Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It has been announced that students are welcome to come to school on Wednesday for a brief period to pick up their belongings, receive their report cards and yearbooks and say goodbye to their teachers one last time. These visits must remain brief in order to comply with the government's decision to close schools. Class gatherings are absolutely not permitted at school and teachers are not allowed to attend class parties (off campus) during school hours.
This was a message that I sent out to parents last week explaining the details of what happened when the government of Hong Kong decided to shut down all schools due to increased spreading of swine flu among school-aged children. It was a sad and seemingly unfair way for the Explorers to end their amazing year. Since Thursday our class conference on the school network has seen more than 200 messages passed (all by the Explorers themselves), 4 students have been blogging their reactions and responses to this sudden change, and students have found each other to keep in touch by using Skype. We actually managed, to some extent, to have more closure and opportunities to say real goodbyes through our digital tech saaviness. Pretty cool for 10 and 11-year olds, if I do say so myself.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Now that I am back in, I am ready to wrap this baby up. Over the next 1.5 weeks until school finishes I plan to post frequently with some reflections on the year, but then close the lid and seal it with a bow. Next year I will try to maintain a new blog (year 2) as well as a brand new EduBlog which will be a professional reflection on my own teaching practice specifically. It will also be a place where I can begin to compile a professional digital portfolio, list projects and achievements and share my successes with fellow teachers. The EduBlogs that I have had the pleasure of perusing this year have been endlessly inspiring, and I think I am ready for this challenge :)
Click here to see one of my favorites.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I woke up this morning to a slightly grey day, bright but not sunny. I went out for a morning walk through the markets and ended up coming back home early because of annoying spitting rain, the occasional dirty water stream off an awning and the sea of umbrellas floating and bouncing along at my exact eye-level. The slippery streets in the wet markets make me nervous on my feet and gross me out around the meat and seafood stalls. So once I returned home I thought I would check the weather (something I rarely do in Hong Kong). What I discovered was so disheartening, I needed to share it with the world.
Spring is here, and with it comes the rain I see.
School has been a fun and exciting hullabaloo lately. My coaching has wrapped up with medals and team achievements. My class is happily investigating a new Unit of Inquiry into the Human Body, which puts me right in my element and makes every minute of class time fun for me :) I'm the Gr. 5 Lower School Student Council teacher rep. and we are putting on a big party at the end of the month, which I have enjoyed planning with the kids. Every day I slip a little more into my role of Gr. 5 convenor as the team begins to plan next for year and reflect on the past year's successes and failures. Although it really is great going to school each day, I am also counting down to summer holidays! Thirty-six days until Canada.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
My students are blogging and I am blown away by their imaginative creativity, unexpected senses of humour and occasional reflective intellect demonstrated through this style of public writing. Hurray for blogs! Here is a link our class website where you can access their blogs (bear in mind they're probably only AMAZING to me :)
Monday, April 27, 2009
At the end of the conference I had made some important connections with people and learned about what they are doing in other places. I tucked away some good ideas for future projects, heard some inspirational stories of success, and talked to some intriguing people. More importantly, I had time to really think about my teaching. Rarely on a weekend or weekday night, do I actually get much reflection time. I plan, I mark, I assess, I review, I create and I apply, then I eat and sleep. But I rarely get to really reflect and re-evaluate. Life here just happens to fast. Before I close my eyes for more than a blink, I'm on to the next thing and there's no time for quality collaborative reflection. The conference gave me the gift of time, the spark of inspiration, and the arena to really dig deeper into my thoughts about how I infuse technology into my classroom, why it is a critical tool for understanding my students and how I can use it to empower them in their own lives.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Here's something I found in my virtual mingling, that really grabbed my attention and plays directly into issues I have been tackling lately with my student's acceptable use of technology in our classroom.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Life outside of school = pretty much non-existent :) But I'm still a happy camper.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The students in 5E are investigating the lives of children around the world in our current Unit of Inquiry into Social Justice. Recently we learned about Bob Geldof, BandAid, and USAforAfrica. Specifically we have discussed Geldof's influence on making a change in the world by raising awareness for people who were suffering from starvation and malnutrition in Africa in the 1980s. We have learned how music can be a huge catalyst for inspiring people to want to make a change and help heal the world. Out of our enthusiasm and admiration for what those musicians did 25 years ago, we decided to honour them by re-making the video "We are the World".
