Back from India

Monday, February 26, 2018
Hello families!

Warning - this is a long post so wait to read it until you have a bit of spare time! I have just returned from 10 days in India. Okay - it was really 6 days with 4 travel days...and a lot of travel while I was there! 

Before I tell you all about India, I will let you know what else is going on in my life. The day I left, my son went in to have a procedure on his heart. He was born with congenital heart defects and this was a planned procedure. He chose the date and he didn't realize it was the day I was leaving for India. (He is 25 and married living in Auburn.)  There were complications and I didn't find out until yesterday, the date I arrived back to the US, that he had been placed in ICU. Long story short - he is in the hospital today having more heart surgery. (Update - he is out of surgery and healing.)

Now - on to my trip! I went with a group to work with kids in 4 different villages in Northern India. These villages are very, very poor. We had clinics of hand washing / sanitation and we also had stories and crafts, relays (games), and songs. 

Due to political instability in the region, we had to be very cautious with our travels. 

We had 4 days of visiting several villages. In one village, we were able to attend a project where they receive before and after school care as well as lunch. It was a joy to be able to meet the kids and spend time with them. We taught sanitation, hand washing, crafts, games, and songs. 

We ended our stay in Varanasi, home to Hinduism. We took a boat ride on the Ganges River at sunrise. The Ganges is a holy river to the Hindu religion. 

Cremation ceremonies. The ashes are put into the river. 

We walked around old Varanasi, accessible only by foot or boat. We even saw a snake charmer!

I have a bit more I could share - but due to high risk security and student appropriateness, I will not be blogging. I would be happy to share with parents in person if asked. I look forward to being with you again soon!


MLA Tools

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Go Gators!

I admit...I am a very competitive person. We won our second rally with our awesome class spirit!! Woo hoo! Thank you to all our students who came out donning purple or orange! In our class we will celebrate February 16 (Jimison homeroom). 

Did you know we have a super talented art docent? Kudos to Mrs. Vierra - I love having her as my art docent! She does a spectacular job teaching our class about art basics. Our last lesson students drew bubbles. They continued to focus on light and reflection. I love how she even explained the difference between 2 types of pastels! Wow. 

We have started studying Ancient India in class. We are using lots of webquests, a culminating project (due Feb 15), and group work. And guess what? I am going to India over our winter break in February! It will be a short trip - half of it travel time - but I am excited to go. It will be fun to see in person some of the things we have been studying including the Ganges River. 

In language we will be starting a research paper. Students will choose from a list of topics and develop their own rule to improve life (thrive). Our topics this year coincide with many of our school character keys - Balance, Integrity, Responsibility, etc. We have been working a lot on citing our sources using MLA format. Students are able to use these great online tools:

It's also a good idea to run papers through a plagiarism checker. It will check to make sure the paper is not plagiarized by mistake. A few free online tools are:

Grammarly even checks for grammar errors! 

Have a great week!! (This is my son's bunny!)