China Day 12

We spent the day at the Beijing Botanical gardens.  The students had a
great time exploring and identifying all of the plants.  All of the
speaking tour and all of the signs and plant labels were in Mandarin
so I was not able to understand much but did enjoy the beautiful

Enjoy some pictures from the Beijing Botanical gardens below as well as another video from Mr. Diekman taken at the Great Wall of China.


The Wall from Mr. D. on Vimeo.

China Day 11

I took a rickshaw ride through the streets of Beijing last night. It
was so much fun and a great view of the city. The traffic in Beijing
is more than I have ever seen before but fortunately the rickshaw
stayed on back streets which made for a surprisingly peaceful ride.
At school we continue to investigate the five senses. There is a great
picture of the students exploring their sense of taste with a variety
if foods.
Mr. Diekman from Rosewood is teaching with me on this trip and he has
made some incredible videos, enjoy one of them below.



Summer Palace from Mr. D. on Vimeo.

China Day 8

Today is our 8th day in China.  We have taught every day we have been
here so far and then went sight seeing in the evening. I am exhausted
but looking forward to continuing working with our students and seeing
more of Beijing.
Yesterday we visited the Forbidden City which was built for Royalty in
1406 and was finished in 1420. It was so amazing to be walking in such
a beautiful estate that was so many hundreds of years old.  You can
see a few pictures below.
In class we have been teaching about the five senses.  One of the
lessons for touch that we did was on Oobleck and we were able to make
it in small groups.  The Chinese students have been working hard at
improving their English and describing Oobleck was a great activity
for them to practice.
The food here has been quite an adventure. Last night we enjoyed dinner
at a dumpling restaurant.  We had both fried and boiled dumplings
along with some shredded zucchini and potatoes.
My internet connection continues to be very rocky when I can post I
will. Thank you to Mrs. Essenburg for helping me through email so I can
share with all of you.

Forbidden CityImage-1

More News from China

After two very long first days of class myself, the students, and all
the teachers were ready for our field trip to The Summer Palace just
outside of Beijing.  The Summer Palace was built at the request of one
of the Empresses who wanted to get out of the hot city and spend her
summer relaxing in a more natural setting.  The Palace was beautiful
and very large.
It was so much fun to spend more time with our students and see them
outside of a classroom setting.  We ate a picnic lunch and  students
shared tons of treats and snacks with us, much different than American
food but still very yummy.
In the classroom I’m teaching Science.  The most difficult part is the
language barrier. The students are working very hard to improve their
English.  I wish I knew some Mandarin. Not being able to fully
communicate has forced lots of creativity in the instruction, which
the students are enjoying.
Pinewood students–remember to keep reading and logging your reading
minutes.  Also start school shopping using your grade level supply
lists (linked on the previous blog post) whenever you are able to. We
will be back to school before we know it.

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Greetings from China!

After fourteen hours of air travel I made it to Beijing.  It has been
an amazing experience thus far.  You can see some of my pictures
below.  The first evening we were treated to an authentic Chinese
dinner served in their traditional family style.

The next day we ventured out to the Great Wall of China.  It was truly
an awe inspiring sight.  The wall is over two thousand years old and
can be seen from space.  Look up a few facts on The Great Wall and
share them in comments on the blog.

This morning we held the opening ceremony for our summer school.  It
was so exciting to see the school and meet the students; it’s all very
different from Pinewood.  I have a few pictures from today but will
share more later to give you a better idea of what the school here is

Internet access is not consistent here in China but I will try to
continue to post on the blog as often as I can.

photo 4

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Here are some pictures from the school we are visiting, Fengtai School.

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And here are some pictures from the Great Wall of China!

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Summer Reading Challenge Week 6 July 16, 2014

Sorry this is being posted a little later than usual, this Friday morning I will fly out of Grand Rapids to travel the 6,545 miles to Beijing, China. I’m busy preparing, but I have so much to share in this weeks post.

First we have moved ahead in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge we are ranked 409th in the nation! Awesome job to all of my summer readers. Keep logging here is the link again; Scholastic.

I wanted to give a quick reminder about the informational session happening on Monday July 21, 2014 at 6:00pm in the former K-Mart plaza. Students will have a chance to meet and speak to local government officials including Rep. Victory. Here is a link to some informational text from MLive that goes into more detail about the township proposal, this is a great opportunity for our students to get informed and involved in the community.

I’m excited to be able to post next week from China, until then I found this great video that introduces students to China its history and culture. China Video If any students have questions about my trip please email me and I will try to answer them:

As I was picking up some last minute things for my trip when I walked into Meijer and saw aisles full of school supplies. Shopping early is usually the most affordable so keep your eyes open for deals and stock up. Here is the link to the grade level supply lists for Pinewood. Click on Pinewood and then instead of clicking on your grade level just scroll down on the document and each grade level is available.chinaindex

photo(33) I’m so excited for the 2014-2015 school year to start we are going to have an amazing year.

Summer Reading Challenge Week 5

On Scholastic we are currently ranked 422nd in the nation for reading minutes. Please remind your students to log their minutes and remember we will be having a classroom prize for every grade level as well as individual prizes for readers. If internet access is not always available your student can write down their minutes and have you sign them and bring them in at the start of the school year as well.
This week I would like to challenge our students to get involved in our Georgetown Township community. There currently is a proposal for the township to replace the empty K-Mart building with a new state of the art library, community/senior center, and township offices. Its important that our students are informed of what is happening in the community and this is a great opportunity for them to see the democratic process in action. On July 21 at the empty K-Mart plaza off from Chicago Drive there will be an informational open house.
What: Informational Session to Inform Citizens on Future of Georgetown proposal
When: July 21 at 6:00 pm
Who: Trustee Chad Tuttle, Supervisor Dale Mohr, Representative Roger Victory

At the informational session there will be large scale drawingskmartphoto illustrating the proposal as well as yellow tape showing the actual building footprint. There also will be ice cream served from Culver’s for the kids. This would be an excellent opportunity for our students to see local government officials and to talk with them. The vote for the proposal is August 5, I plan to take me daughter with me so she can see the voting process. I hope many other students are able to witness it and be involved for the meeting on July 21 and the vote on August 5.