, have a stellar week.  We deserve one!

Gretchen

4 Comments

Filed under China, Education, Guangzhou, High School, Humanities

New Life, New School

Grand Opening is just three days away! The Yew Wah International Education School officially opens its doors to students on September 18.  But since the campus isn’t really ready for us to occupy it, we will be hosting an activity camp at the Sheraton resort just down the road for the first two days.  Here is a rendering of what the school will look like when completed:

YWIES DrawingOnly 6 of those buildings are in progress, but phase II starts this fall.  Eventually this school will have 2000 students from K – 12.  The tall buildings in the back (right) will be staff accommodations and student housing.  This year we are starting with 150 students from K – 10.  My classes have the following numbers of students:

6th: 25
7th: 9
8th: 4
9th: 9
10th: 10

So the challenge will be how to best teach such small groups.  I’m used to 30 in a class.

We still have not been able to get into our classrooms and we are all anxious to get started.  It has been a long month working out of a conference room.  There have been many hiccups, last minute changes, complete gaffs etc.  But I am so happy to say that this new staff has taken everything in stride.  Yes, we are sick of the conference room.  Yes, we are sick of sitting and not teaching.  But, we know each other really well now.  🙂

I have planned my first three units for each class and created the daily lessons for the first unit for each class.  I’m feeling well prepared on my end.  I have purposefully not gone any further as I do not know the level of students I am getting.  I don’t know their English level, nor if they have had any humanities or geography.  So the first week will be very much centered around understanding the knowledge and skill base the kids are starting the year with.

On Friday a few of us went shopping for items for our classrooms.  We had placed our requests the week before and someone was to have scouted out where we could find our items.  Then we were told we would go to two or three stores, check the products and make orders.  The gals would then pay for them and they would arrive at the school by Monday (tomorrow).

Instead, we jumped off the van in old town Huadu and spent three sticky and exhausting hours trying to find anything that might work in the dust filled piles of warehouse type shops.

Shopping Collage

Photos taken with my iPhone 4s

Needless to say there was very little for humanities.  I did find one, very dusty globe in a stationary store.  So I have resorted to ordering online and crossing my fingers that my atlases etc. arrive before Monday, September 22 – the day we really start school.

Tomorrow we start rehearsing, at the school, the opening day celebrations.  At least we get to be on campus.

Besides school preparations, I have been riding my bike around town.  Cruised around Huadu lake.  It is quite huge and full of statues and leisure stations (snack bars).

Huadu Lake 2 Huadu Lake Sun Statue

I have now ventured via the train, into Guangzhou.  It took us an hour to get there.  But the trains are really clean and efficient  and thankfully air conditioned.

There is construction going on everywhere.  Huge buildings with at least 50 stories.

TV Tower & Dwntown

The pointed building in the distance is the TV tower that lights up in lots of colors at night.

 

Street Music Man Metro Map

 

The days are flying by.  I am really excited to meet my students.  And I am excited about my crazy classes.  I had to align the Chinese national curriculum with the national curriculum of the UK.  There was a basic outline for what the Chinese felt I should cover.  Other than that, it was up to me to cover all the required standards and create classes that made some sort of sense.

So here is what I created – don’t laugh or groan.  I know they don’t seem to flow, but it was hard to get everything required into these classes.

Units Y6 - Y10

EOTC stands for Education Outside the Classroom.  We’ll be heading to a village community and doing a community project.  In Y6 Ancient Civilization was given only 3 weeks in the Chinese curriculum.  I gave it 14 weeks.  Its going to be challenging to cover everything, but the projects they’ll be working on will hopefully lend to broader understanding.

It continues to be super hot and sticky here.  I almost stepped on this guy as I was walking through the forest part of our apartment complex.  He was about 5 inches long and moving fast!

 

Slug

 

I ventured back into RT Mart.  This time, 9am on a Saturday morning.  This is definitely the preferred time to shop, for me that is.  Easy and relaxed.  I had a chuckle when I came across an aisle dedicated to instant noodles.

Instant Noodle Aisle

But then I headed over to my wonderful covered, outdoor market.  Such happy, smiling people.  They love teaching me how to say the numbers (ie. cost of items).  Although hot and sticky, so much more enjoyable.

Market

Crabs

Crabs! Some were still twitching.

So another week has flown by.  I am so excited for what is about to begin.  I promise to take loads of photos.  We have been warned against posting any photos of our students, so I will try to capture the essence of the events without exposing the kids.

Also, sorry about the lack of quality of the photos, in this post all have been taken with my iPhone 4s.  The ones of Huadu Lake were as I was pedaling along.

Have a great week!

Gretchen

3 Comments

Filed under China, Education, Guangzhou, Huadu, Humanities, Uncategorized