Please check out this showcase on the CDNIS Learning & Teaching Technologies webpage
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Lots of people have asked if I feel any different, and honestly I don't. I have been letting myself get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I don't feel weak and I wake up feeling normal. I have been doing Yoga each night and that helps me feel good, but so far not any different.
So I think I'm ready to stop this diet experiment, but now I am not sure what to do next. How do I choose what to start eating again?
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I kicked off this weekend with yoga on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Since the retreat in Thailand I have not practiced once! I must admit, it didn't great on Saturday, but today was better. I have some damaged tendons in my left ankle, and I am still wearing a tensor bandage, so I have to be careful and not push it too much.
Then I reflected on the Ayurvedic body styles I learned about in Thailand to help me plan a 1-week cleansing diet. I'm not in the mood to try and just 'eat better' or 'snack less', I need a serious regime to clean out my body as well as my mental state of craving comfort foods and compromising my better judgment in terms of food choices. I researched some common cleansing diets and applied the dos and don'ts to my Ayurvedic body type - which is Kapha - to come up with a general idea of what I will be eating over the next 7 (or more) days. Then I went out into the wet markets in my neighbourhood and stocked up! I bought broccoli, peppers, asparagus, artichoke, apples, blueberries, eggplant, carrots, spinach and a dozen bunches of fresh herbs. Then I stopped in the super market for a sac of mixed Thai rice (8 rice varieties), 2 liters of pure carrot juice, herbal tea, rice paper, raisins and dried apricots.
So here I go. I just cleaned out my fridge of all that could tempt me (there really wasn't much in there to begin with), cut up some carrot sticks, put some rice to soak, ate a bowl of blueberries, and I have no idea what to do next...
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I planned on writing every day over the CNY holiday, but ended up being too busy having an amazing time to even consider wasting time on the computer. I love it when that happens. Unfortunately there is now way I can recount all the fun, so I'll just have to rely on Jodi's great memory (and journal) to protect the wonderful memories.
Showing Jodi around (and getting to know) my new home city of Hong Kong, and see the festivities and traditions of Chinese New Year was really neat. Highlights included: walking around the outer rim of the Macau Sky Tower, Hong Kong Ocean Park, Picnic + Fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Pizza Dinner Party at my flat, A traditional round table Chinese meal with Joanna, happy hours and dinners in SoHo, and exploring Kowloon.
The upcoming 60 days will be less exciting, as I count down to my Easter vacation when I will fly to Korea to celebrate Rohanna's first birthday with Bruce and Barb. I can't wait. Not too much should happen between now and then, so I will make all efforts to write, more often, about the daily adventures of my life as Master Explorer.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Today we had an amazing Chinese New Year concert at school, and our students were fantastic performers. Tomorrow is the last day before holidays, and we will dismiss the students at 11am. Then the staff will enjoy a Chinese New Year celebratory lunch, which should be nice.
Jodi and I are booked into a hotel in Macau for Saturday and Sunday! Planning to return on Monday for the Hong Kong night parade and also looking forward to the fireworks over the harbour on Tuesday!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Jodi arrived at 3:15pm and has now crashed out for the night. She was awake for a good 50 hours or so, so she'll need to recuperate and adjust. Good to get rested up for the festivities to come. I can't wait to explore Hong Kong with her!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
So now I am back. Back to school, back to being healthy, and back to blogging. My dear friend Jodi arrives tomorrow to help me celebrate Chinese New Year and explore some of Hong Kong's culture. We will have many, many adventures, I am sure, and I will be here online to share them with you :)
Thanks for not giving up on me.